Monday, December 5, 2016

Transition Season

I thought I’d write a short check-in post, because it’s been a while since the last one.

Since our last cyclocross race, Frank and I spent a week in Oklahoma visiting my parents for Thanksgiving. We didn’t ship bikes out this time, and were a little stir crazy by the time the week was over. We tried to get as much physical activity as we could by walking dogs and petting cats.




We came back just in time to help out with No Scrubs 2: Electric Boogaloo, Team Laser Cats’ now annual fundraiser alley cat race. Frank hit all of the checkpoints with a little help from local friends while I hung out behind a Walmart and facilitated the feeding of some feral cats.



Once we were home and settled back in with our own kitties, we began our off-season weight training program last week and had our first session with a trainer. I haven’t worked with a trainer since 2013 and Frank hasn’t since high school, and I feel like my strength has really fallen by the wayside since I moved to State College and recovering from the day-to-day strain of life on the rocks began to take priority over from serious and consistent gym efforts. My plan for the next 12-13 weeks is to learn some new tricks, establish a fresh routine, and get really strong again for the first time in nearly four years.

It doesn’t look like there will be a New Jersey fat bike series this year, which is just as well for us, since I’d already made the decision to focus on strength training this winter. We have pulled out the fat bikes a couple of times since Sly Fox, even though it’s not really snowed much yet. I really just prefer riding Hellga when it’s below 50 degrees, whether there’s snow or not, because working hard to go slow is actually a good thing when it’s cold, and I can fully commit to looking silly in the name of comfort, Cobrafists and all.

A very serious post-surgery cat-filled fat bike ride.

Finally, I completed an important transition season milestone on Friday by getting three papillomas removed from my left breast. While getting things cut out of your body is never really convenient, if you’re a cyclist who isn’t gearing up for cyclocross nationals, December is a good time to do it.

Luckily, it really was as easy breezy the surgeon made it out to be. I got a good excuse to use one of the many surplus sick days that I have stored up at work, and got to take a nice drug-induced nap. I took my doses of hydrocodone the first day as the anesthesiologist recommended, but when I woke up Saturday morning never having passed 3 on the pain scale, I stuck with just ibuprofen from that point on. I was able to go the gym Saturday and do a short, easy fat bike ride at Accuweather on Sunday. I’m pretty much down to just minor discomfort that shouldn’t stop me from any of my planned gym sessions or roller rides this week. I’m pretty glad to have that behind me, and that it’s unlikely that it will turn into cancer or anything worse in the future.

So that’s what I’ve been up to the past few weeks, and the next few look to be more of the same: weights, rollers, and long Sunday fat bike rides. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t already getting nervous that I have now officially entered into my TSE build-up period after three years of wondering if I’d ever be able to actually do it, but we have many months left to discuss my inevitable progress and inevitable doubt on the journey to #singletracksummercamp. For now, I’m doing my best to embrace the somewhat boring routine of base-building, as it will make for better exciting stuff later.

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