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...

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Save for a mention or two of my kids or my house, this basically became a blog about bike racing. Well I haven't been doing any of that, therefore there's not a hell of a lot to say. Don't get me wrong... I've been training my ass off, but right now it seems to be to hold down the title of fastest guy who never races. Hopefully soon I'll be back out there going fast with others. For now it's back to sitting at little league fields and stressing about the addition on my house.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Day

Hastily taken picture (in my kitchen), but you get the idea:

Oh yah, and if anyone wants to buy a 22" Kona Kula 2-9 frame leave me a comment.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wayne Elliot Circuit Race Report

Fortunately photog Garry Sansoucie saved me the trouble of having to write a long race report from the race up in Merrimac. Quite simply, too much of this:

Leads to this:

Yah, I don't see me at the front at the finish either.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


I've got two posts drafted in my head, but have had no time to get them down. One is a race report from last weekend (spoiler: I'm still a moron) and the other is a review of my new helmet (spoiler: I love it). Hopefully I can get them up soon.

There will also be increased volume over at the other blog very soon so you can watch as I create an even more chaotic existence for myself. What unbelievable fun that will be.

Oh, and next week is going to be like Christmas... only better. Stay tuned...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Failing as little as possible

I could turn this into a very long and rambling report about Saturday's Massasoit Lung Opener, but I'm short on time today so I'll just say that this could be the happiest I'll ever be with an 8th place finish. This was not at all the course for me with each loop consisting of 7+ miles of rooty, narrow, twisty single-track. There were some sections of loose sand sprinkled in which I didn't hate and the obligatory flat stretch where I could hammer, but otherwise the course just killed me. Don't get me wrong, it was a great park to ride in and I'll probably go back, but I may try to borrow a dual suspension bike when I do and I certainly won't be riding for time the next time.

Great start and slotted in 5th wheel for the 2nd straight week and then I proceeded to hemmorage speed and places on all the turns. There was a certain survival element to the race as one guy told me afterwards that he was right near me until he pulled his cleat out of his shoe. I was much cleaner lap 2, but still wasn't that great. The one bright spot of the day was late in the race when I consciously rode away from 2 guys on a flat section, then pulled a nice cyclocross dismount/uphill charge/remount to lose the other guy who had been in our mini-group. It was a battle for me the whole time so I'll take it.

Not sure what's next... there's way too many conflicts in the coming 4 weeks so I'l trying to see what I can get to. I may hit the pavement this coming weekend... oh wait, I should know better than to use the phrase "hit the pavement"...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Winding Trails Race Report

Hey, remember me... yup, still around. In the grand scheme of my chaotic life, it's been pretty quiet lately. What better way to cure that than to fire up the bike races again? This past Sunday was the Fat Tire Classic at Winding Trails and it was my first opportunity to represent the Seven Development Squad (have I mentioned how awesome that is? ok, just checking). Due to some family conflicts I knew I'd be arriving late and riding straight to the car afterwards, but it was still worth it to make the 90 minute drive and see how the training is really going. I dragged my buddy Paul down with me and we screeched the truckster into the parking lot with about 80 minutes to sign in, get dressed, and warm up. We got good news just before getting there that another MRC friend had won the 50+ beginner race so maybe that was a good omen for the day.

I had just enough time for most of a warmup lap which is always a good thing for me to avoid riding the first lap of a race like a drunken monkey. Except for a little (avoidable) sand pit at the start, a nice tricky little downhill early in the lap, and a couple rooty sections, the course was very cross-like with lots of very fast sections and lots of super fun twisties through the trees. The hole shot was important though because of the sand, a tight turn at the top of the hill, and a little double log hop early on that would clearly be a mess in a big pack. Did I mention that I didn't quite ride the whole lap... that would be important later.

I was ready just in time, got myself right on the line, whistle, clip in... let's boogie! Hit just the line I wanted to around the sand and up the hill and I was slotted right in 5th wheel of a nice line. One guy blew from the start, but a couple guys came around and it was just general high speed lung busting chaos for a while. I was riding pretty well overall and didn't really have any moments where I felt like everyone else was thinking "Who invited the sketchy guy?" Very early on I found myself right in the neighborhood of an NEBC guy who ended up being my main battle for the day.

So about not riding the whole lap during warmup... at the start someone had said something about whether the mud pit was rideable. Hmmm, I didn't see a mud pit. The good news is that I generally loves me some mud so that was just some good fun when I got there near the tail end of the loop. Now if someone had just said something about the awful steep hill at the end of the loop... it was your standard chin-on-the-stem little kicker, but when you weight 195 those things hurt. Fortunately it hurt lots of others too so I made a couple passes the first time up. Ok, lap 1 done, 2 to go.

Lap 2 fortunately got a little more sane and me and NEBC guy were just trucking around carrying as much speed as possible. About half way through the lap the trail popped out to a little clearing and I figured this was a good time for a drink. It was a fine time for a drink, but it turned out to be not such a good time to put my bottle away. When I reached down I got off-balance just a touch and then dug my front wheel into a little patch of sand... AND DOWN GOES FRASIER! I was perfectly fine, but I had heard a weird wrenching metal sound from my bike. I of course hopped on without checking and figured why not just do inventory while I keep racing. Things seemed mostly ok except my stem was now pointed about 15 degrees left and something in the front end was rattling. That's perfectly safe to race on right? Yah, I thought so too.

Lap 2 finally closed out and I effectively had no concept of where me and NEBC guy were in our field, but there was a group of 5 or so of us together (I was pretty positive the other 3 were from the field ahead of us). My crooked front end had me a little concerned about the steep downhill, but I survived that and a little ways after there was a section of roots that I carried really good speed over. I noticed that I had suddenly dropped my friends so that seemed like as good a time to go as any. Again, a fine plan to go go go... not such a fine plan to go so hard that you hook your bars on a tree. By the time I was going again, sure enough, you know who was charging back up to me. I forget where, but he caught back on and now it was time to wait for one of the late hills to try and make a charge. Who'd have thought that was his plan too? We hit this one gravel covered hill and now he had a gap. Argh... too. tired. to. chase. Some slower guys we were catching were so very kind to slow him down on some single-track so I could catch up... thanks guys. Hanging on for dear life and now it was left to the last steep hill. Well, someone forgot to tell my legs that we weren't done yet and I just flat out stalled about 5 feet from the top. I made sure to finish strong anyways, but that was that.

I had to rush back to the truck and hit the road which was fine because I was nearly certain I was off the podium. Later posting of the results showed I was 7th, about 3:30 back from first. I was definitely hoping for better, but I had really nothing left at the end. I could have beaten my main competitor, but looking at times I need a minute thirty to get up to 5th and I'm not sure where that would have come from. Way more good than bad overall so I'll take it. Next race Saturday. Oh, and congrats if you actually made it through this :)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Definition of Awesome

Look it up in the dictionary and you'd have a reasonable chance of finding this.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

In a word...

Meh. Results went up yesterday. I burned a lot of brain cells yesterday stressing over what to think of the outcome and then just said eff it and reverted to the fact that I felt ok about it when I finished. I've only done this one other time and that was 2 years ago. I was actually 5 seconds slower this time. Course conditions slowed down nearly everyone across the board and last year's king and queen lost about 1:30 each so maybe -5 seconds is actually an "improvement". Placing was pretty awful, but then again there appear to be several individuals who should perhaps reconsider their racing category. Last time I was at about mid-pack in the field, this time more like top 1/3. Different bike, don't even remember what my training or fitness was like 2 springs ago, pre-rode last time and not this time... there I go over-analyzing again. Like I said, I'll go back to feeling ok about some stuff and knowing that I messed up some other stuff and move on. Lots more racing to do this year.

Monday, March 29, 2010

(Not the) King of Burlingame

Imagine that... race report season is back again already. After a lost cross season which left me little to talk about other than how much I sucked, you'd think I'd be just overflowing with things to say about the first race of the season. Well you may end up being right, but let's see how this goes as I start rambling...

Charlestown is one of those places that I know is far, but I can never seem to remember if it's just shy of 90 minutes or just over 90. I split the difference and figured I'd leave 3 hours before the Sport group started and leave myself 90 to get ready and warm up. I had a little panic moment when the GPS told me I'd arrive in 95 minutes and I still had to make a stop or two, but I figured I'd be fine seeing that it was early and I could potentially drive a little recklessly to get there. Sure enough I cut it down to 85 minutes with a DnD stop so we were in business. Got some prime parking next to some car full of pro-type people and thus began the banter about the conditions. Comments were made to the effect of "Oh, you race at 10, maybe it will warm up by then" and "Some sections will have too much water to be muddy". Now for the record, even at 8:30 I didn't think it was that cold and it warmed up a few degrees by 10. Knee warmers, long sleeve jersey, sleeveless base layer, regular cap was perfectly fine. This does not however mean that the standing water on the course was warm and my feet were in fact numb by the finish.

Good warmup mostly on the roads and then headed over to the start area. Riders went at 30 second intervals and I was heading out lucky 13 so not too much time to wait. Yet another reminder of the conditions was the mud puddle about 5 feet into the trail head where you started. There were plenty of jokes about who was going to eat it right there, but unfortunately I didn't see any. 3... 2... 1... Have a good ride big man! (The starter was a funny bastard). I knew from past years that there were some technical sections early and if I made those mostly clean, or at least fast, I'd be in ok shape. Well, I felt fast enough, but I was far from clean and that was capped off by a foot long 1" diameter stick lodging in my rear wheel/crank and sending me over the bike, fortunately at low speed. I was better after that, but not perfect. I have a really awful habit of getting very stiff and putting on a handlebar deathgrip when I start to go "into the pain cave" as they say and since this was a TT, that's where you belong. The fast sections I felt pretty fast, but I was marginal at best on the rooty and/or technical sections that pop up here and there throughout the course. One (barely) shining moment was at the log about 1/4 of the way in which is just big enough to make you (me) question riding or running it and I hit a perfect full speed cross dismount/remount to actually make up ground on a guy and then pass him.

The rest of the course was more of the same... good solid power where you could use it including a satisfying catch and pass going up the long drag from the pond, suspect bike handling when you needed some that wasn't. In the very last section up to the finish I spotted 2 guys up the trail and gunned for them, getting one in the final mud puddle and the other guy just saying ahead. Overall I think I passed 5 or 6 and I was passed by 2, but both were so early on that they had to have started very close behind me and been frickin flying. I didn't have a watch so I don't know my time yet. If I saw correctly when I looked over the lady's shoulder at the results I was 7th in the Sport 19-39. More or less as soon as I knew I wasn't top 5 and getting a wiffle ball bat or a tire off the prize table I blew out of there and didn't hang around to hear times. I'll withold final judgment until I see the times, but I can't say I was thrilled. I easily lost 30 seconds, probably more, to poor technical riding. I have to find me some of those bike handling skills I hear so much about.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I win

If I'm counting right I took 13 town lines during today's ride. Oh wait, I was riding solo. Still, I did ride far enough to hit 13 towns. Yay.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More Than Yesterday...

Less Than Tomorrow

I had never actually heard this saying before my lovely wife and I went shopping for our wedding rings (I lead a sheltered life apparently). She suggested we have it engraved in our rings. At the time it was simply a wish for our marriage. I recently used it to close out the toast I gave at my buddy's wedding too. While trying to think of ideas for more artwork I thought of this and if you think about it, it works as an all-purpose wish for all the good stuff in your life. To add an extra touch I had my 4 year old write the letters for me so I could capture a tiny bit of his childhood forever. The scroll is the artist's own work. I'm pretty pleased with the result. If I'm lucky many bike racers in New England will get plenty of time to admire it while they try in vain to get past me :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Metrowest Ink

Spent some more quality time at the tattoo parlor last night. I'm up to 6 now. In all honesty fresh tattoos can look kind of ugly since they're all swollen and there's a little blood involved. I'll get a picture up here (and probably facebook) soon. I really have no legitimate explanation for the tattoo fascination. Maybe it's my way of rebelling against all the things I was told not to do as a kid. It's not like my parents were major hardasses or anything so maybe not. I've always avoided getting any that simply look cool for the sake of looking cool. All mine have a story.

Oh and training is going pretty awesome despite Sunday's beating. A beating at the hands of pros and front-of-the-masters-field type of guys is the type of beating where every minute you hang on is a victory. Looking back over the data it was actually a really positive effort despite the implosion. 2 weeks until KOB.

Sunday, March 07, 2010


I went to a group ride today. Gavin Mannion showed up in full Livestrong team kit and all. I'm not sure he was even the fastest guy there. I got to TT the last hour back by myself. Someone's got some more training to do.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Laying low

Although I should have posted a follow up to the last post explaining how my SRAM double-tap lever snapped off while readjusting everything, that bit of comedy is now fully resolved and I missed the window of high quality sarcastic commentary. Honestly not really a lot going on. Training, working, taxes, laundry, karate classes, lacrosse clinics, a little pickup basketball... just kinda relaxing and enjoying right now. The household chaos meter is historically low right now, but fear not, it will be set to 11 before you know it. We'll have 3 playing baseball this year and all three at different levels which means totally different schedules, fields, etc. We'll also have one doubling up in lacrosse. Good thing I've gotten into the habit of jumping on the bike around 4:45 before work and gettin er done. First race registration is in (KOB TT). Maybe I should actually renew my license. Need sleep.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Ah yes, the dual meaning title...

I've become a reasonably ok bike mechanic. When I say reasonably ok I do not in any way mean that you should trust me to work on your $5000 bike and not eff it up, but I at least trust myself to work on my own expensive bike and then ride it. I do have a bad habit though of letting maintenance type stuff go way too long and then of course it ends up being more expensive and a big pain in the ass. Case in point: I finally got around to pulling apart the whole front end of my steel cross bike for the first time in 2 years. Let's just say that I got some quality time with some sandpaper while I cleaned the rust off of the steerer tube. Anyways... so my latest is that the rear shifting on my road bike has been getting kinda stiff and flaky for a while. I knew it was time to change out the lower piece of housing at least and probably replace the cable too. Well tonight I tried to just swap out the housing and grease up the cable a little. Lacking a very good cutter (the proper TOOL), the ends of the housing were a little ragged. In the process of threading the used cable through with it's imperfect end, I got a couple of strands caught and proceeded to peel them a ways back and basically destroy the cable. Of course I didn't have a spare on hand. So I have now disabled my bike over a $2 part because I procrastinated and wasn't careful (I am a TOOL). Ah well... easy problem to back out of at least.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Two weekends ago I played basketball twice in 3 days. I had fun. I even played respectably well, then again it wasn't exactly a high caliber game. The day after the second game I felt like I had pulled a muscle in the right side of my chest. It got progressively more acute over the next few days and I finally reached the conclusion that I probably cracked a rib. I can tell I've turned the corner and it's getting better as long as I don't do anything stupid (unlikely). That'll teach skinny guys like me to jump in with the big boys.

Oh, and I missed the window of opportunity on the hideous looking elbow. More or less picture implanting a Twinkie in your arm. Now picture what your arm would look like once all that blood/fluid distributes itself throughout your elbow and forearm. Guess I'll just have to get on the pictures right away the next time I hurt myself. You know by now it won't be that long of a wait.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I can't remember if I made it public, but I had put my name in for Leadville this year. I got the "We regret to inform you..." email today. Major bummer since a guy from the club that I really enjoy riding with got in. Of the 7 of us I know that put in, it looks like he may have been the only lucky one. Sadly, there's no way I can burn a hall pass to go out to crew for him and/or help with the race. Have to save those for the events I'm in. Ah well... better luck next year.

If I get ambitious tonight I have to get a picture of my arm up here. I took a huge hit on my elbow 10 days ago when I hit a patch of ice and it's still hideous. Definitely worst contusion I've ever had and that's saying sumthin.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Bear with me

I'm going to be doing some redecorating around here so bear with me while I get things in order.

Speaking of redecorating, you can go check out some exciting news over here. That will also double as my pre-built excuse for why I suck this season.

Monday, February 01, 2010

That was weird

If you've ever even met me you've probably figured out that I don't sleep much. I can carry on with what sounds like not a lot of sleep for quite a while, but it does catch up with me now and then. Yesterday I pulled a marathon day where I got up at 4 to go to a teammate's house for a spin and CX Worlds viewing party. Who could say no to a trainer workout with company while watching the best of the best and chasing it with beer and waffles? Anywho... by late afternoon I was pretty beat, but hung in there until maybe 9:30. This morning I got up at 4 (typical for work day) and I just could. not. wake. up. On the drive to work I almost turned around 3 times because I felt like I was not all that safe to be driving. Chugging my first cup of joe wasn't helping. 2 more cups when I got to work and there was still nothing firing. I found myself apologizing to everyone because I was being a grouchy jerk and I just generally avoided people. Finally around 11:30 I just admitted I was just wasting the electricity to light my office and went home. I basically went right to bed and slept for the better part of 4 hours. I think that did the trick, but I'm still trying to get over the groggy daytime sleeping feeling. Definitely seem more coherent. We'll see how it goes when the kid circus starts in a little while.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Good Side of Bad

If there's any up-side to finding out 5 years ago that my blood pressure was the equivalent of an 80 year old chain smoker who snacked on sticks of butter wrapped in bacon it's that every few years I get to see cool pictures of my heart. Must be the nerd in me talking, but seeing all the valves and everything work is pretty frickin cool. Fortunately nothing I saw looked like the turbo on G's car spewing fluids everywhere... I'm pretty sure that would have been bad. I'll wait to hear from the doctor before declaring myself healthy or anything, but if recent rides on the bike mean anything, something is working right.

I've said it before: Don't assume everything is perfect because you're in shape and active. I was probably the "healthy" guy next in line for a heart attack. It's not much more than a minor inconvenience to get yourself checked out regularly.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 6

After a couple months of intense slacking, I went for the aforementioned LT test which seems to have been the much needed kick in the ass. Today was my sixth straight day of riding. Yay. Granted the last 4 have been in the cozy little corner I set up in the basement, but it's January in Massachusetts... that's what we do. Things look good to hit the pavement both days this weekend again after a nicely timed "rest" day tomorrow ("rest" because there'll be no riding, but I am playing hockey). I can only hope that this is the start of a nice trend.

Oh, and there will be some upcoming big news over on my rarely used other blog. I'll try to remember to flag it here, but feel free to check it out periodically.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reality Check

Last night I went down to visit coach guy for a little LT testing since it's time to get off my ass. Let's just say it was a sobering reminder that I've got me some work to do. All things considered, it probably should have been worse. I've probably pedaled a bike about 6 times since the end of October. Somewhere around that time I did nothing at all for about 3 weeks. I basically went into this cold. It's ok... I just need to do some rearranging in the basement tonight so I can set up a nice spot for the trainer. I lost my heated trainer room to the kids and the couple times I've ridden in the garage in the past couple weeks my feet went numb it was so cold. That's not going to do much for motivation so I'll just do some cleaning and be good. It's only January... no worries.

Oh and an old teammate from high school is pulling me into an alumni vs. students charity basketball game in a few weeks. I basically told him I suck about as much as I did back then, but I'm at least in shape enough to run with the kids. Should be entertaining. If anyone wants a laugh, the money is going to cancer research and tickets are only 3 bucks. I can post info if there's any desire. If you're on FB you may just get the info there.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Goals - What's "too late"

All this reflection and planning and prognosticating by some people these days got me thinking about an old goal of mine. I ran competitively through high school, college, and for several years after. One could argue I was even pretty good at it. I sort of became a middle/long distance guy focusing on the 800m and 1500m on the track and 5k to 5miles elsewhere. I've had mixed success above and below those ranges, but suffice it to say I spent lots of hours banging out hard short intervals. I'd have to check my list, but I believe my PR in the 1500m was 4:05 point something (and I know it was at the D3 New England Outdoor Championships at Williams College in 1996 :) ). For a long time I was pretty certain I had the ability to get under 4 minutes, but leaving the structure of college and not being able to afford a coach then, I never made a serious push for it. Tack on 3 kids, a lot of years, and aspirations of being a bike racer and here we are.

The past few years I've gotten pulled into this fun little event in June where the local clubs do a "marathon relay": 26 people each do a mile (and someone sprints out the .2) for bragging rights and a few medals. It's been a fun event because mentally I'm programmed to run the mile (there's an approach to this race and not everyone gets it) so I can use it as a way to measure general fitness, although not running fitness so much since I've barely run at all leading up to it. A good sign is that my time has come down 3 years in a row. Last year I ran a 4:54 (granted it's 1600m which is not a full mile and you get a running start, but still...) with just a handful of running days and one pace check on a track a day or two before. It got me thinking: What if I actually trained for this? Last night I was thinking to myself that this year I should really honestly train for it, but still as a secondary goal to bike racing. Today I started thinking a little bigger: What if I really honestly gave it another shot before it's too late? But that sounds like a lot of pressure... oh no, if I don't do it now I never will. I don't need that shit.

The fact of the matter is, the more years that go by, the harder it will be for me to pull together what it takes to go that fast. There's a reason I gave up running as a primary sport... it hurt too much to do it that hard every day. With a smart enough approach it's still not outside the realm of possibility, but it would have to be kinda soon. I have my name in for Leadville this year and I wanted to do something even bigger next year (to be announced later). Maybe if I don't get in to Leadville I'll ponder the idea some more. It's just big enough that it would have to be THE goal so I have to think about it. We'll see....