Monday, January 24, 2011

Thinking & Pondering

That is what I am doing this evening.  Anyone reading this knows I pretty much took last year off from any kind of serious riding.  2.5yrs of some (for me) serious training and no fun-ride riding just left me feeling burnt out and not enjoying cycling anymore.  I did one organized ride last year, thought about doing a few others, but never did.

I made a post on my Facebook page - wondering whether 3.5 (actually 15 weeks) months would be enough time to prepare for Assault on Mt Mitchell??  I sorta felt like it wasn't, so I also posted this and that I would do Caesars Head Challenge in June.  Sorta gave up on the idea until an acquaintance from work posted and told me, basically, "so what if you only have 3.5 months?  Train & prepare for it.  You could do the ride and have a PR, but will never know if you don't do the ride.  Some days you are the Hammer.  And some days the Nail".

Well, I know how to train for the ride.  I know the ride.  I can do this.  I can sit down and make out my training plan, stick to it and maybe have a PR.  Maybe I won't PR, but it's a dang fun ride and I will enjoy it.  Do I have to have rides upon rides in the mountains to be able to do this ride?  No.  I have friends from here in flatland that did the ride (pretty dang strong riders) with only training in flatland.  They may have occasionally done day trips or such for climbing rides, but it can be done without.

Just because I haven't been climbing in over a year, does not mean I have forgotten how to climb.  I can take a day trip to Marion and do the last 27 miles.  I can head out to the Hanging Rock/Pilot Mtn area for some training.  It can be done.

Damn.  Do I really have a goal now?  Yes.  Something to work towards - something to motivate me to ride and get back in the shape I was in 2009.  I'm actually excited about this!!  I remember  doing a post last year - talking about how I had signed up for AoMM and then bailing on it later on.  My mind, and more importantly, my heart wasn't in it last year.  I believe both are in it this year. :)

I guess I can use the next few weeks of lunchtime riding, to start building the endurance up, stop being a wussy with the weather & ride more on the weekends, and finally - when DST rolls around be ready to start my favorite part of training - intervals.

I can do it!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Good Grief - It has been a long time!

Wow.  Here it is, a new year, January 15, 2011, and this is my first post since August 27, 2010.  But, I have a somewhat legitimate issues.

Damn.  I read my last entry - I was riding so well with the guys, riding really strong, looking forward to an exciting cyclocross season, working with Taylor on training, and BAM!!  It all came to a damn standstill Labor Day weekend.  

Long story - short.  My Dad has dementia/Alzheimers, his wife (my step-mom) couldn't deal with him anymore and she laid it all on me that weekend.  "Come get him.  Do something with him.  I don't want to live with him anymore."  And, so it began.

I managed to ride 10-12 times in September, but that was it, pretty much for the remainder of the year.  My Dad was doing all kinds of crazy things and I was being pulled in every which direction trying to make the right decisions concerning him & his well being (he's now in an assisted living facility here in Raleigh.  Things aren't great - he wants to move to Greenville, SC and I'm not letting him.  Otherwise doing well).  October came & went with me doing 2 rides.  November came & went with one ride under my belt.  December came & went with one ride.  So discouraged and depressed about cycling at that time - here I had 7 bikes in my house, I was a really strong rider and now, I'm not getting to ride any, I've been off the bike for 3 months - felt like giving up.

7 bikes?  Yep.  I bought a 2008 Specialized Era FSR the first of September and then a Quintana Roo Tequilio TT bike mid September.  Have yet had the pleasure of riding the mtb, but got to ride the TT bike quite a bit in September.  Looking forward to doing some TT's this spring/summer.

As for being off the bike for 3 months and feeling bad...I'm not a quitter.  Kept in touch with Dallas through all the Dad issues and I had decided, come January 1, 2011, I was going to get my ass in gear and do something.  Ride the trainer for at least 30-45min on Tuesday & Thursday and try to get out for an hour or so each day on the weekends.  I've not been exactly successful, but I'm definitely doing a lot better.

Dallas contacted me 12/31 and wanted to know if I wanted to get out for a New Year's Day ride??  Hell Yes. :) There were 6 of us total riding - Dallas, Randall, Grady, Ricky, Philip & myself.  OMG.  I knew I was in for a serious hurting cause these guys have been able to continue riding, hitting Umstead on the weekends or the mtb trails.  But, I was determined to do the best I could and despite only riding 3 times in the last 3 months - I did damn good. :)

33 miles in 1:50+ hr, a 17.5 avg.  The pace was a bit hot for the first 18mi - I didn't think I'd make it back if it continued that way and told Dallas.  Grady, Randall, & Philip went on ahead and finished up the ride with a 19+ avg.  19+ in the dead of winter.  Dallas & Ricky got me back at a decent pace.  Anyways...since then, I've tried to ride the trainer 2x/week and start a run/walk program.

Run/walk??  Yep.  I have decided to try a duathlon!  The first one is 3/5 down in Waxhaw, NC and it's 2mi/19mi/2mi.  I'm on week 3 of the program and should be able to do the 2mi by then.  The ride part should be fairly easy for me, at least I hope so!  

What else?  That's pretty much it, in a nutshell.  Keep getting some cycle time in my butt & legs via trainer & road and I'm going to be strong again!  Haven't really planned any rides like I had in  the past years - I might do 1 or 2 organized rides, but not sure.

Hope everyone that reads this is doing well and having a great start to the New Year!!