Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Who's There?

Knock-knock.

The sound is the culmination of three intense days of activity. Which is the way I like it, except for the subsequent (and oft inevitable) crash and down-phase. Which always gets me a little sad. It's like, "Hey, where'd everybody go?" But I am dragging my feet through it and hope to emerge from the tunnel darkness any minute now. Or as soon as it stops raining, whichever comes first.


There remains many irons in the fire; projects, contacts, partnerships, sales calls, follow-ups and of course the endless amount of video work to edit. We are shaking out and cleaning up the media from yesterday's shoot and it looks pretty decent considering the volume of vehicular traffic, intermittent rainfall and my saddle height issue. Ouch, a real pain in the you-know-where (not there either).


Lessons learned this past Memorial Day:


*The need for flexibility and spontaneity is crucial if one is to shoot on-the-fly and under the radar. Things change in a hurry at 30 mph, they change even faster at 65. Decisions need to be quick and decisive. And safe.


*Papa Hemingway called it grace under pressure. The need for objective, concise, accurate and effective communication when in the heat of battle is often the difference between success and disaster. Yesterday we were flirtin' with it.


*Put your best people in the position best suited for primary objective success. You give the rock to your best running back with the game on the line. An iffy game plan supported by a stellar cast is better than a iffy cast supported by a stellar game plan. Or, what is more important, The race or the racer? The course or those on it? The degree of difficulty or the strength of the challenger.


I suppose, in a perfect world, you want your best doing their best on the best course. This rarely happens.


So in the meantime we practice, prepare and polish, so when an opportunity knocks…..


We are ready. That's who's there.


Pic: No bridge too far. Rcvman at Agate Passage. A SuzW GoPro photo.

Monday, May 30, 2011

M2M Vid

The rush:

Mac to Mac


Real quick wrap-up before the wrap party (in thirty minutes). A most successful shoot today. The McDonald's to McDonald's 13 mile out and back. Suz was on fire and I tried my best to keep up. I am rendering some video but the process is taking a lot longer that I and hoped. Which always happens when you have a deadline. Regardless, the RCVman would like to thank all those who assisted today, the Drivers; RG and Stephanie, Camera Operators, Bob and Kerry, and Chief of Communications Steve. Big thanks to Tom at BI Cycle for the use of the Orbea T-150 and to the usual cast of supporting characters, CompuTrainer, JLRacing and CycleVidz.com. Video should be up tonight after pizza and Guinness.


Than again, let's just shoot for tomorrow. Thanks all.


Pic: The Crew: Speedy Suz Weldon and her beautiful Trek, Kerry, Stephanie, RG and the RCVman. A BobNess.com photo.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

GREAT

Off to another great start of a great training weekend in the Great Pacific Northwest. Yesterday we hammered out a high-intensity 90 minute indoor spin, highlight of which (imho) was the Oye Como Va tune trial. For those of you lurking in out-of-stae locals, a tune trial is nothing but an indoor version of the trial of truth, the classic time trial. In the indoor case, after a healthy warm up, we pick a tune, and jam it out finding maximum resistance (gearage) and cadence (RPM) to create a virtual sweet spot. We hold aforementioned sweetness as long as the tune tests, or until depletion of glucose stores, whichever comes first. Carlos tested and the results were all but supernatural. But that was yesterday.


Today we took off for a terrain assortment 13 mile run. Stephanie, Willow and Kerry rocked it out for 2+ hours and afterwards we went down to pick up tomorrow's ride at BI Cycle. This sleek young Orbea will hopefully keep me within drafting distance of Suz Weldon, the Peanut Butter & Co, star who who will be the headliner in the McDonald's Time Trial, departing at 0900 from the Bainbridge Island arches out to the Poulsbo finish line (cleverly disguised as a drive up window). I will do my best to keep her within a large order of french fries of me.


The crew is set, the talent ready, the weather a 50/50. It's Memorial Day and I can't think of a better way to celebrate than a 0530 HIT spin in the HoM and a 22 mile TT, on a cool, fast bike. Please be advised that the spin/run/spin/race wrap party will be at the Treehouse at 1700. Pizza and beer is on the RCVman.


Great.


Pix: The beautiful obsidian Orbea awaits the McDonalds TT tomorrow.



Saturday, May 28, 2011

Flow Finders


Here is the route for tomorrow's 13 miler. Start/finish at the world famous Duck Pond at Battle Point Park. You can click on the bottom boxes to see details (elevation). Start time is the Sunday casual of 1300. I will put a jug of Gatorade (or similar) at the covered bus stop intersection of Day Rd and Manzanita. Please bring your race day nutrition. I have ordered sunny skies and 65 degrees. This is a fun little route, with some pretty demanding climbs, an off-road section and some rollers. Traffic should be light, dogs napping. Looking forward to it. NOTE: Those of you not up for 13 running miles SHOULD show up and ride your MTBs along this beautiful course to both enjoy and support.


Please let me know if you plan on running so I know how many pizzas to order.


Let us find the flow. Carpe Diem.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Flow Practice

1. The nature of the situation is a task, controllable and structured with well defined parameters.


2. The situation facilitates concentration. The primary task is the only thing happening, so there is nothing else to prevent you from immersing yourself in it.


3. There is a specific goal.


4. There is a balance of challenge and skills.


5. Feedback is offered.


6. The task absorbs your complete attention.


7. You feel in control of your actions.


8. The situation is likely to to yield an improvement in the skills being tested during the session.


Finding flow. Borrowed heavily from psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, from Matt Fitzgerald's flow-filled running Bible, "Brain Training for Runners".


The similarities are readily apparent with cycling. Runners seek the flow, and cyclists search for the sweet spot. In either activity or sport, be it a high intensity HoM session, a five day ride, or an all out 12K, sustainable flow in the moment is our goal.


Yesterday was an example of "no-flow". I was still a touch fatigued (alright I was no where near recovered from Wednesday's trio of sessions, and my body knew it), still we met for a trail run and, somewhat begrudgingly, headed out. My fearless running partner was dealing with some issues as well. The going was slow, the conversation "out there". I knew by mile 2, that it was going to be a test. And I lost focus. I ran scattered, myopic & mindless, a million miles away. I made two situational awareness navigational errors, choose road routes poorly, and even said some pretty stupid stuff. The flow was elsewhere. Looking back to analyze the session and instantly seeing the culprit as the lack of focus, I have to say, I am better than that.


One can argue that we still slugged out a 1:24 trail run when it would have been a whole lot easier to stay home and read. And that is a good argument. But we did run, and the rewards will manifest a week from Sunday. The take away is this:


Stay focused on the chore at hand.

Work at it, improve it, perfect it.

Feel it, understand it, anticipate it.

When the "anti-flow" appears,

Acknowledge its presence,

and then,


KICK IT THE HECK OUT OF YOUR HEAD.


And simply resume your practice.


Pix: Time Trialing above the Columbia River and about to tri in Boise. Run fluid, ride sweet.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Daily Grind

We are jack hammering away on the new website, meaning our time together today must be brief. Couple quick thoughts, an opinion or two, a subjective spin and then it's back to the grind. Big change hugh?


Lance: If you want to clean up Pro Cycling, establish and then enforce the rules with zero tolerance. LA was not the (alleged) first, nor will he be the last in the attempt to gain a competitive advantage. Since the dawn of time, this has been fact. If you get caught breaking the rules, you (and yours) are done. In war, one shouldn't bring a Swiss Army Knife to a firefight if one expects to emerge victorious. In the TdF (a lesser version of war) LA knew the rules.


Oprah: I can't believe that in twenty-five years I never watched a single show. Did I miss anything important (again)?


On Obama: GOP: STFU.


The economy: Yikes. Yesterday at the local Safeway I pretty much deciced that I need to buy bulk and organic soybeans and open a tofu lab.


My new bike: I found a radical red relic 650 Kestrel KM40 aluminum frame and fork at a great price. As soon as it shows up I will begin the Frankensteinian chore of cannibalizing The Great Panuzi's (My Softride) components and building up the Kestrel. The current inner debate du jour is whether or not to have a real wrench do it, or hack it out myself.


Trixie: In the meantime I have been logging some decent miles on my fixed gear Specialized Langster, Trixie. It has been a blast, and I used a couple of juicy adjectives in describing her ride to Dr. Malik yesterday. YOU try to fit totally focused, in the flow, zen-like and mesmerizing into your next conversation about riding in the rain and see what happens.


Diet: Folks, I am here to tell ya (succinctly) that the low glycemic test has been a (nother) smashing success. I have pretty much leveled off at 155, and judging from the performance last week in Pt. Townsend (almost four minutes off PR) I would say that the weight was fat and not muscle. The 45 miles home on Trixie was at red-line and once I had a bean burrito and a beer, I felt PDG. Pretty dang good.


Recap: To recap, since January, we have shed almost 15 pounds as a result of this combination: Spinning and running high intensity workouts, yoga, massage, low glycemic carbs, adequate H20, and happy running as stress management (or as I like to call it, frustration therapy.)


Consistency: Yes, well that, too. You have to do it often and then allow the proper time for rest and recovery. A little effort and motivation can go a long way, Jose.


John Collins: The Godfather of Ironman said it best, "It is all an experiment of one". Indeedly.


Angela Naeth: On the reason we go hard in training, "I will do today what you won't, so that tomorrow (or race day) I can do what you can't". So cool.


Exciting upcoming events: NODM (June 5), My next fixie ride (tomorrow), 10 mile trail run (tonight), first day of spring with sunshine (tbd).


Back to the daily grind. Pic is of Trixie and my bucket of rain collected yesterday.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Join our Team


A new and exciting fundraiser has come onto the RCVman radar. The MS Ride in (and around) Mt. Vernon, WA will take place September 10&11. Two of our more prominent HoM spinners are active in this event and I have officially thrown my helmet into the big ring today. Here is the link to donate to our team, the Bainbridge Slugs. Please help out in any amount you can. I will be shooting video of the 92 miler, so please accept this as my gift back to you; for every donation to either me or to the team, you will get a comp discount code to download the completed video. Then you can watch and train indoors all winter long in order to come out and tackle the 2012 ride with us. How cool is that? And it's free simply for a donation towards this important cause.


Oh, and then there is the (award-winning) jersey.


Thanks to Team Captain Tom Kelly and Rin Lanza for their hard work and marketing skills to get the normally 'racing that week' RCVman out to ride. If the new Kestrel is ready that might be fast, if not I am sure Trixie will be game for some more fun.


Let's ride.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

DOMS

DOMS. Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness. I got it today. My shoulder hurts like I was just thrown from a buckin' bronc. The tendonitis in right elbow (from mashing the keys blogging to you!) feels like a live wire. My lower back is stiff and my range of motion has been compromised by an estimated 50%. This saddle tramp needs some beer, a campfire and a star filled night. We musta had some kinda fun a coupla days ago! Ye-haw.


Tonight, praise the Lord, is an off night. The Big Rodeo is dark. Time to rest and recover, heal up and store some oats. Even Rooster Cogbern took a day off ever year or two.


I spent my day (post Yoga) enjoying the sunshine and finishing off the new deck. I needed to get to this point because the number of building days in the Northwest is about the same as the number of days it takes to drive cattle from Missoula to Spoke-a-Loo.


I wish I still had some Polaroids from my cowboyin' days, one shot with one of my Mustangs and me under a ten gallon straw hat I remember vividly. We had BBQ Rocky Mountain Oysters with Wild Turkey chasers that night beside a bonfire that stood fifteen hands.


You wanna talk about DOMS? There was nothing delayed about it. Horse throws ya, you dust off and get back on. Got a sore back, go ride some fence, Alice.


Training is a lot like being a cowboy. Sometimes it hurts purdy good. Becomes part of the lifestyle. A brand.


Ah, those were the good old days.


And so are these.


Photo: Fist beer on the new deck (recycled cedar from Ann & Paul). Whoa-boy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

You Talking to ME?

The line was delivered with astonishingly perfect calm. That lethal combination of sincerity and sarcasm. Almost at once the IMDB of my movie loving mind found Travis Bickle driving a cab (with Kevin Spacey trapped in the back seat).


You talkin to me?


Yes, I am. And no, I am not. The answer reflects the reality of being on the hot seat and leading indoor cycling classes, trying to isolate the myriad details necessary to become a fitter athlete. This tactic used primarily during the motivational segment of every drill. Those in the know will immediately recognize that my definition of that means pretty much all the time. Such facts separate the contenders from the hacks in a New York minute.


There are stories, tales, experiences, rides, runs, races, recoveries sand strategies that we can, and should, use to relay the importance of variety and participation in our training. Some stories are very fresh and forefront in my mind, and much like spinning tales of the days events at the dinner table, I share them in class. You know, Mister Nice Guy passes around the big plate of compliments. Pass the ego please.


Because I find this relevant. It fits. Stories feed our hunger for comparison and social interaction. They all have an attached moral and they all can be used to illustrate a detail, or motivate those in need. Worse case scenario (imho) is that, when used in harmonious conjunction with the score du jour, entertain (or distract) and allow us to go faster or harder while not feeling quite so physiologically useless.


So I tell stories. This morning, as my poor heart struggled to keep pace, I told several stories from the weekend. Of Stephanie's spectacular 3rd place AG effort at the Rhody Run, of our ride home afterwards when I could't get up the final hill, of the need for consistency, of blah, blah and additional last but not least, blah. There are lessons here, examples. Chief among them, as identified, is the need to show up. Followed closely by the need to go with high intensity and then the need to adequately recover. Miss any of those and you're, well, walking. Walking, wounded and wondering what happened and why.


So I address everyone....and no-one. I AM talking to you, as well as everyone in the room. Once we have perfected every single detail that encompasses an impeccable effort, be it in training or racing, you can put it on auto pilot.


I have put in a lot of miles in this town and guess how many have gone there?


So yes I am taking to you. And you and you and you. ESPECIALLY YOU!


And me too. Thanks for asking. You're only as healthy as you feel.





Sunday, May 22, 2011

Good Times



End of another exciting adventure weekend. In a series of exciting adventure weekends. Saturday we rode the 43 miles to Port Townsend and made camp. Enjoyed an incredible dinner with more tasty delights than I deserve by fireside and crawled into the tent at 1000. By midnight it was raining heavily (but not hard enough that the end of the world would come from a flood). I awoke with my iPhone in a puddle near my head. This morning we had marvelous breakfast, bagels, pancakes, crepes, rhubarb pie and lots of coffee as we chatted about the rain, stiff necks and the race, by fireside. The Rhody Run 1100 is a casual start time by anyone's standards, and after an easy warm up and stretch we were ready to line up and test our training.


Perfect race conditions, overcast, about 45 degrees and little wind. It's a 12K with some hills, lotsa rollers and one killer descent. I was out to beat my back-to-back 55's of the last two years and Stephanie was out for a PR. Afterwards (and after more pie and cookies) we rode home, ending the aforementioned excitement. Here are the final results from our intrepid multi-sportif Bainbridge Squadra (of whom I am very proud):


Corey: 50:32* 8/70

RCVman: 51:58* 2/99

Stephanie: 1:01:59* 3/128

Kerry: 1:03:37* 16/135

EJ: 1:08:35 36/77

Steve: 1:43:59 26/42


With all that behind us, it is time to get in as much rest and recovery as we can before 0530 when we hit the HoM for another HIT spin. Then we head into the final two weeks of peak and taper for the NODM on June 5.


Well done squadra. Congratulations, and thanks for the great times.


* Course PRs.


The 2011 crew: (l2r) Ej and Sam. RCVman (charged with banana security), Corey, Kerry, Stephanie, Steve. Not pictured: Spot. Well done mates. Campsite at Ft. Worden State Park.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Nothing

As we have discussed, sometimes nothing is the best thing. Lowering high cortisol levels as a result of high intensity workouts, or long steady distances, or even the garden variety environmental stressors relentlessly in attack mode, is a skill we need to perfect. To do this we take a page from our friends, the Yogis, and move into a savasana-like (the Dead pose) state of nothingness. Total (forced) relaxation. Your cortisol drops like a bad habit. You are refreshed and your body can go about the business of repair and rejuvenation without unnecessary, or unfair, hormonal competition.

Try it. Next time you finish with a particularly rocking set (like this morning: Blues Power>Row Jimmy>Walking on a Thin Line>Aqualung>R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.>Oh Atlanta.) slow your cadence, take a series of deep relaxing breaths and sink into recovery mode. Lightly feel the deepness of the nothingness, let everything go. Float. Close your eyes. Loose the stress in your shoulders. Surrender. Hold this pose for five minutes if you can. It puts you in a state of post-effort grace, where the rebuilding process can unfold on its own. This is bigger than you. Drink some water, have a bite of clean protein and monitor the process. Keep rowing, gonna get there.

I think you'll like it dear yoginis. And please enjoy the time spent here because, you knew this was coning, you will recover faster, with a more powerful motor and the mental ability to push your next session to even higher levels. Yes, more pain.

Let's accentuate the extremes. The higher the highs-the greater the need for the lows. To be the best cyclist you can be-you have to ramp it up slowly. Maximum power needs adequate recovery. That's something, and...

...nothing. No thing. It can get scary in there, I know, but we need to face those shadows and emerge stronger in the light on the other side.

Or you can stay in the middle. Be average. Safe. Risk little. Watch TV.

THAT, to me, is nothing.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Monday?

The day before. Maybe I shouldn't be quite so anal with less than 24 hours to go (according so some sources), but I need to get stuff done today. The footings for the new deck are poured and set enough to start the foundation. I want to get the 4x6 main supports on and a few of the 2X6 joists up by COB tonight. Because it will be a busy out of town weekend and I won't get back at it until Monday. The building season is upon us--and I gots lots to do.


Perhaps more importantly, and way more interestingly, is this weekends multi-sport spin/ride/camp/race/ ride up in Port Townsend. If you would like to join us, simply let me know, it's not too late. Here is the agenda:


Saturday, 0730-0900, HIT Spin in the HoM

Saturday, 1300 Depart for Port Townsend, 43 miles (Fixed)

Camp Saturday night

Sunday, (assuming we have one) 1100 12K Rhody Run XXXIII (53:00 is bogey)

Sunday 1300 Ride the 43 miles home.


Lastly today, here is a terrific article on Canadian triathlete Angela Naeth. She won Leadman 250 last week and has been previously featured on the RCVman site. She is coached by Chuckie V who enjoys a permanent side bar link here. For those of you building decks, cleaning tents or tending to real world responsibilities, here are a few highlights from the interview:


*Train through the pain? There is good pain and bad pain. Yes with the good, no with the bad. Think fatigue versus injury.


*Following on yesterday's post, pain is the point, not an obstacle, rather a part of the achievement. We all want to suffer. Some want it more and can take more.


*If you choose it, it is not really pain. Maybe you are not cut out for this and should choose something else.


*Yes, training hurts, but it beats not training.


*Pain is a perception.


*Fatigue is a learnable skill and we need to be slow learners, or we break.


*I am not afraid to lose. A champion can't be made if she's afraid.


And lastly, from her cool website:


*****"I do today what you won't so that tomorrow I can do what you can't"


Time to get those stringers up. See you Monday?


Pic is from last year's Boise 70.3: Inspiration, like an aid-station energy gel, should be taken before it is too late.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Point

The Point. Upon closer inspection, or a deeper isolation of the myriad pieces to this puzzle, one simple question demands an answer. It may even be the key to the door of motivation. And we all know the importance of that door.


The point is different for everyone, but there are classifications, groups, categories that further the dialogue, and hopefully get us closer to the heart of the why.


The point is winning. To many, this is enough. From Lombardi to Al Davis, it has become a mantra of team sports. Ask a college football head coach if his income is symbiotic to his team's won-loss record. Ask a soccer tifoso at a World Cup game. Ask a boxer, a golfer a swimmer. When you line up at your next 10K, introduce yourself to the runner to your immediate left and ask her. If there is to be competition there must be a criteria for the quantification of success. In this scenario, the point is getting there first. Winning.


The point is the experience. Without question this drives many people. It pushes them up mountains and propels them into the unknown. Adventure, extreme sports, danger, challenge, adrenalin flow are all captured in real time. Afterwords we get to tell the story upon trek completion and bask in the wow factor response from our peers gathered by the campfire. Have you ever wondered how somebody got that scar on their leg?


The point is growth. Becoming something better, bigger (or smaller) faster, stronger. The road. This magic quest. To answer one of these questions: How good can I become? What is the cost? What does that feel like? Who am I? Learning to grow, allowing the process to unfold and having the dedication to sustain the effort is the point.


The point is the accumulation of material objects and the manipulation of people to create personal wealth. Ooops. NO IT ISN'T.


This is the short list of points. There are others; The need to belong, our desire to move, the joy of the dance, the art of the play. Here is my point:


The point is fitness. Mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. I find that when my fitness is peaking, everything else falls nicely into place. I love the experience of the road, the journey, training, getting there. And where is there? The growth found in winning. There is here. The point is fitness.


Everything else follows.


Here is a great article by Scott Oslter at the SF Chronicle about yesterday's stage of the Amgen Tour of California. Fitness means you have passed the test known as pain and suffering.


My beloved University of Washington Huskies have taken a page from the RCVman playbook and are now experimenting with helmet cams. This POV is terrific and helps to explain why my career QB rating was so low (if primary receiver isn't WIDE OPEN, tuck it and take off).


Pain relief by having your spine (or attitude) adjusted. At the Ironman turn in Hawi. The point in both is fitness.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thirsty yet?

The moon was big and buttery this morning at five. It lit the sky like its celestial counterpart just starting to rise in the east. One of those magical mornings that put you in grateful mode. This is why we're here.


We are also here to work. And we did just that for 60 hard, intense minutes (one at a time) in the House of Mirth. I now journal my thoughts before the fixie ride into town for my weekly massage. Later this afternoon we'll knock out a 5K recovery run, the final effort into taper for Sunday's 12K Rhody Run. We'll have plenty of spinning and biking to keep the aerobic juices flowing between now and then.


We are also here to share and support. Here is the latest third party application for the CompuTrainer. It is called ctANT+ and is a wireless interface that "intercepts" low frequency signals to "redirect" them for use by other devices. In this case it eliminates the need for HR and cadence wires that have long been the bane of CT users.


We are also here to learn. Most of time this process begins with one of the myriad forms of communication. We hear: understand. See: Feel. Smell: Remember. Touch: Open. Sometimes it's a little harder, or more subtle than that. We need to interrupt dreams, undergo physical therapy, visit altered states, go see Max, meditate, chant, test our courage and stamina, rock n roll.


We are here to observe and do. Watch and go. Embrace the inspirational and move towards the motivational. Rate the response, adjust, fine-tune, tweak, polish and go again, faster, longer, higher, lighter.


Work.

Share.

Suport.

Learn.

Observe.

Inspire.

Motivate.

Do.


That's all, then you can have a beer.


Pic: One measure of success: Butts in saddle.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

At full speed

The 2011Amgen Tour of California is underway. This seven stage event is rapidly becoming one of the premier cycling spectacles in US road racing. I have had the good fortune to cover it twice and today sit at my desk wishing I was in Merced. Which is, I believe, the first time I have ever said THAT. Amid rider protests, a blizzard, controversy, contracts, and the painful memory of a recently fallen Giro rider, the AToC is heading South a tutto froza, at full speed, on Day 3. Their new site (link above) is very cool offering almost all the data, info, video (and analysis) one could hope for.


Speaking of cycling spectacles, the lunch and dinner menus have been officially announced for Saturday's ride to Port Townsend. Those wishing to participate will depart from the Bainbridge Athletic Club at 1300. We'll traverse the 43 miles (see yesterdays post for the route), hit the campground and enjoy a refreshing and rejuvenating (and carbo loading for those running the next morning's 12K Rhoddy Run) lunch consisting of the world famous RCVman veggie burritos, potato salad and ice tea. Riders can dine, rest and return, or ride up in one of the two SAG cars and ride back. We aim to accommodate. Dinner by campfire later that evening will be vegetarian stew, with fruit salad and beer. Those of carnivorous persuasion, can slap a steak, if they must. I will not say moo. I am in charge of the beer, so you know it will be good, cold and abundant. That is a guarantee.


Lastly today I would like to leave you with a quote from Matt Fitzgerald, author of the insightful, "Brain Training for Runners", he says: "The only way to know your training workload limit is to exceed it every once in a while."


Want to find out if you can handle the stress of 365 miles in 5 days? Do it.

Want to find out if you can take 440 miles with 17K of gain in 5 days? Do it.

Want to know if you have what it takes to complete a marathon? Run one.

Want to get to the finish line of an Ironman? Start one. (Photo captures this cross-training concept nicely, imho)

What would a 90min HIT spin, 43 mile bike, overnight camp, 12K race and 43 mile ride feel like?


I can tell you, but you should go and do, and see and feel for yourself. You might be surprised at how fun it is and how strong you are. Life:


A tutto forza.



Monday, May 16, 2011

A girl, my Lord in a flat-bed Ford

Must be miscellaneous Monday. Let's begin with my thanks to everyone who commented, here and elsewhere, on the Seattle Urban Time Trial vidz. You know how I love to use Rock 'n Roll lyrics as quotes, and today is no exception. Urban Time Trial Video: (she looked at me with those big brown eyes and she said): You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet. B-b-b-b-b-b-b baby.


I was trying to find some live coverage of the Giro this morning and came across this video game. These graphics are spectacular, BUT, let me get this straight: You SIT ON YOUR ASS AND USE A PLAYSTATION? To manipulate the peloton? REALLY? Do I have it backwards? All along I thought the idea was to move, spin, work and get fitter. The only thing these 'players' move are their thumbs. YO Pro-Cycling Manager marketing dudes: Call me. This is peanut butter waiting for chocolate.


And speaking of PB, we are working on the next UTT, a demo for McDonalds. Run is from the Bainbridge Mac's out to Golden Arches 13 miles up the road in Poulsbo. Trying to get Suz and the Peanut Butter and Company Seattle Team to come over and ride. And of course to complete the circle, their team kits are manufactured and produced by JLRacing.


Here is the bike route for Saturday's ride up to Port Townsend. The two-day duathlon (it's a tri if you include the camping), consists of a 90 HIT spin in the HoM, the 43 mile ride from the BAC to Port Townsend, and camping Saturday night. (You are required to watch Officer and a Gentleman, again, prior to departure). Sunday is the XXXIII (that's 33 in Super Bowl years) Rhoddy Run and the return ride to BI. Sound like fun? All are welcome to ride up or back with us, we'll depart at 1300 on Saturday from the Club. We have two SAG vehicles. I have one more camping spot if anyone is interested.


Things are falling nicely into place. It all feels good except my left piriformis. We have a recovery run scheduled for 1630 this afternoon and it appears that it will be considerably drier than yesterdays 3:15 in the rain.


That wraps up Misc. Mon.


I can't help you with your troubles if you won't help with mine. Take it Easy.



Sunday, May 15, 2011

60 second spot


Same course, same route, same day. Different approach. The speed card. See what you think.

I think our 3:15 run this afternoon kicked my ass thouroughly. See you Monday.

Rain and Pizza for a Hundred, please





A very rainy Sunday morning. Two workouts planned, a speed session at 1000 and a LSD NODM course preview 3 hr jaunt at 1:00. Might get wet out there today, but at least it isn't 30 below with gale-force Northwinds. We'll make it and get to the pizza and beer reward upon completion.

Here are two more Seattle Urban Time Trial data bites from our friends at Map My Ride, The 3D Flyover and the course map with elevation profile. That 302 feet of gain sure felt like more than that. Speaking of which, tomorrow, between spin sessions, the first of which is "Back to the Country II", we will formally, or at least as formal as we can get 'round here, announce the course details for our second self-supported ride of the season, Bernie's BIGGER Adventure. I will leave you with these dual metrics to entice some interest and awe: 440 and 17,450. This one will challenge even the best of you. Tentative dates are June 20-24. You might want to do some more out of the saddle climbing in preparation.

Maybe we should scrub the runs and do just that, ride indoors. Let's see, we would have to ride the SUTT course 20 times to equal the elevation gain of the BBAII's highest and longest day, Day 4, of 6,125 and 113 miles.

I'll take the rain and pizza today, thanks.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Urban Time Trial: Seattle

The beta-promo version of the all-new, soon to be famous, Urban Time Trial Series. Most of you will quickly recognize the course details. Some of you might even recognize the time trialist and his not-so-aero position on the beautiful Cervelo P3. Music is by Luau Cinder, another local component. (it's all connected).



Lastly, here is the re-post from Thursday's post that was mysteriously deleted as a result of some issues at Blogger. It is with Lance's S&C coach, Peter Park, explaining some core exercises, including planks.


As with all the videos we post on the RCVman site, you can watch them in HD full-rez by clicking on either the YouTube logo at the bottom or on the title at the top. We recommend this as much as we recommend indoor training. Urban Time Trial: Seattle, Try this at home! Please.



Friday, May 13, 2011

Decisions

Decisions Shape (our) Destiny.


So says Tony Robbins in this powerful video segment from TED. His six 'needs' are also eerily applicable to our training and racing.


Consider:


Certainty: Not too many things are absolute certainties. Death, taxes, pain and suffering. It's a short list. Maybe I can suggest the relationship between the following three things and our health and happiness: A good diet, consistent exercise and stress management. Do these and there is the certainty of improved fitness.


Variety: Is why God created such beautiful hills. And colors. And music. Sometimes I think my primary directive is to simply mix and match intensities, moods and magic flutes to induce a physical, emotional and spiritual response. We call it spinning, which is like calling water wet. It is so much more than that.


Significance: Meaning. Intensity. Value. Quality. TR uses the example of violence, and it's a good one. We replace the gun with a bike. Go hard or else.


Connection: We all want to belong. Wear team colors. Be a part. After spending ten years working closely with the DoD, I am convinced that the need to 'prove' this understanding is a huge part of the military allure. Marines are fanatical about being Marines. My contribution seems to be to lead others towards optimal fitness, enhanced health and the joy of the journey. From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli and in the House of Mirth.


Growth: Every day in every way. Here is one: Your body does not recognize, nor care, about structured workouts. Your mind, however, needs a OS and wants a structured routine. It is just more convenient that way, so we invent languages to suite. Maybe tomorrow I'll demonstrate this by conducting our 90 minute class by signing in Tagalog.


Contribution: I gave at the office. Yeah, well, give some more. And then some more. Give what ya got and give it often. I don't have a lot on money (by design), but what I do have is time and energy. By sharing my time and experience (limited, but expanding) I create more energy than even Oppenheimer, Tesla and Edison combined could have ever imagined.


Decisions shape our destiny. Make a good choice today. Let's go run and think about some of this stuff.


Photo: In December we decided to cruise to Mexico and ride. I invited Suz (first on left) to ride with me on the upcoming McDonald's UTT shoot. She is the fastest gal I know and perfect for the part. She will certainly kick my butt, however the variety and significance will surely provide a powerful connection ensuring dynamic growth and eventual social contribution. (!)





Wednesday, May 11, 2011

French Vanilla



Three interesting studies on our favorite subject. (French vanilla ice cream after sex). Er, I mean, testing and training. All of the above indicate, suggest and conclude that:

Study One: RPE is as important, or even more important than training with power.

Study Two: Peripheral adaptations rather than central adaptations are likely responsible for the improved performances witnessed in well-trained endurance athletes following various forms of high-intensity interval training programs.

Study Three: HIT and MAX intervals work.

Again, let's use the best tools we have access to. The heart rate monitor can provide some invaluable data to improve your times. A LeMond Revmaster spinning at a 120 cadence at 80% of MAX RPE is a quality interval. A CompuTrainer to test FTP and TT trending is quality saddle time. I have a friend who, due to the terse economic times in which we cope, now only runs. He says, all he needs is a pair of Sacony's and sunglasses. (Editors note: This being the Northwest the shades are optional--but look good). He uses the running shoes A LOT. And as a result wins many events outright. He uses tools (hills, wind, trails, rain) to become a better runner. He is also very disciplined, eats well and laughs a lot. He threw away his HRM years ago, quit the gym, and sold his bike. Then ran himself fast.

Let's use the tools that allow us to improve. Training with a group is one. Being dedicated to your fitness is another. Using the foam roller still another.

You are getting the idea?

The video is from Team 19 Sports in Park City, UT. Rob talks about all the cool stuff that this amazing tool does. There are a couple of issues in the video that I should point out:

1) The production company that produced the video mislabeled the product in the clip ID, calling it Compufit vice CompuTrainer. I think it is pretty clear from the video what he is referring to.

2) The load generators come from the factory with a strip of protective tape over the power switch to eliminate any start-up blown fuses. When they zoom to a close up the tape was very clumsily removed and looks like shit. That was them, not us!

3) They are watching video produced by our competitors at Cycle Ops. As you can see, they strapped a camera to the bike frame and started to ride. It is, choppy, with all kinds of movement and road vibration. But it is close up and in the pack. We have debated the merits of each POV many times. I prefer smooth and steady, as you probably know by now. Having my competitors video show up in a promo piece kinda stings, but hey, we're all cyclists here right?

4) Rob kinda disses spinning a little, but that's OK. We have heard it all before.

Alright VBA, there is some scholarly data for your review. Use the best tools you can afford, have fun doing it, stay consistent and manage your stress.

Which reminds me that I need to stop by the Safeway for some ice cream.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Just DO

I am SOOOOO glad that we have an unpretentious club. Take a look at this link from Slate and see what others have to go through, put up with, tolerate, or endure, just to get in a workout.
We have a very efficient and utilitarian set up, mixed with just the right amount of charm, elegance and decor. True, I would make some changes to the Cycling Studio if I were King, but it effectively provides us with the space and equipment necessary to accomplish our objectives. Namely, as I pointed out last night, as suites individual needs, to:
Burn calories
Get fit (or fitter)
Manage stress
Add leg and core strength
Add cycling specific speed
Build endurance
Enhance cardio-vascular capabilities
Regulate hormones
Balance balance
Fine tune focus
Race faster
Finish stronger
Groove to often obnoxious tuneage at full volume

Conversely, the yin to our yang, we have a calming and comfortable Yoga room to stretch, pose, breathe and engage. Michele is a wonderful teacher of this important part of our overall fitness and good health. I will have some sample video of her up by the end of the week (along with the Seattle UTT promo).

Upon completion of your workout, our shower and sauna facilities are fabulous plus the staff is as cordial and personable as they get (even handing out TWO towels on occasion). I might be a touch biased as an instructor, but given a choice of clubs, the BAC would be mime. Photo above is of the shower facility of my first gym (bring your own towel).

Oh, yeah, and if you really want to you can lift things up and put them down again. Funny.

My latest take is that I don't care what it is that you do (Cross-fit, yoga, Zumba, spinning, karate, tennis, whatever) as long as you DO something, and on a regular basis and with a high degree of enthusiasm.

Tonight we trail run and tomorrow we spin at 0530.

It's all about the DO.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Knights of the Round Wheel

Rockin' class this morning. Some new tunes that resonate on many levels. I mean, really, has any DJ ANYWHERE spun this:

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes>Todo Tiende (Ojos de Brujo)>Itchycoo Park>When the Levee Breaks>No One Like You> Steppin Out (Si*Se)>What Can I Say?>Reelin' in the Years?

Didn't think so. Even the most intrepid spin instructor might cringe. We don't cringe, we tackle. We meet challenge. Look it squarely in the eye. We get it done. You know those moments in life that are uncomfortable, clumsy or callus? THIS is how we prep for THAT. The stronger you are physically, the better your chances of dealing with adversity well. The stronger you are mentally, the better your odds of getting past one of life's wicked curve balls. The more empowered your spirit the easier it becomes to see the beauty, appreciate the path and assist others on their ride.

So we look forward to adding stress. Because that is what makes us stronger. UNLESS…..

It never ends. That, dear friends, is a critical point. It must cease somewhere to allow recovery. If you continually fight, push, attack, charge, and snarl your cortisone levels will cause an eventual breakdown. It happens under extreme stress, be it in war or a big race. We must slow down, rest and recover to manage and regulate cortisone. Here is an excellent video from the folks at First Endurance explaining this much better than I.

You know the after-glow from our intense high-energy sessions? We need to maximize the post efforts just like we do during training or racing. Max the extremes, remember? You can take supplements, vitamins, or pills to do this, or I invite you to try the RCVman all-organic method:

STOP>RELAX>BREATHE DEEP>CLOSE YOUR EYES>LISTEN TO YOUR BODY> SAY THANK YOU.

Congratulations to long time VBA (vast blogging audience) contributor ej who today was one of two recipients of the BACs HoM highest honor. EJ, along with Bernie were knighted in this mornings class after their stellar and steadfast (and successful) epic-quest around the Olympics last week. FTPO (from this point on) it is SIR ej and SIR Bernie.

I am wondering who will become our first Lady?

In closing today, here is some info on achilles tendonitis, the malady SIR Bernie battled for 100 miles in the rain, into the wind, over the hills, past the dogs and beside the logging trucks last week. Please check out some of the user comments, many sound very familiar.

Congrats, rest up, recover. We train to ride another day.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

MOM

First off and foremost today, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all VBA Moms. Pictured is my Mom, Barbara Ruthe, cradling the RCVkid way back in 1952.

The segue is from Moms to maintenance.

This week we will be taking closer looks at some interesting tangential elements that can contribute to, or distract from, your optimal training and performance. Chief among them are the relationship of cortisol and stress, and overuse injuries.

This is important as we begin the ramp to our key summer events. I will crawl way out on a limb here (because that is where the fruit hangs) and suggest a catch phrase that covers this concept like a wool blanket: LET YOUR BODY HEAL.

Take a day before the day takes you. Rest and recover. Walk in the park. Rake some leaves. Toss the frisbee to Fido. Go find some sea glass. Play catch with Junior. But do not habitually stress already fatigued systems. Something will break down and your goal will suddenly appear to be slipping away (like a ship into the fog).

Have faith. Trust your base fitness. Allow your body (or mind, or spirit) the time necessary to rebuild. Have some chicken soup (or minestrone) and relax with a book. Have a cup of green tea. Take a nap. If the sun is shinning where you are, have a hang in the hammock.

Maybe the most important thing you can do today is nothing. Can resting and recovering actually make you stronger? It can.

Just ask your Mom.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Proof in the Pedals

Twasn't easy, but it WAS fun. After five months of training and testing, we have reached the target delta.

This morning after our rocking 90 HIT session the scale read: 155. Gentlemen, we are at racing weight. Moreover, we did not sacrifice muscle to get there. How do I know this?

We just rode 365 miles in five days. I rode four of them fixed, meaning I had the choice of riding, climbing, descending or stopping, using (or not) the single direct-drive gear I had at my disposal, in this case Trixie's 48/18. I also had a sub-plan throughout the week; to go hard whenever possible to assess the all new and (hopefully) improved RCVman power to weight ratio, and, witness thereby the results of the latest round of testing.

You will (please) remember that April was low glycemic carbohydrate month. THAT seems to be key, providing the final push to get to the weight target. The adjacent concern; race, event or endurance fueling, now appears to require (or prefer) HIGH glycemic carbs; pancakes, potatoes, rice, chocolate, bananas, peanut butter, you know, FUN FOODS.

Train low-Race high.

I wish there was a race tomorrow. I will have to be patient. This is interesting at 155. Last time I was here was as a sophomore high school shortstop in 1968. That is fifteen pounds lost in about 18 months. I am VERY pleased. I will also have to say that our testing protocols have been solid, providing excellent results. The mirth moves with magnificent mayhem.

I am also very grateful that we get to do stuff like this. Take five days and ride around one of the most spectacular sites on the map. Then spin indoors to keep the progress trending in the right direction. Then go race with our pals. High octane WOW. And (again, please) let us not forget the power of the happy run. It's all so beautiful.

Maybe it WAS easy. The line blurs between the two. Dunno, easy or hard? Is the only difference simply in attitude?

A few parting shots from the final day of Fun 101 aka Bernie's Big Adventure I. Was so much fun that we'll do it again in September. Attitude turns hard to easy and pain to mirth.

The proof is on the pedals.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday, Homeward Bound






Friday morning in Shelton. Last ride. By my guesstimate we have almost a final 70 to get back across the Agate Pass Bridge. We are taking the boys up and over Gold Mountain and into Seabeck in order to avoid the stretch of Gorst road known as the ride from Hell. It is a little longer, with many more climbs and elevation gain, but with a tenth of the traffic. We'll make it through the many turns, twists and tests by noon and then slug it out through Poulsbo and home. It has been a blast. I truly enjoy being out here. We have seen some of what we got.

And what we got was good.

So we're thinking mid- September for BBA II.

Sign up now, spots are gong fast!

We gotta wash the bikes and get going so here are a few shots from Wed & Thurs. Have a great weekend and we'll see you all in the HoM tomorrow morning. Please be prepared.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

90

Ninety miles. Rain. Cold. Long. Mexican dinner on Cinco de Mayo has me wanting a siesta. Hope you did good today. Bernie, ej, and RG did. Not a lot of photos, sorry. Manana we ride the 65 home. A casa. Bueno. Buenas nochas.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A first







Firsts are wonderful. The first time. Remember? Today was one of them. A first.
Today for the first time ever we rode from Forks to Lake Quinault without a single drop of rain falling upon our heads. It was a beautiful 70 miles, out of the Bogachiel, past the Hoh, into Kalaloch, to Ruby Beach and lastly into Quinault. Blue Skies, nary a gale, several nice rollers, stretches of flats, some spectacular miles. All in all, about as good a ride as one could imagine. Day three, in the books. We are "camped" at the Lake Quinault Lodge, back from dinner and settling into the evening. I blog, Bernie calls, EJ Facebooks, and RG sprawls on the couch. I was informed at dinner that we skipped both breakfast and lunch on the ride. Ooops.
I suppose I was too caught up int he majesty of the moment to notice that food was one of those things that we do (and should do) on a regular rotation. We made up for it at dinner.
It appears as if today's first is at an end. The clouds are rolling in rapidly out of the North, meaning, according to the fisherman of the group, Bernie, that tomorrow will be wet.

I guess THAT won't be a first.

Tomorrow is the big day from Lake Quinault to Shelton, about 89 miles. We are hanging in there, Bernie with a sore quad/knee, ej with a achilles strain, RG is now having some leg issues from sitting, and my hammy is kinda tweaking along with its illustrious neighbor the left adductor. I think we'll make it. Tomorrow will be a test, a long one, and maybe a cold and wet one. Know what? Deal 'em.

Tonight however, we rest and recover.

Firsts are wonderful.

Pix are random shots from the day. Fun 101 continues.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Trixie: Day Two







That's a little better. Only one flat (ej), and we changed that out with a complete new wheel and back to the grind. Grind 101. PA to Forks. Sixty miles. Lake Crescent, Sol Duc, what is left of Sappho, snow on Shadow Mtn. rain, wind, deer, eagles and some nice pace-line work. I had forgotten how much fun Trixie is.

The mind set of riding fixed. The necessary focus, the applied groove, the need to stay in the absolute 360 degree moment of each pedal rotation. It will clean up any dirty stroke habits in a major league hurry. If you want to up your efficiency, form and balance, take a 60 miler fixed. Trixie is my Specialized Langster. 100% stock. My old buddy from the Big Fix ride, Ricky Garcia, set me up with her after our 2006 fund raiser fixed ride from Davis, Ca to Boston, Ma. The hook was pretty well set after watching those guys do 100+ miles every day en route. When the QR did a hanger dive yesterday I pulled Trixie off of the hook, wiped away the grime, aired the tubes, ran a drop of oil along the chain and saddled up.

YES. Samurai in the saddle. The zen of the ride. One with the road. A direct drive connection with the magic of the moment. At 25 MPH, logging trucks 6 inches away, glasses splattered with road grit, no shoulders on an 8 percent winding downhill as the mornings rhubarb pie barks it's gastro regards. We are talking fun here.

Bernie is at 60% with the knee/quad issue. EJ, from his own admitted lack of consistent spinning, is suffering from a sore butt, RCVman is fine and RG is complaining about the SAG responsibilities and work not detailed in the initial contract. Other than that, it is a beautiful evening in Forks. We are heading out for diner, to discuss tomorrow's ride from our current cushy location in Forks to the beautiful and historic lodge at Lake Quinault. About another 60 miles.

Trixie seems to be game, and that's a little better.