Posts

Tearing It Up.

I overslept.

No, that's bullshit. I woke up when my alarm clock went off, then played with my phone to avoid actually getting out of bed. Then I dragged myself from under the covers, kitted up, grabbed a water bottle and the Garmin, and eventually found my way to the trainer.

When I got there, Zwift announced it had do a little update, which failed. Three times. Then I restarted the computer and application, and it finally went through. Ten minutes after I started pedaling, I finally logged onto Zwift and was riding the fake roads. As I was already warmed up, I pushed a little harder than I had planned. To be honest, I had been pushing harder than planned while waiting for the update to complete. It was 45 minutes before I eased back a bit and tried to do something resembling my planned workout.

When I jumped for a sprint, everything went a little shaky. It felt like the trainer had experienced a major structural failure. Further examination indicated that it had. What follows may be…

Continuous Sleep.

Two nights ago it was a nagging cough that woke me up at 1:00 AM. Fortunately, it didn't repeat itself last night. I have my fingers crossed.

Last night it was the dog. At 2:00 AM I awoke to sounds of whimpering. I walked downstairs to investigate, and there was my Labrador Retriever sitting next to the boys' room, begging to be let in their closed door. I let him outside, and when he came back in he returned to his post outside their door. I went back to bed. An hour later, the whining started again.

This is a fairly large black lab which possesses an impressive bark useful for keeping undesirables away. The quivering mass of whimpers I encountered last night would intimidate absolutely no one. Eventually I gave up and opened the door, because I like sleep.

I like not diving face-first into my desk around noon, when the caffeine and sugar stop holding up their end of the bargain. I guess if I subsisted on nothing but organically-raised whole foods, prepared specifically for ext…

Isn't It A Little Early For That?

Last night I woke up at 1:00 AM, coughing my lungs out.

There were no warning signs. No runny nose or other indicator that anything was amiss. Just a sudden and violent bout of hacking that ruined an otherwise good night of sleep. I did what I could to calm it down, climbed back into bed, and fell back asleep face-down.

5:00 AM came waaaaayyyy too early.

I got on the trainer and managed a respectable workout. I had a few coughs here or there. Mostly sparse singles and doubles. Nothing like the night before.

I still don't know if I'm actually sick. I'm no more tired than I am any other day, which is to say my status quo of walking dead is unchanged. My nose really isn't running. My appetite is fine. Everything is... normal.

Except for the fact that last night really sucked.

It's too early in the year for all of my progress to be erased by the plague. I haven't had a chance to develop any delusions yet. At least give me a chance to dream of regaining some of what was l…

Virtual Half-Wheeling.

In the real world, on club rides, half-wheeling is taboo.

Half wheeling is more or less defined as edging your wheel a bit ahead of the rider beside you, encouraging them to speed up to match or exceed your effort. It's a great way to deconstruct a functioning paceline into its separate parts, then scatter them about the countryside. While this can be fun on competition-oriented rides (especially if you're the last man standing), it's also the fastest way to be dis-invited to rides where consistency is the goal.

In the virtual world of Zwift, it happens all of the time, whether intentional or not.

I'll be pedaling along, staring at my Garmin doing my best impression of Chris Froome, zoned out staring at the pixelated (or is that pixilated- both are applicable) scenery, or futilely trying to stop the rivulets of sweat from searing my eyes, and I'll ride up on someone or they'll ride up on me. Maybe the difference between our respective efforts could be .1 w/kg, bu…

Cruising In Place.

It takes me a while to get used to the trainer. Every year "a while" gets a little longer. Adapting from the constantly changing variables of the road to the more static efforts on the trainer is a mental and physical switch that I have to push through.

Once I get into it, I can get down to work. Before that? I'm just playing. Hours of undisciplined cranking away in the sweat box, re-developing the skill set that's going to get me through the next six months.

Today was one of the first days that I could convince myself to hold any sort of power for any meaningful amount of time. Sprints I can do, because the pain is over quickly. The long, aching grinds are what have been eluding me. I just didn't have the mental or physical toughness for them. If I want to build up my sustained power so I can hang with the group and position myself well for the finish, this is the suck I'm going to have to live in this winter.

I'm not looking forward to it.

What I am looking…

Buckles.

My preferred shoes have two velcro straps and a ratchet at the top. They aren't made anymore. I may have purchased all of the new-old-stock out there in my size and a good portion of the used.

I've tried the boa lacing systems out there, and generally don't like them. Instead of the uniform tensioning the manufacturers promise, they usually result in hot spots for me- probably due to the positioning of the laces.  I have one pair of boas that I like somewhat, but I usually revert back to my favorites.

The only problem with my ratcheting shoes is the buckle breaks on the newer models. Eventually I'll click the lever just a few too many times, and it will snap. The old buckles didn't do it, because they were made of stouter stuff, but eventually the springs would rust out and the lever would flap about as you pedaled. Nothing lasts forever. I'd buy replacements and press on, but eventually that supply will dry up as well.

I guess that's the price of progress.

I g…

Multiples.

In my continuing quest to avoid developing Type VIII diabeetus, I upped my nutritional supplement game. I'd slacked off for a while, after reading a well-balanced diet will provide everything you need. Turns out there's some holes in the Tastee Freeze menu that need to be addressed. Who knew?

I went to the local Target to cruise the vitamin aisle. I grabbed my usual biotics that had lost their amateur status and the mega-dose vitamin D pills, because I haven't seen the sun in months. Then I moved over to the multi-vitamin section to see what they had for me.

I stopped taking multi-vitamins years ago because they never seemed to do much besides tint my pee. However, I decided to give them another chance so I could feel like I was doing something positive for my health in between double cheeseburgers. I'm all about the feels. I bypassed the Centrums and other horse pills, because choking those down every day is a workout in itself and they usually come out the other side u…