Wednesday, April 21, 2010

All roads lead to racing

My mountain bike has seen 5 races this year, and it's only April. I have many more on my proposed schedule, most of which are long, endurance races. I haven't been training on the road bike nearly as much as on fat tires. So now that summer draws closer and road races abound, should I hop into a few crits or just keep on with my present dirty course?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pig wiener

I had one of "those" rides tonight. I rode like a pig wiener. Two hours forty five minutes. Ridiculous amount of climbing. I had legs made of chalk. No snap. After a stupid loop of all up, I met up with Pookie, Skippy and Chris for some more reasonable riding.

I had no flow, no groove, no mojo, yo.

I hope it was just one of "those" rides and I got it out of my system.

Friday, April 16, 2010

On again, off again

One race (see last post - Wednesday Night Disco) witout my trusty bar ends and slapped them right back on the morning after. So much more climbing power...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Come boogie with us

Wednesday Night Disco #1 is history. Don't miss the next three!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Training block

I started looking for a picture to steal online of a building block that would best represent my current training plan. I've been putting in some good saddle time a few days a week mixed in with shorter, more intense workouts. In another week I'll take some time off to rest. Basic "training 101" stuff.

When I found this picture, I was reminded once more what's really important in life and why I do what I do in the first place - because I love it. These blocks offer some very good advise. Sometimes I need to be careful not to get caught up so much in reaching a certain point and make sure that I just enjoy the journey.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Six Hours of Warrior Creek Race Report

All's well that ends well. That old expression is a polite way of saying "things don't always go as planned. Get over it". The 2010 edition of the Six Hours of Warrior Creek for me went exactly as planned. The reason is simple. I had no plan.

I did know two things going in:

1. I was going to start

2. I was going to ride as well as I could for as long as I could.

When I rolled to the line at 10am on Saturday I was surprisingly free of the typical butterflies I find swimming in my stomach at an XC race. I guess having no plan and having no expectations removes a lot of pressure. Besides, six hour events are more like a bike festival or a 24 hour race than a twitchy cross country affair. I did want to be close to the front when the gun went off. The start was uphill on pavement for about a two miles designed to spread everyone out. When I did this event last year I got stuck behind so many riders going into the singletrack that it was impossible to pass for a long, long time. I didn't want a repeat of that fiasco.

So when the signal was given, I hopped on the pain train. If I had to guess I would imagine that I was in the top 20 into the woods out of 200+ racers. Now all I could think about was not holding anyone up. We hammered pretty hard. It felt almost like a twitchy XC race, especially when the dufus with the blue BMCC jersey who didn't know how to ride his freakin' bicycle tried to pass me when there was no room and nowhere to go and crashed me into a ravine. Idiot. There was a line of at least 10 riders in front of me, and we were not slow. Where the hell were you gonna go? I've been doing this for a while and I've never seen anyone pull such a dumb-assed move. You crashed me and caused me to lose about 15 positions because you thought you were fast. Then within 5 minutes of knocking me off the trail I'm right back on your wheel? You obviously are not fast. I hope you DNFed.

Whew! It felt good to get that off my chest.

As I settled in once my blood stopped boiling, I continued on my cross-country race pace to finish my first 12-mile lap in about 56 minutes. The first rider across the line was at 52 minutes. I knew I was pushing a good pace. Perhaps too good. This was going to be a long day if I tried to keep it up for six hours.

I swung into our Roanoke/Lynchburg compound and Pookie was ready with an icy cold Cytomax and some Powerbar Bites. She was my pit crew and I owe her a huge return favor for taking care of me this day.

After my brief respite I headed out for lap two. I could feel lap 1 in my lower back and feet (new shoes, whole different story). My legs told me to lay off the throttle & conserve, but my brain told me to punch it. Lap 2 was slower than lap 1, but still too fast for a six hour pace.

Lap 2 intermission: repeat same as lap 1.

Lap 3 - Oh the pain. My feet were killing me, and my back was getting worse too. Mile 35 was the point when the leg cramps met up with me on the trail. I finished lap 3 with some doubts about getting the 5 laps that I was gunning for.

Lap 4 - Agony, suffering, survival. I made it to mile 48 (4 laps total) and called it a day. The rules stated that your last lap had to be started by 3:30pm. I ended my 4th lap at about 10 after 3. I had time, but no will power, legs, lower back, feet or desire. Other than that, I was good!

The thing I dislike about endurance races is that you have no idea where you are in the standing until the end. If I had gone out for one more lap, I would have finished in the top 10 in the solo 40+ category. Turns out I finished 12th. I'll take it.

Here's what I learned:

1. I need new shoes with a wider toe box.

2. I really need new brakes.

3. Man can not live on Cytomax and Powebar Bites alone. More solid food for next year.

I'll test my mettle again in July at the Dirty Dawg Six Hour Race at Mountain Lake. Nothing but short 5-hour races between now and then. :)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Impending doom

I am this guy. Imagine rolling up to the line for the start of the Six Hours of Warrior Creek with this kind of equipment. But, my Niner is solid. It's not my equipment that worries me, it's my lack of fitness and mental state.

I have had a bad week. (Understatement) Not at all what I had in mind leading into the first big event of my 2010 racing season.

I will be on that starting line. From there...who knows.