Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stony TT, So it goes something like this...

So -- Back at Stony in less than a month. In that time, I have battled some physical and mental demons and have not felt like I have been on my game. That is the beauty of mountain bike racing. You are constantly learning more about the game and about your self not only each season, but each race. Going into last Sunday, I was feeling better than I have and was looking forward to racing again. I know Stony very well and it was a short course 12.5 miles so the game was on. And as usual to get my moneys worth, I signed up for the geared class and single speed.

This is where the drama begins. All week I was trying to get all my routines and voodoo back together. Shaking rattles, rubbing chicken bones, washing the bike, packing the race box, etc. When I got to the race, I was making sure I was doing the usual routines and also making sure I was well hydrated. So I am out in the parking lot doing hot laps to warm up and I heard my name called over the PA. I sprinted to the starting line to only hear 5,4,3,2,1. I missed my start time. The Tailwind guy at the start was not happy with me and now I was full of adrenaline and nothing to do with it. I had to wait for an open spot so about 5 waves later, I was lining up again. My heart was pumping as I listened to the starter say in 10 secs. Then a Flying Rhino racer tapped me on the shoulder and said "You ain't going any where!" and he pointed at my tire... It was completely flat. I yell I can't go -- I'll be back. Now my Pre-race jitters turned to pre-race stress. My Team mate Brian helped me back to the pit and started prepping for a NASCAR tire change. Thank God he was there because I was shaking from the adrenaline build up and probably would have took about 1/2 hour to change it on my own. So I lined up again for the 3rd time and went off. What is with this place? I have had shit luck and poor performances here over the last 2 years... Well I was off and my heart was in my throat for the first 4 miles. I feel I could have gone faster and felt strong overall. I think the pre-race SNAFU did not help my time, but I did mange to improve over last years time by 32 secs and take 3rd place out of 20.

For my single speed race I was calm and cool at the start. I finished in 58:37 and missed 5th place by 30 secs. I felt good again, but did not want to push myself too hard because of cramping issues over the past few races. So I really treated the Stony TT as a learning/training/ and analysis race. And I and happy to report that I am back on track. The legs felt great all day. Felt great the day after, and I was able to do a training ride and feel great on Tuesday. So with a few more MTB races left, and CX season right around the corner. I am focusing on peaking again and cyclocross specific training. See you all at the Races!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Red Tide at Rudy XC!

Well, it wasn't the ideal bike race this year for Ruby but it is over. The weather completely sucked. It rained for several hours the night before and the humidity was about 1000% the day of. So this is not what you want for a trail that has 2 river crossings and is about 95% clay. But the team came out to play. And lets just start by saying TEAM SANDBAG KICKED ASS! We took 16 podium positions for the day. I guess the home course paid off. 2 notable podium boys I need to give props to because they just flat out nailed it is Team mates Todd Powers for taking his first expert podium position with a 3rd place and Joe Ashly for coming out had striking with a solid 3rd place in sport men 30-34! Guys you rocked, and it was the highlight of my day to see you guys perform so well. Thank both of you very much for helping me keep my spark alive!

As for me, I did manage to take 2nd in my age group but it was a little disappointed because I gave up first to Adam in the last 2 miles. I felt really good all day but just dehydrated (poor race management) and cramped from my junk to my toes in both legs. It took everything I had to just finish the race. But good job Adam for maintaining your pace and taking home the goods.

I am going into the Stony TT tomorrow and plan on racing my geared bike and the Single speed. All I can say is my legs have not felt this good since Bloomer, and if anyone has read my blog in the past you know what I did at Bloomer. So I am really looking forward to this race and more importantly, I am finally looking at going into this race to have some fun! So look out podium the quest continues!!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Can The Mind Cause Flat Tires?

Well the Stony Marathon is over. And it was not the best race I had this year. So I wont bore you with all the details. I have had a lot of demons with this race over the past 3 years with health and mechanical issues, so the weeks leading up to it, I wasn't in my best frame of mind for the race. But I don't need to get into everything here... Needless to say, the conditions of the course sucked and I flatted about 5 miles into the race, had a 7 min tire change and caught hell trying to catch back up to the lead group -- which never happened. I finished 6th overall. The good news is, it's over so I will be moving on. I am Getting ready for my yearly MTB out of state vacation! Starting July 3rd. This year my Buds and I will be heading to New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. This could not have happened at a better time for me. Time to get back to my MTB roots and do some soul searching...

But all was not lost at Stony. Many folks close to me and who I find inspiration from did very well and I want to recognize their efforts!

Jeff Socia (Sign Outfitters) 3rd Expert Men 30-39
Ayrn Pongratz (Sign Outfitters) 5th Expert Men 30-39
Adam Naish (Bloomingdale Const.) 2nd Sport Men 30-34
Keith Feldt (Flying Rhinos) 3rd Sport Men 30-34
Mike Riffe (Fraser Bike shop) 4th Sport Men 35-39

Way to go guys! It was a very tough race in very tough conditions and you guys got the job done!