Monday, July 27, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Time For A Getaway

The family and I (dog included) are going away for 3 days to Rock Island off the Door County Peninsula and we'll be doing some primative camping, hopefully without any rain. This is the carry-in, carry-out, no bikes, no cars type of camping. We take a ferry witht he car to Washington Island and then from there we leave the car and take another ferry to Rock Island. We'll unload our gear at the dock and carry it all to our campsite about a quarter mile away. From that point on, we are on our own and free to do what we want on the island. There are 10 miles of trails to explore, a lighthouse, and a great hall/museum from the guy that founded the island. Other than that, it's all about relaxing with books, some cards, hiking, playing with the dog and walking the beach as well. It's going to be fairly cool the first full day with a high of 68 and 40% chance of rain, Sunday and Monday are supposed to be low to mid 70s so it will be very comfortable. Again there is a chance of storms both days as well, but we'll make do. I'll miss the bike, but I'll be back Monday early enough I think to get in a ride and then I'll have a full week of riding when I get back. I'll get in enough hiking to keep the legs active so I won't lose much over 3 days. I'm looking at doing another solo century out by Lake Geneva and Alpine Valley next weekend to build up some hill climbing power, something I'm desperately lacking. I could lose a little weight as well but I'm gradually trimming that down and hope to be around 185 in the next couple of weeks, I'm close right now at 188 so just a little more to go. Once I hit 185 then I'll gradually work on getting down to 180, but I'd like to increase my core and build muscle at the same time as losing fat so I'll be steady for a while since I'll be building muscle, but then eventually I'll cut down on the fat. The goal is to stay less than 185 all winter since I seem to gain 20 pounds every off-season and have to work like crazy to get it all off again. This time I'd like to stay 185 all winter and keep my race weight at 177 to 180. Anyways, no ride tonight, back to riding on Monday evening hopefully. That's it for now, until next time....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Well, the last few days have been about recovery, just a couple of short rides, and tonight I'll ramp it back up a bit again with a longer 2.5 to 2.75 hour ride. The legs were sore but today they feel a lot better, of course it's still early and I'm not on my bike so the sensation may change when I'm actually riding. The weather looks great the next few days, cooler weather that will be great for riding, exactly the way I like it. I'll be doing some intervals and hillwork this week, I don't want it to be 90 degrees when I'm doing those types of workouts, it's too easy for me to get dehydrated that way. In addition to doing the intervals and hills this week I'll also be doing the Doc Ride on Saturday morning hopefully, depends on how I feel after Friday's ride, but it's 75% as of right now that I'll do it. Sunday will be a long ride, maybe in the range of 4.5 to 5 hours, that should cap off a great week on the bike. I'm trying to get some yard work done this week as well, I have off work on Friday so that will be spent working outside for the most part and Saturday and Sunday will be spent re-paving my driveway as well as all the biking. It's a busy week, I'm getting plenty of rest though too, it's tough between working 45 hours or so, doing about 10 hours of yard work during the week, and biking about 16-17 hours. Somewhere in there I'll relax and watch a movie or go out to dinner with my wife, probably Friday night. Superweek is going on as well this week but I won't be going to watch any races, I'll be doing my own riding and none of them really interest me anyways. I'd like to go watch Downer Ave, but I'll be camping next weekend, which I'd rather be doing anyways.
Le Tour is fairly exciting but this week is not going to be a barnburner, the stages seem pretty lame, mostly flat, nothing for the big GC guys, they are just waiting for the Alps. I still hope Lance wins but I'm also rooting for Levi and Christian, their time is due, it'd be nice to see one of them win before their careers are over.
Well, that's it for now....

Sunday, July 12, 2009

All Hail The King

Well, I'm not the King, but that's what the shirt says, it was quite a challenge but it's now complete. 121 miles, about 13,000 feet of climbing according to the Garmin, and a long 7 hours 57 minutes. The weather was perfect, it wasn't too warm, the wind was cool, and the hills seemed easy until the end when I had to climb up the last two long climbs and my right hamstring kept locking up on me. I never got off the bike or stopped pedaling and made it to the top of the park with my dad clapping and yelling as he had turned off earlier and cut the course short since he wouldn't have made it up the last few hills. There were words of encouragement written on the road leading in to the finish, namely "cold beer at the top" so I was quite motivated. I made it up to the top, rode straight to the pavilion, rode in to the pavilion to the surprise of the other riders sitting at the tables, and rode right to the beer bucket. It was ice cold and filled with cans of beer, I grabbed one and slugged it down. Man, that was the best beer ever. I sat down after that and we heard that someone had been hit on the ride and killed, a 62 year old from Waukesha was riding down a hill and a 16 year old turned left right in front of him and he hit the side of the truck. Oddly enough the kid was from New Berlin, which is where I live, and it's not any where near Blue Mounds so I'm wondering if he was camping with his family or something. It's very tragic either way, that guy's family lost their husband/father, brother, etc., and that kid is young enough that it may affect him for quite a while. It just goes to show you should live every day like it's your last, make sure you tell everyone you love them when you walk out the door, it may mean a lot in the end. Well, that's enough for now, here is a picture of me today, looking a lot less tired than yesterday.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Time Is Near

Well, only another day and a half really before I start my death march at Blue Mounds. The weather looks great right now, 79, partly sunny, not too windy as of today's forecast. It's supposed to storm tomorrow but it's only 50-60% as of right now, hopefully nothing too severe since I'll be sleeping in a tent tomorrow night after arriving at Blue Mounds State Park in the afternoon. Once we get there we'll set up camp, or maybe hold off if it's raining since I'd rather not set up the tent in a storm. It's supposed to taper off later in the day so maybe we'll just sit around under our pop up screen tent which folds out in 30 seconds and just eat and read or maybe I'll bring a small board game or something. Either way, it'll be a dinner of spaghetti in the evening and then early to bed as we have to be up at about 4:30 to eat so that we are at least close to having our food digested for the 6:30a.m. start. At least the weather will be cooler for the first 3 hours or so before warming up, we should be about 50 miles in to it by then, only 71 to go at that point, yikes. As hilly as it is, my dad will probably have a rough go of it, so I'm hoping for at least a 16 mph average by the time we are done, yeah, that means it'll take us 7.5 hours of ride time, add another hour at the rest stops and we'll be done about 2:30. The best part is that we get to eat afterwards, then they have a pool at the park so we will be relaxing there and staying cool. The rest of the night will be spent by a campfire and then I'm sure we'll be completely wiped and be sleeping pretty early. Sunday we'll head back home and I'm sure I'll just sleep some more, but I'd also like to get in a recovery ride to clean out the legs as well. It's a lot better for the muscles to keep the blood flowing after an effort like that. As far as training goes this week, I'm just taking it easy, did a few hill repeats last night, will do a few more tonight and then maybe an hour spin tomorrow morning, but that depends upon the rain. I've taken it easy the last week and a half as a taper to this event, but once it's over I'll pick it up again next week. More intervals are on the schedule and lots more hill work to get on par with all the other racers. Well, that's it for now, until next time. I'll post pictures tomorrow and Saturday once I get up there, check back for updates.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Well That Certainly Hurt

Coming in to Sunday's race at Omro I was feeling a little under the weather on Thursday and Friday, but progressively got better on Friday and felt fine on Saturday when I went to bed. Sickness was not going to be an issue in hindering my performance on Sunday, so I thought I'd do well enough, I was hoping to stay with the lead group but realistically I was thinking second pack would be where I would end up. The realist in me ended up being correct but I should've been a little ahead of the second pack and finished solo between them and the lead group, unfortunately I had the most severe cramping I've ever had on the bike. My calves were knotting up constantly from mile 11/12 to the finish, which was at 38 miles I believe. I know it wasn't hydration or electrolyte related as I drank a lot of water Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning and ate very well in the two days prior to the race. I eat a lot of bananas and drink milk so my calcium and potassium were there, which are big preventers of cramps. The cramps were basically caused by muscular tension that they haven't seen before, basically I tried to push myself above what my training has prepared me for, but I knew that coming in to the race. As I've said, I haven't prepared for racing so my body was completely shocked by the effort I think as I was pushing way bigger gears than normal and sprinting around corners, etc., and it was just too much. Part of the problem I think is that in racing mode there's a tendency to move forward on the saddle and that recruits muscles that you normally don't exert too much on training rides, and I was sitting a lot further forward than normal during the race. I could spin fine up hills with no issues when I was in an easy gear and on both hills I rode away from the pack I was with, but as soon as we got over the top I couldn't sit and exert pressure, my calves would knot up instantly. I had to drift off the back of my group a few times to rub them out but caught back on each time. I finished by rolling in off the back of the group when they sprinted in as I couldn't stand to sprint at all, I tried but instantly locked up. Oh well, I was happy with getting the race in as it was my first race since the first week of May in 2008, obviously it's been a while. It was nice to be part of a competitive event and feel that adrenaline of being in the pack and riding hard, I just wish I could've ridden harder. My training has been geared towards longer rides though in order to be prepared for the Insane Terrain Challenge this weekend, so once that is done then I'll concentrate more on intervals and getting back in racing shape.
Speaking of Insane Terrain Challenge, that is finally this Saturday, it's been circled on my calendar since January and it seems like time has flown by. It's been on my mind for a while, but unfortunately training didn't start until quite a bit after I registered for the ride, so it's going to be a tough one. I'm ready for it though I think, I've done 5 centuries so far this year so endurance shouldn't be a problem, it's going to be getting my butt up hills and staying hydrated and well fed. If I do all those things well, then I should be able to finish with no problem. I took off work on Friday so my dad and I are heading up and camping at Blue Mounds State Park and then the ride starts at 6:30 Saturday morning. I have no clue how long it will take, my dad doesn't think he's prepared for it, and is looking at short cuts already, but I told him that if he can at least stay with me for 75 miles or so before he cuts it short, then I'd be happy with that. I can finish the remaining 46 miles by myself, but it'll be nice to have him with me as long as he can make it. After the ride is done, we'll chow down I'm sure on whatever we can find to eat, and then we are staying over one more night at the state park to relax and hang out by the fire. Sunday I'll head home and probably sleep all day.
Well, that's it for now, more to follow this week on my prep for the ITC.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


As the title eludes to, I am on the precipice of the sickness cliff, I feel a little off today but so far I haven't fallen in to a full-on sickness as of yet. The usual onset symptoms of a cold- sore throat, neckache, stuffy nose, and a stinkin earache are all surfacing today. I can manage it right now, I'm downing Echinacea tea, vitamins, water, and taking some pills with the hopes that it won't get much worse. Right now it's just there, lingering, but hasn't really hit me yet so cycling is still in the cards for tonight. I've ridden the last few days at a nice recovery pace, and my legs are feeling really good and the HR is down so all systems are back to normal after being a little off kilter on Monday. Tonight I'll push it a little bit to test the legs and see if I have anything for this weekend's races. I'll try out a couple of timed climbing repeats to see if I'm where I need to be relative to my previous times recorded on the climbs. I'll do my kilometer long Tans Dr. climb as a test and if I'm near my PR I'll be happy and consider myself to be in good enough shape to race. If I'm more than 10 seconds off then I'm probably not where I need to be and would skip at least one of the races this weekend with the fallback of doing a makeup race at Holy Hill in two weeks. That way I'll still get in my 3 races this year but will have an extra couple of weeks to prepare and make sure I'm not under the weather with this cold. I haven't been sick in quite a while so of course it sucks that it was this week, but oh well. I'm excited to race this weekend, even if it ends up being only one race. Most likely the Whitewater race would get skipped as the WCA races pretty much leave you on your own if you get dropped by the group, it becomes a solo training ride for the most part. At Omro I could still get dropped and integrate in to other groups, so that might make more sense. We'll see, I could still feel good enough to do both. I'll ride tonight, do a pre-race prep ride tomorrow and go from there, the plan right now is to race twice. I wish the sun would come out though, it's been a little cool and cloudy the last couple of days, not even getting out of the 60s, today we are finally supposed to hit the 70s but I don't think it's happened yet. Maybe once the sun pokes through the clouds it'll warm up a bit. Until next time...