Saturday, January 31, 2009

Everything a 14 year old boy could want...


...or at least this fourteen year old boy. With my Dad's new job, he got himself a new powertap, leaving me my very own powertap. Yay! A powertap is probably the most valuable cycling equipment I can have. This powertap will improve my training and make me much stronger.
Not many juniors own powertaps, mostly because they are convinced that the way to go is getting new wheels, new TT bikes, new helmets, but a powertap? No way.
That's why I've gotten the advantage.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blah

So things have been kinda up and down lately. One day I'm finding out more cool junior racers and race teams in Arizona, and another day I'm thinking about how my Dad is going to leave for Phoenix in several weeks.
School is so and so. I'm really gonna miss it, especially the soccer team. I was really looking forward to being one of the more experienced players on our team due to the loss of all our seniors. I'm sure we would have and still will build another great dynasty. I remember the words Justin Troost (a sophomore) said to me, "In a few years, this is gonna be our team. I'll be a senior and you'll be a junior, and you, me, Kevin, and Kirchner are gonna lead this team." I'm just sorry that I'll never be able to witness that. It would have been awesome. But now I've gotta snap out of that mindset.
Whining won't keep us in Michigan.

p.s. I got up at 5 A.M. this morning to ride LT intervals. The combination of earliness, intensity, and a head cold lead to me feeling really tired in school today...

Blah...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Back to School

So yeah...yesterday the news when public. I guess not everyone at school knew what happened until today. When I broke the news to first hour speech class, I got a mixed response. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when I said that I would be staying in Michigan until school ended. Everybody was somewhat happy for me because Arizona has mountains for me to ride my bike on.
Math class was the other class where I really got to talk about the ordeal with my buddies. Mason gave me a lot of advice and encouragement (he moved from Pennsylvania to Michigan a couple years ago), and the whole group of upperclassmen guys are really supportive.
All in all, I'm still surviving.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

So um...ya

Well, I'll just lay off the smalltalk and tell you the truth: we're going to Arizona.
That's right, Dad just got the job offer today. It didn't really surprise me, because I knew we were going to have to move somewhere other than Michigan, I just didn't know where it would be.
Honestly, I didn't really freak out when I heard the news. This doesn't change a whole lot. I'll get to finish school and get to do several races in Michigan, considered that we can't move until we sell the house...so we we won't move until early to mid summer.
Of course, Arizona is a pretty lame cycling state, and the majority of it's races are in the spring, but I've done a lot of researching and found that there are some pretty darn strong racers in Arizona.
Plus, I'll be one state away from Orange County.
Regardless, of the positives, this whole situation "sucks" for lack of a better word.
Even still regardless, God's in control.
We will survive.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

This Season is Gonna Rock!

Let me firstly say, I have never been so proud to call myself a Michigan bike racer. Michigan is getting ready for it's best racing season ever. I'm expecting HUGE fields, and HUGE amounts of juniors. The junior races should be a thrill to watch, because AAVC shall be animating the action.
I expect the AAVC Junior Elite team to have at least five (maybe more) riders. Our team is unique, well balanced, and already has strong chemistry.
We have Alexey Vermeulen, fresh off a podium finish at nationals...looking for more hardware.
Eddie Kelley, with an incredible amount of talent and determination, looking to find out how strong he really is.
Jeff Xu, just getting into his second year of racing, becoming incredibly disciplined and ready to kick hang with the big guns.
Jeff Knight, an avid cyclist and rider, ready to become a true racer.
And Me, just wanting to prove my legitimacy to the cycling world.

This is gonna be awesome!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Season's Begun


Oh yes, my friends, although the racing has not started yet, the intensity is on and the suffering has alright been initiated. For a cyclist to be successful, you must put yourself through hours upon hours of training per week. I've been training since the beginning of December. My legs have been feeling great. I'm on a 450 hour annual plan, and I'm more serious than I've ever been about cycling. I'll admit that last year, although I rode all my hours and did my intervals, I was trying to compromise the suffering. This year, my goal is to embrace the suffering.
This suffering has now developed into two workouts of 2x20 minute 180 watt intervals per week.
I've already done two 30 minute power tests. The first time was a rather shaky 194, pushing my one hour power up to 185. On the second test, I powered to a 200 watt average. It was a 3%, and if I continually improve like that, I'll reach my training goal by the end of the season.
To add to my suffering, I'm now eating healthy. That's right, I'm eating more fruits, vegatables, and nuts, and trying to cut out snacking on crackers.
Eating healthy has led me to see how unhealthy I ate in the past. I simply ate way too much carbs.

My goal for this year is to never compromise, to never give less than 100%, because I know if I don't...I'll never forgive myself.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Exam Week

Exams started with the gym exam on Tuesday. I passed.
Today was speech and biology. I think I got an A+ in speech, and at least a D+ in Biology. It was hard.
Tomorrow is Math and Bible. I'm feeling confident.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Milestone

I averaged 200 watts on a 30 Critical Power test. Yippee!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Making a Fool of Myself

School was incredibly interesting today. A month ago, Ms. Myers (my Algebra II teacher) assigned a group project. My group of three people was supposed to in *any way possible* demonstrate how to graph in 3-D, because 3 dimensional graphing has always been a topic of great distress for Ms. Myers.
My group unanimously decided to do a rap for our presentation. We wrote the rap in class, and I took the lyrics home, recording the rap on my mixer. Mike Dumiter, Jacob Shafer, and I spent half an hour in the computer lab on Wednesday, practicing the rap.
The culmination of our hard work was today. I was decked out in very gangster-like apparel. I looked sweet.
The rap went well, and at the end of class I was debating whether to put my normal school clothes back on or just wear my gangster attire for the rest of the school day. I decided on the latter. Normally, wearing a hat (on sideways), sunglasses (big, gangster sunglasses), a plain white t-shirt that would normally be an undershirt, and a lot of bling will get you in trouble when it's not a casual dress day at school. But then, I realized that because I had just won the "Student of the Month" award, I had a free casual day. So I used it today.
Walking through the hall, I got a lot of surprised looks. Like ten people gathered at my locker, asking me why I was dressed in such a fashion.
As you could guess, in the rest of my classes, I was asked to perform the rap. Wow, it was embarrassing, but I pretty much make my living on embarrassing myself. All in all, it was a great day.

P.S. My little sis is going to Home School Central now. She's in a class with all my old friends! Maybe one day when I don't have school, I can shadow her!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Alas, all good things must come to an end...

...but who says it can't end well???
I must say that my break ended very well. On Sunday afternoon, I had a nice little ride with my teammates. Eddie, Jeff Xu, and Zack came over to ride with Dad and me.
It was great!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Interesting Article

Read this article that I found on USA Cycling. It's pretty interesting.

Time for a Rant

I despise my Biology class. Everyone in the class does. Our teacher is incredibly difficult. She knows a ton about Biology, but she struggles with presenting the information well. She seems to think that we're college students. Anyway, probably half the class is failing. I probably have one of the best grades in the class... with a C.
I'm trying to work on one of her questions right now...*eye roll and deep sigh*. I just don't get it!

Party!

Being the party animals that we are, we decided to host a New Year's Eve party. It went pretty well, and it was interesting to see my cycling friends interact with church friends and extended family members. Doug came and saw our house in which we never use the lights. He also took a look at my computer to see what's wrong with the file I can't open. It turns out that my computer has major issues. It was great to see the Vermeulens for the first time in two months. We had a pretty fun time.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Resolutions (Goals for the 2009 Racing Season)

At the end of a great year for Michigan cycling, I'm ready for an even better one. 41 races are planned for 2009, with 14 Michigan Challenge races.
Training goes well so far. I'm going to be sure that I am as ready as I can be. Here are my goals:
  • Through the racing, I'M GOING TO BE OPTIMISTIC.
  • I hope to achieve a one hour power of 220. Yes, this goal seems crazy, but I think I'm going to get at least pretty close to it.
  • I'd like to get a 32 at the Willow Time Trial. This would be an average speed of a little bit over 24 MPH. I can do this.
  • I want to do very well at the Tour das Frankenmuth. In the Cat 4 race, I want to finish with the pack and finish strong.
  • I want to go under 29 minutes in a 20km TT. This would be an average speed of over 25.66. Ouch. I can do it though.
  • Another goal of mine is to go to Regional Camp and ride well there. I hope that riding well there could secure myself a spot in the Tour de L'Avenir, a stage race in Quebec to which Team Borah sends four riders from our region. Of course, I'm not sure about the certainty of going to camp. My dad still doesn't have a job. I really don't have any right to say which races that we're going to do.
Just pray for my dad. He spends a pizza-load of time on the computer looking for a job and filling out his resume'. On top of that, the poor guy upgraded to Cat 2!

It's going to be a very interesting season. I wish you all luck.