It's about time to start hitting that base, boys and girls. If you don't happen to have the Sweet blender hook up featured in our photo here, may we strongly recommend checking out the CycleOps site for some equally invigorating trainer workouts -- just make the smoothies ahead of time, then hop on the horse with free threshold, aerobic and anaerobic workouts designed by the kings and queens of killowatts.
Click here to get moving now!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
By: Iron Wil
My Wii Epiphany
In between baking batches of gingerbread men this morning, I was cajoled into taking at whack at our Wii Fit balancing act game with my eight-year-old son. Of course, before I could trip the tightrope fantastic, I had to create a "Mii" -- a little cartoon avatar of myself -- which I did, and it was fun. I couldn't get to the tightrope game until I went through all the body test/baseline hoo-ha, however -- enter your height, weight, stand like this, balance like that --which I did, and I'll have you know, it was not so fun.
Honestly, I really should have taken the doctor up on her offer to give me epi pins for my milk allergy the other day, as I really could have used one when the freaky little animated Wii board told me my body was "virtually 47 years old," then tried to console me in its little Wii way by saying, "But hey, Geezer McOldness, that's only 11 years more than what you actually are!" I mean come on, does that work in Japan?
Anyway, after watching myself crumple over and pork out in calamitous Wii caricature, finally, I was allowed to play.
Now, I don't know exactly when it happened, but somewhere between the crumpling "Mii" and the surprised little "Oh!" reaction of the Wii fit platform as I stepped on it to start my first game, I found I was not at all capable of just playing the stupid thing. No, I was not going to get off that little platform until I'd found a way to dominate the balancing act -- a venue, it occurred to me, that I used to rock most righteously not too long ago.
And that's what it all came down to just then... getting back in the mix with training while still managing to cart kids to their 4,000 practices each week, fold laundry, write, work full-time, etc., etc. Honestly, I was wondering exactly how I was going to pull it off this time, what, with this Cleveland marathon looming in the distance, but once I registered, it all fell into place. Old friends came out of the woodwork with support, and I was out of the gate! Now I'm excited to hit the ground running - literally - next week with bona fide marathon training again... it's been way too long.
So anyway, thanks, rude little animated Wii platform dude; it's on like Donkey Kong.
Posted at 11:56 AM
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Why YES, that was Rural Girl you saw chatting it up with Kathleen Allen, the featured mom of four on this year's Kona coverage. Rewind that DVR and check out the strong stride and brimming sense of camaraderie that brought this Midwestern gal 140.6 miles across the big island.
Way to go, Rural Girl!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
This one symbolic act distills everything that I have come to love about cyclocross racing. I'm actually not being sarcastic here. When I thought about it some more, this whole attitude of laying it on the line during a race, but never taking yourself too seriously really resonates with me. I have seen one cyclist punch another after the finish of a road bike race where he perceived the other guy to have made a bad move that caused him to crash. I've seen top age group triathletes content to sit in big draft packs for most of an Ironman race. I've known runners that went to psychologists because their heads got so messed up on race day. Cyclocross has become my antidote to all this silliness. Sport should be challenging and there is great value in exploring our physical limits, but it should also be fun.
Driving back home from Jingle Cross Rock I declared that it was my favorite race, of any type, anywhere. Even among excentric cross races Jingle Cross stands out. You really have to go to experience it, but I'm going to try and capture some of the awesomeness that is Jingle Cross here.
Triathletes have been known to traverse the country seeking the next PR course. Flat, straight courses are valued for their potential to shave off a few seconds or minutes. At the opposite extreme, no two cyclocross courses are alike and none are straight! A race may be held in a flat, grassy, park, but the construction of the corners and barriers always adds a degree of difficulty. Jingle Cross Rock is held on some county fairgrounds near Iowa City, which may conjure up images of flat cornfields. Actually, there is only one hill at Jingle Cross, but Mt. Krumpit is a beast and the course designers use it for all it worth.
|Mt. Krumpit from below. This is a descent.|
Another unique element of Jingle Cross is that they route the bike course through some of the barns on the course. One of these, dubbed the Grinch's Lair, goes through some loose, deep sand in one of the barns.
|Me bombing through the sand in the Grinch's Lair (it's deeper than it looks!)|
To keep things festive, there is Christmas music and lights. Another part of the course forces riders to weave in and out of animal stalls in another one of the barns. Pure. Genius.
New to the race this year was a "flyover". These structures are becoming more common in cross races. They consist of a set of stairs on one side and then a steep ramp down the other side. Here's a pic of the ramp side of the flyover at Jingle Cross. Later the course loops back under the same structure.
Sunday morning was cold and clear again, although it would warm up quite a bit before the day was over. I had survived two days without any significant damage to my person and was excited about day #3. The Sunday morning course had quite a bit of frost on all the corners making things a little sketchy. My poor starting position really caught up with me on Sunday. A big pile up in the first two minutes of racing meant I got stuck way behind as the leaders rode away. There was also a short, but really steep hill that I practiced riding during warm-up. Unfortunately, riders in front of me tried it and failed leading to a pile up that I got mixed up in.