Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Winter Wonder

So having obeyed the dictates of the Junior Woodchuck Guide to Cycling and set up my goals for next year, I went back and read chapter two.

Good thing, too, because it imparted some mighty wisdom to my feeble mind.

Apparently, if you set goals, you need to prepare to meet them. This bit of lucidity eluded my tortured mind until delving into the tome of wisdom so dear to my Junior Woodchuck heart.

Actually, truth be told I was not searching for cycling wisdom so much as a way to untangle the Gordian Knot...information also found within the pages of the Junior Woodchuck Guidebook. But as with all great literature, once I picked up the Guidebook I kept turning pages, enthralled by what I was learning.

Anyhow, the wisdom it imparted was that to achieve goals that are currently beyond my physical ability, I must needs train specifically to achieve those goals.

Inspired, I traipsed to the library to acquire for a period of time access to The Cyclist's Training Bible by Joe Friel.

Yeah, I know, it is for the serious cyclist. I know that because the blurb on the front says, and I quote, "The best-selling book for serious cyclists".

As all who know me know, no description containing the word "serious" without some negative modifier is apt to be designed with me in mind. However, I cleverly used the loophole of the self check-out machine to avoid the watchful gaze and escape with my intended reading in hand.

As such, pursuant to the wisdom found in the Junior Woodchuck Guide to Cycling and my 4th edition library book I have been setting up a pretty stout training regimen involving large doses of pop tarts, Mountain Dew and popcorn...oh, wait, that is for the couch potato Olympics. Wrong training regimen.

I have been setting up a personalized program intended to improve my hill climbing and distance abilities.

Funny thing is, both the Junior Woodchuck Guide to Cycling and The Cyclist's Training Bible are in agreement that my training shows a huge hole; mental toughness.

The longest training ride I have done is about an hour and a half. I struggle to complete intervals not because they are too difficult but because I do not want to. I stop pedaling not because my legs are worn out or because I have something else to do but because I have been pedaling for a while and just...stop, even though I know I should ride further.

I should have my Junior Woodchuck Cycling Merit badge ripped right off my shirt. It probably would be but for two things.

First, I never earned the Junior Woodchuck Merit badge for cycling.

Second, even if I had, when riding the trainer I seldom wear a shirt.

So this is to make public my struggles and hopefully shame myself into doing better.

My goal is a two hour trainer ride at no less than 22nd gear before the end of the year and a 4 hour ride by the time spring rolls around.

Lets see if I have the mental toughness for that.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Goals for 2012

Mr. Riot Kitty and I were talking the other night about our goals for 2012. We then pulled out our tomes of The Junior Woodchuck's Guide to Cycling says goals are more likely to be achieved if they are made public.

So I thought I would put mine down on virtual paper. They are in no particular order of importance, these are just things I would love to accomplish in 2012.

1) I want to complete the Banks to Vernonia ride in sub-4 hours.
  This one should be relatively easy. We average 14 mph on a lot of rides. 22 miles out, 22 miles back...44 miles. We just have to average a shade over 11 mph. In fact, if we ever go the endurance route with more pedaling straight instead of our more casual riding style involving lots of stops, a sub-3 hour would be attainable. But that is more a biking career goal than something for next year.

2) I want to complete a Century
  I do not know why, but hitting the 100 mile mark on a single ride is psychologically awesome. To say I did it would be really cool. I think the longest single ride we ever put together was about 55 it is a big jump.

3) I want to ride 1000 miles. If somehow, someway we can get a weather break early, we might get 5 months of riding which would just require 200 miles a month...50 miles a week...easily attainable I think.

4) I want to ride to work at least 2 straight weeks. And I want over half the days to be bike to work, not drive.

I am already working on these goals. My awesome wife was on board with me purchasing a trainer and setting it up in the living room so I can ride while watching tv. I have been riding 4 - 6 times a week, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a quarter. By the end of the off season I hope to have gotten in a few two hour training sessions.

I can already feel myself getting stronger. When I first set up the trainer I was struggling to get past about 13th gear with any consistency. Just a couple days ago I got 35 minutes in 22rd gear and another 20 bouncing back and forth between 20th and 21st.

I look forward to getting back out there and riding in 2012. And if we get any more sunny days in 2011...I want to get one in then, too.