Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I think they hate me!!

I swear these two woman hate me. This one below is Heather. The Coach.

The other is Mother Nature. She was unavailable for a picture. To busy raining on peoples parades.

I now understand torture. Tonight I had the option of 4 different work out. All hard but a couple hard than the others. Now what would you do. Ya I picked the cruelest one. I could have went and did the weekly race at Hardwood but NOOOO that would be fun. I could have picked the 5 minute intervals but NOOO I had to take the program that hurt. It's kinda like a mob hit and you tell them which fingers to break in what order. You know it's going to hurt but maybe not having the options it might not hurt as much?

So that takes care of one of the women. The other. My favorite person to complain about. I think she is everyones, so the workout was hard enough but lets add in some rain and wind just to make things a little more enjoyable.

Ya I loved the work out and the rain was actually nice. Just had to whine for a minute.

I was able to have a little bit of fun though and got a lap in of the Mountainview 9 Hour course. I like it. The great climb up the river bend is in this year along with some awesome singletrack. Oh and the highlight will most definitely be the crazy switchback decent. It's all about being able to stay off the brakes. Easier said than done. The course is a mix of roots, tight singletrack and only a minimum of double track. There is really only one section and that is up on the top of the hill.

Sign up people. It's going to be a kick ass event.

Gotta run


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thoughts of the last few days

The last couple days have had my mind all over the place. So what happened at Hardwood? I've had a couple tough weeks at work that had mentally drained me. Was I not in the mood to suffer? Who knows.

Sunday was a 5 hour ride with Andrew Parry. Things felt great. That lead in my legs was gone. Andrew is really strong right now so I had no problem tucking in the draft. Awesome person to train with. He should have been on the podium at Solstice, I think he will be at Hot August Nights. Had some talks of a trip to the states for a race.

What happened to Tristan at World's? Was he tired, did he crash, did he break 2 bikes? No answers yet, all we know is that he was done after 3 laps. Hopefully it's nothing to major but he must be really disappointed. He is a monster this year.

I'm happy to say that I will no longer be screwing my training up. Heather is fixing me now officially. All I have to do is pedal. This is awesome news for me and bad news for everyone else. Smart woman, all her athletes always kick ass.

I'm now playing with my Garmin trying to figure out how to upload her workout on to it. Stupid computers. Ok, stupid user computer is smart.

Buckwallow Ontario Cup will have me on the sidelines cheering. Next race is the Mountainview 9 hour.

Off to the real world job.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hardwood Hills 8 hour

Hmmmm where to start. Well the short of it. Today was definitely not my day. The mind was willing, the body well all of it except my legs were. I shut down fast today. No blow up just said stop.

Ok, so the long story. Things started off interesting. The weather had been on my mind all week. They called for rain and possible thunderstorms. What are the chances they were right? Well woke up at 6ish to a heavy down pour. I liked it.

Setup was normal, lots of solo's. Actually more than I've ever seen, somewhere around the 130 between all the divisions. I was feeling pretty good even though my stomach was jumping around alot more than normal. I usually feel a bit gaggy but this was a little more intense.

So jump a bit ahead to the start. Was staged at the front, technical course, need to stay near the front or your stuck in crazy bottle necks. Go!! Got on my pedals and went up the first double track climb just behind the lead riders. Fine, no worries. The first climb is about 3/4 of a kilometre. Nothing to hard though. Things are feeling good. Started at my normal 8 hour pace. Riping in the singletrack. It's muddy and slick but I'm hooking up with no problems.

Half way point I'm in 3rd with Scott Luscombe and his teammate pacing behind me. No worries. Feeling good. They had to revise the course last minute and removed a section of singletrack that had crazy roots and a log bridge crossing. I was really disappointed since it was a section that I liked alot. Especially with the rain.

Almost done the lap, bottle swap, no worries. Transition, quick and smooth. First lap 31 minutes. Came into the first climb again. Who put this wall there? Am I riding a Tricycle? I had zero power. I was getting passed like I was standing still. This continued all the way tot the top.I had now power. Alright, spin it out and get your rhythm back on top. Got into the single track and things felt not to bad, then came the next climb. Are my brakes rubbing??? This continued for the rest of the lap. Now it's strange, it felt like i was extremely slow but I was only 4 minutes behind my first lap. Either way things just did not feel right.

I stopped for a few minutes, got off the bike and debated on what to do. I felt tired already. Finally got myself back on the bike and decided to just play a bit. Of course the few minutes of rest gave the legs a very very short 2nd wind. That got me up the first climb. Half way through the lap I see Andrew Parry. No he wasn't racing, he's working. So this is where I know things are not right. I stopped and started to talk with him. Yep, stopped and didn't care. Of course I was there long enough to see everyone that I should have been riding with lap me. A few interesting comments.

Finally started moving again and cruised the lap. Coming into my feed zone i told Mom that I was done after this lap. Steady pace but things still felt horrible going up. Last lap was 35 minutes. My legs felt like I was at hour 8 not 2 hours in. That should have been the time of my slowest lap. Finished up and handed in my chip. Yep, some more interesting looks and comments.

So what happened. I'm not really sure yet. My quads feel like bricks right now. Nothing hurts they just feel heavy. There are way to many possibilities from the day to day work stuff to training. Am I not recovered from Solstice? Not sure.

SO the great thing out of this is that Heather has taken over my training for the next month. The Mountainview 9 Hour is important to me. It's my home track, home club, and I won it last year. I have always had in my mind that I want to repeat that again this year. She will have me ready.

As for my attitude about this race. It was always a wait and see event for me. It was a wait and see what happens at Solstice and wait and see where the legs are. Well I did wait and see on the side lines. It was fun cheering everyone on. It was different seeing everyone change during the race as they got tired.

Tomorrow is another day. Heather has me back on the bike tomorrow. Should be a whole new story tomorrow.

For now rest


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rain rain go away!!

Not much happening the last few days. Riding has been cut back. Part by choice part by the fact that Mother Nature hates southern Ontario right now. Mother Nature and I have this love/hate relationship. Most of the time I love her. Right now I'm on the fence. It's been raining everyday since sunday and part of last week had crazy storms.

Predictions for Saturday's weather. Hot and Wet. 'That's ok if your with a lady but not when you're in the jungle!" A quote from Good Morning Vietnam. Classic. Yep, this race will definetly be the jungle. High humidity, high temperature, high precipitation. Let's just hope the weather man screws up like usual.

Even with the rain this course should hold up really well. With the rock and roots tires are going to be the tough decision.

I've seen a few more fast names show up on the race list. Should be fun.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

8 hour test ride

It was off to Hardwood Hills this morning to check out the course for the 8 hour. It's going to be a fun one. The course is roughly 10 km with a mix of double and single track. From what I saw most of the double track is climbing. No complaints here.

The plan was to meet up with Jeremy Cummins and ride a couple laps with with him. I was on a bit of a time limit today. Had to be in Barrie for noon to get the windows on the Audi tinted. Unfortunatly Jer was running behind and showed just as I was ready to roll. It's to bad, Jeremy is attempting his first 24 hour solo and it would have been good to talk during the ride. Of course I also wanted to see where his legs were at. Jeremy beat me last year at the fall 8 hour. Of course I kinda broke a couple ribs at that race. Regardless Jer is a fast rider and someone my support will be keeping tabs on.

We have had crazy heat and crazy thunderstorms the last few days. The course is definetly rideable if it rained. There is tons of traction which also means it's also slow. I ran into a few guys from the Barrie Cycling Club and that was the first thing I asked. It was one of those "is it slow or am I just weak" they answered the first one. I think it was both personally.

So what are some of the fun things on this course. Well every Hardwood riders favoirte is the start. Wood chips look great in the garden, theysuck the life out of your legs going up hill. There is about a km of climbing/doubletrack from the start to help break up the mass pack.

Nothing new but after 14-15 laps you really start to hate wood chips.

There are some interesting options on this course including a couple optional bridges. This is one that I think I'll pass on.

This is one of my favorite sections. It was in the course last year. It's all about staying off the brakes and letting momentum get you through. Things in motions tay in motion. It's also one of the areas that will jam up riders.

They have added a couple cool new sections to the course. I have a strange feeling that you are going to see alot of flat tires at this race. Tons of rocks to pinch tires and there are some fast drop off sections that have roots on the other side of them that will even blast some air out of tubeless tires. Oh did I mention that it's also fun!!!

Hmmm I thought about this every lap. Very Very Tempting.

Put 3 laps in before having to pack things in. My ride did continue after I dropped off the car. A couple more hours of base. The car looks sweet.

I think this is one of the best courses that Hardwood has come up with. Good flow, more technical thanthe past, more climbing. I will say that I like the long steady grinds that are in this course. For what i've put in this season it is does favour it. It's also going to be interesting to see who is racing. I know Andrew Parry will be there working. He raced last weekend and is back on track for HAN. Tristan is off at the 24 hour World's. Hope he rides like he did at Solstice. Good Luck Tristan.

There are a few changes this year also at the 8 hour. Peter from Misfit has put out the challenge and there is now a single speed catagory for solo's. This course will make them work. It's also split a few of the guys off from the under 40 division. Should be awesome to see the SS guys battle it out. I'm hoping that my legs are recovered enough.

That's it for now


Friday, July 18, 2008

The tempature was up and so was the mileage. It's been a few weeks since I put in some real miles and with the 8 hour just over a week away it was time to get the legs working again.

To make things enjoyable it was the Big Chute Loop. This loop has the best of everything. Not much in the line of big hills but lots of short rollers. The scenery is amazing and there is very little traffic.

Running along side Georgian Bay

It was hovering just above 90 degrees, with the humity even higher. I started to wonder if the heat was getting to me. Then I saw this. Do you see what I see? This is your brain this is your brain on drugs?

Lots of short steep rollers.

The tempation of jumping in the water came over me many times.

The highlight of the route is a 5 km section, a roller coaster ride that finishes with a hairpin turn that you hit at around 55plus. A little braking into the turn.

The legs felt pretty good. Averaged 31km/h staying aerobic. My neck is started to soften finally. I think this will be my concern for the 8 hour more than if my legs have recovered. Will be riding the course tomorrow. Time to do my day job.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

3 stage

That was the best way to describe the weekend and also the final destination for today. stage one was Friday. Just another day. Stage two started at about 7:43 Saturday morning. I was awake but taking my sweet ass time to move. When I did is when it happened. Not a pop, just a sharp pain. Shit i can't turn my neck to the right. Nice move bone head.

This lead to a day on the couch with A535 and hot packs. I forget how much I turn my head until I can't do it. Lot's of stretching and rest and things started to soften. Obviously the bikes stayed on the wall. The altered training schedule was altered again.

Today is where the 3rd stage and 3 stage came together. I know I should have been taking it easy but I had this ride planned a week ago. 3 Stage in Collingwood is one of my favorite places to ride but I have yet to get there this season. I'd been mentioning this to Dr. Bill and a few others. Road trip!!

The crew for the day. Dr. Bill, Mark, Lee, John and the Molly Monster. After a day of me sitting and dong nothing she needed a good run. As for the neck. Well, I did have my doctor/physio riding with me. If it was bad he would not let me ride right?

8 am on a Sunday means everyone shows up with coffee for the 45 minute drive out. Now the one thing with 3 stage is draining and clay. It has little of one and lots of the other. It didn't rain alot yesterday but enough to make things interesting for the first hour.

The first 45 minutes were all about going up. We also seemed to have more crashes going uphill and slow. Dirty mud puddles are horrible for showing how deep they really are.

Everyone but Dr. Bill found an endo causing holes disguised as little puddles.

With all the climbing to came a perk. The view from the top of the bluff is amazing.

The lower parts of 3 stage were really muddy and slick first thing in the morning but as we got closer to the top things were dry and fast. Of course dry and fast means more crashes. Lee recovering after a rock reached out and grabbed his wheel.

This guy is crazy fast but is a self admitted crasher. I followed him for a while on some of the downhills and can see why. Some of the areas he would speed up were places I was starting to brake.

A couple hours later we started to make our way back down. There is something to be said about having all the big climbing at the start of the ride. We spent at least 45 minutes descending some amazing singletrack. We took the long way down.

Now this is where the neck became a factor. Things felt better but I still had a hard time turning my head to the right and of course ripping in tight turny singletrack was far from easy. I was cruising pretty good when wouldn't you know it another rock jumped out in front of me and stopped my bike dead. Ya just the bike stopped dead. things in motion stay in motion. I wasn't going crazy fast but I hit things hard enough to push air out of my tires and put a little tweak in my pretty wheels. Of course with all the mud I was running a lower than normal air pressure.

The bike will be off to Georgian Cycle this week for a tune up. After such an amazing ride what else can you do but hit up a place for some food and a beer.

The Village at Blue Mountain is a cool place and Skool Bar and Grill are great. They had no problem with having Molly on the patio. The girls all took their turn petting her and I think Molly got the best meal. Mine was awesome though.

A beer or two later mixed in with some stories of past races etc. What is a better way to finish a weekend.

The neck is feeling not to bad, the rest of the body is still feeling a little tired. The next two weeks are going to be pretty calm for training. Lots of stretching and recovery/base rides. 2 weeks till the 8 hour. Hoping to win this event. Hopefully the legs will agree with me on race day.

Thanks for a great day boys. It was one of those days that reminds you why you ride!! Because it's fun!!!!!!!!!!!!


Friday, July 11, 2008

shut down!!

My official un-official coach has me shut down. No hard rides. Was at the weekly Mountain view race last night. Hammered off the line and was leading for the first half of the lap until I made a wrong turn. Off course chasing is always harder. I started to feel crappy. Not in the legs, actually not in the muscle side of things but the burn coming through the chest told me to shut it down.

I like pain, ok well with in reason. Hell you don't enter long races if you don't have some sort of sadist masochist side to you. This was the warning pain though. Got back to the car, made a phone call and next thing you know I'm on heart rate restrictions and seat time cut offs. I was kinda expecting that to happen.

It's only a couple weeks out from SS and it should be expected. The cancelling of Lost in the Rocks and Trees was obviously a great idea. I do have a play ride in 3 stage planned for Sunday with some of the club. Hopefully some great pictures. Will be fun.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Decision's, decision's. So first off, I'm back to full bore training. The knees are coming back, the legs are pretty much recovered and my brain is back in racer mode. I've also had a chance to reevaluate my race schedule. Why can't organizers ever talk about events and how much overlap there is. Ontario is huge and the summer is long. Why are there so many awesome endurance races back to back. I;ve been really debating about what to do about this month. Lost in the Rocks in Trees is a race I've wanted to do for a long time. It's also a race that I know next to nothing about. It's a small event with maybe 60-70 racers doing the 100km. Now here is the problem. The Hardwood 8 hour is the following weekend. I want to do well at this race.

With the little info I have on the L in the R, it's crazy hill, can turn real nasty and destructive to equipment and if it's wet there is lots of hike a bike sections. This is what has me saying I think I'm going to skip it. If it was 2 weeks before Hardwood I wouldn't even be debating. Lots of time to recover and lots of time to have the bike ready. I'm kinda disappointed. It sounds great. I'm positve I would be pushing things trying to do both races. So this means I have a few weeks of riding with no events. Hmmmm lots of spare time? Probably not.

Today was a day of adventure. This was definitely a ride I wish I'd brought my camera. With the chance of severe thunderstorms I limited on what I wanted to possibly get wrecked. We were hammered earlier in the day with rain making everything muddy. the plan. Avoid pavement!! It was an easy decision on what to ride. Pulled the psycho cross bike off the wall. Headed out on the snowmobile trail. Lets just say that I think it would have been faster riding on snow than this. if it hadn't rained it would have probably been unridable it was so soft. It was still fun. Ok that's when the like deer fly's showed. How the hell can they bite through gloves. I swear these little bastards were on steroids. Let's just say that I drifted the heartrate up way beyond what was scheduled. I had to get the hell out of that section.

It was on to more atv trails. I kept thinking, if a 4 wheeler can go that way I can do it on the bike. hmmm, I think I pushed the cross bike beyond its recommended use. This was when the next stage of the fun began. When is the last time you did a ride and said, I wonder where this goes? Zipping into little single track sections that the kids have cut over the years a short cuts. It was just down right fun. Arm's ripped up from the brush, covered in mud. it was just a play day. The legs felt pretty good. On the few short sections of pavement I was pushing low 30's on cross tires.

Have to big a big congratulations to all from Big Ring Racing. Great results at the B.C. Bike race. Tanya and Kerri kicked some serious ass. Craig and Mark did awesome, obviously Craig had some underlying stress knowing there was a crack in his frame. I can imagine that every time he got bounced on the seat he was waiting to here that evil snap. Glad everything held together.

Time for food and clean up


Saturday, July 5, 2008

climbing? not today

It was one of those fun rides. No training, no intervals just pedal. Yes I have had a few of those rides lately. Things are all on track again.Today was a road trip day. I'm a bit ticked at myself for not bringing my camera. No pictures, sorry.

Off to Buckwallow which is just outside of Gravenhurst. Had a great group to ride with. Buckwallow is the craziest place for rocks and roots. You do not need hills to make your heartrate spike when you have those two things.

It was a play day so I pretty much just sat on someones wheel the whole time letting them set the pace. I had a great time. I was forcing myself to take some nasty lines to see what I could get over and what I got stalled up on. i would highly recommend riding up here if you need to get some technical riding in.

I will say that a carbon hardtail was not the best bike to be riding up there. I would have loved my full for a few of the drop offs and chatter.I've been playing with some setup on the hardtail and I really like the way the bike feels right now.

So a couple hours of leg spinning then topped it off at an outdoor patio with some good food and beer. HMMM I wonder if I would get fat and slow if I ate like that after every ride.

I'm not going to think about it. Easy day.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

play time

Hooked up with the the crew for the weekly club ride at Copeland Forest. Ok I shouldl be still spinning things out but of course that doesn't happen when you are at Copeland or riding with these guys. This was a training ride for them which meant a high pace. It's also a system of trails that is pretty much climbing of decending.

I had fun. Lots of fun. The legs were a bit pissed at me on some of the climbs. Well today is now be switched to a recovery ride. I'm finding that zone again which is making me happy. Hopefully this will be the last post on mental issues as I think they are dealt with. Now it's time to get the body back in check.

Hot August Nights has been set up now. I'm going to sit back and have some fun. I'm racing on a 4 person team. Of course it will be a fast team. They were running in 3rd at Solstice. It will be nice being able to hammer out single laps and actually have a break to recover.

Yep, I'm getting back into a racers mind. K gotta go and spin


Happy Canada Day!