Sunday, September 19, 2010

Doublecross Day 2!

Let first put the crack pipe down...... Exhale..... That's better.

The weather was much better today, and there were a few changes to the course that really increased the flow and made for a much fast race. I was feeling good for the start, and was hoping to make something happen. The whistle blew and I got a good jump. Sitting in 5th for the hole shot, the the pace started getting quicker instantly. My heart rate was under control and I was able to match every surge pedal stroke for pedal stroke. In fact I almost felt like I was just sitting in at times. There was a group of 6 of us in the front now, and we were starting to pull away with a small gap. This lasted for 2 laps and then -- my chain dropped. I tried to flip it, but it did not work. I had to stop. Then everyone in the class appeared to pull away. I started lighting matches to catch the tail end of the group at least. The effort was using a lot of needed energy and I was starting to fade. I lit match after match and slowly started seeing the tail end of the group and then I popped and could not maintain the effort. Not sure where I finished, but it was near the end.

But that was not enough. As part of my short term and long term training plan I jumped into my very first race as an Elite Cyclocross racer! I was real excited but did not expect too much, especially after I just got done racing Masters. the cool thing was the size of the A class for both races each day. They were 20+ deep. this is great news for Michigan Cx, and for Robert and his Tailwind crew. The hole shot was insane! I was somewhere in the middle and then the group just walked away. My legs were hating me at this point, but I was happy that I was able to keep contact with the tail end of the race for the 1st lap. Then from there on, I was racing alone and to see how long I could go before the leaders caught me. This race was painful! My arms hurt, my hands were blistering, and my legs -- well they were all but shot! But I pushed on as hard as I could. And in the final 2 laps, Mike Wissink and Tom Burke finally caught me. So to make a long story short. I didn't do too bad. I finished the race only 1 lap down. When I crossed the line I was more than done and starving! I went straight for the car and sucked down my Recoverite as fast as I could. Then I discovered my daughters box of Tinker Bell Fruit Snacks and crammed 2 bags of those suckers in my mouth! Man what an effort over 2 days. But I really feel this is the way I am going to get stronger and faster. I can smell that Master's podium....Now I want to taste it!

In the other classes. Nolan raced in the C's again and put up a faster effort than the day before! Again, he handled all the obstacles and corners like a pro! And the best part is he really enjoyed racing both days, and can't wait for the next race.

And finally. My favorite racer of the weekend. Jim Gorleck for nailing 2nd place in only his 2nd CX race ever. Now that Jim has found my crack pipe, I hope I can get it back. Way to go Jim!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Chapter, Doublecross Weekend CX Kick Off!

Finally! Cross season has started. And it kicks off with Doublecross. 2 days of action packed cross racing at Waterford Hills Race track. I was very excited to get things moving, and it was great to see some old friends. We got to the track early for Nolan to do the C-race. It was pouring down rain. I thought wow, what a way to kick off the season with real cross conditions. Nolan did a great job as he pushed his new Redline CX bike around the course, and handle the climbs and slick corners like a pro! He ended up stepping up on the podium for 3rd place at the end of the day! Way to go son.

As for me, well I really didn't know what to expect. This would be my first race in Masters 35+ so I guess I was a little nervous at the start. And it took awhile to go away. My 1st 2 laps felt horrible. Could not control my heart rate. My bike handling went out the window, and the legs were feeling like cement. As I watch what seemed like the entire class pull away from me, I decided to hang in and put out as much power as possible and hope for folks to pop. It worked, but still not enough. I was smooth through the barriers, and fly-over and even was nailing most of the tight corners with ease. But the straights and flats, I just could not get the "all" the power I was looking for and needed to hang with the top guys. My last 2-3 laps were my best as my legs and lungs decided to catch up with my effort. But by that time it was too late to pull back anyone else. I ended up 9th out of 14. Not bad I guess for my first Masters race.

So now that I blew out the carbon, and opened up the legs and lungs, I am expecting to perform a little better and do everything I can to sneak into that top 5. I know what I have to do, and I know what I need to do to get there. It's just going to take a little more work.

So here we go, bring on Day 2!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

LOHS Short track racing!

Today was suppose to be a rest day, but I could not resist the temptation to do a little MTB short track racing. to test my fitness and dial in the bike. And thanks to Steve Kinley for putting this series on, and at the right time. Located at Lake Orion High school, this was the perfect venue for this style of racing. the course did not favor MTB or Cross bikes, but worked well for both. And the series helps benefit bringing the sport of Mountain Biking to local high schools to form a high school league. Cool stuff! And so far it really seems to be taking off. Way to go Steve!

As for the race, it went well considering I have only been training for 2 weeks. I took 5th out of 10 in the A group. And the 4 that beat me all race elite for the cross series. I felt real good and I was able to race on my new Grifo xs file tread tubulars! So the training will continue and in 9 days the first race will begin!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Counting down the days to CX

It sure does feel like cyclocross. With temps in the low 5os, wind, and thick heavy clouds abound, I think Mother Nature is as anxious as I am for the season to start! Things have been going well with preparation for the kick off with DoubleCross Sept 17th.

Training is in full swing, and I am making rapid gains in power already.
The pork chops are coming in nicely.
I shaved my legs for the first time ever. Plan on embrocating this year.
Been Testing out my 3 sets of tubulars during training and dialing the bikes in.
The weight is still coming off. Slowly, but it is coming off.
Got all the out of state races registered for, and hotel rooms booked.
Got my goals in order, and ready to race!

Here are a look at my goals for cyclocross this year. Much like my mountain bike goals, my cross goals are basic and simple yet will still be a challenge to accomplish. I will be moving up to Master 35+, so I will have my work cut out for me. But with some hard work through training, luck, and determination, I think I can string together another good year.

Here are my cyclocross goals for 2010 --

Finish in the Top 5 in as many races as possible
Finish Top 5 overall in series Masters 35+ (Tailwind Series USAC)
Finish Top 3 in at least 1 Masters 35+ cyclocross race
Finish Top 3 for State Championship race Masters 35-39