Thursday, June 18, 2009

TTing + "Texting" = SLOW TIME

Church Creek TT

As the picture shows, maybe if I wasn't texting I'd have done better with my TT time.

I started out feeling good. Legs felt great, HR was undercontrol, speed was good (27-28) for the first 10K. But then, my right hip and knee started bothering me and my speed dropped to the 25mph range, my HR was still in a good range. By 30K, my speed was dropping and I couldn't go any harder. Lance Lacy flashed past me and then Brian Sacawa. I unofficially finished with a sub 59min time.

The best part of the day was learning that the officials had not recorded me coming through the finish, and I officially DNF'd. How do you not see someone coming through solo?

I need to spend more time training on the TT bike.

Photo Courtesy of Amy Jones

Monday, April 20, 2009

SynFit ReCap: 35+ and Cat3

I pre-registered for the Cat 3 and since I wasn't going to be able to do Dolan on Sunday, I decided to also do the Masters 35+.


Not much to talk about since I really didn't do anything of note, other than to sit on the back and stay out of trouble. At some point in the race, I was able to move up and try to do some work. I went pretty hard on the back side and tried to work with GeorgeO, but when he needed me to pull through, I wasn't really feeling it and no one else was pulling through, so I just soft peddled. Towards the end of the race, I was in sitting on Nima's wheel and JoeJ was on my wheel. I heard Joe say "don't loose his wheel, he'll pull you to the front". Well, I should have listened to Joe, but Nima was skirting through some tight places and I wasn't willing to follow him. Race was smooth, fast but not super gut busting fast.

I had plenty of time after the 35+ to repin my Cat3 # on and take a few slow laps. My legs were feeling OK, but the first lap was fast and I could definitely feel them. The overall race pace was a bit slower than the 35+, too many riders were slowing up through the turns causing a small yo-yo effect and there was a definite slow up once past the start finish line, where everyone would start fanning out across the entire course. A couple times later in the race, I tried to move up at this section carrying a lot of speed but would be cut off as riders fanned out. Not sure how many laps were left when I moved up on the back side, and drilled it once I got to the front. I only remember hearing the rider behind me say something to the effect "sit up, I'm not getting any draft". Might not be the correct words since I could barely hear him, but it sounded something like that. Looking at some of the race photos it might have been Cliff from BikeDr. (yeah, there's a bit of a size difference between us). I pushed hard for maybe a lap or two, and then Kyle Jones (ABRT) blasted past on my left with Mike May in tow. I tried to jump on Mike's wheel, but my legs were pretty spent and I really didn't have much left. I pulled over and let the pack go by. I was just able to stay on the back without popping. I tried moving up the last lap, but just didn't have a lot of power left.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

From the back at Jeff Cup

Photo Courtesy of Jim Wilson

Brian Barnes and I were in the 35+, 125 rider field, 6 laps, 60 miles. This was going to be my longest road race.
Unfortunately, I was starting dead last. The first lap wasn’t too hard, but my HR was up pretty high which seems to happen when I’m not really warmed up . In the second lap a huge gap split the field and at first I was working with 2 others to bridge back up, but this one dude kept “sprinting” when it was his turn to pull through, not a real help when we were trying to work together. We were joined by about 8-10 more riders and this mini-group worked super hard for about half a lap to catch back to the front pack. F’ that really hurt. Probably the hardest I’ve ever had to work in a race. The rest of the race I just kept having to jump as folks faded off the back. I tried moving up but just couldn’t get anywhere near the front. I was spending way too much energy jumping around riders. Up until the 5th lap, my legs were feeling really good.
Going through the feed zone at the start of the 5th lap, I made a rookie mistake. I slowed up way too much to grab a bottle from Steve Anderson. By the time I got going, I had let a pretty big gap form since the front of the pack was really accelerating. Putting in a huge effort over the next minute, I was finally able to latch back onto the pack, but just before the right hander into the climb. This might have been the start of my downfall. After the big effort, the climb really hurt, and I was just able to stay in contact with back of the pack as more riders were popping.
On the 5th lap (second to last lap), I could feel my legs starting to cramp, especially when I stood up. Harry Fang, NCVC, came to the back to say hello, although he did say he was pretty hurting. (note: for someone that doesn't train a lot, he sure is strong. I'd hate to see what how strong he could get if he trained more.)
On the last lap, after making the right hand turn into the first climb, I let too much gap form coming out of the turn and tried to get back on the tail end, but my legs were really cramping up and my HR was through the roof. I just didn’t have any more power to accelerate so I just sat up and watched the pack pull away up the climb. I worked with an Evolution rider the rest of the way back but he was hurting more then I was and I think I wound up dropping him a couple miles from the finish. Not sure what happened to him, I just never looked back. When you’re tired, have no power and riding solo, that last 1KM sure took a long time to finish. And, damn it was slightly uphill, which you’d never know riding in the pack.
All in all, this was a really fun race.
Time to start picking up the intensity during the week.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wintergreen Training Camp Summary

Around 5:30 on Friday, I arrived at the Big House, AKA Animal House because there were something like 20 dudes staying in the 9 bedroom mansion. Pretty much everyone was laying around the living room, trying to recover from the 100+ ride and waiting for lasagna dinner.
By dinner time, Matty Parker was still MIA, and everyone was real concerned. Turns out he got dropped by the group and then got lost and wound up riding 126.3 miles (as he liked to clarify). So the big joke the next day was whether or not anyone was going to do the Matty ride.

I was in a smaller house over looking the ski slopes with Espn K ('sPen), Win (can't say his nickname or he'll get pissed) and Sandra, Shaw F (need to drink more water so I don't cramp up and lay on the road like a turtle), Bernie and Jeff (haven't figured out nicknames for them yet). This was a great house cuz it was a lot smaller and quieter.

Saturday's ride was planned to be the hardest: a total of 100 miles, one 4 mile climb with an elevation gain of about 1600 ft and then the long climb back up Wintergreen at the very end of th eday. We pretty much rode tempo the entire day except for a couple of section where the pace really picked up and of course on the climbs, where everyone rode at their own pace. My legs really didn't feel good on the 4 mile climb and my HR was skyrocketing at the beginning of the climb, so instead of trying to keep pace with anyone, I just rode my own tempo and kept my HR below threshold.

We rode through beautiful rolling terrain the rest of the afternoon, and then started up the false flat leading to the start of the Wintergreen climb. I really wasn't feeling that strong, and my back was really tightening up, so again, I just rode my own pace. Just before the Wintergreen entrance, I stood up and ripped the left crank right off the bottom bracket. I swerved to the shoulder and crashed over the front of the bike. Luckily I was only doing something like 8MPH, but it was pretty funny to stand up and see the crank still attached to my shoes flapping around as I tried to walk. I took the vehicle of shame back up the rest of the way to the top of Wintergreen. Not sure what was wrong, but the crank was f'd. Luckily I had brought two bikes with me.

My Suunto monitor recorded a total ride time over 6+hrs and an elevation gain of 8930 ft for the day.

On Sunday, our riding plans were shortened since we had to be checked out of the houses by 1pm. The plan was to ride along the BlueRidge Prkway overlooking the valley to the west. This was my favorite part of the trip, the scenary and road were awesome. In order to get back to our houses, we had to again do the long Wintergreen climb. This time, I didn't ripe my crank off.

End of an awesome two days of training.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wintergreen Training Camp

Training camp started yesterday at Wintergreen, but I was stuck making end of quarter sales. Considering how crappy it would have been riding in rain, I'm kinda glad I wasn't able to get down for Day 1.

Today is Day 2 of camp, and I'm stuck in my office continuing end of quarter sales. Today, however, I'm bummed because I'm not there. It is beautiful outside, hardly a cloud in the sky. I'll miss the 100+ mile ride over countless mountains. I'm hoping to be able to get out of dodge sometime this afternoon.

I'll be able to do the 100+ mile rides tomorrow and Sunday. Oh, yes, and I'm really looking forward to a 100+ mile day and then have to climb 7 miles to the resort.

Should be a great weekend.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hey Jesse: this is what Speed looks like

Black on black is the new look of FAST. Darth Vader watch out.

Just got the new team bike over the weekend, Specialized Tarmac Pro SL with Dura Ace.

I stripped the DuraAce components off my old Trek and put them on the new frame. Although, I have Rolf Vigors on this speed machine for training, I'll use my Bontrager XXX wheels for races. No power meter or other cycling computer to weigh me down. I rebuilt the old Trek with the original Ultegra and I'll use this for crappy weather and training rides. Nothing like training on a bike that weighs close to 20 lbs.

On Sunday I took the new bike out for a maiden 80 mile ride and I felt great. Today I was down at HP. This beast is fast. (well maybe in my own mind).

After going through a computerized Retul bike fit at CycleLife, I'm feeling like this bike was custom built for me. I feel real strong and comfortable in my new bike position. I no longer feel any crampy-ness in my hips and my pedal stroke feels much more powerful and smoother.

Can't wait to see how we do in races.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Windy HP: redlining out the back

Took a mini-break about two weeks ago in order to attend my companies National Sales Meeting in Phoenix. I did, however, get in one gym workout but it was pretty lame, probably shouldn't even consider it a workout. And, when I got back home, I started getting a sore throat and felt pretty weak for about 5 days. So, I went for about 12 days without doing any riding.

Last Thursday, I decided to head out for a ride. What was I thinking when I elected to head down to HP on one of the windiest days? Sitting in the draft was my main plan, get my legs spinning again was another plan. Not getting dropped in less than a minute was not part of the plan.

Seriously, my lungs felt like shit, my legs felt like shit, my HR was skyrocketing within secs. Windy days are not fun, and I couldn't find a draft to save my life. I was redlining just to stay with the pack, but couldn't keep this effort up without getting into the draft. When I did find the safety of the draft, I was practically riding in the gutter and the gusts were throwing me all over the place. At times I thought, I'd wind up in the grass. Not a lot of fun but definitely character building.

Went for a spin on Friday, legs felt better.

Rode solo for 3 hours out to Poolesville yesterday and legs felt better. Beautiful day, a bit windy out and back with the cross wind.