Sunday, May 22, 2011

TT bike seems to be working

I rode two TT's this week. And finally busted out the aero lid for the year. Tuesday was our local Tuesday night training TT at Morgan Monroe State Forest. The weather was less than ideal and I was totally on the fence to even go. It was cool and wet; kind of a misty rain (that'd make a sweet stripper name, "Misty Rain"). But I had an offer for a car ride home afterwards, so I decided to make it less of an exercise of bike riding and more an exercise in making myself do something I didn't really want to do which is important in endurance sport. So I went out, sis it and posted a pretty good time. 50sec off my best, but in the conditions that were present, I feel pretty good about that and think I can PR this year.Plus I got a ride home (in a car) which was awesome because it was cool an wet, you know 'Misty Rain.'
Today (Sunday) I went over to Seymour for a TT in their local series put on by the bike shop there. There are two courses off the same start line, one flat and one w/ a climb. Today was the climb course. I try to do a few of these every year. They have a god course and it's something different. I was off my course PR, but felt really good. There was stiff headwind out and a headwind on the climb, but then a big push from the tailwind on the return. I set the fastest time here today by about 6minutes over 2nd. Good hard workout. I'll take it.
The forecast for here this week looks like it cold be a total shit fest. If not I plan to ride the MTB Wednesday. I'm going to do some MTB races coming up here and i would like to have put at least some time in on the dirt. I have good fitness, but I need to ride the bike too.
On a side note, I decided I'm going to swim some this summer. I'm not 100% sure when I'm going to start, but I'm thinking July sometime. My plan is to swim 2-3days/week for a few months to help strengthen my back/neck/shoulders before I start cyclcross this year. I was a competitive swimmer for ~10 years, but that was over 10year ago now. Point is I have technique, just no swim fitness. So I don't have to learn anything, just suffer through the first few sessions. I have enough friends who swim that I should be able to find people to go with and maybe it will even be fun/refreshing. Only for supplemental cross training though. Don't look for me in the triathlon circuit.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Just training

Last week was just training. After the week prior being mostly a bummer due to being sick and the race weekend being something of a disappointment, I wanted to get a good solid week of training in so that I knew I was still capable (it's crazy how a bad week can kill your confidence).
I bounced back pretty good and was able to solidly knock out every minute of every interval for the week and feel good doing it. And I had a pretty hard week.
The temps here were unseasonably warm all of last week. It was in the 90's one day and in the 80's the rest. I ride pretty well in the heat usually, so I was fine. I had a work meeting Tuesday morning so I had to get out that evening which I generally don't prefer (riding in the evening). But local hammer Erik Hamilton had a teammate in town so a few of us went out and did some solid hard vo2 intervals. That was my first hard session back after not feeling good the week before and I felt really good that set.
I did two more solid-to-hard days during the week, then the weekend came. And the temps dropped. And it rained. But I wanted to cap the week w/ a solid paced long ride Sunday. I was able to find two other local hardmen willing to go out for 3 or more hours in the rain/50*. So we did. We didn't ride particularly hard, but very steady. And we faced a stiff wind in the face out of the north for a long period of this ride. And it rainded the entire time non stop. Long steady cold wet windy miles will wear on you. And my body is sore from the day. But I'm glad I put in the time. We ended up riding a climb which is a road that is never in good condition, but was in terrible condition due to all the rain we've had. We've climbed it anyway and since it was my great idea, I had to be the only one to get a flat on it. Que cera.
I'm going to get out the time trial bike this week and look into some legit suffering. I'm behind of where I typically am in terms of time trialling this year. There's a local 10mile TT tomorrow (Tuesday) and then a local (in Seymour) 20k TT this weekend. I'm planning to go to the Seymour event if the weather isn't bad.
Then I'm going to do some MTB racing in a few weeks. It's hard to even think much about MTB riding w/ the rain we've had, but it's coming soon enough.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

St Leon + The week leading up to it.

That's my week and my result. Dumpster.

I hate making excuses for bad performances, so I'm going to get this out of the way first: I've been battling a chest cold all week. I don't feel super super bad, but my immune system is definitely on the ropes and I haven't had quality sleep for 5 nights now. My nights have mostly been 2-5hrs of coughing bouts, then finally falling asleep for a few hours, then waking up coughing again... My training for this week was so/so at bet, which isn't a huge problem because I have a solid base, but still a little unnerving.
So we headed to St. Leon. This race suits me and I usually do pretty well there. Very weirdly though, on the car trip over I started feeling nauseous. I haven't felt nauseous at all this week while sick so it struck me as odd. My guess is it was just my system being "off kilter" and the motion sickness symptoms creeping on me (I don't really ever get motion sickness BTW) .
Anywho, it was raining when we lined up to start and I really had no idea how I was going to fare.

I had my teammate set me up to hit the climb at the front of the race. A few kamikaze pilots took off around me on the climb, but I wasn't worried much about them. I was feeling okay, and started to look for a move. A few came and went quickly and then Ryan Shanahan went. I know he packs a lot of horsepower, so I jumped as hard as I could to get up to him. Once I made contact we were gone. We did 1 lap w/ just the two of us and we got over a minute on the field. Then on the second climb Jon Atwell bridged to us making it a 3man break w/ some real firepower.
Us three worked together well and got 3-4minutes on the field. As far as all were concerned, the race behind was for it seemed. I came unhitched from the break midway through one lap to go. We had enough of a gap that I wasn't overly worried; I should be able to hang on to third. I kept riding but I was slowly dying and quickly slowing. Still though, I reached the bottom of final climb alone and couldn't see the group behind; I still had hope. But no legs. I went up the hill the final time at 4-5mph turning squares. But I was still clear of the field...until I reached the top.

I was picked up just as I crested the climb and I didn't even have enough gas to get on a wheel to ride the ~1mile to the finish. I limped in for 17th after spending 2.5hrs in a breakaway. I fell apart like I've never fell apart in a race before. That's the breaks though. Sometimes when you go all in you loose. Andi lost big time. I do believe if I had gone in healthy I would have hung and had a better day. But ending a week of sickness w/ 3hr hard road race is putting your fate to the wind.
Oh well. The results sheet are all that really matter in the end and I have a terrible result. But I put in a great effort and great ride.
Today (Sunday) I made the explicit plan to do nothing but rest all day to get rid of this cold. I took two naps and just sat around all day. Hopefully I have this thing licked.
I don't have a lot of racing on my calendar for May so I want to get some quality training in. This race (St. Leon) always feels like the end of the true road season for me. From here it's mostly criterium racing around here and I don't generally care for criterium style racing. So from May on it's typically the odd road race I can find but mostly MTB and TT racing for me. Then after a couple months of that it's time to be thinking about the Cyclocross season. One step at a time though. It needs to dry up enough to be able to even ride MTB's, let alone race them!

Monday, May 02, 2011

It's seriously wet outside here

Screenshot of Southern IN's radar. This was taken 5/2, but could have been taken pretty much any day of the last 6 weeks (though some days there wold have been a lot more red).
I was looking for record data but not having much luck finding it. I have to believe this was one of the wettest Aprils on record. One fact I did find while looking for that was that May is the wettest average month. We're in for it if that holds.
I had fully planned to go to Seymour for a 20k time trial this past Sunday. I got up to another rainy day and asked myself "do I really want to pay $4.++/gallon of gas to drive ~1hr to race my bike for 20min in the rain?" The answer was "yes I did," but "no I wasn't going to" (which means I didn't want to bad enough I guess). I figured my time would be better spent going on a long ride, even it was a long ride in the rain. So I did a nice ride w/a friend even if it was raining from door to door. I do feel as though I've developed a small chest cold though. I am coughing some and not psyched on that.
One positive thing the crap weather has brought though is that most of my Monday recovery rides have been done inside on rollers. What's positive about that you ask? Well, after Saved by the Bell over on TBS, I can now flip over to ABC Family channel and watch Grounded For Life for the remainder of the spin. That show wasn't on long, but has a great cast, great format and is a very funny show in my opinion. I liked it and thoroughly enjoy it in rerun.
This week is supposed to be the start of the Morgan-Monroe Time Trials here. Of course rain is forecasted for the first one. We'll have to see if we can pull this off or not.
If you've had your head in a hole you might not have heard, but Osama Bin Laden was killed. And Americans are pumped. Was he an evil man? Most would say 'yes.' Did he mastermind the murder of many innocent people? It seems so. Is the world better off with him gone? Probably. But I have to say the way people are celebrating his murder is kind of sickening to me. I mean, yes the guy probably should have paid with his life for his intrusions, but what kind of people celebrate the murder of anyone? I know what kind of people: psychos. It's one thing to fell a sense of relief that that the leader of a terrorist network is removed but 1) it's entirely different thing to party about the fact and 2) it's silly to believe that the terrorist organization can't/won't carry on w/out him. Just my thoughts, non bike related. Weather dry up so we can get to riding!!!!