Thursday, August 31, 2006

Winding Down

Sorry for the lack of posts this week, I did a really long post on Monday or Tuesday and when I submitted it I got some freakin' IE error and it didn't get saved. I was frustrated so I didn't bother re-typing it. Anyways, this week has been a really calm week for me, not much riding as I'm in a recovery week. I didn't ride on Monday as it is a usual rest day for me, and I had a busy weekend anyways with the State Crit and the Cream City Century. Tuesday I rode for a nice medium paced ride through Whitnall Park for 1.5 hours and had to actually put the smack down on some euro-trash wannabe riders. I believe in wearing helmets, I've crashed enough times during races and been hit by a couple of cars so I know their importance. Everyone is entitled to go sans helmet if they feel like it, it's their choice and there is no law against it. Tuesday though I was irked a little bit by a couple of guys who were riding through Whitnall and they were obviously not racers as evidenced by their hairy legs and their poser euro outfits, without helmets of course. I could see them coming behind me for a ways and I could tell they were trying to push it as they both had their heads down and were spinning pretty profusely. I slowed down as we were nearing a stop sign and there was a car stopped to the right of me, so he was getting ready to go and then I was going to go. Well, these posers come flying past me as this car takes off, they don't stop, almost get hit by the car and they just keep going, turning around once to laugh nervously at the car that narrowly missed them. I didn't have any respect for them first off because of the helmet thing, but that pushed me over the edge. They kept flying and I decided I was going to catch them and give 'em a little piece of my mind. I'm guessing they were going about 23-24 mph but I caught them pretty quickly which I think shocked them because I know they thought they were the fastest thing this side of France. I pulled along side them, said " nice move assholes, by the way, get yourselves some helmets" and their only response was a sheepish " yeah, whatever". I shifted down a few gears, took off, and at the next intersection they turned right when I went straight. I was hoping for a little more of a confrontation cause I think I could've taken them both with no problem, but at the least I hope they go get some helmets now. So on to Wednesday, it was a less adventurous ride as I rode with my wife and son just for the fun of it. We did 1 hour and it was a pretty good ride. My wife is doing a little training for the Pedal The Kettle on the 17th so it was good for her to get out. It was suuuuper slow but I didn't really care as there is only one race left this year and I'll be in form for that race regardless of what I do this week. Today I have to help coach my son's soccer practice at 5:30 until 6:30 and then I'll end up riding on the trainer tonight as there will only be 45 minutes of daylight left by the time we get home and I get changed. I'll be doing about 1.5 hours on the trainer with some intervals thrown in, about 3 reps of 8-9 minute Steady States. Tomorrow I'll ride for 1 hour easy, Saturday I leave at 8:00 to go to Devil's Lake for a day trip with the family but I'll ride before we leave, I'm hoping for about 1.5 hours if I can get up at 5:30. Otherwise I'll ride on the trainer at night when we get back. I haven't figured out Sunday and Monday yet as it might rain, I'll let ya'll know later. Until next time......

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Went to dinner and a movie...too late to do a full re-cap but here are some pictures.....Scott is in the first picture and he did an awesome job for the win..........

Disappointing 8th Place

Brief results.....I got 8th today in the State Crit Championships. A little disappointing considering I felt great. Full race re-cap and pictures will be posted tonight.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Been Pretty Busy

It's been a few days obviously since my last post so I'll try to re-cap as best as I can what I've been doing the last 6 days. The training has been going according to plan and I haven't missed any rides or strayed from the program so I'm feeling pretty good heading in to this weekend's State Crit Championship. I did a few easy rides on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and then Saturday's ride was a little more difficult but only 2 hours in length and it didn't include any intervals. Sunday I did a great family ride with Melissa and Xavier and it basically served its purpose as a recovery pace ride. We did an hour long ride in New Berlin on the freshly paved New Berlin Recreation Trail and it was a fun, easy ride that everyone certainly enjoyed. I'm trying to get my wife in to cycling and with time constraints it's been difficult for her to ride but we have now ridden together the last two Sundays for a total of 30 miles. Last week we did 20 miles on Sunday, which was by far her furthest ride ever, and then we did 10 miles with our son this week and she said that it seemed easy. Maybe by the end of the year I'll get her out for a 40-50 mile ride, we'll see though. Around the house I've just been doing the normal stuff, working on the yard, remodeling the kitchen, cleaning up, basically all the fun stuff. Sunday night after the ride we went to Zoo a la Carte at the Milwaukee County Zoo and fed ourselves until we couldn't walk anymore, I weigh about 3lbs more now but it was well worth it. Yesterday was a rest day and I was supposed to go to the target range with my friend to shoot some guns but we got there too late and it was already closed. We ended up just relaxing at his house and enjoyed a couple of good beers, probably not ideal training fluids, but I'm sure it won't affect my performance on Saturday. Tonight I have to do a 2 hour ride with 3 sets of Descending Intervals which basically start at 75 seconds and count down to 30 seconds with equal recovery in between each rep. After each set I'll rest for 5 minutes and then start again, it's great training for crit races so hopefully I'm feeling good and can get in an optimal workout. After tonight I have a couple of easy rides tomorrow and Thursday and then Friday I'll do a couple of Power Intervals to open the legs for Saturday. Right now the forecast for Saturday is calling for a 40% chance of Thunderstorms, I'm praying that it holds out as that could really wreck the race strategy!
As an aside, anyone who wants an inspirational story and some motivation to get off their lazy butt should check out the progress of Saul Raisin on his website at I'm sure most of you know what happened to Saul and have kept up on his subsequent recovery, but if not, you probably wouldn't believe his story. To keep it short, Saul crashed in a European bike race and was in a coma after developing an intracerebral hemorrhage and was basically told he might never develop full function again as a result of his brain damage. After 4 months Saul was riding again on the rollers and trainer, as much as 21 hours per week!! According to his website he is now doing 3 hour rides on the road as well. Check it out and make sure to look at all of his past blog entries and his picture gallery, it's pretty moving stuff. Until next time, happy riding...........

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sore and Lovin' It

Today my legs are hurting, kind of like the hurt of a 300lb person sitting on my lap, or maybe like getting kicked in the quads by a horse, either way let's just say they are sore. Last night I did one of my most difficult training rides in quite a while, completing 3 sets of Over/Under intervals and then following that up with 7 hill repeats. For those not familiar with OU intervals it goes something like this...smash your legs with a hammer for 8 minutes and then go directly in to 3 minutes of stabbing them with a large serrated knife. It's quite fun! Actually that is what it feels like but in reality it goes like this....8 minutes at 89% of max HR, directly in to 3 minutes at 92% of max HR, 8 minutes at 89%, 3 minutes at 92%, etc...... so it is all continuous for 3 repeats of 8/3. In real time it looks like this.....8/3/8/3/8/3...non-stop, that is one set. I did 3 sets of those with a 5 minute break between sets. On the way back home I did 7 repeats up 2 hills, 3 up a really steep hill and then 4 up a really long (for WI) hill. The two hills are like a half-pipe so I went up one, then down it, right up the other and so on 7 times then I finally went home. My legs are killing me today but the next 3 days are rest days on the bike so I will get to just take it easy with rides of 1 hour tonight, 1.5 tomorrow and then 1 hour again on Friday. Say what??!?! Only one hour?! Yup, only one hour, pretty easy hey? It does seem easy but it's all part of the plan of building up the body by trashing it for just over 2 weeks and then allowing it to build up for a week and a half. So for the last 2 weeks and 3 days I've been doing intervals or race simulation 3 days a week and now is the time to let the body rest and rejuvenate and if all works well that means a peak for the 26th. Most novice bikers will ask, "how can you get better by riding for only one hour?". It's not the riding that you's the riding that you don't do that makes you better. Most novice riders (yes, I'm only a Cat. 4 now, but far from a novice if you know my background) don't rest enough to allow their body to compensate for their hard efforts. Most racers just think "go, go, go" on every ride and try to hammer all the time to prove that they have the biggest, um, helmet, bike helmet, yeah. They never allow for recovery time on the bike and then they end up overtraining or just getting stale from riding one speed, fast, all the time. Anyways, it helps mentally as well to just be able to go out and actually look around and enjoy the ride for what it is. So, after the ride tonight I'm hoping to go shoot some guns as my friend Jason and I are hopefully going to a target range to shoot a snub-nosed .38 and a "Baby" Desert Eagle 9mm. It'll help get out some frustration from work and it's always fun to shoot some of the "terrorist" targets. Until next time..........

Monday, August 14, 2006

Feeling Rested...Kinda.

I'm definitely feeling less fatigued than I had mentioned in my last post on Friday as I did get some rest yesterday. I didn't get much rest on Saturday as I was up at 6:00a.m. so that I could eat some breakfast before the Drop the Doc ride. I drove up to Dousman and did the ride, 37 miles at 24.5 mph, so it was a pretty good ride. I stayed at the front for a while in the beginning and took a few pulls, then sat on for a while in the middle of the ride. Near the end two guys took off up a little rise as I happen to come through for my pull so I pushed it hard on the hill and caught up to them near the top. One guy was blown so he dropped but I kept going with the other guy and then we were joined by my teammate Tony and we were pushing it at about 28-29 mph. The pack was about 30-40 yards behind us so we just kept pushing it. I didn't really know that we were near the end as I've only done this ride once before so I thought we were just having a go and that the pack would just catch us again. Well, after about 2 minutes we hit a flat section and the pack came sprinting by us at 35+ mph as we were actually at the finish line of the ride, which is basically a wooden sign on the side of the road. At first I was wondering why everyone was sprinting like crazy and then I realized we were at the end, which is good because at that point I was starting to get a little fried on our little breakaway. If the pack didn't catch us I probably could've gone for a little bit longer but not too much without blowing up. I have improved quite a bit this year but still not enough to hold that pace for a long distance, so I guess I still have a ways to go. It was a fun ride and I definitely got in my requisite amount of Race Simulation training. After the ride I went home, mowed the entire lawn, stained the outside of my fence, painted my back door, painted and cut some base molding for the house and then at about 8:00 I finally was able to relax and eat dinner before the Packer game. Sunday I did some more work around the house, basically cleaning the garage, pulling weeds and some other miscellaneous stuff. I was scheduled to do a 2 hour Endurance Pace ride but instead I suggested to my wife that she ride with me so we went out and did 20 miles together, which at the pace she can go took us 1.5 hours. She was pretty tired at the end of the ride as it was the longest ride she's ever done so I'm pretty proud of her for that. I was really fresh of course and could've ridden another 2 hours but it was 6:30 by the time we got back and it was time to cook dinner and relax. I ended up in bed at about 9:30, which is really early for me, but I needed the sleep. I feel rested up and ready to go today, so even though I'm scheduled for a rest day I'll probably take a little stroll on the bike just for fun, maybe an hour or so, just to keep the blood flowing. Tomorrow I've got some Over/Under Intervals scheduled so hopefully the legs feel good so that I can push those hard. The weather looks great the rest of the week so it should be a good week of riding. Until next time...happy riding!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Sooooo Tired!

Since I've come back to work last week Wednesday I've been working like a madman, 11 hours a day, up at 5:00a.m. or earlier and in to work by 6:00a.m. until 5:00p.m.. Today was the first day that I got to sleep late, until 6:30, so that felt great but I'm still completely wiped out as I've typically been getting about 5 hours of sleep a night. Some people can handle 5 hours of sleep and it's no big deal, but when you are working all day then coming home to bike for another 2 hours or more, it can really wear on your body and eventually major fatigue or sickness sets in. Luckily I don't feel sick but fatigue is a big issue right now, I can tell my body is getting tired and I have a general feeling of malaise that I normally didn't have before this week. I do have to be to work early Monday through Thursday next week but I finally get a respite as I have another vacation day on Friday. After that my big project at work will be complete and I'll go back to my normal schedule and I'll finally get some much needed sleep. Anyways, the last couple of days have been good on the bike, Wednesday I did intervals and yesterday I did a nice short 1.25 hour Endurance Pace ride. The intervals on Wednesday were pretty tough as I did 2 sets of (8) 30 second Speed Intervals during my 2.25 hour ride. The last set wasn't as easy as I had previously bragged about on Tuesday's ride. The second day of SI was pretty tough and by the end I was really gasping for air and my HR was up around 189 bpm. This result is obviously not only the expected result but the desired result as I really trashed my body during this 2nd day of hard workouts. Last night my easy 1.25 hour ride, in addition to tonight's 1 hour Recovery Ride, will help to start the regeneration process in my body to rebuild from the two hard efforts. I will tear down my body again, hopefully, on tomorrow's Drop the Doc ride as I'm hoping everyone will make it a super fast ride. I'm counting on the ride being like a race simulation, with the expectation that there will be about 70 people there who are going to try to really push it. After the ride I'll take a little bit of a nap as I'll have to get up again early at about 6:00 to eat and drive out to the ride, so I'm going to need just a bit of a rest afterwards. Basically the rest of the day will just be doing a lot of yard work and some cabinet work on my house. I'll probably relax at night with a movie in the recliner until I fall asleep. Should be great weather tomorrow and a great day of riding and working around the house. Until next time, happy riding...........

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Is It Time To Race Yet?

It has been about 3 or 4 weeks since I've last raced and I'm starting to get a little antsy to get out there and mix it up a little bit. I obviously did the MS150 which was a great charity ride but it wasn't a competitive event so it was more relaxing than anything, basically just cruising for 150 miles. I started my speed training again last week as well and I'm feeling pretty strong right now and I think that is part of the reason I want to get out, I'd like to gauge my fitness against everyone else. I have just over two weeks until the State Crit Championship and if everything stays on track for that I think my form will be good enough to at least be more than pack fodder during the race. I did Speed Intervals on last night's ride and was able to sit and push at 35-36 mph on the flats for each of the (7) 30 second intervals. Basically the Speed Intervals are 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off....and so on, 7 times with a 5 minute rest between sets, of which I did two. As each interval progressed I actually felt stronger as they went on and by the end of the two sets I wanted to do another set but didn't want to make the mistake of overtraining, which a lot of people do when they feel strong. Tonight I will be doing 2 sets of (8) reps of Speed Intervals during my 2 hour ride, which is almost my max now as by the time I get home and get out it's dark about 2 hours later at 8:10ish. Anyways, normally you wouldn't do Speed Intervals 2 days in a row as the usual recovery time between these workouts is 48 hours because they stress the body so much. Tonight I'm doing them for the 2nd day in a row because by overstressing the body so much this week I will be allowed 2 weeks to recover creating a greater compensation effect than if I were to do intervals right up to the race without recovering. 2 weeks is usually when you want to start tapering after a really stressful week of training, so my last hard ride this week will be the Drop the Doc ride on Saturday. Next week and the week after will only include one day each of Intervals and lots of Endurance pace and Recovery pace rides. Hopefully this all pays off with a good result. Well, besides that, my new teammate Tony won the Sheboygan WI Cup race and is now only 9 points behind going in to the final WI Cup race so we'll definitely have to make sure he wins that race to take the series overall...that's if he doesn't upgrade before the race to a 3. Either way, it's been a great year for him and I can't wait to see how he progresses next year in the 1/2/3s. Well, almost time to head home and head out for a ride. Until next time.

Monday, August 07, 2006

MS150 Recap

This past weekend was the MS150, which is a charity ride from Waukesha to Madison over 2 days, and other than being rained on all day yesterday, it was a wonderful event. We started out Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. with a leisurely stroll out of Waukesha with a group of almost 1500 riders heading towards our destination of Whitewater where we would stay the night. The first 3 or 4 miles were pretty slow as everyone made their way out of Waukesha and thankfully the groups started to thin out as the miles went on which allowed me ride in a straight line instead of weaving around all of the slower riders. The weather was perfect on Saturday with overcast skies to block out a lot of the sun and keep the temps manageable in the mid 80s, and the wind was pretty much non-existent. Dave and I rode the 100 mile route and it was a great ride with plenty of opportunities to eat lots of food at the rest stops along the way. I may have actually gained a pound or two during the weekend. After the ride we had a large dinner at the dining hall of the UW-Whitewater campus, basically all you could eat spaghetti, chicken, ham, mashed potatoes, and I also ate a corn dog....yum, yum. We awoke on Sunday morning to cloudy skies at 5:30a.m., but with hope that the rain would hold off we went to breakfast for our fill of waffles, juice and a couple biscuits with gravy. We changed right after breakfast and walked out of the dorms with our SS jerseys on only to find that it was now raining. I quickly threw on my jacket and unfortunately that was not an option for Dave as he didn't bring one with, so we headed out knowing that we were in for a long day of riding in the rain. Immediately we both were pretty wet and chilled and knew that cutting it short and doing the 62 mile route would probably be the order of the day. I have a lot to race for yet this year with the State Crit Championship coming up so I was not ready to catch pneumonia by riding in the rain for 6 hours on the 100 mile route. After about 26 miles we hit the 2nd rest stop and the ride organization was making everyone stay at that stop as the local law enforcement were not allowing anyone back on the road as there was way too much lightning and supposedly hail heading our way. We all huddled under a carport and tried our best to squeeze out whatever water we could to help dry out a little sooner than later. After approximately 45 minutes of standing around they finally allowed everyone to continue on and the rain and wind combined to chill us to the bone, reaffirming our decision to cut our route short and do 62 miles. We finished the ride in Madison filthy with mud, manure, worms, and whatever other road grime we accumulated along the way. Luckily for us one of the buses was getting ready to leave to take people back to Waukesha so we quickly threw on some dry shirts and shorts (or wet shorts in Dave's case) and jumped on the bus. It took about all of 10 minutes before I was almost drooling on my shirt as I slept like a little baby on the ride back. After we got our bikes and gear we packed up and I headed for home with nothing on my mind but a warm shower and a plate of leftover lasagna from Friday night. I showered, ate, and then went to Starbucks with my wife for a nice big coffee and then relaxed the night away watching a DVD in the recliner. All in all, it was a great ride and in spite of the rain, a great weekend. I was proud to raise some money for MS and hopefully I can make it back next year to do it again.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Getting Serious Again

The last few weeks have been pretty relaxed on the bike as I haven't really had a structured riding program and have just basically been riding at casual speeds for 2 to 2.5 hours with the exception of my long ride last Sunday. I am now 4 weekends away from the State Crit Championship so Monday I started ramping up my ride intensity again and have gone back to a structured program until the race on the 26th. I did a 42 mile ride on Monday at Endurance pace and pushed it on any hills just to get my legs used to the intensity again. Last night I did a 36 mile ride and did 2 sets of 7 x 30 second Speed Intervals. Speed Intervals are perfect training for criteriums as they simulate the burst coming out of corners and the high cadence that I use during crits. I'll be doing the Speed Intervals again tomorrow so that means tonight will just be a short recovery ride between the two days of intervals. Friday I'll just be doing a short recovery ride as well ahead of the 100 miles I'll be doing on Saturday for the MS150. Sunday will be 75 miles, again for the MS ride and then Monday will be a rest day. I'll do a couple of heavy interval days next week followed by a gradual taper heading in to the race. I'll obviously update my training as the weeks progress towards the race and let you all know how it's going.
Anyways, I'm also back to work today after 5 weeks off for my sabbatical and it's been rough going so far. I was up at 4:50a.m. and in to work by 6:00 and I have a feeling I'm going to sleep pretty good tonight. After long periods of vacation like this companies should allow people to come back gradually, like 2 hours the first day, then 4 hours, 6, and then finally the full 8-9 hours until the employee is fully acclimated again. I'm definitely for this idea but instead I'll be working 11 hours today, tomorrow, and Friday. Good times, good times. Only 16 more days until my next vacation day though, so I've got that to look forward to........until next time.