Thursday, April 3, 2014

Winter Update, Tucson, Barry Roubaix, and beyond

First off, I'd like to apologize for it taking me so long to post a blog update. I didn't even post an update about Addison Oaks State CX championship. Well there isn't much to tell. I crashed out on the first lap. Ok there's the update. This winter has been one of the most horrendous times of my entire life. My wife lost her job, and 2 other close family members had and still have some pretty big health issues, and the weather took its toll on my house causing my roof to leak. I'm happy to report however, many things are looking up. In fact, my wife started a new job and just received an offer for an even better opportunity, my work is going fantastic, and the health issues are improving.  I can't really go into the details on just how bad things were. It wouldn't be fair to those involved, but I can assure it was pretty bad.

So onto the training stuff. During all this time you might think that I was depressed and didn't feel like training. Well the opposite is actually the truth. I have been training all winter. Even though the weather wreaked havoc on my house, it also provided some of the best cross country skiing I've ever seen locally.  In fact, I skate skied at Independence Oaks just about everyday for 90-120 minutes a day. Thankfully I have a pretty flexible job that allowed me to move my hours around so that I could do that. The last time I skied all winter was in 2008/2009. That year I went on to be the best athletic year of my life. I did multiple IM's under 10 hours as well as some other half distance races. I ended up being an All American for USAT that year. Now that's some pretty big shoes to fill I know, but it's definitely a positive factor in my favor going into this season, especially after the disaster and embarassment most of 2013 was. I must say however, I learned a lot last season and I'm taking those lessons as well as new lesson into 2014.

I was fortunate to spend some time in Tucson last month.   I put in about 20 hours in the week I was there.  While I was out there it gave me an opportunity to challenge myself and see how I'm doing coming into spring.  I did nothing but base endurance rides and ski's all winter long with the exception of testing my FTP at the end of each base period.  Ironically I saw a pretty decent improvement and I wasn't doing any intervals.  I also spent more time on strength training which I feel did make a difference during that time.  Now that I am going into the build phase, I've stopped the strength training but I may reintroduce if I don't see continued gains for the next period. 

Racing has already started for the season.  Barry Roubaix was on the 22nd 2 days after returning from Tucson.  I was still pretty well blown out from the trip and my time trial up Mt Lemmon the Wednesday before  but I love the gravel races so I wasn't going to back out of it.  The race started off sort of slow and I was feeling pretty confident.  Unfortunately I was behind someone going into a mud hole and instead of plowing through it, he hit his breaks and forced me to stop and I lost front group.  I tried to catch them but I couldn't get anyone else to work with me so a gap formed and I couldn't cover it.  I didn't really have any top end.  I used everything I had going up Mt Lemmon a few days earlier not to mention the century I did 2 days before that.  I just focused on trying to keep myself consistent and hope all the base training would pay off and others that hadn't done the training would tire.  In the end, I was 5th in my age group so I went home with a cool medal and I was pleased with my result. 

This weekend is the Lowell 50, although now, it's a 57 mile race.  It's the longest gravel race I've done but it will also be a great gauge for my fitness.  The plan this year is to hit some key mountain bike races at locations I like or that sound interesting and road races.  On the road, I'm going to race masters and probably focus on road races and not so much crits.  Those are races I enjoy and being longer they cater to my fitness more than crits and being that I'll race them in Masters they are even longer.  I'm not ruling out crits, I just prefer road races.  I'll still do the Wednesday night Waterford races. 

So that's it until next time

1 comment:

  1. Excited for ya man. Hope you have a great season.