Having abandoned the single-sport focus for the off-season, I've been bagging a few peaks in the last several weeks. Mostly this has been in the role of a guide, using old skills to get friends on top of objectives. Guiding for free is hard work but the reward of facilitating friends' goals makes it worthwhile. I started out getting three friends up Teewinot. Basically, 5,500 vertical feet straight up out of the parking lot. Good thing they were not paying me for my services as I made the all-too-common route finding error near the top, taking us 30 minutes out of the way. In spite of having been to the summit five or six times, I've nailed the route only half the time. It's always a relief to hear similar tales of misdirection from equally-experienced friends. Still frustrating.
Yeah, I've been slacking lately. Ending the cycling season and getting started in a more random training direction definitely took the edge off my focus. Nice mental break, really. And that's the idea, right? I've put on 10 pounds or so and feel strong in new ways. I'm also sore in new ways. That's not always so good. The thing about riding a bike is that you are rarely sore and rarely feel injured. Pushing and pulling heavy weights around in the gym, on the other hand, can create both circumstances.
I'm now into my sixth post-season week of alternate training. I'm still riding my bike but with no structure and certainly less volume and intensity. I have made the weight room my focus, getting four or five sessions in each week. After being pretty compulsive all season about my body weight, weighing in daily in order to fill out my Restwise entry, I have a good handle on what my usual range is. I rarely saw anything under 170 pounds but I was also usually never over 173 pounds.
No real science here. No training tips or dietary revelations. Just a few paragraphs to wax poetic. Humor me. I'll get back to business next post.
Yesterday evening was one of those days when it's great to be a cyclist. Yes, my competitive season is over and done and I'm doing a few other things like hiking and lifting weights. But I'm still riding my bike and last night was simply perfect. It was one of those times where perfect temps, perfect light and still wind come together in conditions similar to a powder day on skis.
My post-season is well underway now having transitioned from semi-neurotic, schedule-intensive cycling training to a more free-form multi-sport routine. I've been in the weight room three weeks now and the shell-shock soreness is mostly gone. I've done a few long hikes and even took three friends up Teewinot last weekend. The 5,500 feet of descending had my quads complaining some the next day but two hours of easy riding on the bike felt fine. I'm five pounds heavier now than I was a month ago but I'm enjoying getting my upper body strong again.