Mike's Blog

Blah, blah, blah.

No idea how much snow we actually got.  Our lot is situated in a way such that we get drifting that amounts to ~36 inches everywhere on our property it seems.  In the hour since I cleared a path on the back deck for Tyson to go to the bathroom, over an inch of snow has fallen to replace what I removed.   Headed out to do an hour of shoveling.  I reckon I might get the front porch cleared by then.2188

...of his old room and into his new big-boy room.  His new furniture was delivered today so tonight will be his first night sleeping in his new room and new big-boy bed.  He's pretty darn excited about the whole thing, so we'll see how long it takes him to get to sleep.  It will also be interesting to see if he manages to stay in his bed using sheer willpower; prior to tonight he's been in a crib with no easy way of escape.  We still have a few more finishing touches to complete, but the room with the Cars motif looks really, really good IMHO.

So this is one of many follow-ons to my 2009 Recap which is kind of long overdue, but I had to upgrade the website to get some functionality I'd been longing for on the page.  Unfortunately I also lost some functionality for the time being, primarily the integration of the Gallery into Joomla.

Anyhow onto my critique of the first two resolutions I made for myself last year:

  • Enjoy my family and spend more quality time with Karrie and Brady. (Pass?)

I think I did fairly well at this resolution although it never seems like enough.  Brady was more able and willing to get out and do some new things in 2009; we went to the park more often, went on more walks and joined My Gym which Brady loved.  Additionally, as he's continued to grow its been easier to take him to events I participate in, namely autocrosses and cyclocross races.  This really allowed me to spend more time with both Karrie and Brady, although Karrie might disagree here.  It wasn't always easy for her and I'm thankful that she is a trooper; there were several times during some of my cyclocross races where I'd pass Karrie cheering and Brady crying simultaneously.  With the new baby coming soon I anticipate that I'll be spending even more time with Brady in the coming year while Karrie focuses on the newborn.  Grade: B-

  • Help Karrie more around the house and in general. (Pass?)

Mixed feelings for me on this one so I asked Karrie for her input.  Basically, it seems that I did more (most?) of the cooking but was lackluster in the remaining household chores.  I know that this is something I need to work on.  I am pretty bad about putting something down where it doesn't belong 'for a minute' and never getting around to putting it in its rightful place.  I also have a terrible habit of living out of the clean laundry basket as I loathe folding clothes.  Grade: C-

  • Play with Tyson at least once every other day.  (Fail)

Unfortunately I did not accomplish this in 2009.  It really is a shame because Tyson is the most awesome dog I have ever owned.  He is mellow, well behaved and listens 99% of the time.  Compared to some of the neighborhood dogs he more resembles a human than a dog.  Brady did help pick up some of my slack in this area, but sadly Tyson still did not get the attention he needs and deserves in 2009.  Grade: F

     

So now I'll try to address my cycling resolutions for 2009.  2009 was supposed to be "me year" according to Karrie, meaning I could what I wanted to do as far as a time commitment to my hobbies because come 2010 and the new arrival my priorities had to shift.  With that in mind, I set out these goals, most of which I thought were reasonable and most of which I failed.

  • Spend more than 300 hours on the bike and ride with a purpose (see #5-8).  (Fail)

There are many reasons while I failed at achieving this resolution.  Primarily I think "ride with a purpose" was something I was unsure how to do.  As a result I did ride but for the most part my rides did have any set goals attached to them.  The only time this wasn't true was early in the year when I was doing the majority of my riding on the indoor trainer.  During that period I did have specific training goals, those being sweet spot training.  That helped me get into the best April/May fitness I've been in since I started riding again in 2006.  I managed to do several rides with the A group on my club rides which was not even a thought for consideration in the past.  There were other pressures which limited my time on the bike to less than I'd have liked as well.  In total I did 150 rides including races for a total of 165 (80 hours average in prior years) hours and 2500+ miles (1300 was my previous best) for the year.  I had 10 weeks with more than 6 hours in the saddle; this is the minimum amount of riding I should be doing weekly to improve my fitness.  Complete stats at the end of this posting.  Grade: D- (hey, I doubled my previous best!)

  • Compete in and finish at least one road cycling race and not get pulled or finish last.  (Fail)

This was a fail in that I didn't do a mass start race.  A couple of factors at play here, primarily lack of fitness and lack of confidence; the first gets you dropped, the second gets you crashed.  I did participate in an Individual Time Trial though, which was my first one ever as I had never done them as a junior.  It was a 40K (25.2miles) race my goals were to average 20mph over the course and finish in 70 minutes or better.  The back problems I'd been struggling with (and still am struggling with) all year forced me to ease up my efforts about once every 10 minutes and stretch on the bike to alleviate some of the pain and this was the main contributor to me failing to attain those goals.  I ended up averaging 19.6mph and finishing in 75 minutes and some seconds.  Grade: D- (hey, I did /something/!)

  • Try a cyclocross race when the season starts up in the fall.  (Pass)

By far the highlight of my cycling year was cyclocross (CX).  Originally I had planned to simply try a race, using my mountain bike to see what it was like.  The my awesome friend Danny (who also came to one of my races and took pictures) donated his 1990-something Jamis Nova CX bike to my cause.  I took some bits off my old road bike and fashioned a pretty decent (if not a tad heavy) CX bike in early September, headed to a couple of the cyclocross clinics put on by Mike Birner of Mid Maryland Coaching and signed up for my first race, the only goals I had set were to finish and not be last.  I was still a bit freaked out in the technical areas of courses, specifically downhills and off-camber turns, residual from my mountain biking accident at the end of 2008, so I went hard where I could and took it easy where I got the heebie jeebies.  I started dead last (by choice) and finished 86th out of 125 starters, getting lapped on the very last lap of the race.  Not only had I accomplished my set goals, but I was hooked.  I went home and registered for as many more races as I could find within a 2 hour drive of the house.  I eventually competed in 9 races, finishing all of them and finishing in the top 50% of two of them.  I'm hopeful I'll be able to compete in more CX races this year.   Grade: A

  • Get below 200 pounds by the end of April (228.5 on January 1st) (Fail)

This goal just never materialized.  I struggled with managing portions at various times early in the year and only managed to get down to ~208 by May.  Grade: F

  • Get to ~190 pounds by the end of the year. (Fail)

Again, I struggled to reach my goal weight of 190, and again mostly due to portions, but also due to just not putting enough time in on the bike and having to limit my efforts during the time I was able to put in due to back pain.  I did manage to get down to 200lbs even, but Thanksgiving and Christmas meals got me back to 210 by the end of the year.  Grade: F

CYCLE
Month Num Time
(H:M:S)
Dist
(mi)
Speed
(mph)
Calorie
Burn
Uphill
(ft)
Dnhill
(ft)
Elev Net
(ft)
Difficulty
Avg
HR Avg
(bpm)
Jan 2009 11 6:59:59 108.02 15.4 9,185 +9 -9 +0 2.3 151
Feb 2009 15 8:31:58 144.88 17.0 10,710 +642 -649 -7 2.2 157
Mar 2009 10 9:55:03 145.58 14.7 12,075 +9,498 -9,453 +45 3.6 159
Apr 2009 13 18:40:42 288.47 15.4 22,520 +18,689 -18,830 -141 4.2 154
May 2009 16 22:26:47 365.05 16.3 27,663 +23,582 -23,514 +68 4.3 151
Jun 2009 10 15:44:26 255.11 16.2 19,365 +17,837 -17,819 +18 4.3 157
Jul 2009 15 30:02:19 471.23 15.7 35,321 +35,568 -35,708 -140 4.9 149
Aug 2009 12 19:35:23 315.30 16.1 24,376 +20,088 -20,105 -17 4.2 159
Sep 2009 12 12:52:36 193.09 15.0 15,572 +13,929 -13,545 +384 3.4 153
Oct 2009 23 11:37:37 132.89 11.4 10,061 +9,047 -8,604 +443 2.5 155
Nov 2009 9 5:24:46 69.93 12.9 5,600 +2,208 -2,231 -23 2.4 171
Dec 2009 4 3:47:29 57.50 15.2 4,128 +4,175 -4,175 +0 3.5 155
OVERALL 150 165:39:05 2,547.05 15.4 196,576 +155,272 -154,642 +630 3.5 155

Another great year here in the Neary household.  Brady is growing like a weed and talks very, very well with quite a few funny phrases which we should probably curb.  Karrie is well  and we are expecting a baby brother for Brady in early March.  Sneezy has begun to go senile and has either lost his hearing or has mastered the art of ignoring us completely, we still are not sure which.  Tyson is his same old self, full of energy and always looking to play or go on a walk.  Myself, I can't complain; I did some bicycle racing this year as well as a pretty full season of autocross.  2010 birthdays around the house look like this: Me - 40, Karrie - 33, Brady - 3, Tyson - 6, Sneezy - 17.

In January I made some resolutions which I'll recap below, but then address in other posts in the relevant sections.

  1. Enjoy my family and spend more quality time with Karrie and Brady. (Pass?)
  2. Help Karrie more around the house and in general. (Pass?)
  3. Play with Tyson at least once every other day.  (Fail)
  4. Spend more than 300 hours on the bike and ride with a purpose (see #5-8).  (Fail)
  5. Compete in and finish at least one road cycling race and not get pulled or finish last.  (Fail)
  6. Try a cyclocross race when the season starts up in the fall.  (Pass)
  7. Get below 200 pounds by the end of April (228.5 on January 1st) (Fail)
  8. Get to ~190 pounds by the end of the year. (Fail)
  9. Do a better job in my duties as treasurer for my club . (Fail?)
  10. Win STU at the Solo Nationals in Lincoln, Nebraska, September 8-11 (Fail)
  11. Post updates on the website at least monthly, to include updates on my attempts to complete this list. (Fail)

So, it is not pretty.  At all.  It seems I've failed at most of the resolutions, which might be why I never make resolutions!

I will break down my attempts at these in other posts soon.

 

Subcategories

My attempt at talking politics.

Thoughts on being a dad

Cycling

Random Rant

Autocross

Photos