Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Prepping for the MO State Championships

Training has been pretty good.  I've realized that I've lost a LOT of base fitness, but I'm feeling a little stronger.  I wasn't exactly riding that well during radcross, and I took in a big swig of defeat during that race.  I was way off the back, and am riding several levels below where I was last year.

That all being said, I'm trying to recover some modicum of ability, and salvage the season with a strong race or two.  Boss Cross #5/MO State is my final tune up race before the KS State Championship next Sunday.  I need to ride strong and not have any stupid mechanicals.  I think I have the mechanical thing under wraps, and like I said, I've been training hard.  Last night, I blew my legs out doing The Sufferfest, Fight Club.  See below.  I love the Sufferfest, and they love me.

My legs are still achy today, which is pretty good for a one hour workout.  I'm lifting tonight with core with some more moderate spinning efforts, and then recover on Wednesday.  Blow the legs out again on Thursday night, lift/core/spin on Friday, and then easy spin with some openers on Saturday.

CX weather is finally here, and it looks to be a high of 38 on Sunday.  Brrr.  Maybe I should have bought that thermal skinsuit.  Oh well, there's always next year.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Shawnee Family RadCross

Yesterday was a mixed bag.  I didn't have high hopes for yesterday, but wanted to establish some sort of baseline to which I could improve upon for Boss Cross #4 and then, ultimately, the State Championships on Dec. 11.  I really wanted to give it everything I got, because Britton has implored upon me that if you aren't near death at the finish line, you left something out there.  I wanted to cross the line feeling near death, if nothing else.

It's tough to say what goes through my mind during a race.  The pain hurts.  Of course.  But other than that, I think it's the realization that my training is pretty bad.  I take too much time off and that negates nearly everything I do.  I definitely need to be more consistent going forward.  I think I've said that before.  So anyway, on to the race.

Lap 1 scrum through the sand.
The course was set up perfectly for me.  Lots of turns you can carry with speed, minimal climbing, and a good power course.  At 186 pounds, I don't need any extended climbs, that's for sure.  Before the race started, I'd been having a hell of a time getting my right foot clipped in, and my left foot wasn't that great either.  Stupid rookie mistake.  Check your equipment before the race.  So I needed cleat shims, but of course, who carries spares with them?  I wadded up some of the wrapper off of my gu shot, and then put it between the shoe and cleat, hoping it would raise the cleat enough I could cleanly engage.  Well, that didn't work.  It was better, but no where near where you would want it for a race.  But, I was going to race regardless.

Lots of sand.  The fast guys rode this, which was impressive.
I lined up what I thought was 2nd row, but ended up being third row.  I really love it when asses come to the line late, come through the front row, and just turn around making a 2nd row.  Douchebags, if you want a good spot, get there earlier.  That ticks me off, but I'm a pacifist enough not to say anything.  Plus, it's not like we're racing for big money here.  So the official blows the whistle, and we're off.  Bam.  I get around a few people, and am about 10th in a group of 40.  Not bad.  I just need to hang with the fast guys for a lap or two, and then I can probably hang in there for a top half finish.  I knew I had no base training at all, so wasn't expecting to go set some course records.  My cleat came to haunt me again and again.  I'd be JRA (just racing along, in this context), and bam, my foot would go flying off the pedal.  I'm glad I didn't sink one of my eggbeaters into my shin.  There aren't many things that are as painful as that.
Charlie Bartel and me on lap 1

Slowly but surely, I start getting passed.  I keep having issues, and I'm going redline fast.  I keep pushing though.  My legs hurt, and lungs hurt, I'm having fun but suffering terribly.  I notice that some of singlespeed guys start passing me.  They started 15 seconds behind my class, but there are some fast dudes in there.  I tried to jump on some wheels, but my legs fail me.  My mind is definitely faster than my body.

We were supposed to get 9 laps in, and I had about 2 laps to go when I burped my rear tubeless tire.  I knew it immediately, because my rear end was slithering all over this off-camber turn.  In hindsight, I probably should have ran a few more psi to keep that from happening.  I really need to pull the tire off, pull of the Stan's rim seal, build up the rim with some Velox, then reapply the Stan's.  That'll help keep the tire bead from sliding away from the rim hook, letting the air escape.

So I had about 5 psi in my rear tire, my cleats weren't working, and it was close to the end.  I decided to throw my first DNF.  Ug.  I hate to see that, but somehow, I still came away pretty happy.  I learned a few things, and still accomplished what I had hoped to do.  I just didn't finish.

JPeck and I looking into the future
I have two weeks to get some more training in, and to get my mechanical issues sorted out.  I didn't even come in the house before I was at my work bench fixing my cleat issue.  I think I got it sorted out, I just need to double check it in the next day or so.  My legs are tired today, so I know I got a good workout.  I am excited for the next race on Dec 4th, and hope to do well (at least better) there.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Night rides and Weekend Update with Kevin Nealon

Blogging has been very unwieldy to me recently.  I'm not saying I forgot how to do it, nor that the tech is over my head, it's just that "impetus" and "time" are not lining up.  Sprinkle in some lack of motivation, and burning eyes, and here we are.  Sub-par blogging updates from me.

My old site, swiii.com, lost it's hosting as I forgot to pay for it.  I'm hoping I was able to keep all those pictures, although I have a feeling they are lost.  Maybe I have them somewhere.  That would be a bummer.  At least I still have the naming rights to swiii.com, and I've re-directed them here.  At least I think I have; it's not working yet.

I had a 3-day weekend, and it seems like it was only 1.25 days long.  Friday night I had a tremendous time out at the Lawrence River Trails.  12 other souls went out around 9pm for a night ride, and it was awesome.  Night riding is fun in itself, but when everyone turns their lights off and rides by the light of the full moon, that is something altogether special.  We all formed a nice line and had great flow through the trees.  Despite what my old friend Max said, I don't think I'd try this out somewhere more technical.  LRT is pretty smooth, with lost of smooth berms and little risers.  We didn't finish until nearly 1 am, which is pretty late for this domesticated dad.  I still got up early and made my dear wife a latte since our machine was broke for a long time.

I don't even remember what happened Saturday, but I'm sure it was fun.  I do remember we watched "Due Date", and it was very funny.  There were some points where you had to have giant suspensions of disbelief, but the comedy was good.  Robert Downey Jr. was funnier than Zach Galifinakis, much to my surprise.

Sunday morning I got up early and headed out for a ride.  I rode from home and finally found my way through the horse trail and got to ride Blue River Parkway (BuRP) and rode the surprisingly technical Wagon Wheel trail, and came back on Serengeti.  I brought a trail map, but still had a vague idea of where I was.  I had a lot of problems riding on Wagon Wheel, as my technical skills aren't very good anymore.  Well, they never were that good.  I do plan on riding it a lot though, as the stronger I am technically, the faster I'll be everywhere else.

I'm racing again on Sunday, and pretty excited although I know my fitness is teh suck.  Well, not that bad, but I'm sure I'll get beat down pretty bad.  This is more to blow out the cobwebs in prep for the State Championships on Dec 11.

I read somewhere that it is a 3:1 ratio of time losing fitness to time getting it back.  Yes, that's confusing.  What I mean is if you take a month off of riding or running or whatever you do, it'll take 3 months to get back to where you were.  I don't know if I buy that, but if it is true, that would explain my results.  And it would be further supported by the fact that all the fast guys ride year round, at least a few days a week.  6+ days a week during the season.  I don't know if I could do that.  But I think I should try and at least do 3 days a week, and that would be a vast improvement in my consistency.

That's all for now.  Time to sharpen my toe spikes for this weekend's race.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Well done!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's almost been a month since we (I) last talked

I've raced once this CX season.  Can't say why.  Usually I'm breathing CX by now, but have hardly ridden and am wondering why not.  I rode to work today, which felt good, but also felt how dead in the legs I am.  I'm in no shape to show up and race Cat 3's, that's no joke.

Woe is me, I suppose.  Guess I just to pull my big boy pants on and get a few good races in before it's February and all the real racing is done.  I have a little over a month until the State Championship, so I'll make this pledge to all of you, my dear readers, many of whom are my teammates.  I'll get back on it.  I'll ride.  Ride often, and ride hard.  I'll do core workouts.  I'll stretch.  I'll break myself down to come back stronger.

You don't realize how important cycling can be until you stop for awhile, and then get back on it.  Then you wonder why you ever stopped...