Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Holidays!

It's been a while since the last update.  In fact it was about 2 weeks ago that I was smashed out of my mind staring blankly at this very screen thinking of what to write about the Bend, OR weekend.

The Bend trip put me over the limit.  Unfortunately the 3 weeks before Bend I was over my limit again when I was getting sick and raced the weekend of North Carolina and then again raced the weekend of Jingle Cross.  It's not good to be over the limit 2 times in a month at the end of a long season when the weather starts to get unpleasant.  In all honesty it kind of feels like a month since I have been able to train even though I've raced 7 times.

The weekend after Bend I needed a break.  I was healthy and I think there is a big difference taking some time off the bike when you are sick versus when you are healthy.  We took a weekend trip to Eagle River and I left my bikes at home!  It was nice to go for a few hikes w/ Andrea & Elicia and enjoy the peace and quiet of the north woods.

After the ER weekend I finally felt I was ready to start training again.  In the past I would jump head first into things, but there was still 3 weeks left until nationals so I wanted to ease into it, 2 hours, cross practice, a day off, 2 hours, some intervals, 2 days off.  I've felt better and better each day on the bike and hope to keep things going in that direction.  As of right now we've been really lucky in WI with a mild start to winter. Let's hope it stays that way for Nationals in 12 days.

The 2 days off was to make sure I was still good and of course to enjoy the holidays.  The last 3 Christmas' I have been in Belgium.  It was great to finally be home and enjoy the time with the family.  I have been watching all the big cross races on the internet, so its almost like being there.  I do miss it a little, but I know I made the right decision to stay home this year.

I'm really looking forward to Tucson!  2 weeks and we are headed south again for the winter.  70 and sunny everyday in the 10 day forecast right now.  I should have a brand new Top Fuel at Trek Bikes of Tucson when I arrive.  I can't wait to put on some beefy tires and let it rip down the mountain!  I also got this new toy for Christmas!  Can't wait to try it out also!

A brand new 56cm Trek Madone 6.9SSL w/ H2 frame and Shimano DI2!  I don't think it gets much better.  I downgraded the bike a little for a Bontrager aluminum bar and stem and the RXL wheelset instead of all the carbon so I could test out the new electronic shifting.  All the reviews so far are amazing and my initial thoughts are the same.  They just salted the roads in Sheboygan so I might have to be a weenie and wait till I get to Tucson for the maiden voyage.

On the coaching side of things another reason I am looking forward to Tucson is our first Winter Training Camp!  There is still time to sign up!  I also have a few private camps set up with some of the athletes I am currently coaching.  With the new year just around the corner I am looking to add 3-5 new clients for the 2012 season.  Contact me at bmatter@momentumendurance.com if you might be interested.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ben Dover


I knew the trip was going to be a quick in and out, but I didn't think I was going to get kicked so many times during the process.

It all started with a brutal 24 hours travel to Bend, OR

Scheduled something like this.

3:30 am CST - Wake UP
4:00 am CST - Drive to Milwaukee
6:00 am CST - Depart MKE on an airplane
7:00 am MST - Start circling DIA in the air
8:00 am MST - Start to run low on gas
9:00 am MST - landing in Colorado Springs only to sit on the plane for 3 hours
12:00 am MST - landing back at DIA - what fog?
12:30pm MST - hurry to get denied stand-by flight to PDX - wait 4 hours

already blown out and only half way there

4:30 pm MST -  get denied again to fly stand by to PDX - confirmed on the 6:00 flight
6:00 pm MST - flight delayed
7:00 pm MST - finally start boarding plane to PDX = 100 degrees on the plane w. a last row seat
starting to feel smashed three hours later we are finally in Portland
9:15 pm PST - arrive in Portland
10:00pm PST - bikes made it! rental car - check, lets start the drive to Bend.
10:30pm PST - Subway for dinner
1:30am - PST = 3:30am CST 24 hours later - arrive at La Quinta Bend, OR


USGP Finals - Bend, OR Day 1

After a little sleep, building bikes, and grocery shopping for some lunch, we were off to the course.  I lined up on the left and kind of got pinched around the first corner.  With no momentum I lost another 10 spots = I got a bad start.  I had decent legs, but missed all the groups I wanted to be with or ahead of.  I finished 15th.  Thanks to the crew at CXRACING.COM for the tent and pit support.  Out to dinner at 7:00 and home by 9:30pm.  Honestly though I don't think the travel affected my performance...just the bad start.


USGP Finals - Bend OR Day 2

A slightly more relaxing morning.  Off to the races only to get a flat tire on the warm up ride.  $100 down the drain with another bad tubular and back to panic mode.  Borrowing a nuetral wheel, swapping brake pads, adjusting brakes....hurried warm up.  Dang it can't I catch a break this weekend.  I lined up on the right this time...and finally a good start!  On the tail end of the lead group for 2 laps, but my legs, lungs, and the yellow stars in my eyes were telling me the fatigue was setting in....I was so out of it at the end of lap 2 that when remounting my bike at the top of the stairs I missed the bike and tripped to the ground....there goes the lead group.  I ended up riding w/ Sheppard for a bit...then finished 12th.  Better result, better start, but way worse in the fatigue category.  OK results this weekend w/ a 15th final spot in the USGP series.


and it really wasn't even over yet.....back in the van after the race.  2.5 hour drive to Salem where we luckily had a nice place to stay w/ Tristan's team mate.  10:30pm boxing bikes in a garage.  5:30am wake up call and off to the airport.  On the way home I didn't even care what was going to happen...but of course as always the way home was smooth sailing.  I even got upgraded to Premium Seating...go figure!  Extra thanks this week goes to Gear Grinder for the frequent flyer miles and the free plane ticket and to Clif Bar for the extra support to make it out to the last USGP.  Next up is the New Years Resolution and then Nationals....happy I'm not on a plane again for a while!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Down but not out

Well...I just got home from my ride...as I was riding away I remembered seeing the garage door opener (only method to get in and out of the garage) on the garage floor.  That's not a good place for it....I though it would be OK because I was just going out for a 45 minute spin.  When I got home Andrea was gone and the garage door was shut...I knew it....I was done for....locked out.  Dang...So instead of new cable housing and chain on bike #2 I'm updating my blog w/ new cables housing and chain on bike #1 which is sitting outside the garage!

Also in the 'down, but not out' category was me...pretty much just had a good 2 weeks off of the bike.  I didn't train at all between NCGP and Jingle Cross....hardly even touched a bike.  Then I raced 3 days, with very little warm up and no cool down all three days.  Then I didn't train again Monday - Fri.

All in all it was a pretty good break and much needed.  I have raced every single weekend since Green Bay WORS at the end of August!  When Saturday finally rolled around and it was time to get on the bike it was nasty outside...I should have manned up and went outside to face the elements, but I didn't.  Which made it even tougher not to take just one more day of rest!  However I do believe that up to a certain point rest and fatigue are all mental.  I needed to flip the switch and tell myself it was time to go again.  I managed to wait all day long until the last possibly minute to hop on the trainer....but a little Disco on the Ipod and half way through the intervals I knew I was back on track!  It was almost easy to head out Sunday morning after watching the World Cup for day #2 of intervals...again mission accomplished followed by a Steelers W and a Packers W...rematch???

During my two weeks off(minus Jingle Cross) I spent a lot of time prepping for the Momentum Endurance Training Camp.  It is going to be awesome....and I am more excited than ever to make it to Tucson this winter!  Be sure to check out http://www.momentumendurance.com/winter-training-camp-january-2012/
for the details.