Today's workout #1 was a to be a low-key, Zone 1 Recovery spin for 30 minutes before going to work. It just so happens that today is very "spring like" with sunshine and a high temperature of 50 in the forecast. So I took the singlespeed out for the morning dog walk of 15 minutes. I decided it was so nice outside that I would take the dogs home, and head out for a little recovery spin.
I rode by the first house on the edge of town out in the country that usually gives me a dog encounter. Said dog was in the house and didn't emerge to bother me. About a 1/2 mile later a new dog I had never seen before comes bounding out of a country yard barking and heads straight towards me. No collar. No tags. Just a big black dog (some sort of a mix) that visually gets one's heart rate raised out of surprise. So I stopped as this one was a new critter I had never seen or encountered before. Out of the front door of the house comes the female owner in her PJ's yelling at the dog and she tells me what I've heard a thousand times "He won't hurt you!". I respond - as a dog owner - that's easy for you to say, but I'm not sure as he looks like he means business.
She yells at him more as he keeps getting closer and closer to me. I start to ride slowly by the house and the dog pursues me coming out into the street and goes for my leg. So I stop, dismount. Now the husband comes out in his PJ's yelling and hollering at the dog (which is larger than my labs). The dog doesn't listen to either owner, but keeps coming at me and I remain calm telling the dog to go back home, blah, blah, blah. The owners yell he's okay, he's just a pup and won't hurt me. Yeah right - I think to myself. I slowly make my way to the edge of their property while dog is doing what dogs do best - protect their property and confront strangers. The owners are running around in their yard hollering and yelling at Jeb or Jed (couldn't quite make out that final consonant with all my winter gear over my ears). I ride on off into the sunshine keeping a partial eye on big J and he runs after me, but stops when I turn and tell him to get home. Okay - these are new tenants and a new dog in this home that have not been there the past 10 years (how long I have been riding by this house).
Although I'm the only nut that rides out in the winter in my neighborhood, once it gets warmer there are actually dozens of neighbors that ride, walk and jog by that house. I envision trouble at some point down the line, but I fear the trouble will be the owners and their lack of being able to train the dog properly. It's not the dog's fault as he seems to be a pretty jovial and youthful critter. He never growled or bared his teeth, just barked in typical dog fashion when a stranger crosses the edge of one's property. And I was nothing but nice during our first encounter, so maybe with time we will both get "used to each other" as that route is an important part of my training and recovery rides (flat). Anyway, on my return trip past the house he was inside and I heard no barking.
I'll have to think about a solution for my next encounter with Jeb, Jed, etc....
Whatever I have been trying to fight still was hanging on at work a bit yesterday, but by evening I was feeling a lot better. I even came home during my lunch break and did the day's 60 minute workout on the C7i in the basement. Zone 2 with 3 sets of 3 x 8 second full out sprints, and a 1 x 10 minute 220 Watt interval that ended with 2 minutes at 280 Watts "top it off" interval. I felt a lot better spitting that out on the C7i than I did during Sunday's flop of a FTP test with my fever and on the LeMond recumbent trainer. Today, I woke up feeling like whatever I was fighting is now gone. Hmmmm. I have to say it was an interesting few days wondering if it would break out into a cold or flu, but nada. I'm happy for that and knock on wood - it holds!
It certainly has been an off-season of training my weaknesses. Last fall, I re-programmed my entire process on how I corner on a 29"er mountain bike. What felt really odd and rather unnatural then, now feels natural and automatic after months of using the new technique in my rides. I have done more singlespeed riding in the past 4 months than I could ever have imagined to work on power climbing. After losing control of my JET 9 bike in Omaha which resulted in a wreck last April (that took away any strength training for the rest of the 2012 season due to my torn up neck and upper body), I have spent the past 4 months of this off-season building up my body and working on my core. The results are to this point, very welcomed. I ended up relying last year on a lot of out of saddle climbing (more so than in past years) and I have spent this off-season preparing myself for a lot more power seated climbing like I have done in past years.
Last year's off season thanks to the wonderful weather, was spent focusing on a lot of lower effort, high volume training. Yes, it got me through the season fine and dandy, but failed to address some areas that I should have been addressing. This year has included a lot higher effort as well as or in addtion to increased volume which has been going rather well in the base phases. A lot of weaknesses in my "game" have been addressed this off season up to this point. The hope/goal is that by addressing the gaps and weaknesses it transfers to me being a better racer. Might I mention - it has been humbling to work on all of this and realize my shortcomings.
Tonight's weight session will end with some nice pasta according to Tara. Last night's Fat Tuesday meal was spectacular as I made a healthy gravy from scratch that went over our 8 ounce ribeyes and asparagus.