Thursday, December 31, 2009
Sitting here thinking about what is up for 2010 and I look at all the races and all the training ahead , again it will be another busy year. New focuses, same ideas, hoping for as good or better results. It will be fun regardless.
As for New Years resolutions, drink left coffee?? Hell no!!!!
Yesterday was a mix bag of training. Took the Molly Monster out to Copeland Forest for a good long ski. Opted for my race classics just in case I happen to come across some random track set. It was a little more work keeping the ski tracking, narrow skis are a little less stable on off groomed trails. Spent the first hour on some pretty level ground, nothing to spectacular, just some good base miles. Molly was setting a pretty good pace.
Made my way towards the hills of Copeland for the second hour with some good long climbs on things like Mile High and The Wall. Fitness on the skis is showing up, was able to stay in mid and upper aerobic zones for the climbs. Of course the downhills still got the heart a pumping. A few random soft sticky patches of snow worked great at slowing down one ski as the other accelerated. This led to my first real fall of the year. At least it was on a steep enough hill that it didn't hurt much except for some pride.
A good solid two hours of skiing and I was home bound. A few hours later I bundled up and headed out for an hour on the single speed. The plan was to scope out a route for the snowshoe tonight. Yes a bunch of drunk cyclists heading into the woods at night. It will be interesting. Another play ride on winter single track, snowmobile trails. Route is set, sorta. Only saw one sledder out there, probably doing one of those WTF seeing me out there.
Well this is the last post for 2009, All 291 of them are still below for those that will be hungover tomorrow and want to read a headache stopper. Wow, I didn't think that I would have that much to say, most of the time I don't shut up.
Happy New Years everyone!!!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
So what have I been doing with my time. This.
The original floor, pretty new cork floor in there now.
Gotta love breaking down a wall of a 80 year old house. The things you find.
Still have more trim work to do but getting closer. Cupboards will get refaced at another time once the new cooktop and wall oven are in.
Of course I took this from a distance so you don't see all the dust. Lots of cleaning to do.
Won't be doing to much work today, long training day. I say that now.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Last night led to crazy winds, blowing snow with white outs and minus 15 and dropping. It's minus 23 currently at my place. So what does this number bring, the largest group we have had in a while. 10 and 2 dogs. It turned into a pretty good bush whack adventure. There were many questions on course of direction and a concern or two that we may be mildly lost. There are no out and backs on the same trail with this group.
Liz, yes death march Liz was leading the way and promised that we were fine. There were talks of who would be the first to be eaten. The problem of hanging around with a bunch of cyclist is that nobody has that body that is looking to be cooked. You never see a skinny athletic cow doing laps of the field or the trim fit pig that was using the feeding bins for hurdles. Nope, we like the fat ones. Maybe we need to invite a few new people into the group when there are talks of a long epic snowshoe, a slightly larger than average type person. You know just in case.
Once we knew that food would be a problem with in 5 minutes death march Liz pulled us out on to a main trail and low and behold there was our heading out tracks. Mouths dropped, there were gasps of aww and loud cheers everywhere. More so because she had been using the moon for navigation. Apparently no matter where the moon is it always leads west. Last night it was straight up. Next week I will be wearing my GPS and carrying my fillet knife. You know, just in case.
Update on the broken toe, yep still pretty sure it's broken. I'm very aware of it but it's not at that type of pain that sends you to the couch and loading up on drugs. I find it interesting on the level of pain that you start to just consider an irritation but for others would be crippling. My only caution right now leads to my very graceful and coordinated dog who sometimes has four left feet. She has been known to step on a few toes, namely mine.
The kitchen creation, I will now be under a little deadline to get things done. I'm having a New Years Eve party here and I would prefer not to have one section of the house looking like hell. I have a short workout for today on the bike so there should be some good quality time put in. The local building store is just a smiling when they see me coming. Pictures up tomorrow, some before and afters.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Opted to take the single speed because that same said ice conditions were on the in town roads and the 29er is the next best thing to studded tires. I'm finding that a 32-16 on the 29er is a perfect winter road riding gear ratio for endurance. Headed out on the service road towards Port Severn. I'd predetermined that I would try to ride fairly close to home and just venture down random roads to see where they go. I had no idea what I was in for.
The first 40 minutes of the ride were pretty sane, clear roads, snow/ice covered gravel roads etc. Nothing to spectacular. As I made my way down one random road which continued to get narrower the farther I got, it eventually turned into forced winter single track. You know the stuff, frozen car wheel trenches that you make sure you pick the right line or your pretty much screwed.
Eventually made my way to the first destination, Gloucester Pool is part of the Trent Severn water way which links up with my favorite ride, the Big Chute Loop. Not much in the line of boat traffic right now. I did get waved to by a snowmobiler though.
It's going to be a while before the ice is safe also, at least in this section. Being a dead end I didn't have much choice on the return trip. Pedalling along a thought popped into my head and a vision into my eyes. The snowmobiler, the snow mobile trial is just ahead. It could be better than the road or it could turn very bad. Of course I was not thinking about the bad side of things.
A few tips to snowmobile trail riding. Ride in the center of the the track not out where the skis were. packs the snow better. Look for the dirt spots, lots of grip. When riding in temperatures around the freezing mark stick to trails which are shaded. Open field sections soften up to much to ride and you will be pushing your bike instead of riding.
After those tips, lets just say that the ride was good, most of the trail was rideable and the swamp sections were frozen and ride able. Not much on the sled traffic which surprised me. I know where the first trail section I was on would meet up with the road, oh ya that is one more tip. Know where you should come out. After the successful ride of this area with only one hike a bike section I figured I might as well try the next section.
Things continued to stay smooth and I stopped for a quick drink right at the back side of the quarry.
Finished up this sections with no problems. So what is that quote, 3 times a charm or is it 3 strikes your out. Those apply is you some how mix them up in some twisted way. Headed out on the last planned section that heads to Coldwater. I should have know what I was in for when I looked at the start of the trail. Not as many tracks heading in, runs along the edge of the marsh from what I could see and it's in the open. Screw it got to try it.
Things were going questionably down hill as I pedalled along but then the hike a bike over puddle sections became more and more common. It was only a few inches deep but I was pretty much riding on frozen bulrushes. I few times my feet dropped down lower and lower into the snow. I should have got the hint but I kept trudging along. Then I hit this.
And my face gave the look of this!!!
No this picture was not taken in the same place on the ride but the expression was much more fitting now than earlier. I did start to attempt this section, until my foot went deep enough that I felt some water seep in. That's it turn around. I pretty much hammered this section as quick as possible. Now with a slightly wet foot which would turn into a slightly frozen shoes to a frozen foot, meant no screwing around. I was still minimum 30 minutes from home.
I was almost surprised that I wasn't all that far from the road, it felt much longer heading into the swamp. Hit the road and pretty much hammered as fast as a 32/16 would let me. Control of the zone was pretty much out of my mind at this point, frozen foot pain was what I was trying to avoid. I did stay aerobic though, can't spin my legs that fast to break that zone. Rolled through Coldwater and out on to highway 12 turning right. No Vasey line climb for me now.
20 minutes later I was turning back into Waubuahshene. My foot was just starting to feel a little unhappy. Surprisingly enough my time on the bike was exactly what Heather had me scheduled to do. The tear off of the footwear did not take long. I rubbed the curve on something going bad very quickly but it was a great adventure and beat riding the rollers anytime.
Now to top off the ride no more than 10 minutes later I was walking out of the living room with bike gear in hand and I ended up catching one of the Molly Monster's rawhide chews with my left foot. Ok, more specific with my left middle toe. It was in that perfect position that it caught the door jam and didn't move. I'm not a doctor but I'm feeling wonderful things this morning. Pretty sure I broke a bone in my toe.
I've done the icing twice and that wonderful thing of polysporin with pain killer is helping. After the first icing as I removed the pack I squeezed the toe. Ya I'm the type of guy that would pour salt in his own would just to check it out. Actually it wasn't hurting to bad but I did feel a little pop of a bone. Advil may come out also. Not much you can do about it. I'm able to walk with little irritation so hopefully that means I'll be skiing in a day or so. I don't think riding will be a problem. Why are dogs so good at pulling out all their toys but totally suck at putting things away when they are done?
Does coffee have magical healing powers???
Sunday, December 27, 2009
What I did find were things like this I have some work to do. Legs felt not bad and I think I did manage to burn off most of the food, wine and desert I ate the night before. One plate is good, second plate is better. Not sure what the plan will be for today but looks like the weather is a little more favourable for outside play.
Right now, more coffee, maybe a little more work on the kitchen
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
To make me feel a little better she was dragging her ass all day at the office. Apparently she was not even interested in doing her lunchtime walk. She was moving slowly. After my visit with the Dr. Bill to give me my pre Christmas break tune up, the thought of going snowshoeing was still very high. Molly was still moving slow after her 9th nap of the day, I gave her the question. Do you want to go. She gave me that look, then turned and hopped back up on the couch closest to the fire place, let out a grown and laid down. I guess that is a no.
Now what would snowshoeing be without the Molly Monster?? or xc skiing or any of the Monday Night Somethings. It just wouldn't be right. It's not that a gauge my training around my dog's energy level, if I did she would have blown me up so many times I'd probably still be crashed on the side of a trail somewhere but she is my favorite training partner. I thought about asking Bob (Bobke) the cat to see if he was willing to go. He looked up for half a second then went back to beating the shit out of my heart rate monitor strap. Cats and snowshoeing, just doesn't' seem to blend together.
My legs were still a little sore, the stair test reminded me of that, it was a tough physical work day so not much recovery time. I debated on still going but I also felt the energy level decreasing quickly and the thought of going into the cold dark night was becoming less appealing than trying to steal that spot that Molly has now nicely warmed up for me. I made my way towards the basement, past the xc skis, then the mountain bikes, then the road bikes, towards the snowshoes. Took a hard left into the wood room and headed up with another dead tree to light on fire. Rest day!!!
It's amazing how fast I can get that living room to sauna temperatures. I mid/late evening nap before bed told me that I made the right call. Legs are feeling better this morning, ready for the first set of drills on the bike to be done tonight. Molly will get another rest day today. The count down to the holiday break is on. Of course it's always the storm before the calm in the appliance world
Monday, December 21, 2009
My last day of freedom was spent outside with some slippery sticks attached to the feet. Grabbed my best $70 dollars I've spent in a while. A short wide pair of wax less Peletons skis that are perfect for bushwhacking. Keeps my good classics in, well good shape!
After a quick call in the morning and a lot of twisting an arm I convinced Andrew to not sit and stare blankly at a wall while riding the rollers. Of course the Molly Monster took zero influence to want to go, I think she has ESP.
Conditions were great, minus 5, it's amazing how much hiking traffic there has been in Copeland. Enough that skating to some, umm randomly track set and groomed trails is possible. We had other plans, 10 minutes in on the smooth wide double track we made a hard left into the what would normally be single track for bikes. The short skis paid for themselves as much as a short bus at my door.
There was some weak attempts at jumps and it's was a little comical watching two former alpine ski instructors crash on completely flat ground. There were random trees that just reached out and grabbed the skis, honest.
There were more random turns of lets see where that goes to more of I don't know where we are going but going up is good. Going up in Copeland usually hurts and off trail in foot deep crunchy snow made things even better. Molly was setting a blistering pace that we fought to keep up with.
One of the highlights of the ski was watching Watson attempt to be a freekier. Racing for Norco may have gone to his head, we all know how good is freeriding skills are (cough cough) and have watching him clear huge gaps on that carbon hardtail ( 6 inches). Well if I can do it on a cross country bike I bet I can do it on cross country skis.
Like the Red Bull bike comps I don't think the free skiing world needs to be worried.
2.5 hours of not on the trainer or rollers had me feeling a little tired. Great way to spend the morning. The new skis worked great, not as fast as my good classics but for what I wanted them for I couldn't ask for better. I did notice that the wax less grooves make weird noises on track set.
Time is running out so story is short, that dam work thing is getting in the way.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
A late afternoon decision I headed out on the single speed to clear my brain. I have to admit that it was probably the perfect bike to do it. One gear equals no shifting which equals even less thinking. It was a ride that led me down some random road. Another reason to not think and just pedal. Coming up to the shortest day of the year I did start running out of daylight and another I didn't think or plan so went out with no lights. Only an hour but sometimes that is all it takes. This was not a ride for my body but for my spirit.
Looks like Georgian Bay is freezing over quickly, hopefully will be able to get some miles in out there. From there it was on to watching some seasonal theme movies at Ben's. . What seems more Christmas like than Zombie movies? Not just any zombie movies but THE zombie movies. Nothing like watching the originals. Of course this led to a larger dialogue from the viewing crowd than the movie itself as we all tried to up one another with our rolling commentary. Let's just say that we are no SciFi 3000 but we were a close second. Another good scene Interesting comparison. Mall scenes from Dawn of the Dead pretty much looked like a mall scene now with people wandering around aimlessly.
Thanks to a some good friends I'm feeling a little happier. Happy enough that I'm thinking I'm going to play in the snow for a few hours this morning with the Molly Monster. Time to get a little more jacked up on coffee before I head out.
Thank you for the support everyone
Saturday, December 19, 2009
So what to do?? I'm starting to feel a bit better. It means resorting back to vitamins only, not a huge fan of taking any type of drug but Sudafed seemed to get me through that last couple days. Is this one of the many on the oh no list? It's not performance enhancing for me, it barely got me back up to almost normal enhancing which means about average.
So I'm going to jump off cycling topic for a few moments. I apologize in advance if I bring up a topic that you might not like. I'll be honest, Christmas has not really been an enjoyable time of year for me. I usually find myself in a bit of a grumpy mood, this all is centered around the death of my Father. The year that Dad was sick was very very hard on the family. Lot's of changes were made, some good some bad. In the end though the last couple days of his life were during Christmas. Everyday I go to work I get a reminder of my Dad, he did start the business and it's his name on the cards and work truck along with the amazing reputation he had. I do my very best everyday to live up to that name. I may own the business now but it's still Dad's company and always will be thought of that way.
With all the hustle and bustle of Christmas and after watching what my Dad went through sometimes I wonder if we have lost the true meaning of what Christmas is all about? It's not about getting the latest greatest things that we don't really need. It's supposed to be about family right? It's about the ones that can helping out the ones that can't. Every Christmas I am reminded of the unfortunate and how quickly it can happen. I watch a man (Dad) who had everything and could buy anything he wanted have it all taken away from him in the course of a year. A 56 year old self made man who was capable of just about anything turning into a man who had to be helped out with just about every task in life.
Look around and you will see lots of people in that position. It may not be a sickness or disease but as simple as poverty. It's been a tough year economically for many people, food bank and charity donations are down and needs are up. I'm not trying to preach or anything but maybe look outside yourself. Most of us in the cycling world are pretty good at giving back. What is $20 out of your life put in the Salvation Army's bucket or better yet go on a grocery shopping spree for the food bank. I think this is the last year that my family exchanges presents. I've suggested to Mom that next year we pool our money and raid the grocery store for the food bank. Just a reminder that the ones that can should be helping out the ones that can't. I went out last night. I'm sorry if I laid a guilt trip on anyone.
Back to my original thought. I've decided to do this ever year now and not shave and attempt to grow a beard close to what Dad's every December from now on. I will shave it off on December 27th, the day he passed away.
Miss you Dad.
Friday, December 18, 2009
I've been fighting a cold the last few days and it did finally get to the point that I knew I should spend some serious couch time, of course fresh snow new toys and needing to destress with the Christmas season upon us I needed to do some thing active. The combination of Christmas shopping, dealing with crazy customers who are now in panic about their stove not working for Christmas even though it broke a month ago and they just called now and then of course it's coming up to the 6th year since my Dad passed away. All this is probably why my cold developed, can you understand why I was out beating the crap out of my body. Helps to step away from the world even for 2 hours.
Well yesterday added to my can we just get the first part of this holiday done mindset when one of my 4 wheeled toys broke. Managed to get home from the ordeal and will be calling the mechanic today but of course Christmas means shut downs for all so repair time will be delayed.
So why did Karma do this? Or was it Santa? Am I on the naughty list for going shopping for myself yesterday? Was it my coach doing some mantra/meditation thing telling me to rest?? Who knows but like a bad bike race you need to figure out what when wrong, learn from it, fix the result and then move on and deal with the next thing that happens.
As for the cold, it's set in pretty much the same way it did before the Hardwood Fall 8 hour. Hmmm maybe I should be training really, really hard since it seems that I ride really well when I'm as sick physically as I am mentally. I'm not a happy person when I'm sick, I don't know many people who are, it's a good thing it doesn't happen very often and in most cases it's something I've done during the recovery time that allowed my immune system to weaken enough to catch something. Yep, self inflicted just like a hangover. What ever I did must have been fun and now I'm paying for it.
On a high note I did test my light when I got home in the driveway. It works well. Really well and I would recommend it to anyone who likes to actually see what you are doing. I'll see what comes of the weekend. It's still endurance hours for a while. Lots of options depending on how I feel.
I'm done rambling, whining, bitching, complaining, sulking. Well at least for today. More tomorrow.
Oh, random thought. Sounds like Watson better start getting his creative writing skills going because like most Toronto Maple Leaf fans they jump off the band wagon really quick when they are sucking out. Welcome new readers to the steady and consistent team!!!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
A few of the events will include the sprints, timed over a small driveway. Hurdles, same small driveway but with randomly placed frozen objects that must be avoid or the chance of auger jam could occur. Of course this is also a spectacular event when objects are shred and spread if the competitor nails the perfect line. There will also be the artistic events, pretty self explanatory but these will not be highlighted to much. Back to the real events. The big draw and this is the one I'll be going for, the Marathon. With my driveway I'll be ready for sure as I managed to take 5 minutes off my PBR last night, the snow was light. Yep, I love Canadian winters.
I did do some cross training last night with 2 hours on the rollers watching the extras of Offroad to Athens. The girl was unable to play last night so I was riding alone with my thoughts, ya see what happens when my mind gets to wander. Heather has not cracked the whip on me yet with some intervals but I did play a little ladder game up into some tempo work. The good thing is that I'm not wanting to tear my hair out while riding indoors. 2 hours and I mentally could handle more, this is an important thing at this point with the long snowy months to come. I'll be honest, you probably won't hear about me skiing for 4-5 hours straight any time this winter, I don't like skiing THAT much.
The highlight of the ride?? I crashed!!! Screwing around not paying attention I turned my upper body way to far to reach for a towel and my bike decided to drift a little bit the other direction. I didn't go down but the bike did. Let's just say that I was happy to be able to get out of the pedals quickly.
This is not the first time I've crashed on the rollers. A couple years ago I went down hard. I had the projector and big screen out and was watching an Everest documentary while riding. As they panned across the mountain my eyes followed, then my head, then my body. Of course that was all it took to send the bike off the edge of the rollers. Unable to catch my balance and get clipped out I fell into the couch with an outreached left arm. A sprained wrist was the result of that crash. I no longer watch the huge screen, currently in the sun room I have a 18 monitor which is perfect for keeping me looking forward.
Just heard the news, another 30cm of snow today, looks like another training day. I need to be ready for the Olympic qualifier. I've heard rumours that the Jamaicans are putting a team together, we all know what happen the last time that happened.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The bike rules are easy, single speeds or cross bikes, one hour ride, rain or shine or hail or global warming. there is no warm up there is no cool down. The pace is sane, there is no shame in walking hills(this is usually after race days) and lots of immature trash talk.
Now the snowshoe rules. The weather rule is pretty much the same unless there is a strong chance of death if driving to the destination, that is a get out of jail pass. Equipment, snowshoes!! duh!! Headlamps are optional but are recommended as Tristan found out last night. The pace of the hike, low!!! and usually with lots of random stops and which way should we go from here type comments. There is never any fear of getting lost because Andrew has a compass, gps, map, telescope, star map, and takes photographs every ten feet just in case the trail of bread crumbs doesn't work.
It's kept pretty simple since this is supposed to be a non training day/recovery what ever. Well, what happened last night??? The pace was driven up high, to the point that my heart rate monitor actually considered this a workout. There wasn't much snow and I wasn't feeling tired. The pace was noticed not only by I so I didn't think it was just my poor excuse of fitness. I wasn't at the front setting the pace, hell even the Molly Monster was working hard. So what happened, who is responsible?
Hey LIZ!!!! Slow down!!!! That's right Liz was on a mission to put some hurt in the boys. This is not the first time that a woman has come into the group and altered the MNS plan. The last attempt was done by a rider who wanted to warm up and cool down. That is not allowed, ever! The next day an anonymous email was sent to her coach. The following week things were back to normal. Well what will happen this time. Well I looked back in time to try and get advice on how to deal with this. I came up with this answer
My vote goes to Jacob for president since it was his girlfriend. Now, I'm not saying that it's bad to have woman out to play, I'll be out playing with mine in the snow tonight hopefully and the ones that come out have a pretty sick sense of humour. It did give us someone to throw snowballs at, she ramped up the pace again once that happened. They just need to play by the rules. Since we have to play by women's rules the rest of the time in life during the MNS it's our time. Let's see what happens next week.
Back at it today, ski, bike, snowshoe? Something will happen. Later
Monday, December 14, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Out of curiosity I put on my heart rate monitor, why??? Because I'm such a numbers geek and wanted to see if this would be good enough for my workout today. Of course I would still want to do something fun after lugging wood around. It was also going to give me a chance to test my new traction thing a ma bobs for my favorite outdoor grunt work boots.
Lets just say that it was the best $13 dollars I've ever spent. Lots of grip, no extra weight etc. So two hours later I was feeling very Grizzly Adams/Davey Crocketish. I felt so bushman like that I thought I could kill Bambi with my bare hands, ok maybe not Bambi. Who am I kidding, I have a hard time killing a six pack of beer now let alone some cute wild animal. I did learn that moving and stacking a cord of firewood is only considered active recovery according to my stupid little tracking device.
Work done, driveway clear, one wired dog looking at me saying WTF, I loaded up the classic skis in the car and headed to my other backyard. I haven't been to Copeland since the snow dropped and was a little excited, so was the Molly Monster. Conditions were a little tough to setup grip wax since there was some tracks already cut and being around the freezing mark and sunny meant a mix of snow. Honestly I didn't care if I had grip or not, the weather was amazing. It's been awhile since the sun has been out like it was and I was going to play.
I know Copeland really well by single track bike directions but by double track it was a different experience. This was a good thing because the plan is to ski here at night a lot this winter. It's a 9 minute drive from my house, why wouldn't I. Of course I may accidentally come across some great groomed track set if I continue in certain directions.
Making some of my own tracks.
At your own risk?? Well I'm such a risky guy that I had to see what the concern was all about.
The risk?? The sun, it must have been the sun and possible snow blindness. I'll take that risk.
Remember that puddle that Dan sent us through twice during the first Marathon race? yep I had to ski through that puddle. I also got on to some single track sections that were apparently still controversial on being to wet for people to ride through. Funny thing about that. It was still wet with the snow on it, I guess I'm a bastard for skiing through it.
Finished up with 2 hours of kick and glide and I stayed aerobic the whole time!!! I'll spend a few more weeks on the classics building my base before jumping on the skate skis again. Well that is the plan. I felt great afterwards and still had a smile on my face from all the Vitamin D I soaked in. The Molly Monster was all happy too and is still crashed on the couch with not to much motivation to get off.
The plan for the day? Still debating on that one, check back tomorrow to find out if the excitement continues.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
It's another weekend of endurance training so what do I do? Ski, it would most definitely be classic as I'm still feeling the mild abuse of Thursday. Snowshoe, there is more than ample enough snow now in the area to actually need them. The last thought is to get out on the bike. I'm sure I'll put the wheels to the snow once this weekend.
My area and just north of here have been getting pummelled with snow and crazy winds the last couple days. There is an imaginary line that the snow just seems to stop about 15 minute drive south of here. Last night they had the 400 north shut down right at the off ramp to my town. This is a major road and I have never ever seen so many transport trucks lined up in one place. Up and down both sides of highway 12. If there was a stretch of pavement that a truck and trailer could fit there was one there. Winter came in in a hurry. Things are looking a little nicer out there this morning as I suck back my second cup of coffee, that could change on the third cup.
Side note. Watson is talking a bunch of smack about the dogs and called the Molly Monster a wimp. She is actually a drama queen and only has a fear of inanimate objects. BUT!!! at least she doesn't need help getting over fallen trees. Another dog I know needs help to get around those trees, oops I meant fallen tree limbs, oh wait now the truth fallen twigs that are half buried in the ground.
Photos and fun to come. Should be a good weekend of training.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
It was the perfect packing snow, this also meant a good workout even snow blowing. This is also the best base layer snow for xc skiing. HMMM, well I've opted to take today off from work. Why, just because. HMMM, I think Hardwood Ski and Bike may be open. A quick text to the coach who has someone on the inside confirmed my thought. HMMM, I think it would be fun to get out on my slippery sticks for a couple km. After an hour of core work I was heading down in the dungeon.
The slippery sticks were both needing the storage wax taken off and a good base cleaning. Of course when you are waxing anything, including your legs you need to have some good entertainment. Last nights choice, the classic. Spaceballs the Movie. We all know who the real Dark Helmet is don't we.
Base binder prep for the classics. I've learned that you can B.S. your way with wax on skate skis but classic waxing is an art that I am slowly learning. The prep work etc must be done or you are spending more time putting grip waxing on than you are wearing it off.
A nice purple/pink mix of glide wax for the Skates. Should be a safe call for the month of December looking at the forecast. Spend more time brushing my skis than my hair in the winter. I love toques!!! Went more purple on the Classics.
A short time later and I'm ready for the long haul. Of course I have a big pile of wax shavings on the ground. Cleaning bikes leaves dirt, tuning skis leaves wax, back country hiking leaves mud maybe I need to take up a clean sport like knitting or lawn bowling.
If my plan holds together I'll get out this morning to play. I'm avoiding that vomit machine today at all costs.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
The road bike was all set up, I looked at it, I sulked, I grabbed a movie and headed into the cold room of hell. My sunroom is actually awesome when there is sun but at this time of the year it's become the best training room. I had to wear knee warmers and a sweatshirt for the warm up. Luckily the classic Quicksilver was just long enough to make my training time needed.
So the comparison, outdoor winter riding versus indoor trainer time. It's that time of year and I know I'm not the only one who will do these debates.
The prep before the ride. The trainer side first. Clothing is pretty much the same as what you wear outside in the summer. No big deal, no worries on wearing team colours and a matching kit. Helmet not fully recommended but is an option. As for outside time. Making sure you have the RIGHT amount of clothing on. To much and you feel comfy in the beginning then blow up from overheating. To little and you freeze the your boys off and hate ever minute of being out there. Of course the fashion guru's know that you still must look good when out there so matching kit is important. Don't forget the feet and hands side also. Cold toes and fingers just plain suck. Overall prep time, indoor definitely has the time advantage on this. Many times you get that child hood flashback of getting all dressed up in seventeen layers of clothing and then having to go to the washroom.
The bike, Setup, clean up etc no questions asked the trainer gets the win on this one. My road bike is on it's winter perch of the vomit machine. All I need to do is plug it in. After the ride a quick clean of the floor and the top tube and I'm done. Outdoors, well that's another story, especially depending on road conditions. Salt, sand, snow, etc are great for keeping your time around your bike stand up. That indoor bike wash gets plenty of use. You can spend as much time cleaning the bike after a ride than the ride itself, of course beer helps this. Oh and don't forget about lights.
The workout : This is a split decision, there are NO hills on the trainer. This can be looked at two ways, going up and coming down. As much as I can increase the wattage on the trainer and it can hurt like hell I have yet to ever ride any trainer that feeling like you are going up hill. There is also the visual side of it, seeing that the hill is that long and you are only a quarter way up can never be produced on the trainer. Of course the other side is the downhills, the only way to coast on a trainer?? Stop pedalling!!! Not a great idea though of course the perk is that there are also no stop signs, stupid drivers, bumpy roads, etc to worry about. you can setup a long tempo and not worry about an intersection. Easier to set a zone and stay there.
Of course the scenery never changes, movies and a surround system will only get you so far compared to trees and rocks and roads always changing. I like new visuals, I'd lean a little more to the outside for this one. Cycling is an outdoor sport.
Recovery, cleanup, nutrition and everything I missed etc. Ya this is always the fun one. On the trainer you don't need to worry about nutrition, I'm only 20 feet from the kitchen. The concerns of bonking an hour from home never happens. Same with mechanical, I've never blown a chain or tire on the trainer. If I did still not worried. Clean up, yep the bike is fine, not leaving a mess of winter riding wear in the basement that now needs washing, etc etc. Advantage to the trainer again.
So what wins, outdoor riding. As much as my efficiency junkie attitude loves crunching the numbers and shows all the time saved by riding the trainer I would still much rather be outside. You can not compare the two. The feeling of cold crisp air freezing the tail end of that snot rocket to your nose. The sensation of the bike sliding a little on random ice sections. The look on peoples faces as they drive past you in there cars with the heater cranked up thinking look at that nut.
After my two hours of boredom I did the much needed work on the bike, it's ready for the next workout, I'll prolong the vomit machine as long as I can.
Oh and on the snow front, yes we have it, no other places do not. yes I will be getting the skis ready this week. Soon, very soon
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Easy way to classify things. Well I thought about going with the categories of Fast people and Funny people. The thought of the guys versus the girls came to mind of course along with shirts and skins but I'm pretty sure Emily and Tanya may have a comment or two about going topless for their profile pictures. I also would have to start billing $4.99 for the first minute. There was the World Cup/Ocup group and the endurance group but there were to many crossovers.
In the end I felt that I was putting labels on people, huge nameplates that may or may not be true so I came to the final decision of two groups. The Canadians with good stories and people that want to be Canadians with good stories. Stephen Colbert may be going after our speed skating team but I'm going to attempt to steal a few riders and bring them to the land of beavertails and igloos. All this to make your life just a little better. You may notice a few more names now also in both categories.
On the training excitement side of things I opted to skip the MNS ride. Looking at the forecast I think there will be one more and it will have more than 12 snowflakes on the ground in Midhurst. It may even look close to my 3 inch thick white yard. Instead I did some quality time with the Molly Monster with a hike in Scout Valley. I was feeling a little guilty of the long rides on the weekend and her not getting a good run. I also need to get her lazy couch sleeping ass in shape for the up coming snowshoe season and doing a crazy intensity run behind a bunch of bikes is not the best way for a 6 year old dog.
It was a nice 1.5 hour hike on snow covered trails. Lights, don't need no stinkin lights . Happy dog and a happy me. It could be the first snow covered road ride tonight, we will see what comes after work.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Lots of excitement and we really haven't even started riding yet. Tristan, running a little late rolled in, quick talks and we were off. Mental projection is supposed to work, I tried to think warm, it wasn't happening today. Now the first few hills did a better job. Gravel concessions are always a good way to get the body warm.
Made our way south before jumping on the rail trail, not the pretty paved one that I'm used to at the bottom of my yard but pretty dam close with packed limestone, Lots of 3 up riding and talking at this point. A few more lefts and rights and we were at the north end of Coulsen Hill. Before we hit the single track we stopped and watched in complete aww.
Tristan is known for his ability to put the power down, he is also known for his bike handling ability. I use that term loosely. The ability to keep the bike smooth and straight is not a strength, UNLESS he rides on something that has absolutely zero traction and was know way strong enough to hold his weight.
Let's just say that I'm still in aww. He even went across in a perfectly straight line and had the evidence in the ice to prove it. Check out the video of this on Andrew's blog. Of course we made our way into the single track and old Tristan came back to life. For me I found some interesting times in there having to back pedal a little because my foot would get hung up on the wrong side of the fender if I hadn't
We continued south back on some pavement before the next off road adventure kicked in. It was a nice change riding on roads I've never been on and mixing it up with a little off road. Into another park area where there were a few on the edge decent, clay mud and slicks equals a lot of drifting.
A quick break, it's interesting on how often breaks to pee happen in the cold weather.
Nice area to hang out.
We started the return trip north. Watson is complaining that I didn't pull. My thought, I'm the old guy today and you ride faster than I do. Does that equal things out. I will say that I was a little cautious on my output during the later part of the ride. I could feel a little weakness coming on during a couple climbs. I was trying to ride in control and getting up front would not have been a great idea. Oh and for the most part we road side by side most of the ride unless the amount of cars on the road would alter that.
We made a quick stop at Tim Hortons. Coffee, not theirs, sorry tastes like crap but the hot chocolate and the peanut butter cookies were very very good. Slightly refueled we headed back up the rail trail towards Barrie. Way in the distance we saw a cyclist. Are racer mindset has the three of us picking up the pace to catch the distant rider. A few efforts and we finally caught up, it took longer than we thought and we worked harder than we thought. Once we passed the mystery hammer time rider we realized it was a middle aged woman on a mountain bike who basically put the hurt into the three of us while she wobbled and bounced around as she pushed the hard gear. I started to think about taking up a new sport. Watson was beyond words all I heard was a few really deep breaths. I think it was because his head was hanging a little low and he could hardly breath. I bet he was thinking that the UCI would want to urine test her!!! It was a little humbling.
Heading into the final stretch Andrew had this crazy notion to try some crazy steep climb. It's a great way to cool down I opted to walk at the mid way point. I did shoulder the bike and run a bit when I saw the camera come out trying to show off my world class cross skills. Once the camera was away I pretty much came to a stop.
Tristan and Andrew battled it out on the climb before they both cracked. Spun back to the house and finished the ride the right way with a beer and some stories. A few random things talked about during and after the ride. Winter training, next seasons events, who is doing what, entry fees and prizes, what o cup division I'm going to race in next season, where to ski, who is slacking off etc. In the end it was a great day.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
8th line is a great place to first time ride at night, not a lot of climbing, not to technical etc etc. A little adjustment of the NRS with some flat pedals added and we headed out. This also gave me a chance to ride my 29er which has been sitting for way to long. We cruised around for just over an hour, the one thing I did make a mistake about on the ride. I forgot that my intensity would be way down which meant my extremities would get cold a little quicker.
When is the last time you have ever felt the cold in a body part that made you sick to your stomach? For me it's been a long time but it brought back memories of teaching and coaching alpine skiing. Our wonderful high density plastic race boots that were so tight and had such a thin liner that keeping your feet warm was almost impossible if you were just standing on the hill for hours on end. I do remember one time where I was ready to break my ankle just to get my foot out of those rock hard minus 30 frozen boots because of the pain. Well that is almost how my fingers felt last night near the end of the ride. Why was I not that smart to wear warmer gloves. Because I was nice and let her use them.
Besides that is was a great way to start a weekend of mental de stress, lots of riding to be done. There has been a full moon which did seem to make sense on why and what was happening. After this week I came up with this thought. The human species is the only species that doesn't let natural selection do it's thing by killing of the weak and Stupid.
Off for a ride.
Friday, December 4, 2009
It was one of those evening that I would have been forced on the trainer because it was just beyond what I will suffer through at this time of the year. A couple degrees above freezing, steady drizzle, dark. You know, absolute crap. Heather always makes it fun.
A mix of atv trails and then gravel roads before we hit the edge of Hardwood's property. Made the hike a little more interesting by taking some single track. Coffee Run is still one of my favorite sections and is always used at the Canada Cup. Walking it did give you a totally different look at the lines including a new one that I will have to watch and see if they tape it off. Lets just say that it's always faster to go straight than to turn around a tree.
Just over two hours of one foot in front of another and we were done. I did find out that this type of workout will not get my heart rate up. Now the bonus side of it was it did seem to help out my hip flexors and did give me a break off the bike.
Looks like the weekend is ramping up with lots of riding so this was probably a good thing. They are predicting snow all weekend and next week. I'll be interested to see if my setup from yesterday will stop it. I will be getting the skis ready though. Hardwood is looking at making snow this weekend.
I'll be watching
Thursday, December 3, 2009
It was an off the bike night, spent the time being productive though. After nearly 2 hours of yoga I was feeling pretty good afterwards. I've been having a few hip flexor problems the last couple weeks but they are starting to get back under control. One of those strange things that always happens at this time of the year. The time when you start to pick up the training but also forget how much time is spent doing recovery and forget to incorporate that in the day. Ya, it was self inflicted.
It was then down in the dungeon (basement) to get the road bike cleaned up after that wonderful Sunday ride on it. I looked at old faithful and said sorry as I pulled the pretty deep dish wheel off the back and could hear a small whimper as that ugly heavy wheel approached. One gear only on a wheel that I swear almost weighs as much at the bike. Why one gear, well that wattage trainer works way to well that shifting is useless, I have the 39 for the lower warm up wattage of under 180 and then that 53 for everything else. No point on wasting a cassette.
Old faithful looked at me again with that look saying WHY????? as I strapped her to the vomit machine where she will sit for the winter. Sorry. I then walked away to get my other setup ready for the snow. My 29er which has been collecting an excessive amount of dust and needing a little tlc. A few minor adjustments and it's ready for the snow. For those days when I feel the cross bike may be a little to sketchy to ride. Those 2 foot snow dumps etc, arg the thoughts of that.
So the master plan of all this stuff. The last time I put the road bike on the trainer, about 3 weeks ago all thoughts of snow went out the window. To add one more wrench in the spokes, my snow blower is up and ready to roll also. Winter can come and I'm ready, Give me your best shot. Maybe I should take it one more step beyond and get the storage wax of the skate and classic skis and pull the snowshoes off the wall. Poke, poke poke, Mother Nature.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
My ride yesterday was more to clear my mind than for fitness. Things have been a little stressful the last few days at work. Some interesting things happened and are now dealt with. Things that needed to be dealt with but are very mentally exhausting. I have one more of them left today and then it's hopefully back to smooth for a year. There always seems to be an ebon flow of good smooth times and then the odd problem. I guess it's that time.
Not to sound all down here are a couple new places for you to visit. Sam is just a strung out kid who rides fast. Erick for those in the Canadian scene is one of the big threats in 24 hour racing. Nice guy at that.
Time for work.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
The last few days have been good though in the prep for the inevitable. I got a few rides in that will keep me smiling even if I am stuck on the vomit machine. Most of the outside house stuff that needed to be done have been dealt with. My snow blower is being a little stubborn but it's at least in the shop where it's dry and warmish.
Last major project is to set up the trainer in it's permanent winter location. If I do it and put the road bike on it everything will melt. Movie collection is huge for the winter which hopefully will make the time go by smoother. Still sticking to my guns about riding outside as much as possible.
No control of it might as well get ready for it. I will say, it does look really pretty out there.