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Showing posts from October, 2014

Back to the Cave

Sunday night found me at the top of one of the many climbs on the South Anchorage hillside, gazing out over the inlet as I hacked up a lung. Tranquil. I was doing as many of the climbs as I could, none of them with any real speed, except for the one where I picked up a shadow and decided to drop him. It’s not a race unless I decide it’s a race. To be honest, it was a pitifully slow race. I reached the top of each climb, paused for a minute, then rode to the next climb and started the process again.

As I watched the sun drop to the horizon, signaling that I really should be heading home, I instead turned my bike towards one more climb. I realized that this could possibly be the last road ride of the season.
I didn’t realize how right I was.
The next morning I awoke to an inch of wet snow on the streets around my house. I had been planning my workouts for the trainer for a couple weeks in case it happened, so for a change I actually was following the training plan when I retreated to the …

The Parts Pile and Turning it up to 11.

Hello. My name is Mike and I am a gear whore. Admitting it is the first step towards recovery.

...but I don't want to recover.

Most years in the fall I will start stocking up on consumables when the online retailers start having sales and are anxious to clear out their inventories. Tires, tubes, cleats, chains, brake pads... I stock up now so I don't have to pay retail later. At least, that's what I tell myself.

This year I went a little into overdrive. It started with 11 speed. I have no intention of moving from 10 speed to 11 speed, as I don't see any advantage at the moment. The majority of my wheelsets won't accept an 11 speed cassette. It would be a pretty massive investment to swap all of my bikes over to 11 speed for that extra gear, especially when it doesn't really add much to the equation for me.

The upside is that a lot of retailers starting to discount their 10 speed stuff. So, being the good consumer I am, I'm taking some of it off of their hands. …

Perception.

Yesterday was an awesome day. I was convinced I had seen my last day on the road for the season, with rain in town and snow creeping down the mountain. Then it all came together and I got a temporary reprieve from the trainer.

I felt fast.         I wasn't.
I felt strong.     I wasn't.
I felt light.        I wasn't.

Maybe it was a combination of wasted late-season form and the cold air combining to make me feel like I was riding well, but I absolutely had a blast.

Today I got on the bike and felt like dirt.

I felt slow.      I was.
I felt weak.     I was.
I felt fat.         Yep, I was that too.

Maybe it was my day's diet of nothing but refined sugar that did me in, but I could put nothing into the pedals. My day at work was characterized by always being 3 steps behind, so food was whatever happened to present itself. Nothing good presented itself. I paid for it.

Still, weak or not, I squeezed as much riding in as I could, mindful of what is ahead of me. I'm already planning…

A Good Start

I've been getting in what will likely be among the last of my road rides for the season, retreating to the trainer when I was short on time or otherwise too wimpy to ride outside. I have been trying to make it out as much as possible, because I don't want to regret not riding during the long months I'm tied to the trainer.

I've been trying to regain some stability in my power numbers before I enter a regimented training program again. That makes the transition that much easier.

I'm starting to think (daydream) about goals for next season, which is a good sign. I think having a target (or three) will make losing the weight slightly easier, and if I can make some small improvements in power I'll be back in the mix.

A positive outlook always helps, even as it gets darker and darker outside.