Showing posts from March, 2013

Power to the pedals.

I have been working with Coach Adam and Carmichael Training Systems since October 2010 and it's been a great experience. I think the first year was a learning curve for both of us - me adapting to the CTS philosophy and Coach Adam figuring out the best way to keep me under control. (That's still a work in progress ...) Then a transitional year where I was still focusing on Xterra, but getting lured in different directions. And last year, finally buckling down with a specific focus on the endurance mountain biking. I learned a lot last year and made some really awesome strides in both fitness, skill and speed. There was always something missing, though - and i didn't always get the most out of my workout. I was training on RPE and HR - valuable tools, but still limiting the knowledge and specificity of the intervals. Since the start of our time together, Coach Adam has been suggesting a power meter. As the months ticked by and still no power meter, the suggestions became mo…

Rocky Mountain Spring...

The first full weekend of Spring. A full slate of fun rides and such just waiting for some sunny weather,- a group ride I kept skipping, a long... But I was watching the forecast the entire week and was mentally preparing. If the weather man was right, I wouldn't want to be riding outside! And sure enough, the snow was blowing, the wind howling and it was cold enough to freeze a yeti when I woke up Saturday. Time to stare at some bricks at CTS! I'd talked to Coach Adam earlier in the week, so had my bad weather workout ready to go. I just needed to get my mind around riding inside for three hours.... And with it being at the end of a training block, I was secretly hoping my legs would rebel and I would have an excuse to stop riding sooner.

No such luck. I got there early to claim a spot and set up the course on the computrainer. Since my workout was a little crazy with lots of things to think about, I needed something simple - and something that I would be able to get the powe…

Shoulder update

It's been nearly two months since I crashed in Ute Valley and injured my right shoulder. It's not fully healed - I can tell that some movements aren't 100% yet, but things are getting better. I have full range of motion in my shoulder and improved functional strength. I'm able to sleep in my right side again without waking up in agony. Getting dressed isn't a battle and I haven't had to tape my shoulder in a few weeks. I still get some soreness and increased stiffness after particularly long or hard rides, it's even worse if I'm riding my Fate and really have to use my upper body to throw the bike around. But I truly cannot complain at all - I'm still able to ride and do what I love. I've also been slowly increasing my swimming frequency - twice a week again. But not long swims - just 1000 yards at a time. It's a good thing I'm not doing any triathlons this year! Nick and I also have gotten back in the bouldering gym on a regular basis. …

Tuesday Night Worlds

I finally got an invite for Tuesday Night Worlds! Okay, so I kinda invited myself along since I was supposed to do a race simulation type workout, but... It was cold and damp and I really didn't want to ride by myself! Nick indulged me and said I could come, but they wouldn't be waiting for me. Well, that's pretty much what I expected, so... Up to me to keep up! I will admit to being really nervous when we rolled into the Chutes parking lot. I wasn't sure I was ready for that kind of ride. The plan was to head up through Stratton, all the way up Gold Camp, then back down on Columbine and into Stratton. All trails I know, but never really ride fast.

We pedaled out into the woods and I was immediately on the back. Not off the back, but dangling. I was keeping close to Matt, surging to catch his wheel then falling off the pace. As long as I was within about two bike lengths, I was happy. It wasn't easy and I was at race intensity the entire climb. Near the steepest p…

Experimenting with Rice Cakes

After the last 24 hour race where our fueling wasn't up to snuff due to the craziness around the event, I decided I needed to try something new. I had gotten most of my calories from Snickers bars and cookies and other junk food, but was never satisfied the entire event. I wanted more "real" food, but still something that was easy to digest. The chicken and rice soup always hit the spot, but was a hassle to deal with in the make-shift tent we had set up. With some big races coming up, I decided that it was time to start playing around in the kitchen. I have The Feed Zone Cookbook, but hadn't gotten more then just flipping through and looking at the pictures. This time, I pulled it out with the intent to try a few of the portable recipes.

I'm not a huge bacon fan and I was looking for something with a little longer shelf life then the egg rice cakes. So I decided to try the Chocolate Peanut Coconut rice cakes. All flavors I love and the recipe was super easy... We…

Baked Apples with Ginger Almond Whipped Cream

This is more of a fall dessert, when the Jonathan apples are fresh and yummy. But it worked really well with the pink lady apples - nice and crisp with firm texture. The recipe is very simple and can be easily modified for additional servings.

Baked Apples
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Half and core 3 apples and place in baking dish

In small dish, combine:
2 Tbsp brown sugar
6 tbsp gluten free oats
3 Tbsp gluten free flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom

Add to oats mix:
3 tbsp melted butter

Spoon oat mixture into cored apples.
Top with raisins, crasins or nuts of choice
Sprinkle apples with cinnamon and brown sugar.
Bake for 30 minutes

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or ginger almond whipped cream (below)

Ginger Almond Whipped Cream
Chill mixing bowl and beater

Combine in chilled bowl:
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 tbsp sugar

Beat with chilled beaters on high speed until firm and peaks form. DO NOT OVERBEAT. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve…

Smiles, Ice and Stars

Every so often, even when most trails are a mess, you have to escape and get out side. I suffered through a good but data-less workout inside on Tuesday because of the ice and slush on the roads. Yesterday, with springlike temperatures, the last thing I wanted was to spend another hour inside. But where to go? Stratton was a mess, Palmer Park and Red Rocks even worse. Nick was waiting on Todd to ride - they were going to head up the canyon and down Columbine. That trail had the best likelyhood of being clear - mostly south facing and exposed. As much as I didn't want to ride up the canyon on my mountain bike, the rest of the ride sounded like fun. So I tagged along, knowing I had to keep it easy on the climb.

We left in the light of the setting sun, heading into the coolness of the canyon. I had my Exposure lights mounted and all my warm clothes in my pack. I followed Nick and Todd to the mouth of the canyon and watched them ride away. I had no desire to even try to ride their pac…

Colossal Cave, Tucson

Our one tourist activity in Tucson this year. We decided to go explore the Colossal Cave Mountain Park on the east side of Tucson after we rode on Tuesday. We were bored of sitting around and Nick wanted to see how well the Turtle was running after replacing the fan clutch (Great for a while, then....) Nick had a few reasons - one, we were looking for another kinda off the grid camping spot. And we found some - really cool. We were hoping to be able to hang out there for a while after the race, but that didn't happen. Nick also wanted to see where the AZT went - and we also had success on that front. The AZT goes right through the park and looked like a lot of fun in that area. Again, mostly pictures on this one!

A tale of two rides

Location, Location, Location. It's important in more then just real estate! We found that out the hard way this weekend with our two rides. One was super fun and grin inducing. The other? Well, I was afraid to open my mouth because of the mud...

I was planning on the group road ride on Saturday - the weather was great and I was mentally ready to start suffering again. Physically was a different story, so I bailed on the road ride. I wasn't quite ready to get dropped five times because I was still tired from 24 HOP. Went to work for a few hours in the morning, then decided it was time to ride. Nick and I were planning on doing a road ride, but he decided to head south on the Santa Fe Trail. That way I could ride hard like in the group road ride, get some power numbers and we still wouldn't have to worry about cars. We were also pretty sure it would be clear - or mostly clear. Well, it wasn't as clear as we thought! In fact, there was still inches of snow in places and t…

Frozen off the trails

I had a great time playing in the snow last weekend. It was a recovery week and I could do whatever I wanted. No stress, no need to worry about training. But now I realize why I hate snow! It's great when it's falling and the next day, but as the temperature rise, the snow starts melting during the day and refreezing at night. A combination that makes the roads and trails slushy and muddy during the day and dangerously icy at night. Ugh. And I will admit to being a complete wimp when it comes to those conditions. I hate riding in the mud - both because of the trail damage and the mess it makes of my bike! Snow is fun, right after it falls. Now? Crusty, hard and icy and just not a great day on the bike. Add in the layers of hidden ice and it becomes just plain dangerous. I want to be riding my bike, not nursing injuries!

Finding some mud and ice free single track isn't going to be easy this next month I think. I might have to become a roadie for a while to get my training …