Sunday, February 27, 2011


When I took Suzie out this morning, it seemed kind of warm, I could hear birds singing... seemed like Spring was in the air! (Even though we got another inch or so of new snow last night.)

I seem to be pretty much over my cold. Just a few minor lingering symptoms, but I otherwise basically feel good. I've done some light workouts the past couple days and have felt fine.

Another month to go before Barry-Roubaix!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cold Progress

I'm making progress on the cold. I felt quite a bit better yesterday, but still not 100%. I did my planned Strength workout and I felt fine, no unusual weakness or anything. I seem about the same today, which isn't ideal, but I didn't get any worse. It felt good to do something again...

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I ended up getting my workouts in Tuesday through Thursday this week. I wasn't feeling perfect, but I felt good during my workouts and I didn't seem to be getting any worse.

Friday morning though, I felt kind of bad, and it continued for the rest of the day and into today. So, now everyone in the family is sick. How fun...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

More Output / Input

I did another 1.5 hours on the trainer Sunday. I was feeling pretty good and I pushed a little harder than I have been on other rides. It was probably more of a "tempo" ride than steady endurance. Anyway, I felt pretty good about it; then, I plotted my output/input numbers.

So, even though I set my best average power and speed numbers for the year, my heart rate was also much higher. The net effect was that it drove my ratio way down. Does it matter? Not really, but it made me think about how the ride has to be to use this kind of chart. Basically, I think you either have to try to hit the same HR every time, and see what happens to your power, or hit the same power every time, and see if you can do it at a lower HR.

I skipped my workout yesterday. I was tired and I'd felt a little sick all day. I'm still not feeling perfect today, but we'll see how I'm doing tonight.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Snowy Trail Ride

I went over to Lake Orion High School on Saturday to ride the trails. The school has been trying to keep them clear to help promote some races being held there. The trails are a mix of paths through the fields around the school and trails through the woods.

As of Friday night, someone had posted that the trails were 95% rideable. So, Saturday morning, I prepped my singlespeed for the ride. I oiled the brake cables so that they wouldn't freeze (a tip from Icebike ), and I decided to put my clipless pedals on the bike, since the trail was supposed to be almost all rideable.

As it turned out, it was a pretty windy morning, and most of the trails in the fields were drifted over with about 6 inches of snow. Unrideable by me; so they required lots of pushing. The trails in the woods were clear and awesome though! I had a great time being back out on my mountain bike.

Even though a snowmobile had gone over here, the snow was still deep enough I couldn't ride it...

I learned a couple things though... since I was off the bike pushing so much, the clipless pedals and shoes were basically worthless. It didn't take too long before the pedals were packed with snow and ice and I couldn't clip in any more. Also, the velcro on my shoes got packed up with snow, and so it was also pretty worthless.

Cornering in the snow made me use all of my Gene skills. If I didn't look through the corner, lean the bike, and really weight my outside pedal, I'd feel like I was going to blow right through the corner. So, it was good skills practice.

It looks like we're going to have a little bit of a warmup this week. Probably not so good for more trail riding, but maybe it will mean I can get out on the roads a little. We'll see...

In the woods, the snow on the "groomed" trail wasn't even an inch deep. It was fast and fun!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Strange Time

This is kind of a strange time in my training. I've been at it for a while, and I'm seeing some physical changes, but I still don't feel particularly good on the bike yet. I've noticed this in other years too. After a month or so, you sort of feel like you should be back to mid-summer form, but you're not. Just need to have a little patience.

The weather is supposed to be reasonably warm this weekend. I'm thinking about trying to get outside and ride a little. I've been riding up to an hour and a half on the trainer. Although I have done longer rides on the trainer in other years, an hour and a half is close to my boredom limit.

Monday, February 07, 2011

UCI Cyclocross Schedule

I've been looking for this for a while, and today I saw that Velonews has published the 2011/2012 UCI cyclocross schedule.

A few disappointments, the Cincinnati UCI3 race overlaps with Iceman, and the Louisville USGP overlaps with a Tailwind CX series race (Stony Creek).

That leaves only the Madison USGP on an open weekend.

There's also a Chicago Cross Cup UCI race over the New Year weekend, which makes sense given the later Nationals date, but I'm planning to be done racing by then...

Sunday, February 06, 2011

More Skiing and Strength Testing

I cut down my XC ski poles a bit this week. It wasn't too hard. I skied again yesterday; it was much colder and the snow seemed faster. Unfortunately, the tracks weren't in as good of shape, several hikers had walked all over them. Anyway, I still had a good time, and my poles were at a much better height for me.

I did some strength benchmark testing last night after the kids went to bed. James Wilson published some benchmarks for mountain bikers. My idea was to check my progress against the benchmarks at the start of each phase.

There are two upper body tests (chinups and pushups), two lower body tests (deadlift and single leg squat) and one core / full body test (Turkish Getup). I haven't been training most of these movements, so I was interested to see how they would work out. The results were a little surprising. I passed the first level of both upper body exercises. My deadlift was just OK, but not good enough to get to the first benchmark. I got stuck at the bottom on my 1-leg squat. My technique on the Turkish Getup was bad enough that I decided not to test that one.

So, I hit the first benchmark on 2 out of 5. Not so bad for one month of training. Still, it's interesting that it's the upper body tests that I passed. Just sort of reinforces that I need to be doing strength training.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Take What You Can Get

I had an interesting night last night. The kids came home relatively late (for them), which is always an adventure. Nathan gave me a big smile and big hug when he saw me; 2 minutes later he was screaming and crying, which he pretty much did for the rest of the night. Cora took the opposite approach. She wanted nothing to do with me when she got home and cried (or was on the verge) for most of the bedtime routine. I finally got a good hug from her right before she went to bed. I'll take what I can get.

I don't know which is worse when the kids get in those moods. To be the one they want nothing to do with (you feel bad, but you can also do something else), or to be the one that they need (you're needed, which is nice, but then you have to do all of the work).

This week was supposed to be a rest week of sorts in my training plan. I did rest on Tuesday, but Wednesday we had the big snowstorm, so I spent a good chunk of time shoveling. I worked out last night, but today is another rest day. I'm looking forward to that... definitely too early in the season to be getting tired.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

DIY Press Statement

Good post on the Fat Cyclist blog today.