Monday, April 27, 2009
Saturday: not my normal routine for a race weekend...as I had to attend my youngest niece's bday party in Birmingham, AL on Sat morning...so the family decided to drive to her house on Friday night and be there for the morning events. things went fine except Charlie, my baby, didn't feel like sleeping much past about 2 in the morning...needless to say, no one got much sleep that night...no biggie, just called for extra large cups of coffee in the a.m. the party was great and the first half of the day flew by...Brad and I had planned it so that he could pick me up in Bham around noon and we could head over to GA for the race...we got to the trails about 5p local time, which is extremely late for us to get a pre ride in...normally we do this before lunch...the course was good...lots of open areas to use for whatever...passing, recovery, eating...several punchy climbs with 3 in the last few miles, and some nice flowing sections...and one very techy area with several little drops thru tight trees...tuff stuff! turned the pride in about an hr. I had pics but the camera didn't have memory card so...nothing to show...we got some grub and called it a night early!
Sunday...RACE DAY!!! since i was coming into this race with loose expectations and a full 10 days of training leading up to the weekend so i was hoping for a good finish but that's it...i warmed up like normal...found a little rd climb and some short sections of singletrack to ride...tooled around for about 25 min to get the legs going...i was feeling really good and fresh...at the start, i noticed the 200's were in full effect...we counted 28 dudes i think...biggest field to date for me as a cat1! i knew the start was important...about 100yrd off the start, it turned 90 degrees to the right and up thru the transition area...about 4ft wide...then into the trails...i did what i wanted to do and that was to get in the top 7...i was 5th...the start was fast...about 3 guys broke away with about a 10 sec gap on the chase group(i was here) through the 1st section of trails then on to the first climb...i tried to close the gap on the hill and did some but not enough...another guy came around me and took up the chase. i grabbed his wheel and off we went...we dropped the other 2 guys that were in the chase group at this point too...as we entered the tecky section, i dropped into a little dip at an angle and burped my tyre...i got worried...it was low for sure but ad not gone too low...i decided to keep on riding and not fix it...could be good could be bad...i just adjusted my riding style...sat further back on the bike thru turns and had to hit the dips square...i did end up falling once and putting a foot down twice because of it but that's it...so back to the race...Cesar and I were able to bridge back up to the 3 leaders before the 1st lap was over...so the 5 of us rolled thru together on lap 1...nothing really eventful happened thru lap 2 except the leader and heavy favorite, Nathan Sibyl, burped his tyre in the exact same place i did and had to stop to fix it. the 4 of us went on...with Cesar taking the lead for the rest of the 2nd lap. again, we all came thru together(Cesar on front, 4 n tow, thru transition area)...but that's when it all broke apart...as we went through the feed zone and rounded the first corner, 2nd place guy launched a huge attack and it splintered the group...Cesar dropped and i assumed 3rd place behind another rider and we gave chase...it wasn't long before dude in front of me was slowing...he asked if i wanted to come around and I went without hesitation...i didn't gun it, i just stayed steady...but the guy in front was gone...i continued to distance myself from the guys behind me but really didn't know if i was gaining any ground on the leader...until i started seeing him...i knew i was going to catch him on one of the last open areas...as i came out of the woods, i saw him...at this point he was 50yrd in front of me...again, i didn't gun it...just stayed right where i was...and immediately i bridged up to him once we got back in the woods...he didn't even try to keep me behind him...just pulled over and said "you want by?" and i said yep and kept on rolling! Now at this point...i was the leader on the course and i was feeling great...not tired, not cramping...quite the opposite...i was still able to stand up and power up climbs...i just started talking shit to myself...like...this is your race, and DON'T look over your shoulder...ya know stuff to keep you focused...I also think I was smiling endlessly because i knew i was going to win for the first time ever!!!!
And so i did...crossed the line 1st with about a minute on the second place guy!!! I wasn't sure how i would top the 3rd place finish at Tasli, NC a few weeks ago...but i do now...with the big "W" in what was my largest field to date!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
random pics happen...when i'm trying to snap action shots and the camera sucks...you get this...
Friday, April 17, 2009
nomal sight on the back roads...ole barns, farm eqiupment, and tires...
I hate this connector road...lots of traffic
Thursday, April 16, 2009
neighborhoods were nice and the ride was fun.
the night b4 the race...doing some tyre swapping and last min adjustments.
litte jerry hamming out the last bit of his race and on his way to a 1st in his age 3rd overall
wesson off the start...looking good.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
while i still did lunch and the Easter egg hunt with the kiddies and fam and celebrated the sis n laws bday...and put two of the babies down for their nap...i still had an strange feeling of letdown...all good though...you live and you learn...won't make that mistake again.
the ride...was actually great! took the oiz out today...did some exploring on some new dirt roads, got some pavement in, got some single track in...fun ride! i felt great...ended up with about 30 miles total and 2+hrs...now the recovery week is over. monday will start the next 2 week build leading up to Ducktown, TN and the Kenda Cup East #1/SERC#5 race!!!
Saturday, April 11, 2009
so, instead...i headed out for a nice 2hr ride with some hills and 2x z4-5 10 min tempos mixed in. it felt great out there today. sunshine, rolling hills, legs felt good, ribs felt pretty good, tempos went perfect...just what i wanted! ended up with about 40 miles and 2k of climbing...the avg spd for the tempos was 23mph so not too bad for the open road??
hopefully i will be getting my camera back form wesson soon and i can start getting some pics rolling again.
next race for me ain't for another 2 weeks so a little building on the fitness and speed will be in order leading up to the 4th SERC...the May starts...which has your boy racing 7 times in 12 weeks! wow!!!
Monday, April 6, 2009
the weekend was great...brad had booked us a cabin about 8 minutes away from the race area so traveling to and fro wasn't an issue. B and I decided to leave out Friday midday so that Saturday was nice and chill...and chill it was. We got to the cabin Fri night about 9p and just relaxed and hit the sac early. Saturday morning greeted us with temps in the mid 60's and plenty of sun! B and i went to the NOC and ate breakfast at the River's End...blueberry pancakes were the fuel of choice for the day, and they were good stuff! afterwards, we headed out to the trail for a pre ride and to test the legs...by mid ride, i was pleasantly surprised that the hardest climb had been cut out this year...being the flatlander that i am, i loved the change. the course was fast and fun!
we also ran into our father and son combo...george and jerry...and invited them to stay at the cabin and join us for some grub at the local Italian restaurant...they accepted and we had a fun, very chill evening.
morning of the race...i started off with some fresh brewed coffee and a couple of beagles and honey to get the body going...i was feeling good, well rested, well feed, and ready to go! B and I relaxed around the cabin till about 10a, then we packed up and headed out to the trails. We had to set out the self feeders up in the feed zone which was about a 20 min walk round trip so by the time we got back, it was time to get suited up and start the warm up process. I rolled up the paved drive for my warm up...about 14 min of easy spinning then added a few short efforts to top off the 25 min warm up...headed over to the start line and waited for the gun to go off...after a huge pro group went, then the cat 1 seniors, then us...3, 2, 1...GO!!! We were off...the start was mild going up the climb but got rolling pretty good just before the single track...i entered the woods in 5th place...perfect! after about a mile, the front man pulled off and the 4 of us went around him...but that 4 man group quickly split into 2x 2 man groups...2 leaders then the 2 man group i was in...we stayed steady all thru the 1st 13.5 mile loop and actually bridged up to the leaders just as we came thru the transition area...immediately the 2 leaders put in an attack and gaped us. James(the other guy) and I went back to work...now the game begins...he was climbing way better than me...each time we would hit the water bar climb, he would gap me, but I would bridge up on the downhills and tight single track...so I knew, if I was going to beat him to the finish I was going to have to have some time on him once we hit the finishing spur...there was a nasty, steep and technical climb that also was followed a triple step up jeep road climb...so, as the end of the 2nd 13.5 mile loop started to get closer, i could tell that James was slowing so I decided to throw down an attack about a mile before the end of the 2nd loop...i slowly pulled away from him...not much but a little bit every second. I made my way to the last challenge of the day...the last climb! everyone was walking it...i didn't try to do any different...i jumped off and tried to run....whoops...the legs didn't agree with that decision...both quads immediately started to cramp and lock up...not too bad, but bad enough to hurt and remind me what cramps felt like! I mustered up some strength to get back on the bike and push through the cramps and pain...i just kept telling myself...stay strong, almost there...by this time, i couldn't see the dude behind me, so I just kept moving forward...I also knew that if i finished i would be posting my best result as a Cat 1 at the SERC....and that's how it ended...3rd place!
What a fantastic feeling afterwards...i just sat there smiling...no one to celebrate with, no one to talk about the ride/race, but the overwhelming feeling of joy and satisfaction was enough! I can only hope that i can keep building on this fitness and form and carry it until Oak Mtn.