Training, racing, gear, facial hair styles and thoughts from my push to become an elite cyclist.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Successful Training Procrastination Strategies, Saturday Edition

It seems that either I've failed to learn from my mistakes or I've been able to perfect my procrastination strategy when it comes to skiing.  There are a handful of weekend activities that can get in the way of skiing.  Individually each of these obstacles is easily overcome, but when I have to clear more than one of them the odds drop for me to getting out the door with enough time for a decent ski.  This morning I awoke faced with 3 of them, 4 if you count my poorly thought out plan of tweaking my 'cross bike so I could ride outside and take advantage of the "mild" January temperatures (it was in the 30's).  Actually I could argue that it was 5 obstacles if I count my fueling plan, but I'm getting off topic. 

Short winter days are partly to blame also.  When it's pretty much pitch dark at 5:15 there's less room for error than over the summer, so starting out later than 3:00 is means spending more time in the car than on the trails.  Over the summer I can still get a 2-3 hour ride in even if I start after 5, but I digress.

The first obstacle was a going out for drinks last night.  Normally alcohol isn't a big deal for me as I know my limit and don't go crazy if I plan on getting anything done the next day.  Last night was the 4th Waterbury Pub Crawl, so with 15 of our friends we spent time at all of local watering holes.  It was a lot of fun, and this time of year it is critical for me to things like this so I don't feel deprived when the snow melts and my mileage ramps up.  While I only had a few drinks I was up late, and often that takes more a of a toll on me than the booze.  Fortunately I picked up a new toothbrush to knock the "beer fur" off my teeth this morning.  I did a pretty poor brushing job last night and my old brush had gotten pretty haggard.  

The second obstacle was not having my skis waxed the night before.  The weather looked a little variable so I could say that I was hedging on which wax to use, but really I just couldn't get my shit together beforehand.  I've gotten to the point where I can wax, scrape and brush a pair of skis in under 20 minutes, so it's less about the time and more about having one more thing to get done before I can get out.

Third, I opted to make a large breakfast for Carrie and me.  Somehow I'm able to stretch the simple task of cooking eggs into taking over an hour.  This also by itself would be fine, but after getting up late and needing to work on my skis I was setting myself pretty far behind.  At least the eggs were good.

Third plus (or fourth if you're actually counting) I've been really trying to tweak my diet so that I can get lean for the upcoming season.  So far the results have been good and I'm getting very close to last season's race weight.  My goal is to start this season below my lowest weight from last year it looks like I'll be able to do that.  There are many reasons for doing this, most notable is the obvious needsfor cyclists to have an optimal power-to-weight ratio.  If I get lighter, I get faster, end of story.  In prior years I've tried to lean up too much during the year when I was putting in big miles and it backfired.  If I undershoot my nutrition this time of year it just means that I have to push through some workouts feeling like I'm close to bonking or that I cut down my hours a bit.

Lastly I thought this would be a great day to get out on my 'cross bike, and I had just gotten some sweet BBG chain guides (technically they're sold as bash guards, but if you need a bash guard for cyclocross you're doing it wrong) and wanted to install them with some knobby tires to make the 'cross bike more of a 'cross bike and less of a tranny road bike with odd gearing.  After I stripped one of the bolts trying to swap out the carbon brake blocks and realized that the rear derailleur cable and housing were crimped I decided it was time for me to walk away and come to grips with the fact that any riding I did would be inside.

At 3:15 I finally hopped on my skis and started my workout.  I got two hours in and felt like I was fighting it the whole time.  I was tired.  I was weak.  My form sucked.  My skis felt like they were waxed with pine tar.  My stomach felt empty and like I was pushing a 200 pound carcass with 150 pounds of energy.  But I pushed on, and two hours in things clicked into place as I made my way up the last long, steep climb.  My form came around and things finally clicked into place.  

And I still haven't gotten either Redline up and running.


  1. Nice job just getting out there!
    So when are you going to do a blog post devoted to your bike cave? We've seen some bits and pieces but I want the full reportage!

  2. Duly noted- I've been very strategic about the pics I've posted because it's often a disaster. I have a couple of to-do's to really get it dialed in, but once those are done I'll get some pics posted.