02 January, 2011
Penultimate Period of Playtime Pending a Post Portraying Participatory Phenomena
Damn, tomorrow signals the end of my Christmas Break. Been eating like it's going out of style but have been cancelling out the consistent intake of kilocalories by running, skiing, and riding the rollers episodically.
Been thinking about how my 2011 cycling season's gonna pan out. My modus operandi has been doing the early season, spring races (not the big ones) until Colorado's snow has melted in the high country and the WinterPark XC/Downhill series begins. Can't do the early, long distance races--the 80 mile plus road races--due to not having enough early season endurance in the legs yet and I can talk myself out of doing criteriums. Here's how I accomplish that (blowing off criteriums): It takes about an hour for me to get to Denver from where I live--one way--and my events are an hour long. So I say to myself, Self? You are in the car twice as long as the race is, and, the cost of gas (to get to the event) is less than or equal to the entrance fee. Now that's some rationale. It depends on how my Winter training (I said training) comes through. What I normally do is I get myself into some early season crits and see where my fitness falls into the pecking order of the peloton (which is usually at the far left of the bell curve), then maybe I'll commit to more races. Racing towards fitness. If my fitness sucks, the weekends are reserved for constructive workouts (or just piling in a bunch of miles with some intensity thrown in) and group rides. I wanna do the Battle the Bear (Creek) 50 mile XC race in April. That's a good one to fire up the system.
I have mental encumbrances planning out roller workouts during the work week too. Two hours of commuting, and another hour workout? Don't have enough hours in the day to ensure I spend time with the kids doing homework or even planning out my days' next lesson. The punkins are getting older so maybe, once they're more independent, I can ferret out some actual training that involves group rides. Training solo has its advantages. Mainly don't have to wait for the rest of my party to show up; but, my perceived exertion may or may not trick me into thinking my intensity's hard enough (no peer present to compare it to). I have no idea how hard to go to make the break if I'm flying solo. Don't have any machinery that displays watts just m.p.h. and my reptilian brainstem says, Dang Mikey you sho is going hard and shtuff. Don't you think you need a rest? Need a group ride to suss out my fitness and any resulting improvement thereafter.
Here's what I have done this week: two roller workouts ever since wind currents from the Arctic nether regions visited us lately. This translated into frigid temps even with the sun overhead. Talking about single digit temps. Coupled with my 3 mile jaunts on the dreadmill (treadmill) hopefully this is making the fire of metabolism burn with a wee bit more intensity. I also finished The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. Excellent read, highly recommend it (see sidebar).
My roller workouts consist of doing alternating, minute-two minute-three minute-four minute-five minute (then reverse) periods of big ring spinning over 25 mph with the same amount of time recovering. I try to do this for an hour. One hour on the rollers is like my real time version of Sisyphus. It is singularly the most mentally painful thing I endure. I don't put any cheater railings to help stay gyroscopically afloat neither. Here's how I mount my steed: I put my dominant (foot) pedal at the 12 o'clock then I push down and get the other foot clicked in and I'm off! How am i going to train for road racing and attempt a half marathon come June? I better get off my arse and do some planning or hire a coach (or I can save the money and buy boutique beers!).
To break things up mentally, I try and get a new max speed without falling off the rollers. I slap the chain on the 53X12 and spin it like a fiend! Can't seem to break 50 mph.
My friend Chip, back-in-the-day when we were teammates in Texas, had a team roller workout at the shop that sponsored us and we were going for top speed, roller records and he beat me by 2 mph: 57 mph. He promptly fell off the bike and put a big rug burn on the sales floor carpet and the head mechanic was pissed because he had to clean it up.
Just got back from skiing with my girls again! They/we all did an ungroomed bowl today and attempted moguls. I got a kind comment from another male skier when he saw me towing my middle daughter (via my ski pole) up a hill using my mad XC skiing skate skills (albeit alpine skis). He said you're a good father! I replied I'm trying to get 'em hooked [on skiing]. The moguls kinda killed 'em but boy did we have a blast today! Work starts up tomorrow. NOT looking forward to that...