Yesterday and Today

Yesterday, I cruised down the coast with Kelly’s family(dad, brother, and other brother’s girlfriend, to be specific)  in the morning, and then took the girls to the beach in the afternoon.  I was trying to keep the girls away from the water (very tricky prospect that), so they played at a playground on the beach and then we walked out the pier at Seal Beach.  It was warm and sunny with hardly any wind.  This is pretty rare.  There was also a pretty good swell, so there was lots of action.  Saw some dolphins playing too.  One of those postcard days, you could see Catalina and Mt. Baldy.  It’s like someone is taunting me… knowing it is 25 degrees at home.  I won’t succumb!!  I can see through the facade!!  It’s not really like every day is vacation when you live here!!  That’s better.  It’s tough though.

Kelly and I have a new-ish tradition/date when we’re in Long Beach whereby we have breakfast at Blackboard Bistro in Seal Beach.  We have eaten there quite a few times now, but I would say it’s only now becoming a solid “must do” every time we come to town.  Normally, we ride there… it’s only a few miles from Kelly’s folks place, but that somehow justifies eating a 6000 calorie breakfast.  Today, what with Kelly being all knocked up and what-not, we skipped the riding part and just ate the ten ton breky.  Holy gut bomb, that was good.  I sincerely recommend it.  As an added bonus, it is directly on the most frequently bicycled stretch of road in the country (I read that somewheres), so you can sit outside and you’ll probably see someone you know to heckle as they ride by.   

We strolled down Main Street and out the pier.  It was warm and sunny again, but the waves had come down quite a bit since yesterday, and it was more crowded.

Went home, hung out for a bit, and then Andrew (bro-in-law) rode down the coast aways.  I have not been going crazy with the riding.  Trying not to be an absentee dad and all that.  It’s a tricky balance, as always, but I think we’re doing good so far.  I know the end of the week is going to feature quite a bit of pedalling.

There is supposed to be a new Wed night practice crit tomorrow night, so I’m thinking of hitting that up, but I need confirmation that it’s on, before I go riding around Long Beach in the dark.  I think we’re going to the LA zoo in the day.

Ketchup

I don’t really remember where we left off.  Kelly has pretty well covered Christmas.  It was a hoot.  Kelly managed to put together Christmas, dinner for 7, and packed all the kids stuff, so we could hit the road early the following day.  Hopefully, I helped here and there. 

Anyway, yeah, we are now in Long Beach.  Like every year, everyone is saying it’s cold, and wearing scarves and beanies, and it’s like 65 and sunny.  The drive was easy, although we did have an accident directly in front of us that left us a bit nervy.  It was sunny pretty much the whole way.  Lowest temp seen on the car’s thermometer was a balmy -13 and highest 62 on the american scale.

We did gifts with Kelly’s family this morning.  I’m sure there will be pics/video eventually, but the girls got to do this awesome scavenger hunt, which ended with these nearly full-size ponies that they can actually ride.  I can’t really describe how sweet they are, but the girls are absolutely in love with them.

More later.

Night Skiing

Hit up the ‘Dance for opening night last night.  It was pretty dead, which was nice.  Kinda makes me nervous, like “maybe they won’t do night skiing in the future if it’s too quiet”, but then… snow storm expected today, so a lot of people probably just put it off and then you gotta figure Friday and Saturday will probably be the big nights.  And that works for me because those are my least likely nights.

Jeff went with me.  I gotta give it up to the guy.  He worked (at Sundance) all day, pretty much had a rough day- trying to teach a 3 year old to ski can’t be easy, esp. when the kid doesn’t speak english!!  Anyway, he went home, had dinner and still jumped in the car to head back up the hill with me.

It was a little icey-dicey, but still fun and I got a lot better in the short time we were there.  The steeper runs that I started off just sliding sideways down or sliding, stop, turn, stop, turn, stop… you get the idea… I ended with being able to actually sort of continually ski down, so you know, progress.  There are a few runs that are not lit, that were completely empty.  RAD.  Everything is better in the dark.  Maybe not everything.

Anyway, I should probably give it up to Kelly now, as this whole night skiing pass idea was hers.  She knows I struggle with winter, and this is definitely helping.  She struggles too, and me being gone in the evening doesn’t make it easier, so I really appreciate it. 

Utah is pretty rad.  The air was crap yesterday and it was cold, but the roads are clear.  I could have ridden as long as I wanted.  Instead I worked a full day (11 hours door-to-door), got a ride in at lunch,  had time to get almost 3 hours of skiing in and still had dinner with the family.  I don’t think there’s too many places you can do that.

Solstice

Regarding the post below, a wise old ex-pro once told me “I only ride 10 miles to the coffee shop now… but I can ride 10 miles really fast”.  Food for thought. 

The days are only getting longer from here on out.  At least for six months, barring the apocalypse.  And that I like.  The longer days part, not the apocalypse.

Ski tonight?  Yes, I think that’s a fine idea.  Opening night and all.

Beyond that, really looking forward to some time off starting Wednesday night, Christmas, and our big trip to CA.  I know I’ve said it before.  I’ll probably post that every day this week.  I really long to feel the sun on my skin.  Hopefully, it’s not overcast or rainy the whole time like last year, but I’ll take what I can get either way.  Stoked.

Training Week

Taking a page out of Mark Fennell’s blog, I am going to try a weekly training update.  Not sure exactly why, maybe as a goad to make myself actually get out a bit more.  This week has been above average, so if you never see one again, just assume this is as good as it gets.

Monday- 60 min. steady lunch ride.

Tues- 60 min. tempo, hard…  Forking windy. +25 min run.

Wed- 60 min easy + ski @ night.

Thur- 60 min moderate +20 min run

Fri- 50 min. easy

Sat- 40 min run.

Sun- 140 min, rode up on the Provo bench.  Started on the BST for a bit, but with the snow packed and frozen, it was hard to go for long.  Flatted on the snow?!  Then, hit an ice patch and did a header into the snow bank.  Thought better of it, so I hit the road again and did some climbing.  Managed to flat again at ~40 mph.  Not so fun, but kept it right side up.

For comparison sake, I found some data from the same week in 2002  (the last year I remember being really focused on training):

Monday- Weights + 270 minutes steady

Tue- 40 min run +Circuits + 6 60-90 second hill sprints (total ride 90 minutes)

Wed- Weights + 300 minutes steady

Thu- 40 min run + Circuits + 90 minutes easy

Fri- Off

Sat- 270 min including Simi Ride- hard.

Sun- 450 min. including Como St. hard

Wow, I used to ride a lot.  I’ll try to throw in some of these comparisons from time-to-time.

Back in the real world, Haley seems to be recovering.  We are pretty much secluding ourselves from the world as much as possible until we leave for CA.  Less than a week and Christmas between now and then.  Stoked!!

Another Rough One

Haley was pretty much fine all day yesterday.  No appetite, but that’s to be expected.  Around 11:30 last night she started barfing again.  I don’t get it, but it’s definitely not so fun.  It wasn’t a real bad episode, but still once you’re in the clear, you’re in the clear, right?  Wrong!  More than a little concerned about Christmas and our subsequent voyage to Long Beach. 

On that note, I’ve yet to do any Chrismas shopping.  Might want to get on that at some point.  Luckily, Kelly and I pretty much don’t shop for one another.  “We are poor, but we are honest.”

Also, check out stolenunderground.com, Matt has changed his name to Le Rockafella Uno Tre and is relaunching his cycling career in France.  Oh yeah, and he’s got an ice grill, and by “ice grill”, I do not mean a winter bar-b-q.  If that doesn’t convince you to click, I can’t help you.

In my own cycling world, I am still aiming for world domination via the dream team.  Not whether, but when!!

Good and Bad

The evening started off so well… I got home from work and Jeff invited me to go to employee ski night at Sundance.  I was, like, his 15th choice, but, you know, free skiing, so I swallowed my pride and joined him.  For the record, this was our 2nd bro-date of the week as he came to our company holiday party/bowl-a-thon on Friday.  Folks may get the wrong idea about us. 

Anyway, it was rad.  I figured I’d be able to rent or borrow poles when we got there as I am still without, but I figured wrong.  I thought skiing without poles would be harder, but it wasn’t so bad.  Yes, I’d use them if I had the choice, but I could get down the hill alright.  We got 4 runs in.  I am digging my new equipment. 

Free loco cocoa and we were on the way back home.  This is where it got ugly.  No, Kelly, did not kick my ass for leaving her pregnant self home with the kids, although I would have deserved it. 

This is going to be a tough winter for her. 

Anyway, what actually happened… whatever Morgan and Jeff had like two weeks ago (we suspect norovirus), Haley got.  It was barf city pretty much all night.  Kelly is such a trooper.  I mean, she was not stoked, but she took care of Haley all night and told me to get some sleep as I had to work in the morning.  I mean, if you know the size and lay-out of our house, there’s not much sleep going on, but still.  Here she is, knocked up and all and I’m in bed.  Guilt is appropriate, but there’s no way Kelly was going to sleep. 

Making it even more a bust, Haley’s class was doing a “holiday” thing today and Kelly was supposed to come in and read a story.  Haley was super amped to have mom at school, meeting her friends, etc.  Poor kid!  Also, Kelly has a ton of Christmas stuff left to do and now today is pretty much a write-off.  I won’t deny it, she pretty much does everything for the Christmas prep for our fam-bam. 

Anybody, who stumbles on this blog today is going to think I am a total schlub.  Let’s see, left your prego wife with kids to go skiing, then went home and slept while she cleaned up barf all night.  Plus, she does all the work around the house and prep for Christmas. 

 “Wow, you ARE a catch!”. 

Yes, it does not sound equitable, but I swear I’m not such a bad guy!! 

Anyway, assuming she stays on track with Morgan and Jeff, today should be a low-key recovery day for Haley and then she should be pretty much back on track.

Blah blah blah

Well, it is really, really, really cold here lately.  Readers around these parts have probably noticed, but for my out-of-state friend (except colder than thou Jared Nelson), yeah, really cold.  Like high’s in the low 20’s, low’s in the low single digits.  This is pretty much as cold as it tends to get here.  Knock wood.  In any case, I’m coping with it much better than in the past.  I’ll chalk this up to having a ski pass.  Something to look forward to helps.  I’ve been riding as much as possible, taking Burke’s advice to ride the cross bike on the road.  If the sun’s out and the wind isn’t howling, it’s reasonably pleasant provided you have adequate gear.  Luckily, I do.  I’ve still been running the dogs a few nights a week.  Even though the volume is pretty weak, I feel like my overall fitness is a lot better than in past years.  I’m down ~5 pounds from this point last year as well.  Fat daddy.

Really looking forward to the New Year’s Day ride, etc. at this point.

Anyway, off to brave the cold with Mr. Bender

Then, it’s the company Xmas  holiday party tonight.  I am going stag, as per.  Kelly would join me, but that would mean finding a baby sitter and bringing two cars to the big city (SL,UT to the uninformed).  Plus, she’s pregnant and we are going bowling.  Yes, bowling.  I hear that’s pretty much the dirtiest place you can stick your finger.  Yeah.

Good luck to any readers getting ready for cross nats in Bend, and if luck won’t help, there is still an alternative:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330386088555

Whatever…

I said below about not getting snow is no longer valid.

My new pre-breakfast metabolism kicker-off-er is snow shoveling.  Woken up each of the last three days to a few new inches of frosh pow-wow.  A few inches isn’t so bad, but as there has not been  a break, it’s begining to add up.  The commute has been hellish as everyone relearns how to drive on snow. 

At least, Sundance will be in good shape for opening day on Friday.  Looks like night skiing doesn’t start until the 21st though.  Boo.  Hiss.

What’s funny is all the so cal guys on FB/Twitter whining about how it’s only 40 when they go to train at 5am.  Gotta get your 30 hour weeks in December, so you can be ready to race 90 minute crits from Feb to June, and then quit for the year.  Sorry, that was not directed at anyone, just something I’ve noticed!

On a completely unrelated topic, Haley decided to ditch the first 20 minutes of school yesterday and hang out in the snowy field next to the school and look for horses.  I am making light of it, but seriously, she got off the bus and did not go to class.  You would think that 5 year olds would be directed the right way.  Instead she spent a half hour wandering around before getting cold and going in.  No one “found” her, she just wandered in.  What if she hadn’t?  I realize that she should have gone to class, but again, she’s 5 and I’m a more than a little concerned that no one directed her where to go.  Not sure more we can do beyond explaining to her that she needs to go straight into the school.

What’s crack-a-lackin.

Not so much.  The big storm that hit O-town for the cross race today seems to have completely avoided Pee-town.  I never thought this would bum me out, but I guess after 6 years, I am buying into this whole Utah thing.  I am pretty sure I’ll be over it by March.  Or Feb.  Possibly by the New Year.

On that note, went looking at ski boots with Jeff today.  For the unitiated, Jeff is my bro-ha-in-law.  He is 20 and has a full scruffy beard right now.  The sales guy asked Jeff if I am his dad.  Nice!!   I must be looking older faster.  Plus, I had Haley with me, which makes for a good span between kids.

Further to that note, does anyone have some ski poles they are eager to rid themselves of?  That is the last piece to my ski puzzle and I need to close that window in the next few days, so I can crush the world of night skiing from the word GO!!!.

Ripped the BST on the cross bike for a bit today.  Flatted and rim rode my carbon clinchers over to Racer’s as my CO2 was flat busted.  I am not recommending it, of course, but it’s not the first time and there was no damage.