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.