Thursday, July 29, 2010

Late Registraiton

I had to borrow (steal) the title of Kanye West's second album for this title.
Those that know me well know that my race (and in general) preparation is meticulous, even borderline obsessive; I just like to remove unknown variables and eliminate as many surprises as possible. So in a rare miss for the Rod-man, I found myself facing a $120 entry fee for a 15mile time trial. The story's long, but I missed registration for TT nationals by 1 day, but learned they have day-of registration...for $120! The breakdown is this: normal price is $60, which is a rip off for a 26k TT, "late early" reg is $85, which is larceny and day of is $120 which is out of the question.
Two of my pillars (or motto's) are "Winning occurs at the intersection of preparation, execution and luck," and "the first step to (athletic) success is showing up." Well, I kind of blew it on this one.
Que cera.
But to not let my training leading up to nats go totally wasted, I'm going to head out for a 20min power test on Tuesday see where I am. I set a new best earlier in the year, but I have been doing some specific training leading up to this Tues, so I might-as-well go out and see what it's gotten me. And I'm going to go do a Seymour 20k TT today (Sunday), which I was going to skip w/ nat's looming, so that'll be cool.
Maybe I'll hit y'all up w/ a report of that later.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

another week

Is it just me, or does this dude look like a totally trashed-out version of local fast man Erik Hamilton?
(pic taken from

I like to update this thing (at least) weekly, but not much happened this week really. I know you'd all probably assume as the Cat 3 State TT champ I'd have all kinds of press and gala's to attend, but my phone wasn't ringing. I better have the line checked.
Basically just a solid training week. Actually it was mostly easy, but w/ some hard intervals involved and a good solid 3hr group ride today. These crazy high temps seem to be dropping, but the wind was all over us today; it was a tough ride. But a good one w/ a good strong group of guys (oh, and SS is the fastest chick around).
(back story)--A bakery/coffee shop opened down the street form our house last week. Needless to say this pumped us up. Lindsay and I went on the opening day and the line was waaaaay long. We waited ~15min in a line that was not moving at all and decided to come back another day. So we strolled over on a Monday (I think) after I got off work (which is at 6, but I get home more like 6:30). We ordered a couple things and were told "we're getting ready to close." Fair enough, working in retail it sucks having people come in when you're closing. But a neighborhood coffee shop closing at 7pm? Who are they targeting? There are no businesses in the area, so they will have to survive an the people who live around here, who I imagine strolling over for an after dinner snack. I guess we better start eating dinner earlier.
Anywho, FF to today, all I can think about while riding is cruising down to the sweet new coffee shop after I get home, grabbing a coffee and a cookie or something and chilling out. I cruised down to find that it's closed on Sundays! WTF? I think this place maybe wants to fail. The items I've had have been good, but very expensive. And I think the hours were set by a retarded monkey. I hope they either get their shit together or fail.
This week's more training leading up to Time Trial Nationals on Tuesday of next week. I planned to do the Tuesday night TT here this week for prep, but I accidentally scheduled a meeting w/ a rep that night. Oops. I plan to go out Tuesday morning and bust a TT myself though...I bet I beat the course record!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

State Time Trial Championship--B-Town cleans up!

This weeks training led up to the Indiana State Time Trial Championship race up near Ft. Wayne (oddly enough, the IN state course actually goes into OH for several miles before the turn around). This is a 40k course, or 24.8miles, but people's times seem a little slower here than at "our" standard course at Monrovia. Interesting because while Monrovia is considered a flat course, it has 180' of climbing while the Ft Wayne course climbs just 79'. It turns out the Ft Wayne course is a touch long. I clocked it at 25.1miles and I clock Monrovia at 24.7miles. That's why times are a bit slower up north.
Anyway, two friends and I headed up after work on Saturday. It's ~3hrs of driving and the start was 8:30am on Sunday so we had to stay up there. Our hotel was close enough that we could just ride over to the start, which pretty awesome; it was probably 1.5miles. Though riding that 1/5miles through the small town of New Haven in full aero gear was a little awkward, we made it no problem. All of our start times were a little after 9am, so we got our numbers ~7:30 and went back to the hotel to chill for a bit.
Once ready to roll, we rode over to the course, got in warm-ups and were ready to go.
I could tell I was feeling pretty good. There was going to a be a steady cross wind pushing us out, but the same cross wind in our faces coming back. No matter though, since I'd never ridden this course I had no time as reference to try to beat and everyone was going to have to deal w/ the same conditions; all I had to do was ride hard the whole time. Once I got going and settled in I felt good. I knew I was going fast, but I wasn't feeling any real pain, so I just kept turning the gear over, stayed aero and tried to stay focused (which is hard when you're hammering solo for an hour w/ nothing but fields around you). I hit the turn-around at 27min on the dot, did some quick math and realized I was going pretty good. But then I remembered that cross/headwind I was going to have to deal with and knew my back time would be slower than my out. As expected my cadence and speed dropped coming back, but I still was feeling good, so I stayed at it. There were a few big wind gusts coming back that pushed me around a little and screwed w/ my rhythm, but I was able to keep going good. You can see the finish line for a mile or more on this course, which is deceiving, but I had planned to stay on rhythm until I got to the 1k to go sign, then drop to my hardest gear and go all-out. I didn't have power recorded, but I was putting out the watts (for a skinny dude) for that last 1k (~1.5minutes) and finished in a solid 55.46. I won the State TT title for Cat 3 men*. Unfortunately I have to caveat my win, because I was the only Cat3 racing. So all I had to do was finish to win. But, I turned in a time good enough for 8th overall against a very strong field of TTers. And looking at last years Cat3 times I would have won anyway (not that last years times have ANY bearing on this years, but still...) I was a little bummed I had no competition, but happy w/ my ride/time and happy w/ my result, even if it was a given.
As for Bloomington sweeping the states, Eric Hamilton won the Cat1/2 title, I won the 3 title, Jonathan Atwell won the Cat4 title and Ryan Shanahan won the Mas 35-39 title.
No racing this coming weekend for me, then it's one week until TT Nats...then it's a break!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Muncie Endurathon weekend ++

This weekend was my annual Hajj to Muncie to work the Muncie Endurathon. It was a nice, short visit and I got to see several old friends, many that I see just once a year. I spent most of the day hanging w/ my buddy Zach who has pretty much relocated to FL, so it was cool to hang w/ him. I have worked as the Muncie Endurathon Mechanic for probably 8 years now and regardless of how many times I do it will never cease to amaze me that triathletes show up for a 1/2 Ironman event, which cost them ~$200, w/ their tires roughly half inflated. I would say 9+/10 people that come to me race morning ask "can you just check (or "top off") my tires?" and when I stick the pump on they have ~40-60psi in their tires which are rated to 120PSI. This will always blow my mind. I mean, one of the pillars of success in sport is being prepared; c'mon people.
(doing what? airing someones tires!)

Because the couple that used to host the post-Endurathon throw down par-tay moved from Muncie, there was nothing going on afterwords, so i came on home. 1) the Bloomington Crit was going on in the evening and 2) I was racing at Monrovia in the early a.m. Sunday.
Lindsay and I headed down to the crit and showed up in time watch the end of the 3/4 race, see all the women's race, then the 1/2/3race. While crit racing isn't my thing, it's fun to watch and especially when it's 5minutes from your house! It was nice evening, but I had a long day having gotten up ~4am to get out to the triathlon course by 5am, working all morning, then spectating the tri in the sun all day, driving home, the spectating crit racing in the sun all evening. By the time it was over (~9pm) I was tired and needed to eat. Plus I had to get up ~5:30am to get to the TT this a.m.
Given all this I kind of expected to go to the Monrovia 40k time trial and feel like crap. But to my surprise once I started warming up on the trainer, I felt pretty good. But I was sure it was a caffeine induced fluke and still expected a terrible race.
I got going and got settled in and actually felt really good. I would say I felt the best I've ever felt in a 40k. I was slightly off of my PR, which I set a few weeks ago, but I beat my best from last year by a few seconds. It was a good TT, in spite of only my second best time.
I got home, sat around, ate, sat around some more, mowed the yard and have been sitting around since then.
Lazy Sunday.
State Time Trial Championship this weekend.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Not the best race weekend of my life...

But a fun weekend all the same.
4th of July weekend for Indiana mountain bike racers always means the same thing: DINO AMBC at North Vernon, IN.
Saturday was the STXC (short-track cross country) as well as a downhill event (which I didn't partake), and Sunday was the normal full length XC.

(start if the XC [I'm to the right of the pic, {#38}])

Saturday we went over for the STXC, which is only 30mins long, but is a non stop hard effort for the whole 30min. I rode okay, but got caught behind a fumble at the start and had to stop, negotiate, riders, then get going again. On a ~1.5min lap, 5-10seconds lost at the start is a huge coffin nail. Oh well, I rode hard and that counts.

(STXC looking SUPER fast w/ the blurry background)(thanks Matt Link for the action shots)


FF to Sunday for the XC main event. It was much hotter and I wasn't feeling great; legs felt kind of heavy. I got a descent start and was holding well, made some passes, etc. Then I started to not feel so great. My stomach started bugging me when I'd go hard and I just wasn't feeling great, but was pushing through it. Then, w/ ~1.5laps (~45min) to go I flatted on some rocks leading into a creek bed. I kind of thought 'okay, I'll use fixing this flat to recover for a few minutes and get my self together.' I got it fixed, got my wheel on and it went flat again. I thought the rock had cut my tire and the new tube poked through the hole, but after getting home and examining things, I think my spare tube had a hole in it from being in my seat bag for like, 2 years. Regardless, I had no other tube, no more air and was done. My least favorite three letters: DNF. I have to say though, over the years I have had really good luck MTB racing, so I can't get too bummed about a little bad luck.

And the bright side is a lot of my good friends were there, some from out of state, and we got to hang out for awhile. By this picture I'd change out of my cycling cloths and out of my pouty DNF face.
Looking ahead, this month is all about Time Trial racing. There's a Monroiva 40k sereis race this weekend, the state championship is in two weeks and then nationals in two weeks after that.
But I have to work the Muncie Endurathon this weekend first. Always nice to go back to Muncie and see so many people I know so well. And it's a great race too. Barring the drive up, it should be fun!