Week three draws to a close, and I’m really starting to see and feel some results from the changes made to my attitude, spirit, and training style so far --- they say it takes at least two weeks to begin to see changes, and it’s true. So, if you’re out there trying something new and getting discouraged, keep at it!
Anyways, for me, the yoga is helping tremendously with flexibility, extending my usable range of motion, my balance on the bike, and has released the tension in my shoulders and face while I ride. This has resulted in far less fatigue than I remember from indoor training sessions – and the TdF videos are surely helping that solution as well, as the hours (yes, hours!) are flying by as if I was only doing a quick 30 minute session. This is a good thing, because the road conditions and weather have been less than stellar this winter, especially compared to the easy time we had here last year. The road flat suck right now – snow pack and sleet underneath this morning. Last week was barely better, a roller coaster of temperatures and weird precip. Week three, after training indoors, has begun to produce some positive motion in the speed department – even though that is not the goal yet. Pathetic as it sounds if looked at with a REAL racer’s point-of-view, I finally have re-emerged into the 15’s for average speeds on the TOTAL days commute, where last week I was languishing in the 14’s. Last month I was lucky to average out of the 13’s, seriously. My fitness was completely flushed since the injury in October – and compared to year’s past, there was not much fitness there to begin with, even though I was consistently averaging in the 20’s during the Saturday Casey’s runs over in Grandview, one day in the low 22’s! It’s amazing how fast you lose it. Now, however, the numbers are beginning to creep up – which on a commute is amazing in itself, with regards to traffic, hills and the desire to be less-than-sloppy upon arrival at the office. It’s hard to speed-train and keep the stank at bay, ya know. Funk! Whooooo! Wait until August, beotches. Riding consistently in the house at night, however, with the motivation from the Tour DVDs, I can feel it in the hills on the real roads during the days I am able to ride in. The cadence is coming up, the breathing coming down, and the pain is minimizing. Helping all of that is consistent weight loss, as well – while I’ve only been on this new plan for 12 days, I have already lost my first 6 pounds! Before long, I’ll be able to kiss the 170’s goodbye for good – well, at least until the pumpkin pies come back out next November. If all goes to plan, I’ll have reason to indulge a little. I miss pie, and beer, and rifling thru a bag of chips – well, maybe not that last part. I like fitting into my pants and being able to see my feet better than I like chips. This year, in October, at the Tejas 500 start-line photo maybe I’ll look like I belong in that elite group. It was bad enough that I rode the ride like a club-racer wannabe, but to LOOK like a middle-aged pretender that stretched himself into the only jersey that still fit and planned on riding 500 miles in less than 48 hours? I looked a little out of place next to those that would spend that same 48 hours breaking records! One guy in his mid-50’s finished in 29 freaking hours. It’s time to get serious, or it’s time to save the entry fee and just be a pretender at the local training ride. I’m not dead yet – it’s time to get real. Week three in the bag, and I feel REALLY good about the direction things are taking… unfortunately, the weather still refuses to cooperate – and again as I type this the roads are horrid, and the temperatures will be in the single digits for the evenings. So, another week of getting my base mileage in front of a television… sure beats riding the couch and feeling bad about it, like last winter!
Let’s get this season started already!
A few quick thanks: Scott Matthauser, for at least mainstreaming the advent of iron oxide impregnated brake pads, and thanks to Kool Stop for still offering the salmon-colored beauties for road bikes. Otherwise, I’d be typing this from a laptop in the recovery room of a local hospital after having careened over the top of a Pontiac G6 sedan that turned in-front of me last night on 123rd St near Antioch in the rain. Whew! I love it when things work.
Also thanks – and HURRY UP – to the city over Overland Park, Kansas for announcing the construction of a new overpass for Us-69 at 132nd street, which should break ground later this year. That will finally get me AWAY from 123rd and Antioch, which continues to be the high-point of my day. Kinda like getting a root canal without novacaine is the high-point of my day. Yeah. I mean, you’d think there was only ONE way for all these people to get over the highway….. oh, yeah, that IS the only way. Nevermind.
By the way… we got Death Star.
Brings me to the LINK-o-the-week: http://www.atomfilms.com/af/content/gangsta_rap_se
Enjoy, freaks. Stay tuned for week FORE! Four. Whatever.