Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Working" in Paradise

Well, its a tough job, but someone has to do it. I'm currently in the Bahamas working a seminar at the Atlantis resort. Getting here was a little interesting. There was a snow storm in Detroit so we were delayed over an hour, then missed our connection in Atlanta. Luckily we were able to catch another flight about an hour later.

I'm spending mornings in the exhibit hall while Jackie sleeps in, lays by the pool and goes to the spa. The afternoons we spend in the pool or water park, then do some wining and dining in the evening. The conference ends tomorrow and we are here until Tuesday though so we will have some time on our own soon. Either way, its better than single digit temperatures back in Michigan.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

So Much For Being Outside

Less than a week ago I posted about how much time I had spent exercising outside in 2009. Since then I haven't been out once. We got hit by a cold spell this week and have been lucky to get over 10 degrees for a high. Currently it is 12 and snowing. We're supposed to get 6" of snow throughout the day and night. Hmm, maybe I can count shoveling as outdoor exercise.

Tomorrow is supposed to be nicer, in the 20's. Wow, that's pathetic, I'm excited about the 20's.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

2009 Taking Shape

I'm pretty happy with how my year is going so far. It's only been 11 days of course, but I feel I'm off to a good start. While the weather around here hasn't been great since the start of the year, I have gotten outside to exercise 6 out of 11 days so far. Yesterday I got a nice 16 mile ride in on some dirt roads. It was very peaceful out there, everything covered in snow with little traffic around to disturb me.

We were hoping to have a group ride this morning, but mother nature tossed some more snow our way last night so it looks like the side roads won't be clear yet. Instead I went out and ran a couple miles around the block here. Jackie bought me some Stabilicers for Christmas. They are basically a pull on rubber sole with metal studs in them for traction. This was the first time I've used them and they worked fairly well.

I've been thinking a lot about goals for 2009. I really don't want to get too caught up in overplanning, but I also want to add some structure to my training and racing since I've never really had any. Here are some basics I want to achieve.

1. Finish the Lumberjack 100.
2. Finish the 100 pushups challenge I've been doing on and maintain that all year.
3. Finish the 200 situps challenge I've been doing on and maintain that all year.
4. Continue racing cross in the fall, but consistantly get into the top 10.

There's lots of other things to work towards, but I really want to focus on my overall fitness and strength, on and off the bike. If I get that into the best shape I've ever been in the other things will come along as well.

Well, I better go get ready. Today is the Team Sandbag Annual Party at Quay Street Brewery. I'm really looking forward to that. It's always a good time.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

LumberJack 100 - Take 2

Well, here we go again. It seems like just the other day that I was typing out a post about registering for the LumberJack 100. That was over a year ago. My first experience with this race didn't go so well, but I'm determined to have a different outcome at the 2009 edition.

Physically I really believe I was up to the challenge last June. It was the mental game that took me down that day. Going into the race I was feeling really good. My training had been going really well, and about 4 weeks prior I had ridden over 100 miles at the 12 hours of Addison. The Addison race gave me a lot of confidence since I finished with over 100 miles and still felt good, like I could have kept going.

I knew that Lumberjack was going to be a whole different story, more climbing, less support, etc. The problem was I got too wrapped up in the excitement of the day once everything got underway. Before the race I made the decision to ride with water bottles only, no Camelback, thinking I would just stop at the aid station each lap and in the pits so every 12-13 miles I would have fresh bottles. On our first lap through I was moving good with a pretty big group of riders. As we hit the aid station I expected everyone to pull over, but nobody did. I though about it for a second, then pushed on. It was a stupid move, we still had 9+ hours of riding ahead of us and I was worried about stopping for a couple minutes.

By the time I finished lap one I was out of water, and hadn't eaten anything. This was 2.5 hours into the race. At this point I had a headache going, which I knew was dehydration, so I tried to take in more water, but it was too late. With about 10 miles to go on my second lap I bonked worse than I have ever experienced. I could barely pedal on flat ground, I was nauseous, dizzy, weak, you name it. By the time I made it to the pits I was so out of it. Jackie was there waiting for me and quickly realized I was in bad shape. She sat me down and tried to get me to drink. At first I didn't want to because I felt so sick, but eventually I started drinking, then eating. It took me about an hour and a half to get back to the point where I felt I could actually pilot my bike through the woods. By that point though there was no way I would make the cut-off for the 4th lap, so I called it a day.

This year will be different though. First off, Camelback for sure. I need to take in plenty of water and reaching down for a bottle occasionally just won't cut it for me. Second, I'm going to manage my calories better. When I looked back at the 5 1/2 hours I spent in the woods that day I realized I had only averaged about 100-150 calories an hour, less than half what I need.

This is the first I've written about the race. I remember being excited to write a big blog post about it before the race, but returned home embarrassed and ashamed. Not that I didn't finish, because lots of people try that race and don't finish, but because I know I was ready and could do it. I just screwed it up for myself. Not this year though. I've learned a lot and I will be much better prepared. June 20th is the race so the 21st, maybe the 22nd if I'm lazy, I'll be writing about my finish.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Starting The New Year Out Right

Jackie and I had a pretty tame New Years Eve so it wasn't too painful getting up at 7am for a ride. A number of us from the team decided to join the Blue Water area tradition of a New Years Day ride from Lexington to Croswell. After breakfast and some coffee I headed out around 8am and picked up John along the way. We got into Lexington a little before 9am to find Todd, Lee and Kevin waiting for us, but nobody else. Hmm, I thought this was a tradition for a lot of the cyclists in the Port Huron area?

It was too cold to wait around so we got ready and headed out for the 6 mile ride to Croswell. The sign on the bank in town read 19deg, but it felt a lot colder with the wind, and most of the ride is pretty exposed. By the time we hit Croswell, the temperature was down to 13deg. That's cold, but luckily I made the right choice and wore plenty of layers so I was relatively comfortable, other than the exposed skin on my face. I also think being with a group of friends makes it a lot easier. If I had been out on my own I would have either turned around or been miserable, but it was a fun ride.

We arrived back in Lexington just before 10am to find a whole group of cyclists ready to go. The Times Herald was even there to cover the story. A few of the riders invited us to do the route again, but a warm cup of coffee and some breakfast was too tempting. The five of us changed and headed into Wimpy's, a local diner, to eat. All in all it was a great morning and a great way to start the New Year.