Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pre Season

Spring time is almost here… maybe it is already here, is it officially spring yet? Official or not, it doesn’t matter! March madness always means that the trainer time will start to decrease while the outside saddle time increases. Training for this season began at the beginning of the year and I’ve logged more hours in the saddle than I did last year at this time. Despite all of the trainer rides, I’ve had an excellent winter of training and only had one minor setback that resulted in exactly one less hour of saddle time… not a biggie. Did a lot of trainer rides, some rides on the snowmobile trails up at Big Crack and a few rides down at the SC when it wasn’t like a skating rink. I had a real slight aggravation in my left Achilles tendon area from lifting weights that really only affected weight training. I was able to ride through it without too much trouble. That lasted a few weeks before the irritation was completely gone. I actually consider myself very lucky in the sense that I am 42 this year, and to train as much as I do, I should be throwin’ rods and pistons all over the place. Cycling is a low impact sport and that makes it a lot easier for blue hairs (or no hairs in my case) to ride as much as I do.
I’ve made a couple of minor changes with how I train this season. I’m logging more hours in the form of endurance rides to build up my aerobic engine a little more. I’ve also modified my diet with the help of my good friend Jenny Weber-Hanken. She’s been a huge help in the way of nutritional advice and has helped me tweak my diet in such a way that my recovery after hard workouts has greatly improved. I’ve come to believe that sound nutrition is a critical component to any kind of training plan, whether you’re a competitive athlete, or simply looking to be fit. If you’re looking for another easy way to help improve your fitness, I would strongly recommend talking to Jenny.

So I have to start this blogging season off by thanking all of those that help make this all possible for me. I am very blessed to have the support that I have and I wake up everyday very thankful for all that I have while thinking very little about what I don’t have.

I need to start by thanking God, my Mom, Dad, family and friends. God has blessed me with excellent health, an awesome career (my real job) that offers me the flexibility needed to train like I do and just a great life in general! My Mom and Dad have been huge supporters of everything that I have pursued in life. I couldn’t ask for a better set of parents. My little sister, Scooter, who provides me with an amazing amount of moral support and lot’s of free coffee from Starbucks. I am one of the beneficiaries of her free coffee benefits as an employee of Starbucks. Friends… I have an amazing group of friends and they are one of the big reasons that I choose to live in Des Moines.

Rasmussen Bike Shop – words cannot describe what Greg Rasmussen, Sterling, Terry and the rest of the Rassy crew do for me. They have gone above and way beyond any expectations that anybody has a right to have. You will not find a better bike shop anywhere, period. They carry the best products and provide the absolute best customer service. Things have been crazy busy at the shop lately, yet they always seem to manage to get the job done in a very timely manner, all with a smile of course!

Orbea Bicycles – regional Orbea rep Phil Godkin, along with Greg Rasmussen, have been an enormous help in assisting me with the acquisition of a new road bike, the Orca and a new mountain bike, the Oiz Carbon.

2008 Orca

2008 Oiz Carbon

I received both bikes a little over two weeks ago, and they have been sitting in my living room ever since where I can look at them… often. Orbea has mastered the art of creating bikes that not only function like you would expect the best bikes in the world to function, they are also the Picasso of bikes. Orbea takes full advantage of the flexibility that carbon fiber has to offer with beautifully crafted frames that are truly works of art. I have yet to ride either bike, I’m not quite finished putting the mountain bike together and I am waiting for the spring rains to clean some of the winter residue off of the roads before I take the road bike out. When I do, you can expect a full report on both bikes.

Oakley – local Oakley rep Rob Versteegh has been one of my biggest supporters for a long time now. Everybody knows that Oakley is the cream of the crop when it comes to eyewear, nobody does it better. Those of you that know me know I am all about the functionality of the products that I use first and foremost. Style is great, however if a certain product doesn’t function the way that I need it to, I have no use for it. Oakley pulls off combining style with function as brilliantly as Orbea does with their bikes. You’re not going to find a better product when it comes to eyewear.

As I had mentioned earlier, I am very lucky to have the support that I do. They are all the best of the best! Rasmussen Bike Shop provides me with more support than I could ever expect. They carry the best products, they have the best support and they are also a great group of friends. I can honestly say that if I had a choice in the products and services that I use, I would choose Rasmussen Bike Shop, Orbea and Oakley. Not many people can say that and truly mean it.

Racing… I’m thinking about starting my season off with a 6 hour training race down at Landahl. If I do it, I won’t be too concerned about trying to win. I’ll be more concerned with getting a good, long workout in. I don’t want to cook myself at the beginning of the season by doing a 6 hour race at a pace much faster that I would do a long endurance training ride. My first real race will be the Psycowpath season opener over in rural Nebraska (pretty much in the middle of nowhere). It’s a really fun course, last year was the first year for this race and they did an excellent job with the race and the course.

Thanks for reading,


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