Monday, April 23, 2012

US Cup/SERC 3 Conyers, GA

well this race went better than Tsali, so i would say mission accomplished. build up for the last 3 weeks was good and i have had some solid workouts including a tune up race last SUnday. i wasnt worried about results as much as i was hoping for some good legs and a solid performance.

Saturday started a little later than normal due to me wanting to watch Carter play his baseball game but by 1p local time, I had swapped cars with George, picked Jerry up, and were headed east. We drove straight to the course and suited up for a quick pre ride. the plan was an ez loop to loosen up the legs and then a second loop with a few hard efforts thrown in for good measure. the course was a blast. lots of variety...start was a wide open, long straight away which brought you into the first flowing sections of trails. the trail were so much fun to ride..smooth and fast with lots of hard packed sections. after about 4miles of flowing stuff, the course popped you out on a flat field section that brought you back close to the parking lot and dropped you under a bridge and on to the granite rock. this was the hardest part of the course and where i would lose contact with both groups i rode with. HARD! fun...but hard to race on.
starting time is always a little stressful
Sunday came fast and brought some killer weather with it. a little rain fell at night but didnt mess anything up. after a short warm up, i lined up with a good sized and strong group of wanna be pro's. i knew i had to race hard but be smart and not blow up. the gun went off and we were rolling. thankfully the start wasnt that fast and i was able to slot in the woods about 10th place. i was riding the singletrack much faster than a few guys in front of me, so i passed them as quickly as possible and keep my pace high. i bridged up to the lead group and stayed with them until the granite section.
dangling on chase group...Omar was way off the front by this time

Getting gaped on rock
i rode hard but lost about :20 and would roll solo thru lap one. i was joined by a couple other racers as i entered the woods and we would roll together for the next 2 laps. i felt comfy with these guys and knew that these are the guys i should be racing with. unfortunately, i was dropping a little on each climb and knew i would struggle on the last lap. i would get gaped a lil on the granite section and would actually end of rolling the entire 4th lap solo. i was hurting and was starting to fade pretty fast and couldnt have been more happy to see the end of the race. i loved to course and thought it would be a good race for me. I had a more steady and consistent performance and was glad to see some ok lap times. the results wasnt great but better. the compo seems to have gotten much more stiff and dudes are just riding fast! love it...

Cat 1 30-39 podium...i wanna get back there

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


race day started early for me but i enjoy these mornings. LARGE cup of coffee, loud 90's grunge, sunroof open, and zero traffic to deal with. the temps were perfect and i no trouble on the drive.

once at the venue there were lots of familiar faces. mostly birmingham folks these days. i used to race with a totally different group of guys, but it's cool. after i got suckered in to buying a shirt and dropping $55 to enter and get a shirt that doesn't really fit, i was kit'd up and ready to start the warm up. rode with chad for a few minutes on the trails and then headed out on the roads to finish the warm up.

the race was fun...i entered the woods 4th behind Scott, Chad, and Omar and was feeling fine. the pace was high and i was just glad to following a wheel because i didnt pre ride. I would soon get around Scott and was bridging up to the leaders when i smacked my handle bar on a didnt know me off but it jacked my bars up. i thought for a second i could ride with them but i knew after 10-20seconds that wasnt happening. as i pulled over to straighten them Jerry passed me. i was back on my bike pretty fast and bridged up to jerry. i was content to sit behind him and follow his wheel through the first lap. he held a solid pace and i doubt i would have been any faster solo. i took the lead heading into the woods on lap two and he stayed right with me...then all of a sudden he wasn't. i slowed for a min and looked back and tried to get a glimpse of him but saw nothing. i would really settle into a steady rhythm for the rest of lap two. as i exited the lap and headed over to my bottle there was all sorts of freaking chaos...first a finished racer was heading backwards through the start/finish area and coming right at me, next there were all sorts of people sitting around my bottles...and as i rolled up, dogging the racer, this lady grabs my bottle and jumps away from where im trying to come to...i had to yell...hey, that's my bottle!...she then handed it to me...after a stressful transition into lap 3 i was starting to feel a little tired. i popped a gel and heading into the woods. not 5min into the lap my so hard fought for bottle EJECTED out...again! not much more happened after that...i finished the lap very parched and was glad to be done. the legs were tired and the lower back was a tad tender too!i rode out on the road for a nice 15min cool down and then called it.

finished 3rd overall/2nd in age group. small race but the top 2 guys are strong so i feel ok about things. after 2 solid weeks of workouts i think things are really heading in the right direction.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


after tsali i needed to go back to the drawing board for the training plan. coach and i decided to push out 2 solid weeks of rides with a nice mixture of short endurance rides, rides with high end intervals, recovery rides, tempo rides, and a couple long endurance rides to keep the aerobic fitness up.

we decided to race this weekends AL state race at Swayback for a hard workout. this will be a first time I've ever raced the day after a 3hr endurance ride. should be interesting.

the bike is starting to really feel normal under me. i have become more comfy on it and feel it's FAST. i know strava isn't for everyone but it helps me keep tabs on my own personal best ride times over certain sections. so i try and do intervals over the same sections...and over the last few weeks, i have set several PR's out on the trails and roads. love it!!

with a training race tomorrow and then 2 US Cups in the following 3 weeks, race season is really in full effect. it's time to put the babies to bed and rev up the engine. i would really like to get up on a US Cup podium this year and really hope to be in some solid fitness come Bump N Grind and HooHaa...bout 6 weeks to go!

Monday, April 2, 2012

US Cup/SERC @ Tsali, NC "knobscorcher"

when i laid out my schedule, i wasn't not real sure what my fitness would be all winter really had put some uncertainties in my mind as to how i would bounce back after a full cx season vs doing my normal transition/base/build up. which is why i scheduled my first xc race to be in April, not March like normal. good thing i did!! i also wasn't aware that i was going to be off the bike for 9 days because of work and family vaca in the 2 weeks leading up the race. i had a few days on the bike before the race but i guess it wasn't enough.

Saturday i drove up early and had plenty of time to take our time on the way up and when we got to tsali. I drove up with David and we were both planning on doing the 4mile TT but also wanted to get a full loop in as the warm up. we turned the lap at a moderate pace with a few openers. the course was great. fast and fun! after the loop, we refueled and went to the start line for the TT. it was fast and painful. i felt slow and finished slow. way off pace in my opinion. all in all, i was glad it was over and ready to clean up, eat, and hit the sack.

Sunday was an early wake up call...6a...5a my time...and eat fast, drink coffee, drop the kids off, twice, and head out the door by 7a to make it to the venue by 7:30..for once, because David was with me, we were on time. we had plenty of time!! i used the TT course for my warm up which was great, but i could just tell i wasn't moving fast and didn't feel fresh. before long it was that time....

in bullets...
* GO....ok start and slotted in about 8th place going into the woods.
* FAST pace line through woods. made it over the first climb with group
* 2nd climb to overlook, the pace picked up, and the group blew apart
* i got dropped...then crashed on the downhill trying to catch up
* struggled on the small climbs all day
* 2nd lap went better...caught a few guys who also blew up
* battled with 2 fella for position until the last mile...
* started to cramp on last punch in the nuts climb with water bars
* I crashed on the last creek crossing and they attacked me
* the harder i pushed to bridge up, the more i cramped
* finished 12th...worse xc finish in 3 years...OUCH!

overall the weekend was great and I'm glad i got the first race over with. now time to train and try and get these legs strong and the cardio pumping.