Monday, January 9, 2012

Week 1 and done

I know I said 50 miles a week, but I put in a hard 47 miles.

Ride 1: BuRP 15 miles
Ride 2: SMP 12 miles
Ride 3: Trainer town, 20.x miles

Trainer miles aren't that hard, but I must have been tired because I only averaged 15mph on the trainer.  Or maybe I'm just weak.  Probably weak.

Saturday I was able to squeeze in a couple hour MTB ride out at Shawnee Mission Park.  It was fantastic.  I remembered why I thought SMP was so rocky, because it is.  It doesn't have a lot of larger rock features that the more tech trails at BuRP have, it's just relentless rocks that you have to power through.  I just kept turning my pedals over and it seemed to work pretty good.

I can't believe how much technical skill I've lost since I used to race MTB.  I was thinking about that while I was riding, and the thought that maybe I am remembering my skill more favorably than it actually was occurred to me.  I smirked to myself, and thought, "yea, that's probably it".

I'm sure not fast, but my fitness is very meh right now, and my skill is at about the same level.  I'm loving riding though.  I always have, and always will.

I was thinking of a ratio to ascribe to off-road riding and running mileage.  Both are clearly more difficult than road cycling, at least as far as getting miles in.  I thought a 2:1 ratio for MTB mileage, and perhaps a 4:1 ratio for running.  That's probably a bit conservative, because I know how trashed I'd be after a 25-mile MTB ride is way more painful than a 50-mile road ride.  I think I'd be crawling at the end of a 12.5 mile run!

Nevertheless, I thought I'd get on the trainer last night, and try and use my new Toshiba Thrive to stream YouTube over HDMI to my trainer TV.  I quickly remembered that since the TV is old, it only has a DVI connection.  DVI is video only, so then I tried running a headphone to RCA y-cable to the audio inputs, but the Thrive wouldn't send the video down HDMI-DVI and then the audio out the headphone jack.  So I scrapped the whole thing, and set up a little table in front of my bike, put the Thrive on it, and then listened to it over headphones.  It worked pretty good, although disappointed to watch on a 10" screen vs a 50" screen.  (

I watched the NBC 2010 Ironman World Championship, which is 1:30, and I was ready to be off that basement-torture device by then.  I just did a steady grind, 80rpm cadence, and thought that was a decent session.  Between now and the end of March is nothing but base miles.  No specific interval sessions, but that doesn't mean I can't ride up hills hard or whatever to break up the monotony.  I can't imagine using the 34T front ring everywhere I go.  Ack.

I went ahead and swapped my road stem back on to get my Blue bike out of cross mode, and still need to swap on the 50T front ring.  I think I'll race out at the Dam again, and at the Tour of KC and Lawrence.  Otherwise, probably a few MTB races and then cross again.  At least that's what I'm thinking.  We'll see how things go.  I think some 3 hour "enduro" races would be fun too.  Maybe even a trail run race would be cool.  Or the Lawrence off-road duathlon.  Yea, I got a few ideas.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Taco Tuesday ride

Ride #1 of the 2012 happened last night out at BuRP (Blue River Parkway).  I got out of work a touch early to pick up some riding gloves from my mother-in-law (THANK YOU!) and got in some miles before meeting up with the rest of the group behind the Sand Trap at 6pm.

I usually ride some of the harder trails like the "wagon wheel" since my tech skills are so poor.  I figure if I can be decent at those trails, anything less should be cake.  At least I hope so.  I managed to completely flip over the bars after getting into a deep rutted downhill and trying (unsuccessfully) to get out of it.  Thankfully I'm a good crasher so I just got a little dirty and was able to laugh for a bit about it.

When all met up a 6, we headed over the section of trails that are further north than I go.  I just didn't quite know where to find them, although I rode them about a decade ago.  The trails up there are super fun, and pretty tech too, so I had quite a bit of walking.  It was at night, so I got to use my new trail light, a MagicShine 808-E.  It worked great, but I seemed to be having some balance problems, maybe that was due to it being night.  I've never felt like that before, but hopefully it's a one-time occurrence.

At some point up on Highline I got lost from the group.  I ended up taking a wrong turn on to Blue River Parkway (the road), and then decided to back track and climb back up the hill.  I'm not sure how I got separated, but fortunately after hustling back, one of the guys we were riding with, Travis from Bike Source, backtracked into me.  Some of the guys were getting a little beat, so I think they appreciated the break although I apologized for pulling some rookie stuff like that.  Happens to everyone at some point...

Travis was also kind enough to check out my cassette that had a gear or two slipping under load, and he was able to ascertain that I need a new cassette.  That is what I was starting to think, and a little bummed about having to shell out more dough, but this isn't a cheap sport.  And to think I started riding to save money because golf was too expensive in college.  Ha!

I ended up riding for almost 2:45, which was great.  I was pretty tired at the end, and starting to get kind of sloppy.  Probably a good thing we stopped when we did, before someone (like me) got hurt.

Hopefully I can find some time this weekend to head back out there since the trails were in nearly perfect shape.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

1 month's worth of posting

Did you know the world was flat?  I fell off the edge, that's how I know.

I left you wondering how things went at the State Championship, and let's just say it sucked.  The whole weekend sucked.  Friday was my 35th birthday, and it didn't go so hot.  AB had pink eye, Kieran impacted one of his teeth, my back issues persisted so I didn't get to race, I few other things occurred that just weren't as hoped for.  So that just kinda stunk.  Badly. 

So once that disappointment was over,  I decided to hang it up for the race season. Two CX races in 2011 was not what I had hoped for.  I really just spent too much time off the bike to make it worth going out there and getting flogged for 50 minutes and $25.  I had a plan coming into the year, and it got all messed up once I applied the rest of the family's schedule to it, so I lost a lot of impetus.  Instead of making the best of what I had, I just hmmphed my way into mediocrity. 

I was able to get out to the Boxing Day CX race as a spectator, and cheer on some of my teammates and a few of the guys on other teams.  It was fun.  It's funny watching CX, because it looks so slow, but you realize that these guys are fast and you know how much it hurts when you are racing.  It's definitely not what it seems from outside the tape.  Casey B. had a strong race in the Open class, and David N. and SC had excellent races in the 3/4 race.  Peck and I had a good time shooting the race as well.  I got to play with some different lenses and different settings on my Nikon D80.  It really makes you appreciate good photographers, because it isn't easy pulling off great shots.

Christmas went off great, the boys had a great time, and I finally got a guitar.  I'm excited to start learning it.  I'm enjoying learning, but there's a long way to go before I'm fit for public consumption. 

New Year's Eve/our Anniversary came and went quickly.  We had our annual party, the kids destroyed the downstairs, we cleaned up all day New Year's Day, and we all ate and drank too much. 

Fast forward to 2012.  I am not making resolutions, but I am enacting some lifestyle changes starting on Jan 1.  My weight has been creeping up and fitness has been sliding down, so I've decided to make some small, sustainable changes to prevent a recurrence of 2011.

1) Ride at least 50 miles every week.  This isn't a huge number, but it would be a vast increase over what I rode last year, sadly.  I think this should also keep me from sinking too far and taking too much time off the bike.  I've made some allowances for trainer time/miles, because sometimes it's just too cold out.
2) Drink more water.  I was pretty good at the beginning of the year, but started getting pretty inconsistent once summer ended.
3) Eat more protein.  Protein helps curb over-eating as it makes you feel full, and stay full.
4) Alcohol and sweets once a week.  It's amazing how many garbage calories you can consume by having a little bit of sweets and a drink a night. 

Well, that's all I got for now.  I'm going for a ride...