Sunday, January 31, 2010


This week: 17 1/2 hrs, 310 miles, 12,300 kJ. that's a fair number of french fries.
January: 67 1/2 hrs (4 less than December), 1,153 miles (40 less than December), 45,312 kJ.

It's still mostly steady state, with a little more sweet spot, tempo, and some threshold work. And one good VO2 effort per CSC ride, right now.

I should do more school work.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

There appears to be some football on TV

Judging by Facebook status updates. Which is amusing to me, since I haven't turned the TV on in a few days, much less watched football.

This is what I don't get about football: how can people who have never, ever tossed a pigskin in their lives get so damn crazy about a game? Brilliant marketing, hero cultivation, brainwashing, what? It's not like there is a novelty factor here, like there would be watching, say, bob-sledding at the Olympics once every four years. Football is also extremely inaccessible to personal participation, compared to games like basketball and soccer. It requires a lot of space, a fair number of people even in a pick-up format, and few people seem to play it. Just anecdotally, it seems that more of my classmates play dodgeball at school than flag football. So what is it about this game? It's convoluted, has more rules than most people can remember, has flags on every other play, takes three hours to play sixty minutes of game, and is just generally cumbersome. I don't get it.

I've always been fascinated by watching athletes on TV do something that I could or have personally engaged in - ice skating, skiing, toboggan, running, rowing, swimming, archery, shooting, climbing, cycling, etc. Participation creates context for the viewing and appreciation of the performance. It allows me to put my mind's eye into the action and be amazed by what those top level athletes can do. I used to love watching Paulo Salvoldelli chase through the long Euro mountain passes at 100km/h or Cancellara chase back to the bunch through the cars, because I've actually done something like that, I know the sound of the wind and the smell of brake pads burning. I have felt the tires pushing the limits of their traction in hairpin corners and I've felt that full-body awareness of vulnerability as hard pavement screams by. I've been three feet above the world's biggest belt-sander pushing the limits of a 15lb piece of frail aluminum on two little strips of rubber less than an inch wide each. That, I get, on TV. I can feel my heart-rate climb watching that. I can feel the hair on my arms stand up when a rider pushes through a corner with a sheer drop on one side and a rock wall on the other. The wind feel changes when you brush stationary object like that, and your skin can tell you exactly, within millimeters, how close you really are to the edge as your eyes stay on the pavement in front of you. That I get.

But football? No, I just don't get it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

pray vs plan

One of the business blogs I read, Seth Godin's, had a particularly well worded post up today: No everything is not going to be okay

I blurted out an "Amen" this morning upon reading.

One word: metrics.

Business, athletics, life, whatever. If you can't measure, gauge, compare - you don't know where you are relative to your goals. the technical term for that is "lost". Which is rarely in the same sentence as "success" with any positive connotations. Do you hope and pray, because knowing might be scary, or do you track, measure, and adjust?

Thursday, January 21, 2010


To improve improve mental health and combat home sickness amongst people of Austrian descent or cultural heritage* - semmel knoedel. Those in the know, know.

*These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. If you are of British Isles descent, try a warm beer and boiling some vegetables instead, like cabbage. If you do not know what a knoedel is, then inquire to your nearest Austrian but be prepared to pay for the information with a cold Almdudler. If you have no Almdudler for the bribe, then shame, shame, shame on you.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

way not cool

getting punished by a late b-day - by being unpleasantly surprised 9 months too soon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

back to the roots.

one gear, no bottles, pipe, cap, tall shorts. maybe that's what it's really all about.

Monday, January 11, 2010

throwing down

Well, four days off the bike did the old head some good. And the legs too, they felt like they were 19 again all week. And I squeezed in 19hrs on the bike, culminating with the CSC ride around wolf creek, a sweet loop which we hadn't done in several months.

I set some good (for me) power numbers on the Sunday ride up the first wolf creek climb - 400watts for 9 minutes, 10min average 387 (the climb was only 9& a little) which is on par with my EC hillclimb profile. Of course, I'm a couple pounds heavier than I was then so that gets diluted somewhat, but still, quite OK for January.

I've heard a lot of comments and warnings about being fast in the winter, every time I've shifted into the big ring on the 'ol cross bike (only a 46t mind you) and broken a sweat on a climb. Things like, "if you're too fast now, you'll peak too early", or "races are in the summer you can't keep that up", etc etc. To which I feel the need to reply: hogwash.

Those statements focus on the results of training, not on the methods used to get those results. And that is where the confusion lies. It's not "being fast" that is a problem in January, it's training as if it was June that is dangerous. If you get faster and faster and set personal bests on nothing but base miles, tempo, and endurance rides, then great, because that's sustainable and sets a huge base for the summer months. If you're doing anaerobic work, living on a diet of VO2, and generally doing everything associated with a peak in fitness, then yeah, you won't hold it through the summer. I generally have little tolerance for the mindset that says that riders need to be slow, or out of shape, at particular points in the year in order to have a good season. No, they don't. They have to make sure that a) they recover from the prior season b) they build a good base of training on which to lay the work that will result in good VO2, anaerobic, and endurance gains in the next season, and c) the peak of their fitness for the year comes during their A-priority events. Saying that you have to be slow in the winter is like saying you have to gain 10lbs every December: it's hogwash.

So yeah, I set a personal best on Sunday - longest time ever over 400W. Yeah I'm "fast" relative to my last years' fitness. And I'll be faster in June than I am now. Will it get results? Who knows, I'm not in control of my fitness relative to others, only relative to myself. I'm also not in control of flat tires, crashes, team tactics, and illness. Results are largely the product of too many externalities to use as a barometer of fitness. But the powermeter and bathroom scale won't lie, and that's what I'll measure training by, thank you very much.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

no bike

just a pair of snowshoes, fresh powder, and an all day romp.