Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Here we go again?

Hey its a new decade, so lets do this thing... I stopped racing when my boys were of age to need/want me around. Well years have passed, and over the last coupe 3 of them I've been building up my form thru riding and running. I'm at a point that on paper it looks like I can jump back in. I raced off road at the end of last season and it brought back the desire to hurt again in a BIG way.  I've always wished to return, and I've always kept fit in the hopes that one  day... So I had a sit down with my long time personal manager LOL , and the boys, and we talked about the pros and cons. The con was interesting and it came from JR. He said "Dad, you will always be tired". FUNNY but very true he knows the plight of the endurance athlete well. The rest were PROS. So not to slight the "LTPM" (for the millions of followers I have, I'm talking about my lovely wife), her and I sat down and calendared all the running races she wants to do, as well as the races I'm looking to do. I wanted to see if the schedules would allow me to ride, and also run with her. I didn't want to blow off the opportunity to help her train for the longer races she wants to do. I also really enjoy the "us time" we spend while running. I know she does too, and I WON'T pass that up. On paper it ALL looks good, so now it's time to see if a team is an option. I've been asked to go to one teams meeting next week, and I'll more than likely go to see what they are about. I'm pretty excited. I've got a family behind me, and 2 plus years of building fitness to do it. It looks like it's going to happen. Without a doubt if the family didn't like the idea or if I saw that it wouldn't allow us to do the things we want to do together I would stay retired. So right now it looks like a season of mountain bike racing with a Gran Fondo thrown in to satisfy my Euro Trash roots. Like I said I'm VERY excited.

Monday, December 28, 2009

snow and my new found distractions

Christmas is over. It can be a crazy emotional rollercoaster for some, and that can be a downer. But all in all it was nice. I love NOT being at work (duh?!) but Christmas day with nothing to do but watch TV drove me batty. I DID spend a cople hours earlier in the afternoon watching the 2009 Paris Roubaix DVD I got, which was sweet since I missed the days race on TV due to a family obligation. Who doesn't NEED  LenFer Du Nord archived for numerous plays while in the basement on the rollers?! COOL gift, that and my long time personal manager LOL as well as my youngest boy get excited when approaching the Forest of Arenburg. SWEET! I also got a IPOP nano, and a Nike +. So now I can listen to music (I never have) when running, and the Nike+ keeps track of the miles, pace, and calories(not necessary), all while I'm running thru the snow covered cold streets and trails listening to my favorite CDs. NICE.... THAT'S what those things are made for ;)  I still have to configure the Nike+ thing but I am digging the music when running. Funny, I never needed a distraction, but it is pretty cool.

Yesterday I rode with a group of BBVP, and XXX racing for a couple hours on windtrainers in a garage. Misery loves company LOL It was cool to get together with them, but I don't think(make that I wouldn't)consider riding on my own in the basement for that long. I guess that type of  insanity needs company! So I'm still digging the winter. The snow covered trail and road runs require additional strength and stamina to complete, but the results will be noticable as the winter continues. YES Virginia, there is a method to the madness :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

WHAT I've been up to outside of 2 wheels and running shoes

I tend to focus strictly on the workouts and cycling so I thought I would change the channel. A couple weeks ago I turned the key in my cars ignition and it wouldn't start. Battery OK? yep. Mind you I just dropped about 500 dollars on new tires a couple weeks prior... So I had it towed to Saturn thinking a starter? Was a bit ticked because I didn't want to spend another couple hundred dollars right before the holiday. Got a call back from them telling me the timing chain needs to be replaced and possibly a cylinder head. They also told me they cant do the repair because they are closing their doors so it needs to be towed to a GM dealer. To top it off he mentioned the job would run 3 to 4 THOUSAND dollars. For a 2001 Saturn? FCUK THAT! So I am instantly without a car. My "long time personal manager" LOL has a reliable (new) car so it's OK for her. The day it happened the weather changed from mild to WINTER - Perfect timing to begin my daily 1 mile walk to the train. I don't mind the walk and it keeps me "adapted" to working out outdoors in the winter. LOL Not sure what to do but the car is in the driveway, and the roof rack has officially been removed. DOESN'T fit on her car. BOOOO!  On the plus side? No parking or gas expenses for the time being... I REALLY don't like situations that cut into my cycling money, considering the sports cost.

I went to confession for the first time in a few years Monday night. It was spiritually fulfilling to say the least. When I was young we had traditional private confessionals, now it's face to face. Nevertheless I'm GLAD I went. God we're all good? THANKS!!!!

So I've always been anti digital music because I feared it would lead to the demise of the local record store (and vinyl). Low and behold Record stores have become a rarity and the quality of high quality recordings played back on a good stereo system, have been replaced with instant gratification via downloads and played thru computers and ipods. That is FCUKED UP! The kids nowadays can't relate to a room with dim lights, good acoustics and the act of sitting in the sweet spot to enjoy an album (or CD). Luckily I've got a pretty decent setup for CDs, and the room I listen in still allows me to close my eyes and picture the band in front of me. Lets see you do that with yer PC... (I think that idiot from the monkees who invented MTV is ultimately at fault). Do yourself a favor when you see a stero hifi shop. Go in and ask them to demo something on their stero equipment. You will be blown away.Remember the memorex ads from years ago with the dude sitting in the chair getting blown away by some good quality stero equipment? Thats me LOL I still take my kids to a record store once a year to share the experience. But a couple days ago I borrowed my gals ipod and listened to it on the train, and during lunch while walking around downtown. I understand the lure of portable music but it shouldn't be at the expense of music as it SHOULD be enjoyed.

I built a guitar a number of years ago and it is in its 3rd version as fars as finishes go. I origonally made an Eddie Van Halen replica which was awesome, but the paint used caused some finish issues a couple years later and I decided to redo it. Then it was BRIEFLY purple(Prince inspired?) but the sanding job left the grain work looking bad. I did stain it a chocolate brown with the grain work blackened and it looked good, but a lack of adequate amounts of clear coats led to premature chipping. SO now I've begun sanding it down, and it looks battle worn almost in a cool way, but I'm going to redo it yey again. NO I do not have OCD I just want perfection LOL I'm thinking of painting it with Glow in the Dark paint. That would be cool. That, or redo the EVH Frankenstrat scheme considering Eddie is the guitar god. As a picture of Sammy with my shirt clearly illustrates

So that's whats been up outside of cycling, but as far as the riding goes, I got an indirect message from a guy I rode with last spring on what was one of the coldest days of winter and he reached out to do some more stuff this year. MAN, it was tough, make that impossible, last year to hook up with those guys (BBVP) but I'd love to get in with them this year. The few times I've talked to them they proved to be really nice guys and it would be such a GOOD thing for me to do. I'm REALLY hoping to get in with them this coming year...

SOOO in case I don't post something on Christmas Eve or day, I would like to wish all my long time followers and readers of this blog a very MERRY Christmas!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm going streaking!!

NO not streaking like THAT, I was talking to a friend and we decided to see how many days in a row we can workout. Looks like were getting a group of us into this. Should be interesting, hope the stakes are high, because this could get good. With one of them being my boss, I'l crawl around the block if I have to LOL
Of course Jan 1 is the kick off date.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gran Fondo Madison style!

I'm in; signed up yesterday. It's probably going to be the biggest riding event I do next season and I'm THRILLED to have come across it. 100 miles, -challenging miles accordingto the web site centurioncycling.com The format for the ride/race is awesome, and I cant wait! Wonder if they put the Holy Hill area into this ride? Can ya tell I'm excited? "Euro TRASH"!!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

a legitimate reason to not like cars

I have a 2000 Saturn, and a few weeks ago I reluctantly dropped about $500 into new tires. They were needed, and regardless of the fact that 500 could buy some good stuff for the bike like riding gear, or a pair of preemo shoes LOL I bought them. I say reluctantly because with the car paid off I did not want to start paying for big ticket repairs etc. The tires were woth it because on a trip out to McHenry recently I noticed how damn good it drives with those new tires. So Wednesday morning I went to go to the train station and I couldn't start it. THEN the frigid winter weather moved in. So I had the car towed to the soon to be no more saturn dealer to look at and repair. I figured I'd also get an oilchange and filter and tune up before they folded. This way I'd be all set for a while. What I was thinking was a couple hundred dollar repair, more money better used on some needed cycling gear.  So I get a call saying the engine needs major repair, timing chain etc, and they can't fix it because they are closing shop and its a BIG job. So now I have to get the car towed home, and I officially have no car, a situation that is no doubt going to cut into my cycling budget and then some.
stupid car....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

rollin rollin rollin...

Last night was bike night, I on the rollers and my "long time personal manager" LOL on the windtrainer. It's funny, in November it would have been like going to the dentist but now that were in December - bring it on. So this is her first year riding indoors on the windtrainer and shes riding because it's cross training for her until she can run again. I've been kind enough to watch on line episodes of desparate housewives while were working out, but I'm wondering how long I can go until shes required to watch Paris Roubaix, LeTour, and other Classic DVDs as part of the routine. don't want to scare her away, but.....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

winter runs YAY!!

It's not that I didn't want to do some mountan biking out in Palos yesterday, but the temperatures made the ground just a bit below freezing and the snow would have been a bit soupy and the trails are probably too soft for riding. SOOO on came the running shoes and I got a good 8 mile run in on the canal trail loop. First long(er) run since returning from injury. Theres something about running on a snow covered trail that makes for a great run everytime.  You REALLY notice the red cardinals and blu bluejays when there jumping between snow covered trees. Earlier in the day I happened to cross paths with an old cycling friend I haven't seen in about 10 years or so. I was in a town I'm RARELY in, and when getting out of the car she runs right past me. VERY cool to see her again, wonder if shes on facebook LOL


Monday, December 7, 2009

good to be back

I'm thrilled to be back in the training routine. Although it's pretty funny how November was extremely mild and December suddenly turned "winter" lol. With a week behind me, I can honestly say I'm off to a good start.  I was forced to take the month of November, but I'm positive the end result will be to my advantage. Athletes DON'T like to take time off (myself included), but with no rest there is the possibility of burnout and more importantly a reduction in gains when looking at the entire year. So I'm rested, I'm not injured, I'm motivated, and off to a good start. Last week was a workout every other day, this week I add an additional day, and by the end of December will be up to 5 to 6 days of training a week. Runs, and rollers during the week, and outdoors with a focus on building base milage on the weekends.

Friday, December 4, 2009

another slap in the face for Rock Racing

Looks like another year that the UCI denied Rock Racing's application for UCI Pro continental team status to race in Europe . BOOO!
Man those guys are "the ones you love to hate", or so it seems. In other Rock related news, PEZ cycling recently did an interview with Tyler Hamilton. It is a good read, and I'm thrilled to see him resurface. I can tell by feedback among friends that some things Tyler talks about can only be related too by those who have gone thru it. Allez Tyler!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

now HERE'S a motivating tune

Rob Halford(Judas Priest fame) has ALWAYS been one of my favorites. This tune is sure to send me down the right road as we begin the "year of the athlete 2010"
[Halford/Lachman/Baxter/Roy Z]

I'm digging deep inside my soul
To bring myself out of this God-damned hole
I rid the demons from my heart
And found the truth was with me from the start

Holy angel lift me from this burning hell
Resurrection make me whole
Son of Judas bring the saints to my revenge
Resurrection bring me home

I walked alone into a Fight
No longer standing in satanic light
I tried to look too far ahead
And saw the road go to my past instead

Holy angel lift me from this burning hell
Resurrection make me whole
Son of Judas bring the saints to my revenge
Resurrection bring me home

I've faced the things I've said and done
There is no bastard left to overcome
The peace of mind I thought was lost
Was right in front of me on paths I've crossed