Monday, October 29, 2007

When's It Going To Snow??

Kidding, I don't want snow yet, but now that I got some new snowshoes for the wife and I, I'm ready to use them. I can't wait to try them out, check out the pics below....mine are the yellow ones by the way.....not that I don't like purple or anything.....

New Snowshoes For the Wife and I

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Long Weekend....

So this weekend didn't go quite as I had planned but I still feel o.k. about it nonetheless. Friday night I went out with my friend Jason, his wife Jenny, and my wife to Longnecks' Brew Pub in Big Bend for dinner and some beer. Well, I had quite a bit more beer than I had planned and ended up staying up until 2:00 and was quite drunk when I went to bed. I was supposed to be up early and at the team ride at about 9:30 but unfortunately in my beer induced haze I forgot to set my alarm and woke up at 9:30! I made the phone call of shame and told them I wasn't going to be there, which was probably for the better as I wasn't feeling very good and would have been heaving for sure on the ride. So I basically laid around until I felt better, got up and mowed the lawn with the push mower just to get some exercise for the day and then I changed and headed downtown for the banquet. We had a really nice team banquet, great food, great company, and I think we laid a good foundation for what we are going to do in 2008. There are no big changes for the team for 2008, everything is pretty much going to stay the same with the exception of adding a few new riders. We should have a pretty good team next year in both the Master's 4/5 and the Master's 1/2/3 so I'm really looking forward for the racing season to start.
Today I got up after getting in some good sleep last night, had a cappuccino, some pancakes and then did some yard work while the sun warmed things up a bit. I got out on the bike in the afternoon for 3.5 hours, not quite what I had planned but I wasn't feeling up to a long ride like I had planned. I was going to go to Burlington to visit my parents but I still wasn't feeling all that great this morning so I shortened my planned ride by 1.5 hours. I'm still happy with 3.5 hours and the weather was perfect, beautiful temps, not too much wind, lots of sun. There were quite a few other riders out today, nobody serious, all recreational, but it was still good to see alot of people out biking. I felt great, although I think I tried to rehydrate a little bit too much to make up for all the booze I had this weekend as I had to go to the bathroom 4 times in the 3.5 hours I was out. Next time I'll try not to rehydrate so much after 2 days of drinking, I definitely learned my lesson. Well, not much to say for this weekend, that's it for now......until next time......

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Movie Time

I've watched 3 movies this week during indoor training, nothing really good, maybe tonight's movie will be better. I wanted to watch the World Series game last night but cable was out for 4 hours so I took out a DVD I haven't watched in a while, Saving Silverman, funny movie, nothing great though. Tonight is The Invisible, a new movie that I rented at BlockBuster, and I'm sure I'll be watching the WS as well. Everything is good with the body as I've ridden the trainer the last 2 days with no knee pain at all. I think I fixed most of my hip imbalance issues last week with some shims and I also turned the seat a bit so that my hips are square now in relation to the bike. Before I made my changes I would pedal for a bit and then stop and drop my legs straight down and my left leg would be right up against the seat and seatpost and my right leg would be about 2 inches away from the seatpost. I added wedges to my right shoe, shimmed the left shoe, and toed it in a bit and then turn my seat right just a little bit and now I have the same distance between the seatpost and both legs. I feel like I sit square now on the bike and the knee pain has gone away for now so I must've done something right with my changes. I've also stretched my hip flexors every day and I've been doing lots of ab work so I think I'm more flexible and my core is a bit stronger. I'm feeling pretty dang good all the way around. Tonight is another trainer ride, 90 minutes, and I'll be doing a few One-Legged pedaling exercises as well during the ride. Tomorrow is a rest day and then Saturday I'll ride with the team, and Sunday will be another long ride. I plan on riding out to Burlington on Sunday to visit my mom, and then I'll head over to my dad's, re-fill the water, and head on back home, should be about 85 miles.
I lost my eBay bid last night for the two sets of snowshoes I was bidding on, they went higher than I was hoping. So I've started new again today with another bid, hopefully I get luckier with this one. I'd rather not have them now anyways, maybe as long as I don't have them it won't snow. Temps look o.k. for this weekend but I know the cold weather is right around the corner, I'm happy either way. I still ride in the snow and this year I can snowshoe as well. Good times. That's it for now, until next time..........

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


So I e-mailed Sprecher to find out when I can drink my Russian Imperial Stout and Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale as they had mentioned letting it age for a while before drinking it. They responded that the batches that my bottles are from have already been extensively aged and were ready to drink now. I could age them a little more, 6 months to a year if I wanted and they would be a little better, but um, I've already waited a week and 3 days so I think that's good enough right? So I think this weekend I will be popping the tops on my bottles and drinking up. Maybe I'll bring them to Ben's cookout to enjoy with a bratwurst or two...or maybe I'll drink them Friday when I have some friends over....oh the temptation.

This had nothing to do with cycling but it was definitely worth is beer after all, just as important as cycling.

Monday, October 22, 2007


After a long weekend of riding, today will be a nice recovery day, I'll do some stretching and some ab work but no riding today. I got in my 7 hours this weekend with some nice easy hours on Saturday, and some butt-kicking, headwind-killin' hours on Sunday. I worked harder than I wanted to yesterday but the weather was gorgeous and other than getting my heart rate up a little high and seeing stars by the end of the ride I was loving it. Couldn't have asked for much better temps near the end of October. I still got a lot of yard work done as well this weekend, I really didn't have to sacrifice any yard work time as I managed to juggle the time on the bike and got stuff done around the house, it was a great weekend all around. This weekend should even be better, not necessarily the weather or the bike time, but because Saturday is a day that will pretty much be dedicated to spending time with most of my teammates from Team Wheaton. We'll be starting in the morning with a ride of about 2 to 2.5 hours and then after that we'll be having a nice post-ride cookout with some brats courtesy of Ben. After a quick trip home to clean up and change we'll be heading down to Mo's Irish Pub downtown for our team meeting and then team dinner. Not only will the company of teammates make for a good day, but for those that don't know me well I'm a huge fan of the Irish beverages, namely Guinness and Jameson so I can't wait to have a few of those, not that I don't have enough already at home, but it seems better at a pub with friends.
As far as riding goes this week, it will be a normal week, 75-90 minutes during the week on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and then depending on the weather this weekend I'm planning for about 5 to 6 hours between Saturday and Sunday. I'm hoping to get my snowshoes this week as well as I'm bidding on 3 pairs right now on eBay. I've got two in the running for myself, of which I'll try to win whichever is bidding cheaper of course, and I'm also bidding on a pair for Melissa. I'm looking forward to some cross training out at Minooka Park during the winter, climbing the big hill out there a few times and then doing some of the flatter trails will make for great workouts. Hopefully I can snag both pairs for about $100, I'd be happy with that and if I like them I can always get a better pair in a couple of years. Well, that's it for now, have to get back to work, until next time.........

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I've got to admit that today I cracked....long hours in the saddle and very high winds made for a rough ride. Mentally I was broke after about 90 minutes in to the headwind on the way out. Speeds of about 16mph in to the 25-30mph wind was the standard, it was killing me. All in all I'm glad I did my ride, finished in a bit of a haggard state but it was a weekend of 7 hours so I'm really happy about that. I'm feeling good now after some really good Chinese food for dinner and now I'm relaxing on the couch watching a couple of slasher flix. More to come tomorrow, I need my rest now, until next time......

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Life Is Good

Today was a great day for a bike ride and I took full advantage as I got out for a nice 3 hour leisurely ride. I rode down to Whitnall Park, out to Franklin and then back towards New Berlin where I detoured to Waukesha and then back home. I saw probably more than 20 other cyclists out today, easily the most I've seen on any single training ride this year, the Doc ride excluded obviously. The wind wasn't nearly as bad as they said it was going to be today, which was fore casted in the 20 to 30mph range, I bet it was more in the 12-15 range for most of my ride. All of the temperature signs I went past said 70 to 73 degrees throughout the ride, warmer than what was fore casted as well. Amazingly enough my knee didn't hurt at all today, seems to be the pattern though, I ride outside and I don't get knee pain, ride on trainer and my knee hurts for two days. Thanks to Tony I've really started to concentrate even more on my hip flexors, I was doing hip flexors stretches 2 to 3 times a week prior to this week, but now I'm doing them every day, that could be the difference. Either way, I feel great now, had a great ride and can't wait to do 4 to 4.5 hours tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a long day for sure, the weather looks even better than today, the wind will be about the same, and I'm just motivated to get out and ride.
So enough about the bike stuff.....tonight I'm testing my sanity as it's my son's b-day today and he is having a party right now with 9(!!!!) other boys over that are 13 and 14 years old. They are playing dodgeball outside right now and the screaming is driving me crazy enough but we also had them running in the neighbors yard, one kid was laying in the road, and we also have one that not only lost his shoes but he's running around without socks as well. They'll be coming in soon for pizza and then it will be armageddon inside the house as they have 3 video game systems with 3 TVs set up downstairs and I'm sure the screaming and craziness from that will be more than enough to put me in the loony house. Oh well, I did all of that as a kid myself (and worse) so I guess I can't complain too much. Well I can, but nobody listens anyways......that's it for now, until next time.......

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I'm still at work...on my birthday..... at 7:10, this is a bunch of shat. My client has their network hosed up, no prospect of getting home before 8:00 so there will be no biking tonight, only beer. Nothing like working 13 hours on my b-day.....

Pain, Pain, Go Away......

....come back anoth-, oh wait, don't ever freakin' come back. My persistent knee pain hit a peak yesterday and my left knee was cracking and hurting as bad as it has in a while. I had to push myself out of my chair at work yesterday every time I got up and ease myself back in when I sat down. I know it's my b-day today and I'm getting older but I shouldn't feel 70 years old. So anyways, I did some messing around with my position last night to try to alleviate some of the pain, figuring maybe I could come up with something that may make me more comfortable. I rode the rollers for about an hour and fiddled with the seat height, seat fore-aft, and shoe shims. Eventually I got something that felt really good and rode for a bit to keep my knee loose and this morning it doesn't feel too bad. Tonight I'm supposed to do Fast Pedaling on the trainer but I'm sticking to just doing a regular 75 minutes or so just to test out the knee and then I'll do my stretching and put the hot pad on it for a bit. I'll be ready to rock by the weekend I think, it's supposed to be upper 60s and no rain so I can't wait to get outside again. It's only October so I don't mind the trainer during the week yet, I'm actually o.k. with it mentally this week. By January I'll be dreading it though I'm sure. I can't wait for snowshoeing though either as that will break up the monotony a bit, I'll be kicking some butt climbing up the hills out at Minooka Park in Waukesha to take away some of the boredom of the trainer.
So anyways, not much else going on right now. I almost snagged a nice all-carbon wheelset the other day on eBay, a brand new set of FSA RD-800s, semi-aero 38mm, tubular. I forgot about it though when I was watching football and the auction ended with someone outbidding me at the last minute. If I was watching I would've won, damn. I can't make my bike much lighter or faster since I have all Campy Record on it now and all the other components are carbon as well, so the best upgrade I could do is wheels, so I'll keep my eyes open for a good deal on eBay and maybe by next Spring I'll find something good. Well, back to work, until next time..........

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Support Your Local MicroBrewery

I'll start with the non-bike stuff first. Yesterday afternoon Melissa brought me to Sprecher Brewery to go on the tour and sample some beer for my birthday present and I had a great time. Xavier tagged along so that he could drink all the soda that he wanted as they had unlimited soda for the kids in the beer garden as well. The tour was fun, not too informational for anyone looking to get some info on beer-making in detail, but learning the history of Sprecher was pretty neat. Sprecher makes some of the best beer around, and one, possibly two of their beers are in my top 10. I especially enjoy their Pub Ale, and their Russian Imperial Stout is in or near my top 10 as well. They make some very popular beers amongst my friends, such as the Black Bavarian, the Dopple Bock, and OctoberFest, but I was surprised to hear that their Special Amber is their best selling beer. I don't think I've ever been out with friends where any of us ordered the Special Amber and the guys at work are pretty high on the beer as well and none of them ever mentioned that as one of their favorites. I'd think that between my friends and the guys at work, that they would be a good sample of the beer drinkers in the state, but I guess not, we're just not into Amber I guess. So anyways, after I got my souvenir glass and drank my 4 beers we went in to the gift shop and I picked out enough beer to last me a while. I got a case of mixed bottles, mainly the Pub Ale, Imperial Stout and of course OctoberFest, but a few others as well. I also splurged and got a couple of special bottles that I can't drink for a while. I got one of their Bourbon Barrel aged Scotch Ales, and a Premium Reserve bottle of the Russian Imperial Stout. The Imperial Stout is a bottle that I can't drink yet as it needs to be stored for about 8-10 months to let it age a bit, this bottle is like a fine wine, it will only get better (and for the price I paid I'm sure it will). I also got a nice T-shirt and a Stout glass as well. All in all, it was a great b-day present because I sure do love my beer.
So, on to the biking stuff. I picked out two routes this weekend that would give me 7 hours total over the two days, but unlike last week where I had a 4 hour day and a 3 hour day these routes would be split 3.5 hours a piece. Yesterday I went and did a nice endurance pace ride through Muskego, Big Bend, Mukwonago, Waukesha, and then finally back to New Berlin. I felt really good on the bike, no sore ass this weekend, my knee pain was manageable, and although it was a bit cool, only 37 degrees at the start of my ride, I was still warm and comfy. So after getting the first ride done yesterday I was really looking forward to today's ride but when I woke up at 6:30 to eat breakfast I heard the rain coming down and sure enough I looked outside and it was coming down pretty good. I decided to head back to bed, get some extra rest and wake up at 8:00 to try again. So up at 8:00, look outside, still raining. Crap. I checked the radar, saw lots of rain in the radar and in the forecast and decided that it's a trainer and roller day today as the rain isn't going away. It's 11:25 now, so at noon I'm going to turn on the Packer game, get the trainer set up and do 2 hours on that during the game. I'll take a little break after the game and get some stuff done around the house and then tonight at about 7:00 I'll pop in a movie and do another hour on the rollers just to work on my pedal stroke and form. 3 hours total inside is more than enough for me, I really don't care to do any more than that this time of year. I'll save the 4 hour trainer rides for January when it's really cold and snowy out. Tomorrow is a rest day and I'll do some stretching and ab work and then depending on how busy work is I'm hoping to get some outside riding in during the week as I've got my light system all charged up and ready to go. If time doesn't allow then I'll just be hitting the trainer this week for 75 to 90 minutes Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Well, that's it for now, check out some pics from the brew tour.....and the really bad lunch I had right afterwards, good thing I had a long ride. Until next time......

Friday, October 12, 2007

Trainer=Knee Pain

What is it about trainers that gives me knee pain? I mean WTF? I felt fine all summer long and in to the Fall. I rode all last week without knee pain. I get on the trainer this week and after 2 days my left knee hurt. I really think it has something to do with being locked in to a static position, my knees just don't like that. I've talked all about that in posts from earlier this year and last year so you can read my rants about that in previous posts if you care. So anyways, after rides on the trainer Tuesday and Wednesday I switched to the rollers last night after I felt the onset of the knee pain. It definitely helped to ride the rollers instead of the trainer as my knee doesn't hurt nearly as much today, luckily I don't have to ride either one of those tonight or this weekend as tonight is a rest day and this weekend I'll be outside. It will be a little chilly but I'll be up early tomorrow morning and out on the bike for 4 hours so that I can be back to go on a little trip for my b-day present. Tuesday is my birthday so tomorrow afternoon I'm going to Sprecher for a brewery tour and I'll be partaking in some beer drinking most of the afternoon and will leave the gift shop with hopefully quite a bit of their Limited Reserve and Premium beverages that you can only get there. Some Sprecher BBQ sauce will probably be in order as well as their little chocolate kegs with truffle infused with beer, mmmmm. It's going to be a good day.
As far as the biking goes, I will get my ride in tomorrow morning as I said, Sunday might be a little rainy, but I think they are only calling for like 30% chance of rain so I'm not too worried. I'll be doing 3 hours Sunday, and both rides will be at Endurance Pace. Hopefully Sunday I'm not too hung over from my b-day excursion to Sprecher, I think I'll manage either way, I'll just have to go slow. Well, that's it for now, tonight I'll just be chilling out at home, watching a movie probably and relaxing a bit, it's been a hectic week and I'm glad it's nearly over. Until next time........

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Days From Hell

This week has been pretty crappy so far, my blood pressure is probably sky high and sleep has been pretty much non-existent. Nothing to do with cycling, but all the other stuff that life throws at me. I knew the latter half of this week was not going to be good as everyone in my department is out of the office today through Monday, so it's only me at work and only me to handle all the issues. Lunch for the next 3 days will probably not happen, maybe once if I'm lucky. So anyways, basically work is going to suck. Another hassle this week happened on Monday evening as my wife had some major car troubles. The problem was that she was in Lake Geneva at her grandma's funeral and on the drive back her temp gauge went sky high. I asked if her car was steaming assuming maybe the radiator blew. She said nope, nothing was steaming, car was running fine, just that the gauge was on Hot. I thought maybe the thermostat was stuck open and told her it should be fine to drive home. We hung up and maybe 5 minutes later I got a call that her car was steaming like crazy. She was in East Troy after pulling off the freeway so I got in the car and started the drive down. I found her parked at a gas station, checked the car and noticed a bit of coolant on the radiator but nothing major. The coolant reservoir was still full so I went in the gas station, got some pre-mixed coolant and added some to the radiator. Thinking we'd be o.k since I didn't see anything really leaking I told her to get back on the freeway and we'd see how far we could get towards home. After a few miles, no steam, car was running good, no problems. After a few more miles we are pulled over on the side of the freeway with coolant blowing all over the engine and steam coming out of a giant crack in the top of the radiator...and to top it off the engine is knocking like crazy. Not a good sign. So after calling a tow truck and having like 3 cop cars pull up behind us we finally walked in the door late Monday night after having the car dropped off at her dealer and hit the bed at 1:00a.m.. Melissa had to be at work at 6:30 Tuesday morning so it was up at 5:30 after 4 and a half hours of sleep and I had to drive her to the hospital. So after no sleep and a long work day I was looking forward to some rest last night. Well, my dog got sick and has me worried as he threw up and was panting very rapidly last night. His heart rate seems very accelerated and he was up most of the night last night. Another night of bedtime at 1:00a.m.. I called the vet this morning and of course I'm here alone at work and the only time I can leave is lunchtime. Their earliest appointment is 3:45, which I just can't do. Tomorrow they have appointments early in the morning and at 5:00, can't do that either. So Friday I will most likely get my dog in to the vet, hopefully he isn't dead by then. It's been a fun week so far, I guess it can only get better.
Anyways, as far as the bike is concerned I did do my riding last night on the trainer, 75 minutes at endurance pace with 15 minutes of one-legged pedaling for each leg. I couldn't believe how sore I was after I was done, it's amazing how many muscles you DON'T use when you are pedaling with both legs. It's only when you have to try to pedal perfect circles with one leg do you realize how many more muscles you use to bring the pedal all the way through the pedal stroke that you don't use when your legs are opposing each other and you get the benefit of the downstroke on the opposing leg when you are on the upstroke. Basically you're cheating yourself if you aren't carrying both legs as much as possible through the entire pedal stroke and letting the opposing leg bring the other one back up. One-legged pedaling is an amazing exercise for helping to alleviate that issue. It's been proven that you can't pedal a perfect circle as there is always some opposing force in each stroke that will make you hit a dead spot in each leg at some point of the pedal stroke, but with this exercise you can get pretty close. My legs are more sore after 15 minutes for each leg than if I did a 60 mile ride outside. There are cranks that are called PowerCranks that do the same thing for you, basically they are cranks where both crank arms are independent of each other and if you aren't pedaling they are both pointing towards the ground freely. In order to be able to turn them around and pedal normally you have to pedal perfect circles with each leg and apply consistent force through the upstroke and downstroke for each leg independently. They are expensive though, like $800 I believe, maybe less, but either way, one-legged pedaling on the trainer is free. Do it some time and then let me know how sore your legs are, the first time I did it last year I could only do like 2 minutes each leg and my pedal strokes were very choppy with just one leg. Now I can do 15 minutes each leg and it's a pretty good circle. Well, enough about that. Tonight is another 75 minutes and I'll be doing the same thing, one-legged pedaling, 15 minutes each leg on the trainer. I might need to take some muscle relaxers after 2 nights in a row of that. Well, that's it for now, until next time......

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Wiped Out

Wow, what a tough weekend to really get back in to the full-on training with this heat and humidity. It's nice in the summer to work up to this kind of heat and your body gets trained to handle it, but when it just comes on like this and then you have to go out and do 3 and 4 hours, it can be tough. The theme for me this weekend as I'm sure it was with everyone was to just drink, drink, drink. I bet I drank more liquids in the last 2 days than I have in any 2 day period this entire year, I have no doubt about that. Today I went through a full Camelback, and 2 large bottles on my ride and then re-filled one of the bottles at a park and drank all of that before I got back home. I was sweating buckets and after a while I couldn't even wear my sunglasses because so much sweat was dripping in my eyes that I was sick of taking them off to wipe the sweat off. Anyways, enough about the heat, I'll enjoy it next summer but for now I'll take some Fall temps. So as far as riding, I rode more this weekend (7 hours) than I have since probably August and I could definitely feel it in my body. Yesterday wasn't too bad, the first day never is, but today I could tell I was hurting a little bit. My quads were especially sore, and my ass hurt from not enough hours on the bike lately. It felt good though and I'm ready to rock this week and next weekend. This week will be a relatively tame week, about 1.25 hours per day during the week, mostly on the trainer I'm sure after work and then next weekend will be another 3 hour and 4 hour day, not sure which day will be the longer of the 2 yet though. I swapped my rides around this weekend from my original plan because of football. I was going to do 4 yesterday and 3 today but realized I wouldn't be back before the start of the Badger game so I swapped and did 3 yesterday and 4 today, and unfortunately I got to see the game. Boy the Badgers were simply disappointing, their defense absolutely stinks this year, who would've thought that they'd be this bad after a great defensive year in 2006? Not me. Well, it's a late night, it's been a long weekend and I'm ready for bed. Tomorrow is a rest day off the bike, I'll do some stretching and basically relax. Until next time....

Friday, October 05, 2007

Lights Out!

No, I didn't get knocked out or anything but I could've if somebody didn't see me last night as I rode in the dark after my headlight system died after only 2 minutes. I went out for a nice 90 minute ride after work and knew that obviously I'd be getting home in the dark so I was all set with my awesome light system. I used it on Wednesday's ride and didn't even think twice about it as I set out towards Waukesha for a nice leisurely ride. As it got dark just before 7:00 I turned it on and noticed that the glow was pretty faint, 2 minutes later the light died completely. I had to put it in overdrive at that point heading home so that I minimized my chances of getting hit by someone that didn't see me. I used the New Berlin Rec Trail to cut out most of the street riding but I had a nice 20 minute ride back to my house down a busy Sunnyslope Rd. still ahead of me. It was pretty dark although I was helped by the red kit I was wearing so I wasn't too worried that I'd get hit but I definitely kept a watchful eye out for the drivers and sat up pretty straight so that I made myself more visible. I pulled in to my driveway between 7:20 and 7:25 and it was dang dark by then, definitely not safe enough to ride without a light but I made it home safely. I guess that will teach me to charge my light after not using it since early Spring. Dumb move.
Anyways, I felt good and although I wanted to take it easy yesterday and work on my one-legged pedaling I had to put in a little more effort than I had planned in order to get home quickly. I definitely got my intake of protein on the Rec trail as I frequently plowed through huge clouds of bugs that were just floating there like every 1/2 mile. Deeeelicious! So today is a day off the bike and I will be relaxing a bit and doing my stretching and ab work while I watch a movie. Tomorrow I've got to be up early and on the road by 7:00 so I can get in a long ride before the Badger game at 11:00. I'll be listening to the game while I'm doing the yard work most of the afternoon. It'll be nice to have my ride in early and be out working for most of the beautiful afternoon, it'll be close to 85 degrees! On another note, can you believe that the #5 team in the nation is an underdog to a team that has won 2 conference games in the last two years combined!! What kind of crap is that, I hope the Badgers kick their ass just to prove a point. If their pride doesn't carry them to a win then they should just bag it for the rest of the year, has the #5 team ever been an underdog to an unranked team in the history of college football, I doubt it! Can't wait to listen to that game, and run inside and watch it every now and then. That's it for now, until next time.....

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Back On Track

So I was definitely feeling better yesterday after my off night on Tuesday where I wasn't exactly feeling the best and I wasn't able to get in a ride. Last night I took a nice 90 minute ride down to Whitnall Park, did a loop, came back up by my house and did some loops though the surrounding neighborhoods after it got dark. I pulled in the driveway a little after 7:00 and it was pretty dark out, considering that sunset is 6:30 I managed to get in a good ride still. The lights will be on tonight as I've got to get in another 90 minutes of easy riding and the weather is supposed to be beautiful again today so I'm really looking forward to it. Tomorrow is an off day on the bike but I'll be doing plenty of stretching and ab crunches to build up some muscles that I didn't have last year. I like to push bigger gears on most occasions and I noticed this year that my back got fairly sore more often than I would have liked obviously, so I've decided to work on the complimentary muscles to help alleviate that, namely my abs. Saturday I'll be up early and will be doing about 3.75 to 4 hours from my house to Delafield and back and then I've got a ton of yard work to do. Time is becoming a factor in getting yard work done as it will be November before we know it and the cold weather and snow will be coming. I still need to lay down Fall winterizer on the lawn and clear some more brush in my woods and split some logs. I also have to clear the gutters again so that I can finish putting on my gutter guards. Last year we had a major problem with leaves clogging the gutters so this year I'm throwing on gutter guards to help out with that. It's going to be a very busy weekend between outside work at the house and riding the bike. I'm really motivated now to ride and can't wait to get out this weekend as the weather looks great. Well, back to work I suppose, more to follow tomorrow.
By the way, go check out our Team Wheaton website. One of my teammates, Andy, has written up a nice recap of his season and a few things about each of the guys on the team, and few outsiders as well. Go check it out, the link is on the right-hand side of this page. Until next time.......

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

That Was A Thud You Heard......

My offseason program has not started off with a bang, more of a thud. I got home yesterday, had a massive headache from a bad day at work, and was really tired from lack of sleep the night before. I took some aspirin and laid on the couch downstairs and before I knew it I was sleeping and it was 9:30 by the time I got up. I went straight to bed and slept pretty soundly all night which is rare for me, obviously I needed it. At least my headache is gone this morning but for some reason I'm still tired as hell. Well, two days in to my program and it hasn't exactly started well, good thing there's still like 190 days to go before the first race, not that I'm counting or anything. The weather is supposed to be great today so I'll definitely be hitting the bike after work and will get in about 90 minutes with the last 30 minutes being guided by my headlight system most likely as it's dark at 6:30 now. It will just be an easy, enjoyable ride through Whitnall Park and back, which is a great course this time of year with the colors and all the deer running around. Well, that's it for now, I'm trying to quit drinking coffee but the way I feel now calls for at least one cup this morning....gosh I'm weak. Until next time.........

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Year In Review....And A Preview

2008 training kicks off today (officially, although I rode a lot this weekend) and I really am looking forward to the challenges and joys of my offseason training for the next 6 months. Before I get started on what the next 6 months will bring, I'll do a quick little review of what happened in '07 and what I need to improve on for '08. First of all my results were pretty good I guess but I still wish I would've done better of course. I wouldn't be racing if I didn't think there was a chance to win every race, it just didn't work out that way this year though. So to re-cap, I finished in the top 10 in 13 out of the 17 races I did this year, finished in the top 5 in 6 of those races and out of those I had 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes. Seemingly I only had 4 bad races where I didn't finish in the top 10, but that isn't necessarily the case. I could point to a few of those top 10s and say that I got lucky and that my skill had nothing to do with it because I was definitely dogging it in the Evergreen race, the UW road race, and the Elm Grove Criterium. I felt pretty bad for those 3 races even though I managed to pull off top 10s, basically my experience got me through to the front of the races near the end and I was able to maintain a decent sprint for my placings. I really had no power for either of those 3 races and was basically bluffing my way through them, thank goodness for my decent sprint. Anyways, on to my strengths and weaknesses for the year. I would have to say that my weaknesses are still a lack of overall power which anyone in cycling knows that it takes time to build that up to the point where you can consistently roll along in a 53x14 or 53x13. I don't think I ever got down to my 53x12 this year, except maybe on a downhill. I'd also have to say that my climbing was lacking this year, most of that was due to weight but also again just due to lack of power and that is something that I'm going to focus on quite a bit this year. I'd have to say that my strengths were my experience with strategy and pack positioning and also my sprint, which has improved alot since last year. It wasn't good enough to be quite on par with the best sprinters but I managed one sprint win and it kept me up there in the rest of the races.
On to '08....I'll be riding with the same team again this year, Wheaton Franciscan, and I think if all the guys return we'll have a really strong elite Masters team next year. We have a few good hill-climbers, some good sprinters, and a couple of guys like me that can do a lot of work to help out the top guys. I'm looking forward to really animating the races next year and hopefully we'll become the team to beat in the M1/2/3 races.
My offseason training this Fall, Winter, and early Spring will consist obviously of a lot of weightlifting and bike-specific training but I also plan to do some snowshoeing as well to exercise the legs and to mix things up a bit. Early in the training, which starts today, I'll be doing bike-specific stuff like one-legged pedaling, Fast Pedals, and just easy, long rides on the weekends. November will bring the start of weightlifting and then once the snow starts falling I'll start doing the snowshoeing in addition to riding on the weekends. Most likely it will be a split day with snowshoeing in the morning and then riding in the afternoons either on the trainer or the cyclocross bike outside if the roads are clear. Once late January rolls along I'll start doing MuscleTension type exercises on the bike, and will also start doing Tempo work and mix in some intervals now and then. As we get out of winter and in to early Spring I'll start to really concentrate on climbing with lots of Steady State intervals and Climbing Repeats to improve that aspect of my riding. As I mentioned earlier, my climbing skills were lacking this year, both on short, steep climbs and longer climbs. My goal is to improve that quite a bit for '08 in order to keep up with the strong guys in the 1/2/3 category. It used to be one of my strengths so in spite of the fact that I'm quite a bit heavier I won't let that deter me and am confident I can be a good climber again.
So, that's it for now. It was a good '07, and I plan on doing a lot of work for '08 with the intention of being very competitive in the M1/2/3 category and hopefully score a few top placings. We've got a great team, we'll hopefully be a little more cohesive this year and knowing the personalities and skills that we all have I have no doubt that we'll be at the top in a lot of races. I know that the rest of the team will be training hard this offseason, and I don't want to disappoint next year.
Well, I could say a lot more, but I'll save some of it for tomorrow, until next time.....