Monday, February 27, 2012

Southern Cross report

well....this isn't exactly what i wanted to be writing but it is what it is...

the build up for this race, even though the race was not a priority in any way, was still pretty solid. i knew what kinda of terrain to expect having raced here for Fools Gold 50 mtb race and seeing other racers ride profiles, i knew climbing would be on the agenda in a major way. so for the last few weekends, i spent some time climbing on the cx bike hoping it would help. and overall i felt like it did and that i was coming into this event with some ok fitness...being late February.

the travel over Friday night was fine, no issue what so ever. However,the pre-race dinner was not...while it was tasty, the hibachi stir fry was not only a tad bit on the salty side, it also stuck with me all night and into the next morning, it made me feel extremely bloated. So much so that on Saturday morning, when i should have been eating a large and in charge breakfast, i wasn't really hungry at all! i maybe ate one egg and a one piece of bread...not ideal for a 50+miles in the mountains of GA. Mistake #1...take away....never eat hibachi the night before a big race

my race day warm up....well, there wasn't a race day warm up...more like I tooled around for 10min before the start...not ideal and obviously not what i had planned on...mistake #2

i showed up to the start with plenty of time to get a good position in the front of the 300 strong group. And actually did ok through the cross course in the beginning of the race. It wasn't as tuff as i expected and found myself out on the roads much faster than i anticipated. Unfortunately, my heart rate was up much higher than i wanted it to be...even though the legs felt what to do? i tried to settle down quickly and find a pace that was comfy, and i did. we hit the first dirt section and i could still see the lead group up in front...great! i was feeling good and we were flying. As we dropped down one of the first rutted up sections of dirt road i had both my bottle ejected out of their bottle carriers...nice! what to do? a few seconds went by and i decided to stop and go back and get them...mistake #3!!!! for so many reasons...fist, i should have just gone on and figured a way out with out them. Not having anything to drink for the first several miles wouldn't have been the worse thing. Second, as i ran back to find the bottles, a cyclist crashed hard right in where i was, and i knew her, Elizabeth from TN. I had to stop...I just wouldn't have felt right, picking my bottles up and leaving her alone. so i stood by her and waived other racers around. finally i helped pick her up and slide her out of the way...made sure she was ok, and waited for he husband to get there before i left her side. (karma i hope pays me back) i kinda figured that my race was over at that point. BUT...i decided like an idiot to chase back as best i could. i hammered up the climb...catching tons of riders and burring all my matches at the same time. as i crested the climb and got to the first ad station, i was hot and pulled my knee warmers off and grabbed my other bottle that i had sent up...mistake i continued to climb, i immediately knew that i was going to be cold and shouldn't have taken the knee warmers off. i tried to settle down some and find a high but sustainable pace...didn't really work out...i would continued to burn matches for no reason. then, stop number 2(mistake #5...karma please) i went around a corner, i noticed Jerry was pulled off because of a mechanical issue. i tried to help...i wasn't thinking clearly nor provided any help to him...basically just wasted more time and allowed myself to get cold by standing on top of the mtn. after several minutes of trying to figure things out, i told him to go back to the aid station and get a ride back. sucked for him big time as he was obviously riding really strong. i got back on my bike and continued to push on...but by this time, i had mentally given up. Really one of the first times i really ever have giving up mid race. so i settled into a pretty laid back z2 pace and just was riding. then...mistake #6 and #7...flat...fix it, get back on ride for like 10min and flat again...thank goodness i had two spare tubes and co2's with me, or else i might have cried like Adam Myerson. (even though it wasnt a good day for me and there was no "making the group")so after two tube changes, my mood was somber and low...and by this time, i was watching people pass me who, no offence, had zero chance of even keeping up with me during a race. it was heart breaking and a cruel slap of reality that when the shit hits the fan, it really stinks all over. after the last grunt of a climb it was nice to hit the long, fast descend back home. i passed lots of folks coming off the mtn and just rode back in with not much effort.

after the race, i wasn't in the mood for much more than eating and getting back home. i decided not to stay for the after party mainly because i didn't feel like reliving my horrid race experience to a bunch of guys who didn't really care about how shitty my day was. Southern Cross 2012 was the most odd day i have ever had while racing. i guess the only semi/sorta positive thing to take away from this is my actual ride time of 3:45(not that special in itself, i know)...ya see, i keep the auto pause feature on my garmin, which means the timer only records while I'm actually moving. and even though my goal time was 3:30 or less, i wasn't too far off...after basically quiting mid way through the race, i still had an ok ride time for 50miles and 6k of climbing.

the event was great! all the racers were cool and very strong! the weather was perfect for the most part. the course was epic. the results blew chunks for me...dont care what they are!

Monday, February 20, 2012

last weekend of southern x build up

working only makes me realize how much a love riding bikes.

with southern cross coming up this weekend the focus over the past few weeks have been adding in some volume while keeping a little intensity mixed in just to keep the high end fitness sharp. this fall was unique in the fact that i raced all winter therefore really neglected my base training. where as all of the last several years i have always taken off a few weeks, had a bit of a transition, then jumped in the base training for about 3 months...this year is totally different. there really hasn't been a base season...i raced my last cx race on Jan 29th...first endurance race is Feb 25th(simply a training race)...first xc race is April 1st...also a first for to start my xc season to start so late. normally i start in early March...this was done on purpose though! i wanted some time off racing and some to build...and that's what i have been doing!

this past weekend had me all excited to ride...i was feeling good and the family was out of town leaving me to train and recover like i wanted to. mother nature would interrupt me just a bit but we worked it out...

Saturday's plan was 3-3:30hr ride @ ez to endurance pace. Jerry decided to join me and with rain on the horizon we decided to head out early to beat it's arrival. the route was more rolling hills than anything just so we could keep the effort control ed. BUT i did decide to go try out one new hill before the ride really got underway. the climb up to red mtn park fire tower was the first goal...and it did not disappoint. very steep and rewarding once at the top. after we crest the top, we turned around and rolled on. The rest of the ride seemed to fly by. before i knew it, we had rolled Ruffner, John Rodgers, 78, and were out on 119 heading to Baily Rd..i love that climb, and on to sicard, pumphouse, overton, and back to homewood. just a great ride! temps were perfect, jerry was riding strong, and the legs felt great. ended up with lil under 4hrs of ride time.

Sunday had huge potential for me...but mother nature was bound and determined to keep me off the bike for the full 5hrs that i had planned. the plan was 5hrs out in the Talledega National Forest with the emphasis on Mt. CHeaha repeats. i have been wanting to do this ride for a long time but because it takes an hour each way to drive and the ride itself is long, i needed lots of free time...this weekend was perfect..except for the rain. it rained all morning and was cold but i was bound and determined to not let that stop me. i headed out there about and was rolling by 1p. it was great! the rain had stopped and there was zero traffic! there was no visibility either but that's ok, i was training not sight seeing. the first 12miles are all rolling hills building up to the base of the Mt. Cheaha. on my first accent, i flatted right at the top, worried about flatting again and not having another tube, i just fixed and moved on. after the first crest, i rode down the south side of the mtn to lake howard and turned around there...back up was a sweet cat 2 climb at 6.1miles and about 1400ft of climbing! after the second crest, i dropped back down to Adam's GAp and turned around there for the 3rd time up...the legs were starting to hurt and it was getting cold...avg temp was 42..and going up was no problem, it was flying down at 40mph that made the air a tad chilly. after the 3rd climb, i decided to head back. it was a fantastic ride and im already looking forward to doing it again. all in all, i got 52miles with 6200 ft of climbing all in 3:30.

week ended up with 15hrs of riding and some tired legs. this week is a semi taper week and then we launch a new build phase for 2 more weeks until work and Disney take over for 2 weeks. ILDS!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Recap of the end Jan....and some Feb too?

funny how easy it is to let a few weeks slip by without really even noticing.

to wrap up word...awesome!
the set up was like this...i was sitting in 2nd place overall. i had to beat my teammate, Omar and hold off Lackey to maintain my place. i had amanda's bday party the night before and was up late drinking brews...not my normal race prep.
the last race of the year was in Gadsden, AL at a new venue. it had been rumored that the course was short, fast, and was short...but the course was slow because there were several areas of thick muddy grassy sections. im not complaining though, i had a blast. i stayed conservative off the start but immediately found myself in the lead group and then shortly after that, solo in 2nd place. nothing would change after that until the end of the race. my best finish in a 1/2 race and a proper way to finish strong.

Now it's time for mountain bike build up time!

first weekend of February was the training camp Coach Drew and i had been working on for about a month. i had been looking for a way to get some one on one time with Drew and also a way to just to meet him. we decided to put together a simple 3 to 4 day training camp with 3-6 mtb guys looking for some volume and technical advice for rocky trails and host it at Oak Mtn. the weekend was perfect. just a lil wet but mild temps and great trail conditions. a strong group of 4 like minded riders joined forces and hammered out some great miles. all and all the week netted me almost 18hrs of riding.

with southern cross coming up and the mtb still in the shop(for 5 weeks now, waiting on one part)i needed some off road miles with climbing, so i headed out to Oak Mtn. plan was to meet up with some BiCi fellas but as usually i was running late and missed the start. the plan was lots of climbs. solid workout overall. flats...two...downhills with fun on cx bike...cold weather...dress appropriately...fuel correctly...equals workout done.

another solid week of training with about 11hrs of riding. considering i battled a cold all week and took two days off and two others were only an hour, im happy!