Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chapter 2...

After about 3 weeks from the end of my first training plan being complete, it is now time to move on and begin training for my real season... But lets reflect a little. The past 3-4 weeks have been very stressful for me at work. I wont bore you with the details, but it has affected my riding, my eating habits, an lifestyle in general. In fact since the Ruby race, I did not ride my bike for 10 days straight! Thankfully, most of my stress (for now) came to a halt as of Wednesday of this week. Lucky the first week off was by design to recover from my first block of training. But I was not expecting the extra couple of days.

I was extremely happy with the 1st half of my season! I nailed a few podiums in some of my favorite races. I stuck to my training plan which gave me the desired results I was looking for. I felt completely fresh and still ready to race even after my training block was complete. And I was consistent with lap times in all my races, and put up a few personal best times in several races.

Moving on. With July upon us, I have 2 weeks of vacation planned with my out of state bike trip for 1 of those weeks. My plan is to ride as much as possible for "fun", and I hope I can build upon my base miles as a result. Toward the end of July, I jump back into racing with the Stony Creek TT which will begin the official mark for CX focused training. During all this time I will be picking up some running and running stairs. I am even looking for a local 5k to jump in if the timing is right. As August approaches, I hope to have my CX race scheduled framed out so I can begin my race focused training using the TCTP again! On another note, I have to lean down! No more excuses. This has been the only black mark on my score card for a season and a 1/2. I have a cool calorie counter on my blackberry now. So it has been real helpful to monitor my food intake. If I want to compete in the Masters, I got to lose the sandbags! There is no other way... Weight to power ratio!

With any luck, I hope my results from the 1st half spill over into the 2nd half and let me have another respectable Cyclocross season. I will be jumping into the Masters 35+ class, so I know the competition will be fierce. I have some lofty goals ahead of me.... But until then, let me go ride my bike for "fun", and I will get back with you all later.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Shawn Schaffert!

What happens when your just not sure you can do something at a higher level, but you continue to work hard and stay focused almost blindly, only holding on to faith that it will all workout in your favor when the time is right?

Shawn Schaffert is the answer!

Shawn earned his first Expert podium at Ruby Campground XC race this past weekend, and it was well deserved. I know Shawn has worked very hard to get to this point, and to earn it a place like Ruby is a real treat. The only down side to Shawn stepping up on the box, is now I am sure the medals will keep on flowing, and that will make it harder for me to share with him. Great job Shawn! It's always awesome to see one of the good guys on top!

As for my effort at Ruby. Well Shawn beat me by 12 seconds, but I still came home with some hardware for 4th place. So far that makes me 3 for 3 in podium trips for USAC races this year! Something I honestly can't believe myself. So I hope I can squeeze out a few more.

Ruby was not my A race this year. In fact, it was a week past my training schedule. But it was the home course, and a race all the same. I was still feeling like my legs were strong and ready to go, but I figured game time would tell the truth.

The race started and we all went out hard. Adam off the front like a rocket, then Brad, Todd, Shawn, another guy and myself near the back from a poor start. We all stuck together for a large part of the twisty course. Then I was able to move up a few spots passing guys on the steep climb"Lance". We crossed the creek and then Brad lost his chain. I suddenly found myself in 2nd all alone, and pulling away from the field. This lasted until the beginning until Brad made a huge effort to rejoin me. I was still feeling good and settled into what I thought was a perfect pace. I was not even bothered that Brad had caught up and figured it would be to both of our advantage to work together to stay away. And then it happened. In the middle of the 3rd lap, I started cramping. Damn it. Why now? I was feeling strong, and thought I was hydrating well. I actually had to soft pedal for a few seconds to try and work the cramps out. I told Brad I was cashing in, and he pulled away. Now if I could somehow manage to keep 3rd and not have to DNF. I was able to push hard in the flats but trying to walk through the creek was murder and made my hammys want to cramp with ever step. By the time the 4th lap started I was still alone, but then seen Shawn slowly closing in. I knew at this point there was not much I could do, and I was nothing more than a huge carrot for him. He made contact with me on the "wall". And shortly after, crashed on a small down hill into the snow fence. I tried to attack and pull away again knowing the rest of the course was all flat and to my advantage -- except for one more creek crossing right before the finish. If I could just get to the creek ahead of him, get out and back on my bike I could probably out sprint him. As planned, I was the first to the creek, but he made it there right after me. My cramps would not allow me to run through the water, and Shawn pranced through it like Jesus walking on water. He got out, looked back and jumped on his bike as fast as he could and sprinted off. Once out of the water, I put in the largest effort I could hoping that he would flat, lose a chain, or something. When I got onto the finishing straight, I could see he was not too far ahead. I mashed as hard as I could completely cramping my legs. But I was closing in on him fast. Eventually I just ran out of room and had to settle for 4th. Thanks for making me proud of you Shawn.

As for the rest of the Day. Adam decided to make us look silly by winning with a broken bike. Brad is just on fire! And the TSB had the best turn out of the year! And the team walked away with a lot of medals in almost every class! Way to go folks.