Monday, September 20, 2004

It all adds up

Man, gotta get my act together and get a better night's sleep. It takes me so long to just fall asleep, and then it is such a light sleep that any sound wakes me up. One hour here, one hour there it really adds up.

You always read it from cycling coaches, about the amount of sleep needed for those who are training and racing. Sheesh, yeah that's for those who don't have a life outside of cycling, with jobs, kids, wives. etc....

But it is so hard to lay down at 9, after the whole day at work or on the weekend without much time to myself to just tinker or veg. out. I would never have time to work on my bike if it wasn't for that time after the kids go to bed and before I go to bed. I've been trying out Ambien sleeping pills.

They work incredibly well, and don't leave you feeling like a zombie in the morning. It just bugs me some to have to resort to chemicals on a regular basis. But this sleep thing has been going on forever.

Especially now with all the craziness going on at home. Karen's mother and grandmother and the grandmother's cat are living with us for 3 months. Yes 3 months while her mom's new house is being built. Yes it is as bad as it sounds, and I'm just waiting for the numbness to sink deeper in order to make it day to day.

It's not like either are bad people, quite friendly actually, but it's the cummulative stress of the little things adding up especially when they can't be escaped from because you freeking live there. Even little things like her grandmother's cat bug me. Me. I am not a cat person, I've decided. Oh we have our own cat, but she is a Manx Cat. Manx's are NOT like other cats. Manxs have a personality akin to dogs and are very much people cats. What bugs me about this other cat is it hisses at me and my kids, it is scared of its own shadow, and the fact that my cat doesn't like it. So maybe it's that I like my cat but not other cats who come live at my house...

Or the hacking sound that her mom makes every time she goes to the bathroom, EVERY 1/2 HOUR the ENTIRE NIGHT!!!. If it wasn't for that sleeping pill, I'd be up every 1/2 hour.

Or the constant little bickering that Karen and her mom do when they are in the kitchen. SERENITY NOW!! just ignore it. it will go away like a bad dream..Yeah right.

Or the fact that her Mom has to be involved in every conversation going on around her even if she has absolutely no clue what the discussion is about.

Anyway as you can see just like lost sleep it all adds up.

The past few days I've tried to do some hard rides because I'm planning a rest week this week, prior to a ramp up for the last 2 races on Oct3 and Oct10. So I wanted to hit it hard prior to the rest week. But being so tired and distracted makes it hard to motivate.

I lost a big project from VDOT this week. Pulled the plug on a $600k project. Enough to put a damper on your weekend. Reminds me of the cleaning lady from my friend's dorm from our freshman year in college. Each Monday she'd come in after a weekend of partying and walk into the bathroom and see the carnage. From down the hall you could here her say:

"Sheeeeeet. I oughtta quit this job"

Thursday I went to the pond to try and do 8min intervals, but was just lightheaded from having no food and slamming a power gel, so I just rode for an hour. I do feel pretty good and in general my over all cruising speed seems to be faster.

Sat was in the basement on the Tacx trainer. 8min on 4 off at 220watts. Not very hard, and I know I can do a harder setting when my mind is in the right place.

Sun was Lukie's birthday party. Parties that always start out with the intention of being simple that always turn into full blow productions that are designed to make other parents feel less worthy. It's a mom thing most definitely. Pretty fun, but draining none the less to plan set up, and entertain nine 4 year olds. But Lukie's a good kid, and he deserves a great party.

can't believe how time flies. he is 4 now and Ansel is 6. Pretty soon I'll have all the time in the world to ride, and I bet I'll be pining away for when they were younger.

Sun I talked to John and we couldn't coordinate a ride, but he told me about him doing 3 x up Nellies Cave road with each rep getting faster. I'd never done that before and it motivated me to try it.

It really wasn't too bad at all. I definitely am getting stronger, cause the first time up was not difficult at all. 2nd time up I grabbed a bigger gear over most of the hill, and third time up I hit it hard at the top.

Of course I have a cold now. But everyone at home does too. At the end of a 3 week block, being worn down in general, and then doing a ride like that always takes me over the edge. I like to think I can be a hardcore trainer, but the reality is that I can only push my limits so much before it falls apart. Keeping tabs on my recovery is a real issue.

But it isn't bumming me out because this week is a planned rest week, just some easy riding with some 5x1min at 300w intervals in the middle of the week to keep some snap.

Anyway enough raving for now.

Monday, September 13, 2004

New PR up Old Farm

I got a new PR climbing up Old Farm trail yesterday. I start timing from the first little creek crossing, and end it at the top of the trail

This beats my last best time by almost a minute. Man I was moving. Some places I was holding big ring and going fast enough to float over some rocks. This included several dismounts so if I was able to clean some of those and hold some more speed I see 16:00 as doable.

So I am just trying to hold this form through the last two races on the 3rd an the 10th of October.

Yesterday's ride I call Up the Downs. I want up OF, down sidewinder, up sidewinder, down beast and up beast and back home. All in about 2hrs.

One promising thing is that my downhilling is getting faster in general. And not just one day here and there, consitently over the last week or so, I just feel more comfortable. I put a new light stem on there and maybe that tweaked my position a little. Or maybe I am just looking farther forward, or just getting some of my timing back. But it's good

Now if I can just figure out how to do a small front wheelie while climbing and land it so that my strong foot is forward so that I can bunny hop over a ledge, w/o losing momentum than I will be golden. I used to be able to do that but can' t time it right anymore.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Mock race Sunday

On Sunday I went to Brush to do sort of a mock race sim. It is hard to motivate when it is just yourself, and I sure didn't have the type of focus I had a Massanutten, but hey I tried.

Started at parking lot, short warm up to intersection with Horse annex and basin trail. That was my start point. Rode up it then up to the Beast. Going down beast is gettng faster for me a little. My hands hurt so much though.

Trying to brake in rough sections places a lot of strain on them. I don't know if doing forearm work will help because the pain is in the hands not my arms. I'm trying to get better at where I look, and how to get more comfortable at speed.

The biggest problem is ridding on the loose soil, that sketchy feeling of always sliding. I need to get better at that.

I then rode up to the gaps and all the way to where the race start will be, then turned around and rode back on the gaps to the intersection where I started at . Stopped to talkto Chris B for about 5 mins.

total time was 2:15 so I am assuming without the chat it would have been 2:10. I had really no warmup and didn't ride as hard as if it was a real race, so my target goal is to beat 2:05

My legs felt pretty good, and I pushed middle ring on all the rock gardens and loose rock climbs on the way back on the gaps which was when they would be the most fatigued. So that is good.

All in all, ok. I rode a short ride on the single speed the next day. Out Tabor to Bishop then up Happy Hollow and Harding. That was hard, but I wanted to work my legs as much as I could for a short ride.

1 day completely off, and I better get on the trainer tonight otherwise the legs will be too stiff.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

new wheel

Did a trainer ride yesterday. 4min intervals. 2sets 4 reps. 4min on 4off at 250watts.

Not too bad, but I bogged down on the last two and half assed them.

Road mountain bike this morning. Last night I put on that new Hugi/sworks rear wheel and mounted the Stans and a Ritchey Zmax that came with the wheel.

Man that thing is LOUD. I guess it will keep me from scaring hikers.

The tire worked ok. Felt pretty good, holding back some, trying to focus on skills more. Flew down Beast. Scared myself a little. Hands hurt pretty good.
Having hard time remembering how to pop the front wheel and land it on a stair step, and then hop in order to clean technical climbs. Used to do it second nature now I can't remember how. Hardest part is landing with the strong foot forward and all in one motion bunny hop forward so that you don't lose any momentum.