Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The New, New Blog

O.k, so New Berlin Cycling was too jumbled to find my blog posts, my new blog is below

briancarlsonvelo.com

This will give me more flexibility to post calendar events, slideshows and videos that are organized so people don't have to search, and RSS feeds. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Site

I'm going to start posting now on New Berlin Cycling, I've got 3 readers on this site and the new poll that I started only got 2 voters each time so there is no point keeping this up anymore. I'll keep it out here for my own reference to look back at what I did, but for new posts and such I'm just going to post on newberlincycling.com. It's a beautiful 61 degrees right now and cloudy, um, yeah, but anyways, I'm going out for about 3 hours after a trip to Home Depot. So, that's it for this site, go to newberlincycling.com for future posts.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Maybe...Maybe Not

Yesterday was a really nice day, super weather, great company with my dad and his friend Dorothee, and a really nice bike ride. We started our ride at 9:00 and took a trip out to Dousman, my dad and Dorothee both found themselves wanting a new bike at the Bike Doctor, good thing they didn't have any credit cards handy. Just like last week there were quite a few riders and runners on the trail, and every one was quite happy, no doubt attributed to the fine weather. Well, actually I take that back, it was nice in the morning but the weather did turn bad in the afternoon after the clouds moved in, but by then we were back home and enjoying the rest of our day. Our total was 54 miles, a little less than I wanted to do but decent nonetheless. It was about the limit for my dad, we are doing the Door County Century next month and I told him he better get riding since he's been slacking quite a bit lately. Unfortunately riding once a week won't cut it for a century.
So anyways, on to the meaning of the title....I was planning on doing a double century tomorrow on my vacation day from work but I'm re-thinking that plan now. I'm not sure I'm cut out quite yet for a 200 miler, so I'm thinking of just doing something in between and trying another assault on the 200 miler in a couple of weeks on Labor Day Monday. Right now the plan is to do about 130-150, something more than the normal centuries I've been doing easily, but not quite the difficulty of a 200 yet. Doing the extra distance over the normal century will help me adapt a little bit more to the extra time in the saddle before I'm sitting on it for 12 hours. Now, the only caveat is if I'm feeling great after 130ish, then I may just continue on and finish, but right now that's not the plan. So anyways, tomorrow will be about 7 to 8 hours in the saddle, I have to work late Tuesday so there may be no time to ride by the time I'm done, but if anything I'll try to at least get in a recovery ride. Wednesday will be a normal 2 to 2.5 hour ride, and then Thursday I will do the Thursday Night Beatdown again from Wheel and Sprocket. Friday will be a rest day and then Saturday morning I plan on riding to the Doc Ride again and getting in another century. It'll be a full week of riding and hopefully the weather cooperates, should be fun. Well, that's it for now, time to put the legs up and get ready for tomorrow. Until next time........

Friday, August 21, 2009

Beat Down on the Beatdown

The Thursday Night Beatdown lived up to it's billing. I met up at the Wheel and Sprocket parking lot at about 5:50 after riding the 2.3 miles from my house with the skies looking fairly ominous, they did let out a little sprinkle but that was it for the night, about 30 seconds of raindrops. I met some familiar faces there, Rick Amen from Team Extreme, whom I only met last week for the first time, and a couple of former teammates in Rudy and Glen, it was good to see both of them again. There was a crowd of about 20 ready to roll and as we made our way through the residential area to get out to the country roads the pace was pretty slack, which was good for me since I needed more of a warmup after standing around for 10 minutes. After that we kept a steady pace of about 21-22 for a while and then at the end we had a nice long stretch of road with a tailwind and I have to admit I was fairly tired from taking a few good pulls throughout the ride. I knew my turn-off point was coming about 2 miles up the road so as we were flying along at around 30-31 I took a pull and only 2 or 3 guys came through and no one else went forward so I took another pull right away and that was a little too much for me. As I've said plenty of times I haven't done any intervals or anything this year, just normal riding, and my recovery for those types of efforts is nill. I could tell right away that I was in trouble but just hanging in the pack for a while would've been enough recovery time and I would've been fine. Unfortunately I got a freakin' side stitch really bad, probably from breathing so hard, and every time I took a breath in the pain in my ribs was killing me. At that point we were only about 1/4 mile from my turn so I looked back, there was only about 3 people behind me, I let them go around and I drifted off the back. I rolled up to my turn, took a few deep breaths, let the HR go back down a little bit then rolled it in to home. I got 43 miles in total which is more than I would've done by myself before sunset, and the pace of the ride suited me quite well until the end when my side stitch knocked me out. I'm not saying the side stitch caused me to get dropped because then I'd be deflecting the blame on that, it was the lack of fitness that caused the side stitch that made me get dropped. Yup, I'm out of shape for that kind of effort, it's a little embarrassing but oh well, I was riding with guys that have been training for and doing races all year, and I more than held my own until the end. It's my second group ride of the year and my second hardest ride of the year, so I don't feel too bad. A couple more group rides and I'll be flying right along, I feel great today, no soreness or residual affect at all, as a matter of fact I can't wait to rock again tomorrow. Today was a normal rest day, but I was tempted to bike and so far only the threat of rain, well actually it did rain, has kept me from getting out. I may still go out shortly for a little recovery ride but we'll see. I've got two options tomorrow and the deciding factor is what my dad is going to tell me when he calls later. I've asked him to come up and do a 60ish mile ride tomorrow morning and he's contemplating that offer and is supposed to let me know later. If he's says no then the plan is to be up at 5:00a.m., eat, nap, then bike over to the Doc ride at about 6:15. I'll do the Doc ride, then ride home, basically a repeat of my century from last weekend. Another century in the books with a hard effort would be great, especially ahead of the 200 miler I've got planned for Monday...what? Yeah, I said it, 200 miles. More on that tomorrow......until next time.....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Beatdown?

That's the ride I'm doing tonight, I've never heard of it but I guess it's called the Thursday Night Beatdown. The odd thing is that it's only like 3 or 4 miles from my house and goes on roads I ride almost every Thursday. The fact that I've never seen the group on the roads is weird, considering that I've been on the same roads many a Thursday evening, very strange. Supposedly it's been going on for quite a while now and is a fairly fast ride, averaging 22 to 23 mph for the 38 miles, not too fast, but not slow either, exactly the kind of ride I'm looking for. I saw a blurb about it on another blogger's site yesterday and figured I'd inquire at Wheel and Sprocket in Hales Corners since I had to go there anyways to get some more chamois cream. Sure enough one of the salespeople said they leave the parking lot at 6:00, plenty of time for me to get home, change, and ride over for the departure. I'm looking forward to it, hopefully it doesn't continue raining, I won't ride it in the rain, no point this late in the year since I'm not training for anything. After I was able to hang on at the Doc ride Saturday after riding 27 miles to get to it, I feel pretty good about my odds of staying in on this ride since it appears to be a tad slower. I found a few routes on the Garmin Connect site from users that have downloaded the ride and I've attached a picture below, just click on it to enlarge. Looks to be 38 miles, average ride time that I saw was about 1:43 to 1:45, there were quite a few downloads of the ride, I just grabbed the most recent one I saw from July, so take a look. Should be fun tonight.



Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Go Wisconsin!

Pretty cool for Wisconsin racers, he's had a tremendous year so far.





Tuesday, August 18, 2009

(F)atigue (R)esistance (S)ystem

FRS products. FRS doesn't stand for Fatigue Resistance System but that's what I'm calling it for myself. It really stands for free radical scavenger, which sounds cool too, but it's more appropriate to say I'm going to try it for my fatigue than to fight free radicals since I can't quantify if it's really fighting any free radicals in my body or not. I can quantify if I'm feeling less fatigued when taking the product though, although that's still probably more subjective than quantitative. Anyways, I'm going to try out the FRS products, yes the product(s) that Lance uses, to see if they make me feel any better. I'm a good test subject for the FRS products because their ads, which are ever-present on web sites all across the Internet, say that they fight fatigue and I seem to feel fatigued all the time. I know I don't get quality sleep so that contributes to my fatigue, but we'll see if the FRS products help in spite of my lack of quality ZZZZZss. They recommend taking some of their liquid drink in the morning, available in concentrate or powder form to be mixed with water, and then taking two of their energy chews in the afternoon to keep going for the rest of the day. So that is the plan for the next couple of weeks. I'll keep track of my fatigue using a simple (P)erceived (F)atigue (S)cale, which I just made up right now, and post the results at the end of the two weeks. I guess the ads that are hard to miss on all the sites I visit did their job and got me to try the product, hopefully it all tastes good. More to follow....

Fatigue fighter or fake? I'll find out.





Monday, August 17, 2009

Fatty

I may be the last person in the cycling community to have heard of his blog, but here is a very popular blog to check out for those of you who haven't heard of it yet. He knows Lance, gets free stuff from Garmin, gives away DI2 equipped Orbeas, and has enough readership to get some mondo advertising dollars. So anyways, check out this blog, it's a great read. He has been affected by cancer in a major way as his wife just died from breast cancer in the last couple of weeks, but he has turned that in to a positive by becoming a major LiveStrong fundraiser. Read his stories, you'll appreciate them.

http://www.fatcyclist.com/

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Doc Ride and Century...Check

The plan on Saturday was to embark on my ride at 6:15, ride to Dousman, do the Drop the Doc ride, and then ride back to New Berlin. I was up at 5:00, ate a big breakfast, and then took a little snooze again until 6:00. I got dressed and headed out right on time, with the intention of being in Dousman about 7:45ish. It was a little foggy and more than steamy when I started riding, the temps weren't too bad at around 72 according to the Weather Channel, but I could tell right away that I was going to sweat ALOT on the ride. I hit the New Berlin Rec trail and took that in to Waukesha where I joined up with the Glacial-Drumlin trail. There was an unbelievable amount of people on both trail segments, which I didn't expect in the 6:00 hour, but I guess everyone was trying to beat the heat by getting out early. I was a little nervous on the way out to Dousman as thoughts of getting dropped right away on the first hill on the Doc ride crept in to my mind. I was thinking positive though, because although I haven't done a lot of speed work this year, I have done a lot of miles, maybe enough to keep me hooked in to the group. I got to Dousman and there was a pretty good group ready to head out, maybe 40ish, so I figured it was going to be pretty fast. A lot of the top name racers were not there though as the last WCA race of the year was going on up in Neenah, so I figured that would help me out quite a bit. As we got going the pace was pretty lax, around 20mph, so I had no problem staying in for the first mile or so, after that it picked up and my HR definitely kicked up quite a few notches. I was feeling good as the pace skirted the 25-26mph mark, and I thought that about 20 miles in I would take a pull or two at the front. I went to the front on a straight stretch of road and pulled for about 30-45 seconds, but right after my pull I saw that we were going to hit a hill and I figured I might be in trouble at that point. The group hit the hill pretty fast and I started to drift back, the reserves sapped a bit from my pull, and I was definitely in trouble. My HR was 192 and I was fading, luckily I was able to crest the hill only about 20 feet back from the pack and we had a nice downhill where I pedaled like mad to catch back on to the back of the group to get the draft and recover. I suffered for a minute or two but finally got my wind back and from that point on, with about 16-17 miles to go, I felt great. I actually took a few more pulls, and on the next few hills I was actually passing people, that was a mental boost to say the least. I always forget when the finish is coming on the ride because I haven't ridden it enough so I ended up missing out on the final sprint as we rounded a downhill turn and the pace picked and everyone started to fly towards the finishing sign. I just rolled it in and then took a break to eat a Clif bar and a gel for the return trip home. The heat and humidity had picked up quite a bit by the time I started back and the effort on the Doc ride made my legs feel a little gelatinous. I rode back on the Glacial-Drumlin, did a loop on the Fox River Trail, and then made my way back to New Berlin to finish out the day with a century, all before noon. I ended up drinking about 10-12 bottles of water on the ride and was still dehydrated when I got home. I'm a little sore today as my legs aren't used to the efforts I put in on the Doc ride, but I'm really happy that I stuck to my goal of getting up so dang early and doing the ride, it's my first century for August but I still have two more planned this month, well, maybe two, I might do a 200 mile ride next weekend and then I won't do a century the last weekend. Today it's going to be a short recovery ride and some housework, I'll also be starting a sit-up/crunches program today to get rid of some of this belly fat. Well, that's it for now, check out the newest poll in the top left and vote for your choice. Until next time........

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Amb(ass)ador

Ambassador - def. - an unofficial representative

It seems lately that more often than not cyclists have to fight the bad rap that some drivers have given the population of cyclists as a whole, as renegades who don't follow the laws of the road. There are some that are trying to get cyclists banned from being on the road altogether such as this group - Bastards. Then there is this county in CO that is trying to do the same - A-Holes. So it is up to us (bicyclists) to be good ambassadors to cycling and follow all the rules of the road and be polite to drivers, pedestrians, runners, dogs...whatever it takes, so that we don't eventually lose the right to use the roads that we enjoy so much. Could you imagine being limited to a stretch of bike trails for your daily riding? Yeah, me neither. When you are out on the road or riding the Oak Leaf Trail, or the Glacial-Drumlin trail, of which both are multi-use trails, please follow the rules and be polite to everyone you encounter. I was on the Oak Leaf trail yesterday and I've made it a habit to say hi to everyone I pass, whether it's a cyclist, a jogger, walker, old lady in a Little Rascal scooter, whatever, I always try to say something nice. I slow down when I come upon someone and go around them with plenty of room and if I know they don't see or hear me coming I always let them know I'm behind them so they don't get startled. Conveying the image that cyclists care just as much about enjoying the roads/trails as they do can go a long way. Unfortunately not everyone is doing that and I saw it last night on the trail myself, there are still jerks out there, hence amb(ass)adors, in the title above. They are the asses, not the ambassadors we need. I probably saw about 5 different cyclists that just couldn't wait to get around someone, so even with walkers passing each other on the two-way trail at the same time, they still were trying to squeeze between them without even saying a word. The trail is only wide enough for 2 people abreast on each side, so to try to squeeze through is just a jerk move and makes us (cyclists) look stupid. What's it going to hurt to wait that extra 3 seconds, I mean c'mon, they were all bike path warriors, nothing more than rec cyclists, so what the hell would it hurt them to slow down? It might hurt their 15mph average speed?? Please. On two of those occasions I was behind the riders so I was able to see the look on the walkers' faces enough to know that they weren't happy. So anyways, that's enough ranting for now, usually I don't get political but after I saw that last night I just had to post something to let it be known that your actions as cyclists can go a long way to keeping us on, or off, the roads and trails we love riding. Please be a good ambassador whenever you can.
Back to regularly scheduled programming.....Tonight I'm going to do a 20-30 mile ride with Mike, who posted on New Berlin Cycling that he was new to the area and looking for someone to show him the roads and trails around New Berlin. I happily obliged so tonight we'll be riding on the New Berlin Rec Trail, the Fox River Trail, and I'll show him the trail-head to the Glacial-Drumlin trail since I doubt he has a State trail pass yet. I'll point out the good roads to ride on as well, but right now I think he's more interested in the trail stuff but we'll see. He's not only new to the area, but new to cycling as well, so maybe I'll make a recurring ride with him to help him out and show him how much he can enjoy the sport. On Friday I'll be doing a normal 2 hour ride after work, just a Tempo ride to get the HR up, and then Saturday I'll be doing what I attempted to do last weekend and that is the GD-Drop the Doc-GD ride. I'll ride from my house to the Glacial-Drumlin trail, from there to the Doc ride in Dousman, do the Doc ride, then ride back on the Glacial-Drumlin trail, and then home. All said and done, should be 100 miles before 11:30ish. Sunday will be a fairly leisurely 3 hour ride at an endurance pace. Looks like the weather will be great this weekend, I can't wait to get out. Well, that's it for now...until next time....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Never Enough

It was a hot one this weekend, for me anyways as I don't take well to the heat. I can never get enough water when I ride on days in the upper 80s and 90s, it seems like I sweat it out as fast as I can take it in, maybe even faster. I did two 3 hour rides each day this weekend, Saturday I had to wait until the rain finally stopped at 3:30 and then I got out for a ride around Waukesha, on what I like to call the 3 Hills Loop. It's 3 of the toughest hills around my area, well, maybe not toughest, but definitely 3 of the longest. It was pretty muggy and I ended up going through 6 large bottles of water in only 3 hours, 2 of the 6 probably ended up on my head but the rest were consumed to keep me hydrated. Sunday I started pretty early but it was still pretty warm and very humid. I started sweating before I got out of my neighborhood. I ended up going through about 8 bottles on the ride, which took me out to Dousman and back. About 3 of those bottles ended up on my head to keep me cool, a la the Floyd Landis effect. I saw a former teammate on the road, John Grisa, at the turnaround point in Dousman, he was out doing about the same distance as me, except he looked really fresh and I'm pretty sure he wasn't even sweating. I must be really out of shape. The rest of the day was spent hanging out inside, keeping cool and doing some house stuff.
Today I'm home helping out my wife who threw out her back yesterday while camping with her aunt and her cousins. I'm playing the role of nurse and helping her in and out of bed and to the bathroom, now I get to see what she gets to go through every day as a real nurse.
Other than that, I'm actually VPNed in to work as well working on some projects and then once I finish up with a conference call shortly I'll head out for a quick jaunt around the neighborhood on my roller blades. I won't have time to get on the bike before I have to drop off Xavier at driver's ed at 5:00. Better to do 15 minutes on the roller blades than nothing at all. The rest of the week will consist of as much riding as the weather and daylight will allow. Hopefully there are no late nights at work and I can get out on time all week. The plan right now is for about 15-16 hours on the bike, shouldn't be too much of a problem if everything falls in to place. That's it for now, until next time......

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Friday, August 07, 2009

Derailed???

First, check out the new poll on the left hand side, go ahead and pick your choice, just something new for the blog that will be updated with different polls every week.

Well, my plan for tomorrow might be derailed, the rain is supposed to stick around longer than originally forecast, probably through Saturday afternoon now, and maybe even making a comeback on Sunday. That's a real bummer. Granted we need the rain really bad but I'd prefer not to have it Saturday morning, was looking forward to riding the G-D trail for the Doc Ride. I don't ride in the rain for training, there's no point in it for me, I usually don't even race in the rain so why train in it. Here is the stinkin forecast for 6:00a.m. which is when I'd have to leave, if it's not raining I'll be riding -

6 am
68°FScattered T-Storms
50%
From S12 mph

7 am
69°FScattered T-Storms
40%
From S12 mph

8 am
71°FScattered T-Storms
40%
From S12 mph

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Weekend Ahead

The weekend ahead should be a good one for getting on the bike as it appears that Summer has finally returned to Wisconsin. The temps will be up in to the 80s and 90s again which we haven't seen in a while so I'm looking forward to getting out and getting in some good miles. I have a half-day of vacation tomorrow from work so I'll try to get out in the afternoon but we have a 60% chance of rain and thunderstorms. I'm hoping they'll be scattered and I can get out between storms. Saturday the plan is to ride from New Berlin to Dousman on the G-D trail, do the Doc ride (and probably get dropped), then ride back to New Berlin on the G-D trail again. Total ride distance should be a century, it's 26.50 to Dousman, 40 miles for the Doc Ride, 26.50 back, and I'll throw on another 7 miles somewhere around my house. I'll be all done with a century by 11:00 or so and have the rest of the day to relax and do stuff around the house. I'm definitely worried about getting dropped on the Doc ride, it's probably 60/40 right now that I'll be spit out the back, but I'm looking forward to doing some sort of group ride, it's been a while since I've done one. Either way, it's more for the training than anything, so I don't really care if I get dropped, it's just about having fun. Sunday is going to be the hot day for the weekend, in the 90s as of right now, I'll keep it short and do something in the range of 3 hours, I've got plenty of other things to do around the house so no need to kill myself out in that heat for too long.
On another note, last night I surpassed my mileage for all of last year, which was just a bad bike year for me with other things affecting my motivation to get out and ride. I was pretty happy to see that and now I've still got a lot of time left to finish the year strong. I'm hoping for something in the range of 7500 miles for the year, it's definitely doable, of course the weather would have to cooperate in the cooler months to really help me along with that. I've got 3 centuries planned for this month, all of them as just solo training rides, 2 centuries for next month, and then 1 each in October and November. Who knows, maybe I'll even do one in December. Add the 700 miles worth of centuries to all my regularly planned training rides and that will add up quite quickly. I'm trying not to look that far ahead though, I'd rather not think about riding in November and December quite yet.
One thing I was thinking about this week was joining a fitness center for the first time, I don't have free weights at home and nothing of the sort in the small fitness center at my work either. I really would like the use of a squat rack, and the ability to cross train with basketball, swimming, Pilates, etc. would have been nice. Ultimately it wasn't worth the $100+ a month to join, especially with a yearly commitment. I think I'm going to go the route of finding a used squat rack and weights to put up in my basement and I'll be happy with that. I'll have a squat rack at home, I'll get some yoga and Pilate videos, and with the treadmill and resistance machines here at work I should be good to go. I'll also be doing snowshoeing as well, so that'll help. Well, that's it for now, more updates to come after the big ride on Saturday.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Glacial Drumlin

Had a nice 55 mile ride today from my house to Dousman and back on the Glacial Drumlin trail, it was pretty windy out there. I kind of got screwed, I had a headwind out and then it switched on the way back to a crosswind, so I never got a full-on tailwind today. I was expecting to be doing 25-30 going back in to Waukesha since a lot of it is downhill as well, but with the crosswind I was at 22-25 instead, good enough I guess. I felt great and there were a ton of people out today. It did rain this morning but cleared up quite nicely by 12:30ish or so. The winds were easily up to 20mph and in the videos below you can definitely hear it, although I was riding too so you're hearing the wind from that as well. It was a great day on the bike, the temperature was perfect, there were lots of people out, and the legs are feeling better every day. Tomorrow the plan is to do a solo century but my butt is hurting today, it feels like the start of a saddle sore, hopefully by tomorrow morning I'll know if I can make it for 5 and a half hours on the saddle. If I get a saddle sore then 75 will be in order, either way it'll be a 75+ mile day. Here is some video from today's ride, one is heading out, the other is heading back.

Sorry but it was so windy you can't hear what I said, but I said "it's windy!"

Monday, July 27, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Time For A Getaway

The family and I (dog included) are going away for 3 days to Rock Island off the Door County Peninsula and we'll be doing some primative camping, hopefully without any rain. This is the carry-in, carry-out, no bikes, no cars type of camping. We take a ferry witht he car to Washington Island and then from there we leave the car and take another ferry to Rock Island. We'll unload our gear at the dock and carry it all to our campsite about a quarter mile away. From that point on, we are on our own and free to do what we want on the island. There are 10 miles of trails to explore, a lighthouse, and a great hall/museum from the guy that founded the island. Other than that, it's all about relaxing with books, some cards, hiking, playing with the dog and walking the beach as well. It's going to be fairly cool the first full day with a high of 68 and 40% chance of rain, Sunday and Monday are supposed to be low to mid 70s so it will be very comfortable. Again there is a chance of storms both days as well, but we'll make do. I'll miss the bike, but I'll be back Monday early enough I think to get in a ride and then I'll have a full week of riding when I get back. I'll get in enough hiking to keep the legs active so I won't lose much over 3 days. I'm looking at doing another solo century out by Lake Geneva and Alpine Valley next weekend to build up some hill climbing power, something I'm desperately lacking. I could lose a little weight as well but I'm gradually trimming that down and hope to be around 185 in the next couple of weeks, I'm close right now at 188 so just a little more to go. Once I hit 185 then I'll gradually work on getting down to 180, but I'd like to increase my core and build muscle at the same time as losing fat so I'll be steady for a while since I'll be building muscle, but then eventually I'll cut down on the fat. The goal is to stay less than 185 all winter since I seem to gain 20 pounds every off-season and have to work like crazy to get it all off again. This time I'd like to stay 185 all winter and keep my race weight at 177 to 180. Anyways, no ride tonight, back to riding on Monday evening hopefully. That's it for now, until next time....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Recovering

Well, the last few days have been about recovery, just a couple of short rides, and tonight I'll ramp it back up a bit again with a longer 2.5 to 2.75 hour ride. The legs were sore but today they feel a lot better, of course it's still early and I'm not on my bike so the sensation may change when I'm actually riding. The weather looks great the next few days, cooler weather that will be great for riding, exactly the way I like it. I'll be doing some intervals and hillwork this week, I don't want it to be 90 degrees when I'm doing those types of workouts, it's too easy for me to get dehydrated that way. In addition to doing the intervals and hills this week I'll also be doing the Doc Ride on Saturday morning hopefully, depends on how I feel after Friday's ride, but it's 75% as of right now that I'll do it. Sunday will be a long ride, maybe in the range of 4.5 to 5 hours, that should cap off a great week on the bike. I'm trying to get some yard work done this week as well, I have off work on Friday so that will be spent working outside for the most part and Saturday and Sunday will be spent re-paving my driveway as well as all the biking. It's a busy week, I'm getting plenty of rest though too, it's tough between working 45 hours or so, doing about 10 hours of yard work during the week, and biking about 16-17 hours. Somewhere in there I'll relax and watch a movie or go out to dinner with my wife, probably Friday night. Superweek is going on as well this week but I won't be going to watch any races, I'll be doing my own riding and none of them really interest me anyways. I'd like to go watch Downer Ave, but I'll be camping next weekend, which I'd rather be doing anyways.
Le Tour is fairly exciting but this week is not going to be a barnburner, the stages seem pretty lame, mostly flat, nothing for the big GC guys, they are just waiting for the Alps. I still hope Lance wins but I'm also rooting for Levi and Christian, their time is due, it'd be nice to see one of them win before their careers are over.
Well, that's it for now....

Sunday, July 12, 2009

All Hail The King

Well, I'm not the King, but that's what the shirt says, it was quite a challenge but it's now complete. 121 miles, about 13,000 feet of climbing according to the Garmin, and a long 7 hours 57 minutes. The weather was perfect, it wasn't too warm, the wind was cool, and the hills seemed easy until the end when I had to climb up the last two long climbs and my right hamstring kept locking up on me. I never got off the bike or stopped pedaling and made it to the top of the park with my dad clapping and yelling as he had turned off earlier and cut the course short since he wouldn't have made it up the last few hills. There were words of encouragement written on the road leading in to the finish, namely "cold beer at the top" so I was quite motivated. I made it up to the top, rode straight to the pavilion, rode in to the pavilion to the surprise of the other riders sitting at the tables, and rode right to the beer bucket. It was ice cold and filled with cans of beer, I grabbed one and slugged it down. Man, that was the best beer ever. I sat down after that and we heard that someone had been hit on the ride and killed, a 62 year old from Waukesha was riding down a hill and a 16 year old turned left right in front of him and he hit the side of the truck. Oddly enough the kid was from New Berlin, which is where I live, and it's not any where near Blue Mounds so I'm wondering if he was camping with his family or something. It's very tragic either way, that guy's family lost their husband/father, brother, etc., and that kid is young enough that it may affect him for quite a while. It just goes to show you should live every day like it's your last, make sure you tell everyone you love them when you walk out the door, it may mean a lot in the end. Well, that's enough for now, here is a picture of me today, looking a lot less tired than yesterday.




Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Time Is Near

Well, only another day and a half really before I start my death march at Blue Mounds. The weather looks great right now, 79, partly sunny, not too windy as of today's forecast. It's supposed to storm tomorrow but it's only 50-60% as of right now, hopefully nothing too severe since I'll be sleeping in a tent tomorrow night after arriving at Blue Mounds State Park in the afternoon. Once we get there we'll set up camp, or maybe hold off if it's raining since I'd rather not set up the tent in a storm. It's supposed to taper off later in the day so maybe we'll just sit around under our pop up screen tent which folds out in 30 seconds and just eat and read or maybe I'll bring a small board game or something. Either way, it'll be a dinner of spaghetti in the evening and then early to bed as we have to be up at about 4:30 to eat so that we are at least close to having our food digested for the 6:30a.m. start. At least the weather will be cooler for the first 3 hours or so before warming up, we should be about 50 miles in to it by then, only 71 to go at that point, yikes. As hilly as it is, my dad will probably have a rough go of it, so I'm hoping for at least a 16 mph average by the time we are done, yeah, that means it'll take us 7.5 hours of ride time, add another hour at the rest stops and we'll be done about 2:30. The best part is that we get to eat afterwards, then they have a pool at the park so we will be relaxing there and staying cool. The rest of the night will be spent by a campfire and then I'm sure we'll be completely wiped and be sleeping pretty early. Sunday we'll head back home and I'm sure I'll just sleep some more, but I'd also like to get in a recovery ride to clean out the legs as well. It's a lot better for the muscles to keep the blood flowing after an effort like that. As far as training goes this week, I'm just taking it easy, did a few hill repeats last night, will do a few more tonight and then maybe an hour spin tomorrow morning, but that depends upon the rain. I've taken it easy the last week and a half as a taper to this event, but once it's over I'll pick it up again next week. More intervals are on the schedule and lots more hill work to get on par with all the other racers. Well, that's it for now, until next time. I'll post pictures tomorrow and Saturday once I get up there, check back for updates.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Well That Certainly Hurt

Coming in to Sunday's race at Omro I was feeling a little under the weather on Thursday and Friday, but progressively got better on Friday and felt fine on Saturday when I went to bed. Sickness was not going to be an issue in hindering my performance on Sunday, so I thought I'd do well enough, I was hoping to stay with the lead group but realistically I was thinking second pack would be where I would end up. The realist in me ended up being correct but I should've been a little ahead of the second pack and finished solo between them and the lead group, unfortunately I had the most severe cramping I've ever had on the bike. My calves were knotting up constantly from mile 11/12 to the finish, which was at 38 miles I believe. I know it wasn't hydration or electrolyte related as I drank a lot of water Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning and ate very well in the two days prior to the race. I eat a lot of bananas and drink milk so my calcium and potassium were there, which are big preventers of cramps. The cramps were basically caused by muscular tension that they haven't seen before, basically I tried to push myself above what my training has prepared me for, but I knew that coming in to the race. As I've said, I haven't prepared for racing so my body was completely shocked by the effort I think as I was pushing way bigger gears than normal and sprinting around corners, etc., and it was just too much. Part of the problem I think is that in racing mode there's a tendency to move forward on the saddle and that recruits muscles that you normally don't exert too much on training rides, and I was sitting a lot further forward than normal during the race. I could spin fine up hills with no issues when I was in an easy gear and on both hills I rode away from the pack I was with, but as soon as we got over the top I couldn't sit and exert pressure, my calves would knot up instantly. I had to drift off the back of my group a few times to rub them out but caught back on each time. I finished by rolling in off the back of the group when they sprinted in as I couldn't stand to sprint at all, I tried but instantly locked up. Oh well, I was happy with getting the race in as it was my first race since the first week of May in 2008, obviously it's been a while. It was nice to be part of a competitive event and feel that adrenaline of being in the pack and riding hard, I just wish I could've ridden harder. My training has been geared towards longer rides though in order to be prepared for the Insane Terrain Challenge this weekend, so once that is done then I'll concentrate more on intervals and getting back in racing shape.
Speaking of Insane Terrain Challenge, that is finally this Saturday, it's been circled on my calendar since January and it seems like time has flown by. It's been on my mind for a while, but unfortunately training didn't start until quite a bit after I registered for the ride, so it's going to be a tough one. I'm ready for it though I think, I've done 5 centuries so far this year so endurance shouldn't be a problem, it's going to be getting my butt up hills and staying hydrated and well fed. If I do all those things well, then I should be able to finish with no problem. I took off work on Friday so my dad and I are heading up and camping at Blue Mounds State Park and then the ride starts at 6:30 Saturday morning. I have no clue how long it will take, my dad doesn't think he's prepared for it, and is looking at short cuts already, but I told him that if he can at least stay with me for 75 miles or so before he cuts it short, then I'd be happy with that. I can finish the remaining 46 miles by myself, but it'll be nice to have him with me as long as he can make it. After the ride is done, we'll chow down I'm sure on whatever we can find to eat, and then we are staying over one more night at the state park to relax and hang out by the fire. Sunday I'll head home and probably sleep all day.
Well, that's it for now, more to follow this week on my prep for the ITC.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Precipice

As the title eludes to, I am on the precipice of the sickness cliff, I feel a little off today but so far I haven't fallen in to a full-on sickness as of yet. The usual onset symptoms of a cold- sore throat, neckache, stuffy nose, and a stinkin earache are all surfacing today. I can manage it right now, I'm downing Echinacea tea, vitamins, water, and taking some pills with the hopes that it won't get much worse. Right now it's just there, lingering, but hasn't really hit me yet so cycling is still in the cards for tonight. I've ridden the last few days at a nice recovery pace, and my legs are feeling really good and the HR is down so all systems are back to normal after being a little off kilter on Monday. Tonight I'll push it a little bit to test the legs and see if I have anything for this weekend's races. I'll try out a couple of timed climbing repeats to see if I'm where I need to be relative to my previous times recorded on the climbs. I'll do my kilometer long Tans Dr. climb as a test and if I'm near my PR I'll be happy and consider myself to be in good enough shape to race. If I'm more than 10 seconds off then I'm probably not where I need to be and would skip at least one of the races this weekend with the fallback of doing a makeup race at Holy Hill in two weeks. That way I'll still get in my 3 races this year but will have an extra couple of weeks to prepare and make sure I'm not under the weather with this cold. I haven't been sick in quite a while so of course it sucks that it was this week, but oh well. I'm excited to race this weekend, even if it ends up being only one race. Most likely the Whitewater race would get skipped as the WCA races pretty much leave you on your own if you get dropped by the group, it becomes a solo training ride for the most part. At Omro I could still get dropped and integrate in to other groups, so that might make more sense. We'll see, I could still feel good enough to do both. I'll ride tonight, do a pre-race prep ride tomorrow and go from there, the plan right now is to race twice. I wish the sun would come out though, it's been a little cool and cloudy the last couple of days, not even getting out of the 60s, today we are finally supposed to hit the 70s but I don't think it's happened yet. Maybe once the sun pokes through the clouds it'll warm up a bit. Until next time...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Time for Some Rest

So it's been a long 3 weeks of cycling, 16 to 18.50 hours per week have been spent pedaling away in order to get ready for the death march on July 11th. The progression resulted in two centuries this past week, 330 miles, 18.50 hours and now I'm officially tired. This week will be spent resting, although I didn't really plan it that way. I did have a little bit more intensity in the program for the week but the weather and my legs have made me change my mind and now I'll spin it out this week to allow the legs to recover. I'll still be doing about 16-17 hours but it will all be slow, recovery pace efforts to allow my body to recover a bit. If I'm feeling good then I'll try an effort or two at the end of the week but I was supposed to do the UW-Whitewater RR this weekend along with the Omro RR so those might be the only efforts that I do this week, it's probably best to wait until then. If I'm still not feeling good at all and my HR is suppressed like it was on my ride yesterday then I may skip one of the races this weekend and just take a day to do another training ride. I had trouble getting past 172 bpm on my ride yesterday and that is about 20 beats off my normal max, so I know my body is saying, whoa, cut me some slack. I always listen. Another indicator is my resting HR today is 54, that's high. Lately it's been in the low 40s to 45 on any given day, I've checked it 3 times today and it's been 54 twice and 55 once, so again, I'm listening. Obviously heart rate isn't always the best indicator, power is better, but I don't have a power meter of any sort, so I have to go by HR, and in my opinion power is only good on the bike, off the bike you obviously can't deny what your resting HR tells you, and of course other indicators like general leg soreness and fatigue are big determining factors as well. On the bike there are things like caffeine intake, hydration, temperature and humidity, wind, and stress that can affect HR, but your power should remain the same more or less when those factors come in to play. Power numbers will fluctuate when you are overtrained or sick, that is when it's good to have a power meter, overtraining will show in the numbers on the bike, which unfortunately is what I can't tell right now. Yeah, maybe something yesterday affected my HR and my power was the same as always but I'm just going by feel and I don't think that I had the same power as last week. I guess I better start saving for a power meter next year, it'd be a good item to add to my training repertoire, especially if I start coaching next year. Anyways, tonight it's supposed to rain at about 6:30ish, the plan is to go home, ride around my neighborhood or within 10 minutes of my house anyways, until it starts raining, and then head home. Hopefully I can get in an hour at least, 90 minutes would be better though, but I'll take what I can get. Tomorrow is supposed to bring some rain as well but I'm hoping for a break to get out for 2.5 hours or so after work, even if I have to do the neighborhood thing again, I'll do whatever it takes to get outside. Thursday and Friday will be more of the same duration but thankfully it's going to be nice and sunny so I'll be hitting some remote destinations outside of my immediate area, probably up to Dousman and back on Thursday and probably a big Waukesha loop on Friday. Saturday and Sunday as I mentioned might be race days, I'm hoping I feel good enough although I'll go in to both races with almost no race training at all for the year. I've done two days of hill repeats, other than that it's been all endurance rides and tempo work. If they were completely flat I'd have no problem, the race flyer for Whitewater says one "dominant hill" though so that doesn't bode well for me. I'm willing to give it a go, it's only 40 miles, maybe I'll get really lucky and be at 100% and that will be about 60% of everyone else, but it might just keep me in the peloton. Well, that's it for now I guess, more to follow ahead of the race weekend, I'll let you know how I'm feeling and hopefully I'll be doing two races. Until next time.....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hills, Hills, Hell

Yeah, I did hill work last night and it was hell, but a self-induced hell that I'm glad that I put myself through. Let's just say that I didn't lay the smack down, or open up a can of whoop-ass on the hills, but I can tell that I've certainly improved in the last month or so as my speed and RPE have gone up and down respectively on the same hills. I started out with about a 20 minute warmup to one of my favorite hills, a kilometer long jaunt that starts at about 6%, ramps up a little to 8%, back down to 6% for a short period and then hits 12% at the top for about 50 meters. I did 5 repeats up the hill with a short break between each rep, and alternated doing some high and low cadence work the first 4 times. On the last rep I went up it at max speed and kept sprinting over the top as hard as I could until I blew up. This is the FIRST time this year that I've done any race-specific training, yeah I know, it's July next week, but hey, I'm off to a late start this year. Anyways, after that I rode for another 15 minutes or so to my next hill, a half-mile long hill that starts at 10%, and levels off to about 4% before going up to 8% at the top. This isn't a hill that's all that difficult, it's about 4% for most of it's duration except for right at the beginning and the end. The reason I use this hill is for big ring hill work, basically building muscular strength and also to work on standing during climbs. I alternated repeats on this hill using the big ring doing the climb standing and then sitting, it's very taxing on the muscles but will really pay off after a good recovery. After finishing my repeats I decided that I had been out in the heat too long, especially given the effort that I had expended, so I turned around and headed home. My ride time was 2.5 hours, which considering the heat, and the work I just did, was more than good enough for me. I went through 3 full waterbottles, one of which was stuffed in my jersey pocket which made it nice and warm next to my body. That was tough to get down but I still needed it so the bottle was definitely emptied. A quick cold shower and then a trip to Chipotle completed the evening. I was very happy to finally get to open the throttle a bit on the engine as I've been doing nothing but just "riding" for the last couple of months, now it's time to start to get some real work in, but not necessarily for the upcoming races, but more for the Race the Lake event in August and to build up for next year when I hope to take on a full race season again. The plan is to do the UW-Whitewater RR next Saturday and the Omro RR next Sunday, and I'm not expecting anything other than to hope to stay with the pack for the duration of each race. Finishing would make me happy, placing really doesn't matter in those races. I may do the Holy Hill race on July 17th as well, which is part of Superweek, but I'm not sure yet, we'll see how these first two races go. I'm not fond of the Superweek organization for their crit courses, but the Holy Hill course goes back to a time before the current promoter so I'm not all that averse to doing that race. We'll see.
Tonight is actually a day off although I may throw in a short 1 hour ride, my mom and stepdad are coming up for dinner tonight, so that is on the agenda instead of a ride. Tomorrow is a vacation day so I'll be doing a longer ride on what is normally a rest day or recovery ride day for me. Something in the range of 3 to 3.5 hours is on the schedule right away in the morning. Saturday is the Lake Country Classic Century and then the evening will be spent watching the Downer Ave. race, part of the Tour of America's Dairyland. I'm looking forward to the consumption of a few beers and of course the famous Cafe Hollander frites. Until next time, happy riding.........

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another One Down

Sunday wasn't just any other day, it was my 3rd century of the year, 4th if you count that I also did a 94.6 (95) miler, yeah it's 5.4 miles short, but that's close enough for me. My next one will be Saturday at the Lake Country Classic in Oconomowoc with my friend and co-worker Dave, but I digress, back to my Sunday ride. I knew it was going to be a difficult ride with the heat and humidity, especially after I did a 3 hour ride on Saturday and was suffering a bit even though I was riding at 9:00a.m.. Sunday would be basically the same but twice as long so hydration was key and I probably drank about 12 bottles worth of water and PowerBar Refuel drink mix. I started out at 8:00 at Big Foot Beach State Park in Lake Geneva with my dad and his friend Dorothee whom had ridden up from his house in Bohner's Lake about 12 miles away. We did the lake loop up to the observatory, and along the way hit a nice long hill that maxed out at 16%, the burn was on at that point but the legs were just getting opened up as we were about 6 or 7 miles in. From there we went through some countryside outside of Lake Geneva to the Alpine Valley area and hit another hard climb on Bowers Rd. that was probably about 4/10ths of a mile long and maxed out at 17%. There was a Phish concert going on but luckily for us all the Phish-heads were just getting up and weren't on the road yet, too much later and we would have been in the middle of a pretty big traffic jam on Hwy D. At this point I was sweating buckets and we were only 25 miles in, and I knew that I'd probably run out of water before getting to New Berlin to refuel at the 65 mile mark. We kept on rolling along until we hit the Honey Creek area where we went up another 16% max hill and my dad and Dorothee decided that they were turning off to head home. They had 40 miles in and it was still about 20 miles back to my dad's house for them, so I thanked them for hanging with me for a while and we went our separate ways. I kept going along until I got to the Lake Beulah area, then Big Bend, and finally through Muskego before I hit my refueling stop at home. I had 65 miles in and had some ground to make up as riding with my dad and Dorothee had my average speed at this point at around 17.1, which is fine because the enjoyment of riding with them was worth the slower speed, but I had already improved on that after I left them as my average was 16.6 at the 40 mile mark. I probably did 18ish the next 25 miles after I left them which was mainly due to a headwind on the trip to my house. After 10 minutes, 2 or 3 bottles worth of ice water and some Clif Bars, I was heading back on the 46 mile trip to Lake Geneva. I had a nice tailwind, was cruising along at about 20mph and soaking up the sun until I hit the 85-90 mile mark when I started having some pain in my big toes, mainly when I stood up on hills. I had to go up Lyons Rd. and then South Rd., two long, fairly steep hills and the feet were starting to become bothersome so I sat more than I normally would when I climb. After getting over those two hills though I had a fairly flat route the rest of the way and motored along in to Lake Geneva. The only small problem was running out of water again at about 98 miles, so the last 13 were without water, but at that point I didn't care as I knew there was salvation in the form of Burger King after the ride. I got back in to Lake Geneva and was happy to be done with another century in the books, and thankfully I had brought the cooler with me and was even happier to have some ice water to drink to cool down. I was beet red and even just sitting at my car I was still sweating profusely for another 10 minutes or so before the spigot finally turned off. I left the park, drove right over to Burger King, ordered a Whopper value meal and wolfed that down pretty quickly. Yeah, not great after ride food, but it sure tasted good and it definitely replaced some of the calories I lost. According to my Garmin I burned approximately 7,000 calories over the duration of the ride. They use a formula of height, weight, distance, elevation, average speed and HR to determine the caloric expenditure, and I think based on other formulas I've seen, the number that it puts out is fairly exact. That's it for the ride, a great course, a nice warm day with not too much wind, and I felt great afterwards, no soreness at all Sunday night or yesterday. I'm ready to get back on the bike tonight and I'll just do about 2 hours today to get the blood going again, and we have a heat advisory in effect with temps over 90 and humidity in the 80% range so it's probably best to take it easy anyways. Tomorrow and Thursday will be 50 mile rides after work and then Friday I have a vacation day so I'll be doing about 3 hours on the bike and getting some yard work done as well. Saturday is another century and I'm not sure what Sunday holds yet, probably just another 3 hours or so. Well, that's it for now, until next time, happy riding!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Damn

Damn, tough day. 111 miles, 6 hours in the saddle, and the heat, humidity and hills were tough. I was sucking wind up some of the hills out by Alpine and the heat and humidity had me looking like a water spigot. I've been trying to rehydrate tonight, and I think I've done all I can do, I still have a bit of a heat headache, but hopefully once I fall asleep in about 5 minutes it will go away. More details tomorrow, time for bed.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Let's Try That Again

I ended up not doing my century last weekend, I woke up feeling under the weather and even though I was up at 5:00 in the morning and made breakfast I just could tell that my body was not 100%. I ended up going back to bed and decided to just get some rest, I think it was allergies because I had a sinus headache, my neck ached, and I just felt really fatigued. Anyways, I'll be trying it again now this next Sunday, no reason right now not to do it, it's going to be a beautiful day, actually both days look nice this weekend, I can't wait to get out. I've done two 50 milers this week and a 40 miler, I didn't ride on Tuesday because of the rain but will ride the next 3 days before I take a break on Monday. I'll be doing part of the ride on Sunday with my dad as he and his friend have decided to meet me in Lake Geneva for the first 50 or so miles, so that'll be nice to have the company. This weekend will be good preparation for the next few weeks as I've got the Bay View Bicycle Club Century on Saturday next week, and then the UW-Whitewater WI Cup race on July 3rd, the Omro Wisport race on July 4th, and the Insane Terrain Challenge on July 11th. After that I don't really have anything until the Race the Lake on August 16th, but I'm sure I'll find something before then to do, maybe the Holy Hill Superweek race. I took off work that day just in case as it's on a Friday.
The big thing for all these events is that I have to start kicking up my intensity, I've had a few long rides and have been riding for quite a few weeks now so my base is pretty much complete. I don't expect any results from the races, I just want to complete them to get some of those competitive juices flowing again. I started kicking up the intensity tonight by doing some hill sprints and I felt pretty good doing that, no repeats, but just sprinting up any hill that I came across, I have to start slow. Eventually I'll go up them multiple times, repeats obviously, and then start Steady State intervals and the like.
Well, that's enough for now, I've been up since 4:50, it was an early 6:00a.m. day at work, so it's time to get ready for bed.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Here Comes The Fun....

The weekend is finally here and I can't wait to get out of work in exactly 55 minutes so that I can get on the bike. The clouds are starting to move in but the temps are still in the uppers 60s I think so that is good enough for my ride tonight. The rain is supposed to start moving in at about 10 or 11 o'clock, I'm pretty sure I'll be done riding by then, and maybe even in bed. That would be weak I know, but it's been a long week and I'm tired. The forecast shows the rain stopping mid-afternoon tomorrow but it appears that it will remain cloudy the rest of the day for the most part. Again, that's good enough for a ride for me. Sunday is looking great, sunny and low 70s, just perfect.
Tonight the plan is to hit the road for about 50 miles, I want to do some hillwork and I've got a good course picked out with 3 good hills of about .4 to .5 miles long, so maybe 2 to 3 minute climbs. It'll be another late dinner after that at 9:00 and then I'll spend the rest of the night in front of the stupid box until I fall asleep.
Tomorrow as I mentioned will be raining in the morning but after that the plan is to ride from New Berlin to Dousman, check out the Bike Doctor shop, and then turn around and head home. Should be about 3 hours, no frills, just a nice, fairly flat ride.
Sunday is the "queen" stage of the weekend as they say in stage races, 111.50 miles from Lake Geneva to Alpine to New Berlin and back, should be about 6 to 6.5 hours and lots of climbing. I'm using it to prepare for a couple of races in the next 3 weeks and also to prep for the Insane Terrain Challenge on July 11th. That ride will still be about 11 miles longer and will have about 8,000 feet more of climbing than my ride Sunday.
I'm definitely getting better, I'm feeling stronger, I'm not shifting down to my small ring for every little roller, I've lost another pound this week, it's a small victory but good enough. My average speed for every ride is going up, my average HR is going down and my resting HR has dropped about 9 bpm in the last month. Recuperation is getting quicker as well and the soreness that was present after every ride is not there except after the hillier routes that I pick. I'm still working on the hills obviously.
Well, that's it for now, good riding to everyone this weekend, enjoy it!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Ehhhhh........

It was just an "ehhhh" weekend, nothing special, nothing disastrous though either. Friday I got out and did a 50 mile ride after work even though I got out of here late due to a last minute conference call, I didn't start my ride until 6:00. I went at a hard Tempo pace so I had no problem getting done before dark, it was a good ride and it was very helpful in relieving some of the stress that I built up during the workday. Saturday I had a graduation party to attend in Lake Geneva at noon, so I had to be out the door by 11:00-11:15ish, and the morning weather wasn't exactly all that great. Temps in the upper 40s, and clouds greeted me as I woke up and my intention was to get in a 2 to 2.5 hour ride before I had to leave. I couldn't get myself going knowing that it was cold and the house just seemed more appealing so I only ended up riding for 1.5 hours. I thought maybe I'd get a ride in after the party but when we returned home at 4:00 all I could do was think of a nice nap as it was still cold and cloudy and I ended up sleeping until 5:30ish. The nap was great though, no complaints there. I rested up Saturday night and knew that the forecast was iffy for Sunday so I really wasn't sure what kind of ride I'd get in and the plan was to wing it after I woke up. Basically Sunday started with some clouds and cooler temps again, the radar showed on and off showers with some clearing during the day. Eventually it cleared up about 2:00 so I jumped out for a 2.5 hour ride, and I finally did some hill work, and the verdict is in, I still suck at hills. I'm still at a hefty 194 pounds, although I've lost body fat, for some reason I just can't seem to shed the weight even though I'm eating well, maybe it's just all muscle? Hmmm. I doubt it, but I'll just keep working on my diet, keep getting the hours in on the bike, and eventually the fat will melt away.
This week the plan is to just ride as much as possible, although my boss is gone for the next week and a half so a couple of late days may creep in to the schedule and derail some training, I really hope not, my stress level is high enough already. The forecast looks great after today so the weather will not be a deterrent, and even the weekend looks good so far, I'll keep my fingers crossed. That's it for now, happy riding......

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Not So Bad After All.....

So I thought the high today of a balmy 59 degrees with 15mph winds would make for a miserable ride tonight. I was wrong, it was great. I put on the normal shorts and jersey, but also threw on knee warmers, arm warmers and a vest and that was more than enough. The sun was shining, well, for part of my ride at least, and the wind had died down by the time I started riding at 5:45. I took it fairly easy but still rolled along at an 18mph average and my average heart rate was 13 bpm lower with a .5 mph jump in my average speed than the last time I did this particular course 3-4 weeks ago. Training adaptation at its best. All in all I got in 50 miles after work tonight, it definitely was dark when I got done so thankfully I had my taillight blinking away and my headlight system going, no one could miss me (thankfully). The only bad part of such a long ride on a work night is finishing dinner at 9:30, now I'll probably stay up until 11:00ish so that I don't go to bed with too much in my stomach. I'm trying to cut down on weight so I didn't eat too much anyways, just some chicken with bread, a salad, and a glass of milk. I'll do the rest of my refueling throughout the day tomorrow to make sure I'm fueled up and ready to go for tomorrow night's ride.
Well, that's it for now, it was a great ride on a night that I wasn't really thrilled about, but it turned out for the better. I can't imagine what I'm going to say after tomorrow's ride when it's actually supposed to be in the 70s!! Whoohoo.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Century Day

This is all that I'm saying today, too tired to type more.....101.50 miles, 5 hours 30 minutes. 18.5 mph. Not too shabby for a solo ride.




Friday, May 29, 2009

A Little of This, A Little of That.....

Lots been going on lately, going to work every day of course, doing housework, riding my bike are at the top of the list. All have thus far presented no major challenges and any stress of the first two are muted by the release on the bike.
The biggest accomplishment on the bike this month has been the Drumlin Dominator that Dave and I did last Friday, 109 miles of fun on the Glacial-Drumlin trail from Waukesha to Cottage Grove and back. I have never done the full length of the trail before but it was great, with one exception where a section of the trail was under construction and it was very loose and bumpy, a bit like Paris-Roubaix....well, maybe not quite that bad. The length of the trail itself has all the amenities, there are bathrooms and water stops quite often and at the end of the trail in Cottage Grove there is a Subway only about a mile and a half away, along with other restaurants, including one right at the trail head. We chose Subway, it seemed healthiest, and it definitely tasted great. That day it was the best sub I'd ever had, it definitely hit the spot, and kept me going on the way back. We managed to do the 109 miles in just over 7 hours of ride time, not super great, but we took our time, and you have to remember that this is crushed gravel/packed dirt and we did it on trail and cyclocross bikes respectively. My ass hurt quite a bit that night and the next day, I managed to squeeze in an hour recovery ride on Saturday but stood up quite a bit. Sunday had me back in the saddle for 3 hours with not many issues. This week hasn't been so good though, Tuesday and Wednesday I was laid out with an underlying illness that just made me feel tired and gave me a sore throat, headache, etc., but I'm feeling better now and last night I managed 2.5 hours on the road bike. Tonight I'll be hitting up the bike again for 2.5 to 3 hours after work and then 3 hours again tomorrow. The big day will be Sunday when I do a 6 hour ride to try to get in another century this month, I really enjoy the long rides and the forecast is looking good. I used to do long rides and centuries as the norm for training in my past racing life, so that seems to be coming back now as to what I like to do again. Of course I'm getting proper rest as well, no worries there. Eventually this year I'm going to have to start my intervals and speedwork though as racing is on the horizon, Greenbush (a big maybe), the Whitewater RR, Omro RR, the Insane Terrain Challenge, and Race the Lake are the big events on my calendar for the remainder of the year so it's time to look at the base I have and decide if it's enough to move on to the next step. A couple of more weeks are in order for sure, but I can't take too much more time as those events are nearing pretty quickly.
Other than that, I'm still studying for my American College of Sports Medicine Personal Trainer certification, and will hopefully take the test in July at the earliest, August at the latest. Add that to my USAC Coaching cert which I'm already preparing to upgrade to a level 2 hopefully before the year is over as well, and I'll be feeling pretty good about my abilities to take on some coaching responsibility at some point this year or next year. I'm looking at a few other things as well, but those would be secondary after I complete the two primary objectives.
Just wanted to say that everyone should check out the Tour of America's Dairyland website as well, it's great that a Wisconsin promoter is putting on a race of this magnitude with nice, safe courses (Downer is iffy in that regards) and is even offering the chance to race the possible Olympic course at Blue Mounds, how cool is that? Check it out - http://www.tourofamericasdairyland.com/

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Busy B

Well, it's been a while since I posted, sorry to my 3 readers for the delay. It's been a busy year thus far, seems like last year I was saying the same thing. It turned out to be a less than stellar year in '08 after work duties kept me off the bike right around this time and I suffered for the rest of the year with a lack of fitness and a big appetite for fast food and beer. This year I've not been quite as busy at work, so I'm happy for that and riding has been consistent, well, other than weather related ride cancellations. I've had a couple of long rides, a 75 miler and a 94 miler, the rest have been anywhere from 60 minutes to 3 and a half hours. My fitness is coming around, I've lost a few pounds around the waist and I actually have a biker tan now, so that must mean the riding has been good. Unfortunately it's not been good enough to get back in to the local WCA races in the next month or so since I'm not quite in racing shape, but getting there. I haven't done any intervals, speedwork, or hill work of any kind so racing is just not an option right now. I'm just enjoying the rides right now and once I think my base is good, then the intervals and hill work will start, probably in the next 3 to 4 weeks. I'm looking at the closest race being on June 26th, the Greenbush road race, which is part of the Tour of America's Dairyland. I'll have lots of riding in by then and will feel comfortable with that as my first race. Other than that I think I may only do two other races this year, the UW Whitewater RR on July 4th and the Omro RR on July 5th. No StupidWeek crits for me this year, I'm just completely turned off of that race right now. The locations are crap, the organization is crap, and last year there were racers whom couldn't cash their prize checks because they were bouncing. The only race I may do depending upon whom they allow to do it, would be the Lakefront road race, but from the sounds of it they aren't using the long course, it's the old short course, which is fine, so we'll see I guess. I don't want to give them my money but it would be nice to get in another race. My goal this year, which is somewhat of a transitional year to shore some things up, was to do at least 3 races. I'd already have my 3 races in by then, so I'll decide after I do those. Other than that, I've got quite a few centuries planned, I'm also doing the Insane Terrain Challenge with my dad in July, Google it, it's 121 miles with 12,400 feet of climbing, insane is right! I've also got my own double century/twelve hour ride planned for July 19th, a week after the Insane Terrain ride because I'll be in optimal shape. A couple of years ago I wanted to ride as long as I could and ended up with 180 miles, this year I'm shooting for 200 miles or 12 hours, whichever comes first. I've never done 200 miles so it'll be a first and a major accomplishment for me, can't wait.
Anyways, short term, it's supposed to rain tonight and I have to go to my mom's graduation, she finished up her nursing degree, so she'll be starting a new career as a nurse (obviously). I'll be riding tomorrow and Friday and Saturday is iffy right now, temps in the 50s and 50% chance of rain. Sunday is supposed to be nice, and for at least a 4 hour window of the day I'll be in Burlington for Mother's Day so I'll need to plan a ride in the morning or the late afternoon or evening. Well, that's enough for now, don't want to overwhelm you with too much....until next time....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Thank goodness they took the

Thank goodness they took the snow out of tomorrow's forecast. I think......

Sunday, April 19, 2009

No Mas

No Mas! That's what I was saying yesterday when I ended my 4 hour ride, I was pretty tired. It's been a while since I've done 4 hours, I can't really remember the last time actually, it had to be March or April of last year I'm guessing. I loved the weather though, sunny, warm, and hardly any wind. I did a big loop from New Berlin to Waukesha, out towards Mukwonago, back to Waukesha and then home. There were tons of riders, joggers, and families out walking, too bad today had to turn out like it did because I think everyone is ready for this weather to be here to stay. I wanted to do a century yesterday because I knew it wasn't going to be that warm for at least another week (maybe this weekend), and I declared earlier this year that I would do a century every month. Well, now it looks like I have to do that century this weekend, I don't have much of a choice, I'm sure I can manage on Sunday because Saturday there is a WCA race right by my house that I'm going to go over and watch for most of the day. I'll probably set up a grill and bring a cooler of beer, but then again, maybe I'll just ride over. So anyways, Sunday is the day right now for the century, the plan is to ride out to my parents house in Burlington, have some soda and a snack, say hello and turn around and come back. I'm also off of work, as much as possible anyways, this week. I have to do some e-mails and set up some network cutovers from home while I'm on vacation but I have to say it's better than actually being there. 6 days away from work will be great, yeah, it's only 6 because I was actually there working today for 2 hours to prep for vacation. It seems like there is always more work to do the week before vacation and the week after, so it's almost like not getting a break at all. Anyways, the plan is to ride for 3 hours or so per day this week, except for tomorrow which doesn't look all that great, and then do my big ride on Sunday. I'm really looking forward to it, no doubt about that. Other than that, I'll be doing some landscaping this week, housework, and just getting some odds and ends done. I'll also be riding with my dad out in Burlington one day this week too, not sure what he has planned yet but I'll try not to hurt him too much. Well, I'll give regular vacation updates this week and hopefully the weather cooperates for all my plans.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Detour In To Darkness

Unfortunately a detour in to darkness is exactly what I got last night as I was out for what was a planned 90 minute ride which would get me home at 7:30, which happens to be sunset. Well, I didn't get home until 8:05 as I was about 3 miles from home and hit a closed road that detoured me about 2 miles back from where I just came, another two miles west, where I was earlier in the ride, and then finally home coming 3 miles from the other direction. It was pitch black when I hit the driveway and the only thing lighting my way home was the light from the cars which were surprised I'm sure to see a cyclist on the road at that time. Thankfully they were all polite and no one gave me the business for being out without a light. I say thankfully for them, not for me, because if anyone would've said something there would've been a throwdown, I wasn't in the best mood after having my HR pegged around 190 for 30 minutes trying to fly home. I need to figure out a way to get my shoes off quickly though during those times, they put cyclists at a definite disadvantage if someone gets out of their car. "Excuse me, can you wait while I get these shoes off, thanks..." usually won't cut it after you just hurled a verbal barrage at some redneck in a truck....not that I'm stereotyping people who drive trucks...or rednecks. That's experience talking though, especially riding on as many farm roads as I've ridden on, that's just the way it is. Anyways, it was a good ride in spite of that, I was pegged for 45 minutes at least of my 2 hour ride and the weather was perfect and there were lots of people out and about. I'm sore today though so the plan is to do a bit of a recovery ride for about 75 minutes and then relax tonight. I'll see what the weather holds the next few days but it looks o.k. so far so I'm thinking there are quite a few hours of riding in my near future. Chipotle is on the menu today with Dave, fuel for tonight's ride, can't wait.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Bliss

Now my heart is full
Now my heart is full
And I just can't explain
So I won't even try to.....


O.K., maybe I'll try...........I rode 3 and a half hours yesterday, it was amazing, I felt great. I couldn't have had a much better day on the bike, well, if I had more time and more energy in reserves I guess there'd be that chance. Saw plenty of bikers, some groups of 3 to 4 riders. Those I chased and some chasers, none caught and not caught myself, but the excitement was there, my heart was full of cycling and it couldn't have been a better day.
Today was a cloudy, windy, cold day as predicted but I had nary a disappointing feeling, I was at peace knowing there are more days than not to come that were like yesterday. Looking at the upcoming forecast gave me hope that the next couple of days are winter's last hold on us, clinging desperately, but I have to say, NOT everyday is like Sunday, not everyday is silent and grey. I'm ready to ride, even if it does take a couple more days to do so....until then, here is how I spent my day....