Sunday, September 4, 2011

Off Season Plans

What might I be able to do now that my races have died down? I have had two offseasons in my young cycling career and each one has been has monotonous, yet rewarding as they could be. This offseason, however, may prove to be a more challenging endeavor. At IUP I had a gym, and consequently a rowing machine, at my disposal. Here, I have to figure out how I am going to get myself to a rowing machine.

If you haven't guessed, I swear by the rowing machine for my cross-training. As much as I would enjoy cyclocross... and not enjoy running or swimming, I really believe that rowing gives me the best low-impact, full-body workout that simply cannot be matched. My legs are engaged in a full range of motion work with arms, abs, back, lung and heart work that I really find painfully addictive. At IUP, I would work on that machine for up to 4 hours to build my base and keep my effort in lengthy check as I would dream of hitting the finish lines first.

That's the goal, of course. Payoff for the less than glamorous offseason work off the bike is what I'm after. I already know, pending some unforeseen disaster, that I will be stronger next season. I just need to put in the time like I have before. It's all up to me.

This bad boy glides at over $1000

That's the kind of pressure I want to put on myself. I need it. But... do I need a rowing machine?
I kind of feel like I might. Does this make me a "creature of habit," a "superstitious person," or a "real big idiot"? I'm not sure, but I think I will go with my gut on this one. Then again, I also have to go with my budget. You all should know that my summer job of riding around Fairfax County roads and neighborhoods tossing larvicide ends by mid-October and I will be needing a job to continue after that. My budget my be pressuring me to look for something more like this...
I guess I wouldn't be sinking if I had that contraption under me, but I'm going to try and make this purchase as an investment not only for my cycling, but future offseasons as well.

I'll figure something out. In the meantime, I have some cycling to keep my legs moving. As I think about it, I believe I will have 3 events for the next 3 months that will have me challenging myself.

  1. September: Jeremiah Bishop's Alpine Loop Gran Fondo. This ride is famed to be the toughest Gran Fondo in the United States as it will cover 95 miles and about 11,000 ft of climbing. It really didn't take much for me to be convinced to do this by local rider Bryan Esposito today. I am looking forward to it and I know I will feel the pain of some serious climbing September 24th.
  2. October: The Florida State Road Race Championships October 30th is a real possibility for me to try and do. Reason being, I have family living in Florida that I haven't visited in a long time (not without my bike, mind you) and since my summer job will be over by then; I figure why not? I don't know what to expect other than some fast, flat road riding, but I could find good legs there too.
  3. November: Pittsburgh's Dirty Dozen is something that I have wanted to do for a few years now. If you don't know about this unique race, do yourself a favor. 13 of Pittsburgh's steepest, toughest climbs will leave a mark and I want it.
I must highlight a common thread amongst each of these events. I really do not expect anything as far as results go. Sure, I would be elated if I do well at them, but that isn't the goal. The goal, as ever, is to have fun with other cyclists and to challenge myself doing events that I haven't been able to before now. I've got nothing to lose and I'm as young as I'll ever be. We'll see what happens with a lot of things that may or may not happen in the nest few months. I can do nothing but do my best and not worry about what I cannot control while enjoying and making the best of the opportunities that I am given.
Watched the ascent of this, the Alto de L'Angliru today at the Vuelta.

Clearly, I am already looking forward to next season as I plan my offseason. I've been losing weight too.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. i watched the ascent of Alto de L'Angliru and it was nuts. if any of them them stopped pedaling they probably would have fallen over and then not be able to get going again without someone pushing them.