Monday, February 1, 2016

January Month end

January ended much better than it started. I was able to head out with Scott W. on Saturday to get some solid road miles. We headed out to Pullman and back. The way out was into a nasty headwind but I rather enjoyed it on the way back. Big thanks to Scott for pulling into the wind (stronger rider has to do the work ;) )

Sunday I loaded up again and headed to Augusta to do a group ride with David W., Jay B. and Bill K. We headed out and round Gull lake on wet pavement. By 10 miles it was raining. Soaking wet and trying to draft when the riders in front have a jet of water spraying off their tire isn't fun. I tucked in off center when I could. About 18 miles in we hit a hill and I got dumped. The group graciously waited for me to catch up. They had to wait every hill after that, but I was grateful to be out riding in January. I am stronger, just not as strong as these guys. Goals....riding with these guys will make me faster.

So January ended with a solid week. 259 miles for the Month. Not terrible. A bit behind last year but a solid ending to the month that I will gladly take. Tonight I am taking the night off just because I need a break. I don't feel bad today...surprisingly. But, I will be stretching tonight and maybe some core, but nothing else.

I am set up for a solid February. Should be interesting to see what Mother nature has in store for this month. All I know is...I am more focused than ever and I want to bring home a CPS Jersey this year. I have work to do, but I have time to do the work as well.

Happy February everyone.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

2016 Excuses

 The longer I live the longer I realize how many excuses I have. Last year I learned how to bury some of these excuses and just life. I buried them and did my single greatest achievement on the bike. However, after that achievement....I let the excuses creep back in and my mileage and fitness suffered for the second half of 2015. Too easy to sit on the couch. Too easy to eat a bowl of ice cream. Excuses are easy. Excuses are lazy. Have you ever heard of a lazy and fast mountain bike racer or road racer?

So that left me slow and fat at the end of 2015.....just like each of the previous years. I feel like the blogs have always been the same. Year after year of the same ridiculous excuses. But, again this year I am going to say that this is the year.
It has started off right. New job. New direction. Career. Outlook. I will be 40 so the "now or never" theory comes into play. Think about it....if life has been uphill for the past 40 years and all I have been doing is making excuses then I should be all out...and the next 40 years should be downhill. Or, another way to look at it....shit or get off the pot. Now is the time to put away the excuses and kick some ass. Or it might never happen.

 This picture kind of sums up how excuses work. The more you rely on them the easier they are to use and the downward spiral continues. My house of failure is large and has many rooms.

Time to rebuild and move into something healthier...where excuses are no longer used as currency but are looked at like rotten eggs. Sorry, couldn't think of an analogy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Happy New Year

First off...Happy New Year. I have been so busy that the blog gets pushed to be back burner. But, I have been busy....doing some riding.

Here is SW Michigan our winter finally got here. We had a few days of snow, but it would go back to 40 degrees the next day and the snow would all melt. The pic above is Yankee Springs after we got some snow. 

The video below is the New Years Day ride at Fort Custer. It was a blast. Decent sized group on frozen trails. We rode the Red loop to the Table top and hung a left onto the Green loop. It was a lot of fun on a 20 degree day. Even the skinny tires did ok, but a fatty would have been a better option. (I am slated to get one but probably next winter)

I did sign up for Yankee. I wasn't really going to race in 2016 but a job change will allow me to race. So I will put this goal out there now....and ask for your help to get me there by holding me accountible.

Sub 1 hour at Yankee TT. I won't be able to do my normal fitness test at Barry Roubaix because a dance competition will take precedence. My daughter has a dance competition....not me.
So I need to kick some ass and meet this goal.

Trainer sessions are going good but I have to get more consistent. 
That is all for now. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Time for change

Looking at the date on my last post I was surprised. It was back in september. A lot has been going on and I have tried to blog multiple time....but it just hasn't worked. Writers block? Well...perhaps. But I think it is truly because I haven't had anything to write about. So....a quick flashback.

Lumberjack 100 was the last race that I did, and that was back in June. This was my golden egg for 2015. When I finished I was at the height of my cycling career. I was more proud of finishing this race than I have ever been of any podium finish I have had.

Above is my old Trance X 29er. We were limited on space in the hotel room so it camped out on the desk. Lumberjack was the last ride I ever had on this bike. For those that don't know.....Jay, Lisa, and I were assaulted by a deer on the way to Sweat Shaker the weekend after Lumberjack. Honestly, this is where my downward spiral started. I wasn't able to race on a course that I would have done well on. I took 3rd at this even in 2014, amusingly enough....the first ride I had on this bike after I bought it. So I was expecting another top finish...instead I got to spectate. 

After missing that race my season was over. School started after a few months and my list of excuses for not riding was much longer than my list of reasons to ride. The small amount of weight I did lose this year crept back on. Confidence took a dump. It is amazing how it happens...and how fast it happens. I didn't want to ride anymore. I wanted to sit on the couch and eat doritos and ice cream.

Then....I went and rode. Didn't feel terrible.....but no power in my legs. So we did another ride. On Barry Roubaix. Dumb, yes...but necessary. I was saved by taking a new guy that Jeff W. and I headed out. It other description. Yankee springs is tough when you are in shape...and after a heavy thanksgiving dinner added on top of my lack of riding....I suffered. I survived though. That following weekend we decided to give Barry Roubaix a go again. Can't pass up riding in this extremely warm December weather. About 11 miles in we hit Gun lake road....and I threw in the towel. I took a right and headed back into Hastings while Jeff and Jay finished the 36 mile course. It was about 8 miles back to the car...and I was very thankful I bailed out. Just didn't have the legs.

But while I was didn't help my emotional instability to have to bail out on a ride. But instead of sliding a step further into depression...I got angry. I am focused on 2016. I am rebooting yet again. This time with a new job and a new set of goals. Stay tuned.

In other news....there is a trail in the town that I live in. A friend of mine has done major work to get funding and find property for the trail. They cut a short section of the trail to get started this past week. Below are a few pics. Word is....we have 40 acres to build trails on. I am very excicted about this because there are no trails withing 30 minutes of me. I went and rode the trail Saturday and even this short trail showed me how much work I have to do. But, a trail close to home can only help.

So even though I feel like the guy in the picture below....I know what I have to do to change that feeling. I also know hard work has it rewards. I will try to stay more current with my posts.

Friday, September 25, 2015

....ebb....and flow....

No posts lately, because not a lot to post about. Life got crazy busy as usual with school starting. Riding is kind of an afterthought. So, I started running a bit. Then the fair started and things go crazier yet.

So....I started to run. A mile at a time. Not really a fan, but need to be active. I got slow on the bike because my riding fell off so much. blah blah blah. You guys don't want to hear my excuses. So I won't get them to you. Just know.....things are brewing.

I did ride tonight. 20 miles. Nice. 2 things happened. One, I was visually startled by a pre-teen that was clearly practicing her halloween costume. What was it do you ask? A vampire. And to top things off she stood perfectly still with a super creepy look on her face. A vampire is not something you expect to see in September....or ever.....

Second....I had a car pass me at the closest vicinity I have ever experienced. I never heard it because it was windy....and a car was coming at me. I was as far right as I could get on a road with zero shoulder. The asshole should have waited...instead...passed me on a rough road nearly clipping my elbow at 50mph. Close, but no harm no foul.

And....finally. I turn 40 in June of 2016. I have some goals I will share once I get them dialed in. Keep the rubber side down friends.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Taking back what's mine......

I needed a day. So I took one. 

I got up and headed to Owasippe. Solo. I knew Dave and Jay were riding Upper Mac, Wahfield, Merrill and Luton. I was craving Owasippe. It is such a cool trail....and I was going to destroy my legs. What better way to do it...than on a trail with lots of climbs.

When I arrived there were a few people in the parking lot, so I didn't feel so anxious about riding alone. I geared up and headed out. First two miles are my Only issue I had was my new shoes. They were killing my feet. Hurting to the point that I actually stopped and took them off. Reset them and moved on. Finally about 10 miles in my feet were used to them and I was feeling better. I think that pain took away from my legs. lol. I rode the outer loop and and then the inner loop. Legs were feeling ok. I was actually faster on some segments than the last time I rode here....and that was before LJ100. Interesting. 

I loaded up, texted MC and headed to Merrill. During transit I got a call from Jay. They were at Merrill and ready for their second lap. They decided to wait since I was only a few minutes away!

I arrived at Merrill and everyone was there. Dave, Jay and MC were ready to go. Unloaded, geared up...and off we went. Merrill is historically not my favorite place to ride. I don't mind the technical, I am just not fast in the tight and twisty trails. Then, add in the pace that Jay and Dave ride....ugh. I was holding on for dear life...literally. We took the Siren loop that I love. ZOOM. The more I ride the Anthem the more I trust it....still not 100% trust...but getting there. Eventually I got dumped....MC was nice enough to stay with me. I wasn't far behind...but the legs were feeling stressed. Jay and Dave headed to Luton while MC and I went out for another lap. We even did Sawtooth, which wasn't as scary as I remember. We got done with that loop and headed to Luton.

I was looking forward to riding legs were not. As I hit the 40 mile mark for the day I started to cramp. I was forced to slow down. I wanted to do 2 loops but I only managed one. Still such a fun trail. I was just out of gas. 

Thanks to Jay, Dave and MC for hanging out with me. Fun day on the bike.

Now, why the title. I had a purpose for Friday. It was to take back what was taken from me. Since LJ and the deer episode I have not been riding much. Then throw in the speed sucking staph infection and I was really starting to wonder what happened. So, I took some time off and let my body heal. Did a few rides and was feeling a bit better. True test was last weekend on Kal-Haven. I was holding on for dear life in a pace line. I was feeling really good. But I wasn't convinced that I had taken my speed back. So, I decided to stress my legs more on Friday. Either get back what speed and endurance I had....or destroy myself trying. While I didn't feel like I had all my climbing  power back....I felt much better on the bike that I have in a long time. So I took it back. I had to....I earned it in the first place. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Lack of Power

Staph infection.

I don't go to the doctor unless something is truly wrong. I cause major panic when i say "I think I need to go to the doctor". I broke down and went a few weeks ago because I didn't want to become a viral video on the internet. 

A bug bite or an ingrown hair turned into a massive lump of infection on my back. After some prodding we decided it was best to have a doctor check it out before it got worse. A local and a scalpel were enough to try to get some of the infection out. The pushing to get the infection out was enough to make me want to pass out. Legit. It was the worst pain I have ever endured....and I blew my finger apart with a nail gun a few years ago. The doctor said "dont sit up...I don't want you to pass out" was awful. At any rate...major pain meds and an antibiotic were enough to send me on my way. Within a few days it was internet sensation zip popping here.

I took a few days off the bike and then rode. Um, that infection had my body shredded. I barely managed 16mph on a short road ride. A tiny hill made me feel like I was going to die. Zero power is an understatement. I didn't feel worn down...but I was. I rode Custer the following Saturday and was slower than normal. New bike aside, I was feeling ok....just couldn't hold any sort of speed.

So I rode during the week and felt pretty good. Slow still, but legs felt like they were coming back. Jumped on the road bike and averaged 17.6 on a loop that I always ride. Good right? Well, I hit custer again on the following Saturday and felt like someone stole my legs again. The first 4 miles were good...and then ZAP...nothing. I rode 18ish miles and was awful the rest of the day. Still suffering the side effects of the infection.

So I have taken a week off now. I will try to ride tonight to see how I feel. I am riding again tomorrow as well. Just a bad feeling after all the riding I have done this year to feel so slow. I mean...I got a new bike and felt faster....and each ride has shown a decrease in speed. Not really the way that is supposed to work. 

At any rate...somethings rest is the better idea. Not forced due to over training.....but forced because my body needed time to rebuild. Listen to your body.