Monday, July 18, 2011

State TT and looking ahead

This past week was the build up to the State Time Trial Championship race. This event is in New Haven, IN which is just outside of Ft. Wayne. In other words: it's a long ass drive. The riders start at around 8am, so this race requires an overnight stay. Luckily there's a hotel basically right across from the start line.
I wanted to get up there early enough to get out on the bike for an hour or so the evening before the race to get the "car legs" shaken off. Last year we didn't get there after dark and didn't the chance to ride any.
This year we got in w/ plenty of day light left so I set out for some openers. It was hot, but I felt really good riding at threshold.
Race morning my start was 8:53am. I got up, got my routine done and headed toward the course to ride around some prior to starting.
It was going to be hot, but I consider myself to do well in heat in general. I got started and immediately felt good and in control. Time trialling is such a delicate balance of going as hard as you can w/out blowing up. To do it right you have to ride right at you limit, but w/out going over your limit too far/too much. This northern course is dead flat; it's interesting to ride a road 12miles out then back and not have to shift gears at all really. It gives your mind plenty of chances to wander, but staying focused is important. Staying on top of your gear, keeping your head down, keeping you rhythm, these things can become difficult when you're staring at a straight white line for an hour. But I had no problem keeping focus this day. It all came together and I had the best feeling 40k TT I've ever done. I came in and had dropped 1min 1sec off my last year's time. I won here last year and I really thought no one would beat my time this year. I was right. It's only Cat3, so nothing to brag too much about, but I did post the 4th best time overall. I was very happy with my race.
So now I'm attempting to take a week off of cycling and shift gears to cyclocross mode. After this week off I'm going to get back riding next week, but w/ no specific workouts, just riding. I do plan to race MTB this weekend (after this week off), so we'll see how that goes. I'll go into it w/ no expectation. Hard to believe it's almost August.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I finished up last week's training and wanted to do a long ride today (Sunday). I had heard rumor that one of my favorite climbs in the area, Bear Wallow, had gotten fresh pavement and I really wanted to go check it out. (you take a right here)

The rumor was true! Fresh pavement all the way!

Not sure why it's my favorite road; this is what I look like for the duration of the climb:

It was very good 3hr ride, but w/ most of my buddies out of town I did it solo. I suppose w/ the State TT a week away it's probably good to practice in solitude.
I'm feeling really strong right now so I'm going back off this week to hit the TT fresh. I haven't done a 40k yet this year, but I've done enough of them in the past to know how they feel and how they go; I'm hoping for a good time.
There was a bonus points MTB "race" (I put "race" in quotes because to was more of timed exhibition it seems) that I didn't go to. I haven't chased the DINO series points for many years now, so bonus points aren't worth anything to me. Anywho, Lindsay went and Lindsay crashed...hard. She seemed okay for the most part (via text msgs) so I called her to make sure 1) she was okay and 2) she made it home okay. When I got through to her she said she wasn't at home, but in the waiting room at Bloomington Hospital ER. What!?! She thought she might have had a concussion because she was nauseous and had a killer headache. I left work and went over to the hospital as fast as my Giant Via would go and when we got into the ER the Dr said she didn't think there was evidence of a concussion and just to take it easy for a couple of days and she should be fine.
She looks way too excited to be actually hurt but hey, w/ head injury she could be going crazy right in front of me here. On the other hand, I'm no Dr, but anyone that excited in the ER is probably either suffering a head injury or waaaaay drunk.
Seriously though, she's fine now and all seems well. The reports from this event were pretty epic sounding though. I heard of broken wrists, broken ribs, concussions and broken collar bones. I'm kind of glad I skipped it and I probably won't take part in it in the future. On the other hand, if I do have to crash I'd rather it be due to my own short coming than some idiot taking me out on the pavement. I'd rather not have to crash at all though really. Point is: I'm glad Lindsay's ok. She's become a tough beeoch. Riding bikes a lot will do that to you. Just ask this guy he got up off the barbed wire fence he was launched into by a car and finished the stage of the Tour de France; that's one tough bastard right there.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Off my game

I'm off my blogging game...sorry. I'm on my riding game though. And as such I've been totally tuckered out.
Last weekend was 4th of July weekend which is always one of my favorite MTB race weekends of the season; the DINO races at Muscatatuck Park in North Vernon, IN. However I was not there this year. I haven't missed this race in 7+ years, but Lindsay was out of town and had the car, so I was left stranded. Oh well, not a huge thing. Though in true half-assed amateur bike racer fashion I should probably say "I totally would have done awesome if I had been there."
Anywho, Sunday the 3rd I did a nice mid distance ride w/ a buddy who just moved down here. This is such a great place to be a cyclist and he is learning the routes/roads and i thought I'd take him out to show him a route or two.
Monday the 4th was a different story. I met up w/ some local fast guys and hammered out 2.5hrs w/ them. As much as I want to make a killer "4th of July fireworks were being blown" joke, I'll pass on that one . Suffice it to say it was a hard ride. But one of the aforementioned fast men was throwing a small get-together when we got back in, so it was nice to throw down some "cookout food" as soon as we finished.
In other news I guess I've decided I am going as fast as my legs will push me on my TT bike so I have to see how many MPH's my wallet can provide.

Though not full on legit disc, I bought a cover for my rear TT race wheel. It was $100 compared to ~$1,000(++) for a good disc, so it will hopefully return some cheap speed. We shall see. The State TT champs are 1 week away and I have generally been working hard for several weeks now; I'm in need of rest. I'm going to take it easier next week in hopes of hitting the State TT full-on. Then after that I plan to take a legit rest week.
Swimming has been going, well, swimmingly (lame joke, whatevs). I've been going at least 2x per week and I feel really good in the water. I still have general body pains and aches, but I do still believe this a big step in the right direction to alleviate hip/neck/back pain(s).
I'll keep you posted. Thanks for reading!