Friday, September 29, 2006

It's official!

We are having a race. I have never put on a race before, and I think the only reason I got choosen to be in charge is because I showed up late to the meeting! As the flyer says we are having it out at Gibbs lake and will be starting in the boat landing parking lot. If you go out to ride around a little don't let the restrooms = a splintery board over a hole in the ground scare you...we got some port-a-johns for the race.

If anyone is interested we will be doing some trail maintance next Saturday Oct. 7 from 8-noon. The more people that show up the sooner we can all split out and head up to Sheboygan.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Switching the legs to ON

I have learned a lot this summer having TJ as a coach. One thing I just don't understand is how bad I can feel before a race and then as soon as the wheel rolls over the start line my legs just turn on like a light switch! This past week after Chequamegon my legs and mind where just shot. I was sick of riding, sick of training, sick of bikes, sick driving from work, sick of updating the blog...well you get the point. I did a few recovery rides early in the week. Wednesday I hardly got through my intervals and the rest of the ride was in recovery mode. Thursday was supposed to be another hard ride, but my legs and I were fighting so that ended up being a recovery ride. Then friday and saturday I didn't even look at the bike. I didn't really want to race Sunday but figured I needed some point and the team needed points so I went. During the warm up things didn't go any better than during the week. I tried a couple hard pulls and almost fell off the bike. As I was sitting on the start line I decided that I would go out super hard and if the legs didn't come around I was going to sit up and just enjoy the trails or quit.
As Don yelled GOOOOO we all hit the lead out at warp speeds. I don't know if I had any gears left and Phil said he was spun out doing almost 30mph! I hit the single track sitting around 10-12th and the legs felt great! We kept the power on really hard all the way through the first lap and going into the second had a group of about 6. Somewhere on the second lap we dropped Ron S. and at one point Tim D. when down really hard. We were down to Jerry Long, Marko, Nate and I for the last 1.5 laps. Nate and I were taking just monster pulls into the wind. I knew it wasn't the smartest thing to do but if we sat up for any time we would have been caught by the few people we worked to drop. On the last lap Jerry was leading through the first set of single track. I was tight on his wheel with Marko in chase. I knew he was going to attack somewhere in the second set of trails so was trying to stay recovered as much as I could to be ready. Sure enough just after the two way bridge Jerry went hard, I tried to respond but was pretty much maxxed out. Marko came around also and they were gone. I tried to keep them in site and keep Nate out of site. He was closing hard and my legs were shutting down. As we turned onto the gravel hill Nate closed the gap and rode my wheel to the finish shoot. We came through the fence and sprinted for the finish, he had a better kick and got me at the line!
I was really happy to round out the top 10 after feeling that bad. It is just weird how your body turns on for the race and then turns off again once it is done. After the race by body completely shut down. I was freezing cold, then sweating, then cold it wasn't pretty.
Next weekend is Fall Color fest, which I won't be doing. I am going to try and get back on pace with training for two more weeks and finish the season out strong. Sheboygan is never a good race for me just because I am in shut down mode. Hopefully this weekend will motivate me to stay focused and turn a solid finish in what is going to be a TOTALLY STACKED FIELD!!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Battle in the North Woods

This could possibly the most anticipated race in the midwest of the summer. Being the second of the Triple Crown races the big guns have had a taste of what everyone else has been doing this summer. I have had mixed results here, the first year I didn't really know what was going on and just went hard bringing me in 44th. The next year I felt awesome, had a perfectly timed peak and only let 16 riders finish ahead of me. Last year I had a rough start and my legs didn't show up untill just after county 00. From there I felt great but could only manage to pull my self back up to 31st. This year I have been riding alot better. I don't feel unhumanly strong but have had my moments...hopefully one of them will show up tomorrow morning oh say about 10:15am (after the leadout).

Cathy is giving the 40 her first shot. She is nerviously excited, not ever riding off road this far yet this year. It is a fast race though and the miles tick off pretty quick. She is in prime condition right now so I think she will surprise herself my prediction puts her in around 350-400 spot - seems like a ways down but remember there are over 2000 people lining up for this one!!

The forcast is calling for rain and thunder. Personally I am excited for that, I had one of my best runs at 24-9 in the rain and it keeps my typically over heated body a little cooler.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

WORS #10 Sunburst Showdown

Last year this became the muddiest race I have ever race or even seen for that matter! The skies opened up just before the Expert race, we were all scrambling for mud tires and it became a race of willing yourself to finish.
This year threatened to be the same. Rain was forecasted all week and when we woke up Sunday morning it was doing just that...raining. I quickly got on the phone for weather forecasts and conditions reports from a few of our teammates that were camping. Everyone was saying that it was going to be cloudy but no rain, so we loaded up with no additional gear and took our chances.
When we pulled in the temp was hovering around 52 degrees, I was wishing I brought more than just a sweatshirt to warm up with. We headed out to try and get our blood defrosted and start flowing. I got a good call up sitting 13th followed by Cathy getting a 9th position call up. Once on the course I knew this was going to be a fast race. We shot up the first climb like it wasn't even there. Next thing I know bamm we are at the bottom of the hill for the 3rd time. Wow this race was going fast! I really liked the layout of the course this year. It opened up nicely to get around traffic but still had enough single track to keep it fun. I was starting to pass quite a few women and still no Cathy. At last about half way through my 5th lap I passed her in the open field. She wasn't having the best race but was still throwing down with everything she could muster. Last time up the hill attacks were starting to get more significant. I was trying to hang with my group but traffic was really stringing us out. I took a glance over my shoulder coming up on the final time accross the hill only to see Jerry Long charging hard. I pushed the pace hoping my gap would hold him off. I checked one more time just before we headed down and around the ski lift and he was on my wheel. I sprinted and took the inside line a little too tight and hit the fence post with the edge of my bars. That sent me flying, I landed it ok but hurd a super loud BANG!! Here I had blown my rear tire completely off the rim! I jumped off and ran in with Jerry just sneaking by - yeah that might have been dirty but I would have done the same thing - that's racing!
This week it is raining again, we are supposed to get rain all week and then friday it is supposed to get nice down here but start raining in Hayward! I have never done the 40 during a slop fest but I can only imagine it isn't pretty.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

New York Weekend

This past weekend our adventures took us out to New York City. My bro and his wife needed a car to drive all their stuff out so we decided to fly out to see them and then drive the car home.
The weekend started with me frantically finishing a project at work before it had to go for a show that afternoon. We cruised over to the airport just in time to catch our plane. Flying is so much faster but as of recent so indirect. We had a 3 hour layover in Atlanta GA. before finally getting to NY.

Saturday we slept in a little and then headed out to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Hurricane Ernesto was making for some really windy and rainy weather. Despite being totally soaked it was really cool reading about all the people that came to America and some of the stories. After spending a few hours there we headed back into the city. We hit up Time Square and the Rockefellor Plaza. It was really cool seeing all the lights and just how busy everything was. It was cool to visit but I think it would be overwhelming to live that way! We wanted to eat sushi for supper and literally just happened on a sushi bar buffet!! It was like heaven literally 50 ft. of sushi! After 30 pieces I figured I had my money's worth and we rolled out and called it a night.

Did I mention it was really windy!?!

How can a food that looks this good hurt sooooo bad!!

Sunday we got going a little earlier and headed out to a Yankees vs. Twins game. We quickly learned not to cheer for the visiting team when Torii Hunter knocked one out of the park! I have never been booded and threatened so much at a game! The rest of the game didn't go so well and we snuck out in the 8th inning. From there we headed down to Central Park and really seen New Yorks "better" side! Because it was labor day weekend they had all kinds of things going on, it was pretty cool seeing all the DIFFERENT people out and about. From there we ended up back down town, checked out a few shops and then caught a cab over to supper.
Monday morning we packed up and started the journey home. The drive wasn't so bad but after 10 hours we were to the point of comparing how much our ankles were swollen - I definitely won that one! My ankle looked worse then when I broke it. The trip was a lot of fun and it was really nice to get away from the everyday life for a weekend. The next few weeks are going to be busy with traveling and finishing up the race season. I can't believe how fast this summer went. The days are already getting significanlty shorter and the mornings have that cool smell to them.