Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Big Turd And Then A 3rd!

Well, after I laid a big turd yesterday I had to make up for it in today's Whitewater Road Race and I did just that, taking the uphill field sprint behind a breakaway of 2 riders. It was a pretty hot day, about 90 degrees and there wasn't much wind which was good because we had to do 7 laps of a 6.0 mile course with one medium size hill and a couple of pretty small rollers that made the legs pretty sore by the end of the race. I felt a lot better than yesterday right from the start and kind of figured I'd be in for a good day and although a few people tried to animate the race, not much happened as the race went on. There were a couple of attacks that gained maybe 20-30 seconds but they were reeled in by the last lap which is when 2 guys took off and stayed away by about 30 seconds. I knew that we wouldn't catch them so I positioned myself to be at the front coming around the last turn and when we hit the corner I took the inside line and everything opened right up for me and I was able to fly up the right side of the road to a 3rd place finish. All my teammates had a great race today, we were by far the best team with 4 of us finishing in the top-10 and all us riding strong at the front and doing a lot of the pacemaking. I feel bad for Glen that he had some cramping on the last lap otherwise we probably would have had 5 in the top 10. Dave S. rode strong as always and got 5th, Doug is improving by leaps and bounds every week and got 6th, John had a great ride today and was the first 50+ rider with a 9th place finish. Andy had a really strong race after doubling up yesterday and he still had the energy to be at the front today and he finished strong in 19th. I have to apologize but I don't know what place Glen got but he rode strong all day and unfortunately cramped at the end. Mike also gave it a go today and although he didn't finish, he managed a few laps in only his second race this year. We also had a great showing in our M1/2/3 group as Dave E. got 2nd place after breaking away from the pack with 4 laps to go and he was later joined by one of the strong men of that group and they stayed away for the remainder of the race. 5 top-10s for the team today, it was really a great day. Well, this is my last post for the week until I get back from vacation on Friday afternoon. I'll be up at Governor Dodge with the family for a week of camping but as I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm bringing the bike and we'll be riding for most of the week. Tomorrow I probably won't ride, Tuesday will be an easy couple of hours, Wednesday and Thursday will be hard days of 4-5 hours to Blue Mounds and back and then Friday we head home and I'll do an easy spin ahead of Saturday's race. Well, that's it until Friday, until next time............

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Mountain Biking Anyone?

That's what today's course felt like, just a big loop of one small hill, then a walking path, then a downhill turn off of a steep driveway ramp in to the street, if you missed the barriers then you continued until you hit a nice 180 degree turn and then it was like 150ft. to the finish. Just a really crappy course that was even worse than the course last year at Whitewater, which I didn't think could be possible. How this course ever got approved by USAC is beyond me. Anyways, in spite of that, I should have been able to do well as I've always been a good technical rider and I've only missed one top-10 out of 12 or 13 races this year so top-10 should be no problem right? Wrong. I sucked right from the start. I didn't get position going up the hill and then it was all spread out from there and there was no help for me between the lead group and the splintered packs behind me. I was by myself for a bit and then caught a Crono guy who sat on my wheel until the last couple of laps and then dropped me after he did no work the whole race. I also caught my teammate Glen but he was stronger then me today and dropped me as well, I think we were together for 4 or 5 laps before I couldn't hang on anymore. I have no excuses, basically I had nothing today, I couldn't breath, it felt like I was hyperventilating the whole race. The legs felt good though, but what does that matter. As a bonus I also crashed about midway through the race going around the 180 degree turn. My ass is burning right now from the road rash, but I didn't hurt myself bad and the bike is o.k.. My teammates Rudy and Dave S. also crashed, with Dave crashing twice and getting the worst of it as he bloodied up his hip and his elbow. He also had the best finish out of all of us though as he was off the front a bit and had plenty of time to recover before too many people came around. He should have been 3rd but his last crash allowed a few people to get around him in the finish straight. I'll get up tomorrow and see how stiff the hip is, I'll ride a bit to loosen it up and then if it's good I'm heading to the RR. I heard the course isn't too difficult, no really big hills, just a rolling course. Let's hope I have a better performance than today, as I lost my points lead and need a really good race to get it back. Oh, I got 13th today by the way.......Well, that's it for now, until next time.................

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Weebles Wobble But.......

.....They don't fall down. That's how I felt last night. I felt like I was on another level last night than I have been of late, and I was pushing it so hard during bike practice that I almost passed out! I did a little bit of everything during my 2.5 hour ride starting with a nice warm up, which didn't take much considering that it seemed pretty warm and humid and I was sweating buckets just cruising along at 18mph. After my warm up I was on my favorite long, flat stretch of road ready to start my 6x3min PowerIntervals, but this time I cut down my recovery time from a 1:1 ratio to a 3:2 ratio, only resting for 2 minutes instead of the full 3 minutes. I was flying along, HR maxed out for the first 5 and feeling great. I was on to my 6th one and hammering and I figured I was going to try to take it even higher so I started sprinting the last 30 seconds and was about 5 seconds from finishing when I went totally hypoxic and started seeing the little sparkle fairies floating around my head. I was close to falling over but slowed down enough to recover and keep it upright. Back in my old days of training I would do intervals until my head fell off or I threw up in my mouth, then I knew it was a good day of intervals. Now I guess instead of throwing up, I know it's a good day if I almost pass out. Well, that's probably not good, but boy did it feel good. Anyways, after that I took off towards my favorite long climb by Muskego and figured I'd do a few repeats, and would try to better my PR, which was 2min 28sec. Well, on the first one I broke my PR by 6 seconds so I decided that the rest of the repeats would go a little easier. I did a couple more and on the 3rd one, another rider/racer (looked the part of a racer) showed up to do repeats as well and it just happened that I was finishing my recovery as he started his first one. I've never ridden up the hill with anyone else, so I don't have a gauge of how fast my time really is so I figured this would be a good time to see how I compare to someone else who looks like they have the ability to go fast. Well, I started about 10 seconds behind him and caught and passed him pretty easily about half way up, so it turned out that he either wasn't as good as I thought or my time up that climb is actually decent. Who knows, I felt good though so that's all that matters. After that it was an easy 30 minutes home and I downed a huge plate of stir-fry that my wife made.....whole grain rice, fresh vegetables, and lean cuts of steak, it was the best she's ever made so I was quite happy.
Well, as for the rest of the week, tonight is iffy with the rain but it appears that it's going to hold off so if it does I'll be doing 2.25 hours to Whitnall, down to Franklin, and back. It's one of my favorite Endurance pace courses, nice and wooded, quite a bit of it on the bike path and there is always lots of people to keep it interesting. Tomorrow will be about 90 minutes with a couple of PowerIntervals to open up the legs and then it's off to Whitewater for a crit on Saturday and a RR on Sunday.
After that I get a much needed vacation from work, and the family and I will be heading to Governor Dodge State Park for a week of camping. My days will be spent laying on the beach, kayaking, hiking, and cooking over the camp fire. Oh yeah, and biking! I'll be doing 3-5 hours Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday early in the morning while the family is at the beach and then I'll join them in the afternoon where I'll recover by laying on a raft in the lake. I'll do that beautiful climb up Blue Mounds probably twice over the 3 days and of course there are plenty of other climbs to keep me breathing hard. It'll be like a vacation and a mini hill-training camp all in one. Well, that's it for now, until next time...........

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Team Wheaton Flying High!

The team had a great weekend, we had 6 top-10 finishes over the 2 days of racing in Grafton and Fond du Lac. Saturday in Grafton we barely missed out on getting 4 riders in the top 10 as we finished 4th, 6th, 8th, and 11th in the bunch sprint. A bunch of the other guys finished really strong as well, with everyone doing a ton of work and riding strong all race at the front of the pack. It was a great atmosphere and a great day. Sunday we headed up to Fond du Lac and with 4 of us lining up for the start it was a smooth, fast race until the last corner as it started to really rain with 2 laps to go and there was a crash coming in to the last turn for the sprint. Doug and Andy managed great finishes with a 3rd and an 8th place, and although I got my rear wheel taken out and had to go off-roading, I still managed a 10th place as the camera caught me off in the grass. I think I got 10th only because everyone behind me quit after the crash and just rode in, I was mad and kept sprinting through the line off in the gravel and grass. Oh well. The team was great, everyone was strong all weekend long and we are only getting better. Can't wait to see how some of these guys finish out this year and how strong they will be next year.
As for me, I only have 3 more WCA races left, then the State Crit Championship, and then I'm upgrading. After upgrading, who knows how many races I will actually do for the rest of the year. There is only one more WCA race after June 30th, and that isn't until August. There is SuperWeek, but my vacation time is almost gone and the races are during the day so I'll have to pick 2 or 3 of the weekend races to do and that will be it. Basically it's June, and my season is already winding down. I may do some other races, like the Tour of Elk Grove or one of those down in IL, but that would be about it, and those aren't until August either. Well, gotta get back to work, until next time.........

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Takin' It Easy

Not much to say today, took it easy, an on-the-bike scheduled rest day. 90 minutes at an easy pace, 17.0mph, and I took a pretty flat course. I feel really good right now after my tempo and sprint work on Tuesday and my PowerIntervals yesterday and today was just a day to let the body recover and then I'll give it a little kick again tomorrow before Saturday's race. Right now the weather looks beautiful for Saturday, I love the heat and it's going to be close to 90, ideal for me. I'll be cleaning up my bike a bit tonight and tomorrow and I'm sure I'll get a lot of sleep tomorrow as it's finally a race where I don't have to be there at 8:00 for a 9 or 10 o'clock start. It's not a far drive compared to other races so the 2:00 start doesn't bother me, plus we planned on hanging out anyways to watch some other races, have a beer (I'm bringing a cooler full), and grab some grub. Not ideal for Sunday's race but I'm not going to go crazy and have 5 beers and brats......maybe just one beer and I'm sure I'll find something decent to eat. Anyways, that's it for now, just relaxing and waiting for the racing this weekend......until next time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Loving It!!

Today could not have been much better, it was absolutely perfect out for my ride tonight. Warm, not much wind, sunny, and there were a ton of bikers out on the roads. I got home and headed right out the door after changing and just got back from a nice 2.5 hour ride and I've got some pasta boiling on the stove right now. Can't wait to eat cause I'm starving right now. I did a route out to Waukesha, did a big loop out there and then came back home. Today I did Tempo and sprint work. Tempo was my primary workout obviously as that lasted almost the entire duration of the ride. I did about 6 sprints, 3 flat-road sprints for signs and then 3 downhill sprints to help build leg speed that I can't really achieve on flat roads at that speed. I hit 36.5 on the flat for my max sprint and hit 45.0 on a downhill but I was spinning out my 53x12 so that was the best I could do. I felt really good today, I think the high I was on from having such beautiful weather contributed to that. Yesterday I was having some quad soreness from Sunday's TT as I'm normally not used to sitting so far forward over the top of the crank to push the bigger gears. I was feeling it a little bit this morning yet as well, but by the time I rode this evening my legs were feeling 100%. It was definitely a day that makes being a biker rider worth it. Tomorrow will be bit longer ride, per my schedule anyways, 2.75 hours with 6x3 minute PowerIntervals being my primary workout. Basically high RPM, lung burning, type of efforts that will really benefit me for the next few weeks until I get through all these crits. I'll do those for about 3 weeks and then move on to SpeedIntervals which is assuming I can find some vacation time to do some SuperWeek races. If I decide to use the remainder of my vacation to do some SuperWeek races then I won't have a day off other than holidays for the rest of the year after July. That's a problem for me, so I'll be taking the next couple of weeks to think about how I'm going to work that out. Anyways, pasta is done, time to eat.....until next time........

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Click to Enlarge

Back Roads Bonanza

The weather was pretty nice for today's Back Roads Time Trial, with temps at start time hovering around 70-75 degrees and winds of about 10-15 mph. I felt tired while I was warming up, just a little heavy in the legs and I didn't really feel like I could push a big gear. Well that all changed once I took off from the start line and was motivated to chase the guy in front of me. I felt o.k. going in to the headwind on the way out and was surprised at the size of a couple of the hills, one of them had me down to 16mph. I hit the turn around point at an average speed that was a little slower than I had hoped for based on last year's times, as I was averaging 23.0 as I hit the turn-around cone. I knew that I would have a crosswind or a tailwind on the way back and I tried to ramp it up as I was gaining on my minute man and I kept telling myself I could catch him. I saw my average speed go up a bit on the way back but not nearly as I much as I had hoped and I thought my finishing time was going to be worse than it ended up being. I finished about 14 seconds behind my minute man, almost catching him, and ended up with a time of 22:29, good enough for 2nd place on the day. Times were a little slower this year than last year for some, maybe it was windier than last year but I wasn't there so I can't be sure. Overall I'm happy with what I did, I think if I remember right from the results I would've place 6th or 7th in the Master's 1/2/3, not too shabby. So I guess it was a good day and this week I'll be shifting some of my focus to shorter, more intense intervals as we have a lot of crits coming up in the next few weekends. My ride times will remain the same but instead of the longer Steady State Intervals I'll be doing shorter 3-4 minute Power Intervals, big time fun for sure. Riiiiiight. Anyways, off to mow the lawn, eat some dinner, and relax with a movie. Until next time.............

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Better Days

This week has kind of been a crappy week, of course things could always be better, but I have just felt a little down this week in terms of energy and enthusiasm. I haven't been sleeping a lot lately so that probably has something to do with it. I've had 3 early days so far this week at work, and have one more tomorrow, today is the only day I got to sleep until 6:30. The bike training has been going fairly well, Monday was an easy ride, just an hour to keep the legs moving. Tuesday was a 2.5 hour ride after work with a couple of practice TT efforts thrown in. I did the first one for 20 minutes at 92% and didn't really push it for average speed or anything, I just was getting warmed up for my second effort which I had planned on tracking the distance and average speed to see how I would compare to Sunday's TT. I did an out and back course with a cross-tailwind going out and a cross-headwind coming back with some moderate hills. I was flying going out but once I hit the turn-around the headwind killed me a bit because it was about 15-20 mph. I only ended up averaging 24.1 for the 20 minutes, which was below my expectations. I figured for the race Sunday I will need to average 26 at least to be top 2 or 3. I think the adrenaline of the race and having someone in front of me will be worth another mph so if I did 25.1 I think that would put me top 5 or 6. I also didn't have on a skinsuit and had open helmet vents so who knows, maybe I'll do better than 25.1.....or maybe I'll just have a bad day and do worse. I felt pretty wiped last night after a long work day, and after Tuesday's effort, so when I got home I felt like going to bed right away but obviously it was too early for that. I ate some dinner and thought about riding but I just said forget it and decided to go to bed early. It was probably the right choice because I wouldn't have had a good ride anyways. Tonight it looks like we are going to get a good storm and the wind is crazy right now, 40mph gusts, so it looks like it will be a night on the trainer. I'm motivated to ride as of right now so most likely it will be 2 hours and tonight I'll be doing some Steady States and Power Intervals in the 2nd hour of the ride. Tomorrow will be an easier 2 hour ride outside hopefully and then Saturday will be a 2 to 2.5 hour ride right away in the morning, probably 7:00 or so. I'm skipping the State Road Race because I just have too much going on at home right now and I will be gone for 2 races next weekend, 3 races the weekend after, 2 races the weekend after that and then 1 race the following weekend. Basically for the next 4 weeks I won't have a single Saturday to get things done around the house. We just moved in to our house 2 years ago and there is still so much to do, so Saturday will be spent catching up on some of those things. Well, that's it for now....until next time.............

Monday, June 04, 2007

Wild Weekend

Well, kind of.....Saturday I did not get a ride in due to my sister-in-law's wedding and the rain we had most of the weekend. I was going to ride the trainer on Saturday morning before I had to head out to Waukesha for the ceremony but it was early and I was tired so I decided to just do some cleaning up around the house instead. I headed out to the wedding after that and it was a blast, we had a really good time and there was great food, dancing, and of course, beer. Sunday I woke up a little later in the morning and after looking outside I realized I should check the radar to see if the storms were going to be passing through or sticking around for a while. Well, it looked like we'd get a break later in the afternoon so I did some stuff around the house and did some grocery shopping with my wife. I took off at around 4:30 on the bike and although the clouds looked ominous I headed West to do repeats up one of my favorite hills. I got in about 3 repeats and set a new PR up the hill so I was feeling good....but then right at the end of the 3rd repeat the rain started coming down. Luckily I brought my rain jacket so I threw that on and went in to time trial mode trying to get home as it was lightning behind me and the clouds were black as could be. I got to within about 5 minutes of home and the rain lightened up a bit to a drizzle and I contemplated staying out some more but I didn't really feel like getting sick so I headed home. I dried off the bike, changed my clothes and headed downstairs to finish the ride on the trainer. I got in another hour on the trainer for a total of 2 hours and change. Quite a bit less than I wanted to do but I'm not overly concerned that I missed an extra 90 minutes of training. I was able to do my climb in 2:28 whereas my best time prior to Sunday was 2:45, so a 17 second improvement on a climb of that duration shows my form is pretty good right now, so I guess I didn't need that extra time. Well, I'm sure I could use it, but oh well. Today will be an hour recovery pace ride just to keep the blood flowing in the legs. Tomorrow will be 2.5 to 2.75 hours with two 20 minute Steady State intervals as my secondary workout. I've been doing shorter Steady States of 9 minutes the last few weeks but I wanted to increase my time spent at that intensity so I'm cutting the quantity in half and doubling the duration of each interval this week, so I'm doing 2 instead of 4 but doing 20 minutes instead of 9. That will change it up a little bit and make my body respond a little differently than it would with the shorter workouts. After this week I'll go in to more intense short Power Interval type workouts in anticipation of all the crits I have coming up in the next 4-5 weeks.
I'd also like to wish a speedy recovery to all my teammates that crashed at the Trek 100 this weekend, it's really a bummer to crash in a charity ride, especially a crash of the magnitude that they had. I hope they all recover and will be ready for the races this weekend. Until next time.........

Friday, June 01, 2007

Ridin' The Storm Out

It's storming pretty good right now and hopefully will be moving through before the Trek 100 starts tomorrow morning so that my teammates doing that can get in their 100 miles without contending with lightning and downpours. Before the storms moved in today I got in a nice 55 mile ride and did about 120 minutes of Tempo, way more than I had scheduled but I felt really good and wanted to push it today. My back is not sore any more, it does feel a little tight but nothing I can't manage right now with a little stretching. Tomorrow is my sister-in-law's wedding but I don't have to be there until about 1:00 so I'm hoping if I get up early the rain will be gone and I can get in a short ride before I have to start getting ready to go. It's an outdoors wedding so I've got my fingers crossed that the rain holds off for that as well. Sunday is not looking the greatest either right now, about a 60% chance of rain so I might be riding indoors Sunday as of right now.
It's a week until the State Road Race and right now I'm pretty confident, I'm not going to get much better in the next week so I'll make do with my fitness as of right now. I can lose about another 2 or 3 lbs though, anything to help get up that pesky, long hill. Well, time to get to bed, I need to be up early tomorrow and we will be at a wedding, and that means free beer and a late night I'm sure. Until next time.......