Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Training Camp that almost wasn't...

President's Day weekend was a great weekend for cycling. It didn't exactly go down the way it was planned but it worked. My coach and teammate were all geared up, hotel reservations made, and psyched to go to work on the Friday before President's weekend knowing that as soon as work was over the fun would begin. We had made hotel reservations, multiple rides planned, and the big 'ol snowstorm that was heading into Blacksburg VA had other plans.

It was forecasted for Blacksburg to get 3-5 inches of snow that Sunday. This meant that there would be no riding Sunday and Monday with conditions being that bad. We were taking fat tired road bikes so conditions were going to play a huge part. Wonderful - FML. Last minute suggestions had us swinging our target from Blacksburg to State College PA. I love the terrain that the Wilderness 101 is on, and the roads in the surrounding area had to be entertaining, so why not give that a shot. Besides, my coach went to Penn State so he had to have some insight on the area...pull the trigger. We loaded up the truck and headed out.

What a great idea. We rode for all 4 days. Sometimes on amazing roads, and not so amazing roads. Great conditions, and not so great conditions, but we were glad to be out and get our miles in. Day 1 had us searching out some random hills and we got our fill. Hoping to get a nice 4:30 day in, we did 5:45 instead. We couldn't help ourselves. The roads were nice and traffic free, debris free, and nj free. Riding through the farmlands and endless hills was great. Just what we were looking for. Actually it reminded us a lot of Blacksburg. Temps were a little cooler but not nearly as bad as they could have been. The cooler temps didn't help on one of the climbs as it turned all to snow and the road bike push began. About 20 mins of pushing crested the top and we were able to ride away to the warm cozy hotel, not too far away.

Day 2 gave us the twofer day. A morning ride for 2 hours with some hills, followed by a nice jump in the hot tub, relax session, and then ride #2 in the afternoon for 1:45 or so on some mellower roads. This was great to spin out the legs and get them ready for our century day on #3. It was another successful ride as we avoided a snow push, but we did hit one pass where it was ice instead of snow. So that was sketchy yet fun. It was a MUCH shorter section than that of the previous day so we were all fine with that. So far all the rides had been turn as you go and the next days ride would be a garmin connect choice. Why have to find nice roads to ride when someone already did it for you?

Day 3 was our century day and it resulted in some beautiful valley climbs, amazing open roads, and jaunts through the Amish farmland. Evidently Monday is laundry day as it was everywhere. It was great to see the Amish kids playing outside during the day and waving as we sped on by. We even got to roll through Jersey Shore PA and give a nice fist pump or two as we wondered where Snookie was. We brought our own version of the lycra situation to the area. The route we did was very entertaining and one that I would do again. The climbing was good as we did somewhere around 6k vert and wrapped up with some of our familiar roads and just had a great day.

Day 4 was the recovery ride from our century and still seemed to put in 3:30. We had found a nice coffee shop in Lock Haven on day #1 so we decided to visit it the last day and make our trip there and back the recovery ride. Flatter, slower, and happier we rode to and from the shop and put the icing on a sweet weekend.

4 great days with just under 300 miles, 20k vert, and 18:30 of riding was perfect to jump start the season. The intensity ramp will start soon and racing will soon be upon us. The bad part of the training camp is that once I got back I ate everything in sight...for a week. I couldn't stop eating. So my previous weight loss was halted. I'm on the downswing again and back under 160 which is right were I want to be. Next goal is 155 by the end of March.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Weight and Stuff

My training has still been on track and it's been a great season for it. With the nicer weather I've been outside more often than not and the hours seem to fly by which is nice. It's helping me work towards my goals of getting faster and lighter.

As far as my weight goals I hit a 159.x avg last week so I guess I can say I hit my end of February goal already. That's nice to know. So now I'm working on my end of March goal of 155lbs. Will power has been the biggest part of the weight loss. With a healthy mindset, smaller portions, and some goals on the horizon, it has really been pretty easy. It's also interesting to see the weight fluctuations during my weigh cycles. Early in the week is heavier and the end of the week/weekend is the lightest. So it really helps mentally to keep track and see where I can go with this. At the moment I'm thinking 5 more pounds will be pretty straight forward to drop but then I start to walk the line of do I try to lose more. That would be great as long as I don't lose any power. That'll be tricky. We'll see.

There are some races sneaking up. I wanted to do a road race Mar 3 but it looks like I'll hold off til Mar 10th and then rev it up a bit. I'll be curious to see what my legs have in store with all of these base miles so far. I'm dying to open my system up a bit so it'll be cool to let it fly. I've gotta do some kind of intensity build as my first bigger race is Apr 7th in NC. That I wanna be flying for. Let's call it mini peak #1 of about 20 peaks ;-)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Gotta love this weather...

So far this season has been great and the temps have been making base miles pretty comfy. The trainer is still a big part of the training but at least at this point it's only once a week. Hopefully it can stay that way, or at least until I can afford some rollers. Anyway, the riding has been going doing another century Saturday so that's a century in December and now January and maybe I can keep that streak going. If things go as planned I have dirt centuries planned for April, June, July, August and September so I just need to fill in a couple of months in between and I'll be good.

As far as the weight situation is concerned I'm doing well. My goal for this month is to hit 160 by the end of February. As of this morning I was 159.8 and my average for this week is in the high 161's. I'm considering the goal met when my weekly average is at my goal mark or lower so I'm close. It really hasn't been tough. Portion control and good food is all that is really needed to get into the right form. Of course my sweet tooth has been going crazy and I have a little to satisfy it, but I try and keep the fruit nearby to see if that will do the trick first. So far so good.

2 months and 5 days til the 6 hours of Warrior Creek...
2 months and 26 days til the Cohutta 100...
4 months til the Mohican 100...

2012 is looking promising.