Wednesday, November 30, 2005

to gym or not to gym

well, the four-week "rest phase" officially ended on monday. unfortunately, my back is really killing me. it took a beating during last week's all-day epic and hasn't felt decent since - even with the new bed we've been sleeping-on since sat. i've nicknamed the new bed "the sleep machine" as i've been late to work twice this week already! time flies when you're dead to the world. have a couple more long wknds of eating/drinking/being merry before getting into endurance phase, plenty of time to heal-up the back. i hope. maybe it's not my back that hurts, but my liver and kidneys from the severe pickling they endured over turkey-day wknd. don't quit on me now! heading to memphis on friday to party it up with my boys from high school before Zoof rolls to Afghanistan. 12 years since HS and the posse still rolls. pretty sweet.

for me, this early phase of training (next 4 wks) is basically hammering on the pedals for 80- 90mins/day in the biggest gear i can on the heaviest bike in the stable. when the legs feel sluggish, the next day is an easy day. wknd or night mtbike rides, maybe a road ride when feeling it. like to stick to the trails while the snow still hasn't flown, as there will be plenty of long slow, freeze-your-ass-off winter/spring road rides to come. but, everything i read says to get my butt into the weight room for leg work during this phase. i really should... looking into gym costs today, see if i can get a month-to-month membership somewhere... but the gym isn't why i ride. i ride to get into the flow, to mediate, to be free of the car during rush-hour and most importantly, to challenge myself physically and mentally. it took me a couple years to get an indoor trainer and now see that as riding - as it can be a huge mental challenge, but the gym is still the gym... but improving race results takes discipline and that discipline includes leg-work... and while i follow a rough Freil training schedule, for the most part everything is "by-feel" - i like keeping it loose, while also having weekly and monthly goals in place. keeps me from burning-out. mapping everyday out feels too constricting, too monitored... but need to accept and learn to love going to the gym for leg work.


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