Monday, June 30, 2008

The reasons I am sore today.

So this weekend saw me set out on one of the dumbest things I have ever done. Saturday would see me race in the Levis 100 mile mountain bike race. Sunday, I would compete in the Rochesterfest Triathlon. Why both? Well, I dig long mountain bike races, for one. Two, my baby's momma wanted to do the Triathlon. With a 7 month old fetus in her, I decided to do it for her. I will give two reports on the day.

Saturday-Levis 100

Woke up at 3am and we were on the road by 4am for the 3 hour drive. Got there, set up camp, and registered. Got a chance to talk to Chris Schotz (constant competitor at these races), Mike Minetti (strong rider from MN), and Dan Dettmer (strong endurance racer, new member of Velorochester this year). I figured this race would be one of the most competitive I have done.

They changed the course this year so we now did half the distance per lap (12.5 miles vs. 25 miles), but double the laps (8 vs. 4). The course change would also see a little more climbing and a lot more singletrack. The course was a mixture of very rooty tight singletrack, steep sandy and rocky climbs, and power dragging sand filled ski trails. The course was rough, technically very difficult in spots, and required a lot of power and finesse. It reminded my a lot of LaCrosse's course last year except not as much climbing and this seemed to beat you up more.

First lap I set out to hit the singletrack first, settle into a pace, and hopefully build a gap using my Trek Top Fuel 69'er to slice up the singletrack. I was able to do just that, but not without a couple of hiccups. There was a ribbon down that saw me lose about 30 seconds (it was fixed after the first lap), I lost air in the front tire which I had to pump up, and a nasty rooty section sent my right shoulder and thigh into a tree (very nice bruises today). I was feeling good, and probably going harder then I should have. Knocked out the first lap in about 1 hour, 10 minutes Second lap, I just tried to settle into a consistent pace. I would find out that I had about a 4 minute gap at the start of the second lap (all my splits would be over an hour old). Second lap was done in about 1 hour, 13 minutes.

Third lap saw me start to cramp. Not while riding, but if I had to put a foot down it caught my attention. After the forth lap I asked my fine wife for extra electrolytes in the bottle, and that seemed to cure the problem. Halfway through and my body was starting to tire, but 30 seconds after I left the start area the 50 miler riders started. I picked up the pace a little that 5th lap so that I was riding about 10th place with the 50 milers. The tight trails I could keep up with them easily, but I had a harder time on the climbs then their fresh legs.

The sixth lap, oh the sixth lap. My stomach had been bothering me much of the race, but it got really bad that lap. I stopped to dry heave, but nothing came out. I was getting tired, so tired. I closed my eyes at one moment and almost fell asleep!! The lack of sleep the previous 2 nights were catching up with me. All I could think about was not closing my eyes and getting back to camp for some caffeine. My confidence of finishing was diminishing. The rough course was taking its toll on my arms and lower back. I turned off the propedal on my rear shock and it made every bump feel much, much, much smaller. I got into the pit area after a long, dragged out lap. I drank down a Mountain Dew Amp Energy drink so that I maybe able to stay awake. Yeah, the trucker size. I took a longer pit than usual and set out. I had a 10 minute gap on Dan at the end of the 5th lap before(yeah, Velorochester!) and a huge gap (Becky's words) on third. I knew after the last lap I would have sacrificed much of that gap.

The seventh lap I rode at a hard pace that would give me a little extra for the end. I was feeling better, but the only food that my stomach liked was the bananas from the water stop on the course. Luckily we went by it twice and there was a guy there that hooked me up every time by. I rode well enough that I was assuming I did not give up any time to Dan on that 7th lap, but I did find out that he was only 4 minutes behind me at the end of the 6th lap. I knew Dan was getting those gaps in real time and was gunning for me.

At the start of the eighth lap, I dumped the camelback and took one large bottle. I needed to be light and fast(er). I kept doing the glance over the shoulder looking for my teammate, hoping to only see just ridden trail. The Amp Energy drink was wearing off a little and I was running on fumes. I knew that if Dan caught me it would be mentally disastrous as I had been out front all day. With only a mile left I realized that I was not going to see him. I rolled in to finish off my long day, 5 minutes up on Dan.

After 10 hours and 34 minutes I finished first in the 100 miler (woo hoo!). Velorochester went 1-2 (yeah booooyyy!!). Chris was third. Mike rolled in for forth, and CJ Faulkner followed in 5th (both MN boys).

A short lived dip in the lake near by, then a shower, and then a hot pocket (that was nasty, but warm) from the BP gas station next to the lake was my post race celebration.

Finishing up a lap.

My Baby's Momma hooking me up with some goodies. She was great all day. Yeah, I keep my jersey unzipped to get the David Hasselhoff look.

At the end of the 6th lap. Becky and myself were sure that Dan would catch me after this pit, but I wouldn't give it to him on a silver platter. Note the Amp drink in my hand.

Punching the clock after over 10 1/2 hours of rough mountain biking.

Side note: This race was dedicated to my crew from 24 Hours of Nine Mile last year where I ended early with bad physical problems. They were great and I was not that day, so here's to them (Becky, Richard, and Mark).

Sunday- Rochesterfest Tri
Well, we got to sleep about midnight in our bed from the day before. I woke up at 6am an headed out to pick up my packet. A trip to McDonald's for a biscuit with egg, cheese, and bacon was needed as my metabolism was in overdrive. Got home at 6:30 and started my prerace planning. Hmmm, what do I need? Gotta find those new shoes Becky got me, where are some swimming goggles, I'll probably need a towel, hope I have everything I need, whoosh. At 7am I popped some ibuprofen and sport legs before riding to the course a mile away. I had to set up my bike before the transition shut down at 7:35.
Met up with the Baby's Momma just before the race (I let her sleep in). Stiff and sore I was not planning on anything except trying to finish.
The swim hurt hurt the most. My arms were exhausted from the day before so they were instantly acting up. If they had'em available I would have used a kickboard they hurt so bad. I alternated between the freestyle and breast stroke just trying to not swallow too much water. I found out I was REALLY SLOW in my swim time. It did not surprise me with how my arms felt out there. Did I mention it has been years since I have really swam?
The bike felt good. The swim helped to loosen up the muscles and I was able to go harder than I anticipated, but still not 100%. I passed loads of people with my forearms on the tops of my bars.
I hit the transition for the run and saw only 2 other bikes in my area. I was heading out in third place for my age group? Well, the run was spent just trying not to walk. My "stride" felt short and clumsy, my legs hurt from the day before's ride and bruise on my thigh, but I just tried to keep myself from walking. Did I mention I have not ran since December of last year? I ended up not walking except for 5 feet at the turn around.
I ended up 22nd out of 119 male starters and 3rd out of 28 in my age group. Much better than I anticipated (even if I was at full strength). The race was fun, but I have no plans to switch over to the tri's.
The race was especially fun as it was local and I knew a ton of people. Customers from the shop, members of Trirochester, and people from the shop made it it a fun time.
Me and the Baby's incubator before the start.

Looking fly. How many years has it been since I freestyled swim for more than 25 feet?

Out of of the water, looking for my bike.

I was in the 10th wave, my age is thirty. Triathlons like to "brand" people".

Back home for a 3 hour nap and then we headed over to party with the Trirochester group.
This was a long tiring weekend, but I am sore and happy. My first win of the year and an unexpected good result in the tri made things more enjoyable.
Hopefully some more pictures and times tommorrow.
Time to head off to work now....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Did I mention...

that I am doing a triathlon this Sunday? Yeah, 100 miles on the mountain bike on Saturday and then a Sprint Triathlon on Sunday. So far my prep for this race has including the following:

-Ride my bike alot
-Pick out what I should wear (I am wearing it right now to judge if I can run in it)

I hope the whole "swimming and running" don't get in the way of my bike split.

Your goal for today; earn your time off from work this weekend.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Me again

This last Saturday saw me head out for 3 hours on the gravel for tempo drills that tend to cook the legs. I came back and the Baby's Momma and I headed out for another hour of Essex Park shredding. She may be 7 months pregnant, but she has a new mountain bike this year and the itch to ride. Don't worry, she didn't go off any ledges over 4 feet high.

Sunday, I headed out for another 4 hours on my mountain bike to do a race paced gravel road ride. The day before had me limping a little on the hills, but I felt strong the rest of the time. I just wanted to test the legs for my first "big" race this weekend.

Yes, she is 7 months pregnant there. Yes, that is the Trek 69'er Top Fuel she is riding. Yes, I have that same bike. Yes, it kicks booty. Yes, we made Nina pose for the picture.

-This week will be some recovery as the legs got worked over this last weekend.
-We turned the AC on for the first time last night.
-My sister is in Europe. One of my younger brothers is going to Ecuador. I am going to Cable for the 4th and getting jiggy on the sweet trails.
Time to get back to what you get paid for.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Karma bites back

So on my way to work this morning I hear the pleasant sound of a McDonald's bag full of crap hitting the pavement. The offending car had just passed me and went on like nothing had happened. A couple of small rollers later and said car is now off to the side of the road with one of our friendly boys in blue behind.

Me to the officer: "Hey, did you pull her over in the last 45 seconds?"

Officer: "Why yes", with a puzzled look.

Me: "She just got done tossing her McDonald's bag out the window. It is sitting right in the middle of the road back there"

Officer: With a big smile, "Well, I guess she will be going back to pick that up now isn't she?"

Me: "Cool, thanks"

Officer: "Thank You!"

Karma bites (including the tire variety).

Now, time for me (and you) to get back to work.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pain in the rear.

So, updates have been lacking. Sorry about that. I feel bad. I will do better. Here is a small recap from the last couple of weeks.

Afton Alps Race
Eight days before this race I bruised my tailbone during an attempt to win a town sign sprint on a road ride (yes, I know setbacks have plagued me lately). It wasn't horrible, but I must of agitated it as it was very painful on race day. Every little bump sent pain to my da donka donk. With the saddle tittled up it was a little better, but I figured lining up in the back of the field was appropriate as I knew the day would not go well. I took the race at a the same pace I would in a 12 hour race because speed meant more bigger hits to the rear. Well, the first lap was painful and the second lap saw my pace stay the same while others were already starting to slow. A couple of hard shots at the beginning of the lap to the rear caused the pain to go beyond what I was willing to endure. That and fear of further damage caused me to pull the plug. I ended the day with some hill intervals out of the parking lot (pavement was fine on the rear) and watching Brendan clean up on the field. Everything feels good again.

Baby's Momma
Yeah, she is getting bigger. Looks like her stomach ( and only her stomach) took too many trips to the buffet line at OCB. She looks awfully cute though, right?

We set off for Becky's brother's wedding on Friday. We found out there was a road closure on the interstate and set off on our own detour as to avoid the 10 miles of stop and go traffic just to get on the clogged designated detour. Well, my "short cut" had a detour because the road was closed. Then another. Almost 8 hours later we made it to Milwaukee. It only took us twice as long as it normally would. We were fine though as we did not have our home flooded like so many that we saw on our trip. The wedding was fun. The picture above is from the rehearsal dinner.

I think training is going well. I feel like I have been riding strong lately and should be ready for 100 miles of mountain biking racing on the 28th in Levis Mounds. I have been doing secret intervals that should help me dominate the world.
That is it now for now. You and I both need to get to work.