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Is This A Logo??

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Base 2 eh

So I have just finishing up my first 3 week block of Base training (as covered in the previous blog post).  I am glad of this....I find the Base training soooo booooring...with the abundance of long, slow rides.


Actually did have some excitement (OK...very small, but it was there) ride had me break an XTR cassette....just snapped one of the titanium cogs.  So off I went to BicycleWorks to have Paul replace the broken cassette with a used one I had (good enough to use through the winter).  Next day, I break the carbon rim (a bit of dodgy riding, catching the sharp edge of a leaf covered bridge).  So I went to BicycleWorks to have Paul put that used cassette back on my extra wheel (I have an extra wheel-set for just this reason) until my new carbon wheel is delivered.  Next ride....I snap the axle in the used wheel torquing up a hill.  So I went to BicycleWorks to get repaired...  Yes they are getting tired of seeing me at BicycleWorks...guess I will have to buy something more there one of these days... 

Anyways, I am now moving into the second 3 week block of Base training, I am adding a High Dose (intense) day (so I will now have 2 of these each week), I am keeping the two Aerobic Endurance (moderate) days, then the remainder will be Recovery (rest) or Active Recovery days.  3-4 days of the week will still have Strength workouts as well.  (Really, see the last post if none of this is making sense...or just smile and nod...) 

Yes...the strength training adds weight, but I believe a strong engine is a fast engine.  Plus some muscle will be lost when I get into the more intense Build, and Peak training.

I am seeing success in leaning opposition to putting on muscle weight ... the result has been a total loss of 8 pounds in the last 2.5 weeks.  Yes, more to that still leaves me at 200lbs.  Could be challenging during the holidays.  Chocolate...cookies...egg nog...rum...

What??  Anyways... 

Finally, this last week has seen us get about 30 cms of snow; so I have been forced to ride the trainer for the most part.  Hopefully, the trails get packed down, or melt, to the point where they are soon rideable again...  The trainer is not nearly as exciting as real riding. 

Second Finally...a get well soon shout out to Fig.  He is in surgery today (really), although I cannot say is a secret...will he be changing his name to Figette???  


Stay posted...


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Base Training, Nutrition...NoMo Football

So as my last post was more about football and Saskatchewan this one will be all about mountain biking...except for maybe this one football pic...

OK...but that's it...on with this story...

Anyways, as I mentioned after the last post, I came back from Saskatchewan pretty the plan is to get lean again.  Also it is time to move from the Preparation period of training, into the Base period of training for the upcoming race season.  What the heck does this mean?

As I have mentioned in previous posts I follow the Friel (Joe Friel) method of training.  Friel divides the annual training plan into six periods; those being Transition, Preparation, Base, Build, Peak, and Race.

Base is a 12 week block divided further into three sub-periods, (Base 1, Base 2, Base 3....very creative naming indeed) each four weeks long.  As I am beginning Base 1 this week, the training emphasis in Base 1 is on building endurance, with less emphasis on force (strength) and speed work (however this does not mean force and speed are ignored).  With this in mind my four weeks of Base 1 will look like this...

Base Period 7-Day Microcycle
Day 1 (Sunday)         High dose (aerobic capacity)
     - This is typically a long and intense ride that really pushes the limits (Zone 4 - Zone 5...for me this means a sustained heart rate of 150+).  I really like this type of workout because it gets me in touch with why I really love this sport.  See the previous post Riot Goes Deep for what the heck I mean.
Day 2         Strength and active recovery
      - This is a weight work out to increase power, and keep the core strong, and to maintain upper body strength.  The active recovery is usually a longish, leisurely ride (Zone 2 ish...which for me means a sustained heart rate of 120 - 130).
Day 3         Active recovery
Day 4         Strength and Aerobic endurance
     - Aerobic endurance is a longer moderately intense ride (Zone 3ish...heart rate of 135 - 140)
Day 5         Strength and active recovery
Day 6         Recovery day (off or active recovery) 
Day 7         Aerobic endurance

Base 2, and Base 3 periods will change slightly, and I will cover that when we get there!

As I mentioned earlier, and at the end of my last post...I am a bit of a fat bastard right now...after the time off to recover from injury, and then 'vacation' in I have focused my nutrition plan on cutting (getting lean, losing fat).  How does that work?  I covered the details in my previous post Life's Questions Answered.  Check it out to get all of your questions in life answered (including next weeks lotto numbers).

To carry on all the technical stuff, this means my daily meals currently look something like this...

Meal 1 (Some people call this breakfast), is 40 grams of Protein, 40 grams of Carbs, 20 grams of Fat
Meal 2 is 35 P, 30 C, 15 F if it is the preworkout/preride meal.
Meal 3 (or the post workout/ride meal), is 60 P, 60 C, 5 F (a fast digested protein and higher glycemic index carbs)
Meal 4 is 35 P, 20 C, 20 F
Meal 5 (typically Supper), 40 P, 20 C, 20 F
Meal 6 is 40 P, 15 C, 5 F  (a slow digested protein)

I am throwing in a 'cheat' meal...usually on Saturday evening...which often includes a beer or whiskey...and a cookie...I like cookies...

If I can get lean enough maybe I can be as sexy as this guy...

Sorry about the language...worse than this guy...

OK...enough of the technical stuff...time to get out for a ride...then register for some races next year.  Which ones?? 

Stay posted!



Saturday, 30 November 2013

On Saskatchewan, the Riders, and Home (and MTB!!!)

So last week I was in my home province of Saskatchewan, to visit family, and attend the Grey Cup.  The beloved Roughriders were not only hosting the championship, they were contesting it against the Eastern champs, the Hamilton Tiger Cats. 

The following pictorial gives some of the story (the most vivid pics are not included as they are too much even for this blog!).
7000 fans crammed into 'Riderville' every night from Thursday to Saturday...line-ups were crazy!!!

Me, my sister, my uncle at Riderville...

Cousin Tori at Riderville...she was soooo hammered...

There were many 'things' seen at Riderville, most of which I cannot in good conscience post here...but I risk this one...

And maybe this one...a private pose by a cheerleader...
The enemy...

I stayed at my Aunt Bev's, with my brother, his wife, my mother, and sister, and cousins.
This is me, my brother, and mom.
This is my mom, and my auntie Bev, tossing a jar of cousin Dave's moonshine...touchdown??
Me, my brother (Robert...I have one brother and 4 sisters...only one sister attended the festivities), my cousin Brittni and her 'friend' Mich, getting ready to head to the game!!

Robert and myself, at the game!!

Halftime show...I just missed the skidoo backflip....seriously!!  It was wild!!


Cousin Dave, and his wife Andrea, post game on Albert Street...Albert Street had 40,000 people crowding it after the game!!


The Riders kicked butt, and won convincingly....winning the Grey Cup! 

The whole experience will be memories for a lifetime. 

In fact going back home, reminded me of how special Saskatchewan is...and if not special, at least different in a good way.  The history of families 7 - 8 generations deep, who literally put their blood and sweat (and as a result their souls), into working the land, and building their communities together has nurtured a special connection to the land, to nature, and to each other that we just don't see in 'big' cities.
(Yeah, I know, this isn't very Mountain Bikish...but life can't be all mud and carbon can it?....Besides, hang in, I am getting to the MTB stuff!!)
In the meantime...keep reading!  You will like it!! 

This blog post by Erin Church explains small town Saskatchewan as good or better than I could write I include it here for your cultural enlightenment, or at least an 'Hey, that's kinda cool...'.  

OK, here's the blog...

It's Not Just About Football

Erin ChruschNov 22, 2013

You may have heard that there was a football game being played in Regina this weekend. Tens of thousands of fans descend upon Mosaic Stadium to cheer on the home team at Taylor Field. There might have been people there cheering for the other team, but I'll go out on a short limb and say they were a minority. 

For many of those fans, it wasn't just a trip to Regina; it's also a journey home. You might even call it a pilgrimage. 

Growing up in Saskatchewan is not the most glamorous of experiences, especially when it also means living in a town with a population that hovers around 1300. Forget about stoplights, we had just two four-way stops, although I think that there might be three by now. I attended the same school from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and graduated with only 26 others. When you ask what someone's phone number is you only get the last four digits; the front prefix is always the same. 

The thing about growing up in Saskatchewan is that you spend a lot of time feeling almost apologetic about it. People from other provinces joke about how they call it the "gap", that empty space between Alberta and Manitoba. The passenger trains pass through it at night. We hear about how flat it is, how boring it seems, and how lonely it must be from people who have never spent much - if any - time there. Like most things, if enough people tell you something pretty soon you start believing that it's true. 

By the time I'd finished university (at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon) I was ready to go find out for myself if the grass really was greener on the other side of the border. I followed the Saskatchewan diaspora west, to the promised land of Alberta where they had mountains and no sales tax. We enjoyed living in Edmonton (seriously!), but we were staunch defenders of our prairie home to the east. And soon, we realized that there was no better place to be among friendly faces than at a Rider game. There was no better cure for homesickness than cheering on the Green & White. 

It's hard to explain the feeling of community that permeates Saskatchewan from people who aren't from there. No matter where you're from, whether it's Meadow Lake or Nipawin or Weyburn or Macklin, there's a sense of shared experience that I don't know exists anywhere else (although maybe folks from Newfoundland can understand what I'm talking about). 

And at some point, you realize that a wheat field just before harvest time is a sight to be appreciated, not disdained. You make sure people know that northern Saskatchewan is full of trees and lakes and hills. You are in awe of the sheer magnitude of the space before you, untouched by urban sprawl or spoiled in any way other than what nature itself intended. 

When I think of Saskatchewan, I think of a place that accepts nothing other than authenticity. You won't get far by being something you're not. Wearing high fashion or going to exotic places on vacation is nice and your friends might envy you, but no one will think that you're better for it or that it makes you more important than anyone else. People might think you're crazy for putting a watermelon on your head, but they understand. 

Every time I see someone wearing a Roughrider sweater in Costco, or a vehicle with a Roughrider license plate, I smile inside and think, "I know where you're from.", not in terms of place, but in terms of values. It's likely we can sit down for a drink together and within ten minutes we'll have found a connection, whether it's because my cousin married a girl you went to high school with or because we knew some of the same people from university. If I say to that guy, "Where are we going?" nine out of ten times he'll respond with "Higher!" (inside joke).

My kids' experience of Saskatchewan will be much different than mine, consisting mostly of weekend visits to their grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins, but we bring them up as Rider fans so that they know this part of their history. I might be romanticizing it a bit, and I realize that my concept of what being from Saskatchewan means may have more to do with my rural upbringing than anything else. I know that things are changing for my province, mostly in good ways. Kids in my hometown don't have to rely on a fuzzy signal from an AM station in Saskatoon to get their music, for example. But no matter how big our accomplishments, the underdog mentality is still there. 

Rider Pride is about so much more than a football team. We cheer for the Riders because deep down we love where we came from, even if the rest of the world doesn't understand why. We cheer for the Riders because it is the thread that binds us together, no matter where we've ended up. We cheer for the Riders because we believe in the strength of community. We're loyal whether the team wins or loses because cheering for them has very little to do with the game. 

It has everything to do with being proud of a place that part of us will always call Home.

So there ya go...a little bit about Saskatchewan...  So how does all of this little incursion of my life into yours pertain to mountain biking??  Well after all of this 'magic', I have come back a wee bit heavier (and by 'wee' I mean "Holy shit I'm fat!!"...208 lbs!!!).  So I have set up a nutrition plan, and base/build training strategy to get back on the straight and narrow (lean)... post will cover this plan...

Stay posted!!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Something About Nothing

So no races, no real epic rides, so time to drag out a few mundane 'nothings' to post about.  Maybe I should have had this guy write this post.




So what am I doing this time of year (mtb related)?  Well, if you have been following my posts, (or if you look back on them), you will know that I follow the Joe Friel method of training.  So over the last month I have been recovering from injury (currently at about 90%), and taking a break from structured workouts (Friel calls this the Transition period of training), and reviewing my MTB strengths and weaknesses to prepare for the upcoming year.  For this I rely on the highly technical SWOT analysis... 

- Flexible work schedule (sort of)
- Knowledge (B.Ed. Kinesiology), to develop a structured training plan and to understand the science of proper nutrition
- Cycling endurance base 

- technical MTB skills
- No power metre
- Weight (currently 195lbs...yeah I'm a bit of a fattie right now); plan is to be below 185 lbs for race season.

- Other than a power metre I have all of the resources I need
- Reduce B, C races; increase training time 

- Changing work schedule
- Fatigue/burnout (In case you missed it....I'm old, eh.)
- Very strong competition 

So knowing this helps me set next years goals and leads into what Friel calls the Prep period of training. 

The Prep period marks getting ready for the start of the new season; about 6 - 7 months before the first A-priority race (that would be the P2A - Paris to Ancaster in April).  The Prep period still involves minimal structure, including mostly low intensity training (for me this means about 3 'easy' rides in every 9 day cycle, at least 1 HITT training day, and at least 1 longer endurance ride at Threshold or higher). 

The Prep period also includes cross training.  For me this includes the occasional ice hockey game (although, after 44 years of playing/practicing hockey 3 - 5 times a week I am REALLY scaling my hockey back this year).  It also includes gym-based strength work...weight work-outs 3 - 4 per 9 day cycle. 

So, in case you didn't know...weight workouts are somewhat controversial in the cycling world...even MTB.  However, for me, the extra strength helps manoeuvre the bike, climb, endure the beating of endurance MTB events, and maintain through the catabolic nature of endurance racing and training.  Plus I like it...kinda like cookies...I like cookies...



As far as objectives for next year...the main one is to do Personal Bests in all of the races I enter.  Other more detailed objectives, I am still working on.  (Did that sentence sound a little like Yoda, or is that just me??) 

Also, Fig wants to tag team the three 8 Hour MTB races, and the 24 Hour Summer Solstice next year.

Speaking of tag team Lois has gone off to Montreal with a friend this weekend to see BonJovi.  
She was also off to Toronto last weekend with another friend to see BonJovi and was lucky enough to get this pic of them with Jon... a little off topic....again.  I have more 'nothings' to write about...but have run out of time to write next time... 

Stay posted!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Reviewing Stuff

So, no race reviews, no injury reviews, not even a ride review.  Time to change things up a bit...


Let's start with this...



If you have followed my past posts, you will know that I track my nutrition, macronutrient intake, and caloric burn daily.  One of the websites I use to help provide sound nutrition choices is (the name should be self explanatory right?). 

Anyways, one of the recipes is for Protein Chocolate Brownies...the pic of which is above.  So I put on my chef hat (I had other clothes on as well....this time...), and baked a batch of these brownies...and the consensus in our house was that they were as good as they looked!





See this is what happens when my sister visits and brings her new camera.

Anyways, back to the brownies.  They even made my daughter think she was KStew...and no, there was no THC in the ingredients...



And the fact is that the brownies are incredibly 'clean' nutritionally... 

The nutrition stats per serving (2 brownies)

Energy:  141 calories
Protein:  23 g
Carbohydrates: 2.6 g (sugar 1.7 g)
Fat:  4.2 g 

And they were very easy to whip up (even with nothing but a chef hat on).  These will now go on my regular 'to eat' list.

Next up on the product review of the day is..



So...on first glance these shades may not seem like much...but for an old dude like me they are a godsend.  Made by a company called Dual Eyewear they are your basic riding glasses...with reading glasses built in like bifocals (you can select the magnification you require).  What this means is that I can actually see my bike computer (IPhone), while I am riding!! 

They come with interchangeable lenses (and the lenses are the easiest to switch in and out of any other riding glasses I have tried).  They fit well, they cover the eye appropriately while riding, and the price was right!!  ($65)  The only downside was that they did not come with a case.  So I had to dig up an old one.  These are now not only my go-to riding glasses, but I tend to use them for everything outdoors because of the efficiency of having the 'readers' built in.

So now that I have you picturing me baking brownies with nothing but a chef hat and sunglasses on...hopefully this is not what you are envisioning...




I actually did try to surprise Lois by baking in such inappropriate clothing (or lack thereof), but I didn't even make it out of the bedroom hallway when I got these reactions...




Now I know how EnglishJim feels...
Anyways...that leads perfectly (???) into this piece of very good news that I will leave you with...

NewfieSteve is now engaged to Lisa!!!  Congrats to both of you!!  Like sands through the are the days of our lives.  Where will it go from here??  Will Steve ever be allowed to ride again??  Has he bought his last bike??  Until next episode... 

Stay posted!!


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Recovery Update...and More (Just pay shipping and handling...)

So was finally able to get in some real rides this week to properly test out the leg/hip...I will get into this more later.  First, I have been getting requests to put the injury and ALL pics into one here it is.  Just be aware that some of the pics are not very attractive...not only because they are injury pics which could be considered gross (unless you are an emergency room nurse or doctor...) but they also include me missing some clothing.  Believe it or not this is not me...

Actually, this may be a little more accurate...


OK, relax, don’t be offended...

If you are really upset with the pics, hopefully you don’t know where to find me...


OK, so now that you are properly prepared let’s begin.

So, to backtrack...on June 25th I took a nasty fall in a race (details are in blog post dated July 6, 2013 titled ‘On Recovery – Riot Down!’). 

I didn’t realise it at the time, but the fall resulted in a torn quad muscle, the vastus lateralis, and soft tissue damage in the area, causing extreme bruising.  Here is the pic at the time...




Because I did not realise the extent of the injury, I continued riding and racing, which prevented the injury from healing properly (falling on it a couple more times likely didn’t help...I know...dumb, dumb, dumb...).  The damaged tissue became infected...resulting in this hematoma...



Upon visiting the doc, (finally...I know...dumb, dumb, dumb)...I was prescribe antibiotic, and plenty of icing.  So to me, plenty of icing, means icing for as long as I could handle the cold...(I know...dumb, dumb, dumb...).  Sorry, dumbness factor was rather high....I am only human, right?


As much as Lois believes I'm this guy...




Anyways, back to dumbness factor 10... I ended up giving myself severe frostbite...damaging the skin...resulting in the hematoma bursting.  While the burst hematoma felt great (really, the pressure release was a relief!!), it looked rather you may want to skip this pic...




Anyways, apparently a burst hematoma is a bad thing...a phone call to the doc resulted in a rush appointment.  More antibiotics, and packing the wound with medicated gauze...yes, they shove iodised gauze into the hole caused by the bursting, and into the pocket of skin where the hematoma was...feels great...not.  Then every couple of days, I would have to go back to have the packing removed (feels even better...), then replaced with fresh stuff.  So here is another gross pic...of the packed wound with enough gauze hanging out to give the nurse a good hand-hold to yank it out...



So after a couple of weeks of antibiotic and packing and re-packing the wound healed enough to look like this...




So now it was a process of simply keeping it covered (and dry), and letting it heal from the inside out...which meant at least another week off the bike.  It finally started to heal over to where it now looks like this...



The lumpy bits are scar tissue in the once damaged soft tissue under the skin that will have to be physio-therapied away.  By now, the muscle tear is repaired.  So after 6 weeks almost entirely off the bike, this past week saw me get some real bike action in...slowly, and gradually, until Thanksgiving Monday, which called for a full on ride.
This ride was a road ride with Centurion leading the way (see past posts to see just how fast this guy is!!), with me, Jaimie, DundasJim, and CL struggling to keep up.  Fig was out...he's having issues...similar to the Ben Johnson thing...but different.  I started out easing into it to test the injury, and the fact that I am now almost 15 lbs heavier.  Actually, the most interesting thing about this ride is that this was Jaimie’s first ever road ride (like me he is a self proclaimed mountain biker), and he was riding a 12 yr old steel borrowed road bike complete with mountain bike spd pedals...and he kept up!  In fact, he was right up at the front for most of the ride!!  Jaimie has really picked up his game in the mtb race scene this year, and if he starts training on a road bike, will be a force to be reckoned with next season!
Anyways, hopefully that is it for blog posts about this stupid injury...I’m getting complaints...



I promise next one will be on something more training, or nutrition...quantum physics...spirituality and human consciousness....?  What’ll it be??

Stay posted!!