Balance

When I asked friends about what topics they would like to read about here, balance was on top of the list. It’s on the top of my personal goal list as well.

We all are doing a balancing act, all the time. Family, work, friends, training and racing. Expand time in one area and you have to remove time from another. Sometimes it is easy to have things balance out. I worked until 2:00 AM delivering a change to production for work; I B&Wleave work for a 2 hour lunch and go see one of my boys at school. Most of the  time, it is more difficult.

In graduate school at Queens University, we did a time management exercise where we stack ranked what is important to us, then filled out a pie chart on how we spend our time. It is such a great exercise to go through.

Chico stage race has been on my calendar as a goal for a couple of years now. This year, I’m actually in condition to try an early season race, but my oldest son Foster has a soccer game in Eugene that same weekend, and it was an easy decision to make. I’ll be going with the full family to Eugene for a weekend, and we are taking the RV.

I did look for a local bike race in Eugene and found a collegiate race that Sunday is at the same location as Foster’s game later in the day. But for men it is collegiate only. It is an open race for women who want to race, and for those in the area it looks like a great Ominum.

Eugene

Balance, like control is a tough nut to crack. I feel fortunate to have so much support from my family to pursue racing, and spending this weekend with the family seems like a great alignment between my values and how I spend time.

I also get to enjoy events due to volunteers giving of their time. Who knows, perhaps the weekend away will be a good time to give back to the cycling community. That would feel like a good balance!

 

A better monthly update January 2018

BONUS: 10% FTP increase over the previous month with no testing required.

I wasn’t particularly looking forward to  this months power test. Rather than taking it easy on Friday before the test, I tried a Zwift race. By luck, I went hard for the first 30 minutes of the race and was notified of an increased FTP.

That opened Sunday up for another Sauvie Shootout / smash ride. So I put some fenders on the rain / cross bike and headed out for my first group ride in the new kit.

My buddy John joined the ride which makes it more fun, and I managed to hang on to the sprint group until halfway through the second lap. That’s not bad considering how hard I hit training doing interval sessions Thursday and Friday.

Pretty Awesome all the way around!

Confirmation

Last year, I never felt like I hit race form. I was just checking on Stava’s Fitness and Freshness graph. According to Strava, I am as fit now as I ever got last summ

er. Well, that certainly confirms both what I felt last summer, and that my training is going well. In fact, training is going better than any winter since I started using Strava.

It gives me some hope that the training is headed in the right direction. I am scheduled for a FTP test Sunday, but might go to the Sauvie Shootout instead if it’s dry and not too cold.

The real test will then come on Tuesday with weigh-in and Power test.

12 Fundamental Habits of the Super Fit

1. They don’t think of their fitness as work, but rather a way of life

It’s kind of like taking a shower, sure you can go without one, but you just don’t feel right the rest of the day.

2. They don’t skip workouts

They take training days as seriously as a Dr.’s appointment.
Appointments and meetings get scheduled around their workout time, not the other way around.

3. They take their rest as seriously as their workouts

They know that in order to perform at their best and to get the most out of their body, they have to give it a rest. Rest days and sleep are as essential as the workouts themselves.

4. They eat to fuel their goals

Everything they eat serves a purpose. Protein for muscles, carbs for energy, and produce for vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Treats are done, but never over-done.

5. They tune everything out when they work out

Focus. They know that anything you give your undivided attention to works out better. Being in tune with your body allows them to make tweaks, and know which tweaks to make.

6. They push through frustration

If you think it’s easy for the super fit to get fit, and stay fit, you’re wrong. They’re highly competitive and always striving to hit new goals. They struggle like everyone else with busy lives, stress, plateaus, fatigue, and frustration. But there isn’t a thought of giving up; it’s just a matter of finding their answer.

7. They prepare their food in advance and don’t leave hunger to chance

They know what they’ll be eating the whole day. If they don’t bring their food, they know what they can order off menus and what they can find at a grocery store. Drive-throughs don’t exist in their world.

8. They use their flaws as motivators, not a reason to give up

They see their flaws (even if you don’t) and despise them like everyone else. But rather than letting their flaws bring them down, they use them to motivate them UP.

9. They envision the win-goal-finish line every day

The goal is crystal clear in their mind. The thought of the sculpted body, or winning the race always keeps them motivated. Regardless of life’s pressures they race towards the winner’s tape.

10. Persistence, persistence, persistence

Yes…they are persistent!

11. There are no excuses

They learned early that excuses are time-suckers and don’t get you anywhere near your goal. Better to get it done then whine about why you didn’t.

12. There is no giving up

; but it feels so right

Going way back to the winter of 2013, I was riding a computrainer a good amount at Uptown Cycles, in Charlotte NC. The workouts were great. I would do a power test

every couple of months, get my threshold power and follow some great workouts. All that work paid off in the summer, and when I moved to Portland, I felt like I was really flying on the bike. Whether I was or not, I don’t think matters as much as I felt like I was.

Part of my goals for 2018 and this blog are to get back into that condition. Hard to believe it’s been that long! I’ve raced and had fun every year. I’ve even had flashes of good form, but never fully found the magic in the legs.

Yesterday doing a Zwift workout, I had a mental-physical connection as the workout started seemingly too easy. But the 3rd of 6 power intervals I didn’t know if I would be able to maintain that

power. It brought me back to those UC workouts and how I felt when I was doing those computrainer sessions.

That is very encouraging, even if I’m still no where near the old power level.

On a separate note, I am getting my PowerTap wheel back today from Jon Lengbehn who I know will have done a great repair on it. the side of the rim blew out when I was putting some air in it, so now I have a new hoop all laced up and ready to go.

 

And now, I’m looking forward to joining the Sauvie Shootout this Sunday. Thanks Springer!

Calendar time

OBRA (Oregon Bicycle Racing Association) posted their 2018 race calendar, which helped fill in the puzzle for me.

I am going to try to make 2-3 mutli-day races. Not sure If I’ll be ready for Chico in two months…

Of course, in addition to these races we are fortunate in Portland to have weekly races most Monday and Tuesday’s along with many Wednesday’s.

I usually make Monday or Tuesday night racing.

3/31 Piece of Cake Road Race
4/14 King’s Valley Road Race
5/5 Montinore Road Race
5/31-6/3 Cascade Cycling Classic
6/9-6/11 Bend Omnium
8/4 Vancouver Criterium