Monday, January 19, 2009

Winter Update

Every summer I look back on the winter and ask myself how I ever managed to slog through all those miles in the ice and snow. Well... here we are, smack dab in the ballz of Michigan winter and I seem to be tolerating it once again. I'm getting all my workouts in, and Old Joe is keeping a close eye on my progress and making sure I don't do anything stupid.

This past Sunday, I found myself riding alone up the shoulder of Orion Rd from Rochester to Lake Orion followed by that god aweful stretch up 24 to Oxford just after we got 7" of snow the night before. It was the only road clear enough to ride on. I can't imagine what people must have been thinking as they drove by. Some drivers are furious and honk in dis-belief, while I get a thumbs up and a "go Lance" from others. I often ask myself if all this slogging through the snow is necessary. Unfortunately I wasn't born with a super metabolism and I love food, so taking the winter months off isn't an option if I want to stay competitive at this level.

Besides, with the right conditions, riding in the winter can be peaceful, and even enjoyable. Must be that Finish blood in me. It does take a lot of practice though. Your bike and all your gear has to be totally dialed. The lessons can be painful, like that time I wore my camelback outisde my coat, or that other time I didn't throw in toe warmers... or worse yet, the time I didn't wear my wind proof undies!

Sure it would be nice to be riding in 70 degree temps and sunshine through a mountain valley somewhere in Spain, but there's a little bit of pride to be taken in the fact that you survived training through a Michigan winter. It makes you mentally tough. And when you find yourself in a tough race where your luck runs out and the weather isn't cooperating, you can rely on that mental toughness you built in the winter to get you to the finish line.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Back to Business

Happy New Year! Michelle and I are back from Cancun. It was awesome. I highly recomend going all inclusive.

Now after a nice breather, it's back to business. It's time to get down and dirty into preparing for the upcoming season. There's a plan for every day of the week up to my first big peek in April. It's been posted on the refrigerator to remind us...

Everything is tracked in my journal down to my weight and even the hrs I sleep each night. Old Joe will help me make the necessary adjustments to my training based on my journal and how I feel. The Simonster coffee center will become vital in the comming months.

Every Sunday, Michelle and I prepare all of my food for the entire week depending on the hrs and type of training that's in the plan. It's all measured and weighed out in detail, then approved by coach Old Joe. It saves a ton of time for those extra hrs I'll need to squeeze in during the weekdays. This weeks food choices are below minus some frozen round steaks in the freezer.

Don't forget the filtered water. Only god knows what comes out of that stuff from the tap.

Of course the mid-evil torture device for weekdays.

and turbo high def and DVR comes in handy for those days where mother nature decides we won't be riding outside.

The hoopdie ride keeps me dry and comfortable out on the roads. Single speed, rigid, full fenders, 2.3" knobbies, mechanical discs... This thing can take a lickin and keep on ticken.

Trying to compete at the pro level while holding down a full time job proves to be quite a challenge. Every little thing you can do to save a little bit of time, or make training a little more convenient helps. Hope to see you out on the roads this winter!