Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hardwood Canada Cup

My first Canada Cup as an Elite did not go so well, but my bike and I are not broken so it could have been worse. It was for sure an improvement on last years first lap frame snap.....

Pre-ride on Saturday went well. Flipped over the bars once while not paying attention, hitting a root and slipping off my grip with my right hand. Just a scratch on my knee, so I was fine to roll on. Atkins and McNeely from EMD came by while I was straightening my bars so I chased after and got some follow wheel experience for the rest of my second lap. They showed me how to take the downhills, and I learned some new lines. Two laps was good though was it for me... but I think starting sooner, and doing 2 slowishly, and one fastish would have been ideal.

Back to Barrie to eat some food and chill before going out for dinner. Went for Italian, it was fantastic, thanks mom and dad. We decided that it would be smart to pick up some sleep MD after learning that most of our hotel was being occupied young Lacrosse players in a tournament. They were noisy little buggers, doing sprint intervals up and down the halls, and playing scrimmage in the parking lot.

When heard running and yelling down the hall at around 10:30, my mom gave them shit, and said to got to bed. They were quiet for a bit then got worse. My dad took action. Apparently he stepped infront of a kid running and he hit my dad like a brick wall and got leveled. My dad said "WTF do you think this is...some kind of amusement park?" and they apologized.

Now unfortunately the sleep MD did not work, and I lay there wide awake while the kid who got leveled explained what happened to his parents outside our room, and tried to calculate which room we were in using some sort of running velocity equation...but failed and I was happy to not have to deal with any bullshit, but I was no longer tired at all. It took till after 1:30 and several position changes for me to fall asleep.

Well that was probably a better story than my race report but here it goes anyway.
Warm up felt decent. Heart rate was going up, legs worked.
I lined up behind the 35 called up riders, with Guthrie and Mike G just ahead of me.
The start sucked. I was pinning it but losing ground on the main pack still. They vanished into there own dust storm before the first steeper climb bit, and I was left coughing and trying to match the pace of riders who came by that where caught behind a crash. At the first singletrack entrance there was a bad bottleneck, as I expected. Benno was beside me, Tim was around, and there were still riders behind me so I figured I was in a decent place.

I kinda held my ground only losing a spot or two on the first lap. Somewhere along the way I lost some pressure in my rear wheel, but did not stop to inflate it till after the boneshaker lap 2. It was down to about 15psi, so it was ride-able tubeless, but had tones of rolling resistance. I stopped at the bottem of the big climb to inflate it, and felt way faster after and recovered some lost ground on the climb.

The rest of the lap and lap 3 was uneventful. I was feeling slow, not smooth and was breathing harder than I should have been. My legs felt like they did at Mansfield, maybe worse or maybe everyone was just faster. I was not confident starting my fourth lap, but I did and was determined to finish the race. If it wasn't for some sharp cramps that come without warning I would have. My left leg seized on the climb post boneshaker, and I was done. I spun to the feed zone to report to my parents, and then watched the elite finish before heading home.

Don't have any excuses for the weak legs. Not over trained for-sure after a solid taper week. Bad night could have have slowed me down, but I'm thinking that technique was a huge factor. Maybe to much time on the road lately has dulled my trail fluidity.

I am looking forward to Midland next week and will be MTBing a lot to get ready for it. I like this venue very much, and hope to crack the top 15 there.

Congrats J.C. on your win, very impressive. Jeff to, your right up there.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Niagara Classic

Race went well for me. My plan was to attack about half way through the race, or go with a move that formed around that time. I was going to work with Brandon Spencer who is a junior I met at the OCA camp.

I sat in for the first couple laps, and only worked to help chase a couple attacks. Nothing stuck. Brandon and I agreed to make our move just before the twisty decent, so that we would have an advantage heading on to Effingham. He tested everyone by attacking there on lap 2, and I sat in the chase that was takin very seriously by the Speed River boys. On lap three Bayden attacked in that spot, and I jumped on getting a small gap with him and some others. Everyone chased super hard after us and we were shut down quickly.

I was feeling strongest after the climb, heading down Tice, so when I saw Sean Kelly attack there, I bridged to him and we worked together for half the lap, but the chasers worked hard and never let us get far. 50m at most.

Brandon and I agreed that getting off the front would be a very tough as everyone had us marked. waiting till the sprint seemed to be this best strategy at this point. Bayden was off the front at some point, and scored some KOH points while doing so. Some other moves went and one got a guy solo over a minute up on us. No one was worried about this one, because surviving solo for over a lap would take a real super star.

So I sat in till the sprint. I sat comfortably in the pack leading to the Eff. I was tenthish at the bottom and started my sprint right when the road kicked up. Some others went sooner and took off like rockets. I closed in on them a bit by the top, and past all but two guys by the line, one being a junior.

So another second for me. I am happy and feel like upgrading to S2 might be a possibility this season. I will decide after K-W.

I nearly made the best trade of my life by getting a rear Bontrager Aeolus 6.5 for my old Ksyrium. It was in the wheel truck and a guy used it and decided to wait till my parents had gone home with his wheel to make the trade back. I stuck around to watch the Elite race, and then rode home with Ben and Jeff after. When I got home my parents told me that Aeolus guy called and was on the way to my place to get his wheel. We traded and all was cool, but I would have been happy with his wheel.

Congrats to all fellow podiumers. Cadet was a sweep for the SCCC race squad. Good job Etzy, Ben and Matt; but come on 31km/h average? weak. And Sara Byers, wow she crushed the other ladies.

Monday, May 17, 2010

some rides to blog about...

Some epic riding occurred in the past few days of my life. Friday was the epic tour around the circle route. I did this ride with Justin, which was great because conversation makes the 4.5 hours go by so much faster. Working together in strong headwind near Fort Erie made it much more bearable. There must have been some warm air moving over a cold Lake Erie, because it was very foggy and chilly when close to it. I was not sure how I would feel on this ride because I did some tough VO2 max intervals the day prior. I was fine though.

Saturday was a rest/work day for me. Yesterday Justin and myself tore up Hardwood, covering all 50km of singletrack. It was such a blast riding there. So fun and flowy, with all kinds of unique terrain. Way different from Niagara. We both rode well, no crashes to report, other than one crash like climbing incident Justin had. The terrain there is so demanding, both of our hands were hurting from holding on so tight, and I could feel my upper body getting worked. Good times.

Right now I am watching the Giro. Barry is in a four man break, 20km to go with a 50second gap. Will they survive? I will have to find out before I head out on an easy road ride.

My work schedule is now dialed to suit my training demands. Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday are off, Monday, Thursday and Friday I work 3-8, and Wednesday I work the full day, which finishes at 6 just as the group ride leaves. Perfect!

Lots of time to train now.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Albion O-cup

So my second race as an elite went a lot better than the first. I finished 17th out of 33 starters. I am super happy with how it went, learned more, and know how I can do better.

My pre-race nutrition consisted of:
- one large bowl of oats with berries
- one sandwich with tones of Nutella + dates on organic rye bread
- another sandwich but with peanut butter and a banana
- a banana bread flavored oatmeal to go bar
- some of last nights leftover veggie pasta
- a taste of the omelet my dad made
- a large coffee from McDonalds
- greens+
- 1-2L of water
All put down by 11:30am

I warmed up on my trainer to make it easier to to get in the zones i wanted to. 5min at 150bpm, 3min at 160bpm, 2 min at 170bpm x 2 with a ten minute spin first and with 5 minute at 140bpm between. I did not have room to bring a wheel with a slick mounted, so I had to annoy everyone with my buzzing Rocket Ron's. Hip hop blocked it out for me.

My start was good, I was a little back, but I grabbed Tim Carlton's wheel and followed it around for more than half the race. I knew he was a good guy to follow because he rides smooth and steady and uses energy wisely. He only punched it to pass, and I could respond no problem. I was feeling great for the first 2 laps. Good enough to attack, but knew that would be wasted energy.

Lap 3 was painful. cramps crept in, and my legs felt tired and sore. The Green Monster hurt. A lot. But I kept with the group.

Lap four I started to feel a bit better. My train slowed a bit and I liked the pace. Tim slid out on one of the slick bits, and could not make up the lost ground. I felt like I could go faster at some points, but did not want to risk cramping up, and hung in with the others.

Lap 5 was similar. I dropped one guy on the Green Monster, but the another (Logan) kept me in sight and we were soon back together. He attacked a couple times in the last km, but I chased him down and took him in the sprint for 17th.

The course was almost entirely dry, with the exception of a few big puddles. Very fast, and lots of good recovery after the climbs. I felt like I was recovering quickly between efforts and can already notice improvements from the interval training. I have asked Adam Morka to provide some coaching to help me do the right training at the right time. I have a good idea how to train smart, but I am really just guessing when to do what.

Thanks Mom and Dad for the driving, feeding and Tai food after.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Today started with very sketchy weather that was sure to include rain, wind and maybe a thundershower. Amazingly, the rain stopped right before my race began at 10am, and by the half way point the sun started to show.

I got to the race with an hour plus to get ready, but after getting distracted by the S4 and Cadet races, I was left with only a half hour to warm up. I brought my trainer along figuring that I would get a better warm up if I set it up under some shelter and keep dry while I got the engine fired up. That plan worked great and other than it being a tad short (25min) I felt ready to go. Using heart rate and cadence data provided my my new Garmin 705 (b-day present - thanks Mom and Dad) I was able to precisely control my warm up effort.

My race started rather slow. I felt great though and just sat in in the top 15ish. This lasted for the whole first half of the race. I was forced out front a couple of times, but only did a short pull and then pulled off. Attacks kept trying to go but nothing was a real threat, and I chased one down to test my legs.

It was just past half way through when Bayden Pritchard attacked. A St. Catharines club rider (Max I think) jumped out to try and bridge, so I chased him down and got a free ride to Bayden. I knew these two where strong so I chose to go all in and fully commit to this break. We got a 15 second gap quickly and shared the work evenly. By lap three away, Max was dropped, and it was just Bayden and myself working, with a dropped rider hanging on the back (not sure how he hung on so long if he was dropped...).

the pain started to set in with about 15km to go, but I was determined to make this move survive. Our gap started to grow in the last few laps, getting up to 25seconds with two laps to go. We really nailed the tight turns to gain time as two can take a turn much faster than a whole pack. It was working. I gave it everything in every pull I took right down to my last one. That wasn't the best way to beat Bayden, but I had no idea what our gap was, and know how a 10 second gap can get shut down in the final kilometers of a race.

I pulled through the last headwind section till about 400m to go, then Bayden sprinted away, and I could not close the gap he created. I was more concerned about us surviving than me winning in the end, and did not want to ruin all our work by playing cat mouse games in the final km.

So second it was, not the W but I am happy with how it went, and $100 richer. I enjoyed this race very much and am confident now that I can win S3 races. Can't wait till the Niagara classic!

Training last week had its ups and down's for me. I felt like shit on Monday following Mansfeild. Throat was sore from dust inhalation, knee hurt from crash and back was sore from the effort. That combined with no energy meant rest day for sure. Tuesday was the same deal, but my knee seemed to hurt even more on my commute to work.

Wednesday I took the day off work to get in a long mountain bike ride. Planned to do 4 hours, at endurance pace with one hour at race pace, but with my knee still sore I cut that down to three. Well I actually had to go home at after 3 because my free-hub body randomly sized turning my bike into a 18 speed fixie. Not cool.

Thursday was some intense interval training. I did 7 out of my planned 10 max effort 30sec. intervals. I wasn't feeling so hot and my knee was not healed yet. Ya no excuses...I know.

Friday I felt great. I did a 3 hour road ride to Port Colbourne and back averaging 32km/h. I had good energy and legs felt punchy for the first time in a while.

Saturday I did a slower 2.5hour road ride to Smithville and back. I arrived at the Timmy just as the St.CCC was leaving and jumped in on the group ride home. It was nice to be able to chat a little to pass the time.

Today's performance confirmed that I am now out of the rut and back in the groove.

I have some good interval training planned for this week to get ready for Albion. I realized after Mansfeild that the only way I will get faster is if I train with max efforts. Doing the same 2-3 hour mtb rides isn't going to yield the improvements that I need to get up there in elite level races. To bad my coach (me+Garmin) got distracted with how fun base miles are on the mtb and postponed intensity till now. Oh well, that may mean a peak closer to the championships....

All for know
Peace out