Monday, July 25, 2011

Tour De Fran-klin

I really enjoyed watching the Tour this year. 3 guys who started off as mtb'ers in the top 10. Cadel, Tommy D in 9th, and JCP in 10th. Also pretty sweet that Tommy D and I were team mates back in the day on the DEVO. Even cooler than that though is the fact that in 2000 I outsprinted Cadel in a road race in Tucson called Collasal Caves. We both missed the 5 man break and in the end I outsprinted him for a 6th and Evans was 7th. At the time Cadel was winning World Cup mtb races so I was pretty pumped. I just looked for the training diary evidence, but couldn't find'll have to trust me. So using common sense and logic though...if I beat Cadel back in 2000 I probably should have registered for the Tour this year! Oh wait...Tristan beat me he probably would have won the Tour, I would have been 2nd and Cadel would have rounded out the podium???

Back to reality...yesterday was the Alterra Coffee Bean Classic in Franklin. I was a little unsure after having three weekends in a row of major fatigue. It was the first race of the year that I didn't do a bigger ride the day before the I was hoping to feel a little more fresh. I was so so in the warm up, but felt pretty good as we got going. I got the early jump for the KOM prime, but Nathan had a little too much speed for me to accelerate again 3/4 of the way up the hill. I had heard the course changed a bit at the beginning so wanted to sit in a little on the first lap. MP and NG also crashed each other and I was not sure what all the talk was about this new banked wooden bridge so I went into the singletrack 5th wheel.

It was a little too far back. At the first chance I went around DB, but the gap was set. Eppen surged by me on the climb, but I think the others were still putting time into him on the singletrack. Starting lap 2 I went to the front to start the chase. Each lap I put time into the leaders and eventually caught Mike and Nathan. I closed the gap the entire race and ended up 20 seconds behind Tristan at the finish. I was happy after too finish strong, but it would have been nice to be able to battle instead of ride a solo TT. I think the rain the previous day made things nice in the singletrack. A little slippery in some spots, but mostly tacky to rip the corners in most of the singletrack. It was the first time in a long time that I felt I had perfect tire pressure at Alterra. Next up....more intervals to prepare for Ore To Shore!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Flippin' the switch

It was game on today with the first Power Test of the year! It's always a little tough to get back into the groove of things after taking a big rest week. I feel like I'm pretty good at steppin' away from the bike when I need to get some good recovery time in...I'm not afraid to completely stay off the bike for 2 or 3 days in a row. In fact I think it is good for you every once in a while.

This time around it seemed like it was going to be tough to get going again. I was kind of all over the map last weekend with the time spent in the car and the double race weekend. I knew my motivation wasn't in the right place going into WORS #5 and thats why I though maybe a warm up rae would be a good idea. It didn't work. I was still mentally on vacation. I was pretty happy with the way the first 3 months of training worked out, but it was a big mental push to finish it off after the Subaru Cup.

I guess I needed a full 8 or 9 days to be able to make the switch from base training to building. Today somehow like magic I was ready to go again. I took another 2 days off after the double weekend. I was still a little sore from a last lap mishap which caused a little cramping in Sundays race, but when I hit the lap button for my first 20 minute test of the year the mental focus was back immediately!

I finished off the test with an avg power of 359. My second 20 minute test was almost just as good at 353. I was pretty happy. Last year my best day of 2 *20's was 357 & 340. This morning and last year I weighed in at 148. Improvement and its only my first go!

I think I improved for a number of reasons. 1. This year is my opportunity to go for job that I have to go to after training rides. 2. Mentally stronger knowing I need to take advantage of this opportunity. 3. A shorter off season. Time spent in Tucson allowed me to have fun on the bike and not loose as much fitness before official training started in April. 4. One of my biggest weakness is hydration. I'm working on that one in a major way after a friend introduced me to ionized water! Shoot me an e-mail if you are curious about this one - 5. With working from home I can train 2 % more and recover 25% better. I think this will pay off huge dividends this fall! 6. Coaching. Now that I am coaching I have been doing a lot more reading and trying to learn as much as possible. It not only helps my clients but it helps me. I love the positive energy that is shared back and forth between myself and my athletes. 7. The taste of victory. After Iceman last year I proved to myself I can race with the best. Now I want to do it again...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Double or nothing...

This was the weekend of GO BIG or stay home. I opted for GO BIG and have some fun. It started out with a big rest week after finishing my 3 months of base training. Lots of watching Tour De France and hanging with Rosco while Andrea was out of town. I jumped in the Wednesday night ride for a couple of hours in the middle of the week but that was about it for time on the bike.

Then it was decision time. What to do for the weekend. Andrea was flying home from California Saturday night and arrived in MKE at 11:00pm. It was out 6th wedding anniversary and I missed her after she had been gone a week. No matter what I was going to be at the airport.

So....should I race Saturday and stay at home Sunday. Should I stay home all weekend. Or should I skip Saturday and wake up early and do Eau Claire Sunday.... or how about both!

Andrea's new bike had just arrived to a shop up in Marquette, MI. I called the guys in Marquette and they mentioned they were going to the Miners Revenge on Saturday for the downhill race. Hmmmm Andrea had done that one before and said it was awesome. It's only an 1:30 from the cabin in Eagle River....I could pick up Andrea's new bike, race, and be home in time for a late night run to the airport! I instantly put the batteries on the charger. It's game on...

So I called up Street Player for a partner in crime and he was in. Rosco, Street, and I hit the road Friday night and made it to the cabin in E.R. by 11:00. The next morning it was off to the Adventure Mine for the coolest race of the year(sorry Gravel Rouser....but this one was pretty awesome).

It was super technical....brutally steep climps, technical muddy greasy rock drop root filled descents, bridges, flyovers, and did I mention the mine.....1/4 mile of a pitch dark mine that you had to ride through. It was pretty sweet and a little intimidating. Lights required for sure(good thing I have a sweet L & M Seca 900). You were in the mine for 3 - 4 minutes. The temp outside was 80+ and the temp in the mine was right around you approached the opening of the mine you could feel the cold air rushing out at you. It was misty, you were crushing through rocks and cold puddles, turning, and even dismounting in one section where the roof of the cave was only 4 ft high. After you emerged from the cave you hit a wall of humid 80 degree air and a drop that would rival the most technical trails at Mt. Snow VT or MSA Quebec! Another sweet thing about U.P. racing is you almost always get local TV coverage at the races....kind like Belgium!

It was worth the drive for sure. We grabbed Andrea's bike, swung by the cabin to get Rosco, clean the bike, and take a quick shower. We were back to Sheboygan by 9:30! Just in time to unpack and hop in the car again to MKE airport. Rosco looked at me like I was crazy when I told him we had to go back in the car!

We picked up Andrea at 11:30 and it was awesome to surprise her with a new Top Fuel and 6 colorful roses. One for each year of our marriage. She thought I forgot! The drive home went fast as we both had some good stories to share of our adventures apart.

5 hours later I was up again...this time not feeling quite as chipper, but I figured GO BIG or GO HOME. I had a good warm up ride at the Miner's Revenge so hopefully my legs wouldn't feel the shock of the rest week at the start of the WORS race.

Well....I don't know if that was the case or not, but it didn't go the greatest. I was hurting on lap 1 and could tell all the guys I was riding with were very familiar with the course. I think they all pre-rode and I hadn't done Eau Claire in 3 or 4 years. I was just hanging on for dear life and wanted to make it through the first lap. I was almost there when my front tire just went off the ledge on the switchback climb and I tipped over. 10 seconds. I chase hard for 1/2 lap to no avail. The harder I chased the more mistakes I made. I think I was within 5 seconds for a while, but as soon as we hit the singletrack again it was over. I went over the limit and with the high temps I had to recover. Lucky for me NG crashed so I slowed and waited for him...was hoping to recover, and start going again. NG dropped me promptly and I had to wait again. Another 1/2 lap of solid recovery and I was ready to go again when Chris P and Big D came up behind me holding hands. I think Chris was about as tired as I was but he was actually training hard....I was just having a rough go. We followed each other around until a half lap to go when we picked it up again, but like I thought...the first guy into the last singletrack before the finish would win the sprint....BIG D was that guy and I finshed 6th....6 year wedding anniversary...6th place finish....I'll take it....

It was a really long drive home...looking forward to lots of rest today and an early night to bed. Then its time to start some interval training!

Monday, July 04, 2011


My firework show is over! 2 days of solo back to back 20 mph 100 mile 5 hours rides. I finished the week w/ 23 hours and 435 miles. Today I will be a dud! I watched the Tour this morning and have a movie to watch for tonight. I am going to be the best guy in the world at recovering today. A skill I have honed over the years! It makes it a little easier that Andrea is out of town in Cali visiting her sister!

Three months of official base training are in the books. It was a super solid effort and I'm really happy with the way things went. I mixed in 5 mtb races and jumped in one road race for some fast miles. I did 2 days of tempo riding early in the week of Junior MTB Camp because I wanted to get the KJ's up a little. This final week of training came directly after the Subaru Cup so the fatigue is very high right now. I am pretty excited to get a good week of rest now and let the body adapt. Next up will be some work trying to boost the LT and keep ramping up towards a strong fall campaign. Although I am seriously considering just riding base miles all season long because I feel really good and am racing pretty fast. I wonder what it would be like to do no intervals at all during training and only race at high intensity???

Andrea's new Top Fuel is here! I'm hoping to build it up while she is gone so we can go do some more riding like this!