Monday, November 8, 2010

What I need is a plan.

I need a plan, a training plan.  I am kind of floundering along with no specific way to achieve what I want on my bike.  With work and life things can go along pretty flexible, but we generally know what to do and when to do it.  There are certain basics that get us through.  That is how I trained when I was younger, and it generally worked, but I wasn't really trying to become the next Bernard Hinault or Lucien Van Impe.
Hinault in LBL 1980.

My idol Lucien Van Impe, another polka-dot jersey in the TdF.
When I came back to cycling in the late 80's I was still young and lost my weight rather quickly.  Now I can't seem to lose any more weight no matter how hard I try and I also can't seem to get any better, plateaus on both counts. 

I have been looking at coaches, but most of them are way to expensive, $200+ per month.  I am thinking about trying the "Everyday Cyclist", if I can get the money for it, even it is not inexpensive, but it is much less expensive than anything else I have found and I think it fits with what I am trying to do.  They have a monthly fee that is less than $30 and they have a "plan" that members can buy that deals with the "off-season" and building fitness without burning myself out. I love riding, but some weeks, like those in the winter, I really don't have a lot of daylight in which to ride and work takes most of those hours.  Between the plan and a powermeter I think I can make quite a bit of progress.  I know I won't be doing 90 racing days a year, but I would like to do 10 or 20 races during the road season and 8 to 10 in the cyclocross season.  I have learned through my last couple of races that I don't mind finishing toward the back, I have fun, but I would like to finish closer to the front and maybe be competitive at some point.  Also, I would like to do Levi's Gran Fondo without cramping and go for a time around 5 or 5.5 hours, I think that is do-able.

Andrew is enrolled in the Elk Grove Unified School District, now the fun begins.  Hopefully we can get the accommodations that Drew qualifies for with his IEP, but I am so skeptical of the school district and their motives.  They make everyone fight for every last little bit and I understand that resources are limited, but how do we expect children to learn if we don't fund our schools. Even when Andrew as home schooled or when Philip was in private school I aways supported the public schools.  I don't mind paying taxes, yes I wish I didn't have to, or that they would have a better accounting of how things get spent, but in the end I would much rather pay higher taxes if it allows children to get what is required out of school.  I figure the better educated in general, the fewer people we will have in prison or doing other nefarious things.

The schools out here in California are soooooo messed up.  The actual hours of instruction that a child in an "average" classroom gets is so small it is amazing that they learn anything at all.  It is no wonder why the cashiers at Target can't count back change unless a machine tells them how much it should be.  God forbid that we lose the ability to log on.  Almost all engineering graduates now can't do a calculation without a computer.  If they had to take pen to paper they would be lost.  Even the calculators we are using now take away the ability to reason.  I like slide rules, I think they made students learn order of magnitude estimation, significant digits.  They forced you to have an idea of what the answer should look like before calculating it, and if it didn't calculate out, you went back and checked.  It wasn't like I grew up in the 50's, 60's or even the 70's where knowledge of a slide rule was necessary to get you through your classes, I am still a little young for  that, but I did learn to use a slide rule and even built an abacus when I was only 8 or 9 years old.  Well time to hop off the soap box and get ready for some good sleep with the cool weather.

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