Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pretty crazy, but back to normal...

OK, the last few weeks have been pretty crazy. I know some friends have a busy life and still manage to get there training, but sometimes you have to put things in perspective and do what you can. The last two weeks I’ve had finals in both my classes, one being editing 5 interviews for a final presentation, and the other a final analytical thesis. Ugh! Plus this past week on top of finals I had my parents in town, which I wanted to spend as much time as I could with. CRAZY!

Oh and 40 hours of work!

Needless to say I had to drop a few workouts, well not a few, but most. I had over the last 2 weeks only 4 workouts in a space of when I should have had 10-12. I could feel my base slowly getting away from me. The months of training slipping away…
Not ready – I knew this was a bad 2 weeks for training and tried to get in what I could. It also meant that I had to watch what I ate somewhat closely for the last two weeks. Can’t eat like I’m training 6x a week when I’m clearly not. Also, I knew it was temporary, but two weeks down is still two weeks down. So that week will be a build up, soft week. Then starting Friday I’ll be back in the full routine again. Playing weekend warrior can only last so long, because it’s not sustainable and ONLY leads to injury.

The things I do.

So have you ever just really let yourself down? Did crappy in a race because you knew you didn’t train right for it. Or jump into something at a level you should have known was going to need your “A” game and you suffered. I’ve been doing some great bike training the last few months and I’ve been focusing on flats, because that was my weakness from last year. I threw a rough hill climb in this week knowing I was going to get my ass handed to me because I haven’t been doing a lot of hill work this year. Not compared to other years. And as planned it was painful.

A friend and I started with a loop around Mercer Island then headed over and up to Cougar Mountain. As soon as you make the turn on to Lakemont Blvd. it’s no screwing around, right away you realize ‘ Pace, you will walk if you don’t!’ There are I think 5 steps to the climb, can’t rush because you can’t see the top. Slow, steady. Well not that slow, I wasn’t eating my lunch, but I was careful not to red line. My friend Chris stayed about 40 yards in the lead for the whole climb and that’s what I was wanting and waiting to feel. That feeling of “you’re dying and he’s not”, “you should be loving this, but you’re not”. That voice in your head, my head, saying “this is what you need, get your ass in gear” That same voice saying, “you have nothing, your legs are gone, stop, what are you doing, you can’t handle this, what were you thinking, you’re not ready”

That voice competing with the other voice saying, “Pace, find your rhythm, stay within yourself, don’t panic” Again, “Pace, find your rhythm, stay within yourself, don’t panic”. “Pace, find your rhythm, stay within yourself, don’t panic”. You hit a point where you’re going to listen to one or the other. You’re going to stop and walk or you’re going to fall back on what you know and weather a bad situation on a climb (ride).

I put myself on a hard climb when I wasn’t 100% ready for it for a few reasons.

1. After 2 weeks of missed workouts I needed to get my head back in the game
2. Nothing motivates me like not being in the condition I should be in

It was a good hard ride and it ends March with room to still get a 60+ ride in, which was the over all goal for March. Well, training should get back to normal this week and track workout will start up this week or next week. Those are always fun, ugh….

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Great weekend Ride...

I took the race bike out for a spin on Saturday. It’s funny how even if I haven’t been on him for six months it feels like only a weekend has passed since jumping on for a ride. I’ve done enough training rides on George, my 4 year old Trek, this year to feel like I have my riding legs under me. Meaning that more or less I have the confidence to go out pretty aggressive with a good pace and kept that going for about 3 hours.

Yesterday we started out with two good hill climbs then a long 15 mile flat, followed by a few hill climbs and finishing off with some rolls into the finish. The start up Market and Juanita were taken at a aggressive pace, I wanted to feel plenty worked by the time we got to the top because I knew we’d have time to recover on the long down hill on the back end. I was riding with a friend Chris and he can descend on a down like a rocket, so I knew it would be a challenge to keep up with him and he’s a confident rider so that always makes a difference.

Heading into the flats the trail was getting pretty busy, but I knew once we got about a mile or two past some of the parking lots it would open up. I hadn’t, like I said, been on the race bike this year yet so I was curious to what kind of speed I could maintain over a 10 mile stretch at a hard effort. I usually train at a 80-85% perceived effort, but I wanted to hit the flats closers to 90-95%. I didn’t tell Chris, but he was on my wheel and a strong rider so I knew he was up for it. We averaged 22 MPH through the flats for a distance of about 10 miles, not bad for only being March!

We still had about 22 miles left to go and the hill climbs ahead of us weren’t terrible just the slow constant 2-3% grade up for about 3-4 miles. It was a great day out, lots of sun and an eagle along the water to look at. We finished the day with 42 miles and a welcome ride back to the car. Not bad for still being winter

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's chilly and hilly

Yesterday was the Chilly Hilly, pretty fun. I wanted to ride and have fun and let the day unfold with a few people I thought I'd be riding with, BUT I ended up riding by myself. Oh well.

I started out pretty easy, trying to take in the first climb or two at ease and the legs felt pretty good. I got to the top of the first climb and I figured "what the hell" I took off and turned my easy day into a great hill training day. The legs were feeling so ready for the work, I started the day thinking I was tired and would rest the legs on a easy ride. So I was a bit surprised to finish in 2:08, a few minutes faster than before.

Hill climbing is something else. There is something about cranking up and up and up a hill. Your hips brace for the turning, your legs sit in for the feeling of what pace is possible. There's nothing really mystical about it, just training. And by that I mean train the hills. At the beginning of the year I ride my hill training course and hit it at about 12:30 minutes per lap. By June 1st, just over 10, by end of August I can hit my hill course in under 10 minutes usually even after multiple laps. And I know people love to say "well you lose weight throughout the year so you can climb easier" During the year I only loose about 3 pounds.

Sunday was a good idea about how the years training going so far and I'm pretty happy with it so far.