Team Kits

I'm officially a member of the MadCity Velo club now... and just in time too. We have to finalize our team kit orders this week, so I got in just in time to get some schnazzy new gear. This is the kit, minus sponsor logos so the final kit will look a little different but this is the basic design...

For a guy who gravitates toward blues and grays, this kit is perfect for me. Now I can't wait for spring so I can ride with the team.


The Y

They changed the hours at the high school this year so I can't swim in the mornings, and I don't like swimming there in the evenings because the pool is full of kids taking lessons. They only have 2 lanes set aside for lap swimming and I always have to share a lane, sometimes with 2 or 3 people. I don't really mind sharing a lane, but it gets tough when you have 6 people in 2 lanes and you're trying to do intervals. It gets old.

So I figured I'd give the YMCA a shot. It's really close to work (and home) and you can do a month by month membership so I can cancel it during the summer if I want. Plus it's about $20 per month cheaper than most health clubs...and for good reason I'm quickly finding

The pool isn't bad, and I like the hours so no complaints there. But the locker room is nasty and really small. And the place is kind of crazy with all the kids running around. I miss the Riverfront Athletic Club. That place was awesome.

But anyway, I'm back in the pool now. I've been slacking big time this winter, so now that I have a membership to the Y I have no excuses. I've been there 3 times now, 3 days in a row, and each time I had a lane to myself for at least half of my workout. I barely knew what to do it's been so long since I've had a lane to myself. So I've now gotten in 3 good swim workouts.

I checked my log from last year and the most yards I swam in one month was 43,875 (25 miles) in June so I'm setting a goal of swimming more than 44,000 yards in March.


Training Peaks

I've been using Training Peaks online this year to schedule my workouts, and I just discovered that there are tons of workouts available to me, and all I have to do is drag them onto the calendar. The only problem is that there are hundreds of them so you could spend a lot of time digging through them, but the search feature is really good so it's not that tough to find some good workouts quickly. This is going to save me a lot of time, and I tried one of the swim workouts today and I really liked it. This should help me mix up my workouts because I end up doing the same workout all the time because I don't feel like coming up with new workouts.


Indoor TT #3

Yesterday was the
third indoor TT. I had a great warm up and felt really good so I was confident I could beat my previous time. I did....kind of. Here's where I get frustrated with computrainers, and I'm not all that impressed with them for what they cost. Once again, the calibration seemed a little off, because I increased my watts by 24 (according to my Powertap) and only improved my time by 1 second.

I was running in second place the whole time, only about 200 yards behind the leader so I was working hard to catch him. In the end, I came up 6 seconds short but I think it worked out perfect because I got a killer workout in. I don't know if the calibration was off or not, but I do know it wasn't the same as it was last time. For what computrainers cost, I would expect them to be more consistent (not to mention the watts never agree with my Powertap). But in the end it was perfect because being only 200 feet behind the whole time had me pushing myself much harder than if I had been way out in front or way behind. So the end result is that I had my best indoor TT so I'm happy with that. But I'm a little disappointed I didn't win again because I could've used the money since my computrainer account is down to $0. So it goes.



Levi is tearing it up at the Tour of California...again. Right now he's well on his way to his third victory.

The coverage of the Tour this year has been phenomenal. I've been logging on to the website during the day at work and listening to the coverage while I work. Luckily, with my new job, I work on spreadsheets all day so I can keep up with work while listening. Not a bad deal.

This is Lance's second tour now since his return to cycling and he's doing really well. Sixth in the GC currently. I'm becoming a Lance fan, although I'm pulling for Levi to win the Tour.

Right after the prologue, someone stole Lance's TT bike. Probably not the smartest decision since it's a one-of-a-kind bike. Not easy to sell, especially since they were offering a reward....

It was eventually returned, before the Solvang TT too. And they added a decal to it....


Tour of California

They have some great coverage of the Tour of California this year, and unfortunately I discovered they have incredible live online coverage...live as in while I'm at work.

I didn't sign up for the Hillsboro Roubaix because I found out I'd have to race Cat 5, which means I would drive 6 hours for a 22 mile race. No thanks. A co-worker was thinking about doing the race with me, and after we decided not to sign up he suggested we come up with our own "Paris Roubaix Hell of the North" style race (that's the race the Hillsboro Roubaix is inspired by - rough roads, strong winds, crappy weather...a good spring classic).

So I've been planning a ride, which I think will head up toward Denzer, WI where I found a few miles of gravel road we can include. I'm having a hard time finding brick roads. I might include some of the Military Ridge Trail too to get in a few more miles of non-paved roads. And some tough climbs. Maybe I'll run it down Allied Drive to add an element of danger.

Then today, a co-worker sent me a link to this...

They call Paris Roubaix the "Hell of the North" and apparently someone has put together a Hell of the South ride that starts in Madison. Not sure why it's the Hell of the South when clearly we are in the North, but whatever. I haven't decided if I'm going to do it, but I might. I'll still do my own "Hell of the North" as this ride is completely off road and mine will be mainly paved with some gravel and tough climbs. But this sound like it could be fun.


Saturday, I didn't ride outdoors since we got some snow overnight so I popped in the Timetrialapalooza DVD. I haven't done that one in a few weeks, and I hit my best numbers ever for that workout. I was really happy with that, but figured it would put a hurtin on my Sunday run....not the case.

I had a lot on my mind Sunday morning and went out and just ran and let my mind wander and by the end I had run 11.46 miles at a 7:52 pace and felt great the whole time. I didn't even need to eat anything.

Today, my legs are a little sore so there was a price to pay, but it was worth it. I wish I could run like that every Sunday morning.

This Saturday is the 3rd SBR Time Trial and after winning the last one I am going into this one with the goal of winning again. I typically don't care how I do because these are just training days, but I think trying to win will help me get in a great workout. It's gonna be a sufferfest.


February Base Miles

That's right. Outdoor riding in February. This winter started out as bad as last winter, but the snow let up and the roads cleared off. Then it warmed up....a lot.

Friday, me and a bunch of guys at work got out for the first lunch ride of the year. Early season rides are always interesting because we have such varying levels of fitness. We dropped our first guy 3 miles in. Too much beer in the off-season and you pay the price.

The high for Saturday was 50 so I wanted to get out for a long ride. I was thinking 50 miles, but then Dennis called and wanted to ride about 20 miles with me. He suggested meeting me somewhere, but I came up with the idea of riding to his house, doing a 20 mile loop with him and then riding home. It turns out I took the long way to his house and the ride was a bit longer than I expected - 75 miles.

I had a strong tailwind going to his house and averaged 19.6 mph without trying. That's when I knew I was going to be in trouble on the way home. Dennis had a loop planned that started out with 10 more miles with a tailwind. Fun, but now I'm looking at 35 miles straight with a headwind.

You can see I mixed up the route a bit on the way home for some variety. I had about 65 miles in my legs, which would've been great if the ride was only 65 miles. The last 10 were a struggle and I coasted a lot. But I can't complain. I was in good enough shape in early Feb to do 75 miles which isn't something I've ever been able to say before.

I snapped a few pics on the way home...

Lake Kegonsa

Look mom, no hands.

Sunday morning I went for a long run - 11 miles. My legs were tired from the ride at the start of the run, and they hurt by the time I got home. So I rested for a few hours and headed out for another 25 miles (Paoli Loop) so I would have 100 miles in for the weekend. I expected that ride to be brutal, but my legs loosened up and weren't too bad. This morning was a different story. Luckily Mondays are rest days.

Tomorrow is going to be in the mid 50s so we're heading out for another lunch ride. We're going to have a 20-30 mph headwind so the way out to Paoli is going to be tough. The way back, however, is going to be really, really fast. I loves me a good tailwind so I'm dropping the hammer on the way back. A lot of the guys don't have many base miles in yet so that will break up the group quite a bit, but I don't care. They know the way back. I can't resist an opportunity to do 30+ mph on Seminole [plus, when I started riding no one cut me any slack....I got dropped]



Today I sent in my application to join the Madcity Velo club. I've been debating joining them for more than a year, and today I went for it. It's cheap, only $25 for the year so I figured it was worth it. They're a local cycling club. They have weekly training rides and race local events throughout the summer. I joined because I want some more people to ride with and I want to do some more racing...and I need some teammates. I've only done three road races, but that was enough to learn that teammates are helpful. I don't know much a
bout them, so I'm not sure what to expect. But I figure there must be some pretty fast guys riding with them and hopefully I can ride with them this summer and improve my speed. Plus I want to improve my bike handling skills and paceline skills. It's very rare I get a good paceline going with the guys at work (I've given up at this point). I'm looking forward to getting out for some rides with them and meeting some local cyclists outside of work.


That's the weather for the week. A high of 36 on Saturday, and right now I'm debatin
g how many miles I can stand in 36 degree weather. Can I do another 75 miles? That's pretty cold for a ride that long. I'm debating doing two loops and stopping at home in the middle to warm up and change if I overdress and sweat so I'm not riding in wet clothes.

I'm afraid I might be doing too much too early in the season, but right now all I want to do is ride my bike. I don't know where the motivation came from suddenly (because my motivation was at an all time low for a while there), but I have been putting in some killer rides lately - 90 minute tempo rides at nearly 250 watts. There's no way I could've done that last winter. If I did 20 minutes of tempo last winter I needed a nap. Now I'm doing 90 minutes straight and going home and planning a threshold ride for 2 days later. It's crazy.

I'm afraid I'm going to get burned out, but for now I'm going to ride this wave and see where it takes me. At this pace, I think I might be able to race the Hillsboro Roubaix and not entirely humiliate myself. I wonder if registration is still open. Hmmmm.....



Not so smart afterall...

Saturday I took my sister's dog, Buster, snowshoeing. It was his first time in the woods, first time running, first time snowshoeing....

So he was a little nervous and timid at first. We took it slow and he started to loosen up on the second loop when he recognized everything. He was moving over for obstacles long before we got to them. I was thinking he was a pretty smart pooch....then he ate a turd.