31 October 2011

my wife is a half marathon slayer

robin killed it in the half marathon over the weekend. for someone who had major back issues not that long ago, it is amazing to see how well she has done over the past year (triathalon, fat tire and now this). i'm VERY proud of her!

my training has been ok (if not compulsive). i didn't race over the weekend and will not next weekend so i'm a little lost for what i should be doing. it is times like these where i wish i had a coach to give me some non-subjective guidance. friday night i ran 6 miles and felt pretty good doing so. saturday afternoon i got out on the cross bike riding on the military ridge/quarry ridge/badger prairie trails. i feel pretty luck to have all these non-road options close by (and more scheduled to be built next year). yesterday, we had errands to run plus there was a chilly mid-day rain that kept me indoors for longer than i had wanted. i did manage to do 8 miles of running on trails and again felt great. we finished the night carving pumpkins with calvin although he was a lot less interested than i thought he'd be.

training for the week:
m: 1:15 (commute)
t: 0 (much needed rest day)
w: 1:45 (bike)
r: 1:15 (commute)
f: 0:45 (road run)
s: 1:45 (bike)
n: 1:00 (trail run)
total: 7 hrs 45 min

a great mix of training modalities. i'm not sure if running will help my cross racing but with the impending time change it is going to become an even bigger part of my fitness/training routine. i'm still going to try and commute by bike 3 times per week but starting training rides in the dark is not always a strength of mine (but i have no problem running at night).

happy monday.

28 October 2011

late night disappointment

i stayed up watching game six last night (which obviously ended in disappointment) but it was a great game anyway. well, by great i mean interesting. nobody really played well. the last 4 or 5 innings were terribly managed (especially by texas) - man ron washington looked lost out there. hopefully the rangers can somehow persevere and wipe the smug smiles off the cardinals' faces.

i felt slow and tired on the ride home last night. i wasn't organized enough to ride in this morning - maybe i'll run tonight. i haven't run for a week or two so it might be time again.

and, robin is running her first half marathon tomorrow morning - i'm very excited for her!

happy friday.

27 October 2011

wednesday night lights

although i wasn't feeling the greatest, i followed through on my plans for a long-ish ride last night. i rode the military ridge trail to mt. horeb and then back down to badger prairie where i rode the furthercross course for a bit. after about 45 minutes or so i felt a little better and was even able to push a little here and there. my arrival home was coincident with robin/cal heading out to get the mail - cali was fascinated by my flashing lights ("bike lights, bike fast...ride ride RIDE!").

on the ride in this morning i felt a little better. it wasn't raining at the house when is started but i did end up getting a little wet on the way.

happy thursday.

26 October 2011

generally ok but sort of sick

woke up this morning with a sore throat and some congestion as did my wife. i guess we have a cold or something. oh well, it is that time of the year and for the next 6 months or so this will be the norm. calvin is starting at a new daycare a week from next tuesday so it'll be a whole new world of viruses!

happy wednesday.

25 October 2011

losing weight

over the weekend, sam told me i looked thin. this has been a theme lately (the other day robin commented on the same thing saying my pants were looking big). i don't really spend much time worrying about weight - i figure if i'm training and racing enough then race weight will take care of itself. in my quest to figure out my digestive issues i have from time to time, i have tried to reduce my candy consumption and sweets in general and it seems to have helped. the by product of this may be that i'm down to 154 pounds - close to what i weighed my senior year of high school. since last november when we started p90x, i'm down close to 10 pounds. i guess watching what you eat and exercising often really does work (although 10 pounds in one year is probably beyond a typical person's attention span).

anyway, a much needed day off for me. my ride home last night was fun (the weather was great) but i could definitely feel i needed a day off. i like it when it is rainy on a planned day off - it doesn't usually work out that way.

and, today is our anniversary. robin and i have been married 8 years - i was thinking about this milestone on the way home last night. we've been through a lot over these years - moving cities/jobs, my grad school, calvin's medical issues, etc.) that could have challenged some relationships. i'm lucky that in each case it just made ours stronger. i sure do love that lady and would be lost without her!

happy tuesday.

24 October 2011

sun prairie cup

first off, this course was awesome. one of the best around actually. i started second row and got gapped right away. i fought to hold wheels for half the race and then had another bad lap or two around the middle of the race that sealed my fate. joe, mike and ron finished 2-4 and i feel like i should have been right up there with those guys. i managed to start bringing people back late in the race and finished in 9th. and, i was pretty happy that i didn't get lapped by brian matter.

i was sore and achy - i did a bunch of yard stuff on saturday plus a 1:15 ride which in hindsight wasn't the greatest pre-race ritual. but what was more disappointing was that i didn't feel well - same old, same old - i'm not sure why but something i ate i guess.

i'm also a little frustrated with my equipment. my feeling has always been that equipment is second to fitness in maximizing the results you are capable of. however, with the shorter cross races i think equipment is probably a little more important. racing with pro/1/2 and masters 35+ fields where ultra lightweight bikes and tubular wheels are the norm is getting discouraging. equipment upgrades for this season are not in the cards (our bike budget has been spent for 2011) so i guess i just need to buck up and put it out of my mind that i am at a pretty major disadvantage. i guess it'll make me faster in the long run.

enough of that! i'm not racing for the next couple of weeks due to other commitments. hopefully i'll be able to use it as a training block leading up to the next camrock race november 12th.

last week's training:
m: 45 minutes (run)
t: 75 minutes (commute)
w: 60 minutes (cross practice)
r: off
f: 90 minutes (commute w/ a longer route home)
s: 75 minutes (military ridge through badger prairie)
n: 120 minutes (w/warm up and cool down)
total: 7.75 hours

happy monday.

21 October 2011

feeling gravity's pull

had an off day yesterday - i woke up with a sore throat that persisted through the day and i was pretty beat come night fall which was when i could have gone for a run. i feel a little residual in my throat this morning but i'm pretty sure it is allergy related. we finally got a good hard frost this morning so that should help a little.

rode in this morning and stayed surprisingly warm. it was a beautiful sunny morning so it was a good call.

wca sun prairie on sunday. besides that, no major plans. perhaps more yard work/winterizing tomorrow? we'll see i guess.

happy friday.

20 October 2011

some days are better than other days

cross practice last night - it was cold and blustery and fun! while i wasn't breaking land speed records on the very tough course we built, it was how i wasn't feeling that made me happy. when i pushed i felt good - a good sign. the irony with bike racing for me is that the more i race, the better i practice. i always think about it the other way around but now that i've had a couple of hour long suffer fests in the legs i feel better doing the interval type riding at practice. we're done with organized practices for the year (and i am opting out of set up for next year), so now the challenge will be to push myself that hard mid-week without a group of riders.

the skin suit is awesome. it was cold last night (upper 40's and very windy) and i wore just the suit and knee warmers and was perfect. after using it three times now it was an absolutely great investment. it will come in handy for cold races and even colder training rides!

happy thursday.

19 October 2011

the heart of the matter

last night's ride home was a useful one in that i was able to try out my new twin6 skinsuit (in order to start gauging the warmth it provides). upper 40's and the skinsuit only (with knee warmers) was perfect. 8-10 degrees cooler will require a base layer of some sort on top. mid-30's i'm thinking base layers for both top and bottom. beyond that, i'll just be cold i guess.

this weekend's cross race is not looking to require too much warmth (predicted temps around 60) but the skinsuit will come in handy during december/january races.

robin had an early meeting this morning so i dropped calvin off at daycare (which means i didn't get to ride in today). cross practice tonight (last one of the year) which with cloudy conditions and early sunset it'll be a 20 minute practice (well, not quite that short).

and, even though we are just entering the peak of cross racing i'm already contemplating equipment choices for next year. i have a little money allocated in the family budget and i'm hoping to upgrade my frame (to carbon) and wheels (tubular). i've got ideas for both but any suggestions/recommendations are welcomed.

happy wednesday.

18 October 2011

productive

had a good evening last night. i did some of the garage reorganizing i've been hoping to do the past few weeks - the snowblower is now in the perfect spot in the garage. just push it a few feet, start it and go (without having to move a car which would defeat the purpose a little). the shovels are out as well which seems a little odd in that i will certainly still have to cut the grass another time or two.

got out for a run after cal went to bed. perfect weather for running, around 50 degrees. i love when you can wear shorts and maybe something long sleeved and never get cold or warm. you really only get a few weeks throughout the year with this type of weather. rode the bike in this morning and my feet got a little cold but besides that i was golden. i brought the twin6 skinsuit to ride home in - i've only ridden with it once so i'm still trying to figure out how warm is too warm for the thermal material.

a post mostly about nothing. oh, i know. this morning apparently there was a note stating that one of the locations of our daycare is closing. the guy who runs these places is a real d-bag. cal is starting at a new place the week of his birthday - and none too soon (i am getting the feeling that the location where cal currently goes will eventually have the same fate).

happy tuesday.

17 October 2011

further cross

we decided to opt out of the blaster this year and hang around the house for the weekend to make sure everyone was recovered from being sick. i missed the blaster but i did feel nice to be able to have a leisurely saturday morning with the family. we did some odds and ends around the house in the morning. i hopped in the first of potentially 4 races i'll be doing at badger prairie park in the afternoon. the course was fun except:

the sand pit had a ride around option that was (arguably) faster than going through the sand. now, if you are going to offer a wuss out option it better be a lot longer. i still rode the sand every time for practice but come on! who designed this course, a bunch of roadies?

the race started slow - slow enough that i was able to secure second wheel through the lead out lap and until almost half way through the first full lap. i got passed by a couple of guys and dangled for awhile but began feeling like i was trying to breath under water. i finally slowed down and cleared my throat and after that i felt pretty good. the last 20 minutes i felt like i was again an active member of the race and was reeling in both 35+ riders and pro/1/2 riders. unfortunately, the leader of the pro/1/2 race caught me on his last lap which meant i got pulled. i was annoyed but i guess i should have been 10 seconds faster. i finished 7th (out of 20 or so starters) so i'll take it.

i took the scenic route home which got me 2.5 hours of riding for the day in the swirl.

sunday was spent at the pumpkin patch/hay ride and then some yard work later in the day. we were able to procure an old snow blower from robin's parents which is cool but now i need to reorganize the garage to fit everything. with the brewers loss now i guess i'll have more time to do that!

last week's training:
m: off
t: 1 hour (bike commute)
w: 1 hour (trainer)
r: 1 hour (after work)
f: off
s: 2.5 hours (further cross/military ridge)
n: off
total: 5.5 hours

now that is a typically cross season training load. i feel like i need to get my volume up a few more hours through november just to keep as much fitness as possible. easier said than done as the impending holidays/time change approach.

this is also the week of the last cross practice of the year - well - that we set up anyway.

happy monday.

13 October 2011

still sick

my poor wife is still sick and is going to get checked out at urgent care this morning. man, i really feel for her - she just looks miserable. i rode the training last night during the brewer game and that really tired me out. plus i don't think i've been sleeping well the past few nights either.

man, the brewers could use a win. come on guys!

happy thursday.

12 October 2011

training

my poor wife is sick so i will be opting out of cross practice tonight (it may rain anyway). she is dealing with what sounds a lot like what i caught in august (headache, fever, body aches) plus a sore throat. damn, summer is definitely over if robin is getting sick (she has been pretty robust lately in terms of catching bugs).

based on her condition right now, this may jeopardize our participation in the beechwood blaster this year. i don't think she will be sick still but 1) i could be sick, 2) calvin could catch it and 3) she will probably still be feeling after effects. we'll see, but i might just opt for the cross race that is 5 minutes from our house.

and, training load from last week:
m: 1:15 (bike commute)
t: 2:40 (mtb at kettle moraine w/ron)
w: off (wilco)
r: 1:15 (bike commute)
f: 1:00 (ride after work, military ridge/badger prairie)
s: off (golf)
n: 1:30 (camrock; 6th place masters 35+ 1,2,3 race)
total: 7:45

i'll take it!

happy wednesday.

10 October 2011

fast

the weekend (in reverse):

yesterday was the camrock cyclocross race (my first race of the season). hot, dry and dusty were the adjectives for this one. i got a great start leading to the 180 degree turn into the trails (third wheel behind ron and marc). held my position for a bit and as we were approaching the big hill before exiting the woods marc flatted and slowed (causing me to slow) while a couple other guys were accelerating to pass. i couldn't regain the wheels having lost some momentum. the lead group of three was formed and held for the remainder of the race. i dangled about 30 seconds behind for the full hour of racing (watching the leaders race up ahead of me) but couldn't close the gap. a couple of guys bridged up to me and we worked together for most of the race but they finally dropped me with 2 laps to go. i caught one of them towards the finish but was outsprinted for 6th place. ron took the big win (congrats) which is awesome. but, inevitably your riding buddies are also your measuring standards and i feel like i could have mixed it up if i had somehow made the lead group. i didn't though so that is that. i'll take for my first 60 minute cross effort of the year.

saturday was golf at the ridge. we started on hole 12 and hit some pretty good shots through #17 (including missing a hole in one but inches on the par 3 17th which was playing 200yds over water). our team struggled a little during the middle of the round but we ended up playing ok. we shot even par which was good for a mid pack finish - not bad for three guys that each haven't played since august. it was a great day to be out on a great course.

my experiences at fat tire and now this cross race have showed me my racing weakness (sustained power on flats/false flats). i'm already 'strategizing' how to improve this. there could be some road racing in my 2012 future!

happy monday.

07 October 2011

work to do before i play

admittedly, this weekend is mostly a play weekend for me. tomorrow i'm playing in a three man scramble at university ridge golf course. i haven't touched my clubs since the last week of august but that is ok - the weather is supposed to be perfect and i've got teammates i can rely on to pick me up. and regardless of how we play, golf at the ridge this time of the year is amazing.

sunday i'll be making my debut in the wca cyclocross series. at least for this first of the two camrock races, i'm going to give masters 35+ a shot. i'm nervous because i'm barely a cat 3 and will be racing cat 2's. but, racing with faster people should make me faster in the long run, right?

anyway, before i can start this fun weekend i have a ton of work to do...so i better get to it.

happy friday.

06 October 2011

wilco

man, wilco can put on a show. they came out with a dark edge for the first hour of the set. the set list lightened progressively as the show went on but they always kept the 'wilco distortion' at the end/between songs. it's the nicest sounding distortion i've ever heard. they ended with some classics and i think they played every song off the new album. great show (i didn't want it to end)!

during the show we heard of steve jobs passing. i was thinking about his influence on pop culture and when you think about it - it is pretty amazing. first, there is apple. then, the pixar franchise which produced some amazing films that yielded him a pretty large share of disney. then, you think about how itunes revolutionized the music/media industry. not to mention iphones, ipads, etc. amazing how he was able to guide his company from being a fringe computer company for fanatics to being (arguably) the major player in personal electronics. truly an icon. he was even able to out run his pancreatic cancer longer than most are able.

anyway, i rode in this morning and the traffic didn't seem quite as bad. and the weather - oh the weather! i'm trying to take it in while it lasts (the average high temp by the end of october is 52 here in madison).

i sure wish we were independently wealthy so i didn't have to work. i'd still do things for enlightenment. like, i think i'd go to law school just to do it (i don't really want to practice but would like to take the coursework). maybe we're in the steve jobs will? i'll take 0.1% of his accumulated wealth (around 8.6 million). yea, that would just about do it.

happy thursday.

05 October 2011

jeff tweedy: the specter of doom?

we are going to the wilco show tonight. the last time they were in town we had taken up residence at the pediatric icu when cal was sick. jeff tweedy came to town this past march which coincided with my crash/er visit/emergency dentist visit. now, the couple we were supposed to go with tonight have a close personal friend with a daughter in the icu. coincidence? most likely but damn. thoughts go out to the sick little one.

took the day off yesterday to ride at kettle moraine with ron. blue loop - connector - emma and it was pretty awesome. 2:40 minutes of riding on trails in perfect fall weather made me happy i decided to go. i only crashed a couple of times (well, three). i figure i'll be riding mountain bikes at least 1 more time a week from saturday. otherwise it will be cyclocross focused work leading up to nationals.

happy wednesday.

03 October 2011

weekend over already?

robin headed out of town with friends this weekend so it was a boys weekend! saturday we got out for a nice 2 hour ride on the military ridge trail. it was a great fall morning with crisp cool air, cloudless blue skies and color that is really starting to pop. cal ended up sleeping for most of it which was early relative to his normal nap time. this proved to be problematic towards bedtime when he got really crabby but we got through it.

sunday we got up and headed to a great local coffee shop. there is a play-area there and for awhile it was cool - cali was playing nicely with the little boy that was there and all was good. another kid came over and was a little jerk. i guess this is something i'll have to get better at, but i had to scold him/tell him to go apologize to the lady he hit with a ball many feet outside of the play area. that was after he took the cars cal was playing with away from him. anyway, we spent a lot of time outside yesterday including two trips to the park down the street. the second trip was during the brewers' and packers' games and was great because we had the park to ourselves. man, he is a daredevil now choosing to go head first down the tallest slides (he laughs diabolically the whole way down).

it was great weekend and i'm a little melancholy it is over. i rode in this morning and everyone seemed hurried/angry. i caught a guy riding that had a pannier on the left side of his bike. i think he had it overloaded because it appeared to be pulling him into traffic every 50 meters or so. people are weird.

oh, and it was the best. sports weekend. EVER! i kept telling cal he was witnessing a very monumental sports weekend but he didn't seem to get it.

happy monday.