30 November 2011

saris

my cycleops fluid trainer is old. i bought it used in 2004 (or thereabouts) and i am unsure of the actual model year. over the holiday while 'riding' in my in-laws' basement, the resistance decreased abruptly and i could see some fluid leaking out. i thought i had no chance of any type of warranty replacement so i emailed to see if i could trade it in for a replacement. the response i received today almost made me fall out of my chair: they are going to replace the resistance unit no questions asked. i just need to bring it over to saris (5 min from my house) and they are going to give me a new one.

now that is customer service. from a business perspective, i'm not sure how it is sustainable to guarantee anything for life (doesn't that essentially prevent repeat customers?) but i will not look a gift horse in the mouth.

happier wednesday.

the reality of it

man, after feeling sick/achy all day yesterday i decided to head out for an easy run just to get some fresh air. i strapped on my headlamp and did some running on the ice age trail and felt ok. i woke up this morning congested, tired and achy but no rest for a parent of a 2 year old. i decided i would ride in and boy was it cold! good practice for the final events of the race season i guess. even though i didn't feel the best i knew that if i wanted to get a workout in this was it (because once i'm home i'm not sure i'll be able to muster the ambition to workout after cal goes to bed). it sure would have been a lot easier/more comfortable driving in this morning...

yesterday i told ron that i was getting sick of biking. that isn't entirely true, what i'm getting sick of is biking in the cold and/or dark. but i don't have an alternative so i'll keep plugging away and hope that i'm able to get a few good (whatever that means) results over the last month of the season.

happy wednesday.

29 November 2011

that didn't last long

i woke up tired, and a little bit achy and sore this morning. that in combination with the term 'wind chill' being bandied about by the local weather guy made my brain eliminate the possibility of riding in. i regret it already but what can i do now? i still feel a little under the weather but that shouldn't have stopped me. oh well, you win some and you lose some. last night's ride home was really enjoyable if not cold.

we are heading to illinois this weekend to visit robin's aunt and uncle and do some shopping at ikea (gifts and a few things for the house). i had hoped we could come home saturday night to allow me to race in both the cat 3 and masters races but it just didn't work out logistically. so we'll head home sunday morning in time for me to race the masters tilt only in the afternoon.

happy tuesday.

28 November 2011

thanksgiving - where did you go?

as with all holidays, there is build up but then the holiday seemingly disappears. this was no different. thursday was a blur, friday we spent visiting my grandparents in wausau and then we headed home on saturday. i managed an hour on the trainer thursday, a run on saturday and more trainer time last night. i wanted to ride outdoors but i spent some time putting up christmas lights and by the end i was so cold i couldn't fathom riding. by the time i was ready it was getting dark...winter really blows. anyway, we got our basement reconfigured so that cal has a nice play space and is where we will try to keep a lot of his toys (to keep the upper level a little more de-cluttered).

last weeks training:
m: 1 hour (trainer)
t: 1:15 (commute)
w: 1:15 (commute)
r: 1 hour (trainer)
f: 0
s: 45 min (run)
n: 1 hour (trainer)
total: 6:15

about as good as can be expected with traveling/visiting family. i rode in this morning so i guess i'm starting the week off right.

happy monday.

23 November 2011

thanksgiving

i woke up this morning feeling kind of crappy, not looking forward to a day of work and then travel, blah blah blah. i almost didn't ride in this morning (too cold, too much i need to do, feeling lazy) but the best part of my ride in is the cathartic nature of the endeavor so i'm glad i sucked it up and rode. in the frosty cold conditions, breathing in fresh air and thinking. thinking about my day, my week, my month, my life. while i have annoyances throughout the day, my life is great. i have a wife that i love and a son that i adore. all the rest is icing. so, i'm going to focus on turning my orbit around (to paraphrase a band i am also thankful for) and really concentrate on the things in my life that i am thankful for.

quite often, i take all these good things for granted.

speaking of riding, my ride home last night was fast for some reason. maybe i was riding with the wind? i'm packing up the trainer for our trip up north. i'm also going to bring running gear (and orange vest) just in case i feel daring.

i cannot wait for turkey and cranberries.

happy wednesday.

22 November 2011

management

i wasn't going to but ended up riding the trainer last night for around an hour. i think that is a funny expression ('riding' something stationary) but i can't thing of a better way to say it. i watched a dvd i have of the us postal prep for the 2001 tour de france. it is funny, it's ten years old but a lot of the current technology was being developed then. calvin has been having some digestive issues lately and has been feeling a little under the weather so he hasn't been sleeping well. i had to go up with him for a bit in the middle of my workout but he eventually went back to sleep. robin and i were each up with him overnight too - not many of the guys beating me in the masters 35+ have experiences anything like this so i should try to keep it in mind when i'm getting beat (they SHOULD beat me i guess).

anyway, i rode in this morning. i will try to do the same tomorrow. then i'm packing the trainer and bike and heading north with the family for a few days in gresham, wi. thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday but for some reason i'm not feeling too excited this year. i guess it just doesn't feel like thanksgiving to me. maybe it's the weather?

happy tuesday.

21 November 2011

at the races

sometimes, tenth place feels crappy. other times, it feels pretty good. the paradox of racing i guess. i had a bad start (slipped a pedal, didn't feel great) but rallied and felt stronger as the race progressed. i was even catching people late in the race (and was faster than the guys i was racing on barriers). matt shriver caught me again and i got pulled a lap early which bummed me out because i felt like i could catch one or two more people in my race. all in all though it was good. the course was great - a lot like our courses at garner park.



and now it is thanksgiving - yikes fall is going fast.

training from last week:
m: 1:15 (bike commute)
t: 1:15 (bike commute)
w: 0:45 (run)
r: 0 (no training)
f: 1:15 (bike commute)
s: 1:00 (with cal in the bike trailer)
n: 1:30 (state championships)
total: 7 hours

happy monday.

18 November 2011

holy-istic

no workout yesterday. we had obligations and a visitor and by the end i was tired. it didn't help that i felt like crap again. i've got an appointment with the uw integrative medicine group to see if we can crack the code on these gut/digestive issues i've been having the past, oh, 13 years or so. cautiously optimistic.

the daycare potluck was just more evidence that we made the right move with calvin.

i rode in this morning. it is windy but luckily my route was with the wind today. i really enjoy bike commuting and hope to continue it as long as it is safe (relatively speaking).

over the past several months i've been contemplating cross bikes and what types of upgrades i would like to make for next season and beyond. what i've come up with is 1) a carbon frame and 2) tubular wheels. i've been saving my pennies and think i have found 'the frame' that i want. for a while i thought a full bike made the most sense but additional financial considerations (and the fact that i don't need two cross bikes) - i think upgrading the frame (and moving my ultegra drivetrain over to it) is the best move. ultimately i think i'd try to build the motobecane back up as a single speed (so then i'd have a low maintenance pit bike/sloppy weather commuter) or if single speeding isn't for me, i could build it back up with 105 later on. time to submit my capital acquisition proposal to robin before we make our 2012 budget!

lastly, congrats to josh and amy on their newest family addition!

happy friday (thank goodness).

17 November 2011

the right month

my run last night was enjoyable if not hard. the newest shoes i'm testing are the progrid ride 5's which used to be my shoe of choice. last night they felt really stiff and too harsh. i think it is mostly due to the fact that the shoe i tested prior to this one was the shadow genesis 2 which has a 4 mm heal drop and is has a similar last as the kinvara which uses new cushioning materials. that shoe was bomber and was the first time i didn't want to give them back. i'd really like to try the kinvara or the cortana to see how those feel. anyway, the reason i enrolled as a wear tester was to be able to try different shoe styles without actually having to buy them. after a couple of years it seems like it if finally paying off (plus i haven't had to buy a new pair of running shoes since 2009).

anyway, this is the best time of the year for running. cool to cold temps, allergens are down and no snow/ice (yet). next time though i need to remember my gloves.

tonight we are attending a pot luck put on by calvin's new daycare so this might be an off day training wise. my mom is in town tonight for a brief visit but i'm still hoping i can get organized enough to ride in tomorrow since the temps are looking to rebound. it's a calvin/daddy day on saturday - maybe we'll have to get the bike trailer out one more time this year!

happy thursday.

16 November 2011

tuesdays: the peak of aggressivness?

i do not have data to back this up (purely observational), but tuesdays are the peak for aggressive driving. it's like everyone got monday out of their system and they are eager to get to where they are going. and, there are more folks going places during commuting hours. i don't have much more to say about that except it wrings a little joy out of riding to work each time i get buzzed by someone rushing around.

the ride home in the dark is actually pretty fun. for some reason, there is a subset of people that, when they see a bike light they (seemingly) instinctively flick on their high beams. that like hurts my eyes or something. but most of the roads i ride in the darkness are low traffic so it really doesn't happen that often (if i see 10 cars 3 of them might turn their high beams on). i also saw another incident that further proves a theory that robin and i share. that is, people who are drawn to driving lexus made cars generally have complete disregard for their fellow citizens. i saw a lexus do a u-turn on mineral point in front of a car (with nothing but open road behind said car) because they missed a turn. i guess what maybe i'm saying is that there are a lot of dumb shits in the world and a lot of the dumb shits that have achieved a high socioeconomic status seem to drive a lexus. yea, that is about it.

anyway, after bike commutes monday and tuesday i opted for a drive in this morning. saucony sent me a new pair of shoes to test which is coincident with wanting to go for a run (it was fate i guess).

happy wednesday.

15 November 2011

at least that feels better

riding outside is so much better than the trainer. i commuted yesterday and today and i just feel better than i do with comparable time on the trainer. yesterday was cal's 2 year check up. no shots since robin took him in a few weeks earlier for vaccinations so it was smooth. he came in at 88th percentile for height and around 60 for weight so our 'little' boy is not so little (relative to his peers).

anyway, last weeks 'training':
m: 1:15 (bike commute)
t: 1:00 (trainer)
w: 1:00 (trainer)
r: 1:00 (trainer)
f: off
s: 1:30 (race @ camrock)
n: 1:00 (road ride - wanted more but mechanical stopped me)
total: 6:45

not bad for thinking i hadn't done much i guess.

happy tuesday.

14 November 2011

the cosmos: 'your wish is my command'

woke up at 6:15 saturday morning with calvin (after a 12:15 wake-up call). i woke up feeling shitty (besides tired) which i can only attribute to eating too much sugar the past few days. i knew the afternoon's tilt would be a very challenging one but i tried to stay positive, drink lots of water (in between my coffee doses) and eat like i have on race day in the past. the day went fast and before i knew it i was on the starting line with ron, mike and joe. from the word go i knew it was going to be a rough one. i missed a pedal, i lost the lead wheels after that (i think i was fifth or sixth going into the power climb) and that was that. i couldn't breathe and every few breaths i inhaled a large bolus of phlegm. oh well, i asked for it. towards the end of the race i just focused on enjoying the tacky course and race who i was with. i got pulled before the final lap (matt shriver won) which is always a pretty big disappointment. anyway, dinner with the knuotowskis afterward was really fun (and the burger with the egg on top made me feel better)!

i got out on the road bike for an hour yesterday (wanted to do more but about 40 minutes in i broke the shift cable to my rear derailleur). that is a new one for me... got the cable swapped out and just need to adjust it. 5 years ago replacing an internally routed shift cable would have tested my patience but this went like a snap. i guess there is something to be said for getting older (and having kids for that matter).

anyway, i'm bummed a little about my result but the rest of the weekend was great so i'm going to focus on that. i'm the fittest i've been in years and at some point that has to translate to a good result?

happy monday.

11 November 2011

discipline

last week's lull in training has carried over to my motivation/discipline levels this week. for sure, the weather and early darkness hasn't helped but i should be motivated now with races coming up tomorrow, next weekend and the first two weekends in december. however, on the trainer last night i feel like i only gave a half effort. i just couldn't make myself get going - with the past two weeks of training tomorrow should be interesting. if somehow i have a good race, this will serve to reinforce these behaviors. this might be the one time a bad race would be useful (like the old sports journalism favorite question 'is there ever a good loss?').

anyway, with the snow/ice/cold i haven't been able to ride into work since monday. the weather is looking improved for next week so hopefully i can get back into that routine for a few more weeks.

happy friday.

10 November 2011

tantrums

i think calvin had a pretty good birthday. he took cupcakes to share with his new little classmates and since it was music day was serenaded by guitar (the new daycare has a music guy come in on a weekly basis) during the happy birthday song. we were both able to pick him up together and then he had a surprise waiting for him (a little train set) that he seemed to really like. dinner and cake followed by more gifts that had arrived in the mail. what a lucky little boy!

i will say, in the past few weeks there has been a marked increase in tantrums - the terrible twos upon us? while it is frustrating to deal with, it is pretty cool to see him wanting a little more independence.

after bedtime it was more time on the trainer. got a late start getting robin's bike set up, cleats on new road shoes, etc. which was mostly my fault (our second trainer was still configured for 26" wheels). watched top chef and tried to increase the intensity during the commercial breaks.

throughout this week i've been working on my cross bike for the stretch run. new shift hoods (red), bar tape (silver), brake cable and front tire (rear tire is on its way). i wasn't going to replace the rear but after inspection the tires have seen there day (it has been a couple of years so by most standards i am overdue). i didn't want to spend any money as i am saving for something but this was unavoidable.

happy thursday.

09 November 2011

distractions

last night i rode the trainer while playing ncaa football on the playstation. it did make my 60 minute spin go by faster but i'm not entirely sure just how much benefit i had (ie. i was maybe too distracted). i was telling robin i do better on the trainer in the dead of winter when riding outside is not an option (right now i could ride outside if it wasn't pitch black). my down week last week has chipped a little of my motivation (driving rain/sleet/snow the past couple of days hasn't helped) but i need to push through - nationals is still 2 months away.

today is calvin's birthday. as with any duration milestone in life, this is causing some introspection. our first year with calvin was difficult and seemed very long - this second year went by in a flash. daily i remind myself to enjoy my time with calvin and even still i feel like this time has gone by so fast. he is an amazing little boy and i cannot believe how much i love him.

happy (birthday) wednesday.

08 November 2011

holy dark

every year it hits me like a load of bricks...that first day after the return to standard time and it is dark when you are leaving work. good thing i invested in some nice commuter lights this spring with an rei gift card i got for my birthday! ended up taking my now typical long route home from work for a 1:15 in the log.

cal went to his new daycare for a few hours yesterday and robin and i were able to have lunch and then go pick him up together. he didn't want to leave so that is a good sign! first full day today and after seeing him there yesterday i feel even better about the decision to make a change.

rain, rain and more rain in the forecast for today and tomorrow. at least it isn't 3-6 inches of snow like it is in northern wisconsin/minnesota. i'm not ready for that quite yet. i'm destined for some trainer time tonight i'm thinking.

happy tuesday.

07 November 2011

i'm tapped

i didn't ride/run on friday, saturday or sunday. we were busy with:

1) fri: calvin's last day at his old daycare (and grandma h coming later that night)
2) sat: prepping for cal's 2nd birthday party. errands, errands and more errands (in the morning)followed by one of my direct report's wedding saturday afternoon/evening
4) cal's party on sunday (with a bunch of relatives from both sides in the house)
followed by cal's best friend's birthday party.

by the end i was spent. i guess i didn't even realize it but the whole thing stressed me out so that by the end of it i kind of broke down and lashed out a bit towards my teammate in all of this (sorry robin).

the party went great and calvin loved seeing all the people, opening all his gifts and of course eating cake and ice cream. he is a lucky little boy (and we are VERY lucky to have him). it was good to see family - some of whom i haven't seen in months. but, it was also a reminder of what is in store for us over the next couple of months with holidays and all. i do love our families but boy they can be tough customers sometimes.

anyway, i'm all over the place this morning. last week's training summary will show that i kind of took an unplanned 'mid-season break.' that seems kind of pro until you realize a large contributor is laziness!

m: 1 hour (trainer)
t: .75 hour (run)
w: off (lazy)
r: 2.25 hours (commute and extra)
f: off (busy/lazy)
s: off (busy)
n: off (busy/lazy)
total: 4 hours

that is a lot of zeros.

happy monday.

04 November 2011

speak into the rose

managed 1:50 last night even though i felt like crap and was cold (especially after sunset) for a 2:15 day. it was much needed but i'm glad it is done. maintaining my fitness for another 2 months is really going to be a challenge. but, it will be a challenge for everybody i guess.

today is calvin's last day at his current daycare and robin and i want to go pick him up together (which is why i didn't ride in). it's weird, we obviously thought he needed a change but i do feel melancholy about today. i guess it is because he has been there all his life so far - but his new daycare is better and he will (ultimately) benefit from the switch. staff turn-over has been a major issue at this center - there is nobody left (site wide) that was there when he started 18 months ago (i'm not counting his first week before he got sick) which seems crazy even in a field known for some turn-over. it has made our little boy pretty resilient but it sure would be nice to have some consistency at some level.

happy friday.

03 November 2011

beat down but why?

i couldn't bring myself to ride the trainer last night so, after conferring with robin i decided to take the evening off and clean the main level of the house. we have house guests coming beginning tomorrow (for calvin's birthday party) so it is a nice chore to have off the list. i rode in this morning (lights a-blazing) and will take an extended route home tonight (thanks r). the problem is that i woke up feeling terrible. tired and achy - why does that always seem to happen when you take a day off from training? i had done workouts the previous 7 days and felt fine and one stinking day off and now i'm feeling like crapola. oh well, the beat goes on.

happy thursday.

02 November 2011

darkness

only managed a 6 mile run last night for training. not ideal but it'll do - and with a driving rain in the forecast for this afternoon i opted (again) out of my ride to work. this week is getting dire regarding riding. and, starting sunday sunset will be before 5pm. must...charge...my lights!

happy wednesday.

01 November 2011

halloween

cal's second halloween was a hit. i mean he loved it. once we got him kitted up he was totally into going to doors and shouting trick or treat (after a few tries he even waited to say it when there were people at the door). plus, i would say he is the cutest garden gnome i've ever seen (although i'm biased):



my favorite part of the night: as we walked past a house that was really done up for trick or treating (with music playing), 'the devil went down to georgia' was playing and i looked down to see calvin cutting a rug like no other. i mean, in beat the kid was laying it down. all the way to the door. it was absolutely hilarious (i'm still laughing about it this morning). he was pretty beat this morning but rallied to be able to ask for candy for breakfast. needless to say, his request was not granted.

after all the craziness i managed an hour on the trainer. yuck! more of the same tonight perhaps as i was unable to get organized to ride in.

happy tuesday.