Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pimpin' Ain't Easy

I've been really stoked lately to be riding my bike as much as I have been able too. Fitness is coming back slowly, and although not a lot yet - the weight is coming off. I forgot how hard it was to train 6 days a week. It's not an issue when I don't have other outdoor activities to do. When we get a bunch of rain and the rivers and creeks start bumping up with a lot of water, or a good size snowfall comes through and the snowboarding looks good then I run into problems. For instance, the whitewater kayaking is looking real good right now.

The problem this time of year is it's creeking season. Why is it creeking season? Well, mostly because the temps are lower, and we get more rain. This allows the rivers and creeks to be at optimum or above optimum levels to run. Your saying, "that's great, get your 190 pounds in the boat and paddle then!" Just hold the phones a minute there kimosabe. First off it's cold. How cold your asking? Colder then a well diggers ass. You know how it feels when it's 38 degrees, cloudy and the wind's blowing? Now go jump in a river for 3 hours. You getting the picture? Luckily, they make these cool things called drysuits. It keeps you mostly dry, but the neck gaskets choke you out and you still feel the icy cold water when you get flipped over.

Tough to get these things on or off, and they do cut the blood supply off

Once you get all geared up and talk some of your paddling buddies (who are either a.) as stupid as you or b.) as stoked as you - it's a really fine line between them) into going with you it's usually not as bad as it sounds. I feel like getting geared up while it's cold is the hardest part. After that, you warm up as you are working your way down river. Your probably still asking yourself why it's a problem that this time of year is creeking season since the cold weather doesn't deter me much. Well, the real problem is in my head. I want to be preparing for the upcoming mountain bike race season, but I also want to progress as a paddler. Makes it tough to focus on either thing intently. So I end up playing this back and forth game in my head. All the while looking at the weather forecast and the boating beta page that measures the volume of water in all the creeks and rivers in the Southeast. Check it out:

This year, 2012, it seems like kayaking won a lot more then biking. Good news is that I became a much stronger paddler. The other side of the coin is that I gained weight, lost a lot of fitness, and didn't race at all on the bike in 2012. I'm hoping to be able to better balance out the two this year as I have goals on the bike and in the boat. Either way I figure that at least I'm outside enjoying our planet and doing something I love!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Doing Things a Little Differently This Year

Well, 2013 is just around the corner and in an effort to keep it fresh and clean I decided to switch things up. I want to race this upcoming year, but I wanted to keep things on the fun side and not get too serious about it. Don't get me wrong, I'm gonna go to work and train hard. I want to be competitive, but gone are the days of doing things in my training that I don't like to do.
First order of business was to sell the road bike. That's right, it's gone. I know, I know, training on the road helps get you strong - which is why I'll ride on the road, but on one of the mountain bikes. This way I can ride on rougher roads, sidewalks, grass, way right in the shoulder - in other words, away from cars and congested roads. I was either going to pull someone out of the car one of these days or at the very least grab the phone out of their hand and smash it on the ground. Seems I had an incident almost every time out. Since it's hard to train from jail I figured I should get myself off a road bike and away from putting my life in someone else's hands.

Now that the road bike was out of the way, I had to think about what else I wanted to change. I have always been a spinner when it came to choosing a cadence. I have a really efficient rotation of the cranks, which is great, but I have always lacked power. I wanted to get rid of my little girls's legs and build some trail crushing power. I could do a 12 week long training block geared towards building power, but that just sounds like a job and not much fun. What to do, what to do? Oh I know, me, over here, I know, me, me, over here. So what did I tell myself to do? Go ride the shit out of my single speed bike. It's gonna build power, and I have a blast riding it. Problem solved - well actually not yet, but it will be. I'm even going to try and race as many of the Winter Short Track series races in the SS class that I can make it too.

I'll get worked a little as I'll be training through the races (usually will be riding a 3 hour endurance ride the day before) and it's an open class so there will be some stronger CAT 1 guys in the race. Looking forward to it though - should be fun. A big plus is that maybe my little guy can come race his strider in the kids race and hopefully stay around to cheer me on. The course here is very spectator friendly as it's only about 4-5 minutes per lap.

Once the short track is over I've got my sights set on some of the Southern Classic races. My thought right now is to keep on keeping on with the SS bike and race the SS class in these races too.
As of the moment I'm thinking I'll race Tsali, Riverfront, Uwharrie, and then see how I feel about the rest of the summer. More about the Tsali trip later - hoping for a mini-vacation with some riding and paddling. 

 The plan right now is to ride enough to lose weight, gain some race fitness, and hopefully be competitive. I do however have other goals not involving riding. They involve a kayak, whitewater, and more adrenaline then Travis Pastrana can jam into a red bull can! More about that later, as well as an epic vacation this summer to California and Oregon where Mrs. Jonnynails and I will be riding bikes for 3 weeks. I'll update my race schedule as events unfold. Look for race reports to start rolling in the third week in January!!