So far this month has seen me in pain both indoors and out. The out was nothing new, although the wind made things a little bit interesting for a while there. Joe and I rode to his garage up in Springfield on the second . . . . it was pretty rough. Not only was the wind out, but the skies were a dark grey that seemed to dim my spirit that much more. Towards the end of the ride I spotted a couple NCVC riders and was tempted to take off my jacket to reveal the BWR kit . . . . but I wasn't looking too impressive at that point anyway.
The most important indoor session occurred when I found myself on Bills trainer, sweating and praying that my wattage didn't drop too much more. He put on a video of a 1,2 crit and told me to imagine I was in the race . . . . it really helped me to focus at times. I'm now also eating alot more fruits and veggies . . . . I'm willing to do whatever it takes at this point. The first tradezones are coming up soon, and the thought of them makes me nervous . . . .
Wed 6th - Rode down to meet Jinks at the park for an hour and a half of E. It was pretty cold when I started off, and by the time we were done I was ready to settle down somewhere in the park and hibernate til springtime.
Work was kinda slow, so I did a bunch of pushups with my feet elevated from a chair, and then some situps. I worked both to muscle failure, so it should be interesting to see what the ol body feels like tomorrow morning.
Friday 8th - I was quite sad to wake up and see the snow . . . . the cross bike wasn't ready to go, so I rode an ancient MTB to work. I had been on the new bike the day before, so the weight and comfort factor was quite pronounced. During the ride my focus was spinning smoothly, mostly bc I couldn't get it into the biggest ring. I wasn't ready to ride that tank of a bike back home, so I made up the lost time on the trainer. Outdoor (winter) riding has its own flavor of suffering, but a good trainer session is just as much of a beast.
Icy Ride - Sat 9th - I was in a little bit of a haze upon awakening, and I almost missed the meeting time of 1030. We cruised over to the trailhead and found that the first portion was a mix of unbroken snow from the last storm, ice, and new snow from yesterday. I was running about 60 psi, but maybe mother nature thought that was a little bit much . . . . after wiping out I stopped and let some air out. From there we spent a good amount of time on the newer trails, which seemed quite narrow compared to the ones on the other side of 95. We did a good amount of hike-a-biking, which really kept my core temp up. After finding the culvert and crossing under 95 the trails got better - but sadly at this point clipping in was a luxury. We made it up behind Wegmans and used a flat head screwdriver to dig out the ice and snow from the cleats and pedals and continued on. All good things must come to and end, though, so in the last couple km's of trail Bill instructions were to use a heavier gear to avoid going down.
All in all it was a good ride, and if nothing else it was good for my lacking technical skills . . . . hopefully tomorrow everyone can get together for some serious talk and E mileage . . . .
Jan 13th - Woke up early to meet with Jinks in the park at 6:45 for some E mileage. I didn't really feel too cold when I left the house. Since commuting in the morning is standard, I never check the temp - I'm not sure I could feel the subtle difference between say 20 or 25 or whatever anyway. So, on the way down to the park, I noticed that alot of the snow had melted. This triggered some kind of placebo effect that made me think in was warmer than it really was. At the park I asked Jinksy for the temp, though, and when he said 21 I started to feel much colder. The ride itself was sweet - we discussed the erratic nature of drivers in general and how getting a good ride in the morning could change your outlook on the whole day. After we split I had an espresso at Hyperion and then it was off to work.
Jan 14th - I had a day off today, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone. My sister and her fiance needed some help moving some stuff down to his apartment near Charlottesville . . . . I was the man for the job. Afterwards I rode back. I decided to ride the new bike to see how it handled the rollers and all . . . what a difference. If that bike was a thoroughbred the Lemond must be like a donkey or something. The hardest thing about today was the drastic change in temperature - it was quite warm by the time I made it back to the Burg. Spent the rest of the day recovering by soaking my legs and wearing hospital issue compressions. I would have liked to have spent the day recovering with a nice female . . . . maybe someday.
Saturday looks to be both epic and frightening. Hopefully the weather is warm and the legs are fresh . . .
Since the last posting I've been training, but have also been rekindling an old romance. Sometimes it seems females make me make unsound decisions, but I've done my best to stay focused on getting ready for the upcoming season. I've been watching alot of cycling videos on Youtube. Hopefully watching the pro riders and then copying their style will benefit my form bc at times its quite ugly. Tonight (1/21) after watching Cardoso win a stage in the Tour down Under I wanted to get out and train til exhaustion, but with it being a down week and with the KOM on Sunday I'm saving energy.
Sunday KOM Jan 24th - I started getting ready for the KOM ride Saturday night by getting home early, drinking a bunch of water and taking some protein. This was mainly because I stayed out way too late the night before the surge ride and the added suffering didn't sound too appealing.
During the first round I thought that I had flatted, and pulled over to fix it. However, it was just low on air, which meant I had to chase my way back to the front. So I TT'd up to Bill, Greg and Joe, who were fighting for KoM points up front. All I really remember from that one is being tired and happy that I could bridge up. Then Jeff showed, and during the next round he and I went off the front as a two man team. We worked together for a spell, and I thought we could have stayed away . . . . but then Greg nonchalantly rode up. It was a three man for a bit, then he and I went together for the rest of the lap. This was probably the hardest time for me. Had the distance been further there was a good chance I would have been dropped.
The last lap started with everyone staying together nearly to the turn around point. Then Greg went for a point, and I chased. After the turn around it almost because a two man, but neither of us had the juice, so we sat up. I think he had a bunch of points on that one . . . . honestly it left me so tired its now kinda a blur. It was good to see everyone out today, especially with the less than optimal conditions. Back in town Andre said that everyone was alot stronger this year than they were this time last year, so that leaves me with a lot of hope.
28th - The weather was nice after work, so I rode in the wind til it got to be too cold. I felt really fresh during the workout, which mainly consisted of hills in and around the hospital. But afterwards I realized that in my enthusiasm I burned through whatever matches were in my book, and am now suffering and walking around like an old man. Tomorrow I'll recover, and then make do with whatever weather comes around this weekend . . . . .
30th - Snow day! As a kid I would look forward to a snow day, and as an adult with a cross bike I still do. I wasn't sure if Bill was still going to ride this morning, so after a few emails back and forth we would up meeting down at CVS around ten thirty. His camelbak hose was already frozen, which for me was the sign of an epic day in the making. From there we rode to his house where I upgraded my wardrobe with a bandit looking face mask and a better outer layer. The last snow ride we did was an exploration of the trails . . . . today was more along the lines of a romp around town to see what everyone was up to. Bill knows alot of people, and was enthusiastic in yelling greeting at their houses as we passed. I was not too surprised when some of the greeting were returned. Steve was in the middle of some office work, but wasn't too busy to tell us skiing stories and to help me keep my feet warm. The shop was open, so we stopped and chatted with Andre for a while. I also met Gregs gf. From the shop we headed to the Canal Path, and along the way planned a rendezvous near the cemetery with Jinks. He called to say that is brakes were out (common occurrence for us all) and was having to run the hill, so while waiting we pushed a car or two up the slope and had a quick photo shoot. After Jinks came along I tried to suggest a loop or two around town, but being from the North he saw no problem in trekking back to Stafford. I didn't want him to ride without a sidekick, so off we went. At this point the ride changed from cruise to bruise for me. Right after the Falmouth bridge I hit a well concealed pothole, and went down. From there we shot up Truslow, and over to Centreport Pkwy. Not too many people were out and about, and even though the riding was slow it I couldn't keep a good conversation. For me it was bleak for a while, especially after I slid out on a downhill. However, I knew I would get a chance to warm up sooner or later. And now I'm home, trying to replenish calories lost. Alot of bike handling skills were developed today, and alot of people in the area realized BWR guys go hard no matter what the weather . . ..