Monday, July 31, 2006

Weekend report:

Sunday: DINO @ France Park, Logansport.
This was to be a hot one. This course has no real climbing and therefore isn’t really a great course for me. It odes have a few perfectly flat, open hammer sections where you just shift into your hardest gear and pedal for a mile or so, again, kind of favors bigger dude w/ bigger legs. Anywho, I got off to a not-so-great start (toward the back of the bunch) and rode steady. I knew conservative would be the word of the day w/ the heat. Problem is, a lot of the people I like to beat were riding less conservatively than I, and beat me. Overall though, I rode good and finished somewhere around 11th or so.
France Park has a beach area at the quarry there, so we all "went swimming" afterwards to cool down. It was about the greatest post race activity I could imagine. It brought my core temp down to normal in about 5 minutes, which in the heat would normally take a few hours probably. So swimming after racing = good.
After we left we went through Frankfort, to try to meet up w/ my parents, but they weren’t back from helping my brother move from WI to IL yet. So we ate some Taco Bell, stole some groceries and split. We got home around 6:00, which was nice, as I was beat after a 2 hour, 90-some degree hammer fest. I passed out for about ½ hour, which was perfect for a little rest.
Today was per normal, 1 hour easy spin on the rollers. Feeling fine, although my back was sore(ish) allover this morning form the roughness of the Logansport course. It has some sections that just beat the crap out of you, even with full suspension.
I’m now planning on racing the IN State Road Race Championships in Indy this weekend. I had planned on one more RR this year, but it was cancelled, so I’ll probably so do this instead. It starts retarded early, so I’ll probably go to Josh and Dan’s in Indy Saturday night and stay w/ them. This included, I’ve three races left this year (minus cyclocross) and I am thinking I an starting to feel my form slowly fading after hitting hard since Feb. I feel a little more sluggish a little more often and I don’t feel so guilty missing a work out due to weather or something. That’s to be expected though. I’ve been training since December and hitting the bike harder since Feb.
The Bloomington Downtown Criterium is this Saturday evening. I have to work until 6:00 p.m. (and further, I’d hate to violate my no-crit policy), so I won’t be racing, but I’m going to mozy over after work to watch. It should be a lot of fun.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Catchin Up

I’ve been using pretty much all of my morning time lately, so I’ve been slacking on posts. Today’s thunderstorms have forced upon me the opportunity to catch up though. I NEEDED to do laundry for one thing, and I need to wash my cycling cloths too. I should be able to get that done this a.m. I probably should vacuum the floors in here, well see if I get to that.

Dan P and Josh P came down and we rode the Nashville 90. Again, this is such a sweet ride. Those 90 miles just roll by. Just before getting into Nashville (which is about 60 or so miles in) we past a dude and he latched onto us. He is a prof from IU in the exercise science dept (or something) and is training for Ironman UK in a few weeks. He is from the UK and seems like a good rider. He is a former pro triathlete and apparently holds some records at Hawaii on the run course or something. Anyway, by the time we picked him up, Josh P was dying, so we rolled in ssssllllloooowwww from NV to B-Town (about 17 mph) and just talked, so as to not destroy Josh P. It was kind of nice taking the last several miles easy, so to not be totally thrashed when you get in and start recovery earlier. Usually, we ride hard beginning to end. And it was still a good ride though, as the 90 seems to usually be. We stopped more than I’d like to (3-4 times), but some were to wait for Josh. Oh well, it was a nice day and we got in the miles. Dan P and I were both riding really strong, putting in these monster pulls of about 30-40 minutes each!

I did my normal Mon 1 hr spin out the legs on rollers. I didn’t feel bad at all after the 90, but it’s still good to take it easy after a bigger effort, or the price may be paid later.

Met w/ Shanny and Josh (B-Town Josh) and we rode North Shore, HARD. Basically, we rolled out to NS and I accidentally attacked on the big downhill. I was in front due to the climbs, and after descending I noticed I had gapped them, so I kept going and kept my gap for all of NS. Ryan said that once we got past the hills on hwy 45, he was going to ride as hard as he could in his hardest gear to New Unionville (about 8 miles or so I think). I thought to myself ‘great, after soloing NS, I’m dead.’ So when we got atop the climbs he shifted down, I tucked in and we hammered it out (well, he hammered it out and I sucked his wheel, but drafting at those speeds is still hard work!). We were rolling 27-29 on flats, ~24 uphill and 35-38 downhill. I hung on, and didn’t get dropped, which pumped me up, but it was hard.

I needed to ride my MTB because I haven’t ridden it for about a month and I race this weekend. So I rode it out to Wapahani, did two laps of the race course and rode back, but really hard back. It was great work out and I got to ride tech MTB stuff. Plus I was only on pavement for probably 10 minutes of the 2 hours. I rode the Clear Creek rail trail, which isn’t entirely paved anyway, but where it is, I rode off the side of it on this real fine gravel. It was good for an MTB workout.

Chores, blog catch up, get MTB ready for weekend, work, etc…

Sunday was Lindsay and I’s 1 year anniversary. We went out Saturday night to nice Italian joint (Gratzie) and ate, then went to The Irish Lion for a drink. It was nice evening. It’s been a nice year.
So that’s so far. DINO MTB this weekend in Logansport. Fast course, should be good. I really want to race the St. Crispian RR this weekend over in Nashville, but I have series MTB points to earn. St. Crispian is on my turf, hilly Nashville, but it just isn’t going to work out this year. IN St RR Championships are next weekend (I think) though. I may go race that. It’s up on the North Side of Indy, so It’s probably flat, which doesn’t suit me well, but oh well, it’s racing!

Friday, July 21, 2006

(pretty) normal week

I haven’t written for few days because I haven’t had much to tell. The weather has cooperated, so I’ve been able to get in a full-normal week so far training wise. One little snag in it though, I got stung by a bee coming in from Wed’s ride. I am mildly allergic to it, so I swell far more than normal. I had just started climbing a minor hill (but hadn’t shifted out of my big ring yet) and I felt it sting my (left) ankle. I looked down and he (it) was in my shoe between my shoe and my ankle. So, climbing in my big ring, I am frantically trying to get my shoe off w/out falling over. My shoes have one Velcro strap, a buckle strap and a tension dial closure thingy, so it was very hard to get off while moving and w/ one hand, but I managed and go the bee out, unclipped the shoe from the pedal, put back on loose and started the climb on my big ring, which was hard enough as is, let alone w/ my ankle swelling to he size of softball. I’ve been elevating/icing it in the eve’s, but this thing is just going to have to work itself out, nothing is really helping. Today (Fri) I can feel the bone in my ankle again, so it’s going down. It should be about normal by Sunday, I would think. Sunday we have planned to do the Nashville 90 w/ some people form Indy coming down, but if that falls through, RS want’s to do a long cyclocross ride, which I’d be down with. My CX bike needs some work, as I commute on it everyday, but CX season isn’t too far off and a few CX rides would be good a) to change things up a little and b) to get out on the CX bike. We’ll see; the weather is supposed to be good, cooler than it has been and sunny…

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

New Ride

I decided last night to do a new ride this a.m. Not fully new, but riding the same roads in different configurations. I went out across South Shore drive (I was going to go across North Shore, but SS is so much easierJ ), then toward Nashville on hwy45, to Helmsburg Rd, but turned off of Helmsburg onto Lanam Ridge, which is another way to get through the Yellowwood Forest via climbing out of Helmsbrug onto Lanam Ridge, taking the ridge across back to Hwy 45. I google mapped it at about 43 miles, but my watch reported about 41. Whatever. It wasa good ride and climbing up Lanam Ridge is always tough. This would be a good ride to do via North Shore of you want a lot of climbing, or via South Shore if you want more ‘flat.’ Then again, the road that leads to SS from Old Hwy 37 (Robinson road) is solid climbing form Old 37 to the connector for SS (tunnel Rd.), so I don’t really know that NS is more climbing, just different climbing. I left about 8:30 and the temps were good. I did drink more than normal, but I think I’m coming off a little dehydration after being out all day Saturday and riding in the thick of the heat Sunday. Oh well, I felt fine and ride good.
Congrats to Big Tim Green on his first ever Endurathon. I wasn’t around to see him finish, but I did give him some cheers on transitions. Just to finish that sucker in that heat is something special. I almost bonked watching!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Muncie Edurathon; Nashville 90*

I left work an hour early to hit the road to Muncie for the Endurathon half Ironman triathlon Saturday. I had several friends competing and wanted to go watch them and see all of my old peeps in M-Town. We rolled into town about 7:30 and parked in front of the coffee shop downtown that outs on an outside party every Friday night in the summer w/ bands and stuff. I had to go to the Endurathon expo to get my parking pass and stuff, but right when we pulled up I saw a few people I wanted to talk to, so I hung out for while, then went to the expo. Of course, while at the expo I saw about a million other people I knew and had to/wanted to talk to, so I ended up there for a good while too. Linds and I were staying at Luther and Jaynes house, so we eventually retired there and got to bed around 11:30. I had to be at the Endurathon at 5:30 to set up my work stand and stuff to give mechanical support to the athletes. I didn’t sleep real well, but whatever, it’s out of town, I went to bed at 11:30 and had to get up around 4:30, what should I expect.
I was pretty busy with fixing and checking people’s bikes this year. I have not been in the past, so it was a change. I missed the start, but once the transition area closed, my work was done (no outside help once the race starts). So I got to watch after that. It was a good race, considering the heat. My old Muncie homie Zach Ruble won, but was penalized for improper bike racking and ended up second on a technicality. Sucks for him (cost him $500), but rules are rules.
After the race I went home to Luther’s and put on my riding cloths, despite the mid 90’s heat and went for a ride. I went around the resevoir, but came in Smithfield because there were still people finishing the race and I didn’t want to interfere that by going across the start/finish area. It was good to ride in Muncie, but sooooo different than what I’m now used to. You can ride hard there, but you have to pedal hard the whole time to achieve that. It makes good TTer’s I suppose. Here you just have to ride to ride hard. My 30 mile ride climbed 340 feet (this will be important later). The plan was to stay Saturday night and ride Sunday w/ a group of guys. That plan didn’t end up panning out for travelling reasons, so Linds and I drove back Saturday night and got here around 1:30am.
I rode to Nashville. I teased the title by calling tit the "Nashville 90" because it was so stinkin hot. I really just went the normal routes, over Bear Wallow hill. (note form earlier, my ride in Muncie was 340’, BW hill gains 300’ in about 2 miles! So basically, I climbed the amount of feet I climbed in the whole 30 mile ride in Muncie over a 2 mile hill in Nashville!) I left around noon, and it was hot and sunny. On the return route, when I hit Trevolac (about 10 miles to go) I fell apart. I just shifted into my small ring and pedaled along at 17mph and coasted down all hills, just trying to make it home. The heat broke me yesterday. I felt like crap for most of the day afterwards, but I put in my normal 1 hour spin on rollers this am and feel fine.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

...killing me softly...

I’m so good at bitching about the weather, so…the past few days are killing me. When I got up today to ride it was raining and totally wet form overnight rain, so I decided I wasn’t going to ride because I didn’t want to get soaked and get my equipment soaked. So I decided I would clean out our car, which I’ve been meaning to do for about 6 months and just haven’t done. So I got a bag and went at it. I got all the trash out and was going to go the car wash to vacuum I tout, but it had cleared some, so I suited up and set. My plan was to go out to the flashing light on hwy 446 and back to get a time for that ride for future reference(s). I got out to the Paynetown S.R.A. and the southern sky was looking pretty dark and the wind was stiff coming up for the south, so I decided to turn around there, rather than keep going an end up in a storm. Of curse, it didn’t storm, but unbeknownst to me, riding to the flasher and back would have been a 40 or so mile ride, and since I left late it would have put me home too late to still make my lunch, etc. and get to work on time, so I guess it was good I turned in. I got in a little over an hour, so whatever.
Right now it’s pouring, but it’s supposed to clear, so hopefully I can get it some freaking training this week! Then our "vacation" this weekend (to Muncie). I’m calling it our vacation because work/financial/athletic restraints keep us form actually doing anything and going anywhere. And I’m not complaining either. Really, I chose the life live, and I don’t go places and do things because it hampers my real interests, so really, I’m not complaining. But Muncie for a "vacation," huh?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Rained out...sorta

The forecast looked bad for today from a few days ago. I haven’t seen the strong storms yet, but it has rained. The radar looked like I had window to get it a shorter ride, so I suited up and set out. I didn’t get far. I got about a mile away and it started raining. It was enough to cover my glasses and make me wet and pissed, so I turned around. I thought to myself I would do a good stretching session in place of the ride because I don’t race for a couple of weeks and a day off won’t kill me (even though I had an interrupted week last week due to my back). I got in and decided to lace up my running shoes instead. I haven’t run since (probably) Nov or Dec, as that is off-season work for me. I ran for about 18 minutes and my legs are already sore. 18 minutes may not seem long, but that’s my middle distance run when I’m running. I just hate running; hurts to bad.
So I got home and stretched really god to (try to) keep the legs loose and my back in line. Plus I elevated my legs for about 5 minutes to jump start the lymphatic system (the body’s sewer). The rest of the forecast looks okay, barring the heat/humidity returning, so I should be able to get out on the bike in the coming days.
Then I’m headed to Muncie this weekend to cheer friends at the Endurathon half ironman. We’re going to ride in Muncie on Sunday, which will be fun because I haven’t been back at all, let alone to ride, since we moved about a year ago. It will be so different to ride there now after riding down here on hill country for a year. Plus it will cool to catch up with the peeps…

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Nashville 90 (pretty much)

First off, my back is back to normal. It always hurts a little, so that’s normal.
I did the Nashville 90 today. All of the group originally planned faded for whatever reason, so I went it alone. I have to say, this is hands down the best long ride around. The roads are excellent and the hills are moderate. It’s not too hard. Plus it’s the easiest route imaginable for 90 miles. It turn, like, twice. One of the turns, you turn off of SR 58 onto SR 135 and the first thing you see is a sign that says "Nashville 26 miles." You’re headed north at that point and today the wind was coming form the north. Not too hard, but enough o be a nuisance. Overall, though, it’s a great ride. I titled this w/ the (pretty much) because I had about 86 miles by the time I got done. I took a little different route through Yellowwood St Forest that cut off a couple miles, but added some climbing. A big ride like this is always hard the first time you do it and don’t’ know the route, plus doing it alone. My speed was a little lower than I would have liked, but I can’t complain too much being solo and not knowing the "course."
Here’s the stats:
85.3 miles
4 hours 29 minutes
3419’ climbing
av speed 19.2
av HR 158
And I was stopped for a total of 3 minutes. 1 to pee and 2 to water up at a gas station. I hate stopping.
Sweet ride if you have the time.

And I was stopped for a total of 3 minutes. 1 to pee and 2 to water up at a gas station. I hate stopping.
Sweet ride if you have the time.
Lindsay and I went out and ate Tibetan food last night at The Snow Lion. It is the restaurant owned by the brother of the Dali Lama or something. It was good for sure, but I ordered a "4" hotness on the 1-5 and I should have gotten a "5." I douse all of food in either Franks Red Hot, Sriarcha or Buffalo brand Mexican hot sauce and I think I’ve built up a big tolerance for hot. I do love good hot food though.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

"back" on track

Well, the back’s getting way better. As of now (thus night) it’s not 100%, but close. I’ve talked to a lot of people and it seems almost everyone, young, old, athletic, non…has had something like this happen to them and they’ve all said it will go away in a few days. That has really calmed my nerves. I have been doing the stretches I’ve been told to do, and it seems to have helped. I rode my normal Wed ride yesterday, which is the Bottom Rd loop and felt okay, but still couldn’t stand to climb and I rode my slowest time ever by 1 min for the loop. That is not necessarily an effect of my backache, but still. I opted to take today off the bike to sleep in an extra couple hours and then do some stretching in place of riding. I normally ride a hill(s) ride Thurs and I didn’t want to push it and go backwards healing. Whatever, I’m feeling almost normal. I’ll ride my normal easy/short Friday ride tomorrow and I should be fine. Thanks to any/all of you that were concerned. It’s looking good…
Oh, and I actually ended up 17th out of 36 for the day @ the AMBC.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

bad back; missed the ride

Man, I threw my back out at work Saturday. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before. I wasn’t lifting anything, I just had a roll of handlebar tape in my hand and went sit it down and when I bent over to do so, I could barely get back up. It was about 5:30 and I had to finish the bike I was working on, but I was in serious pain. I rode home w/ my bag on my back, and riding didn’t seem to bother me as much as I thought it would. Bare in mind I could barely walk at the time. Every step I took hurt. I iced it when I got home, but I was in a bad way. I had to hold myself up when doing anything like cooking, or brushing my teeth or showering. I couldn’t hold myself up using my back muscles. It was weird and painful, but I figured a good sleep would heal it. WRONG. I woke up feeling the same. I was freaking out. I took some more anti-inflammatorys, but they weren’t doing anything. Shane from Muncie had come down to ride the Nashville 90 w/ Ryan and I, but called them to cancel my participation. Shane has had back problems and his wife is a physical therapist, so he gave me a couple of stretches/exercises to do, which I did (and have been) all day. About 11:30am, I decided I was going to try to ride as a couple people told me the worst thing to do would be to sit around and let it get tight. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel, so I set out on the Paragon loop, a 42 miler w/ a relative small amount of climbing. I felt okay, but I could stand up to climb. There are some climbs on this ride that I know ell enough that I stay in a harder gear and stand through them, but I just shifted into my 39x23 and spun up them instead today. Overall, I was pleased w/ and surprised by the ride. And every hour that has gone by since I’ve felt better and better. I am walking fully upright (not hunched over) and can generally support my weight. So it didn’t last long, but I have no idea how in happened, and hopefully it will be fully gone tomorrow (more sleep).
Scared the crap out of me though. Seriously. At least I got a ride in. And hopefully I can work at full capacity too. I know the guy will help me out w/ lifting, but I hate to burden people.

Monday, July 03, 2006

DINO AMBC race report

Yesterday’s race went well. Being the AMBC, the field was large. It was hot and humid, but bearable when we started. There was pretty big pile-up at the start, which I narrowly avoided. It was in front of me, but around a bush thing, so I couldn’t see it. I heard carnage in front of me and swerved left on instinct and it turned out to be a good instinct, as I would have plowed straight into it otherwise.
I started as usually, mid pack hoping to pass people who take off fast and burn up. It worked as normal, but I passed a lot more people than I expected to. I ended up 15th overall, which was good for a 2nd age group finish. I did crash, but not too bad. It was on a downhill switchback (180* turn) and my front wheel washed out under me and I fell w/ all of my weight/momentum on my left shoulder, which has bruise to show for it. Also my handle bar jabbed into the back of my knee, just below where it bends, so on the very top of my calf, which is hella sore today (and the rest of yesterday. It took me several minutes to get it stretched (on the bike)to feel good enough to return to hammering. Where it happened, as I mentioned, was on the DH switchback, but after that DH was a bunch of climbing switches, so I had to climb w/ a bummed left calf. It was on the 4th of 5 laps, so I didn’t have a ton left, but I made it no problem.
I rode good and rode hard. I rode myself into the ground and had to lay motionless for about 15min afterwards. It hurt. My stomach was in knots and I couldn’t really get any food (read: GU) down. I ate about 4 GU’s during, but had to force them down. I also took about 6 salt caps to ward off the impeding stomach cramps, as I could feel the early stages of them. Knowing your body is such a huge advantage in endurance sports.
Today was an EZ spin on rollers to stretch the muscles and try to get rid of the knot/soreness in my calf. It feels fine, but is definitely sore still. It’ll be fine though.
Tomorrow we’re planning on riding the Nashville 90, but the forecast isn’t looking great. It’s not as bad down here as it looks up north, but I don’t want to get into a big ride like that and have it storm on us. Then we’ll go to wherever it is to go here and check out the B-Town fireworks!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

end of week & weekend

Well, I was able to get in a full normal training week. Thurs was the standard 4 hill ride, which went normal (hit the 4 hills hard and just pedal between them) and Friday’s short/easy was short and I took it easy. I felt fine overall. Today (Sat) was standard day off and all day work. I left at 5 instead of 6 though, so it was 9-5 (what a way to make living). I vaguely remember that movie (9 to 5), but it seems like it was the eighties version of "Office Space," right?
Anywho, tomorrow is the AMBC (American Mountain Bike Challenge) DINO (Do Indiana Off road) MTB (Mountain Bike) race in N (North) Vernon, IN (Indiana). That’s a lot of abbreviations and/or acronyms. It’s supposed to be hot and humid. I perform well in the heat, but when it gets humid and you’re moving through dense woods @ about 8 mph, it gets difficult. Should be fun though and that’s the name of the game.
Think cycling ain’t hard? Go figure why 28 riders were kicked out the Tour De France on the eve of its start. And don’t forget the countless others kicked out of the sport in the past. To perform at the level that has become expected, these guys have to take drugs. Le Tour has been turned upside down this year w/ several of the favorites made to go home. Bags of THEIR blood found in the Spanish Dr.’s lab has directly linked them (via DNA, get it?) to the biggest doping scandal in the sport’s history. Cycling’s tough; and on the pro level it’s dirty. Their all on drugs(period). Oh yeah, your precious Lance too.
Here’s how I see it (in several Venn Diagrams in my head): pro cyclists are the top 1% of the human population of endurance athletes (a). Of pro cyclists (a) there are the favorites (b). Of the favorites, we know that most of them are on drugs (b/d). Lance Armstrong (la) completely dominates all of the above. So, given (la) is part of groups (a) and (b) and group (b) is dominant over group (a) and group (b/d) is dominate over groups (a) and (b) and (la) is dominant over all of the above (including group (b/d)), he almost has to be on drugs. Sorry, but talent alone can’t make one so dominant over the best-of-the-best-of-the-best-of-the-best. Call me cynical, but I just don’t see it. Sorry if my scratch above is hard to follow, but that’s what being a philosophy major w/ 2 whole years of logic will do to your brain.