Back on the bike...

I survived the weight training phases of hypertrophy, strength and now I have moved into the final phase of power which is also the time I start the Endurance Phase which is back on the bike building up a base. Just in time, too, as all those Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hannukah calories started to edge my morning weight up from the mid 180's to the 188 area. Just like last year during the weight training phases, my left shoulder is shot. It feels like rotator cuff to me, but seems to get trashed when I increase weights on the lat pulls up to the 140 and 160lb range. I dialed it back this week to a high end of 100 and 120 on the lat pull so the shoulder wouldn't revolt. That seemed to do the trick, but I'm pretty sure I've got rotator cuff damage in there from life in the 40's.

This year, I did stay on the bike through hypertrophy and strength phase enough to keep a little bit of the top end (via leadouts, sprint and minimal 1 minute on; 1 minute off SMSP intervals) and transfer the muscle gained strength from the weights to the bike. Not a lot of volume, but enough to keep the legs in cycling shape. But those 30 - 40 minute "keep in shaper" sessions morphed into last night's first endurance phase ride. 2 hours on the C7i in the basement with classic rock and roll jacked up and three bottles of water were just the ticket to get some calorie burn going. I did find it difficult to keep the cadence and effort down in the proper zone as I wanted to let it rip. But I held myself in check and managed to stay in the target zone for the duration.

The ICE is here!!!

Tara, Zack and I spent Friday morning chipping and clearing the 2 inch thick ice covering on the sidewalks and driveway as temperatures rose all the way up to 57 degrees. The whole neighborhood was out removing all the ice with whatever tools we could find in our sheds and garages. All that effort, only to wake up this morning to freezing rain and a total shellacking of everything outside for another layer of fresh ice. My niece is arriving this afternoon at 1 pm from San Francisco via Denver. It looks like the Des Moines airport is open and running with only about 15 minute delays, but driving up there is not going to be a picnic. It's like an ice rink out there right now as the ice/rain continues to fall. Tree limbs are sagging and icicles are hanging from everything.


1st Day of Hannukah is here...

It's just about sundown, so our family is getting ready to celebrate the first day of Hannukah. We picked up the Matzo Meal for the Latkes and as I type this, Tara is in the kitchen getting things prepared. Most of the presents have been purchased and the kids will get their first one tonight. My mouth has been watering since 10:15 this morning when I heard my wife and my daughter's soccer coach going into detail about preparing their Latkes as we were waiting for the indoor soccer field to clear from the 9:30 am match.

We went to Deb and Joel Hade's house last night for their annual Christmas party. It's always a fun event to attend as the high school choir shows up and sings a mini-concert, lots of food, conversation and drink are shared by all. And there is singing of secular and sacred holiday music. I cut loose on O Holy Night for the last verse as the mood hit me. It looked like there were about 70 or so in attendance at the party, so it was fun to catch up with various folks in town that I don't get to see that often. Our thoughts and prayers are still with the Hades as they move forward following the recent loss of their son, Chris last month.

Happy Holidays to all - no matter which you are celebrating.


4 weeks of hypertrophy hell is over...

I don't know how I made it through my final hypertrophy weight lifting session yesterday at the gym. I know I was ready for this phase to be over as 3 to 4 times a week for a month of these workouts puts some raccoon eyes on one's face and never gives the muscles a chance to rest and totally recover. So I went into the final session in this phase pretty tired and I knew it.

I started out with my usual squats which went okay, but as the workout progressed - and I moved on through my reps and various lifts - I wasn't feeling recovered from two days prior. I felt like I was having a mini-bonk. Of course, it didn't help that I had a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin earlier in the morning for the sugar spike and subsequent crash... . That may have been the culprit or at least partially to blame. Another factor is that one should really stay off the bike during this phase since it makes you so tired. However, I have been doing 30 minutes on the bike at each session to do some muscle endurance intervals and top end intervals the past 4 weeks. Normally that doesn't start until the strength phase (coming up). It cost me to do it, but I wanted immediate transition from the weights to the pedals. In the end, I cut the session short and skipped the leg presses as I had to go pick up Zack from school. Outside of the leg presses, I did everything else as scheduled. The good news is that I actually slept straight through the entire night for the first time in a few weeks. I was gassed. The good news is that I managed to build muscles mass, trim some fat and only ended up at 185 lbs. after the 4 weeks. Last year I ended up at 193 - 194 lbs. following the hypertrophy growth phase. I didn't want to gain all that weight this year and I'm glad I got the lifting and nutrition right for the month.

I'll lay low for a few days from the weights and do some recovery spins on the exercise bike before moving into the strength phase of lifting (2 weeks worth). That's when I get to pile on all the plates and heave ho with less reps in each set. Hypertrophy was 10-12 reps of 65%/70%/75% of maximum. Strength phase takes me up to 85% of maximum, but with fewer reps and fewer sets. I get to add my favorite lift back into the routine now that hypertrophy is over = the stiff legged dead lift. I don't know why, but I love that one.


New owner of a JET 9...

Thanks to my messing around on eBay over the Thanksgiving break, this Niner JET 9 frame:


will replace this Sugar 293 frame for the 2009 XC season:


I will move all of my parts over from the Sugar to the JET 9 (and then some). It's all about the motor, but I am looking forward to this sleek XC racing rig arriving this week. There was nothing wrong with the Sugar, but my low ball bid on the JET 9 was the winning bid and now I am invested in the change. C'est la vie.

We've got snow covering the ground here in Iowa, so riding outside is on the back burner at the moment and all training is in the gym and on the exercise bike at the moment.