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Monday, January 16, 2012

First week of training.

The First Week.

I would say the first week as a runner went fairly well. I’m guessing the years of racing bikes did a good job of building up my cardiovascular systems. I thought that I might be averaging a 10:30 mile to start but my weekly average was 9:29 min miles over the 15 miles I ran this week. I did start to develop some ITBS pain on my left knee after the 3rd run and some sore quads. I have since started icing, stretching, and some exercises to build up hip strength. I was able to easily able to maintain conversation at the pace I was running and was able to test it when I got a phone call from an old friend and did some catching up while on the treadmill.

I made it a point to really watch what I was eating and it really paid off. Although I was maintaining 500 to 1000 calories per day deficiency I had plenty of energy. I kept the carb percentage high ranging 50% to 65% and kept the fats low. After my Monday weigh in I was down 3 more pound from last week. I’m at 160.8, so close to breaking the 160 mark and 20+ pounds from my max about a year ago. I will say that the three pounds was a little more than I wanted to lose this week but I will try and add more calories this week.

This weeks schedule is much like last week except the long run is one more mile and I can pick up the pace on Wednesday if I’m feeling good. Although I want to try and keep my pace down I’m sure I will find myself pushing it. I think the cycling training also helps in regards to knowing how to go easy when you need to.

I really think that going easy is one of the hardest things to learn as an athlete. I’ve seen Cat 2 cyclist that still haven’t learn how. I know it took me a couple of years. I can still remember being out on an easy day and not wanting to be shown up by a weekend warrior on the bike path. A good trick to prevent yourself from doing stupid stuff is not to wear a kit, or not to go out on a racing bike. I would sometimes just go out on my fixie in jeans.

On another note I did order my first skydiving rig this weekend. I was planning on getting all used gear but I couldn’t pass up the deal I got from Wings on the container (the thing that holds the parachutes). Then after thinking about it I thought it might be a good idea to pay the extra $500 and get a brand new reserve parachute, since it is your last chance if something goes wrong. I did get a used main parachute since I will probably want a smaller one in a year or two but it is fully inspected by a FAA certified parachute rigger. This weekend I have the water training I need to get my B license. This is pretty good timing actual since the forecast looks bad for Saturday.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I'm Back!!

Well sort of. After a rough couple of months, 18 to be exact, dealing with mono then thyroid problems and chronic fatigue issues I finally feel like I am getting my energy back. The biggest indicator of how I’m feeling is my motivation level. After getting mono I couldn’t get motivated for any physical activity.

Being this late into the cycling training season I do not feel as though I would be very competitive in the elite field for 2012 and getting dropped from races would not be the best motivator to getting back in the swing of things. Plus I’m still 20 pounds above race weight and I have already lost 14 from when I was sick. So I decided I would give running a shot.

I have been tossing around the idea of running a marathon for about a month now and have made a couple of runs and actually felt good. I have never run more than 10 miles but I think the years of cycling should help. Plus I’m not looking to set any records just get back into shape, and why not be able to say that I’ve done a marathon while I’m at it.

So I purchased what looked to be the top marathon training guide on amazon, Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide by Hal Higdon. In the book the author makes the claim that anyone who can run 3 mile a couple of days a week can finish a marathon using his training plan. The plan is 18 weeks long and as luck would have it there is a marathon exactly 18 weeks after I bought the book. There is also a half-marathon on the exact day he recommends doing one as a stepping stone to the full. Is it a sign?

I figured I would get back into writing a blog mainly for my own amusement. Not that I get a kick out of writing them but nothing is more fun than looking back at my old posts and seeing how ignorant I was. I look back at my cycling post and get a kick out of the shit I wrote and how little I really knew.

I plan on writing weekly but might occasionally post more or less.

Week 1’s training plan
Tuesday3-mile run
Wednesday3-mile run
Thursday3-mile run
Saturday6-mile run
SundayCross train

Starting weight 164
No aches or pains starting the program.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Good investment

This weekend I was able to get my first win of the year and as a Cat2. Thanks in no part to a good investment I made last week. I’m not talking about a seat tube motor but rather my new fit. Even with having some minor difficulties I was able to beat my best church creek time by around 30 seconds and would have easily broken the 53 min mark.
I was quite worried about being Chucks 30 second man. He claims not to be a good time trialist but I think this is the first time I have ever beat him and I consider myself a specialist. I was worried that while he does not consider himself good at time trialing, he could put in a good effort at the start and catch me. Then all he would have had to do is stay with me or just beat me out right. I had never thought about tactics in a TT before but I definitely when harder the first 5k than I would normally.

I was catching so much cross wind that my bars were twisting and by the 20k mark my right shifter was on the left side of my wheel when I looking down. I contemplated stopping but resorted to just trying to yank the bars back to center. I tried standing up and yanking on them and at one point I think I was even grabbing my fork and trying to twist them. I think I had just passed Greg Abbott when I was doing this and I’m sure if he was looking forward he must have been wondering what the hell I was doing.

Besides having the problem with my bars I think I rode really well. My legs did not feel that great when I was warming up but sometimes that is a good sign for me. This might sound weird but it is nice knowing that I have to have a good day to place well in the time trial. I really think it helped me push myself. Last year I found my self getting to cocky and watched as my times would go down each time. I don’t think it was due to losing fitness but rather not feeling as though I had to push myself as much.

There are still some guys that I would like to go up against. I know I won this church creek but I’m sure I will not win them all especially since there are a lot of people that have broken the 53 min mark and Josh Frick has the fastest time I can find at 50:55. I do think we might have had slower conditions on Saturday because Simon Walker is usually sub 53 and I just barely beat him. Hopefully as I get used to my new positions I can continue to get faster as well. I am definitely still hurting today and was not even sure if I was going to be able to race Ride Sally Ride, but that was taken care of by the officials.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Can you say busy weekend?

Wow so I had bit of a busy weekend.

I started things off with a 4 hour fit session with Josh Frick at Cyclelife. I was completely surprised with how much we changed. Saddle down and forward, bars slammed and back, and shoulders in. The question is not if I am more aero, its if I will be able to hold it for 40k. I think I remember Josh saying "If it doesn't hurt at the end you are doing something wrong.". So I guess the test will be this Saturday.

Then on Saturday I went up to PA to do Fulton(not a real race) road race. This is not considered a real race because from what I understand no official will go near the promoter. To be honest I would not have gone if I notice it was him either. I know he had some big issues paying people, including me, last year. I did manage to get a check for my results at Euphrata last year.

When I get to the race I notice that there are only 20 to 30 riders in my field and it is not even worth upgrade points. So I said to myself " I guess results don't matter today". Well I mine as well make it pain full. I attacked at mile 3 of 50 and got a good gap solo, maybe around 30 seconds and stayed away for about 3 to 5 miles or so before a group of 3 bridged up. After one of the guys crashed himself out on the descent 3 more bridged up. This made the break 6 riders and from what some of the guys were saying, it was the 6 riders of the race. I tried several time to put in some digs but there was enough people skipping turns to stay rested and drag everyone up to me.

Because I am a jackass, I forgot my drink mix and was riding with only water. I do not do so well with only water and tend to cramp. Well Saturday was no different. I attacked on the last climb with around 3 miles to go and my left leg cramped up solid. As I watched 3 riders go by I was able to push through it and start chancing. I never caught them but I was able to hold off the other 2 that got popped on the climb and I was making good progress on catching the winning group. If you can count you would notice I got 4th, he paid cash that day so no worries there.

Sunday was what I would consider a good day. After spending the day with the girlfriends family at a state forest. We were celebrating not only memorial day but it also happened to be my 30th birthday. I talked her into going for a stroll in the woods. So as we are walking along through a very quiet and peaceful area I stopped and said something I don't remember because I was too nervous. But the general gist was that I asked her to marry me, luckily she said yes. I wanted to ask her my birthday but I was not going to pop the question in New Jersey.

Monday was spent in New Jersey racing Somerville. It was a nice crit with spectators close to most of the speed week races. I was joking around before the race after hearing the cat 3s get $50 premes that I was just going to preme hunt for the day. After 3 laps I put in a good effort wanting to start a break and found myself solo off the front with a good gap. Once I came around the start finish I heard the bell for a $50 preme plus merchandise so I figured I should just ride this out. I held off the peleton for the lap and picked up the preme. I settled into my threshold hoping someone would jump across. After another lap solo they rang the preme bell again but this time the pac was strung out and I really had to push it to hold them off, but I did and added another $20 to my pay out. I ended up with about 4 laps solo and merged back with the field. With 3 to go they rang the bell for another preme and I had just bridged to a break that quickly got shut down and ended up as first wheel. With about 500 or 600 meters to the line I put my head down and gassed it. I guess people didn't want to blow their wad before the finish and I opened up a huge gap easily taking the preme.

All in all I took home 3 of the 4 premes worth $120 plus a Tee shirt fit for an overweight spectator and a water bottle. I thought for sure at one of the oldest races in America the merchandise would have at least been a 19 mm tubular from 1970. I finished somewhere in the 60's but took home more money the most of the guys in the top ten. And I think I was the only one from the cat2 race that was asked to sigh autographs after the race. I had a small group of kid that started shouting my number every time I went by because of my time soloing off the front. After the race on the cool down they started yelling and asked if I would sing an autograph for them. I felt kinda cool to be honest.

So I guess it was a great weakened. And hopefully I can get my first W this weekend at church creek. I know I will need to be having a good day to beat some of those guys that are registered.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

All is not lost!!!

Keeping with the season finally.

This weekend was an aformation to the fact the my season is not wasted. I, like many if not every racer had a time this year where I thought this season was gone beyond all hopes. Using my powermeter to track my threshold power around 50 or so watts below last year's had me wondering if I would still be racing after this season.

I thought Vint Hill was a fluke and it was all becuase Evan towed me to the line. I stopped using power, much to my coaches dismay, and just kept training. I started feeling faster but was I?

My trip down to speed week left me feeling confident that while I still might not be fast enough there wasn't anyone that was going to take the wheels that I was following. I came back ready to race.At Fort Ritchie I bridged to the break only to be left to be caught by the field.

I had a good day at Deep Blue besting my last years time by around 30 seconds. Then at the Carlisle 40k this weekend I posted a 51:35. To be fair this is a fast, or short, 40k but using Mr. Frick as the standard of what is too fast, I was only 30 seconds behind his winning time last year.

Why am I writing about my turn around in mentality? I have some friends, and not just one, that have had some set backs this season and are not where they would like to be. So hopefully they read this and realize not all is lost, it's only May.

This is something everyone goes through and it is the first thing forgotten when you climb up on the podium.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What is a picture worth?

This weekend was a mix of highs and lows. At Fort Richie, I made a huge effort (for me) to make it up to the break. Almost as soon as I got there I got gaped off the back and it was just Joe and Tim going up the rode. I thought cool, I'll just let them go. If someone wants to stay with them they will have to tow me up, first mistake. Nobody towed me up, they just attacked the little chase group leaving me me with plenty of room to ponder over my bad decision. I might have been able to cover the attaches if I had some time to recover but instead I spent two or so laps chasing before pulling the plug. I felt really bad about leaving Joe out number by Harley.

After rejoining the pack I slotted myself about fifth wheel with Ryan McKinney chasing. I think Ryan spent about five to ten laps at the front before his teamates joined him. Dc Velo brought the break to within 18 seconds or so before they gave up chasing.

After the chase stopped is when I decided to make up for the fact that I got popped out of the break. I was able to sit behind Bryan V. as he rode tempo. I was able to jump on every attemp to bridge. I know I pissed off Steve Wahl several times but he knew the deal. I did my final pull with one to go and rolled through happy in dead last.

Not much to talk about as far as Deep Blue goes. I don't know if you can make a TT sound interesting. It was the windiest I have even TTed in, at some points it seemed as though I was riding at a 45 degree angle. I did not feel like I did that well but the wind must have been on my side. I finished 2nd behind Mike Githens who absolutely crushed it.

All in all, a good weekend, I feel fast after speedweek and just hope it sticks around for a while. But now for the good part. I do not currently have a good banner photo for my blog so I am starting my own photo contest. A picture might be worth a thousand words but I'm sure someone would rather have two pounds of coffee from my friends at Pound coffee in DC. So if you see any good shots of me let the photographer know. I will give away two pounds of coffee and credit the photographer every time I change it, probably a once a month deal.

On the Pound Coffee note, they just opened the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT) that connects from Union Station to New York ave, very close to the coffee shop which is located in the new ATF building in north Capitol Hill (right across the street from the New York Ave metro stop). Pound would like to let anyone know that they are one of a few places in the area that is cyclist friendly. They won't mind if you need to fill up some bottles, grab a coke or cliff bar. They also have really good ethnic food and the menu changes every day.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I'm a slacker

I know I just stopped writing on the rest day but it was for good reason. First, my energy reserves started to diminish quite rapidly as the days went on. Second, I also had to do finals for 2 online classes I was taking and one of them included a good size paper, so after all that writing I did not want to look at a keyboard.

Recap of the Week

I will have to say looking back at the week it was by far the coolest experiance I have ever had on a bike. The crowds are bigger than anthing I have seen at a bike race and being the one on the other side of the fenses was a cool feeling. At the end of the week I noticed some of the Pro squads coming around and being a little more friendly, guess they just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to crash them out first. It is also a cool feeling to have not racers at the events, they are very interested and will stop to ask questions about everything. I just wish the sport could be like that all the time.

It was also a huge learning experiance. I am sure I got faster from the 4,000 plus 30 second intervals I did out of every corner. But the real gains are going to be from the skill of how to ride a crit. I learn a lot from teamates and some friendly pros like Adam Myerson. I have heard a mix of coments about Adam but he is cool in my book. I found myself fighting to get around him several times only to end up right back behind him. That was before he said something like " Hey jackass! Just follow me and you will save a lot of energy.". Then after the race he commented about how he was not trying to be a dick but to just give me some pointers.

When racing for pure survival you learn to break down every section of the race and figure the most efficient path possible. I learned taking some risks at the right time can move you up 30 spots and don't waiste your energy fighting over one wheel. Granted some of the skill will not apply to MABRA crits, I still think I will be a better crit racer after that week.

If you have never done a race of that level you can not understand the speed. Even last year when I just upgraded and did my first 1/2/3 race I could get to the front if I wanted to. I only got to the front of the race once in the entire week and it lasted about 5 seconds. My best finish was on the last day at 34th and I was very prowd of it.