Thursday, November 29, 2007

It feels great being back into the flow of things. It was another great season at the gym on Wednesday and the ride in and back was ummm interesting. I give alot of credit to anyone who does their commutes to work by bike during the winter. Now the cross bike is awesome so far but I'll admit that I had a bit of nervousness in my as I riped down a few hills at 45km in the dark on slushy roads. I'm running my NiteHawk LED headlamp which is great but still limited in these conditions. Round trip to the gym is less than an 25 minutes on way to the gym so why would I drive.

My knees are starting to feel alot better. There is less clicking in vertical movement and next to no popping in twisting movements. Its giving me a bit of relief mentally.

We have yet to get any real snow yet but have had some really crazy windy days. This is great for riding even though it is now restricted to the road. It will be interesting to see if we get the same as last winter. I live in the snowbelt of Ontario with 10 plus alpine ski resorts with in an hour of my house but its been crazy the last couple years. 2nd week of January I was out for a road ride with almost no snow anywhere. 10 years ago when I was still teaching skiing the snow hit in the first week of November and was still here till mid April.

So with the fun of winter coming and indoor training now the issue I've noticed a few people putting up there indoor training setup. Well I took the day off today and spent just under 2 hours on the rollers. This is what helps get me through it.

Watched two episodes of an Everest documentary. I love that place and have that on my list of things to do before I die. Not sure about going to the top but at least seeing it. Time on the rollers were at base pace and it took a little to get the feel back.

Friday = rest day

Monday, November 26, 2007

Round one of recovery. Hit the gym tonight. Yep I caved but I think its going to extremely beneficial. I focused on my legs and core tonight. Lighter weights lots of reps. Now to make things a bit more interesting I rode in and back. Not that its far or a technical ride but with a steady stream of snow coming down it did a little more enjoyment to.

I actually didn't mind the time in the gym and am starting to lay out a training schedule. It's going to be 4 days a week of weights and hopefully weather permitting will include the ride in and out. Mix that in with yoga and one good day of on the rollers things will start to come together. Ya I'm getting back in focus.

On another note, no skate skiing for this guy for a little while. Because of the technique and muscles used it would actually slow my recovery of this tracking issue. Well it just means time on the classics.

The CX6.5 handles awesome in the crap weather. I'm running Maxis Locust tires which I found gripped well in the snow. Now the bonus to this tire combo is the speed that I ride at. Normally on the road bike I ride in the 33-35km/h average, well with the cross tires those speeds are considerable lower which means more time on the bike on some of my normal training routes. Ya I like this bike more and more. Its going to be a great training tool.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Winter is here one day gone the next. Started to get the craving to go skiing. This is a good thing because its been hard to get a craving to do much of anything the last couple days. I did the next best thing and got out on the cross bike for an hour today. Kept the heartrate low and just had fun. I'm starting into all the knee exercises and its not exactly helping my mind to get back into training. The right knee has been really bad the last couple days. This ride was what I needed.

All right enough bitching. Suck it up and get in focus. One thing that I'm trying to keep the inflammation down is a product called Traumeel. It does seem to help and since I really don't like taking Advil anymore than necessary this is a great change. Its all natural, I'll let you know over the week if it works.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Boot camp? That's how I felt last night after my work out. Did a few sets with weights but it was mainly sit ups, push up, chin ups etc. Yep they do hurt. Mix that in with the knee exercises I was feeling it last night. I'll be starting in to a set routine of weights and spinning starting at the end of the month. I'm having a hard time staying focused on training right now. I think I just need a bit of a break from structure.

The broken rib got me to relax but it wasn't a fun relaxed. I think that's what I'm needing still so parts of the fun relaxed was cleaning all the bikes. 6 bikes and I still don't have my 08 race bike. Yep I'm a bike whore. They are gleaming and with snow in the forecast most will stay on the wall now till spring. I'll be wiping the dust off the rollers very shortly. Indoor riding sucks but unless I move south I really don't have much choice.

Thats it for now

Monday, November 19, 2007

So where am I at. Legs and knees actually feel pretty good. Ok truth. no pain but the legs still feel weak. The knees are my concern and they felt good this morning. No major inflammation which was my biggest concern. Now that hot epson slat bath did help last night.

So where am I at. Well mentally I'm saying that's it for the season. I really don't think I will touch a bike for at least a month. How many times have a broken that line. I'm extremely happy with the way this year worked out with results and the learning curve of my body. Physically my legs are ready for something outside of riding. I've yet to get the roller skis out and running is probably not an option for a little bit. For some strange reason I have this craving to hit the weights. I hate the gym because nothing beats the speed of outdoor training. Now on the other side of things I will admit that I like looking riped for all the photos that are taken during a race. Aww come on, admit it. Everyone likes looking good in pictures.

So here it is. The off season. Holly shit its been a long season. I think I'm going to add up the miles of racing one evening. Why just because I don't know what to do with my spare time over the next month or so. Well I have my rental apartment to do some renovations on, start training at the gym, besides that. I've already started watching my food intake and adjusting. Ya nice way of saying that I have put on a couple pounds. Not enough to even concern the average person but I don't want it to proceed any farther. I want to come into 2008 even stronger than I did this year. Mentally I'm already prepping for the 2008 season.

I'll get a few pic up from the race along with pics up of the cross bike in the next couple days. Thanks Speedy for getting me my XC in time
Finally back after some technical difficulties. Computers are great as long as they are working. This weekend was the Wizard of Wheels Winter W.O.W. held at Mansfield. This is my 2nd last race of the year. Just the thought of racing in November is cool. Now unfortunately my legs were still in the off season.

The conditions were perfect. This was a concern for everyone. We do live in the snowbelt area and normally would have a foot of snow already. On the drive down there were areas with at least a foot of the white stuff. The trail was pretty much clear. Temperatures were great also at just above the freezing mark.

Great turn out with over 140 racers. This also brought out some very fast racers. Where was my mind at. Well with no training in over a month and barely any riding at all I was in it for fun and to test the new bike. Now that didn't stop me from lining up with all my buddies on the front row. I did stay with the lead pack for the first 1.5 km but backed down pretty quick. In peak time no problem, in my body state right now it was asking to blow up really fast. By the top of the 2nd long climb about 4km in I had dropped back in pack. Way back. I had NO climbing legs and there is lots of climbing at Mansfield.

Finally got into the single track and got the heartrate down. Awww singletrack. I found a rhythm and stuck with a small pack. I slowly started to get back into the flow of racing and my pace picked up. I started to pass riders again. Still climbing like crap but was able to make up time in the singletrack. By the time I hit the feed zone I was back up to the mid 30's overall. The course was awesome and there was an amazing section of singletrack that riped through some pine trees. I had a huge smile on my face. There was also a great section of snowpacked trail that alot of people mentioned that they wanted to stop and take a picture.

The biggest problem I had this race was my seatpost slipping. My new post was not in in time so we had to shim one and it didn't hold. I stopped 4 times to get things back in position. This problem will be cured this week. The bike itself was awesome. I love it in the singletrack. I know it was a brave thing to do racing a bike 2 days after it was built and completely untested but what can I say. A little impatient. It is a great climbing bike and next season when I getting my legs out of the closet I think its going to help out alot.

I continued to pull in riders and coming into the final .5 km there was one rider still in sight. I did everything I could to pull him in but missed it by 3 feet. No legs for sprinting. I finished 8th in my division and 27th overall. The knees felt pretty good even with the seatpost slipping. This morning the body feel really good. I'll get a light workout in tonight. I'm on the road to recovery for the tracking problems of both knees. More updates later.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Its been a busy last couple days. Busy but not the riding busy. Still working away at my rental apartment. Wall paper is the evil and will not be allowed at all for any tenants from this point on.

My winter race kit from blue is here. I'll be nice and cozy warm on the coldest training days. My 1st XC Carbon frame is here and Dave hammered away in the evening to have it ready for me. The phone rang at 8:30 with that distinctive line "Your bike is ready" With Mansfield only 4 days away and Dave trying to take a few days off he didn't want to leave me rushing on Saturday playing with brake and grip position a few hours before I leave. The bike looks sweet. This one was built up with the parts off my 2005 NRS. The one that just hung on the tent at races and collected dust in the gear room. Couldn't not use all the parts since they are basically new.

I'm off to see Dr. Cameron this evening to get my workout list for my knees. I'm getting a bit impatient and want to start the recovery. I other words I want to be able to ride and not pay for it the next day. No pain on the bike but the last few rides my knees are aching the next day. I'm also going to be picking a few friends brains to help build a weight program for me.

I'll have the apartment grunt work done in the next week or so which means time to focus again.

Monday, November 12, 2007

No riding for this guy on Sunday. It was time for grunt work around the house. Snowblower is ready to roll to start. I'm really not sure if I want snow or not. Its funny that 10 years ago I would look out the window every morning hoping to see the white stuff. I guess it didn't help that I also used to my an alpine ski instructor. Where is my mind at now. Well I haven't been on the ski hills in 7 years. Now I do love my x-c skis but not to the same level I used to for the alpines. You could say that I really don't care if it snows or not anymore.

The big problem with that is that I need snow if I want to train for the 24 hour x-c ski race we hold in March. Last year I ended up racing on a 4 person team because of the lack of training. This years plan is to do it solo as long as I get the mileage in.

Not much else happening on the training front. I'll be focused on knee strengthening all week and not the bike. Time to be proactive. Oh and lots of that domestic house stuff. Basement apartment tenant moved out last month so lots of renos to do before it goes back on the market. Actually that is my excuse so that I can use the space for spinning this winter.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The last couple days have been a bit interesting. I got out on the cross bike for an hour Thursday and things felt pretty good. Then the next morning came. My right knee was just aching. The pain was one thing but both knees were a pretty colour of red. Lots of inflammation. Not good. I rode again today for an hour and they were still sore. This is not a good thing since I've got the 40km race in a week. I'm fine when I'm riding its afterwards that is the problem.

What does this mean. Means after next weekend I'm going to get off the bike, see Dr. Cameron, get my weight training program ready and get these dam knees fixed. I'm looking into a couple of the local gyms since I'm limited on the weights at home. This tracking problem is starting to concern me. I know that rest is going to be a huge part of this and sitting on the bike for 3 hours is not helping.

Today was a great ride though. I was a bit limited on time so it was a cruise ride on the road bike. The sun was shinning and it was a perfect fall day. Plus 6 is a nice temp to ride in if you remember to wear the right gloves. The hands were not happy with me as the temperature dropped in the last half of my ride. Ahhh could be snowing.

On the toy lists the XC Carbon will be at Georgian Cycle this week to hopefully be ready for next weekend. I'm getting a bit anxious now and I'm not one for doing the last minute prep on a bike.

More later. I know I still need to post some good pics of the CX. Soon

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Its that time of the year. It snowed for the first time yesterday and put a kibosh into my plans of outdoor riding last night. Actually I just wimped out. I've ridden in colder and worse conditions but that's usually when I haven't been riding for a few months and going into withdrawl.

I've started doing base training on Tuesday and working on strengthening my knees. Lets just say that lunges hurt!!!! I'm not a huge fan of indoor training and weightlifting has never been a high ranking activity but its going to such a necessity for me this winter. I still need to setup my routine, right now its all over the place. My knees are still clicking and popping like a symphony.

So great news for me. My first frame will be here Friday. If everything goes to plan it will be built and ready for testing by the first of next week and be tuned for the w.o.w. Mansfield race. Alright, off to the grown up world of work.

Monday, November 5, 2007

What do I know about how a cross bike should feel? Absolutely nothing. What I do know is that I hate riding my mountain bike on the road and my road bikes are not designed to be taken off asphalt. This is where a cyclocross bike comes in. This is my latest toy from Blue. A CX6.5.

I found that the bike felt very smooth on road sections and with a change out of tires I could easily use it for some long training rides. The full carbon fork, including the steer tube, really sucks up vibration on the rougher trails. I had mine built up with Shimano 105 running a 50-34 front and a 12-27 rear. This combo pretty much will get me up anything. My ride on it Saturday I swapped out wheels and used my Xero lite. I'm running Maxxis Locust tires which I found had awesome grip in the trails. Mix that in with Areus bars, stem and seatpost and the bike tops the scale at 18.5 pounds.

This is the bike I will be spending alot of time on over the next few months. Will a cross race be in my focus. Not for this year but next fall for sure. It will be tested at the Icebreaker and Paris-Ancaster next spring.

As for racing for next year. The schedule is starting to come together. For now its time for some dinner.

pictures later

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The weekend is just not long enough sometimes. I'm starting back into some training finally. Ok not really training but back to riding at a little higher intensity. With that said I played on my new toy. Meet my winter beater!!!

Sweet isn't it. Saturday was my first play time on it. It was a mix of bike path, snowmobile trails, smooth fast singletrack and a short section of construction developments which meant some hike a bike. I'll get a full review of parts layout etc up tomorrow. Lets just say it was alot of fun. I've always hated riding my mountain bikes on the road and since I will not destroy my road bikes by blasting through rough snowmobile trails this things is just a great toy to have. So when I said I was riding with a higher intensity this was not an understatement. Not thinking about much but having fun my heartrate sat at an average of 160 and spiked to 193 a couple times. Yep defiantly fun. Do I like my cross bike. YEP!!!!

Speaking of cyclocross. Went to the Barrie Cycling Club's cyclocross. Cool event. I'm now kicking myself for not racing. Huge turnout. I watched the first race and now have this craving to do one. The course was pretty awesome with some mean off camber switchbacks. A few crashes in this section.

The afternoon was play time. 3 hours of trail riding in Tom's forest. It was an awesome fall day. My legs felt great. Spent more time playing on the hardtail. I'm liking this bike more and more. Quick, smooth and very comfortable. I want mine!!!! The loaner will be gone this week but my first frame will be here this week and will be ready for the Mansfield race in 2 weeks.

Review of the toy tomorrow!! Oh and congratulations to all my friends for finishing Ironman Florida. Great job. Almost makes me want to do one. Almost.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Its November. It gets dark early and the temperature drops almost as fast as the sun. Why do I bring this up. Because I'm already thinking about the day that we get the most amount of daylight. Summer Solstice. Besides the daylight it also means one of the longest days of racing. Just finished registering for the 24 Hours of Summer Solstice held by Chico Racing. This is now the biggest 24 hour race in North America. 2200 plus racers. It also brings some big names to this event. Last year brought Mark Hendershot and Dannielle Musto, both winning their solo categories. Something tells me this will bring even more big names this year. There link is over to the left.

With November I've also said that its time to start training again. The rib is healed and most of the tendons and muscles in my back are close to 100 percent. Now my flexibility is slowly coming back. This month will be alot of yoga, stretching and core work. Its also time to start strengthen both knees. I have a tracking issue in both knees which developed after that dam adventure race. HMMMM, maybe I should just buy some new body parts and become the bionic man.

Good luck to all my friends from the Midland Tri Club who are racing at Ironman Florida tomorrow. Gord I hope your ankle survives. Those dam roots and rocks!!! Tim, hopefully you can beat your time from worlds. Doug and Irene, the husband and wife racers. Have a great race. Brandon, Pace yourself !!!! You still have to run!!! Peter, ride smooth relax and stay in your bars!!! Peter will be the youngest ever Ironman finisher when he crosses the line. I wish I was there to cheer all of you on but unfortunately I had to stay in the grown up world and work.

For those interested in watching the live feeds from the event along with the finish the link is below. Stay tuned over the weekend. My cross bike is here and ready to roll. Full write up sometime over the weekend. For now FOOD!!!!