Sunday, September 25, 2011

What did I do this weekend?

I paid money ride a bike in mud.

This weekend was the first round of the Indiana visits of the Ohio Valley Cyclocross Series. The Indy Double Weekend. Saturday was the race at the classic venue Brookside Park. It kind of rained on/off for a lot of the day making the course tricky. It wasn't muddy per se, and the sun came out and tacked it up quite a bit for our race.
I don't have a good explanation why, but I found myself completely buried at the start and I had to pass people the entire time. It was not ideal and I rode pretty well, but I could only pull out 11th.

Sunday was quite a contrast in terms of conditions. The first picture is from Saturday; nice and clean. The second is from Sunday; the muddiest race I've ever done.
It was nasty. All day rain. Getting ready in the rain sucks. Starting a race in the rain sucks. Racing through inches of peanut-butter mud, that's just the way it goes sometimes. I wasn't feeling very good most of the day. My stomach was in knots the entire night before and I just wasn't feeling 'on' at all so I decided early on that I wasn't going to pre-ride the course; it was just too muddy to bother and I wasn't feeling good anyway. But I eventually changed my mind and went out for a lap prior to our start. It was clear to me that I would be racing against the course, not the other riders. I couldn't push hard, I just had to try to stay steady and not crash. One probably could have crashed 10-20 times per lap if he were not overly cautious as to what he was doing 100% of the time. It was one of those races you hear about where going slow is fast and going fast is crashing. I did crash once and cut up my knee some and get a little 'hipper', but nothing big. I lost two places as a result and couldn't get them back. I ended up 17th. Not what I'd hoped for, but in the money at least.
So overall I guess I can say it was a...memorable weekend. Not the best in terms of results, but got to hang out w/ a lot of good friends and despite not feeling great and horrid weather, had a good time.

Monday, September 19, 2011

One down...

This past weekend was the series opener of the Ohio Valley Cyclocross Series. Race #1. And since I was speedy with my mouse finger and registered first, I got the #1 to pin on.
It rained on-and-off pretty much all day. I arrived at the venue some 6hours before my race to get Lindsay there in time for her race (which she won). I started pre-riding the course early, since I was there anyway and the conditions were wet and sloppy in places. I switched over to my "wet tires" thinking this was going to be a mud race. But a lot can change in 6 or so hours. It did spit rain on/off, but by the time our race got going the course had dried up to a perfect tack. I would say it was perfect; I switched back to intermediate tires and that was a good choice.
Our races are different for 2011. The organization has lumped the Elite Master's racers into our race which as an effect nearly triples our field. Having 50 or so men in an Elite race made it far more interesting. Way more happening during the race. I got a good start and got "settled in" to a good group and rode a good race. I felt really good, but with ~3 laps to go my legs started cramp in places. Fighting odd cramps and riding 100% effort is a very challenging balance. I worked through it and finished 13th. I was 8th of the non master's Elite's. Not bad. I was happy with that for my first race of the year on what many consider the hardest course of the series.

Not sure what's up w/ this picture. My guess is I had just spit, but maybe I'm just trying to look stupid.

This weekend is the Indy double weekend which is usually in December. I don't think I've ever raced at the Indy venues in above freezing temps, so this will be kind of weird. Not to mention doubles are always hard; shouldn't be as bad as last year though which featured blizzard-like conditions Saturday, then frigid (sub 20) temps Sunday. Add into that trying to clean/prep both of my bikes in the waaay sub freezing temps and in the dark Saturday night, and that' a weekend I will probably never forget. These races being in the fall rather than the dead of winter should remedy that.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Not as planned

Well this weekend did not go as planned at all. Rather than readying myself for the first cyclocross race of the year, I spent Friday night on the bathroom floor throwing up and Saturday in bed w/ a terrible headache, hot/cold spells and feeling very weak.
I had no appetite all day but I really wanted to take some ibuprofen for my head, but didn't want to take it on an empty stomach. Around 4pm I ate a banana and took some meds and started feeling better. Lindsay made me some green tea and some great completely homemade chicken/rice soup. I was able to eat some of that around 7pm or so. I gt feeling much better, but still somewhat light-headed and weak so in the interest of not ending up setting myself back further made the call to not try to race on Sunday. It's a tough call to not race when you train, train, train (not to mention when you preregistered), but this first race is a non-series race, so I'd rather miss it and make sure I'm healthy for the series opener next weekend than do it and end up realizing it was the wrong choice. Ugg. I hate it, but sometimes things just don't go according to plan.
(my bikes, which were loaded in the car and RTR Friday night, were removed and sitting in the garage race day. Bone deal.)
I'm feeling better today (Sunday) and though I skipped the race, I did get out for about 1.5hr of easy riding. I felt fine and will be back at it next week.

A "podium" picture from the State Time Trial surfaced today too, so I thought I'd throw that up for you viewing pleasure. That was July 17. Seems like forever ago.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

No Rain

It was supposed to rain but it didn't. A cold front definitely pushed in, but w/out the usual fanfare of storms/wind/etc. I had a so/so training week and wanted to get in a good longer road ride Sunday before the CX season gets underway because there aren't a ton of free weekends to get in longer road miles once racing gets going. I kind of planned Sundays ride around the storms that never came...and that's just fine.
As for my so/so week, I had a few little things add up to get my head out of it. We had a sick cat that required 2 visits to the vet. Also I had to meet at our house w/ an appraiser because we are refinancing due to mortgage rates being hella-way low. Plus I have been taking care of my neighbor's cats for, like, 6 weeks now. She had foot surgery and is staying somewhere else. Not a huge thing, but she is a compulsive hoarder like you see on the TV shows. It's kind of stressful to go through her house, which is 1 path through stuff piled ~4-5' high.
Tuesday I got my planned workout done as needed, but didn't feel good doing it. Wednesday I had a meeting w/ a rep, that turned into an evening ride w/ the rep. In our industry riding w/ a rep typically would mean riding way slow/waiting for some fat dude who "used to be a sick cat II." But our Giant rep is totally legit and we rode out to Wapahani Park and did some follow the leader (he on a MTB, me on a CX) so I was riveted while following his lead. Thursday I had a good workout and felt really good doing it.
Then as mentioned above I wanted to get a long road ride in Sunday. I wanted to do some good roads that I don't do all of the time so I planned my route to include Grandma Barnes rd and North Shore Drive, but from east to west (I almost always do this road the other direction) .

Grandma Barnes road always makes me think there will be the smell of cookies and/or pies being baked on it. You know, grandma stuff. But it is one of the more difficult climbs in the area. So there's pie all right: humble pie (that was a terrible joke, I should probably delete that...). Anyway, I had a great ride and felt really good.
On another note: Lindsay and I went out to dinner and then went out for drinks afterwards; what old married couples call a "date night." We NEVER really do this, so it was nice. I'm super frugal plus try to be pretty conscious about what I eat and sometimes (most of the time) that = no fun.
So, this weekend is the first CX race of the season in these parts. It's a non-series race, but a good "warm up." I'm looking forward to it, I just hope it's not too hot.