Monday, November 12, 2007

Training - Thoughts on 2007-2008

Sorry for clogging the blog with "For Sale" posts. I just re-installed an application that allows me to reduce picture size (from 1-1.2MB to "tiny") so I can post them directly in my ads instead of linking to posts in the blog. I might have gained a reader or two but I feel like the For Sale posts dilute whatever I wrote before.

Therefore the For Sale things are done.

This past week has been pretty busy with a new project for us, a project that is only remotely bike related. A lot of calls, discussions, and various thoughts and decisions to make. Lots of time and energy and unfortunately so far not much to show for it yet. I hope we make some progress but for now we just take it as it comes.

So I've been distracting myself by thinking about the new bike.

I just, and I mean just, finished putting almost all of it together. I'll ride it on a trainer "as is" then do the final bit, the piece that finishes the bike - wrap the tape. Required tasks to get the bike to this point included cutting the steerer tube (done courtesy of Cycle Center for a nominal fee - but I forgot to order the star nut setting tool so I'll have to do that), swapping out the wheels (the Fulcrum 1 wheelset just looked so cool I didn't want to take them off but they're finally sitting to the side - they're for sale), switching pedals from my primary Giant, and fixing up (cutting down) the cables.

When I first finish up a bike I leave the tape off - somehow it seems that if I wrap the bars, everything is wrong - and if they're not wrapped, things are fine. Superstition may not be scientific but I prefer to wait for a ride to wrap my bars.

A good friend of mine playfully accused me of choosing this bike because it matches my current kit. And although I denied it wholeheartedly, I did admit that if the colors were very different - say, the Giant T-Mobile pink - I'd have probably skipped spending the extra coin for the replica aspect of it.

Whatever, the bike currently matches my kit - being blue, green, and black.

Because it matches my current kit, the bike also matches various other things - my Zenith blue rimmed wheels and, um, well, that's it.

In Florida Mandy pointed out one day, on a miserable rainy ride, that I "matched". My blue tires, blue wheels, blue and green kit (including arm warmers, a wind vest, LS jersey, bib knickers, and a Kelme cap that echoed the colors nicely), all against a grey/black background (the frame, components, and winter stuff like booties and gloves). I'm proud to say that I'll be continuing this obsessive compulsive matching thing.

Although for now I'll be using the Zeniths, I have my view on aero wheels and why one should train on them all the time. I have my eye on some Williams Cycling wheels and if I can sell off some of my other wheelsets, I'll be getting a set of those for my bike. Ultimately they'd be used for everything from easy recovery days to "racing training" rides - group rides which will substitute for races on appropriate training days.

Having such wheels also makes it so much easier to go scampering after various vehicular traffic going about 35-45 mph.

But I digress.

I wouldn't be thinking along these lines if my 2008 season was going to mirror my 2007 - train a bit until the end of February, then ride about 1300 miles from then through the beginning of November.

Such training can't justify new aero wheels for training.

I think a normal Cat 3 would have blown my March-November mileage out of the water in four or five weeks, not the eight or nine months it took me to register those hard earned klicks. For me, 2007 had a lot of major distractions - prep the house for sale (refinish floors, clean out house, do extensive yard prep, unclutter house into a PODS), sell said house, move, prep for a wedding while searching for a house, get married, and go on a honeymoon. This on top of the normal race promotion exhaustion in March and April which overlapped a new tax workload on the then-future-missus.

Lots of stuff in 10 months.

Admittedly the wedding and honeymoon weren't painful in any way - in fact, I'd recommend it for those in long, steady relationships - but from a cycling point of view the two events simply served to prolong the pause before returning to any sort of serious cycling.

We got back, kept looking for houses, and then the weather turned cold.

I managed to get my fun car into shelter for the upcoming winter months this last Saturday, another use of a day that might have been, in a different life, a good day for a group ride.

The aforementioned project took almost five hours out of our last Sunday - another potential group ride out the window. I did see a three rider "pack" twiddle past me on a big climb - does that count as a bit of cathartic training?

In between those two days last weekend, on the drive back from tucking in the fun car for the winter, the missus made a somewhat startling statement.

"I think you should race all the races next year. Get the schedule and sign up for them. And we'll go to the races on those weekends."

I must have been a bit speechless as such carte blanche is rarely granted. I focused on staying on the road.

"Plus, I like watching you race."

I guess that's one of the many reasons why she's the missus.

So it's time to get my act into gear.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you've got a GREAT missus there! 'course, we knew that already. Nothing like the added pressure to compete though - but at least you have a new ride to do it on!

Aki said...

I can't argue with the missus statement :)

As far as pressure goes, I tend to separate "competing" and "pressure". Competing means paying, pinning/gluing a number on, and racing on a closed or marshaled course. I feel pressure when I go to a race I've targeted - and that pressure hasn't gone away even in the years I don't compete a lot.

Ultimately competing is fun, whether it's using every trick I know to hang on or I end up doing a 60 mile training ride with 2 other guys on a marshaled route that I've never ridden before (a typical road race for me). It's not as fun for people watching me though - waiting 15 or 20 minutes after the field sprints for me to simply finish isn't all that exciting.

Anonymous said...

Aki--I have to ask, even though I know they're out of my range. How much are you selling the Fulcrums for? I've been saving my pennies for the R3s, but those R1s are sweet.