January Training Summary

Though January came with some crappy weather, I still managed about 40 hours on the bike and 540 miles of travel. It’s a little lower than the last few months, but between my ankle injury and the weather, I’m pleased with the volume. Hopefully with longer days ahead and slightly better weather, I can be well over 600 miles for February. I’m feeling good about the upcoming season…

CF Grace

Yesterday’s workout:
30 Clean & Jerks with 135# for time

I did it with 40kg(88#) in just under 20 minutes.
It was hard! I have to wear longer shorts or pants to cover the part of my tattoo that gets bar-rub every time I do a clean.

Crossfit Love/Hate

 Crossfit is a method of resistance training/conditioning that will make even the most fit person whine and beg for mercy. It’s a training philosophy that’s growing in popularity- I can’t really describe it, so I’ll just give you a link to the crossfit website so you can read all about it: Crossfit

You’ll notice that the workouts look short and usually don’t include anything but bodyweight (with the exception of the heavy, singe rep days as well as the Olympic-style lifts). Yes, they are short, but don’t let this fool you into thinking they’re easy. Most of them have women’s names. Once you’re 4-5 minutes into your first workout, you’ll know exactly why…

Today I did my 3rd Crossfit workout:
Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
5 Handstand Push-ups
10 One legged squats, alternating
15 Pull-ups

Ok, I’ll admit, I used a bar in the squat rack as assistance for the hand stand push-ups as well as the pull-ups, and I used the squat rack itself for balance on the 1-leg squats, but seeing that I just started this stuff, I don’t mind too much. I quit at 18 minutes and 7 rounds, because I was getting the “burps” (precursor to the “pukes”).

My first workout was one that I made up myself (hence the name):
20-15-10-5 reps
Vertical jumps
Pull Ups
Walking lunges (that’s reps per leg)

I urge my faithful (and unfaithful) readers to check out the Crossfit website- it’s got video of all of the exercises as well as a workout of the day every day, and a link to a forum where someone is nice enough to put “scaled” versions of the WOD up for beginners and/or those who DON’T like the feeling of being run over by a truck after their workouts. Also, check out Memphis’ only Crossfit gym, which was started by one of my former U of M students: Crossfit Memphis

The long haul

70 miles today! It felt very good. Other than being really hungry and having cold toes, I felt really strong at the end of the ride (usually I’m pretty exhausted). Even though not many of my rides have been more than a couple of hours, the volume has been relatively high. Looks like the miles of gutting out the cold are paying off in the endurance department!

My art collection

Tattoos are my favorite art, and I collect pieces by Joe Stamp from No Regrets Tattoo Emporium. I first found Joe when I decided that some lower-abdomen wings would look nice. I randomly picked an artist (Joe) at a well-known shop in town (which shall remain nameless- just go to No Regrets!), and they turned out very nicely. When I decided to go for something a bit more extensive, I went back and asked him to draw a phoenix for me. The end result:


Not long after, I was listening to the crazies on American Family Radio when I heard a Southern preacher reading revelations and preaching fire & brimstone. He read the description of an enourmous, evil 7 headed dragon with a tail that knocked 1/3 of the stars from the heavens. Upon hearing this, I immediately knew what my next artwork would be… I’m not particularly religious, but I’ve always had a facination with religious art (of any faith), so I thought it would be an awesome piece.

So, last night, we got started. Joe worked on the outline of the Revelations Dragon for 3 hours. So far, it starts at just above my knee, ends at the top of my hipbone, and wraps around the entire outer half of my leg. Eventually, the tail will extend up onto my torso (we were both pretty exhausted after the portion that he lined last night, so we decided to add the tail on later). Go big or go home, right? I’ll put some pictures up once it’s a little bit healed. Right now, it’s a bit red & swollen and feels like a very bad sunburn. It’s insanely large, but I absolutely love it!


It’s a bit of a lazy Saturday, and I’m waiting around for lunch to digest before I ride the trainer. So, I do retarded things to pass the time. Like having a staring contest with my Belgian Malinois (see picture below).


I won. She sniffed my face and blinked when her nose touched mine & got a static shock.

LH Thompson dies at age 68

Just saw the news through my team’s email list…

Component innovator dies at 68

LH ‘Ronnie’ Thomson, president and founder of the eponymous bicycle component manufacturer LH Thomson passed away suddenly on January 12, 2008, less than a week before his 69th birthday. According to The Bicycle Retailer, Thomson had recently recovered from bladder cancer, but his untimely death was unrelated to the illness.

Thomson, a well respected manufacturer of high quality seat posts and stems, was an engineer by trade, and made his career first manufacturing parts for the airline industry. He began the LH Thomson company in 1981, and began making bicycle components in 1995. Through his high quality products and generous sponsorship of area events, teams and causes, Thomson quickly endeared himself to the cycling community.

The parts became so popular amongst the off-road riders that Macon area riders hosted an annual Ronnie Thomson Appreciation day, which is scheduled for this weekend. The event will now include a moment of silence and memorial service.

The Thomson company’s website posted a brief message of support, saying “It is the families wish that the festival continue, and it will. Thomson is no longer just a brand, it is a legacy. Ronnie brought so much to cycling as he looked at everything with a different perspective.”

“Ronnie was always like a father figure,” LH Thomson account manager Karen Glass told The Bicycle Retailer, but added the company would continue. “I know this will be a rough road for the entire Thomson family. The L.H. Thomson company will overcome this. We will continue what you started.”

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (www.bcan.org).

Two Steps Back

My ankle injury seemed to be doing very well- most of the swelling was gone, and my foot (for the most part) had returned to its normal color rather than the odd shade of martian green it had been for the past few days. I was even walking with no pain in the area. SO, naturally, I attempted an easy, on-pavement jog last night with some friends. Not a good idea- although everything felt fine in the first 5 minutes of relatively flat pavement, once we jogged up & over a couple of small but steep pitches, the pain started creeping back up the side of my foot/leg. Going against my will to continue and not be defeated by injury (again), I walked. Luckily, I had Turbo, my Belgian Malinois, and Temesa, one of the Warthogs (group of friends I frequently run with), to keep me company.
Although it was (mentally) painful to stop running, I can tell that the physical consequences would have been much greater- even with just a few minutes of stress to the area, the space between my anklebone & Achilles tendon filled back in with swelling, and it’s painful enough today that I can’t help but limp a little. Thankfully, it’s not bad enough that I can’t ride my bike, but I’m not happy to have the nagging pain again.

Looks like I need more time & probably some at-home physical therapy before I strike out on foot again!