Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rocky training

The last 2 races I managed to bring home the gold hardware. With Ben unable to do better than "only" 4th the same weekends he asked me to take him under his wing. A good analogy to Ben and I's relationship now is the same as Rocky had with Micky. Rocky did some unorthodox training methods because of Mick, and now Ben does the same.

First we started with pounding the pedals.

If he can dodge a dump truck he can dodge a tree.

We ignore these signs.

Closed? Why?

Had Ben doing tunnel repeats.

Rocky chased a chicken for speed. Ben rides a springy kids toy for balance. After 4 hours on this he was not smiling anymore.

Coming home. Next I got to work on him about the small wheels he rides.

A good 3 hours of gravel grinding with Ben 9.9. Busting butt. Like Ben said, it felt like we were at the front of a group pulling, but no one would pull through.
Word. Work.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Some more pics from Lax

Mark Walter and I leading out the prologue lap. If your at a WORS race stop by his Muddy Cup trailer for a carmel, mocha, iced, skinny, soy, vegan latte with whipped cream and sprinkles.

A bigfoot-esque shot of me hiding in the woods.

Oh, oh. Here comes the logs, time to earn $5 more dollars...

...up the first set...

...and over the second, no dabs, and a nice man is there waiting to hand me my crisp Ben Franklin.

A blurry shot of Bob "ride like a girl" Marhefke. Seems he is the "man" when it come to getting trail work done at HPT. If I were to guess the pic here of him is blurry and dark for a reason. He doesn't "photograph" all that well if you know what I mean.

Dan here was one of the reasons that this race kicked butt. He is seen here taking a quick 10 second nap.

Erik "the Viking". Race director, SS rider, monkey trainer.
That is it. I may get some pics of some Top Secret training tonight. Ben and I are looking to get fast, but for now you should be looking to get back to work.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Epic, fun, and cash on the course.

Wow. What a fun race. The guys in La Crosse made one of the best courses and races I have ever ridden. Tough, but hella fun.

The Start. The race started with a loooong lemans start and prologue to break things up before all of the singletrack (which was 95% of the course). I came off of the run in 3rd behind Mark "T-bone's husband" Walter and another solo dude. Through the transition I moved up and was on Mark's wheel. Through the prologue on onto the 1st lap.

First Lap. The first lap was a little eventful. I rode along with Randy McVean who is a very strong rider I knew from La Crosse. He was taking a shot at 12 hours solo and that scared me as we were riding 1st and 2nd in solo. Following him over a log my rear wheel came down odd. My tubeless set up burped out a bunch of air. After a minute of digging out a CO2 and filling the tire with more air I was off. In the time loss I was now in 4th right behind 2nd and 3rd (Chris Schotz). When we got to the open hill at the half way point Chris came around 2nd and I came around both of them. I set off trying to establish a gap, but soon came across Randy and his bike that was falling apart. 1st lap down and I was in 1st with a 45 second gap. Cool.

Making money out on the course. Laps after this were fairly uneventful except for the hill climb. You see, on one of the major uphills there were 2 widely spaced apart log crossings. The first crossing was close to 2 feet high, the second about 1 1/2 feet. They gave you a $5 bill every time you cleared them (but only when the music from the boom box was playing). On my 2nd lap they were jamming and I set off to try what I thought was going to be way too difficult. Luckily I cleared them that lap, and the 3rd, and the 4th, and the 10th. I was 4 for 4 when they were paying out. Almost made back my full entry fee in just those damn logs!

Monkeys. Another race within a race that the boys and girls from La Crosse had cooked up was the monkey count. There were inflatable monkeys on the course of different sizes. First to correctly come up with the correct number (29) won a Bontrager Carbon crankset. My guesses never went passed 19.

Lap after lap. Turning over laps my goal was to get a gap, hold it, and never use the granny gear (that part was psychological). Check, check, and check. My baby's momma was letting me know the gap as it grew, it never seemed to go down, and I was still climbing in my middle ring (not that the rpm's were always the greatest). There is a ton of climbing on that course and after 6 hours it really is tough.

Ending. Towards the end I knew I had at least 30 minutes on 2nd. I headed out for my 13th lap and final lap. That had to be my slowest lap as I knew I had no fear of getting caught and no motivation to work hard, but I got it done. Called it a day just before the 11 hour mark. Even though there was time for a 14th lap, Chris in second was not going to be able to get me. Sat down and ate some pizza and joked with the guys that I knew from La Crosse.

The pit crew. My baby's momma and did a stellar job (again) of getting me hooked up with the nutrition and support I needed. Bottles, fruit, water, wipe downs, and time gaps were all handled with aplomb. While I ate she loaded the car. What a woman. I think I will keeep her around for awhile longer.

The race itself. This has got to be one of the best races I have attended. Awesome course. Great people. Monkey count. Hill climbs that earn you money. Beer, soda, pizza, brats, hot dogs, chips, and tunes were all provided by the crew from La Crosse. Just a ton of fun for the riders and support during and after. THANK YOU LACROSSE VELO!!!

The loot. I came away with $25 in hill climb cash (they gave me $10 the first time as I was the first to complete it), a very nice Saris hitch rack (anyone interested as I already have one?), the coolest trophy I have EVER gotten, a sweet Salsa apron as a door prize, and a bunch of Hammer product that was given out. I made out like a bandit.

Coming in from the leman's start.

Finishing a lap. And then....

...starting the next lap.

Mouth full of delicious pizza. Can you tell what Nina would like?

Some of the boys from La Crosse. Left to right. Kevin, Kaveh, Nate, Tostin, and yours truly.

The pit crew. My baby's momma, Becky, and Nate's soon to be baby's momma, Kati.

Getting paid yo! Dan on the far left of the pic and Erik next to him were instrumental in making this race awesome.

Wearing the apron and talking to Kevin about when he is going to buy me the Dilly Bar he now owes me.

The bling and the bike.

Looks like we are headed to Stillwater now to watch the road pros duke it out in a super tough crit. They are only riding 60 minutes. Slackers.
Hope you got read this without the boss noticing.

Friday, June 22, 2007

ABC is easy as 123

No posts in awhile. Your boss was thankful.

Soooooo, I have some updates that will have to wait until later this weekend. Gotta post about the baby's momma's marathon (and weekend with the Carey's) and a recap of the coming race.

Got a 12 hour race in La Crosse this weekend. I rode the course last week and it will be tough. Average speeds are not going to be above 11 mph like last time. Supercal is almost ready, almost.

Wow, you are still reading....I am just kinda going on and on about nothing, so here is some more random thoughts.

I have been riding really strong lately. I am happy about that.

I keep looking at this site. My biggest race this year.

Ben is amped for this weekend. You should see his new frame.

I need to update my links.

This guy is too cool for words.

Do you get paid by the hour to surf the internet?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Triple top secret training.

Went out and did some triple top secret training last night. It was in prep for this race. Needless to say this race is going to be tough, very tough.

I need to bulk up on the upper body for this one.

The Supercal needs a little loving after the 12 hour race.
In other news:
-Ben has been updating his blog. He finished an impressive 4th this weekend.
-The Velorochester teams have been busy. Jen Meyer and Chris Fischer won their respective Buck Hill races on Thursday, 6/7/07. I pulled out a big "W" Satuday at the 12 hour. Then to follow it up Brendan takes the gold at Afton and Mark Carey takes the amatuer division at a very large Rockman Half Ironman in Rockford, IL on Sunday. Lots of big finishes for the team to brag about.
-You need to get back to work.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The last 129.6 miles on my bike recap.

John Muir is a well known and fun trail system in the Kettle Moraine area. Located just 30 minutes south of my baby's momma's momma's (Oconomowoc, WI), it provides easy lodging as well. Becky and I got up at 5:30 and were out the door around 6am. A stop at Brueggers for a little breakfast and coffee and away we go.
We got to the course at about 6:50 with just enough time to set up for the 8am start. Met up with Nate "shred the gnar" Woolever and we set a dual pit under the newly purchased EZ-Up. Nate was going 12 solo as well with his future baby's momma, Kati "6 months pregnant" Woolever, to arrive later as support.
We all lined up for one of the shortest Le man's starts you'll ever see. I made my goal of hitting the trail first and set the pace for the first mile. Some team guys came by and it was "game on" to see how well I could keep them in sight without expending too much energy. Lap one went down and it appeared I had a gap with my 50 minute lap time.
Laps 2 and 3 I saw no one, and my pit stops were not long enough to get info on how I was doing. Towards the end of lap 4 Chris Strout (4th place) caught me and we passed through the start/finish together. He stopped at his pit and that was the last I saw of him.
Lap 5,6 and 7 I still didn't know where I was except that I thought I was out in front and Chris was hot on my tail (I kept looking, but no Chris). I found out at the end of lap 8 that I was in fact in second. I was told 1st was 3 minutes in front of me and 3rd place was 4 minutes back (in fact, the rider by the name of Andrew Hanson had close to 20 minutes on me at that point.) Well, I knew at my pace I had 4 laps left and my body hurt...bad. My legs felt like crap, my back hurt, and my stomach was on the verge of quitting, but I didn't come to be a pussy.
So off I went. 4 laps left and I put into my "4 hour time trial after riding 8 hours" pace. I kept telling my stomach to shut up and reminding my mind that the pain in my legs would hurt more if I didn't keep riding. I was hoping that 1st and 3rd were hurting as well. At the end of lap 10 I was informed that I was now in first by 17 minutes. Looks like Andrew may have burned his matches too early and he had to quit. A pit crew member under another tent suggested I take a quick break, but I did not want to risk it and off I went for the 11th, and second too last lap.
At the end of the 11th lap I was informed I now had 20 minutes on 2nd and 80 minutes to finish another lap. With lap times now close to an hour I took off for lap number 12 to secure my lead. That lap sucked. I had no motivation to ride except to finish in under 80 minutes. My whole body wanted to go to sleep, but hey, I was still passing people. 67 minutes later (my slowest lap by far) I crossed the line for the last time. 12 laps. 129.6 miles. 11 mph average.
Race Notes:
-The Gary Fisher Supercaliber 29'er kicks ass.
-There are a heck of a lot of trail riders in the early afternoon at John Muir. Lots of kids (good). Lots of bare heads (bad).
-With all the near misses, I never actually hit those damn streaky gophers. I did, however, see one had met it's demise out on the trail. Poor little guy.
-Overgrowth. If I have one complaint it was the bushes and branches that extended into the trail. My arms were shredded by the end (see pic). My helmet almost got ripped off at one point (Nate's did get dented). They also kept trying to poke me in the eyes.
-The last 4 laps will hopefully not be that bad again. I already have a game plan that will help alleviate the back, leg, and stomach troubles. It is a 4 pronged attack. No I will not tell you, but they are not exactly secrets.
-Nate got a strong 8 laps in. Him and his wife also helped me shred the gnar by crewing at one of my pit stops.
-Second place looked like an exciting finish. In 3rd place by 5 minutes, Chris Schotz rode a super fast last lap time to overtake 2nd (Daniel Brennan) by 15 seconds. OUCH!
-The trails sure were different as the sun traveled across the sky. Those shadows got to be tricky towards the end.

Coming in for the 1st of 2 extended pit stops (end of lap 5). About 4 minutes in length. The baby's momma ready with bottles filled with water, calories, and a little love(ahhhhhh).

I am a blur I tell you. Kati seen here on the right. The unused and lonely Paragon at the bottom.

Done...finally. Nina is there to celebrate the big win. Jersey zipped up for the big finish. Damn, I am so expert (as in so pro, but not).

Nina and I going to collect our bounty.

A pic of the me and the "Spaz" with our medal.

Do you have your tickets....TO THE GUN SHOW? Note the scratches on the arm. I have a matching left.

Nina is tired from so much excitement. The baby's momma is showing you all a little shoulder.

Time to hit the hay. You may be reading this at work right now. Why? Why not get some work done? It is probably Monday and there is a lot to do, but you are wasting time on this crap.

Oh well. Till next time.

12 Hours of John Muir

I am tired and sore.

12 laps done and completed. Last 4 done were shear determination. Last one sucked BAD.

133 some odd miles. Yeah, 133.

First place medal.

Straight gangsta.

Hopefully, recap and pics tonight when I get home tonight.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Steeplechase, leading, and the alternate

Steeplechase has come and gone. The course is the bomb thanks to hard working locals like Jeff Robertson and Matt Kurke.
I helped some at registration during the day all while complaining how tired I was (you have to set up the excuses early). You see, while you slackers were sleeping, my baby's momma and I were up late every night last week overhauling a unit in one of the duplexes. Friday saw me hitting the hay at 3:30am, yawn. It also didn't help that my body had not felt 100% for the last 2 weeks.
Well, we all lined up and Hollywood was no where to be seen so I decided to "party on" at the start. 3/4 of a mile into it I popped hard while leading out the field. Went from 1st to 20th or so in a flash and spent the first lap thinking about how I suck and was tired. At least I got to talk a little smack as they went around.
The beginning of the second lap I finally felt better and started passing riders. I was counting but it is hard to use your fingers for such purposes when they are breaking and shifting. I think it was this lap that a bee stung me in the chest, just below the heart rate belt. Another flew down the back of my jersey, so I stopped a mile later to fish it out. The buzzing coming from my jersey was driving me nuts.
Third lap was the one I wanted to lay in the weeds and take a nap the most. The urge was bad, but I had seen Fischer had DNF'ed. With me being the "back up" to the fearsome threesome it was my obligation to finish for the Velorochester team. The team competition points were now resting on my shoulders.
The feed zone at the end of the 3rd lap saw me begging for caffeine so that I wouldn't fall asleep on the trail. Fischer helped out with a Gu with the kick I needed (he was worried about the team points I guess). 4th lap got done with and I went home to sleep. 14th place was the end result. Had the body running on all cylinders I am sure I could have squeezed out a top ten. Oh well.
The big news is that my place actually counted for the team competition (the alternate comes through). May not have been top three, but it still counted.
Congrats to Ben on his 2nd place finish (rumor is he may actually update his blog soon). A mechanical may have prevented him from taking his first big win. His "faster" brother finished seconds behind.
I feel I am starting to get my strength back thanks to a double top secret off bike training program. Hopefully next weekend will go as planned. Got the baby's momma all ready to crew for me and I still have a chip on my shoulder over my electrolyte loading experience.
Me on the far left "partying on". Now you see me.

Now you don't.

The look of "oh crap" after I popped hard. Looks like I could use a nap.

We have the local mtb TT tonight. Then 12 hours of fun on Saturday.

For the love of God, will you please get back to work?