Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2010: Highlights and Lowlights

2010 was quite a rollercoaster ride for me. Hope I don't ever have another year like it. The season started so well, wrapping ski season up with my best marathon finish ever, several days of epic riding in Tucson, then a podium finish at Battenkill. Things came to a screeching halt when I taco'd my ankle at the beginning of May. That left me in a cast for over two months, the peak of the racing season, and left my fitness in shambles after that. I missed a prepaid Italian cycling trip and the Leadville 100 MTB race, which is hard to gain entry into.  I did bounce back quite nicely, although I haven't recovered the VOmax levels I used to be able to ride at. I really had no motivation to train in that regime as the season ended. Hopefully the fire will rekindle as the 2011 competition season nears.  A few photos summarizes how 2010 felt for me.

Tucson: Several days of perfect riding conditions in March with Dave.

Result of a May 9 dab gone awry.

Hours later, titanium pins, plates and screws pull the pieces
back together again. I think the two pins will have to come
out some day, maybe this fall.

Colorado trip, including Pikes Peak hillclimb, less than two months
out of cast.

6-Gaps in September.

A wake-up call. Low bone density will necessitate more weight
bearing activity in 2011.

Year-end tally. Hours were not that far off my target of 600. SkiErg,
Hike, Run and Spinning were not present in any significant amount in
2009 and make an appearance in 2010 as part of my recovery.
Running and hiking will increase significantly in 2011.

There will be changes for me in 2011. First off, I will be racing with a new team, Stage5/Cycling Fusion. The IBC sponsored team I've enjoyed racing with over the last three years is disbanding. We'll have a strong contingent of Masters 40+ riders on the Stage5 team roster. There should be great synergy, as we're all passionate epic ride/hillclimber types. There may be a stage race or two in my 2011 plans. Of course, that may necessitate finally getting a TT bike.

I will need to make running or equally stressful (in a good way) activities an integral part of my training plan in 2011. It is imperative I not only curtail additional bone density loss, but get myself back into the normal range. Competitive road cycling and mountain biking are risky enough without frail bones. I do not need to suffer a hip fracture. I'm still feeling my way around in this new territory. How the tri-guys do it, I don't know. I've been running a few weeks now, 2-3 miles at a time, 2-3 times per week, at 8-9 minute pace. Very easy, yet it makes me hurt. My current thinking is to add these short runs to my hard days, as even these short runs mess up a recovery day.

I will try again to tour Italy. Instead of the Giro tour, I opted to go on the June Trans-Dolomites tour this year. The Giro tour is longer and will not hit Passo Stelvio, my number one climb I want to do in all of Europe. The shorter June tour is slated to ride over Stelvio. I also hope to ride one day off-road at elevations to 10,000ft in the Swiss Alps. This would have been utterly impossible in May of 2010. There was still way too much snow. I'm most grateful to Peter Thomson, who is giving me a substantial credit for my missed trip. Legally, Thomson Tours didn't owe me thing. I may buy trip insurance this time, however.

I'm still undecided if I want to do the Leadville 100 this year. Due to my injury last year, I can bypass the lottery system but would have to pay full entry fee again.  My interest in Leadville has waned some. I thoroughly enjoyed the low-key Pikes Peak hillclimb event last August. It will be held again this year. Rumor has it Chris Charmichael might be getting involved. This year's Pikes Peak event will happen just as the new Quiznos Pro Challenge winds down. Of course, I would stick around afterwards for a week of high country riding in Durango or Crested Butte.

Goals for 2011? I kind of gave up on setting goals. To ride and race at the level I enjoy, I know I need about 600 hours of aerobic activity in a year. Most of this comes from skiing in the months of January and February. The cardio intensity of skate skiing lays a superb foundation for cycling specific training in early spring. My number one goal is to have fun. It's all about the process. If a nice result comes my way, it's a  bonus, not my raison d'etre.


Michael Scott Long said...

Sign up for this race in August (Fort Collins CO):


I don't know what the support etc is like, but the route itself is very fun (and scenic).

CB2 said...

You have the right number one reason