Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Landmine 2010 Season Finale of the Root 66 Series

.... the season finale already!  Don't say it's so....  It's way to early for the mtb season to be over already!  There are at least a couple of good months left for racing, and I don't care if it overlaps w/ Cross... I finally have my endurance pegged a little bit better, where I feel like I can handle racing hard for 2 + hours and it's over!  WTF...  What the hell am i going to do w/ myself????  Cross?? Fun certainaly, but that is just 45 mins long.  I spend all season working hard so I could handle more than 45 mins!  Damn!

As will be mentioned in posts I will write soon for previous races I have yet to write a race report for, I have learned through the season that I am slow...at the start that is.  I need to give my body a chance to really warm up before I hit it hard.  Most likely due to being 40+ (and a reason I will always suck at cross).

Landmine is a great course that suits me perfectly!  I lined up at the back and at the start had planned on staying on Scott's wheel and let him pace me until I felt warmed up.  Well the grassy section around the parking set me back a lot more than expected (I hate riding on grass)  and when I made to the single track, Scott was well ahead with lots of guys in between us. I had counted 18 at the start, and had one rider behind me.  It was still quite early in the race but I did not want to get dropped that much already so I decided to really pick up the pace and reel Scott in.  I was able to so just as the rooty climb started. I think I passed three riders to get there.  I recovered surprisingly quickly from that effort and soon found the pace too slow, especially on the short climbs.  I knew it was still very early in the race but decided since I felt good, I should go for it and not over pace myself.  My suspension had been set up carefully the night before (for once) and the bike was just flowing over the rocks and roots.  Racers were riding around obstacles which I was just riding over and this really helped me pass several more riders.  That crazy fast 50+ guy (I forgot his name) passed me what seemed way to early in the race, and so I grabbed his wheel and tried to hang on for as long as I could.  Since there were some road sections, this was quite helpful, and soon we caught up to a couple of other riders in my age group who also jumped the train but could not hang on. Eventually neither could I and the moment I let go, I saw three riders ahead who I knew were also in my age group. They caught his wheel as he passed and every time they hit smooth single track or pavement they would grow the gap.  They were not able to hang on for too long, and slowly, especially in the technical sections, I would pull them in. Finally, I was able to pass them but they would be right back on my wheel as soon we hit those numerous short pavement sections, which quickly became quite demoralizing.  There was finally a long section of dirt w/ some short steep climbs  and fun challenging "whopty dos" (sp?) where I was able to get clear.  For the rest of the race I kept on switching places w/ a "kid" in the 19 to 29 age group until the finish where he pulled away.  Since this was only my second time finishing this course (dnf'ed last year after cracking my wheel landing a jump) it was really hard to figure out where I was and how much further I had left.  I was quite surprised when the trail suddenly came out of the woods and I found the finish line.  I was expecting at least another 4 miles to the course.  I also had no idea where I placed at all.  I was hoping for top 10.

After the race, Nate and I waited for the results to be posted but due to some snafu, they were still not posted after 2 hours, so we ended up leaving w/out being able to check.  I was texted I finished 5th which I was quite pleased with!  As I am typing this though, official results just got posted on the root 66 site, and I finished 4th!  Damn I am pretty happy w/ that.  Most importantly I was only 4 mins off from first place (as compared to 26 mins at the start of the season)!  I'll take that and that's not a bad way to close my first Cat 1 season!!!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lazy A** mofo and Mt Snow

Fine I have been one!  No blog update in too long.  My excuse is a good one though, as I just have been really busy at work and it's been impossible to find the time to write these reports (I am a pretty slow writer and I have to read things ten times to catch all the freaking errors I am leaving on these pages. I know, and even then there are plenty left..).  Too bad to, as I really wanted to write about my experience riding up the Tourmalet.  I know at one point I had some really good thoughts about the experience I wanted to get on paper, but they are of course gone.  So all I have to say about it at this time, is that is was just fantastic and am looking forward to do it again....and again....and again.  L'Etape du Tour is on my to do list as well.

As for the race reports, well there have been a few since last report: Mt Snow, Hodges Dam, Norcross Scury, Millstone Grind, and Windham, NY.   I went through a series of mechanical/dnf issues.  First there was Domnarski Farm in June, where I snapped my chain on the second lap and had to run/walk the rest of the course to finish DFL. Then there was Mt Snow....dnf, then Hodges...dnf, then Norcross...triple flat...there is a pattern here!!

MT SNOW:  DNF!!!!  It seems I am starting all these reports w/ excuses as to why I suck, or actually, don't suck and why it's not really at all my fault!   I keep on finding them, so it's working for me.  In this instance, I had gotten off the plane from a continent that had a six hours time difference two days before the race.  My excuse hence being Jetlag (made worse by a terrible night sleep the night before the race).  The course too for Mt Snow this year was especially brutal.  It had some long sections of really steep climbing on grass and loose fire roads w/ no brakes or relief.  I knew after the first lap that this was not going to be a good race for me at all.  I was able hang w/ the pack through the first climb but as we started to climb the long steep section where the "drummer guy" used to be in the hayday of mt snow, I was already starting to really hurt.  Not even done w/ the first lap and I was already dying!   Even after reaching the top and thinking the fun part was about the start, riding this "fun" technical part ended up not being so as I was just all over the course, or actually all over everything besides the course.  I was so slow people were passing me.  I pride myself in being able to pass people on the downhill sections dammit!  Too much air pressure in new tires I told myself.  Indeed riding slick roots and rocks on 40psi does not help.  On the second lap, letting out a 1/3 of the air did help in that section, but the climbing to get to it just killed me.  So much so I was ready to pull over, lay on side of the course in the fetus position, and never move again.  When I eventually got back to the start area,  I pulled myself out of the race.  I gave up!  The thought of having to do that climb one more time was making me want to sell my beloved mountain bike on the spot and call it quits forever! Often racing hurts, but it's a pain you push through.  At this race though, I could just not do it.   This was the first race EVER I have dnf ed due to not being able to hack it.   I still feel a little pang of shame to this day.  Cause of Jetlag of course!!!

In hind sight, I think another contributing factor was spending too much time on my road bike and no time on my mtb bike for the weeks leading up to Mt. Snow.  Two days after this race, I did a team road ride on a somewhat hilly course, and I killed all the climbs.  Weird!

Friday, June 11, 2010

So I got tagged in FB...

Someone was kind enough to tag me on FB!   Here is the picture of me going OTB and about to hit the tree and the rest of the story is below.  I thought a visual would be appropriate!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2010 Domnarski Farm Race

Urgh, where to start 'bout this race?  There were two races I really dreaded as a new Cat 1 racer in the Root 66 Race Series. This one and the up coming Bike for Bovines.  Both of these races were single 10+ miles laps w/ some serious climbing and challenging terrain.  Both of these hurt last year when doing just one lap, and hence the dread of doubling that distance w/out having doubled my fitness!  I knew both of these races were going to kick my ass.   Sadly enough, for the Domnarski Farm Race, it was not an "enjoyable" ass kicking.  Some races hurt quite a bit, some hurt like hell,  and some hurt even more.  Always though, once the race is done, you can feel proud you pushed through the pain, survived the whole thing and maybe even moved up a couple of places on the scoreboard.  That's a good ass kicking!

The course was a 10 mile lap that started at the bottom of wooded hill and worked you up to the top through three major climbs, and back down to the start for a total of about 1600 ft of elevation gain per lap.  The first climb began right after the start area on a rain slicked double track that was rideable but required some careful lines.  This was followed by a short fast fire road section and some twisty single track in the woods.  Half way through the course, there was a short section of pavement bringing you to another section of dirt and rocky fire road  which started the second major climb. Since the fire road was steep and the rocks were slick and loose this was the most difficult section to keep your traction on.  The third climb came shortly thereafter and followed the power lines.  This climb was steep but if you stayed on the left there was enough traction to granny it to the top of the two really steep sections.  The course then shot back into the woods for a couple of short tricky descents, some bog crossings on sections of shingled 2x8 strung together and some fast fire road descents back into the finish area.  The course was basically 3/4 going up, and the last 1/4 dropping down back to the bottom.

The start did not go very well for me as not even 100 feet into the race,  I went over the handle bars trying to remount my bike right before a water/mud crossing.  I was able to catch myself but somehow ended up with both feet in the mud, the bike vertical to the ground behind me but with the right side of my handle bars in front of my right leg, the stem in my crotch, and the saddle digging into my back, and all this while I was desperately hugging the tree I smacked into so I would not fall over.  It took me a little while to figure out how to get out of this position w/out falling or dropping my bike on the rocks.  By the time I was "untangled" from my bike and the tree, everyone in my group was gone.  There were of course quite a few spectators right there. Most were kind enough to agree that they never saw this happen.  I also lost some confidence and spent the next section loosing even more ground as I was dabbing over everything w/ wet rocks.  I eventually settle into the first climb and soon started to see a few racers in the distance.  I concentrated on finding a good spin that would allow me to not burn through everything while still trying to play catch up. By the end of the first climb I had passed three riders and by the time we got the second climb I had passed a couple more on the single track section.  As I was starting the second climb I spotted one I knew was in my group .  By the end of the climb I had pulled him in a bit but as soon as we hit the flats, he pulled away again.  I still had him in my sight at the start of the third climb and when we got to the top I was on his wheel.  On the way back down the start area we traded places a couple of times.  Hitting the long first climb for the second lap, I hit the wall though and could not stay on his wheel.  I was starting to really overheat and was even feeling like I was going to throw up. I tried to find a comfortable climbing zone but just could not find anything that was fast enough to not get dropped completely.  By the end of this climb I could tell I had nothing left in the tank.  I was running on empty and now my goal was just to finish w/out getting caught by the other riders I had passed.  I had no Gu on me and was also almost out of water.  Good planning right there: very cat 1 of me! By the end of the second climb I had been caught and passed by another guy but was able to stick with him. My shifting at the time had become problematic and I could no longer use my middle ring w/out terrible ghost shifting.  I had access to most gears in my granny though and since I did not have the time to stop and figure out why, I just used the granny.  I wished I had stopped and checked because at the start of the third climb I heard a lot grinding and suddenly my rear wheel seized while my pedaling had no longer any resistance.  Somehow my chain snapped and had gotten completely entangled into my rear cassette and wheel.  I took me at least 5 minutes to get the chain untangled (and I had to stop several times just so that I could swear and find more words to add the word "fuck" to)and since (of course) I did not have chain tool, I was off to run the rest of the course.  I thought ridding the power line climb was hard, but it was nothing compared to having to run up it and then have to run the flats.  By force of habits I jumped back on the bike several times to realize I was not going anywhere. Even the downhill sections were painfully slow w/out being able to pedal. Running the last 1/3 of the course just sucked and was just physically painful, especially since I had run out of water right after snapping the chain.  Slowly everyone I had passed caught up and passed me.  The only guy I was able to pass had a flat and was walking his bike but he was not in my age group.   I am pretty sure I ended up DFL.  It sucked putting in so much work to loose it all. I did do the first lap in 1h 3 min, 28 seconds, but my overall time ended up being 2h 28 mins.  Lesson learned and I will now race w/ a chain tool....

Monday, May 17, 2010

EFTA Race #1: Glocester Grind, RI

I remember EFTA races being more technical than the Root 66 Races, but it had been a while since I have done an EFTA race. I remembered Hoot 'n Nanny being challenging but I was racing beginner back then. Last EFTA race for me was in 2003 as Beginner or "Novice" racer for the Big Bang race.  My brother got first and I finished second.  That brings back some memories, and according the results I could find online, my first racing season was in 2001, when I finished Big Bang in 27th for Senior 2 Novice category.  I think I was still riding my Proflex 756 and had just quit smoking.  Talking of Proflex, there was a guy racing one this weekend, w/ a "smart brain"!

Anyways, I am always, though I really should not be anymore, amazed by how a course can be not that technical until you try to ride it at race pace and you are in LTHR zone (my avg hr for this race was 195 btw!). This is my excuse for the numerous crashes I am about to mention...  I had never ridden this course (an other reasonable excuse!) and somehow thought it was the EFTA race in a quarry they did years back, but obviously it was not. I had been told by some that it was not very technical at all, while others had said it was quite technical.  Before the race someone who had just done a warm up lap, described it as a flat course, with six quite technical rock gardens to get through.  She stated there was some mud and predicted the rock gardens would get quite sloppy after the first lap and become very challenging.  She was planning on running them.  If only I had listened...

We (Nate and I) got there on time for once, and w/ out getting pulled over for once too!  There was a large crowd to send off as Pro, Cat 1, and Cat 2 would all go off at the same time, w/ a 1 min interval between cat & age group.  Normally not a bad way to start if it's a long lap.  Not great other wise as you get stuck too often behind someone, needing either to wait for a place to pass, or end up getting yelled at if you elbow your way past (which I of course attempted a couple of times).

Got a decent warm up and off we went. There were a couple of tight turns in a field and then off into single track I had never ridden.  I knew I wanted to be off the front so I could get a clear look at what was coming up.  I did not however, expect that I would get the hole shot and be off by myself.  For about one mile, I was in front w/ no one behind me.  I was starting to have flash back to last year, when I would be able to hold off the field for the rest of the race.  Well of course that was cat 2 and wishful delusions for cat 1!  The first rock garden I was able to get through quite well w/out dabbing.  But then I started to red line.  I dabbed and had to dismount in the second rock garden and by the time I was back on the bike I could hear the chain slap of several bikes that were catching up to me.  By the next rock garden section, I went OTB, and got passed by quite a few guys who seemed way too calm and collected.  Like an idiot, in my excitement to be in first place, I was pushing it way to hard and was not riding smart at all, trying to force it through the tech sections instead of picking my lines carefully.  Also somewhere I had convinced myself I was going to ride all the techy sections, which for the rest of the lap and the beginning of the next one, would work until about 2/3 of the way through and then result in a crash. One of them bad enough that I ended up flinging my bike over me and crashing into the rocks ahead.  Flinging carbon at boulders is not a good idea!  Finally 1/2 way the second lap, since I was getting passed by guys running these sections, I abandoned my "got to ride it" plan and things went much better from then on.  I became much more collected and calm (not crashing will do that to you!) and was even able to catch up and pass a couple of guys. I had no idea how many had passed me and where I was in the standings.  Not being frantic even allowed to enjoy the course and the race on the last lap.  Part of me had wished for one more since I was finally getting the hang of it, while my body was glad it was over as it got quite the beating.  I ended up finishing 9th (out of 14) w/ a time of 1:36.  Today, I have several bruises and have a few parts that are in some pain!  My bike has small "bruise" on the top layer of the carbon which I think will be fine.  Overall it was a great race venue and am looking forward to racing it next year w/ a slightly different approach!   Thanks to Craig Melo for taking the pics!

Here are some pictures of Nate:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Race Report for 2010 Root 66 MTB Race #2: The Fat Tire Classic.

2010 Fat Tire Classic.

PRE RACE: The day did not start out well when I got pulled over for doing 75 on a stretch of 3 lane highway (rt 6) which was posted (and I did not see) at 50 mph.  The ticket I received was not the worst part either.  I was hoping to get to the race early so I could take some pics of the Nate and Mike racing.  Well it took the cop 20+ mins to give the freaking ticket.  You would assume that w/ technology he could have all my info at his finger tips w/ in seconds or at least minutes.  I bet the guy was just having a sandwich and checking his FB.  That ticket meant I have gotten pulled over for speeding 3x w/in the last year and I better get the message I need to slow down (and save that speed for when I am on the bike!) Got to the race in time for me to get registered, changed, and get a decent warm up in.

COURSE: Race course, though a slightly different lay out every year, was quite familiar to me as I have raced this at least 10x over the past decade.  It’s always fast!  Lots of fire road and open sections w/ some twisty single track thrown in to make it a mtb course.  Nothing technical, though some root sections, and a couple of steep short punchy climb. It has some really nice flow to it though.  There was a new climb this year right before the end of the lap that was really steep and required some careful traction and power, but wasn’t very long.  I’ve also said this a thousand times: this course brings out all the roadies.  And indeed the field was quite big w/ lots of faces I was not familiar w/. 

BROTHER: The guy standing next to me, I knew quite well though.  My younger brother!  We were back to racing in the same age group and same category.   He used to be one fast mofo (and that is quite a good story) until he got hurt.  And I mean “winning cat 1” fast!  Last year he started to get back into racing and had two days before this race, moved back up to cat 1 again (after being called a sandbagger, which is another story).  Nothing like a little bit of brotherly competition.  This race was going to determine who mom loved best!!!  Just kidding of course…

RACE: It was a little bit of a messy start w/ some deep sand in the fire road, and required some negotiations.  So I lost track of how the field was getting split.  My bro set a high pace (for me) right from the gate, and my goal became to try to stick to him as long as I could.  I did initially lose some ground but was able to catch up to him once we hit some single track which bottled necked the whole field.  At the end of the first lap, we switching places several times, and I eventually stayed up front and started to develop a tiny gap.  

On the second lap, I would try to pick off riders, by catching up to them, staying on their wheel, recover, and then pass.  If I got passed, I would try to draft as long as I could hold it w/out burning too many matches.  By the end of the second lap I had a little bit of bigger lead on my brother but I could still see him in the longer fire road stretches.  I had also caught up to two guys in the same group and had passed them. Yet, as hard as I tried, I could not drop them though. Soon they were back up on my wheel and one passed me and started to create a small gap.  On the next climb I was back on his wheel and eventually passed him. 

Lap three was a real suffer fest trying to unsuccessfully keep these two guys at bay.  I’d create a small gap but then somehow they would be right back on my ass.  We yo-yoed like this through the lap and the same one passed me again toward the end of the lap.  By the end of the third lap, I felt like I had burned all my matches, had nothing left, and had no idea how I was going to survive the last lap.  The answer came in the format of little Gu packets w/ extra caffeine.  Three of them in one lap!

On the long steady climb of the start/ finish area, I caught back up, passed, create a gap and finally thought they were gone. Of course they were not, but they were also not catching up to me and the gap I had created, which looked like it was 15 seconds was sticking.  Then out of now where, with less than a 1/4 of the last lap left, the other guy, that had not yet passed me, passed me like I was standing still.  I had nothing left and could not come up w/ the power needed to try to stick to him, so he disappeared. PO-ed, my goal was do anything it took to keep the other guy off my wheel and not get passed by him too. Losing two spots w/ less than a mile left was not something I wanted to regret and second guess myself about! Yet, at about 300 yards before the finish where this steep short hill is, as I came around the corner, I saw the guy who passed me struggling up midway through.  This gave me a boost and by the time I crested the top, I had his rear wheel.  I stayed right on his wheel as we came to the finish area, which was a short hill w/ a left turn.  As we powered the hill, I cut to the inside and was able to somehow find another match to burn and beat him in the sprint.  My brother came in 2 mins behind.   

I ended up finishing 17th out of 26.  Not very exiting results, or anything to write a lengthy race report about, but I was quite happy w/ my performance.  Specifically, I was glad I did not crap out on the fourth lap like I felt I was going to.  My race time was 1 hour 47 mins, and it was balls to the wall the whole race, and I can honestly look back and say I gave it all I had. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Race Report for 2010 Bunny Hop Brook Dam, Root 66 Race #1

Race Report for 2010 Bunny Hop Brook Dam, Root 66 Race #1

So here it was…my first race as a Cat 1.  Sure there was Burlingame two weeks ago, but that’s a 30 minute time trial and that for me doesn’t count (especially since I suck at staying that anaerobic).  I remember so vividly when I was a newb mtber waiting for my cat 3 start at Mt Snow on my Proflex, watching at the Cat 1 racers on their expensive $3K (!!) bikes, thinking about how those guys were the real deal. The true racers, riders I respected and wanted to be like. Cat 1 was the promised land of mountain biking and you were really someone if you raced in that group.  I vowed then that in five years I would be a Cat 1 racer too.  Well this was of course over 10 years ago. 

So there was some excitement about finally racing Cat 1. The flip side was of course that w/ the whole knee fiasco, my training, since the end of Jan, had been non-existent.   So my question/conflict was that even though I was racing Cat 1, could I really be considered a Cat 1 racer?! Would I get completely killed out there? Would I get taught that really I was only a “cat 1 wannabe”?  Driving the 2 ½ hr down to the race left me ample time to obsess about this and contemplate the four laps we were going to do.  I, and you have to forgive the really cheesy metaphor here (just saw Clash of the Titans w/ the kids) felt like I was being send to slay a dragon w/ a teaspoon: not exactly promising.

Bla, bla, bla!  “Shut the fuck up”, was the other narrative going on, and enjoy that the weather was about to turn nice and for once I would not be racing the Bunny Hop Brook race in a semi snow/ sleet/ rain storm. That should be my focus.  Racing conditions were not going to be miserable, and though it rained the night before, it should not be the mud fest of previous years.  My goal should be to just finish, and not care if I DFLed.  All I wanted was my knee, legs, and lungs to hold on for all the four laps.  Strategy was to close the pack and not get in anyone’s way.  This was somewhat of a new racing distance for me and I knew I had a steep learning curve ahead.  It was going to be about learning about the learning curve and I just wanted to use it as training.  I wanted to ride mostly in the middle of zone 4 for the first two laps and then start to bring it up slightly for the remaining two if I had anything left.  Of course I could not find my handle bar mount for my Polar HRM watch and it ended up being hidden under my arm warmers.   Racing by feel instead of numbers is much better anyways.  I think the thought of having an exact strategy is a little bit like believing in god:  really in the end it doesn’t do much of anything, but helps you to feel better since it makes you feel like you have a plan while you are on the way.  My other two strategy points were to remain loose and relaxed and by the time I was the starting line I had forgotten what the third was!

I got there on time for once!  How nice it was not to have to rush around trying to get everything ready.  I ran into some guys from last year’s cat 2 who had also moved up  and we got to  talking.  Before I knew I was back to running late w/ little warm up time left (which, w/ the four laps ahead, was not something I wanted huge amounts of anyways!).   I lined up w/ Joe and Scott from last year; Joe being the one I barely outsprinted at Mt Snow 3, while he beat me at Mt Snow 1.  Scott and I engaged in the usual disclaiming of our fitness and abilities “and not training and therefore we are going to suck” routine.  We both agreed this would be quite painful both physically and emotionally.

The course was really nice.  Mostly dry w/ a few deep mud puddles strewn throughout. There were really only four sections needing to be carefully navigated to avoid flatting.  Overall nothing bad at all, and very easy compared to the previous year’s mud bath.  There were a couple of steep climbs that burned already by the first lap and a wet grass field crossing riding directly into some pretty strong head wind that also sucked by the first lap.

The first lap went somewhat better than planned as I was not the last guy.  I knew Scott was behind me but was unsure if there is anyone else.  Everything was rideable and I was staying pretty loose and riding smart, picking my lines.  On the second lap I almost went down big time, riding a fast S section on ledge.  Coming out of the last fast turn my handle bar just caught the outside tree and almost sent me down the ledge.  That was as bad as it got.  I caught some riders on the second lap but decided I was not going to look at their number plate as I just wanted to focus on riding my own pace and not be forced into a higher pace which I might not be able to sustain.  I was able to pass them on the last climb of the second lap and did not see them again.  The third lap is where things got interesting, and by that I mean painful.  At the beginning of the third lap I consumed a Gu pack and had a little bit of energy burst.  Yet once that wore off in the middle of the long climb I hit “the wall”.  Suddenly I was calling for my granny gear which I had not yet used and could feel my legs just burn and struggle to turn each pedals over.  It really felt like I had no matches left and started to worry about being able to finish the race.  This was made worse when some of those !@#% fast guys lapped me and came by me like I was going backwards.  I was able to grab the wheel of someone who passed me, which helped to drag my sorry ass to the end of that lap.  When he pulled over I asked him what he was doing and he coolly stated he finished his fourth lap.  Mother fu…good for him!  The last lap was a lot better, since it was the last one.  I was able to pick up the pace and consume all the Gu packs I had left.  I stayed in the middle ring longer on the climbs and even passed a couple of guys, none of which were in my group sadly.  On the final stretch of asphalt I saw a rider in the distance who I knew was in my group and burned all I had left to catch up.  As I announced I was passing him on the left on the last climb, he turned around to look at my number plate and took off.  I had nothing left and could not keep up.  He beat me by 6 seconds.  I ended up finishing with a time of 2 hours and 13 minutes to place 14 out of 19.  That certainly leaves lots of room to move up, but it is also better than DFL. Joe did beat me by 3 minutes, but if my knee holds and I can increase my training, well who knows, maybe beat him and maybe brake into the top ten.  Top 10 in Cat 1….now that sounds like a Cat 1 racer!

Here is a topo map of the race course:


Monday, March 29, 2010

Welcome to the 2010 King of Burligame!

Let me start out by pointing out that I finished the 2009 race season w/ a double flat,  a cracked rim, and a pretty DNF (admittedly in a pretty good season overall though) .

2010 ain't looking so pretty right now.

Started out training like a maniac.  3 hours x 3 a week on the trainer + 1 1/2 hour recovery rides in between.  15 hours a week on the trainer some weeks.  That a long ass time on the trainer in a week.  Was motived as all hell.  Finally racing Cat 1 and knew I would be lining up against Johny B and Kevin H.  Never had any aspirations to beat them, but did want to try to stay w/ them at least the first lap.  Next year, maybe two laps, etc...  But then at the end of Jan, my knee gave out. Since then have maybe been lucky to get 3 hours a week on the bike. All those months on the trainer,  FUCKING GONE!!!  Maybe...just maybe i hoped I would have some of that left in me.  Maybe....

So nervous about how much fitness I had lost, I barely slept the night before the race.  Got there somewhat late of course and only had about 15 minutes to warm up. Nate and I had pre ridden the course the day before and knew what to expect.  Had chosen my lines pretty successfully during the pre ride and was able to ride everything w/out too much difficulty.   It had some deep water sections and mud sections but the technical sections were mostly dry. It was all very rideable.

Anyways the race went something like this:

It sucked!  It fucking sucked large dirty monkey ass! I flatted 3 miles in, struggled to change the flat since I and the tire were covered in mud.  Also my first air cartridge leaked most of its air before I got it on the tire.   Finally got back on the bike, rode for 2 miles before realizing that when I put my wheel back on, I had put it in crooked and the brake was rubbing like crazy, which also explained the incomprehensible level of energy I was exhorting to barely be moving forwards.  My hr was like 200 + and I was barely doing 5 mph!  In my changing of the tire haste I had also put on the skewer on way too tight, so it took three minutes, lots of swearing and me standing on my rear tire w/ both hands on the skewer to get the %$@! thing to release.  I then proceeded to hit every single %&*^ rock, tree and mud hole there was not only on the course but off the course as well.  Finally finished to DFL my first Cat 1 race of 2010.  Good start of the season, and hopefully not a sign of things to come!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

blogging while on the trainer....

I wonder if this would really be manageable: update my blog while I am riding on the trainer.  It would certainly help pass the time and feel half way useful.  Hmmmm...just typing that sentence was pretty challenging.  I should also use google chrome to write it as the build in spell check will be very much needed (is google taking over the world?).  Another thing I need to do is to turn on my music!  There is nothing more painful than being on the trainer, trying to ignore the dirty basement, and absorb that tiny airflow from that tiny fan that is blocked by the lap top w/ only the noise of the trainer!  ....Music...maybe some NIN to get some cadence going........ehhh.......Cocteau Twins instead... almost the same.....

.....One leg drillls...definately no typing during those...Today is supposed to be my third two hour stint  this week on the trainer and ten minutes into this I can already tell there is no way I am going to last longer than an hour!  I am finishing my first week of Base 1, and am trying to focus on efficiency and form.  I usually last about 10 secs (being generous) when consentrating on making pedalling circles and five mins later realized I stopped focussing and am back to mashing the pedals.  Joel Friel states you should try to unweight your leg on the upstroke.  Sounds easy, but dang, pretty hard to implement. 

Damn it's hot in this basement! 

I read the latest edition of the Training Bible by Joel Friel in hopes to be/feel more prepared for my first cat 1 season...am now typing blind as I had to take my reading glasses off since the lenses had become opaque from the sweat accumulation...gotta concentrate on circles again....I did not read the mtb bible as it was getting old and wanted to get the lastest info on training.  Most likely not that much has changed though...oooh, Cranberries makes good spinning music...Book is good.  As others have said, it is laid out in a really easy to understand manner and Joel does a good job braking it into the basic ingredients and then building up a plan that includes everything he covered.  There are certainly Nay sayers out there on the whole base aerobic build but since this is my first year trying it out, I have no feedback yet.  Having read Joel Friel's book, I started to explore coaching and have been absolutely stunned by the cost!  Insane!

Pretty gross thought, but I know I have to increase the air flow when I can actually start smelling my self!!!

Alright, I actually have to stop typing which brings me back to beginning of this entry: no it's not manageable....