Friday, August 31, 2012

Fall awaits me!

So here I am.. after another unaccounted for absence. Tri season is essentially over for me. I have a Timberman race report that I need to write, and I have a sprint distance tri next weekend (which I dropped down to from the olympic distance because I just wasn't feeling it), and that is it for me!

So what is on the horizon for me?

It's taking some time away from structured triathlon training this fall. As it goes with most other Type-A neurotic athletes, I struggle with taking time OFF - I made it a week after Timberman before I started to feel like a disgusting blob. So, not working out will not work for me whatsoever. BUT I am feeling the major effects of burnout. I need to do something about it so I that I can eventually return to triathlon with an excited attitude and kill my PRs like I was supposed to do this season (and that I KNOW I can do)! I was stuck for a while on what to do.. but after that week of doing nothing and a few days of just "meh" workouts, I think I have figured it out.

I am planning on doing a run focus in the fall (have already started actually) where I run 6 days a week, (with Monday as an off day with just a swim), ride long-ish on Saturdays, and then add other swim and bike workouts in during the week as I please. Long runs on Sundays. Running is what I really enjoy doing. I don't love weekly trainer rides, and I only really like to swim in moderation (i.e. when I feel like it). But I do love to run and I REALLY miss running for the sake of running itself and not for the sake of training and filling that workout in on my schedule. I also love fall races - especially trail races!

Another big thing is that I am shopping for a cyclocross bike. This is something that I have wanted to buy for several years, and I finally got my shit together and started saving money (turns out, you can't save money AND do Ironman if you're on the Alexa budget of can't save money worth shit anyways). I think it will add a lot of fun to my cycling routine, as I will be able to (attempt) to race cyclocross, go on shorter day tours on an actually comfortable bike, ride wherever I please (gravel trails, dirt roads, etc.) and ride slowly with other people to a fun destination with perhaps food and/or drinks (instead of just hammering away alone in my aerobars).

Test riding is going to happen this weekend with Solveig, on the one small cyclocross bike we were able to find in the greater Rochester area, and then I will go from there. Because I got so confused trying to compare bikes across multiple bike brands on different websites, I used my nerd skillz to create a crazy tiny cyclocross bike spreadsheet of all the bikes I could find in my budget and their tiny sizes. I was then able to eliminate some that wouldn't work (either too large, or didn't have the basics of what I was looking for) and narrowed the search down to 4 bikes that are all similar in size. I am hoping that by riding one of them (the one we found at  Geneva Bicycle Center) I can then make sure that this size bike WILL fit me, and I can look more in-depth at what each bike offers - spec-wise before I make the big decision and order the bike from a shop!

So this is my plan for fall - run a lot, get muddy, spend hard-earned money on a 'cross bike, get muddy on that, try not to fall on face in a 'cross race, and have fun! :)

And I am ALWAYS looking for fun people to get muddy with!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

I am done.

So, what has been going on with me lately? Oh, let me tell you. I have had it with structured training. HAD IT. Timberman is in 6 days, which I am "racing," and then I am done. I am so tired of forcing workouts that I don't want to do. The only thing I like doing these days is riding my bike, so I guess I should just do more of that and less of the swimming and running. Or maybe I will move my running to the trails.. that sounds way more fun! Or maybe some hiking/picture taking. I am already registered for Finger Lakes Tri which is sometime in September, but I don't even care. I'm not sure if I'm going to do it or not.. normally I would just race it anyways, but my 10 year high school reunion is the day before, so that pretty much screws with the race because I haven't figured out how it will be possible to do them both.

I have been saving money all year for a large purchase in the fall. At first it was going to be a nice road bike, then that changed to a cyclocross bike, then to a Quarq powermeter, which is what I had settled on for several months. After this shitty, shitty season continued on without improvements, I feel negatively about spending $2000 of my hard-earned money on something that should, in theory, help me race faster, but that I do not feel like I deserve. If I can't even focus on my workouts, WHY in the hell should I spend my money on a powermeter? To just highlight the fact that I suck even more?? So I am now back on the cx bike. I think it would allow me to have more "fun" cycling time (because it's not always my idea of fun to be hammering away in aero for multiple hours). I would be able to do some light touring, ride some trails, go on group rides, and even TRY CYCLOCROSS!

There are a few problems with buying a cyclocross bike. The main one is that I am short, very short, and most 'cross bikes are made for men. So first, I have to find a brand that makes a tiny 'cross bike, and THEN I have to find a shop that has one in stock so I can try it. So far, I have had zero luck finding the 44 cm Cannondale CAADX bike in which I am interested. The shop employee went as far as to say that I will never find that small of a bike stocked in ANY shop except maybe the factory shop. Wonderful. I have plans in a few weeks to go test ride a variety of bikes at Geneva Bicycle Center with Solveig - she has discussed this with them and they are going to assemble a list of tiny bikes for us to consider (she is rather small as well).

The second problem with buying bike #2 is that I have nowhere to put it in my apartment. I would be happy to hang it on a wall but I don't have any unused wall space. So this will be interesting to figure out as well.

On a TOTALLY unrelated note (and don't ask me how I even started thinking about this).. does anyone here remember playing with POGS in the 90s? I totally remember going to craft shops like A.C. Moore or trading card shops and digging through GIANT bins filled with cardboard POGS.. looking for super cool ones to add to my collection. Also, I had the sweetest slammer EVER. Aw and now I am getting all nostalgic for the 90s!