Next years success starts today! Don't worry, I'm not turning into a motivational speaker or anything I've just learned my lesson over the years. Here's the lesson, if I don't make some grand cycling plans for next year in August I end up sitting on the couch eating my weight in ice cream, cookies, and M&Ms with an occasional Diet Coke thrown in for weight control purposes of course. So rather than going on a year long sweets bender, it's time to dream up an out of control cycling goal to train for next year and get my act in gear.
This year I would like do something beyond a century. My first thought was to do a 1 day STP which is 204 miles but I've got a conflict on that day next year. So I've been kicking around the thought of doing the RAMROD (Ride Around Mt. Rainier in One Day). This is a 160 mile ride with 10,000 feet of climbing. Since this ride is a lottery there's a chance I won't get it but for now I think this is going to be the BIG ride of 2010 for me.
The other ride I'd like to do is a two day self supported journey with Jenny. For a while now we've talked about taking the train to Vancouver BC Canada and riding home from there. I'm thinking 2010 would be a great year for that trek as well.
For every large goal I've also learned that you have to a plan to get there. Here are some of the things I plan on working on this year in order to make my goal.
Work on Pedal Stroke
First of all I'd like to increase my pedal cadence. For years I've had an average cadence of 70 but in order to ride beyond a century I'm thinking a higher cadence will help me. My previous attempts at cadence increases have resulted in me bouncing around in my seat like I was riding a bucking bronco. I'm thinking with some training I can smooth this out a bit.
I also have a tendency to ride with my right knee hanging out. Why, I really have no idea. I don't notice it while riding but when I look at pictures of myself I look like the cycling equivalent of Daffy Duck. I'm sure I can correct this with some concentration and harassment from Jenny when she's riding behind me.
Increase My Core Strength
I hate sit ups so I watched the ads and when they went on sale I bought one of those exercise balls to do stomach and back exercise on. The second I got my exercise ball home all of my kids started quoting the office scene where Dwight is sitting on an exercise ball.
Here's how it goes:
Jim: What's that you're sitting on?
Dwight: It is a fitness orb and it has completely changed my life. Forget everything you thought you knew about ab workouts.
Jim: Done, how much was that?
Jim walks over and stabs it with a pair of scissors.
I've heard this scene reenacted at least 10 times from different kids. No one has gone through with using the scissors on it though. If the fitness orb stays intact I'm hoping it will help to strengthen my core. More to come on that.
Increase My Leg Strength
I've always had puny legs. In fact, I've always thought they resembled Michael Rasmussen's legs minus the doping of course. If I think I'm going to be able to climb 10,000 ft on the RAMROD I'm going to have to increase my leg strength. Since I don't know anything else to do I'm going to resort to squats, leg curls and riding every hill in the area over and over again. I might even take the stairs at work but that might be pushing it a little too far.
Fit In Home Improvement Projects
Of all of my plans for the year this will by far be the hardest. This year I'm going to be a better husband and try to fit in some home improvement projects. Last weekend we painted our bedroom and let me tell you it was grueling. Taping, painting, making trips to the store, taping, painting, etc. It was like riding a century on an old mountain bike with flat tires. I'm hoping with time I'll learn to like it or at least get some things done that have been neglected for a long time.
Log a lot of Miles
This goes without saying but I plan on riding as much as possible. This means during the winter I'll be stuck on the trainer but after years of winter trainer rides I'm getting to the point that I actually like them. If ESPN gets dropped by our cable company I'll be in trouble.
So there's the plan so far. If you're interested in doing the RAMROD with me next year let me know. I'd love to keep in touch and train with someone else attempting the insanity.
Next Years Success Starts Today!