Monday, October 25, 2010
I made the wicked-long-haul up to Smithville Lake for what was a really great race. We had a lot of Colavita presence up there, and it was fun to see everyone.
The course was setup with a little bit of everything, with a nice run-up immediately followed by a money tree (tree with money clipped onto branches, which you tried to grab when you went past). There was some beach riding, and lots of twisting around trees as well. Some good little climbs here and there, and I enjoyed the course.
There was one particular 120 degree corner that gave me some difficulty on lap 2. You came in pretty hot to it, and then there was some really rough ground, a sharp bend/climb up to the right, and then around a tree, and up a climb. Well, I came in way too hot, lost control on the rough ground, and crashed hard enough to peel about eight inches of my tubular off the rim. I started riding again before I noticed it, and then stopped and hammered it back onto the rim. I wasn't able to corner nearly as hard as I liked, and the crash took a lot out of me, although I didn't notice it until late in the race when I was whooped.
I let a few guys by while I was fixing my bike, but still took 18th out of 41. Not great, but definitely things are getting better. It was nice getting the pre-registration bonus of lining up at the front, that makes such a nice difference when you can put some space in between yourself and everyone else (people who crash on the first corner).
I finished pretty slowly as I had a big gap on 19th, and he tried hard to get me, but I played it smart and had a 100' gap at the finish. Great race, and wish I could have stayed longer cheering everyone on, but it was time to get home and enjoy the day with the fam. Next race is a night race in Topeka, Nov 13th. I can't wait, although it'll be good to get some training and more core strengthening in.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
overall place: 599 out of 1425
division place: 35 out of 119
gender place: 158 out of 525
Everyone is super proud of her, and I'm really impressed with how she did. Hopefully she can get some good rest in now so she can PR at the Turkey Trot. Or Gobbler Grind. Whatever it is. All I know is that it's a half marathon which involved running and I AM OUT.
I jogged with her from 20 to about 21.5, and she was right behind a guy who was doing a 100 marathons. Crazy. Anyway, this guy who was also right behind him had some friends right at mile 21.5 who thought it would be a great idea to chuck a football to their runner friend. Except for the fact that a) it was a 30 yard toss, b) their friend was in no way going to make a leaping grab or whatever, c) all the runners had their backs turned, and d) they pegged the guy doing the 100 marathons right in back of the head. I heard he slowed down, and those jackasses just earned a solid year of bad karma. Seriously stupid douchebags. In no way shape or form was that a good idea. At all. I hope the runner was ok.
Ok, now on from slow and steady to fast and furious. That was a lame blend of two cliches.
I felt pretty flat coming in to this week, as my legs weren't necessarily tired, but certainly didn't feel fresh. You need fresh in cyclocross to accelerate hard and break people's spirits. Yea, you read that right. I'm not out there to make friends. Not until I cross the line.
So I lined up a good bit better in the 3rd row, and still managed to flub my start by not getting into my right cleat. I had a lot of people pass me, and there just wasn't much passing. I got past a few people the first half lap, then just kept applying pressure where and when I could. There were a few instances where it got crowded and I was waiting on people to move out of the way, which stunk. I'm certainly stronger in the technical riding parts than having sheer fitness, so when the carcasses start piling up in the technical areas, I have to burn matches to get past the mayhem and get going again.
We had a great team turn out, and the Colavita Corner had more instruments and noise makers than I've seen in awhile. Thanks to my family that came out and cheered me on, and to my teammates that showed the other teams how to make some noise and tear it up in the race.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I started tracking my weight on Livestrong.com almost a month before my first cyclocross race. It's kinda cool seeing how far I've come. I'm sneaking closer to my first goal (176 lbs), and it has been an interesting journey for me.
The biggest change I've noticed is just that my clothes pretty much unwearable now. Not because of style reasons (or maybe it is), but because I've lost a solid 4 inches off my waist. I wore some slacks yesterday that actually slid off of me.
Some people think you have lots more energy, and I haven't really noticed this. Maybe it's just Kieran wearing us down (up at 3:56 this morning), or maybe the change has just been gradual. I don't know.
My back does feel a lot better, so that's a good thing for sure. It still gets tight, but not carrying so much extra weight has taken the pressure off of my lower back. I still have a long ways to go in terms of core strength, and making sure to stretch. I need to incorporate that into a routine because I haven't been as vigilant as I would like in keeping up to snuff in core strength. I can really feel it after I've been on the bike for longer than an hour, as my hamstrings get tight and start pulling on my lower back something fierce. I usually have to stop and stretch, and then I'm ok for another hour or so.
That's all for now, and my goal is to get to 17x by Christmas time. Seems pretty attainable, that's less than a pound a week.
On Sunday, my beloved Boulevard Cup race kicks off, and I'm expecting a massive turnout and a huge field. This is probably the premier race in the KC area for spectating, so I hope to see some of you out there. If you want to see me in a skinsuit, with snot hanging out at least 18 inches out of my nose and bulging eyes, here is your chance. I'm going to do my damnest to get in the top half of the field. Hurdle the dead and trample the weak. My race kicks off at 1:00pm. Drinking commences whenever you get there.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Winters of My Life is a portrait of Howard Weamer. For the past 35 years he has spent his winters as a hutkeeper in Yosemite's backcountry. He fills his days writing, reading, photographing, and being an ambassador to mountain culture. This is a brief look into his world and why he chooses to stay.
Friday, October 8, 2010
So if you've been reading my blog for, oh say 2 months, you know I raced last weekend and I did my damnest to make sure I didn't look like an insufferable fat carcass with gangrene in my legs (which would explain the stench and slowness).
I can't say enough nice things about this event, the weather was awesome, the course was great for a sprinter (read non-wisp-like marginally overweight guy), and there was a nice TCPC (Team Colavita/Parisi Coffee) contingent on hand. It's always good to see a bunch of familiar faces, although some of these guys I'd never seen before. I guess that's one of the few problems with being on a team with a 50+ member roster. I think I'm 3rd oldest (sorry DanO and Erik)(fact check, there are a handful of guys older than me).
Anyway, on to the race. I rode a prelap to try and mitigate any possible "oh shits" I might have during the race, and I found a few and managed to avoid them every lap. +1 there for me. I got to the line about 3 minutes before go time (-3 points for lining up in the back), and that cost me some spots. I need to really get there about 10 minutes before go time to get a good spot. CX is such a sprint type race, there isn't tons of passing unless your fitness is just through the roof. If that's the case, you shouldn't be racing in Cat 4. CTFU.
So I started in the back of the field, and passed a handful of people through out the race. My cornering felt solid, and barriers were mostly ok, although there was a set of barriers going uphill, and I tried to carry too much speed and dismounted too late. Then on the last lap, 400 meters before the finish, I totally ate it while being lazy/tired and not properly unclipping out of my pedal to hop the barriers. No love lost, as I only bled just a little bit, and most importantly, didn't lose any spots.
As I said before, the course was great. There were a few features that stood out to me. There was a curvy section of the course that had you kind of S turn up and over this dirt "hill", and there was a lot of off-camber bits to keep you honest. There was also a rather steep incline that had you doing an up and over, and you had to make sure to stay off your brakes otherwise you'd stall out and cost yourself a LOT of time. Then there were two sand pits, one through a volleyball court that the Open class just breezed through (see first vid below), and then one down and around junk by the river. There were two sets of barriers as well, so lots of dismount opportunities. I actually found myself passing a lot of people (roadies) through the technical stuff, so that was cool.
I felt strong, but think I need to push harder for Boulevard (next SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY). I still had snot running out of my nose and hard breathing, but this race was 40 minutes instead of the usual 30, so I wasn't so sure how hard I could push it and not blow sky high and lose a bunch of spots while I had to pull over and yak lung butter out.
Here's a few vids from the race, I took the first two, and then Chuong Doan had a great first-person cam of the race too.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Anyway, I'll have some vids of the Open categories and some more pics later.