Sunday, March 29, 2009

FRCC Spring Fling #1

Well, the "bike" racing season finally started, but not on a mountain bike, but rather a road bike. I plan on doing the Flying Rhino Spring Fling Training series in preparation for the kick off of my mountain bike racing campaign starting at Pontiac Lake April 26th. I figured this is a great way to get in some good training hrs/miles at a race pace and atmosphere and to get me off the trainer and out doors! Brian Crook and myself were the only baggers that made it out for the first race. And thankfully mother nature was kind. It was cold and windy, but the sun was shining so overall we could not have asked for any better conditions in March. The plan was to race in the C race (30 mins plus 2 laps) and then the B race (50 mins plus 2 laps). Well I had some incorrect information, and found out that we could not use our MTB licence and we would be able to sit in on the B race but not compete. Well it got really screwed up from there, so I will not bore you with the details. So this is how my day went.

At the start of the C race, I felt like crap. I have recently started 2nd shift, been working OT and got about 4 hrs of sleep the night before. So needless to say it has all caught up to me. But I did manage a few attacks and was able to practice drafting. With the 1/2 hour mark approaching the official pulled us in the last 2 laps, and then we waited it out the start the B race.

At the start of the B race, I was feeling a little better. There was 43 folks in the class and they all could actually handle their bikes unlike the chaos of the C race. This is the first time I can say I have actually been in a "peleton" and it was an awesome experience. We were averaging around 25 MPH for most of the race, and you could just feel the power generating from the group of that many riders that it made pedaling effortless at time. It is really hard to explain in words... As the race went on, I began to feel tired again. Brian put in an attach about 1/2 way in with 3 other riders and stayed away for about 15 mins. That was a good experience for him. 1 to learn to work with other riders in a breakaway. And 2, appreciate the speed and experience of a 40 plus peleton chasing you down. With 2 laps to go I thought I was going to bonk and the legs were feeling dead. 1/2 way through the last lap the main group finally spit me out the back and my day was done. No fireworks for me today, but I did get in some good training. 2 hrs in the saddle and 41 miles of racing! Brian faird much better. Not sure where he actually ended up, but it was somewhere in the middle. Way to go Brian. Great job on your first road race!

We will be back at it again next Saturday for race #2 of 3. And there will be more TSB'ers joining the party! Sounds like the making for a great weekend!!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My first 5K

Well lets start out with the end of a story that most of you all ready know...

...The young bull runs as fast as he can down the hill, and ***** the first female he sees. The the old bull says, "why would I want to run, when I can walk down the hill and **** all of them?!"

All my life I have not liked running. I have been very slow at it. I dreaded field days in elementary, hated doing sprints in gym class. Hey, I even ran bases slow in baseball which was my passion growing up. But almost all of my running has revolved around short sprints, the fastest wins kind of running. So now that I am in my 30's, have had some success on my bikes, and decided that why not try a 5k next. All these thoughts came back to me - I hate running and have never been good at it!. But I have never been in shape or been training for anything physical before, especially endurance events until I started bike racing. So this is different, I am not a runner, but a 5k is not necessarily a "sprinters" event. With that in mind, my whole focus changed leading into this race. So like the story above, a 5K is not necessary who is the fastest, but who can maintain the longest, and conserve until the end.... so why would I want to run, when I can walk down the hill and **** all of them?"

Here were my goals for the day.

1. I wanted to have fun, and hang out with my boys on the TSB / Just crew
2. Perfect cross training before I switch gears with my training to 100% on the bike
3. Gauge my fitness level for my training thus far
4. Podium? Was it possible?
5. Break 20 mins? Am I dreaming?
6. Break my old thoughts about me as a runner and do the absolute best race I could!

So Here I am, probably the best shape of my life lining up at the front of the starting line. The horn blows and were off. WOW, these people mean business. Right off the bat, my heart rate pegged and my stride instantly slowed down. About the first mile in I was able to recover and pick the pace back up. By now, the men and the boys were slowly separating to the freaks of nature, the fit, and the OMG hang on. I was in the front of the middle of these and doing well. I maintained a good even pace, with the help of my Bud Curt V. (thanks bro!) and turned the last corner into the final stretch. There were 2 guys only a few hundred yards ahead that past me early on. I tired to turn it up to catch them and actually started to real them in. But it was too much, If I pushed any harder I would have puked on the course. So I backed off and focused on just finishing within my limits. As I approached the finishing chute, I spotted the clock and saw the time as I crossed the line.


I was very happy with this time. Later, I found out that this was good enough to snag 2nd place for men 30-34! My first running podium (of my life!)

In addition, TSB was well represented, and we had a great time! Todd P (2nd) Ben (1st beat me!) Paul (4th) Brian S. (6 in the 10 k Big Boy race) Jason (28 min time with no training) Lee (some where around 30 mins, and finished on pure desire!) and Curt V. (my bud 1st and did it just pushing me along in my race!)


Monday, March 9, 2009

Base 3

So with my final week of Base 2 winding down, it's time to reflect on how Base 2 went for me. I just finished up my largest week of volume/hours with 8.5. It is very tough for me to find the time to squeeze this amount of training time into a week, but I got it done. My largest week scheduled for the year will be 9.0 hours, so knowing that I completed 8.5 hours, helps me know that I can manage 9.0. Most of my Base 2 training consisted of more Aerobic Base training rides with the help of my Spinervals "Aero -Base Builder III" DVD. After I would complete this DVD I would add another 30 mins of riding to it. So most of my trainer rides have been in the 90 min range. I also, started to add in some force workouts by using my CTS Climbing video. Continued my speed skill workouts. And Finally, I even squeezed in one of my favorite Spinerval DVDs "Bending Crank Arms" to start the transition from weight training to Muscular Endurance training on the bike. Basically this DVD consist of Big gear training 50%, and then off the bike with Iso squats for the other 50%. THIS WORK OUT MAKES YOU HURT! There is no other way to describe it. As I transition into my Build periods, this will be one of my go to workouts.

Overall Base 2 went very well. I completed all my workout hours. I am able to ride at a higher cadence with a lower heart rate, for a longer period of time. My legs are physically stronger, and I have been recovering like a champ! In addition, I am back down to 184 lbs!

With Base 3, it will be more of the same. Focus on longer endurance rides, and add in a few more force and muscular endurance workouts. I have cut out 1 week of Base 3 which otherwise would have lasted 4 weeks. This allows me to complete 8 solid weeks of Build 1 & 2 and peak in time before my first "A" priority race -- Ruby Campground XC! So we will see how that works out.

On a final note, I will be doing my 1st ever 5k this Saturday (March 14th) in Port Huron. It is the 7th Annual Leprechaun Loop Sponsored by the Local YMCA. I have been doing stairs and running as part of my cross training this year, so with the fitness I have gained, I figured it was a logical decision to use this 5k for more training and to test my fitness with some good ol' competition before the actual bike racing season starts up. I did a practice loop on the course yesterday, and came in around 25 mins. and felt I could have pushed it a lot harder. So now I am looking for a real good result come Saturday. Top five by age group gets medals. Do I have a chance at my first running podium??? Stay tuned for more.....

Sunday, March 1, 2009

From Ashes to Glory... (Part 3)

Introducing ...... "le bastard"

I thought this was a fitting name, since that's what it is, a bastardized roadie turned CX racer. I wanted to keep some of the original flare of the Schwinn. So I put the World Champ stripes back on the seat tube, and kind of kept with the "le" Tour name. But now it's a "le" bastard. I just love the way green and orange look together, so I was on a mission to get a hold of a pair of Michelin "green" Muds. I was able to get a new pair of Muds, and a new pair of "green" Sprints in the process. The Sprints are shown in the pictures. I think the old school tan gum walls really set off the vintage 1978 look of the frame. In addition to the green tires, I ordered some Celeste green bar tape that matched perfect! And of course I had my buddy TP do up the decals in the same color. You might be asking "what's up with the green Lions?" Nothing really. I wanted a cool looking old school head badge that looked prestigious, and thought that it gave it a Belgian CX flare without really saying -- Belgian CX. In my mind it makes sense. But either way it looks good.

I figured out with the parts I already had, some I brought, the welding, and powder coat, I have about $610 wrapped up into this project. Not bad for a fun, personalized, race ready machine.

Here is the build

1978 Schwinn Super Le Tour 12.2 frame
Mavic CXP wheels laced to 105 hubs
Michelin "green" Sprints (for dey days) and Muds (for the wet and slop)
FSA Gossamer Crankset with Surly 38 tooth SS ring
16 tooth BMX freewheel cog
SRAM 8 speed chain
Nashbar carbon cyclocross fork with 1 in steer tube (was only $125 bucks!)
Specialized Comp drop bars
Cinelli Green bar tape
Shimano Super SLR brake levers
Tekro Oryx Canti Brakes
Ritchey Comp Stem
Cane Creek C2 1 in. Head set (thanks Lee!)
Tekro long drop front cable hanger
Tekro bolt mounted rear cable hanger
Sette Race Ti Saddle
Rock Werks seat post (Thomson knock off)
Time Alum Pedals
Rock Werks BMX frame chain tensioners (Had to modify the rear drop out and tensioners to work on bike. But this was a good move. Can adjust chain a lot better and makes the ride more reliable.)

I can't wait for the weather to break and get out on this thing. In addition to this bike being my new Cyclocross Single Speed race machine, it is going to be my all around go to commuter and fun bike. I plan on picking up some cheap road tires in the spring, so let the fun begin!