Thursday, August 28, 2008


I just haven't been inspired to post lately. My training is just kind of cruising along, without anything super exciting. I don't have another race for two weeks, and then its just a DINO race, which I expect to be much like the last DINO race, except slightly less painful. I'm a long way from being back in the mix competitively, and I'm okay with that. I know that several steady, unexciting weeks of training are necessary to get me where I was earlier in the year. I just want to not get last place in my class at Iceman and I will be happy. Ten weeks to get that accomplished.

Training will slow down a bit for the next couple of days, since my mom is coming to visit and then I've got my next big butt-kicker workout on Monday. Maybe it will garner some training tales worth telling.


The one interesting thing I can think of is that last night I did an easy 45-minute ride with sprints mixed in. I've been dying to sprint really hard since I got the power meter, but botched TT's and the last race had my legs feeling unsprintable until my day off on Sunday. So last night was a good time, but when I got home and compared my data to "the chart by which I measure my self-worth" (kidding, of course), my suspicions that I'm no Thor Hushovd were confirmed. Right now, my max power is hanging out in the "untrained" territory near the bottom of the page. Of course, I'm actually required to sprint in races, like, never, so I suppose that's okay.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Extra Rest

I seems that last week's race took even more of a toll on me than I thought, as I'm still not recovered from it, despite a relative easy training week since. So after a long debate with myself, I decided to stay in bed this morning instead of getting up at 6:00 to do a long ride at Town Run. I need to be getting more long stuff in, but I also think that another butt-kicking effort in my unrecovered state would mostly just dig me into a hole. So I stayed home, slept until noon, and enjoyed crazy dreams about tornados and putting underwear on cats (because that would somehow protect them from the tornados).

I'm trying not to feel guilty since I think I made the best decision for my next couple of week's training. With things ramping up, I can afford to start tired and now, hopefully, I won't be.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wednesday Night Weirdness

As I mentioned the other day, Coach Dave has scheduled all my workouts up until a few days before the DINO 6/12/24 hour race. Things are looking pretty good, because its about as close to the perfect "get back into shape and try to save the end of the season" plan as I can imagine. It starts off very easy, with each week increasing in volume and intensity. Sundays are long and moderate/hard to get ready for the 12 hour, but the weekdays are pretty kind so that I'll be able to recover. For example, this week had my usual Monday off, then easy 45 minute spins on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. My only "hard" workout for the week was a 1.5 hour group ride last night.

For my group ride, I made another attempt Wednesday Night Worlds. It was a little strange because the ride started out relatively easy. I had to push to stay on a few times due to the yo-yo effect of riding at the back of the pack, but most of the time the pace was comfortable even for me. Then the group spontaneously turned back toward town after only 35 minutes and broke out in a superfast pace line. I didn't even get a chance to tack on, much less get dropped. It turns out they have a loop they use for crit practice out there that I didn't know about.

After separating from the group, I just headed home because I wasn't really feeling it anyway. I was still tired from the race on Sunday and I found it really hard to get into the idea of a group ride since I'm not going to be doing it every week. There's too much of a learning curve involved (last night as an example) for me to do well just randomly showing up once in while. I'm not saying I won't do it again; I'm just saying last night wasn't the night for it and I'm cool with that.

The rest of the week should be good since I'm just riding short and easy every day until Sunday, which is a two-hour "race simulation" with up to four hours of total riding if I feel okay. I'm hoping to go ride at Town Run Park, the venue for the next DINO race, while Adam races a crit in Indianapolis. I'm thinking if I can get in three laps hard and three laps easy, that should be a good start for my 12 hour training.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Forgot the Best Part

I forgot the best part of my race report when I wote it earlier today. To demonstrate the depth of my glycogen depleted stupor after the race, I must add the part where I managed to moon a whole EZ up tent full of relative strangers. My train of thought went something like this:

1) Wrapping towel around my waist so that I could pull off shorts
2) To self: "Gee, this would be easier if this stupid towel wasn't in way"
3) Flipping towel up and pulling down shorts
4) To self: "Wow, that breeze on my butt feels nice. Wait, why do I have a breeze on my butt?"
5) Quickly yanking towel back down
6) Looking around to see who noticed

Everyone acted like they didn't notice, which was nice of them, but it also made it awkward for me decided if I should apologize for mooning them or just act like nothing happened. I opted for a short "Sorry guys!" and an embarrassed smile. If they knew what I was talking about, fine. If not, fine.

A Perfectly Acceptable First Race Back

Over the past couple of weeks, I've had a lot of mixed feelings about the DINO Logansport race. It's exciting to be riding and racing again, but I was also scared because my few "post-return" attempts at hard workouts have not gone so well. It appears that a getting a virus in June and then riding about 4 hours total for the entire month of July has whittled my ability to ride hard down to about 5 minutes at a time. That's not a good sign going into a 20+ mile mountain bike race.

I've been hearing a lot about this whole "positive self talk" thing lately and decided it was worth a try. However, going into the race I was having a hard time determining the line between positive, negative, and realistic. By the time I hit the starting line yesterday, I still hadn't figured that out.

I opted to just start the race and see what happened. I went out at a conservative pace and put little thought into who was in front of or behind me and by how much. I knew I just needed to get through the three laps at the best pace I could and I would be happy. Somehow during the first few miles, those thoughts turned into my mantra, "A Perfectly Acceptable First Race Back", which I repeated over and over to myself. I had no concern for my place or time, I just wanted to finish without slowing down, quitting, or crying.

I managed to avoid the last two, but the last lap did result in a spectacular bonk and the loss of power in all but about three muscle fibers in my body. It hurt so bad and by the time I was done the beginner race had started and I had to battle the onslaught of men in baggy shorts with their Fruit of the Looms peeking out trying to get around me. Pretty embarrassing, but sticking it out seemed imperative after all the mechanicals and DNF's this season has brought. So I finished, and I was satisfied.

When it was all over, I was the hungriest and most tired I've ever remember being after a race, even the Ouachita Challenge. My sugar-ban was temporarily suspended as we stopped by Adam's hometown where we got ice cream and then went to visit his parent's house. That's okay, though, since it was all very necessary for restoring my brain and muscle function and it may go down in my mind as the best ice cream/Ritz crackers/salad/pizza/pie (all in a two-hour span) I've ever eaten.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I promised tales of accunpuncture and FTP tests today, but I didn't say they would be exciting.

The accupuncture was interesting, but I'm not cured of whatever's ailing me yet. The highlight was the lady telling me that I was too young too be feeling so worn out. I'm trying to not to read too much into that philosophically.

Despite gritty determination, the FTP test didn't happen, or at least not well enough to get good data from. I've had two ridiculously bad work days in a row and my whole body was hurting from the stress. I simply do not have a time trial in me at this time. Hopefully, I've got enough power data for a reasonable guess as to my training zones and I can just work on getting back into normal training until my next scheduled test in about four weeks. All my workouts are already scheduled between now and then and they look surprisingly kind. I think my next few week's schedule will be good for building my confidence back.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I Don't Feel Like It

"What?" you ask. Anything.

After completing my class (A-) and starting to ride again, I attempted a time trial last Tuesday that has left me completely blown up mentally and physically ever since. I still haven't done my FTP test, but it is on tap for tomorrow. I think part of the problem was trying to go too hard, too soon, and the other part is that I'm just feeling too well to begin with. Without dragging on and sounding like a crazy hypochrodriac (more than I do already), I'll say I'm embarking on a multi-faceted plan to restore my mental and physical well-being. For the moment, I'm working on de-sugarizing my diet (18 hours clean) and I've got an appointment with an accupuncturist tomorrow. I'm not really sure what I'm expecting, but it's just something I wanted to try.

I will be back tomorrow with tales of being stabbed with needles, both by a stranger and by myself (at least metaphorically during my FTP test).

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Iceman May Cometh After All

A few months ago I mentioned the fact that I had decided to forgo entering the lottery for an Iceman spot, because I was hoping to win one through the DINO series. I compared my strategy to a poker game rather than a lottery. The thing is, it's all gambling and it became pretty apparent once the season was underway that I didn't have much of a hand to play.

Well, I'll spare you any more metaphors and say that I have it looks like I have another chance. A few days ago, the Velo Bella pro team manager posted an announcement on the team listserv that he and some of the pro team members were going to be at Iceman and that the race directors had offered him a few spots for non-pro members, as well. I replied within minutes that I was 100% interested, but I haven't got an official reply yet. However, I'm too excited to keep the news to myself any longer.

I'm excited for a number of reasons. The greatest of which is that I now have 14 weeks until my last mountain bike race of the season. As my "reunion tour" post from the other day may indicate, I'm really committed to squeezing as much as I can out of the remaining months of 2008. 'Cross is fun at all, but it's not my strong suit. I'm excited about the opportunity to test myself against a strong field of female mountain bikers and the fact that I actually still have time to get in shape for it.

Also, I'm excited about getting to stay with other Velo Bella members before the race. I'm sure it won't be quite the go-go boot wearing, wine tasting, disco dancing party that imagine all Velo Bella gatherings to be, but it should be fun. Hopefully, it will be the extra boost I need to be bring my "A" game.

So it feels like things are finally starting to fall into place for me in the strangest of ways. I really hope that can fall in with them and make the most of the opportunities that I've been given.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

So "summer vacation" in grown-up world means unexpectedly taking off a Thursday and Friday from work because I'm about to lose my mind. However, it is Sunday night and despite the usual dread of going back to work tomorrow, my sanity it intact, as promised. So what have I done for the last four days?

Well, most importantly, I finished all the work for my class a week early. No more school for me!!!

Secondly, I returned to training and celebrated with a the purchase of a power meter. However, I haven't got much use out of said power meter yet, because the installation and debugging of both the unit and the software turned out to be more difficult than planned. I had it working tenuously at best on Friday night and I came to the decision that I needed to postpone my field test until I got all of the kinks worked out. I just couldn't bring myself to pedal my guts out for 20 minutes, unless I was 99% sure I'd have usable results to deliver to Coach Dave when I was done. So Saturday morning I went out just played to make sure everything was working. I think I've got it figured out now.

Today my friend Chrysa and I pre-rode the course for the Logansport DINO race. We didn't accomplish as much as I had hoped, because the trail system is kind of a mish mesh and it took me forever to find the correct route. Basically, we rode for nearly two hours trying to find our way through a 25-minute lap. It was fun though, since we haven't got to hang out for quite a while since she's been injured and I've been hiding out in my basement doing homework.

So now my vacation's over and I have to take a shower and drag my tired body to bed. I wish it could last longer, but if I had more time I probably would have just procrastinated more. It's the way it goes. At least I more or less got everything I needed to do done.