Saturday, October 30, 2010

Getting fit again

Finally starting to feel strong on the bike again. Today was the first ride that I felt good sensations while hammering since the Squeezer.

I went over to hydro hill, and climbed it 10 times. Didn't race up it, just went steady, and made sure to get my heart-rate above 170 each time. 42x28 seemed to be the perfect gear, with the occasional double up shift before standing. After the reps I cruised through some singletrack in the Decew Falls area, then enjoyed a nice push from the wind all the way home. Total ride time was 1h50mins. Wanted to do more trails, but I figured I should go home and eat/rest for tomorrows race in the US. I am doing the NY state champs down in the Rochester area. Hillbilly Hustle looked like fun too, but its a far drive for a 1hr race.

This week I chose to do most of my training on foot. Running is not fun, but for some reason I am more motivated to run, than to do intervals on the bike; at this time of year. Maybe its because I suck at running and know that I can easily improve at it, which I have. Tues and Thurs were both 10km runs with 10reps up the stairs at lock 2. Did different agility drills that Morka introduced to me. After Tuesday my legs felt completely torn apart. I could barely walk, and going down stairs was very painful. After an easy spin on Wed I was ready for it again Thurs and got'r done feeling much better.

I think next week will look very similar to this one. I will shorten the runs and make Thursday easier to have a tapper effect for Nationals.

I have also started to do some strength training; to my upper body anyway. Pumped out 120 push-ups this week, 2+x that in sit-ups. Also a bit of curls, shoulder and tricep work. You don't realize how valuable this training is until you're riding at your limit, and start to fade because your arms and core are to weak to keep your bike stable; or when you enter a technical bit of singletrack and you have to slow down because you've got nothing in your body to maneuver your bike around.

Hopefully I feel good tomorrow, and even better next Saturday.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fun times in the mud

Super fun cross race today. I got the mud I was hoping for, and got to expedience cross as I had envisioned it.

I feel that I rode pretty solid. Not quite as strong as I was day 2 at TO, but aside from the climbs I was able to keep a respectable pace. Those road climbs had me feeling really out-of-shape, and I was counting down how many more times I had to drag myself up them.

Aside from the suffering, I had a blast nailing turns, and trying new lines each lap. I'm sure I could have brought a little more speed into some turns, but I kept it safe and stayed upright. Its obvious that I have some work to do on my fitness before I have better results, so I am going to do some intervals this week and next and see what I can do at nationals.

Solid ride again Henri, and huge props to Chown for killing it today.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pre-reg Only. Oops

Missed out on the CX provincials action that went down at Kelso today. Totally my fault, I forgot to sign up early, and never bothered to read the tech guide that clearly said pre-reg only. Didn't find out till last night, and I had already planned to go up with Henri, so I went and tried to get a favor out of the oca to get me in.

No luck. The Commissionaire had to be a dick and stick to the rules. Even for one of their best customers an exception could not be made.

Didn't get get mad because I knew I could have a riot just watching. I pre rode two or so laps to get a little workout, then cruised around the course to various points to watch/cheer. I was having fun trying to motivate Henri. It helped him, and he moved up to a podium spot for U23. He was inspiring me, and making me wish I was racing so much. He was in a good battle with Marco Li, and Preston Wagler, and was able to drop them something fierce by the end. Stafford fell way back with a broken derailleur but was still able to come back and and steal the last U23 podium spot. He is a hero, and I think would have finished 2nd overall had he avoided the mechanical. Watson would have had someone to keep him working.

Gonna race there tomorrow. Hoping for mud and decent strength. I have rested a lot this week, so I should be fresh. I think I am rested enough to start doing a little intensity before the end of cross season, so I can be fitter for some November races. I get started on strength training after nationals and and hopefully get my lunge form back quickly for laps around my block.


Monday, October 18, 2010

T.O. UCI Cross report

Day 1

Going into day 1, I had it in my head that the reason I was soo slow at Turkey cross was because I went out to hard, and blew myself up before the race was even half over. So, I figured I would have more success if I started steady, and ramped it up through the race. I planed to always have a wheel to suck in the wind, and only attack guys before the twisties, or when they messed up.

I liked the course a lot during the pre ride. It was well designed in a way that you didn't have to use your brakes much. Not too much climbing either....

When the race started I settled into a pace that I could likely hold for 2 hours. I got on Guy's wheel and he pulled me through the headwind section at a good pace. This brought me up to Henri, and a couple other handlebar guys that I stuck with till I was pulled. I thought I was doing alright, and was just starting to ramp it up to my red lined pace. I guess I lost to much ground in the first quarter, so it didn't matter that I had some gas left. Frattini was coming.

Before heading home I hit up the snowboard show with my buddy who came along for the race. Checked out a lot of decks but nothing in the u300 dollar cat jumped out at me, so I left empty handed. We got stuck in traffic for an hour after, and I never got any decent food in me till 7pm. I made up for that by feasting on steak, potatoes, salad and cheesecake when I got home.

Day 2

New plan for day 2. Race at a 40 minute pace, and make it to the last lap so I could finish on the same one as the leaders. This course was a bit longer than Saturdays (time wise) because it had more turns, so I was confident I could avoid the pull.

I started a bit slow, but made up some spots quickly and was riding really well. I was riding in a train of ride with Rendall guys, and was able to draft them for a while. Most of those guys had more power than I did, but they were slowing me down in the turns a little. If I attacked I figure I would have blown trying to tackle the stiff headwind, so I sat on and only past them when they fell or really missed the line.

The last lap was an exciting battle for 23rd spot with 2 others. They both tried attacks early, but we stayed together all the way to the sandpit. I tried to attack before the drop, because I was riding the off camber turns and climb really well, but I just never had the power to get ahead on the climb. I tried to ride the sandpit, but failed horibly, and the other two gaped me by running it quickly. That was it for me, but it was good enough for 25th, and a $25 pay out.

I had a lot of fun though, and am starting to get this cross thing. I plan to do a few more this season including Provincials this weekend.

all for now

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Turkey Cross

What a gorgeous day it was to spend an hour suffering in a maze of cation tape. I had some new motivation and confidence for this race, with my Dura Ace C-Fities mounted with some Dugast Rhinos. I figured that would be the most effective way to get faster, as intensity training at this point in the year is not happening for me.

I felt the a cold coming on yesterday, and went to bed with plugged nostrils, tossing and turning for a couple hours before passing out. Accidentally set my alarm for 7, but fell back asleep for another hour after that went off. Not a good a great start to the day; I usually jump out of bed around 7 on a race day. Okay so that's all the excuses I have for my mediocre performance.

During the warm-up laps I felt surprisingly amazing. My bike was rolling so smooth and and the new tubies where gripping so well. I was passing people like crazy just so I could bring speed more speed into the turns. I was loving the course and would say it was my favorite yet; to ride, but racing was another story. The twisties were soo fun, but the run-up and climbs were killing me. I suck at running, especially if its up a hill. Something I will work in in the winter.

I had a great start, settling in around 10th in a stacked field. I was going strong for the first few laps but blew up after about 4 laps. From then on I just tried to keep'r rollin, and have fun on the none up-hill parts of the course. I managed to crash on the only damp part of the course which was a twisting down hill. Not sure how I managed that, probably just got overly confident on the Dugasts. I was fine, but took a bit to get going again. While I never did get going again, but you know what I mean. I wanted so badly to stick with riders that came by, and battle it out with them, but I had no power left so they would slowly ride away.

Not sure of the result yet, but I finished a lap down after 4 leaders lapped me with 2 - go.

I still had fun though and am looking forward to the big races this weekend. I'm just going to take'r easy this week to get over this cold, and hopefully find some power come Saturday.

That is all.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cross Attempt #2

Yesterday I made a last minute decision to hit up the Octoberfest CX race in TO. I Hadn't trained all week, other than some slow adventurous rides, and I drank a lot of beer Friday, so I was unsure how she'd go.

I enjoyed the course quite a bit during my warm up laps, and figured it would suit a MTBer like me. It was hilly, with some fast dh's and some tricky technical features. They had a long sand pit, a big log followed by a sand pit, some barriers and lots of off camber sections.

I had a good start, getting just inside the top 10, and felt like I could move up if I wanted to. I wanted to try and ride everything, so when we came to the log I hopped up, but washed out in the sand on the other side. Somewhere in the process of falling I smacked my derailleur off something and bent the hanger pretty good. I rolled along for a bit trying to find a gear that worked, but none of them really did. Justin was right in front of me coming up to the steep big climb, and some how his rear tubular rolled off while he was riding straight. He's lucky it happend there and not on a fast turn, but unfortunately it cost him big time.

I ran up the hill, then cruised down to the pit area to try and fix my shifting. All I could do was pull on my derailleur to bent the hanger as straightish as possible. I got it looking decent, and then got rolling again behind a train of masters that just went by. I tried to shift to a smaller cog, but for some reason my shifter would not release. I was stuck in the 25, so all I could do was shift between 48,39 with a 25t cog in the back. It worked alright, but was far from ideal. The train of masters was gone, but I managed to catch a couple other guys while chasing. After 2 or 3 laps of riding the 2 speed, the shifter started to release, and I could use about half my cassette. It still wasn't right, and my chain went in the spokes more than once, but I made the best of it. Later on I caught a few more guys, and just just tried to enjoy the course as much as possible. Stafford came by me just before the finish of my second last lap, so I was forced to finish 1 lap down. Oh well, it was fun.

I'm thinking about training a little and doing the race in TO next weekend to get a bit faster for the UCI race. My goal there would be to not get lapped, which will be very tough with a bunch of pros there. Hopefully the laps are long. haha