I want to Ride my bike

Adventures in Tahoe and beyond

Archive for the tag “training”

Is winter over yet?

Yes. And no.

The majority of the cold weather and snow have come and gone, but we are still months away from consistently warm weather. I am excited that hours and hours on the trainer have passed and that racing has started!

They say that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again while expecting to see different results. While some might argue that cycling in general is insanity, that is off point. This year, I tried to do a couple of things differently to prepare for a challenging year of racing and to be stronger and more successful than last year. I skied less. I rode more. I learned how to dress properly for cold weather riding. I commuted for training weekends. I lifted weights. I started training with power. I acquired a time trial bike. Will any of these things make a huge difference? I can’t say. But, I am trusting that at least one of the items listed will pay off.

The thing that I’m most excited about is that I started racing earlier than I ever have. It is the end of March and I’ve already started 6 races this season. I still have a long way to go but I am happy to say that I’m on way. Here’s to doings things differently, if not smarter, and to a long (and warm) racing season!



Thursday looms. Thursday lurks. Sunday has nothing on Thursday. 

The past year or two have been extremely busy on Thursdays for some reason.  By the time Wednesday evening rolls around, the weeks workouts have started to take their toll on my legs and the week in general has taken a toll on my brain.  I carefully try to schedule all of my Thursday tasks which often include a morning workout, commuting 25+ miles to an office, work, errands, cooking and an afternoon/evening workout. 

During the winter, I am lucky enough to participate in a group rollers class every Thursday evening.  Every other day of the week, I’m excited about Thursday rollers class.  But, come Thursday afternoon, my excitement is slightly diminished as I scamper around trying to get things done before my second workout of the day. 

This Wednesday, I thought I had everything organized and planned.  The last thing I did before going to sleep was set my alarm for 6:15am and review my plan of attack.  I was poised to defeat Thursday.  The next thing I knew, it was 8:15 Thursday morning and I was just rolling out of bed.  I had a mere 45 minutes to make breakfast, cook a vegetable dish for dinner, do a 45 minute workout, shower, pack up and get out of the house.  Clearly, I was not going to stay on schedule. Thursday was fighting back and I didn’t like it one bit.

Throughout the day, I managed to make up a little bit of time, but Thursday continued to hand out the blows. I had to make an unexpected pit stop to fill up on gas.   A potential client was a no show for their meeting.  Another client scheduling mishap.  Finally, I packed up and headed to rollers class. 

Group workouts are great because I actually start my workouts on time this way.  Also, suffering with other people is generally easier than doing hard workouts alone.  It doesn’t matter how tired, cranky, or stressed out I am.  As soon as I get on my bike,  I forget about everything else.  So the biggest hurdle become getting there and getting on my bike.  One. Last. Thursday. Thing.

I am happy report that I made it. Last night’s workout was great.  I embraced every hard interval. Each participant huffed, puffed, and sweat it out at their own pace on their own set of rollers.  Before I knew it, we were done.  I was the only one grinning after the grueling sprints at the end. Maybe the others had more Thursday to deal with, but I was done! It ended on such a happy note, that I’m going to call it a tie.  Take that, Thursday!

Under the weather, Over the weather: A strange December in Tahoe

After winter training camp, I came down with a cold which seems to be circulating around Tahoe. The worst of it only lasted a couple of days, but the last little bit has been lingering.

I felt pretty motivated to get out and ride after the long weekend in Marin, but the temperatures here were less than inspiring for most of December. A lot of days, it was only really warm enough to ride outside from 12pm-2:30pm and while I do have a lot of flexibility with my work schedule, it didn’t always work out. I’ve finally figured out my magic temperature numbers for outdoor training in the winter: 37-42 degrees is ok only if it’s at the beginning or tail end of a ride. So if I’m expecting it to warm up after I get started or if I’m expecting the sun to start going down towards the end, then it’s bearable. Otherwise, I’m not riding outside when it’s that cold. 42-45 is mostly comfortable, but it’s important to keep moving. 45+ is warm enough that I will definitely choose riding outside over riding inside.

I’ve also made some huge leaps with my indoor riding. Instead of banishing myself to the dark and cold garage, I brought the trainer and rollers into the living room (semi-permanently) where it is much warmer and more inviting.

Everyone in this region has been lamenting the lack of snow. December was the 2nd driest month that we’ve had in years. This means that back country skiing has yet to takeoff this year since the only snow around, literally, is what the resorts have made. Many people have been hiking to the frozen lakes to ice skate since it has been cold. I have taken to doing short morning jaunts up the groomers just for variety and because I miss skinning. Just as everyone was adapting to the cold yet snow-less weather, it has warmed up substantially (upper 50’s-60 degrees). Yay for riding outside, but bad for melting the little snow we have. I’m sure that it will start to snow as soon as cycling season starts. Until then, the lift-served territory skiing, indoor, and outdoor training shuffle continues.

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