Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Just getting out the door

Today was a real victory for me. The plan called for sprints+3hrs on the bike. I did the 3hrs but not the sprints.

It never got above 32 degrees. We had wind advisories. It is always somewhat windy here, so when the weather service says wind advisories they are talking 20-30mph winds. The winds were so bad last night that the kids were scared at 3am and came to sleep in our bed.

I got up in the morning with the singular goal of just getting out the door on the bike. My wife thought I was crazy. I thought about grabbing the mountain bike as weather (except rain and deep snow)really isn't a factor because the trees block any wind, and the speeds are typically much slower than roadbiking and the heat generation is higher.

But I nixed that because around here it is really hard to do long easy rides on the mountain bike. The other reason is that I don't want to do long easy rides on the mountain bike. When I get on the mountain bike I want to raging. I want to be fast and quick, and powerful. I don't want to just piddle around.

On the road bike I can go easy AND I can go hard, and I don't mind going easy.

I was just saying over and over in my head, "Just get out the door" And I did.

Cloudy, windy, light snow showers (blowing horizontal), then a little sunshine then it was gone. I headed out Mt Tabor road to the Sandy Ridge turn back on Harding. The wind was at my back, and it lulled me into a complacency.

Oh, Virginia is so beautiful
Wow! I am riding great for this time of year.
yada, yada, yada

Then I made the turn. And the wind hit me like a hammer, just pummeling me. And who else was there, but Mr. T. Right where he's been the whole time, Right behind me.

Stop your Jiba Jaba Foo.
Welcome to Virginia

I was riding sections that I've done at 22+mph alone and 30+in a paceline at 13mph. It was rough. I came to a cutoff point where I could have been home in another 1/2hr, but I turned and got another 1hr in.

The hardest part was the last few miles to my house, the wind was just howling into me.

A victory even though I didn't do my sprints. Mentally, there was just no way I could do sprints and then do this ride. Sprints require their own mental focus and motivation, and I was already focused on just trying to get out the door. Sometimes I just can't do more than one thing at a time.

Tomorrow calls for a slightly shorter ride but then some Muscle Endurance intervals at the end. Those I can do with a longer ride. But not sprints.

What I think I need to do is add another day into my cycle where I just do the sprints on the trainer and that's it. Then the next day do my long ride, and the next do the long ride+ME intervals, then to the rest block.

It's funny. This is actually the first year that I'm doing the endurance phase pretty close to the plan. The past few years I've really skimped on it due to the weather and not being able to sit on the trainer for long easy rides. An organized planned interval session goes by fast, but just sitting and spinning is agony. So I really half assed the endurance phase and then went right into the SMSP and MSP phases.

This year with new found motivation from the other bloggers out there, I've made more of a commitment to just get out there. There are obvious benefits to working on my aerobic engine. But another benefit I am realizing is that doing this sort of stuff makes you tough.

You know that hardness that you see in the pro riders, anyone Cat2 or higher. The mental and physical toughness that comes from being out in the elements. I'm getting a small taste of it. I remember reading in Davis Phinney's book that some of their training was just to put themselves into hard weather to toughen themselves up, so that in a race if the conditions worsen than they will be better off then their competitors.

Oh, a side note on how I can ride during the week. I've been saving personal vacation time up specifically for this phase of training. It just won't fly family wise to do too many long rides on the weekend, so I try to get most done during the week. I'm very luck that I'm my own manager. The phase only lasts 3 weeks and after that volume drops drastically as intensity skyrockets. These rides are done mostly on the trainer and are short enough that anyone with work/family can fit them in.

During the main season, the time has changed so there is more daylight to get out earlier on the weekends. Even though there is more light in the evening I will only do 1 ride/week at those times because when you have a family those are the Witching hours (between 4pm and 6pm)

My heart goes out to people with jobs that are really restrictive.


At 4:10 PM, Blogger mags said...

I don't know how people with full-time jobs and a family find time to put in 15-20 hours per week of training AND quality recovery time. That is an amazing feat of time management.


At 4:44 PM, Blogger ashwinearl said...

Last year, my AVERAGE for a week was 5hrs. The max was 12, min 0

This is why I race shorter mtn bike races at intermediate level as opposed to endurance events. I don't know what I'm going to do when/if I move up to expert class.

How the Cat 2 roadies do it with work/families I don't know. They must have very understanding wives.

At 5:30 PM, Blogger mags said...

Yeah, I don't get how they can do it.



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