Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I miss my bikes

And I hope they miss me. After a ho-hum fall of effectively zero training and some mediocre racing, I've finally hit the point where I really miss my bikes and I'm starting to search really hard for times to ride. Hell, this morning I even considered how awful of an idea it is to go back to 4:30 a.m. trainer rides. I may not be quite there yet, but pretty damn close. Hopefully I can find some time to go mountain biking over this coming long weekend to get it going again.

Not much going on in other news. We're at t-minus 10 weeks to baby time. I sort of have the house back together although the tail on this project could be really really long. I hope to cross a few more things off this weekend. I would have had a chance to accomplish something the last couple days but I came down with something Monday afternoon and ended up sleeping for 14 hours straight. Seeing that this is about 2.5 days worth of sleep for me, I'd say something was really wrong.

So Merry Christmas (or whatever your favorite end of year excuse to drink and be merry is) to everyone. Hopefully someone nice brings you something shiny and/or composite.

Monday, December 06, 2010

What I did with my fall

Ok, so catching up all in one giant brain dump...

Since August I have: helped coach an undefeated football team, paid someone to tear the roof off my house, went on vacation to DC, worked more than I wanted to, rode less than I wanted to, did some bike races, paid someone to put the roof back on my house but now on top of a new second floor, painted some rooms, tiled some floors, did some more bike races, painted some more rooms, got my wife pregnant (ok, that was before August), won a trail (running) race, did some carpentry around the house, lifted some weights, tore down a wall in my house to make two little rooms one big room, ran a pretty fast 5k, started coaching two basketball teams, had to put my 16 year old cat to sleep ( :( ), moved the kids into the new upstairs, got lots of flat tires at bike races, hated going to work, and tried occassionally to eat and sleep.

That was in no particular order, but most times it was about as jumbled as that sounded. Really everything is not so bad right now as long as I don't slow down for too long and think about it... then it gets really overwhelming. Priority one at home right now is untangling the mess that was created over the past several months and getting all of it back into the state it's supposed to be in. We went so long with nothing being where it belonged in the house that untangling it is a challenge especially where most of it doesn't go back where it was before.

And yah, to address the elephant in the room, I obviously have no common sense or really enjoy my kids more than I let on some times. I'll be making certain this doesn't happen again, but for now I need to get myself as in shape and skinny as I can before the end of February to try and minimize how fat and useless I'll become for a little while after that.

Thanks for coming by.

Friday, December 03, 2010

A beer feed for the first one to notice I posted

I may actually numb your brains with everything that's happened since August some day soon. In the meantime, show a brother some love and let me know if anyone will even read my ramblings if/when they happen.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I almost shouldn't jinx myself

I might actually race this weekend. Wouldn't that be exciting? Let's see what can go wrong between now and then.

All the real fun is still over here. I'm going to hate paying the bills for it, but I sure do love the fact that I come home every night and a bunch more stuff is done. There will be pieces where I get my hands dirty so I'm looking forward to that. All the heavy lifting is hired guns though.

Oh, and I finally finished my 6 month+ project of building up a single-speed franken bike. I really hope someone has a SS cross race soon so I can play. I'll definitely be out playing around home soon so I can validate what a shitty mechanic I am.

Yah, that's about all I've got. Aren't you glad you came by?

Friday, August 06, 2010

All the excitement isn't here

It's here.

That bit of fun has not turned me old and fat yet though. The training program is ramping back up and I don't feel like I lost much over the past month when I dialed it back. I'm mixing in some new stuff too so we'll see what sort of impact that has. I'm sure someone out there will quickly prove to me that I still suck once the racing starts, but I'll just try to suck less and see how it goes.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I wish I had video

In my son's State Tournament baseball game today a kid on the other team went deep in the top of the first inning. The kid who hit it can be no more than 10 (just turned 10) and he jacked this thing. First home run our team has ever seen in a lot of games they've played. While he was running the bases, my son who was playing second gave the kid a high five. It was so simple, so subtle, and I've never been more proud.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'm not dead yet

Apparently I've been doing just enough riding to not turn into a slow fat guy yet. Last night was a rare night off which was helped by getting out of work early to go sign my life away for the house project. I met up with the couple of hearty soles who decided to tempt the rain gods for the Wednesday night MRC beatdown ride. I came away with the KOM and was able to solo to "victory". It felt good to push that hard and the fun meter was definitely pegged. Yay.

Oh and all the smothering of the boy apparently hasn't scarred him yet... after a winless opening tournament for the team, they flipped it all the way around and swept the district tournament. Next weekend we get to see how they do carrying the 1 seed into the state championships. Yay.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Not How I Planned It

Like most bike racers, I came into this spring all fired up. It was my first spring in years where I wasn't dealing with school, I had stumbled my way into a sort-of-sponsorship, and the schedule at home looked very manageable. I was training hard, I did some early season races with some decent results, and all was good. I was clearly well on my way to ruling the New England bike racing scene. And then life happened. A couple weekends where I couldn't race turned into a month where I didn't race. My son got picked for an all star team with a big time commitment. Training days got missed. The training days that happened got more stressful. The weekends going forward weren't getting any more free. Finally my bike racing brain just popped. For now I've just sort of erased the word "training" from my vocabulary. Don't get me wrong... I'm still riding. It's just more haphazard and less focused. A targeted effort without a target just wasn't making sense. Focus had replaced fun so I got rid of focus for now. Fun seems to have come back quickly. There may be some more focus as cross approaches. Fortunately cross is inherently fun so there should be plenty of that to go around.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

CBTT Report

In terms of exciting, time-wasting commentary, race reports are always way better when written right away. In terms of really getting to the important details and letting people move on to the rest of the blogosphere, maybe waiting a week is best. In any case, here's the almost week old recap of last week's Charlie Baker Time Trial.

I think I've only done one official "race of truth" ever and that was the Mount A TT a few years back. Even though it is a TT, it almost doesn't count because it's such a bizarre course that it takes a bike racing specialty (TT'ing) and makes it more of a specialty skill. In any case, my limited experience coupled with the fact that my only direct knowledge of the CBTT course was from a 5 minute phone call with a guy who does it all the time meant that I was going into this a little blind. I was there really early to avoid getting my hear rate up just sitting in traffic so I signed in early and got the #3 start spot. I buzzed up the road to check out the last stretch of the course, but it was probably only the last mile or so and then I retreated back to my trainer. I got a decent warmup in and then scurried off to the start, getting there just as they sent the #1 rider off and as the #4 rider was saying "I'm 4th, I don't know where this other guy is". I'll call that perfect timing :)

First out were Mike and Kathy Rowell on their tandem so there was no chance in hell of seeing them again until the parking lot and second up was a guy on his regular road bike like me. Behind me were 17 other people, many of whom looked like they had at least spent the money, if not done the training, to be taking this seriously. I took a deep breath to get my heart rate down to 123 (I seriously cannot relax right before the start of a race) and I was off. I quickly got up to speed and ramped my HR up to 170 which ended up being my average for the whole thing. My goal was to "cruise the flats" at 350-375W and go a little harder on the uphills and a little easier on the downhills. Unfortunately, there's effectively no flats on the course so it instead became an exercise in trying to average my efforts on that range while having the power numbers swinging wildly to either side of it.

My 30 second guy never really got too far out of sight and I think I caught and passed him 7 or 8 minutes in. He later told me "I saw you coming and saw you going and that was about it." I got to the first turn at the rotary (course is sort of triangular with just 3 right turns) and didn't feel too awful, but I did slow way down going through there because I didn't know the traffic pattern and we had gotten several warnings about yielding to traffic. The next stretch on the top of the course was mentally tough because 1) it was way further to the next turn than I pictured from the map, 2) a car squeezed way right due to a car turning left and I had to come to a near stop to squeeze by, and 3) I was 15 minutes into a 25 minute effort. Once I made the turn onto the road back to the finish I knew there were "just two hills" and I was there so it was time to hurt. By now I was amazed that nobody had passed me and was listening for the sound of deep dish wheels buzzing towards me, but they never came. With what I figured was about 5 minutes to go it was good motivation to not get caught so I was burying myself as much as I could. I lost more speed than I wanted on the couple little climbs and may have gone a little too hard early, but I did manage to hold it together for the most part.

I made the final turn and sprinted up the last kicker to the line thinking I saw my clock tick over 25:00 just after the line. They had me in an "official" time of 25:00 so one of us was off a tiny bit... whatever, it's a training race and I still "beat" Rooter by 11 seconds :) Average power was 351W, but it was swinging all over the place thanks to the course profile and me not knowing what I was doing. Just like Colin said in his race report, averaging 351W to go under 23.5mph tells me that I'm a giant parachute, but I sort of knew that. I won't be running out and dumping money into a TT bike, but may at least try a set of clip on aero bars to see what happens. I might make another go of it this week if the rain holds off and the spasm in my back goes away.

Phew... imagine if I had written this last Wednesday night...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Holy crap, I beat Colin at something on a bicycle

This is the short version since I don't have my official time yet, but it seems pretty certain that last night I actually beat Colin at an event which involved moving rapidly on a bicycle. Granted I think it was only by about 15 seconds, but I'll take it. And no I didn't steal Cancellara's motorized bike in order to do this, it was just me in the drops with my only purchased advantage being a moderately sexy front wheel and some shoe covers. Long version once I get an official time...