So my year end summary, in one picture:
You can see that I started the year with some ambition. The Missus had given me a number of "5 hour ride" coupons so I could do some massive training even if I couldn't get out to my SoCal training camp like I had in 2004-2011.
Towards the end of January Junior got sick, I got sick, and then I threw out my back. I didn't ride for the latter half of February. You can see just how little riding I did in March. April's numbers jump up a bit only because I went for a long ride to pick up the van from Bethel. Take that 5 hour ride out of the month and you're left with just 10 hours total.
May, June, July, and August followed a similar pattern. I'd try to do the Tuesday Night race, I'd try to do a race race on Sunday, and otherwise I got in an hour here or an hour there.
The tail end of August hints as a bump in training. This continued into September, where I thought I could get some fitness for the Hartford Crit (no way). A trip to Maine gave me time to do a few really good rides. Ironically I did most of my elevation there, something like 20,000 feet of climbing.
October and November followed with a lot of solid rides, mostly on the trainer, some outside, and I actually started feeling pretty good. I would bet that at some level I was probably stronger at that point then I was in, say, May or even June.
December got sporadic, with holiday family stuff. A week plus in Florida meant a number of training days outside, although I was deathly ill for the first two days, and the last day was so hectic that even though our flight didn't leave until 10 PM or so I didn't get a ride in.
I had two main equipment things happen this year. First I got a Stinger 7 front wheel (75 mm tall) and a Stinger 9 rear (90 mm tall), my now-primary wheels. The Stinger 6s I had previously (60 mm tall) have been relegated to back up duty.
Second I got a custom stem in December, allowing me to use a normal FSA Compact bar. This has absolutely altered the sprinting characteristics of the bike. I need to get a second one for the other bike and then I'll be set.
A final thought is that of crank length. I'm fully committed, for now, to 175 mm cranks again. The 170s leave me a bit flat - I lack some of that oomph that I need to accelerate out of corners or to sprint well. The 175s let me do that. I think in my old age I need leverage and I no longer have the power to spin up the shorter cranks.
So that was 2013. In Strava you can get "kudos" from other riders. If you click on the rider's name you get a side-by-side comparison of the last 4 weeks of your training as well as all time stats. It's interesting to see pro's name somewhere in Strava, click on it, and then get your mind blown by the insane hours the pros do.
For me it wasn't even a pro that blew my mind last. One rider commented that I was training a lot more so I naturally clicked on his name. His average week was in the 22 hour range - if you look at my 2013 chart above you'll see that I only did more than that in a month three times this whole year.
Personally I know that a 22 hour week would destroy me, if not in a week then definitely in two or three weeks. I've done longer weeks in SoCal - I think my biggest was 33 hours - but 20 hours is a ton of hours to do week in, week out. Since I do about a half hour a day average it means that if I can do 7 hours a week it's great for me - an hour a day average. If I do more than that then I'm really, really training.
I realized over the last few years that I've fallen below the minimum fitness level required to be competitive in the 3s. I mean, okay, I can sort of hang in when at certain courses, but the reality is that I need to be more fit.
With that in mind we'll see how 2014 goes.