Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

I darn near drowned this weekend

So about two months ago I decided to do a triathlon just for kicks, I mean my bike is pretty strong, I can still run at least one six minute mile once every three months for work, so what the heck, there were no crits to do so I signed up. Knowing that swimming does not come easy to me, my game plan was to train for the swim a bit and get a wetsuit. So, I swam THREE times to prepare and actually swam 75 yards non stop on one of them so, yeah I am prepared! Everyone says that wetsuits make you more bouyant and you can swim faster and you know what it does make you go faster, for a bit. So here goes the story.

Got the wetsuit on Wednesday, went to the lake and got some help putting it on as they are tight, I mean real tight and even constrict your breathing (not good). I got in the lake and swam for a minute and said okay this is great, I am fast! Well I was for a minute!

Saturday dawns and I set up my transition area, seeing how everybody else put the their numbers on the bike and shirts, how they laid out their shoes and stuff. We hit the water (no I did not warm up I wanted to save energy). First fifty yards, I am thinking, "man I am fast, I am passing people, second fifty yards okay maybe I better flip over on my back for a minute but keep pushing! Make the turn and keep going, now 150 yards out and I am thinking this is not good, people are passing me now as I alternate laying on my back, get to 200 yards and see if there is a handle on the bouy so I can take a break as I am having trouble staying afloat, make the turn and fell the panic coming on, start looking for the safety kayak, thinking I may need to get a tow in but the banks are lined with spectators and that would be a walk of shame on I got to shore. Relegated to alternating dog paddling with resting on my back, get about 50 yards from the finish and if I stretch I can get a toe in the mud, so I bounce my way to the swim finish, as I get out of the water I look at the garmin, my heart rate is at 205! I am gassed but stumble jog to the bike, I am 170th out of 205 coming out of the water. Get on the bike after the slowest transition you can imagine, I am shook and blown up already. Get on the bike and start out somewhere around 179th. It's a hilly course and starts out with two climbs, I know this route so I hold a little back but am passing people. I pretty much have to stay to the left as I am passing people steadily as we go up and down over these rollers. I was miserable and hurting badly but still trying to hold back. I was 36th after the bike so that tells you I did a lot of passing! I am 39th out of the transition as I seem to have trouble putting on my shoes and have to sit down to do it, no fine motor skills left! I start the with a cramp in my side, I am trodding along, getting passed by a few more people and ma now getting to feel maybe a bit better. One miule left to go and it starts with a hill that's a quater of a mile. I open it up and pass and pass. End result 4th in age group, missing 3rd place by less than 30 econds and 1:45 down on second, I lost taht much time in transitions alone! 34th overall which I am fairly pleased with. Considering as one point in the race that I was seriuosly looking for a way out due to a pretty severe pani attack if drowning and that swim absolutely devastating me, I guess I cannot complain. I still think I could of won it. Oh by the way, both anecdotal evidence and recent magazine articles say that wetsuits will make you faster and I agree they do, but what I did not know was that they restrict your movement and cannot actually cause you problems. That was a lesson learned!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How should I do intervals

Well, I just downloaded the Garmin and some interesting things are revealed. My ride on Monday which averaged 19.7 for the 25 miles had an average heart rate of 149, but I only busted 160 on the heart rate monitor twice and both times it went to right about 170. In other words a tempo ride but not quite hard enough to be a tempo ride. Now compare that with the race this past Saturday in which I averaged a heart rate of 167 and had 7 elevations of around 180, I think I need to work on top end. The sad thing is I really did not feel like I was hurting in the race, I felt great! Considering it's rare when I have been riding by myself to go deep, I think to have averaged 167 is pretty damn good and it may also explain that why once I was blocked in I could not cover the gap at the end.

So, although I want to win this Saturday, thinking about the races I have scheduled in May, I am going to do intervals today, take tomorrow off in Germany and then do about 5 sprints on Friday to wake up the legs. Sunday's race will be all about surviving and trying to stay in with the lead group as there is a bunch of climbing involved to include one 5 miler towards the end.

Thanks for the feedback guys, I do know I learned who is strong last weekend, so I know who to mark this weekend which should help, so rather than worrying about everyone, I know which wheel to follow. This should greatly relieve the pressure of trying to monitor everyone. The race is not until 2:40 on Saturday which sucks since I'll have all morning to deal with the adrenaline. I may race next Saturday as well and if anyone wants to bring a spare mountain bike with them, I could be convinced to do Farmington as well. The interesting thing about the bikes is that on the road, I corner very well and typically yell at people to quit braking yet fall off a mountain bike all the time. Food for thought.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Poor Tactics, but very pleased with my fitness!

Okay, I am disappointed in my finish, but have to be pleased with how I felt out there. So, here we go, on the drive down, I was suffering from major adrenaline dumps, I knew I had the fitness, knew I was strong, and was so excited, I kept dumping adrenaline which is not good. Arrived around 11, got my number, pinned it on the jersey and tried to calm myself. Talked with some peoiple and an hour out did a few laps on the course, basically a two turn course both have slight climbs leadinto them and the one before the finish was after a long drag into a major head wind. My thoughts were, okay, nobody is breaking away into that wind by themselves. Get in a good warmup and head to the line, so amped my resting heart rate was just over a hundred. We start off and into the first turn and who's in front pulling the pack? Me. Okay, don't be stupid, I think so I fall back to third wheel, still eating a fair amount of wind as it's an oblique wind and we are'nt echeloning (sp?). I pretty much stay fopr about two laps until a guy comes by and I jump on his wheel, so now 2nd wheel and eating wind, my thoughts were (ain't nobody gonna get away on a solo from me), we come through again and all the sudden I am pulling the pack again? I look over and ask if anybody but wants to pull through and sit up. All the sudden a wiry dude goes, I jump on third wheel again and this guys is hitting the gas repeatedly trying to break the field, he sits up after a lap and again I pulling or second wheel. Then dude goes again and gets maybe thirty yards, I waiting for someone to go get him as we head uphill into the wind, the dude has put another 15 to 20 meters on us, so I jam hard inside go over the caution bumps on the shoulder to pull around everyone and hammer the guys down, I look back and all I did was pull everyone with me. So, I breathe for a second and thenm dig myself up the hill and through the turn trying to break away. As I head into the wind, I realize the wind is going to hurt too much so I sit up, we hear two laps to go and keep in mind I have been on the front or near it the whole damn race! One lap to go and I figure okay, hide the first half, then go in the last turn. SO, we head into the wind people start moving forward , I hear a crash to my side and rear, a group starts to hammer out and I am blocked inside?, I wiggle around and there is a gap already, crank it alway the way up but cannot close it, I sit up a hundred meters out as I can probably only catch two or three at most and it ain't worth the effort.

End result, 14th, but finished in the pack, spent the majority of the race on the front and controlled the race, stupid tactics, I should have hid the whole time like I had planned then exploded at the end in the sprint. Instead, I worked the whole time, got blocked in due to my own poor positioning and then did not have enough in the tank to cover the gap. I was just too amped up.

I did not do the Perry Roubiax on Sunday as I was sitting in my hotel room and realized, I spend so much time in hotels cause of work, nobody came up to do the race, so I talked to the promoter and asked for a credit for another race and he said yes so I headed home. Spent yesterday working on sprints. Today was only 25 miles, but averaged 19.7 with 1200 feet of climbing, could have been much faster but I kept finding myself in that no mans land of 85% LT which is comfortable but either too hard or too easy for a specific workout so I kept slowing down. So, that means I am ready for real intervals. Again, I am bummed about my placing, but excited about my fitness level. This Saturday I am going to play smart and just sit in, let some body else do some work!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bike Chain Posse are either snobs or bitches!

Okay, it's been a while, time for a little venting and explaining of the title of this post. Back in the day, us MTBers were looked down upon by the roadie crowd, I can remember walking in Tec's years ago and being ignored as I was not in the cool loop of roadies. Over time not only did mountain biking gain acceptance, it increased in popularity to the point where several pro roadies made the transition. IN my mind, the magazines putting more of an emphasis on downhilling, the televising of downhill racing or 4 cross, or dual slalom (which were at one time the side events of an mtb weekend) mountainbiking lost it's focus and we have seen a dwindling of the base of riders. For example, 10-12 years ago, every event even those in Tally, looked like the BUMP with hundreds of competitors. These days, the big pack rides are road rides, the big races where you must sign up as soon as online registration is open are the norm in road racing and the mountain bikers (Bike Chain Posse) protect and justify their fragile egos much the same way as the roadies did during mountain bikings golden era. Do I ride road primarily now, yes I do, but I have raced mountain bikes and shown up to be at a race with my friends and family with no sleep, no miles in my legs and over the last couple of years, with an inability to do anything but play pinball with the trees, bridges and rocks on the course. BUt still I do it! I do it for the camraderie, for the fellowship and for the laughs. I may not have much success, but the memories and the experiences were priceless.

So now that I am racing primarily road, I find a race that is equidistant from me and the Posse, has several miles of dirt to satisfy your need to get dirty and go over bumps and these are the responses I get. My bro-well between parenting, business, drinking beer, eating sour patch kids, collecting stuff in my garage and in my car, I can't train and just don't have the time, Cuz-, well ya know, I used to be fast, but I ain't right now so I can't get out ther and take an ass whooping, BW-well my thong got wrapped up in Big Jim's thong on our sleepover we did a couple of weeks ago and it made my throat sore when I woke up the next morning. Big Jim-Look, it was a big enough adventure for me to do a sleepover with a Big Worm, I just cant handle the stress of actually being in a pack of riders, what if my thongs shows? Mackeral......I'm in love with a non Whittington. Silk-I wish I had a big worm, but all my virillity goes to being the baddest mountain biker in Tally, why would I leave my comfort zone? Berg and Zach, I think Bieber might be on TV that night. As for Terry and Mingo, I am not gonna mess with you guys, I just think the opportunity to take your boys and have them watch crit races for about 5 hours on a beautiful Saturday afternoon with the constant buzzing of the pack coming by every minute or less, followed by a wild race on Sunday is something they may just enjoy.

All of you have probably watched at least one nascar race on TV, watching a crit is way more exciting, being in it is like being a racer, rubbing elbows, jockeying for rank. The race on Sunday will be sedate, it will be safe for all of you, even if your thong shows. Quite being a bunch of snobbish, little boy bitches and join me next weekend in Perry. I have been talking to ya'll about this race for over three months and none of you bitches have gotten up the nut for it. Bring your kids, crits are exciting to watch and even more fun to be in. I am doing one for sure, I may double on Saturday if I feel good. Sunday, I will just sit in. Enough the "We're mountain bikers", no your not youre cyclists, open your minds!

Oh by the way, Wednesday, did 40 miles, 2000 feet of climbing, 19.1 mph average to include the warmup all by myself, got the garmin to prove it. Come get some............................bitches

Monday, February 28, 2011

Oh That hurt!

Well, got back in town on Saturday afternoon after a long week of altitude training, too late to get out on the bike. So, Sunday morning I awoke with a sore neck, a bit of too much wine head and an eagerness to test myself on the Airport ride. The ride started out mellow for the first 10 minutes, then TT1 (mainly Phil) decides to tkae a dig at the front and it's a quick 30 second sprint. I am staying in the top 10 of these hundred odd riders so I am getting a bit of wind. So thirty minutes in, we stop at the nature break, you can see several people going up the road to get a head start of what we all know is soon to come.

We head off, I see Phil and a teammate come by and start picking off singles off the front. Well, I think, I want some of that so I bridge and a few seconds later, Phil puts the hammer down! There are four of us and I am sitting on, heart rate going up as he pushes the first hill and all of the suden we are going by little groups like they are standing still. Phi comes off the front, we slow just slightly and the main closes it upas we approach another climb. Hmm this is hard but I am staying seated as several around me are out of the saddle up these climbs. We start the climb up to the first KOM/sprint, I don't contest it as we have a longgggggg way left to go. Around the corner to the next sprint and I am near the front but again don't contest it, I think I could have but I would have been done for the day. At the split< I am feeling pretty good and fairly confident as we start the hilly section. Through the hills I am hurting but recovering, till we get to the KOM and oh does that hurt (later found out average for that hilly section to include a wait at two stop lights, plus slow to a crawl for two railroady tracks was 24 mph). After the KOM I think okay, I am hurt bad but still here, just stay on!

We make the last climb onto HWy 29 and oh man they are whipping it up! The Garmin says 32 mph and stays there! How in the world are these guys working through on the front? I am just trying to survive! (average for the next 15 miles 29.3 mph). Oh thank god we are slowing down a bit as the last 10 miles is a sedate 24.5 mph. 70 miles in 2 hours and 29 minutes! I get to the car and am whipped but I made it. Woke up this morning slightly leg tired, lower back sore and trying to psych myself into getting on the bike for a couple of hours. I have to keep telling myself that riding with these guys (several pros, 1's 2's and 3's) learning from them, covering the digs of guys like Phil should be giving me confidence that I am getting faster. My numbers sayy I am, I guess we'll see in two weeks. I have a final training block this week from now till Wednesday evening when I head to Nigeria, back on Saturday. Thinking about heading to Albany this weekend to race, not sure if I want that far of a drive after just getting off a long plane ride. Anybody doing that race?

Monday, February 14, 2011

The End Result

So, Saturday I showed up for the LBS ride, it was cold, around 28 degrees, only one other guys showed up so I waved goodbye and got back in the bed. Around noon, I got out and did 40, not hard but not easy, probably all wrong heart rate wise and I did keep telling myself to slow down but waht ya gonna do?

Sunday I am at the Airport ride, we roll and I am feeling good, my legs are a little tired and actually a little sore but I feel good, about five miles into it, I have moved forward, catching the wind at around 25mph when lo and behold, I have a mechanical. I am frustrated and head home. Fix the bike with a little ingenuity (I hope it's fixed) but while I was waiting for my repair to dry, I could not get on the bike.

So today, I decided to open up the throttle and test myself. End result, 19.8 mph for 25 miles, 1200 feet of climbing, windy (big head wind on the way back in), warm-up time, stop signs included, yes I threw up a little bit from the effort. The funny thing is I did not push the hills really at all until I turned into the wind, then I had to push everything just to keep moving forward. The garmin graph shows peaks and valleys with my heart rate until I got into the wind, then just goes high and stays there. I attribute this to alot of hard work and to Optygen, this stuff does let you work harder longer. I did not blow up, did'nt even come close, was it hard, yes, very hard ride but I had more in the tank Two more days of riding, one plyometric work out left till I go to Milan Italy on Wednesday, kinda psyched about that trip. Now, who's in for the Perry race? I already have a room booked at the Hampton and got two beds. Come on Bike Chain, represent!