Thursday, December 22, 2011

Brookside 4

It’s funny how a week can change your motivation. I went from racing in Gadsden the previous weekend, not enjoying the mud at, and not really wanting to get dirty (I know…nancy style) to racing Brookside where I knew the mud would be much worse and was really looking forward to it. You see, on the mtb, I normally relish the nasty conditions. I’m typically a lil heavier than the common mtb racer so I sink in a bit and can control the bike a lil better. Plus the trails I learned to ride on were usually muddy n nasty so it comes natural. Plus….I can easily get fired up by watching other racers and just before I left the house for Brookside, I watched the men’s World Cup in Namur which had me ready for the nasty conditions.

On to the race itself…normally I like to ride the course a time or two before the race as part of my warm up but since I had pre ridden it the night before and wanted to keep the bike as clean as possible until race time, I decided to warm up on the trainer instead. After a nice 25min controlled warm up with a few :30 openers I rolled to the start line. The 1-2 field was small with only about 9 racers with several of the usual suspects not there. After role call we got a :10 countdown. The start was fast and as expected Will took the hole shot and set a fast pace that would quickly separate him from the group. Oddly enough, I found myself sitting in 3rd wheel feeling very comfortable. Things stayed together for the most part thru the 1st lap. coming thru the 2nd lap I was able to stay on Kevin’s wheel and pull away from the rest of the field. We would ride together for the next couple laps but he eventually would gap me a bit. I was still sitting in 3rd very comfortable and was riding all the mud with pretty good form. Then with 2 laps to go, I noticed Omar, who unlike himself had falling off the pace in the beginning, was starting to get closer and closer…and even though we are on the same team, I was trying to stay away from him for that podium spot. Unfortunately, my the middle of that lap, he caught me after I had made a few mistakes. We rode together for the rest of that lap and half of the last lap but again, in the same spot, I bobbled and he got a small gap on me and went on to take the 3rd spot that I wanted so bad! Good for him though as he rode a smarter race conserving energy until the end where it matters most.

The conditions were epic…lots of mud and sand, several run ups, and some fast power sections. My biggest issue was mud build up in the pedals n cleats. I was having major issues getting back in the pedals after the sand pit and it cost me several seconds on each lap but all n all….it was a great day to be racing!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Back at it... has changed since my last post. I moved to Birmingham, I'm working for a different TV station, working with a new coach, sponsored by a new shop, racing with new teams, and getting coached by Drew Edsell. Did I mention things things have changed?

On the racing side of my world....I have fallen in love with another style of racing. Cyclocross!!! I got the fever and the only cure is more cross racing! Bamacross is our local state series...local...guess I'm a local from Alabama now...but it's a 10 race series that are all mostly with in 30min of bham which has been awesome. I started off as a cat 3 due to zero experience in cx but after 4 Bamacross races and one GA cx race I had 2 W's, one 2nd, and an 18th due to tire issues. So a mandatory upgrade was forced and I moved up to the 1-2's. It's where I belonged anyway. It's been hard and the compo is stiff but I'm glad I'm there.

On the training side....a got hooked up with a new coach Drew Edsall. He's been great so far. Keeping things very dialed in and specific. It's been hard because the job and kids keep me busy and I have to keep my training very specific with short days and limited time on the bike right now. We are using HIT method and incorporating intervals in most all of my rides. Ez or hard that's all it boils down too.

The one thing I'm most excited about is the week of vacation coming up after Christmas. Coach and I have a huge block of training planned and I simply can't wait. I love riding my bike and can't wait to enjoy some heavy volume for a change.

The 2012 racing schedule is just about finalized and I'll post it up as soon as I get things laid in. At this point the first goal of the year is the newly formed East Coast Triple Crown. Love the concept and love that one of the venues is at Oak Mtn.

Bamacross 8 is this Sunday and the beat Micheal Lackey!