Thursday, April 29, 2010

Skipping a day

If you are one of those people who follows a structured training program in an effort to achieve a specific goal then you can probably relate to this post. However, if you hate the idea of “training”; downloading your workouts, looking at squiggly lines from said workout, and don’t even own a HR monitor, you should stop reading now.

I took an unplanned day off yesterday and now I feel heavy guilt like a Catholic who hasn’t gone to confession in 11 years. I have been riding on a pretty consistent basis since Oct 29th; preparing for Old Pueblo, racing Old Pueblo, and then ramping it back up again for the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde which is 10 days away. The logical side of my brain realizes that missing one two-hour ride is not going to derail my entire season or ruin my race at Mesa Verde. But I pride myself on being able to stick to a plan and skipping a day bugs me. The previous night of poor sleep, plus a dash of work stress, an overall feeling of being worn-down, and the hint of a sniffle combined to create the perfect storm of un-motivation. At the time, 4:31 PM Wednesday afternoon, I justified skipping the workout by saying that I was “listening to my body”. In hindsight, that is crap. My body does what my brain tells it to even when my body is saying “No”. That is what endurance cyclists do, right?

This brings up the question: When should you skip a planned workout in favor of rest? This is a very “gray” area.

Being a fan of all things black and white, I think there should be a scoring system that tells a cyclist when skipping a workout is the right thing to do. (I almost created a spreadsheet but stopped myself)

Proposed Scoring System

The Sick Factor
Flu-like symptoms including a fever of 101+ and occasional vomiting = 5
Nasty Cold with sore throat and uncontrollable runny nose = 4
Migraine headache = 3
Severe seasonal allergies = 2
Minor Cold symptoms, just a sniffle = 1
Hangover, saddles sores, or PMS = 0

The Weather Factor
33F – 40F and raining/snowing steadily with some wind = 5
20F – 32F and snowing = 4
20F – 45F and windy with no precip = 3
35F – 45F and calm winds with no precip = 2
45F – 50F with some wind = 1
50F – 60F and sunny = -1
60F+ and sunny with dry dirt = -2

If you have a combined score of 8 or more, you should feel good about taking the day off. Otherwise, suck it up Francis and get out there. As a point of reference, yesterday’s score would have been a 6. Therefore, I took an unjustified day off.

Wednesday, April 29, 2010
Minor Cold symptoms, just a sniffle = 1
33F – 40F and raining/snowing steadily with some wind = 5

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I already miss the desert

Last week went by way too fast and I am already having withdrawls. Sedona is a cool place to ride a mountain bike and a stark contrast to the kind of riding I normally do. Would I go back? Definitely. The only downside is the drive from Victor, ID...about 6 hours further than St George, UT.

Our favorite loop left from the grounds of the Red Agave where we stayed

I never got a sense of what the "core" mountain bike community is like in Sedona. We only ran into one group of four guys who I know were locals. How do I know this? Because they made every effort to NOT tell us about the Hi Line trail when we were clearly looking for it and it was right under our noses. We eventually found it though. Ha. Every trail we rode was impressive from a trail building standpoint which tells me that there is a passionate and organized crew that built/is building trails there. These are not recycled cow paths through the cacti.

For a place with such incredible trails, I was expecting a more Fruita-esque cycling scene but it is quite the opposite. Cycling seems to be an "add-on" in Sedona and the golfing retirees, pink jeep riding tourists, and crystal huggers stand out the most. We stayed in Oak Creek which is 5 miles south of Sedona proper and that proved to be an excellent choice.

Next time I will try to take more pics...lots more pics. I will probably throw in an extra set of wheels too. :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mingus Mountain Road Riding Crack

With our vacation winding down and the big drive home staring me in the face I was craving a BIG sustained effort. I love the trails here but I was in need of the kind of glorious suffering best done on the road bike and the scenic road over Mingus Mountain provided the perfect destination. It felt great to uncork a big one and my power on the climbs was solid.

Ride Stats:
Ride Time: 6:07:00
Distance: 110 miles
Climbing: 8,687'
TSS: 408 (yeah baby!)

Random Tidbits:
Number of road cyclists seen during the ride: Zero
Best place to refill bottles on route: The Jerome Fire Station (free)
Quality of pavement: Variable at best, but not the worst I have ridden
Clothes needed: Shorts & short sleeved jersey, and a vest for the descents (perfect)
Embrocation: Mad Alchemy Warm Weather formula

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sedona - Day 1

Just a quick post after a couple days of riding from the Red Agave in Sedona. One of the best trails we have ridden so far leaves from the grounds of the Red Agave which is super sweet. No car needed once you get here. I feel like I have been fighting off a bug for the past two days so I haven't logged any BIG rides...yet.

Although not on most maps, the Made In The Shade trail is a twisty, ledgy, serpent of glorious rock and red dirt

The views here suck

The sunsets suck too

Two Days in St George

On our way south to Sedona we stopped in St George to ride two days and break up the trip. Lynda and Fixie took us out to Little Creek for a fun social ride on the slickrock. There was immediate perma-grin from the great company and perfect weather. Only 25 minutes into the ride I tore a sidewall in my front tire and had to tube it when Stans wouldn't seal it up. Fixie got a good laugh out of this as he still rides with tubes. Just minutes after fixing my flat, my Power Tap hub froze and turned my bike into a fixed-gear which made for an interesting ride back to the truck on the ledgy terrain. The ladies continued on while Fixie and I tried to repair my unrepairable hub. Oh well, shit happens.

I got to spend the day with two of my favorite ladeez

Michelle's new Niner...she is hooked and I think our garage may be free of 26" bikes soon

Little Creek is SO fun...well, the part I saw anyway. :)

We stopped at Over The Edge Sports after our Little Creek ride and Quentin set me up with a loaner wheel so I could continue riding. Thanks Q! Despite owning several sets of wheels I didn't bring a spare. Doh! Before getting on the road to Sedona, we rode Goulds Rim, Jem, and Hurricane Rim. Greatness.

Goulds + Jem + Hurricane Rim Loop is one of my all-time favorites

Monday, April 5, 2010

We interrupt this cycling program

to bring you powder skiing in the Tetons. We had a whopper of storm here on Saturday so we shifted mental gears from the bike to fat skis and headed to Teton Pass with Dave Saurman and the lovely Robin. Dave pulled out the "Saurcam" at the top of Columbia Bowls and captured our stoke.

Breaking trail at the bottom of Shamrock

Michelle on the second Columbia Bowls run

This storm made April 4th feel very January-ish