Sunday, January 18, 2009

Back to work...

One of my favorite lines is:

“Looks like you’ve been missing a lot of work lately”
“Well I wouldn’t say I have been *missing* it Bob.” (Office Space)

Sometimes training is fun – other times it is work… and this week it was time to get back to work.

It started on Tuesday with a BRUTAL ride with VMS Client #1 Paul Cantin. He was in town for our National Sales Meeting and the company holds a golf tournament we were not chosen for a team...damn :)

Anyway, we decided to get in a few hours or riding in the valley instead. The weather ended up being BRUTAL and the golf tournament was cancelled – we still chose to ride. It was 48 degrees and pouring rain and we rode 2 hours.

We joked about how this was a good omen…the same thing happened last year and we rode in the chilly rain.

I dig it…training is supposed to be tough – physically and mentally and this one was pretty hard. I kept thinking to myself, I am out here…I am training in this crap…this is going to make me strong – very few other idiots would have ridden outside in 48 degree rain – we did.

Looking back over last year I think the most important key training session I did was a series of 3 hour trainer rides in the pain cave.


I actually did a lot of them. Most of these were done at very specific work levels and a many of them had hour runs off the bike. This was also some of the best mental work I did – I got really used to suffering in silence and watching the watts tick off – yeah I know – it’s sick but I dig the trainer.

B. Hart likes to say, when you spend some quality time in the deep dark places in your mind – they are not that scary anymore…I agree completely.

Friday, I had listened to a Mark Allen interview on Ironman racing and he talked about the mental aspect of the race…it was brilliant.

He talked about a lot of techniques I really dig and it was nice to have some of my crazier thoughts validated.


One really funny line he had (paraphrasing)…it doesn’t matter how much you visualize it…if you have not done the training – it’s not going to happen. You have to do the work...three hours in the Pain Cave...that's work :)

He also talked about quieting your mind – not trying to be happy…that is sometimes too hard…but instead just trying to be in tune with the nature around you. This was cool…just to be neutral and not go negative.

I log all of my rides and my runs in my training log – every one of them without fail. Some of my best rides and runs I also log mentally for when I need them. I try to build a portfolio of 3-4 great hours of running and 5-6 hours of cycling from my training to take me somewhere else when I need to escape to neutrality.

Getting back to the point – this weekend I started my ’09 collection…

This weekend it was BRUTALLY cold all along the eastern seaboard. Even in Florida it was in the teens with the wind chill – time to hit the trainer for the 1st of many 3 hour rides.


The computrainer made this not only possible but actually pretty fun – I know – I have issues :)

I wanted to work some long climbs so I chose to ride a few sections of Stage 17 of 2008 Tour de France and did Croix du Fer and Alpe d’Huez.


The 1st climb took 1:33 minutes straight…that was only 13 or 14 miles.




Next was Alpe d’Huez.


I don’t know what a “good” time is for that climb but I went 59 and change…I think the Pro’s go nearly 25 minutes faster – I can’t even relate.



Anyway – it was fun and it is logged…and it is in the collect for when I need it.

Getting back to work feels good, the dark places in my mind are just how I remember when I left them last…I logged a good hour – it’s in the bank…and when I need to focus this season, the crest of HC summit isn’t a bad image to visualize…especially when you’ve done the work.


Thanks Paul – I’m glad we rode…HTFU? We did :)

Thanks Mark – your words inspire!!!

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