Monday, April 15, 2013

So it must be spring!

Spring training camp has come and gone.  I can't believe the number of hours I put in under the very sunny skies of Rome, Georgia.  It's wonderful being able to stay with our local friends, Stephan and Sue, year after year and feeling more and more welcome in their home.  We were able to get in some rides with Stephan, and also Stephan & Sue this year them on their tandum that goes like a bat out of hell.  Wow!  This was the first year we were joined by Sue on one of our rides and it was wonderful to finally get out with her.  Another few locals that we were able to get out with was Matt who is on one of the local road race teams and then there is Peaches and young Blake who has grown 6" since the last time we saw him last year. The last day we were in town we were asked if we could show a race team around the Fouche Road Race course that had come in from Albany, GA as the local knowledge. lol  I guess you go back to a place year after year you become almost locals.  Always many thanks to Bill W and Carol. Chris M for dinner but sadly no get together for a ride. After 10 days I racked up 26hrs of amazing training in Rome this year.  We started our journey back on the saturday with the thermometer saying 23C and got home the next day with it saying I think a whopping -1C with snow.  Welcome home.

The first race of the season has come and gone also, Good Friday road race. This race was my re-introduction into the masters category after being in the elite 1/2 field for the last couple of years.  This category drew me back for many reasons but the main thing was because of the Novofit team having an amazing amount of ladies this year.  I cannot wait for us all to race together.  At the Good Friday race we were three strong out of our 8 ladies.  I have many things to learn about being on a race squad.  Knowing where my teammates are in the group.  Knowing when my teammates need help.  We just need to come together as group and i know it'll happen at Springbank Classic race in May. Closed course and everything.

The next race in April is this coming weekend Calabogie Classic.  Being apart of the Novofit squad it means that we will be sharing a house with teammates for this race.  So we'll get to stay with a few teammates Scully from the women squad and boyfriend Ryan, Phil G, Bryan K and my husband, Richard all from the men squad and some other teammates lodging fairly close to where the race is happening at the Calabogie Race track always a fun race.

til next time. :-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I can smell spring coming...

It’s coming to the end of the winter training season and being smack dab in the middle of my last training block before I go south for training camp.  Yes there is only so many more sleeps until we leave to go to our home away from home called Rome, GA.
 Coach Dean 'Dino'
I’ll back up a little bit with Coach Dino asking me if I would be able to focus from the 12th til the 24th only on even days doing 6 by 4min intervals.  He asked if I could get this done.  I was like of course I can get this done.  At that point I still had about two weeks to go in my schedule that had me outside running/2 stepping my way up stairs, when the weather was good riding outside and riding the trainer/rollers inside.  The new schedule was stated that even if the weather was good on the weekend I needed to do exactly what I was supposed to do.  On the odd days I have been riding the rollers for a short bit of time to loosen my legs. As usual with all of my workouts I was given specific wattage range and I was hopeful that I could get the top end for all 6 of the 4min intervals.  Well as I normally do I pace myself to see what happens.  So the first couple of times I did the workout I tested myself to see what I could do since it had been a while since I’d really done any sustained efforts at the wattage prescribed.  So after the paced couple of workouts I tried to get the overachiever high wattage and to my surprise I got one of my 4min up there.  I was so happy with myself.  So the next even day I went for it.  It was family day so it was another morning workout which means a less stressful day for the workout and what do you know I did it I got 6 in a row of my highest wattage.  I was estatic.  Couldn't believe it.  I had done it. Tomorrow is another even day but this workout will be after work so I get to see how it goes after work.

Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

January in Review

My weekday workout add 1 interval for the weekend.

Well this was the first Saturday since the beginning of the year that I had to get on the trainer because of weather.  So I set myself up on the trainer and got myself ready for a session of 3 by 21minute intervals with 30 second accelerations every 3 minutes.  This is the first time I’ve actually done 3 of these types of intervals but I had been doing these intervals on Wednesdays on this training schedule that I am on right now.  I got through my warmup and fast cadences intervals before I got into the real ones today.  The way these 21min intervals work is that you start with your steady watts and then every 3mins you accelerate for 30sec.  For me I have had to figure out the right gearing for the steady part and slam it into the big ring for the accelerations.  Once I figured that out when I came off of the interval and out of the big ring I was able to with not too much down time in my watts to get back to my steady pedaling.  I have a paper on my stem to tell me during the 21 min interval when to accelerate cause by the middle I need to be reminded of 3 times tables.  I got through my first and second really well.  I really had to talk myself through my last one.  Kept on telling myself to keep the steadies steady and go harder on the accelerations because this is the last one.   Just before the second last acceleration I put out my hand for a high five kind of grab the hand of my husband who was doing a different workout next to me on his trainer.  This so gave me strength to get me through the last few efforts I had to do and then it was done.  I really couldn’t believe I got through this session.  I was really elated and impressed with myself on this.

This was a great session to end the month of January.  January has been a pretty good month all starting with the Ontario Cup Series and Provincial race calendar coming out.  Being able to then start planning out the season of races or rather a preliminary calendar noting when the big races are and the stage races that I am planning on doing are this year.  January also means I get to see what my new team kit is going to look like.  The best part is Mike who is the team Novofit’s manager hasn’t really changed the kit so I’ll still be wearing blue and light blue argyle.  Man I love these kits. Mike is the founder of the team that I raced on last year and will be racing for the second year.  The team or rather squad is made up of both a master men squad and master women squad.  The squad originally started as a team of friends that came together as a team in 2011 and just the men side.  Last year was the first year for the women side to come together.

January gave us many weekends that we could ride outside in or at least get one ride in that weekend.  The most memorable weekend in this month has to be when we got 2 warmish days in a row.  The best part of this weekend was when a friend of mine, Annie, decided it was warm enough to have bare legs.  I kept on asking her if she was warm enough and she was.  This weekend also brought out another friend, Jany, on our Saturday ride.  It had been a long time coming to see Jany out in a group ride.  Such a wonderful weekend was had by all I believe.

Last weekend was the first weekend that I did a group ride and stair workout in the same weekend.  This proved to be very interesting to say the least.  It was only a group of 4 this day and it was very windy so it was decided as a group to head out and ride up and down the escarpment to stay somewhat out of the wind which was really master minded by Mandy.  This was such a great idea while very trying but an excellent way to spend almost 3hrs and still be so close to home.  On the Sunday Scully and I took to the stairs for 90mins.  This effort really felt like a 40k time trial it was all about pacing for me to get through this exercise.  It was a very cold and windy day where I was thankful for being on the stairs and not being blown over in the gusty cold wind.
As always for me the people make the workouts go better and go by faster and I have to thank everybody for being there and some that aren’t with me in person you so help me so much.

Friday, January 4, 2013

2013 Off Season

It’s been a long time coming to do my latest blog.  A friend of mine, Scully, has reminded me why I started to write my blog.  It’s supposed to be to sort of remember the things in life that sometimes I have a hard time remembering and remembering it’s not just about the bike it’s about everything that goes with it.

So here goes.  The off season is here.  Before the time change I was still quite able to get out during the week after work to get in a good ride but once the time change happened I was on the trainer almost every night doing my favourite 2-20min intervals.  The 2x20min intervals last for a I think 3 weeks and then I started needing something else to do.  That something different is stairs.  It was suggested to me by a friend, Anne, to try doing stairs for some cross training.  What I mean by stairs is I live in the southern Ontario area where I am surrounded by the Niagara escarpment where there are many sets of stairs up the escarpment for people to access by foot the upper and lower mountain.  So it’s been step up that I do stairs twice a week.  I have been going to the Kenilworth stairs and the Chedoke stairs.  The Kenilworth stairs are a lot steeper than the Chedoke and are in 2 different sets of stairs with a path between them.  The Chedoke stairs is more over constant climb.  I two step these stairs and right now I can get in 11 times up this set in an hour.  There are 290 stairs on this staircase.  I have been enjoying climbing the stairs with different people to name a few Anne, Scully and new teammate Billie and her husband Scott.  So I had about 4 weeks of stairs before Christmas hit and then I was off on vacation with my family my husband and his 2 boys in Punta Cana Dominican Republic.

A family vacation with the boys a vacation away from the bike this year for Christmas.  This is the first vacation that my husband and I have really had in 13 years without riding being involved.  Scary time right?  A week off the bike laying on a beach with palm trees around me.  Whoa. I think it’s the vacation that I have needed for a while.  We saw many things on this trip like a local school, a family home, a traditional lunch and got to see so many spices and coffee so amazing.  I have to admit that waking up on Christmas day and it being 30C outside was quite cool.  I love Christmas but I just not feeling it this year and this trip brought my little family together albeit for 7 days it was totally great.  Well the vacation had to come to an end and on the last day in Punta Cana we heard that there was a storm at home and that there was actual snow on the ground.  It was a great break to have this time with family and then come home to life and New Year Eve and New Year Day.

New Year Eve was spent taking my husband’s youngest son home and then going on to some friends’, Jim and Emily, home in Kitchener for the evening to ring in the new year with them, Jim’s kids and another teammate Bryon and his daughter.  Such a great night play backgammon and clue.  First late night in a long time and well spent. 

New Year day was spent with my dad, stepmom, sister, stepsis and my husband and what a great night that was.  I’ve always spent time with my dad on Christmas day but this year was a little different.  Life changes and change is good.  Many great people have been brought into my life this past year with the Novofit family to new friends and getting to know friends better.  I am very thankful for what I have and life is good.

Until next time my ramblings are done for tonight.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Good Friday and training camp

And so it begins another race season with the Hamilton Cycling Club Good Friday Road race this coming Friday.  I truly cannot believe it’s already here.  This winter has been an unusual winter for training.  I have been able to get outside most weekends for my long rides and only having to train indoors during the week after work because of the light factor.  Since I have been able to put in the time outside and I won’t have to go through the normal get to know my bike again outside aka balance and placement on the road.  To help my balance on the bike this winter I added rollers to my training.  At first it was a shear battle of wits of saying to myself that they were not going to beat me that I have to figure this out and I did.  I can drink out of my water bottle, take a jersey off if I need too, stand and ride no hands.  It’s the best feeling of conquering a fear of the rollers.  It just clicked one day and I was fine from there on in.

My outdoor season usually starts with a little bit of riding outside and then head down south for some warmer weather riding but this year I was able to go down south with a lot more mileage in my legs which was great.  I headed off to training camp down in my home away from home Rome Georgia.  I was there for only 10 days this year but put in some amazing time in the saddle.  The weather was cool to start with but much better than the previous weekend at home where the temps was only -5C and in GA the temp was about 10 or so C.  The camp spanned over 2 weekends with the first having a road race in Dalton, GA.  It was a great race to get my first race pre-race jitters out of the way.  The rest of the time was spent riding with different groups of people that I have ridden with before and then other days were spent riding with my husband and our friend, Stephan, who we stay with every year that we have been down well with him and his family.  This year the three of us went to Lookout Mtn and rode over it a couple of times now that was a fun warm day in the saddle.  Took in a nice total of 25hrs in the saddle in the south this year thankfully when we came back home we came home to warmer than normal weather thankfully to ride in.

So enough about the weather and lets get on with the race season.

Can't wait to see all my fellow racer friends this week.

Shell :-)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Off season well at least the start...

Well it’s definitely fall out there and starting to look a little like winter also.  Can’t complain Mother Nature has been really nice to us giving us fairly warm weather into November now and last year at this time I was already listening to my trainer hum and my Husband sing to his music on while he is training also.  On average lately I have been able to get in like 9 hours a week plus or minus a few hours not bad for the fall and with the time change.  I can see that coming to an end fairly soon it looked like a blizzard out there today.   This can only mean indoor training is coming soon.

Indoor training has started a little with learning of riding rollers.  I was so scared of rollers last year and still pretty scared to start on them this year but I knew I just had to get pasted that.  So some new stuff has come my way with the selling of my old trainer to picking up a new trainer and my husband & I are now sharing a set of rollers.  So all I have to say is wow.  My coach, Dino, prescribed me to do at least 15mins every day no matter what on those darn rollers and here I thought it was going to be torture.  Lol Nope not anymore.  I start with the thought of oh my god I don’t think I can do this on the first day to the second day home by myself alone to let myself just do it…And yup I got it can believe it.  The roller tricks were on after this point.  I can now drink water out of my bottle a major plus and standing up to relieve the pressure on my butt lol….The best part about the rollers is I’ve already found that it has made me more balanced outside. 

Just my thoughts for today have a good night.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Better late then never...Provincial tt

Starting to get ready for our trip to see coach Dino in California for our gift to us trip at the end of a long season that was planned for even before the season started but first I still want to tell you about my provincial time trial that happened way back in August.

I know I know I was good at getting on top of my posts but now the season is done it’s a little harder to get around to my posts but I still wanna remember this race.  The provincial time trial happened in Ottawa well an hour east of Ottawa.  So traveled 7hrs the day before the race to town to be able to preride the course.  The course was a 4 corner course easy as pie right?  Apparently not.  My husband and I battled construction traffic in downtown Ottawa and finally made it to our hotel an hour and half longer than what it should have taken us but we were finally able to get to the race course to preride it.  I did the course 3 times and 3 times I tried to make a wrong turn so it was enviable that I did it on race day.  During the preride managed to find the only rain of the day on the course but that helped for race day let me tell ya.  So driving rain and heavy wind that seemed like it wanted to take my front wheel for a ride of it’s own.  It took all of my weight on the front end of the bike to keep it where I wanted it to go. What a day.  The day of the second most important race for me of this year the weather wasn’t that great to start I at least got through my warm up before it started raining.  Then while in the line up to get my bike checked it started spitting…Then in the start house it start raining a little more.  For the second time of this season when the count down happened in the start house and when I was told to go the holder didn’t let go.  So I pushed off for the second time and he finally let go.  Of course I thought my race was doomed from the start because of the way I was heading down the ramp, which was steep and short, but I got through it and I was mad.  I was a locomotive going into my first corner which I thought in my mind was not a corner.  I caught my minute person on the street that paralleled the back straight.  Now it’s raining full on.  My breathing was great at this point very fluid with my pedal stroke.  I felt so good.  I could just see my 2 minute person down the rode far down the rode.  Last corner on the course which was getting pretty slick from the rain. In and out of the corner was fine.  Going down the last straight away.  I can now fully see my 2min person down the road.  I focused on her and getting past her. Midway past the last corner I managed to pass my 2min person she gave me a good job and I was on my way.  I see another intersection coming up and guess what I did.  Yes I did it I turn right where I was suppose to just keep on going straight.  I could not believe I did that.  So I grabbed a fist full of front brake it wasn’t slowing me down.  So I grabbed the back brake…eeek not a good idea.  Back end of the bike came around and I saw my life flash for a couple seconds then let go of the brakes and got turned around and back on track. Back on track and going like mad again especially into the finish god I was happy I was done that race.  Could of lost it all on that one corner.  Can’t wait til next year.

Keep the rubber side down which I was apparent able during this one.

shell :-)