Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Training; A Reality

Well, it's happened. I've been 'thinking about training' for a long time, and for a while I was 'probably going to train'. Now I've started what I have nicknamed 'actual training'! I got together with Jon Royal, who's got many years of competitive cycling under his belt, and he put together my slackers' training plan. He's said it's the least hours per week someone can put in to be competitive on the (cyclocross) 1/2 level. Yesss! I'm not expecting to be amazing, but I'm thinking I've be able to improve just a little.

I'll be peaking twice- once for a WORS race of Jon's choosing (He knows better than I) and then for the CX State Champs, because it seems a natural goal. Overall, the emphasis is going to be on cross, because I think it's my best shot and I'm most into it. I'm not experienced enough to do great things in road racing. The WEMS series is fun, but I've never really wanted to be 'competitive' in it- it's just a good time and more about personal goals than racing to me. I do, however, want to see how I measure up in the WORS series, because I'm curious. I wanted to test my MTB skillz this past season, but never got around to it.

So, actually training hasn't been too bad. It's hard to get used to the idea that I need to set aside time every day to do physical activity. I mean, just the idea of setting aside that chunk of time every day. I think it'll get to be natural in a few weeks. After all, the five hours of commuting per day to SRAM got to be normal, so I think it can't be that hard to acclimate to this. The other thing is, Cale and I aren't huge social people. I've got the time to devote.

Below is what I've been doing lately. For your sake, I probably won't post all of this stuff up again, but it gives you an idea of the base building workouts I'm doing right now.

30 or 35 minutes of running. Started out quick then slowed down. I think my legs weren't warm enough, because I stretched beforehand but my legs were tight the whole time and there was immediate stiffness after the run.

At least 1.5 hrs of biking on the river trails. Conditions were very icy and going was slow b/c of a lot of downed trees and ice chunks. I turned around at Capitol & took the bike path just before the half pipe. Still sore from running yesterday.

I did four sets in an easy gear with very little resistance, because I am terrible at these drills. [Sets of one-legged drills to smooth out cadence.] I got peeved b/c the saddle was very uncomfortable. I got off the bike and did a cardio kickboxing session for 30 min. Still sore from running.

Did a few 20 min workout videos, then the same 30 min cardio kickboxing video. Learned I can't do any videos that requre more than two moves combined, or keeping a beat. Not uncomfortably sore today, but noticable.

[Rest day]

Got a powertap at the swap and couldn't resist it, so spent some time on the trainer. [Was supposed to cross train.] Went at moderate pace, 80 rpm for 1 hour, 30 min. Average watts a little over 100.

2:00:03 on the trainer at 80 rpm, average watts 98. Took several 5 min breaks (not included in total time) to get off the saddle. Found a good saddle at Veloswap, but sit bone meat was sore from yesterday.

45 minutes! Gave myself blisters, but uneventful beides. Took it at an easy pace. Lower legs were a little stiff after, but the next morning were back to normal.

Went skate skiing at Lapham Peak for about an hour. [Was scheduled for snow biking] Very, very cold. Next morning my knees were a little stiff, but not bad at all.

I saw scheduled for cross training today, but I woke up with the worst stiff neck. It was actually pretty scary- the right side of my neck had stabbing pain with any movement of my arms or head. It's gotten a little better. Thank God I work on the computer and don't need a full range of motion to click a mouse. I'm going to let it rest for a few days and then get back into it. It's unfortunate- I was scheduled for a max HR stress text tomorrow with Jon, but I'm probably not going to be up for it.

Anyhow, that's what's been up with me. Here are some photos of the fun training I've been doing so far. First up is a picture snow biking with Pete on Tuesday. The trails were veeerrry icy, and there were mini glaciers from the river covering many parts of the trail.

On Friday we went to the bike swap in Madison, where Cale found a powertap for a steal. Here I am, working the table after getting exhausted by deal searching.

This is one of my favorite photos. Such exquisite composition.

Last night was skate skiing. Jeff did a bang-up job of teaching me how to manage the danged contraptions, but the blisters on my feet from running protested after a while. That, and it was freezing. Or rather, way below freezing.

There were ice crystals all over us from sweat being wicked to the outside of our clothes. The most impressive, if I do say so myself, were the ones that formed from my breath on my hair.

But on the other hand, why do I have ice whiskers!? I was kind of alarmed to find that there were hairs on my chin-y-chin-chin that were long enough to form ice. Well, it was cold out, and my skin was cold enough to form ice right up next to! And... I dunno. Let me recover from the shock for a few days, alright? How did I become the librarian with the bad breath and mustache so early on in life?

I also love how the out-of-doors activities photos look. Cold as heck, unforgiving and dark, like we Wisconsinites live like some kind of arctic moles for the winter months, getting around by feel in the frigid darkness. And that we're smiling like nothing's wrong! Gotta love it.

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