Monday, March 26, 2012

Guess I Shouldn't Have Been Riding...

I guess I should not have been riding last week. I ended up feeling terrible by Thursday night / Friday morning. I spent most of the weekend lying on the couch. Not a fun time, but I'm feeling a little better again today.

I guess the plan will be to wait until all my symptoms are gone before I get back to riding. I suppose, fitness-wise, the damage is already done...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Still Recovering and 2Bliss

I'm still trying to recover from this stupid infection. I went to a specialist on Wednesday and he told me not to ride at all, and that it may take another 2-3 weeks. I'd been riding a little bit again this week, and it actually seemed to help me feel better... until yesterday. I felt terrible last night and so I didn't ride. This thing really sucks...

Like I mentioned before, all this time not riding has meant that I've been able to get my bikes ready for this season. Earlier this week, I pulled the tubes out of the tires on my Epic and set them up tubeless. The wheels and tires use the Specialized 2Bliss system. I was curious to see how this compared to my old bike, which used regular tires with Stan's rims. Basically, it wasn't too different, except that the beads definitely sealed up better. At least with new Kenda tires, I always struggled a little to get the beads to seal the first time. With the Specialized stuff, that wasn't a problem. There were still several pinholes in the tire that needed to be sealed with the sealant, but that didn't take too long. I still haven't ridden them, but the tires have held air for several days now, so I think they should be good to go.

My only beef is with the valve that came with my wheels; it doesn't have a removable core, so the only way to add sealant is to dismount the tire. My Stan's wheels had a removable valve core, so it was pretty painless to add sealant.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Back to Riding?

So, it looks like my infection is mostly cleared up now. I rode on the trainer for a little while last night just to test things out. It was mostly OK, but I think that I won't do Barry-Roubaix this weekend. 2+ hours over bumpy roads is probably not what I need right now.

I'm still hopeful to do the first Rhino Spring Training race next weekend. I doubt that I will be riding well by then, but I should be able to sit in and get a little intensity.

The only good thing that's come out of my down time is that I've basically got my bikes all ready to go for the season (new cables, chains, etc). I'm really itching to take my Epic back out on the trails!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Waste of Time

Being sick is such a waste of time. Fighting off this infection has been slow going. I think the antibiotics are upsetting my stomach a little, which isn't so fun. I also picked up a cold earlier this week to add to things. I guess it's just the human condition...

I haven't been riding, which is really bugging me, especially since the weather is so nice. But, it's only March, and there are plenty of good riding days ahead. Hopefully I'll get feeling better in a couple more days.

I've been reading Moneyball for the past few days. I'm not a huge baseball fan, although I do follow the Tigers, but I've really enjoyed the book.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rough Couple of Weeks

So, it's been a rough couple of weeks. The muscle I pulled in my chest is feeling better now, and I did get some decent riding in last week. At some point though, I picked up some kind of infection that has prevented me from riding. I've been on antibiotics for a few days, which seems to be helping, but I'm definitely not back to normal yet. I just need to remind myself that it's only March and there's a lot of riding ahead of me...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Not Keeping Up!

Man, I've not been keeping up with my blogging!

February was really pretty decent. I got outside to ride several times; I also ended up riding quite a bit on my trainer. So, that's all been pretty good.

I played hockey a week ago Sunday night. It was pretty fun, but I somehow pulled a muscle in my chest. It's getting better, but it's limited what I can do for strength training.

Racing season is approaching. Less than a month to Barry-Roubaix and Iceman registration tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


So, this winter, I ended up rebuilding my old Bianchi (steel) road bike. It seemed like a lot of things were broken, or weren't working well, so I ended up converting it to a singlespeed. I was mostly able to use old parts that I had laying around, which means the bike has a strange mix of components.

I rode it briefly a couple weeks ago, but my position was really screwed up so it was uncomfortable to ride for very long. The gearing was also a touch too hard. I went back and checked my position more carefully and took it out again on Sunday. I also swapped in a cog with one extra tooth.

It turned out that the new gearing was just about perfect, at least for February riding. On a slight downhill, I was spinning quickly, but nothing too crazy, and the uphills weren't overly tough. Although, by the end of the ride, I was really feeling the climbs. On a singlespeed, there is nowhere to hide!

The only problem was that my seatpost was slipping. I don't know if it was a thermal expansion problem (steel frame / aluminum seatpost), or that I just didn't tighten it enough, too much grease, or what. It took me awhile to notice, but I eventually did, after it had slipped a lot. After I reset and retightened it, I didn't notice any more slippage.

Anyway, it turned out to be a pretty fun bike to ride. I kind of thought it would bother me to only have one gear on the road, but it really didn't turn out to be a big deal. Like I said before, the only problem was that, after 2+ hours of riding, I was wishing for an easier gear on the hills. Still, it wasn't too bad.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Just for Fun

I was thinking about this song last night... no particular reason... just for fun...

Anyway, yesterday was busy. Sarah was coaching all day so I watched the kids. They were good, but it's just a long day.

I did my first trainer "power" test after the kids went to bed. I wasn't expecting too much; I just didn't feel that energetic. As it turned out, I ended up putting out some decent numbers.

My 5 minute test felt terrible; no surprise for early February. I still put up a slightly better number than I did for my first test early last year (early March). Last year I'd been doing more high-intensity training, so I was pretty happy to be ahead there.

My 20 minute test didn't feel as bad as I expected. I ended up also being a good bit ahead of where I was last March; in fact, it was my best-ever early season test! So, it seems like my training is off to a good start.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Back at it!

Well, I never ended up getting really sick, but I was sick enough that I didn't do any riding or other training. I finally got feeling good enough to get back at it on Sunday. So, I'm back to my regular riding and training schedule. Not really too much else going on...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Well, both kids were sick all weekend with nasty colds that have continued into the week. They both look so pitiful. Sarah seems to be feeling well so far, but I'm kind of marginal. I really expected to wake up sick this morning, but I got a lot of sleep last night, and so far, I seem to be doing OK. Still not great, but not really sick either.

Over the past several weeks I've made a pretty serious effort to clean up my diet and go a little more strictly Paleo. One of the big changes I've made has been to cut back a bit on coffee. It's surprising, just generally, how much better I feel. I think it's probably also helping me fight off this cold.

On Monday, I repeated my FMS test and did my first strength test of the year (I think I will do my first on-bike test in another week or two). After almost a month of training, I found that I made some good gains on my FMS movements. I passed the seated rotation this time without much problem, but I still felt like I was kind of marginal on the in-line lunge and hurdle step. My body is just not in perfect balance during those movements.

As for the strength test, nothing too interesting, except that I was a little surprised that I hadn't lost much ground from where I finished last year. I had pretty much stopped any kind of strength workouts during 'cross season.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Too Cold, Too Windy

Finally, Friday night, we got enough snow to ski on... just barely. I went to the hiking trails at Highland Rec Saturday at about noon, and was surprised to see only one other car there. As I was getting my stuff together, a couple skiers came up and gave me the lowdown on the ski conditions. Sure enough, they said there was just enough snow to ski on.

So, off I went. It looked like they were the only ones who'd been out skiing that day, since their tracks weren't too deep. Once I got to the turn-off for the blue loop, there were no tracks to follow. The weather was nearly perfect, kind of cold but sunny. The snow seemed reasonably fast. I ended up skiing two loops, which I've not done before out there. By the time I was finishing up, there were more skiers, but the ski conditions were getting worse... just not enough snow out there.

I planned to ride outside today. The weather report said that the sun would be out this afternoon. I went out to Stony Creek to ride on the park road even though it was still pretty cloudy and cold. The sun never did come out, so it was really cold and windy around the lake there. The roads weren't quite as clear as I'd hoped either. Anyway, I decided to call it good after riding one loop; I finished my ride at home on the trainer.

Still, it was a pretty good weekend. I definitely feel ahead of where I was at this time last year. Of course, last January I was rebuilding from a lower level, since I'd lost a lot of fitness with my knee injury at the end of 2010. Anyway, so far, so good.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More Winter Riding

One of the things I wanted to try to do this Winter was to ride outside a little more. Certainly, the mild Winter so far has helped.

For last weekend though, we had more typical Winter weather. There was a little snow on the ground (still not enough for XC skiing) and temps were in the mid-20's. I loaded up my singlespeed mountain bike and hit one of the easier trails in our area, Bald Mountain. Even with regular (not studded) tires, traction was pretty good, but my gearing was too hard. I'd like to blame the extra resistance of the snow, but it probably had more to do with my fitness.

It kind of took a long time for me to get feeling good riding, maybe half an hour or so. But once I did, I had a pretty fun ride. Still, I think I will try a slightly easier gear for my next Winter ride.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Light News Day...

I'd like to try to do a little better job with my blogging, but there just isn't a lot going on this time of year. I've mostly been doing some strength training, easy bike rides and a little cross-training. We've had some good weather, reasonably warm and no snow, but it gets dark so early that it's tough to get a ride in outside after work. Supposedly we'll get some snow soon; I'm hoping we get enough that I can do some XC skiing.

Cora is off to Disneyworld for an extended weekend with my in-laws. Hopefully she has fun and doesn't get too homesick (and hopefully Sarah and I do OK!). It will be strange to have her gone for so long.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Singlespeed Ride to Milford

I ended up taking almost a three hour ride yesterday on my singlespeed mountain bike with a couple other guys. I rode to the start of the ride, near Pontiac Lake, then we rode out to Milford and back. It was a pretty relaxed-pace ride, except when we had to work a little up some hills. The weather was perfect for January and the dirt roads were in good shape.

I hadn't really intended to ride that long, but it doesn't seem to have done any harm. My legs were a bit tired for the rest of the day, but that's all. I was going to ride today, but I decided to take it off given my ride yesterday.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Back to Training

I got back to doing some strength training this week. I'd cut it way back during 'cross season, and then stopped during my December break. I got started by repeating my FMS. It was a little disappointing; I ended up failing three of the screening patterns! I think I failed two of them because of a loss of general core strength / stability. I expect after a couple weeks of training those will come back without any specific work.

The last pattern (the seated rotation) is one that I have always struggled with, and it will probably take some specific work to get back to where I can pass it.

Anyway, it's been fun to get back to "training". I can already feel my body getting a little bit stronger, which is always good. The weather has been nice enough that I've been able to ride outside a little too, which is pretty unusual for this time of year. Unfortunately, there's not enough snow to ski on around here! I'd really been looking forward to cross-country skiing this winter.