Friday, April 27, 2007

Pain and Suffering

182 pounds....

Haven't been paying attention to my weight because I have an injury going on, not to forget the cold that has decided to visit me also.

I started out this past Sunday with a kink in my neck. I could turn my head to the left ok, but not very far to the right. Monday it was still there and getting worse. Meanwhile, the cold had started kicking in full force. Runny nose and scratchy throat. Tuesday the neck starts pinching a nerve and my right arm starts to ache and be numb. I visit the chiropractor and he is unable to get a good manipulation in the area because the muscles are so tight. All this time, my aches and pains are getting worse. Wednesday is more of the same. The pain and numbness gets bad enough that I am having a really hard time working on a computer. I visit the chiropractor again while little success. Thursday morning is massage morning. Dave really works the hell out of my neck and shoulders and things loosen up some. I then go visit the chiropractor again and things crack more than before but I'm still not out of the woods. Again, as the day goes on, things get worse. I move from inflammation pills to muscle relaxers and throw in pain killers to help out. I usually have a pretty high pain tolerance, but this is more than I can stand. Friday morning and it is just as bad if not worse at this point. I'm typing in bursts in between the numbness and aches. More pills will be taken today to help cope. I hate this.....

Looking on the bright side, yesterday did have its good moments. Barb got a new Specialized Womans Epic Comp bike. We traded in her Stumpjumper and my Sequoia and paid the difference. Not to bad. She has a really nice bike now for her campaign in the WORS marathon series and the other point to point races that we have signed up for. Once again Alan at Ben's Cycle worked his magic on the fit. She will have to log some miles on it to see how it feels.

I need to bail and throw some food in me and then some pills to help cope with this. Today is a work day and this could prove to be interesting.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Peak Week 1 Day 1

184 pounds....

Oh my, I have been gaining, but I don't look like it. I guess that is a good thing. I have been eating more than usual and things that I shouldn't be. This week will be a lot of work to get myself back on track and eating normal.

Long time no see. The past week was pretty normal. Just poor eating habits sneaking back in though. Kopp's Custard is way to good, but way too bad for me.

I went on Thursday afternoon and got fitted on my mountain bike. Alan at Ben's Cycle has been a friend for a few years and has been working at getting better at fits. Serious training at Specialized and everything. I have been working him the past few months about me having to go somewhere else to get a really good fit. And this time he really surprised me. He worked on all aspects of the fit, from my feet, to knees, and everything else. Instead of using my custom inserts from my street shoes in my mountain bike shoes, we went with the Specialized inserts and some shims under the toes. My left cleat needed adjusting because my foot got tender from the spinning. Needless to say, Alan wanted to work that out so it wouldn't bother me later. So that was really cool and I'll talk more about how it rides after we talk about what we changed on the bike.

The bike, got a really good work over. Ergon grips, new seat post and seat, rebuild shock/fork, new front derailleur, new chain rings, new chain and new Shimano SPD pedals (last year's model and I can't find a link for them). Basically a ton of shit got changed on the bike to go along with the custom fit and revamped rider.

On Saturday morning we went and picked up garbage with REI at the River Cleanup on Menomonee River Parkway. That was a trip. The whole family went. Barb and the Girls. Needless to say, the girls just loved being able to run around and pick up yucky garbage. Many odd things were found by and in the river. It is unbelievable how much garbage there was and still is.

After that, Barb and the Girls went to a wedding of one of the teachers from Kinder Care.

I got my bike stuff together and headed out to John Muir for some riding. I listened to the movies on Specialized's website about shock setup and dialed it into the bike. I mixed up a 3 hour bottle of Perpetuem and cleaned up the Camelbak. I attempted to install an additional water bottle holder on my Epic, but there just wasn't enough room with the cages that I had. I will have to do more investigation on this. I should be able to carry two bottles on the bike. The first mile or so on the bike in the woods was awesome. Kinda unsure and not quite ready for it, but I did well. The trail has changed some because of cutting and stuff, but after getting settled in, I noticed that my pace is much faster than last year. I think the working out and losing weight is really going to pay off for me this year. I rode out to the connector to head to the Emma Carlin trails, but I forgot to check where the connector goes when you hit the road, so I was kind lost. Ended up riding down the road in the wrong direction. Should have gone forward instead of the left that I took. But anyway, I turned back and finished up the first loop in good shape and then did another. I'm not used to pulling a water bottle out and riding at the same time. It's going to take some getting used to. I didn't fall down and was only unable to do one climb all day. And the only reason that happened was because of the rocks and roots. I didn't make it to the correct gear fast enough and stalled. I rode fast and hard and easy and slow for over 2 hours. My left foot went numb at about the 1.5 hour mark and the right one followed about 10 minutes later. My ring finger and pinky on my right hand were numb also. But those things weren't bad enough for me to bail on riding. The fork and shock setup seemed to work pretty well. I wasn't bouncing all over the place and I seemed to have really good control. I ran my Michelin XCR X'trem tires with 30 pounds in the front and 35 pounds in the rear. I figured I could get away with that since I so much lighter than last year.

Afterwards the body was pretty stiff and the Recoverite felt good going down. Then it was off to Subway in East Troy for some dinner.

Alan and I spoke on Sunday, since I was fixing his laptop, about the numbness in my feet and hands and we both pretty much came to the conclusion that I need to ride more and see what happens. We have made some pretty drastic changes in the setup. Both the bike and the rider.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Build Week 2 Day 1

181 pounds....

I need to get my sweet tooth under control. I have ate more frozen custard in the past few days than the past few months. Once I get going, it's a tough one to stop. Will power is very powerful when you want it to be.

I did get outside on my bike by myself yesterday. It was kinda funny when I first started out because I was all over the place. Very different after riding for 4 months indoors. Not to mention after an ear surgery. My balance probably needs some work. Here's the ride in CyclingPeaks as reported by my PowerTap.

It was very windy, but it felt really great to be outside and riding. I felt snappy, light and strong all rolled into one. The hills didn't even feel to bad. I can't wait to get out on the Mountain Bike later this week after it comes back from the shop.

I was able to pick up a set of Ergon grips for the Mountain Bike. Those things are nice. I ended up getting them at Emery's in the Falls since Ben's kept screwing me around on them. Sometimes I wonder about Ben's. I get great prices there, but sometimes they do things really half assed.

Today was a recovery day so I did some PNF stretching that is on the Cyclo-SPEED DVD. Good stuff. I will be doing these more often.

I have been thinking about doing 12 hour races the first few WEMS events instead of 6 hours. I really want to push myself more and see how my training, riding, supplementation, and fueling work out. I think I can do this.

Work was normal with no issues. Kinda easy in fact. I have kicked the Hardware God's ass and have finally gotten a system together that works. Seems I have 8 or so bad Asus motherboards. What are the odds on that? All of their serial numbers are within 15 of each other. So basically it looks like there must have been a bad run.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Long Time No See

181 pounds....

The weight is what it is. I have ate horribly this week and I have been lucky to not have gained 5 pounds. Maybe getting on the scale tomorrow will prove otherwise.

So much to catch up on.

We did go up North over Easter weekend. Even Rosie and Worf joined us. They really enjoyed being able to run around without leases on. Rosie had the misfortune of falling in the creek behind my In-Laws house. That was a slightly tense moment since the water was really cold and I needed to bail in to save her since the ice on the bank wasn't going to let her scratch her way back on to shore. We both survived, but wet and cold.

These are photos from Vinnie's garage. Needless to say, my Dad is the King of the Piles. My brother is also featured in the photos.

My camera phone kinda sucks and I will have to get a real camera if I want to continue posting photos of any worth. As you can tell, the up North garage has quite a few things in it. There are more engine parts in there than you can image. It has only gotten worse over the years, but hey, Vinnie has to put up with it, not me. Tim, my brother, keeps threatening on a massive clean, but Vinnie will have none of that yet.

Otherwise the Easter trip was ok. The girls were left there for the week so that Barb and I could have some peace and quiet.

Barb started the Master Cleanser on Sunday and was off of it by Tuesday. She was really sick by then, but we are not sure if she had caught something from work or if the detox was doing her in. I guess we will have to see what happens to her if she tries it again.

I worked on doing Build Week 1 from Graeme Street's 14 Week In Season Training Program. Yes, it kicked me in the butt, but in the end it felt really good.

My shock and fork are back from Fox. So the Epic got taken down to Ben's on Thursday to start it's spring time checkup. The other bikes in the house will have to have that done to them also. Not to mention refits on them too. I have been pestering Alan to get me fitted better on all three bikes that I ride, so we will have to wait and see if he is able to deliver.

Barb and I were out on the tandem yesterday and rode the Glacial Drumlin trail out to Dousman. It was a good workout and far enough where Barb was able to break in her butt without killing her too bad. She was sore and not beat. The tandem is hardly broken in with only 60 miles on it so far since we bought it. Hopefully that will change in the next few months.

F1 this weekend in Bahrain and NASCAR in Texas. Chump Car is in Long Beach along with the American LeMans Series.

Barb is heading up to Stevens Point today to pick up the girls from my Mom and Dad. Then things will be back to what normal is around here. I'm not sure if that is good or bad.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Birthday Bitch

178 pounds....

April 9th is my birthday. I missed posting on my birthday by 15 minutes. Not a problem. To me, it is just another day. To some, they just can't figure me out.

I'll catch everyone up on this past weekend later today.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Week 4 Day 5 Off Season Training

177 pounds....

Training is going well. I did lose strength during my fast and surgery downtime. But, this week has been good so far. The strength will come back with time. You get out what you put in.

Work today and hopefully the Hardware Gods have decided to stop mocking me.

Going up north this weekend and we are taking the dogs also. So Rosie and Mr. Worf get to take a trip. Hopefully they will travel well and be good dogs at the mother-in-law's house. The girls will be staying up there for the week, so Barb and I will have some peace and quiet.

Barb is thinking about doing the Master Cleanser to help jump start her weight loss program. I'm hoping that she will have the determination to go through with it.

Dan recommended that I do the essay to get into the Cheq 40. He said that Barb and I would be a good story to tell since we got married at Telemark Resort.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Week 4 Day 4 Off Season Training

177 pounds....

Things are looking well in the weight department. The Fat Loss Week shed a couple of pounds and this week's working out has helped keep it that way.

This week has been ok for the training so far. Been doing some yoga, core work, upper body resistance work and some indoor bike training. Everything feels good, except the right hamstring and back of the knee are tight. But they have been getting better with exercise and stretching. Hopefully by this time next week, it won't be an issue.

Been working and stuff otherwise. The Hardware Gods are mocking me. Seems I can't build a computer to save my life.

Massage this morning helped the body and mind feel better.

Off to shower and then to school. Steaks on the grill tonight. Woohoo!

Still pissed about the Cheq 40 race though.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Damn, Damn, Damn

I got my check back for the Cheq 40. I was really hoping to get in that one. Being able to the do the 3 big Midwest races all in the same year for a guy like me would have been big.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Back to Training

177 pounds....

I get to eat normally this week. No detox, no fat loss, no nothing but being back to normal. I will be moving backwards in my off season training plan to Week 4. That should be a good restarting point. And today is a recovery day. Woohoo!

I did get a good hard ride in yesterday on the last day of the Fat Loss Week and it looks like this in Cycling Peaks.

Not as hard as possibly could have done. But this was the Ore to Shore 28 mile course and is a bitch to ride on a road bike. Way to much up and down. Wrong gearing overall. Once the mountain bike is back together I will try this one on that.

Otherwise, back to work and the hell hole of computers that don't want to go together and run.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Fat Loss Week Day 7

176 pounds....

I haven't updated the past few days because I have been busy with Life. This is the last day of the Fat Loss Week, and at this point I have lost 4 pounds. Not too bad considering it is only 1 week long. As usual, the key will be keeping things off. I'm still in shock that I am under 180 pounds. If you would have asked me during the holidays if I could have been under 180 by this time, I would have said no way. But here I am and this is what I weigh. Determination and stubbornness help too.

Yesterday I did do a easy spin ride for an hour and this is what it looks like in CyclingPeaks.

As you can see, it was a pretty easy ride. Nothing pushed but just getting some easy time in. Today's ride will be a 40 minute push instead of easy like this one.

The past few days have kinda sucked because Barb is stressed over the tax bill stuff. Hopefully she will pull it back together and not be such a handful to be around. I have been digging into things to find additional deductions and such. Hopefully this will help us some. I think in the end we will be scraping the bottom of the barrel for a while. But my feeling is that, that is the way that it is and it doesn't pay to get all upset and stressed over it. You need to just work through it and make the best of it.

Otherwise, today is Martinsville NASCAR day. Another Car of Tomorrow race. I like the new car. Big and symmetrical. I like the left front fender being the same size as the right. Can't wait to see these vehicles on larger tracks.

I'm not sure if I will be going up north for Easter weekend or not. With the financial crunch happening, I would rather spend dog kennel money on going racing. But I'm not sure if I'm ready for the dirty looks from Barb if I went racing. Hopefully the wedding shower she is going to today will help her spirits.