Riding through the holiday...

I managed to get out on Monday night, Wednesday night, Thursday afternoon, Friday afternoon and today for some mountain bike rides. The lights at night have been working very well as long as I keep the battery charged up. All that exercise work just to try and keep the weight even through all of the good eats this week. And the "eats" have been good, let me tell you.

Yesterday and today were multiple loops at Lake Ahquabi on the singlespeed. Man, even with gearing of 29T ring and 16T cog, two of the climbs are murder and I have to bail. Maybe if I took the heavy Ardent 2.4's off and put something a couple hundred grams lighter and with less volume I could eek it out on those two climbs, but I'm having fun regardless. It's a bit of the freeze/thaw cycle right now so the riding is sloppy when it's warm and super harsh and fast when it is frozen. I'll ride again on Sunday to make it 6 days out of 7 this week and fight the battle of the winter bulge. I ran over some dog or animal or some poop on the trail today. It's all over the tires, frame, my riding clothes, gloves. I better wash it all off in this afternoon's sunshine and dry the bike.

I hit my January 16th recital music pretty hard this week during the break as well as I had to settle on a good program. I was toying between doing a set of traditional songs from various countries as my next to last group (Danny Boy, The Ash Grove, Shenandoa, etc...) or some opera arias. Well, I'm going with the opera arias. Man music in other words. Grand opera. Full out balls to the walls singing. I will pretty much only get to rehearse with the accompanist the next couple of weeks before we break for the holidays, so I wanted to get the music learned before working with her. She'll be in Ohio and me in Vienna during the break, so not much chance to rehearse.

Plus, I've got two more performances before heading to Vienna as well, and need to work on that material ASAP to get it memorized. The January recital should be interesting as I'll be doing Schubert, Ibert's Don Quichotte songs, Bellini (I Puritani) and some modern, very funny songs entitled "Another Reason I Don't Keep a Gun in the House". They were originally written for a tenor, but I'll eek them out in spite of all 6 of them being really high for me (a baritone). Then I'll end up with a sappy opera aria. Looks to be a 50 minute - 60 minute program, but we'll see how it all times out in rehearsal. I may have to add or subtract a few things.

As usual, with all the riding in cold weather and cramming in as much singing as possible I came down with a cold. I'm fighting it off as best I can, but I woke up at 1 a.m. with a splitting sinus headache. I hope that doesn't mean this sucker is headed into a sinus infection. It's hard to sing with one of those, so I'll do everything I can to keep in good condition.

Off to Hy-Vee to get all of my goodies to make my traditional turkey casserole with all of the leftovers from the feast...


Thanksgiving Week is HERE!!!

Yippie!! A short, 2 day work week this week as we send all the college kids home Tuesday afternoon for the Thanksgiving holiday break. We've got the organic turkey from California in the fridge, all the goodies purchased (made a major shopping trip this weekend), guests invited and the house is cleaned (also a major weekend project). Heck, I even dusted ceiling fans, corners, window frames, picture frames, vacuumed under furniture, got every single dog hair I could find, washed windows, cleaned toilets and on and on. It was like a major spring cleaning - only in the fall.

I hosted my students last night for the "Sing for Your Supper" event. Everyone that wants to eat, has to sing. So fun was had by all as the food and song combined for a very fun filled evening. Antipasti, spaghetti and meatballs, salad, garlic bread, truffles and beverages were all consumed and enjoyed by all. There were 17 voice majors, 1 accompanist, 2 dogs, and of course, the 4 of us. We all packed into the living room using the folding tables and chairs and socialized for about 3 hours. I cleaned up right away to get things back in order for Thanksgiving.

I logged in a few hours of riding this week thanks to my NiteRider lights. I missed riding on Saturday which was nice and dry, but shopping and cleaning were more important that day. I got out for a nice hour and a half yesterday in the misty rain and empty trails. It was very peaceful and temps were way up in the mid 50's. Looks like Thanksgiving is forecast to be a high of 28, so this week should bring some nice freezes with temps dipping to the teens at night.


Off Season Goals...

I've been enjoying the beautiful fall riding thanks to the weather, although the time change requires the use of lights on the bike and helmet if I want to ride after work. Today is the first time it has rained in a long time, so no riding this morning before work outside of walking the dogs in the neighborhood.

My new off season goal for the 5 months between November 8 and April 8th is to drop from 187 (yes, I gained quite a few pounds in the past month or two with some fun eating and my rides being shorter and less strenuous) and whittle my way down. It would be nice to say I want to target the 165-172 I weighed for many, many years when I was running, but time will tell if I can actually get there. That's a tall task, but first things first. My first goal is to get back down to the 180 I maintained most of the summer. That shouldn't take to long with some discipline. Once that short term goal is reached, targeting something in the 170's becomes a pretty serious goal for me. I'm not going to increase my power output much at this age, so I've got to cut my weight to get out of the midpack finishes.

To accomplish that, I've got to pick up my exercise routine again and run a bit of a calorie deficit to slowly chip away at the extra beef I've added. Right in the middle of pumpkin pie season, too!!!!