Saturday, March 28, 2009

The new whip

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Goings On

Haven't updated in a while. Every day, I open up this "new post" window and start to write and then something happens, I get busy and by the time I look at it again its 6:30 pm and time to go home. Once home, its Elora time and then dinner and bed. Get up, ride, do it again. You know the drill.

Anywho, here's what's going on:

This week marks 13 years with my dog Jasper. I got him from Anti Cruelty in March 1996. The vet said he was a year or so old when I got him, that makes him at least 14, 98 to you and me. He has lost a step, more so recently. Like any old dog, he sleeps more than not. And he can't hear very well anymore, but he still comes running when I grab the leash.

Training is going well. I decided that I'm going to race more than just cross this year. Cross will still be my focus and goal, but I think more racing will make me faster for cross season. The only way for me to do it is to pre-register though, otherwise I'll just procrastinate. So, In February, I registered for Hillsboro. My request to upgrade to the 4s was denied because I didn't have 10 starts. Racing one 22 mile lap didn't seem worth it, so I registered for the 40+. 66 miles, basically a Judson, but at race pace and with climbs and from what I have heard sketchier roads. I have no misconceptions. I'm just going to do it, and as long as I don't flat etc., finish the race, regardless of where I place. Alot of people are going, so it should be fun.

Since I put this race on my schedule, Brian has definitely stepped up the workouts, now giving me some high end, all out, really short effort stuff mixed in with the tempo/endurance stuff. I feel good.

Caught the 5:30 a.m. ride on Tuesday for 35 miles of devastation. Only 6 of us, but I ended up with the highest 60 minutes power average ever, including all of 2008. That's pretty cool. It was in the upper 40s, light wind, pitch black. I was having so much fun, it almost felt like we were doing something illegal!

That's it. Enjoy whatever nice weather we get in next few days.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

How do the numbers look?

The main reason I like having a coach is that it gives me focus and motivation. I need focus now when my week day rides are inside on the trainer. Before training with a coach, I would try to structure my indoor rides, but frequently ended up just sleeping in, enjoying the dark mornings in bed. Now, I have something to look forward to as each workout is focused, with alot more than just "get up and ride."

All of this indoor training can be grueling. Everyone knows it can be hard to get motivated to get up and ride, but then I get an e-mail from Brian that says "Keep it up, great weekend... the work is working."

And that's precisely what this time of year is about: work. The hours spent now lay the foundation for the work to be done in June and July which lays the foundation for cross season.

I did my second test of the season this morning. 20 long minutes. If you've done one of these, you know you don't look forward to it. It's just a necessary evil. Its something you have to do. You test to see where your at and then readjust the targets for each workout based on that test. Just testing well doesn't necessarily mean anything. I could test well, have good numbers and still race like crap come September. But a test is the only objective means of measuring fitness and improvement.

I approached this one a bit differently than previous tests. Usually I go out hard for the first 5 minutes on an adrenalin rush, hoping I can hold a high number, but inevitably, I lose that higher power number and end up struggling towards the end. This time, I controlled myself. I set a number that I was pretty sure I could hold for 5 minutes and stuck to it, then each 5 minutes I raised it and held that new number and then raised it again. Its weird, but I felt great. Sure at the end of the test there is the dry heave of absolute effort, but when you hit "SET" to stop the interval and you see the average, there can be only 2 results and today it was good. My result today INSIDE was just below where I was at in June of 2008 OUTSIDE.

So thanks Brian. Thanks for keeping me motivated and focused

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Brunch Guest

After my ride (I finished the 2 hours) I looked out our kitchen window and this is what I saw...

Eating a freshly killed pigeon. I saw this bird a week or so ago, flying over head. Pretty sure it is a female Northern Harrier. Yes, I have a bird book. It comes in handy when you're out west camping and hiking.

Goal: 2 hours on trainer

After a miserable 2nd half of judson yesterday, this is the view from the trainer. BC's only instructions for the day: outside if you can, if indoors as long as you can. We'll see.

I'm only 17 minutes in.

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