Monday, June 27, 2011

Blogs are slowly coming in...

I expected more race recaps last night, but I think everyone was whupped from this year's TofKC.  Me included.  I'll try and do a good job here, but it's a little fuzzy.

Friday was the crit out in Lee's Summit.  There was a bit of climbing, but the temps were starting to crank up when we started out at 5pm.  I had a large fan club out there, and that was awesome.  Even if I was dying a 1000 deaths out there, I still smiled a few times coming through there with everyone cheering me on and the cowbell clanging.  I held on for two laps (gasp!) and got blown off the back.  I then time trialed the last 10 laps solo mio until Tracy caught up with me for the last 3 laps or so.  We tried to help each other a bit, but it was to no avail.  I don't think we caught anyone.  I finished 15/19.  Yuck.  I wasn't really expecting too much, as it was only my 2nd crit ever.  I did learn to trust my bike a bit more, and really started railing some of the corners.  Dang that's fun!

Saturday was up at the Police Academy just north of Worlds of Fun.  We raced at 12-something, and it wasn't quite as hot as there was some decent cloud cover.  I was out there until half way through the last race when Dan-O mentioned my neck was pretty red.  Me being partially 'tarded forgot to put on sunscreen so I skidaddled since I knew I'd be out there again on Sunday.  I got a nice burn, but nothing crazy.

As for the race, I pushed it more aggressively this time, and hung on for probably 6-7 laps, about halfway through the race.  Not aggressive enough, and time-trialed to the end.  I did work with a VeloTek rider (Travis Tesone, I think), and he ended up catching up to the group ahead of us and getting the best of them.  Good for him, and I need to be doing that as well.  We did pass a few guys though, so it helped.  I finished 18/27 on this mostly flat course.  The wind was a factor in a couple of spots, so if you were in no-man's-land by yourself, you paid the price.  Better race today, still not great.

Sunday was the last day of the Tour.  Same course as Saturday, they just ran it backwards.  It was hot as anything.  I noticed my Garmin said 101* during the race.  That doesn't do much to spur you along, so I probably should disable that data field.  I pushed a lot harder and fought to stay on.  We started out at a decent pace ~23mph, and then there was about a 7-rider break that went off the front during the 2nd of 12 laps.  They were never seen again.  That is one of things when you ride with the 5's.  There are clearly some guys who aren't Cat5 ability, and they are racing their way up to 3's or whatever.  Everyone has to pay their dues, so it's ok.  Not like we're racing for big money anyway.  So, riders off the front, and a 2nd group of about 9 form.  I stayed with this group, and tried to conserve energy/wheel suck as much as I could.  If I were feeling stronger, I should have pulled and shared the workload.  That would have benefited the group if we all pulled, but I don't think anyone was interested in that.  Seems that a few guys were content pulling, and seeing that the first group was clearly faster than us, we just tried to shell each other.

I was sitting pretty good coming into the last lap, and figured I'd get up to the front of our group on the last climb, and then cruise down and sprint the last 50 yards into the headwind and see what happened.  Unfortunately, everyone decided to gun it on the last climb, and I flogged around and missed my chance.  Then I got lazy, and started coasting to the line, and forgot about the guy behind my who nipped me at the line.  That made me pretty mad at myself.  I was about 50' from the line and heard some teammates telling me to GO GO GO, and I started going and even threw my bike, but I guess it wasn't enough.  I thought I had it, and so did he, but the officials didn't, and I didn't want to make a fuss anyway for nothing.  I did finish 15 out of 32, so much better.  Not great, but I'm starting to get the hang of it.

I need to pound the water, stretch, and roll my legs out today, not sit in a frickin' office chair.  Ug.

Tour of Lawrence is this weekend, and I'm 99% sure I'm only going to do the crit on Sunday.  There is a circuit race on Saturday too, but I'm feeling cheap and Penny had enough of the boys (mainly K) this weekend.  The crit is supposed to be one of the best all year.  Plus it's in such a kick ass town.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Go time.

Leaving work in 2 hours to get ready.  I just need to get on my bike and get rid of these jitters.  Idle minds are the devil's playground.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lookin' good so far

TSB is sitting at -6.x, and should be pretty close to 0 by tomorrow.  Close enough.  All I need to do is eat well, drink lots of water, keep my nose out of the wind during the race and stay off my brakes in the corners. 

Tonight I'll spin my legs for about 40 minutes or so, a couple of hard efforts, and then clean up the bike and do one last quick check over.  Then I'll swap on my racing tires and load up the car.  I'm sure I'll be very focused at work tomorrow.

Tour of KC, here I come!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Taper week!!

Woooo boy are my numbers low coming into the Tour of KC...

This is the chart I use for training and tapering.  You can see all those red dots lined up on the bottom...those are when I decided to take some time off of biking.  Not the best of timing.  Oh well.  That's why I'm a cat 5 I suppose.

So each red dot is a value assigned to the days effort (Training stress score/TSS).  The pink line is the ATL (Acute Training Load).  That's the short-term (7 days I think) training load on my system.  The blue line is my CTL/Chronic Training Load.  That is my fitness.  So you can see as I have more TSS points, my CTL and ATL go up.  That's good.  But the yellow line is TSB or Training Stress Balance.  Run the yellow line too far down and you're more likely to get injured/sick/etc.  I need to have the yellow line above 0 by the beginning of ToKC.  Otherwise I'll get dropped all 3 days because my legs will just be too tired.  The more you train, the less that TSS effects your TSB.  So you can train harder and more often, and not get as tired.  That's why my TSB drops so much with a decent training session.  You can fix that by riding more consistently.  Consistency is everything in life it seems.  Whether racing a bike, playing an instrument, or swinging a golf club, repetition of good actions builds success.  Seems elementary, but the application is everything.

This week is pretty light.  Today is stay off your feet day.  Tuesday is 4-90 sec efforts with 5 minutes of rest between efforts.  Wed. is a 30 minute light spin.  Thursday is the same as Tuesday.  You need to put a few efforts in the day before the race.  For some reason, it keeps your legs feeling better for the race, instead of coming in with stale legs.  You don't want to do enough to get your legs tired, but just enough to blow out some cobwebs.

So that's my week, and I'm sticking to it.  I need to be better about following the plan.  Following the plan leads to good performances, something I have yet to do this year.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Could it have been any nicer Saturday?

I got 40 miles in the saddle, wish it could have been double that but we had a busy day!

Here's my favorite rest stop.  I usually stop here and stretch out my perpetually tight hamstrings.  This is about 50 minutes into my ride.  I really like it here, for some reason.  It's in Bucyrus, and as far as I can tell, there hasn't been a business in here for a few years.  Just kind of a cool old building.

And looking back the other way.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Done Blown Up

I rode with the Blue Moose crew last night, and it went surprisingly bad.  I'm not entirely sure why.  If I were to offer two guesses, they would be 1) my rear brake was rubbing the first half of the ride and 2) it was hot, and I think it was my first HOT ride of the year.

I made sure I drank lots of water throughout the day, and I'm sure that helped.  It didn't seem to matter though, as when we hit the first climb, I had already started going backwards.  Just wasn't feeling it at all, despite being rested.  I just had no legs and my heart rate was through the roof.  Not a good combo.  The front/fast group got a gap, and I wanted to bridge badly but nothing was happening.  Once a gap happens on rides like these, you're going to get separated by a stoplight/car/slower riders, so you can't let it happen.  I got stuck behind a couple of slower riders, and then one thing led to another, and I'm tailgunning.  Yuck.

Then I almost get dropped off the face of the earth on our 2nd climb, and I'm really wondering what's going on.  I hadn't felt that slow in a long damned time.  JEESH!  I wasn't hurting really bad, just had no gas.  Like not even fumes.  Once I got to the top of then 2nd climb, I caught up with a few fellas (quiet Brian having a nice spin while I'm suffering), and we got stopped at the light to cross Roe.  When I finally stopped, if it wasn't 110 degrees I don't know what it was.  It was almost so hot it hurt.  But the light changed and we carried on.

The 2nd group got larger and larger, and we all got stuck at SMPkwy, and that light took a solid 4-5 minutes to change, which really sucked since you can't really just run it.  Shortly thereafter, I got pissed and got off my bike and checked my rear brake.  Sure enough, the left arm had about 1mm tolerance so I opened up the quick release and started riding again.  It felt a little better, but I was pretty gassed at that point.  I hammered up and caught the group, and felt a marginally undeathlike.  Towards the end of the ride, there is a pretty good hill and I got up that in pretty short order, as my legs were feeling a bit more whippy at that point.

My left hamstring was giving me problems again, and I need to keep at stretching it.  I've been lax in doing that, and it sucks when it flares up.  If I can dedicate some efforts into stretching it and still have problems, I probably need to look at getting a real fit done.  We'll see.

Anyway, I was pretty whooped by the time we finished the ride, so I just sauntered back home and a state of stupor.  I hope to do it again next week and not have so many issues and stay up front.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Still alive and riding...

Two quick things.

I double dog dare you all to not eat at a chain restaurant for the remainder of June.  No McDonald's, Chipotle, Panera, Pizza Hut, nothing. 

This will have a few benefits.  One being you'll likely eat healthier, higher quality ingredients.  Two, you are supporting the local economy, not P/E of some giant restaurant brand.  Three, you're going to try some new places.  Some will be great, some only good, some bad.  But chances are you'll find a new favorite.  I suggest Yelp! to help you find some spots.  I have a widget on the side of my blog with some of my reviews and you can go from there.

So try that out.  Even if it's just a meal or two, try something new.  That little place in the strip mall between the dry cleaners and hardware store could be one of the best places to eat in your neighborhood.

The second thing was to watch this video.  It's not life changing by any means, but it's laugh out loud funny.