Phase 1 is now complete!

My three week preparation weight lifting phase came to a conclusion this afternoon. I actually couldn't make the reps on the final set for a few exercises as I got motivated to push myself a little today after all the eating this past week where I think I tanked on about 4 or 5 pounds. I was adding too much weight to my lifts today in the final set and I maxed out a few times.

I'll take a couple of days rest and then launch into phase 2 (hypertrophy) in the gym. Riding time will diminish once I begin that phase, but that's okay. It's the end of the academic semester and I'll be busy as ever with teaching, committee meetings and planning for next semester before we head off to California for the holidays with family in San Francisco.

You won't catch me doing these nasty extensions in my training:


Riding wise, I got in a good hour without the dogs at Lake Ahquabi yesterday. Ground was mushy which kept speeds down and wattage up as I tried to power myself around the loops. My Dos got so covered in mud, I had to head straight to the car wash to get things cleaned up. The bike is due for me to break it down and give everything a thorough maintenance check anyway - so the soft rinse with the hose and warm water was step 1. Today, I got in a power ride of 30 minutes on pavement going all out before lifting weights. If the weather is friendly, I may get some ride time in next weekend. Otherwise, it will just be spinning in the basement on one of the trainers this week as I move into the growth phase of weights.

I'm hoping the growth phase takes me to a higher level so I can be a brute like this guy:

Tough Guy


Turkey Day!


Enjoy the bird and all the trimmings!

thanksgiving turkey


Week #2 is in the bag...

I did my Dave Morris grunts this week in my 2nd week of preparation lifting. Things are firming up and I am trying not to add too much weight during this phase as Morris suggests to increase reps and weight slowly each week. Plus I don't want to get run down by doing too much too soon which could lead to catching a cold. One more week of this 3 week preparation phase before I move on to phase 2 in the gym - the growth phase. Boy, it would be nice to have the equipment at home in the basement, but luckily I have use of the gym where I teach.


I took Paul Varnum's advice on "what to train while the broken collar bone is healing" routine and added one of his favorite lifts to my training this week. :-) I"m not sure how it will help my bike riding, but here it is:

lower body


I got in some nice riding today. I took the dogs out to Lake Ahquabi for a good hour + ride. Glad I'm running tubeless, because things are thorny and dry out there at the moment. I finished and dropped the dogs off at home so I could head out to Banner Pits to hit up Riverside Trails and try out the new advanced trail on the north side. It's not quite finished yet with the CITA trailbuilding, but sections of it are worth riding. I've got to make it out there for some trailwork. I couldn't go on November 10th because we had our fall auditions at Simpson that day.

Riverside Trail really had some nice flow to it today. It was nice to hit it a few times hard and fast today without having to worry about mosquitoes, poison ivy/oak, mud, etc... . I'll probably hit it tomorrow as well since weather is scheduled to be ideal again. As to the advanced trail on the north side - wow!, that is a serious ass kicker. Some areas the trail is so narrow and filled with such tight turns and climbs that I found myself off the bike pushing. Several of the turns are so sharp and quick that my front wheel actually turned under my frame and threw me off the bike. Hmmmm.... Maybe the plan is to widen some of those off camber, tight turns, but as it is - this trail is tough. Real tough. The toughest I've ridden in Iowa to date. Maybe once the trail gets settled, the flow will help with these gnarly sections and it will be a nice Des Moines Metro Area challenge. Soil is too soft and crumbly at the moment. Needs some rain to pack in the trail. As I said, I hope to make it to an upcoming trailwork day or two to help get this trail open for spring.


Week #1 is in the bag, week #2 is underway...

I finished week one of my three week preparation weight lifting phase on Wednesday and started week number two on Saturday.


I managed to get a nice hour ride in Saturday afternoon on the leaf covered trails. I got my first "flat" since using tubeless tires. I started the ride at about 20 psi in the front tire and 22 psi in the rear. After about 2 miles into the ride I noticed the rear tire getting rather squirmy and I looked down to see I was nearly flat. Got off the bike and noticed a spot that was trying to seal, so I rotated the tire so that spot was at the bottom where the sealant could do its magic. Sealed up in a few seconds, but I was down to about 8 psi. So I rode gingerly when I could and walked back on the bumpy stuff to the car to pump up the tire to 25 psi. Then I took off for a nice full ride. Kept it the big ring for some on the bike resistance training.


Night freezes are on the way...

It looks like the temperatures are about to drop during the night to below freezing. I guess it will be time to put the mower away for the winter and pick my last batch of green tomatoes.

I am in week one of weight training under the Morris plan. The first 3 weeks is a preparation phase of lighter weights, low reps designed to acclimate one for the 2nd phase. Total weeks for all the various phases of weight training add up to 11 - 12 depending on my choice of 3 or 4 weeks in the 2nd phase. This will be my first time doing the full weight training phases of the Morris plan as I joined late last season and only did a very abbreviated weight phase before launching into the endurance and interval phases. I am interested to see and feel the results this time around by doing the entire weight training phase.

It's okay to ride the bike during this 1st preparation phase as I won't be so gassed by the lifting. So I took the dogs out yesterday for a nice ride in the fall weather. Max and Zoey managed to chase a squirrel out of the woods and the squirrel ran right into my front wheel and bounced off my tire. That startled me for a second, but the little critter wasn't hurt and took off with dogs in pursuit. They've never caught one yet, but oh the chase is so thrilling for them....


November is HERE!

Ah, the clock rotation where we "fall back" an hour is this weekend which means the time to hibernate officially begins on Sunday.

The fun and frivolity of October ended this morning when I woke up with a few violent sneezes. What the heck? Is it allergies or is a cold coming on? Hmmmm.....I"m hoping for the former.

I thoroughly enjoyed my month of fun rides in October and not having to worry excessively about what I ate. Okay, I got a little worried the last 2 nights as I dipped my hands in the Halloween Treats like an addict that hadn't had a fix in years and had to be separated from the candy bowl by my wife who chastised me for going beyond just a few treats. Not to worry, I've got the sugar headache this morning to remind me - and my teeth ache. Total damage from my "relaxed" eating for the month - a gain of almost 3 pounds. Way too many carbs and not enough calorie burn via exercise to compensate. I enjoyed it while I could, but now it is time to put the caution flag out just a little more often.

I'm off today for the Quad Cities with 10 students of mine for the annual NATS singing conference/competition on Friday and Saturday. I'd say several of my students have a good chance, but the number one goal is for them to learn from the experience. Sometimes it is invaluable to see how much better other college singers might be in their development to ignite a spark to buckle down and work on improving. I struggle on a daily basis with the issue of how to effectively increase motivation in my students to jump start their desire to practice and improve. I've tried doing it through grading. I've tried doing it through stern guidance. I've tried fear. I've tried rewards. I've tried praise. In the end, the student has got to develop the desire and take over. So hopefully, the experience at this competition will boost a few attitudes as it removes them from the cocoon of comfort at Simpson and pits them up against the real world competition from a combined three states.

There will be workshops, a guest recital and the opportunity to meet and talk with many singers and voice teachers from Illinois, Iowa and Missouri as this year it is a regional conference rather than just the state of Iowa. I'm bringing along the Dos Niner in hopes of catching a ride during my free time and maybe even hit Sugar Bottom on the way home from the event if weather and timing all work out for a nice fall ride.

Sunday I begin my Dave Morris training plan for 2008. It's time to hit the gym for weight training to begin this phase. That means early to bed, early to rise for the next 8 weeks. Oy! Just when I was starting to enjoy the month of October and physical laziness.

November is HERE!