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Showing posts from January, 2012

Dangling off the back

When I woke up this morning and saw the balmy temp of 13 degrees on the thermometer, I was not looking forward to the scheduled group road ride. Nick was going mountain biking and I really wanted to join him.
But it was the road ride on my training schedule, so to the road ride I went. It only warmed up to about 23 by the time I left, and the sun was still hiding behind the clouds. I bundled up - wool socks, toe warmers, neoprene booties, winter gloves and my Gore jacket. If I was gonna suffer on the road, I didn't want to be freezing. The group assembled at Starbucks was small, but there were some speedy riders. I knew I was in for another fun time of trying to keep with the group when Kaylan showed up with his fancy new road bike. If I was struggling when he was riding a cross bike - uh oh! Some of the other normal faces weren't there, either taking a break or waiting until the temperature rose a little in the afternoon.

We rolled out at a more reasonable pace then my last …

A trip around Lake Minnequa

One of the best things about working down in Pueblo (besides the easy access to great trails at Lake Pueblo) is the proximity of Lake Minnequa. Half a mile from my building is a nice, mostly flat gravel path around the lake. It's a great place for doing running workouts. I can also take advantage of the normally warmer and drier weather - sunny, no ice and quiet trails. There usually are a few people out and about, walking dogs ect. But mostly quiet so it's good for getting up to speed and working hard.

Well, yesterday was a little different. Instead of the normal assortment of joggers, dog walkers and so, I was confronted with a new partner. Horses. Yes, there is the Norris-Penrose center right near my normal running area, but I rarely see them out on the trails. I see evidence of horses, but rarely the horses. Well, not only did I see the fresh evidence of horses yesterday, I saw four horses on the trail around Lake Minnequa. One rider was out for a cantor - he was the nices…

Seasons change

After pondering where my focus would be for the season, I finally made a decision and will be returning to my roots as an endurance athlete. Kinda, sorta. I came to Xterra as a road triathlete and marathon maniac. I thought nothing of racing a half iron one weekend and a marathon the next weekend. There was something attractive about the mental challenge and need for strategy in the longer events. When I met Nick, I fell in love with mountain biking and the fun of getting dirty. But I wanted to stay a triathlete. So I turned my focus towards Xterras, hoping I could overcome my lack of fast twitch and turn the endurance from my many marathons into speed. For three years, I've chased the points in the Xterra Championship series. It's been fun, seeing new trails and meeting new people. But it's also been frustrating. I've seen old faces stay the same distance in front of me and new faces quickly climb the rankings. And starting this season, I found myself not even wanting…

Indecision

I though I knew what I wanted to do and where I was headed. After spending hours pondering, scribbling lists and making plans, evaluating all the choices and events crowding the year, I was pretty sure I'd settled on my goal. Now, not so sure again. I've looked over my notes and budget stuff for the season and find myself questioning again. Right now, the entire year is open - I'm not committed to anything but a few fun events. Emphasis on the word fun. I'm not making my living racing - my day job still pays the bills. So it's a lifestyle, albet at a fairly high level, but still a lifestyle. So what kind of lifestyle am I looking for? Race fun or chase points? Good courses and challenging events or wide open fitness courses? Low stress, but still all out hard or high drama and stressful. Looking at it like that, should be an easy choice. And that's why I'm still questioning.

Solo suffering on skinny tires

After last Saturday's group ride, I was hoping to be a little smarter and stay with the group a little longer. I was pretty tired from the previous workouts, but felt like the tips I'd gotten from Adam, Renee and Dug would make up for the fatigue. Stay out of the wind and don't burn any matches though taking long, suicidal pulls at the front. Then the group started assembling and my heart sank. There were some fast riders pulling up for the trek down through Fountain for Saturday Morning Worlds. On the rollout through town, there was no easy pace to warm up. The pack was riding over 20mph before we even rode over Powers Blvd. Yikes!!

After the right turn on Mark Sheffel, things got crazy. I was ready for it, in the front and on the right wheels. And that's about as far as it got. The pace was high and attacks fierce. I was on the train and tried to just pull through like Renee told me. The minute I hit the wind I was stumped. There wasn't any way I could get over - …

Back on the train

Another fun Saturday Acacia park road ride is in the books. Despite some darn chilly temps in the morning, the sunny skies and threat of snow swelled the crowd. It didn't seem like that big of a group when we rolled out of Starbucks, but riders kept appearing out of nowhere. The pace on the rollout along Boulder and Plate was pretty chill today - and I was a little more comfortable in the group. That set me up nicely for the first acceleration. I knew it was coming and was ready this time. With a good position in the group and better awareness of tactics, I was able to mix it up a little on the front. Wasn't easy, but I was taking pulls, watching wheels and closing some gaps. I did get a little push once when I wasn't as quick z I needed to be jumping on wheels. I have to admit, I still have a lot to learn when it comes to road biking and large groups. I was sticking with the group, but had my nose in the wind a lot. More then I should have, given the composition at the fr…

Working on the 2012 Schedule

I've started planning my race schedule for this year and think I have a good start. I was torn between Xterra and some ultra endurance mountain bike races at the end of the season, but decided to stay with my Tri roots for at least another year or two. After the start I had for last year, it seems silly to not keep working on the Xterras. That and it's a fun group and there are some new races that sound really cool. The full Championship schedule has not been released from Xterra yet, so there might be some additions there. But I'm pretty sure that's all I will be able to afford to race! In terms of local Xterra, two new events - Curt Gowdy and Pueblo both sound awesome. And of course, I have always enjoyed Lory, so I'm not gonna miss that one.

In the mountain biking, I am planning on staying close to home. The Rocky Mountain Endurance Series is my goal. I will miss a few of the events, but will race the marathon length races at the ones on my schedule. I have don…

Chocolate (Desert?) Pancakes

These pancakes are perfect for a chocolate fix in the morning or a simple and fancy desert. All that changes is the size of the pancake!

Mix:
   1 1/4 cup flour (I'm using Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour)
   1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
   heaping 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (if making gluten free)
   1/4 cup sugar
Add and stir until combined:
   2 eggs, beaten
   1 1/4 milk (for more chocolate flavor, use chocolate milk for all or part of the milk)
   1/2 tsp vanilla
   2 tbsp melted butter

Possible additions:
   1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
   1/2 cup chocolate chips
   1 cup blueberries

If cooking for breakfast, use 1/2 cup per pancake. If cooking for desert, use 1/4 cup. Cook on hot skillet until bubbles form on top, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes.

For breakfast, serve with vanilla yogurt, fresh fruit, fruit preserves or dust with powdered sugar.
For dessert, serve with whipped cream or ice cream, chocolate sauce or fresh fruit.

I made a batch for breakfast wi…