Sunday, March 27, 2011


Finally, a bike race. Kicked off the race season this weekend by taking part in the Barry-Roubaix "Killer Gravel Road Race". Wasn't expecting too much overall. Just wanted to get in a good long hard effort at race pace, collect some good powertap data, and try to beat my personal best time. This is a really tough race, but it's a type that suits me well. So with one week of training under my belt doing the Time Crunched Training Plan, this is how it went. It was very cold to say the least, but I layered perfect considering the temps barley got above 20 for most of the day. It was a mass start, with no neutral roll out this year. So nothing like 1000 bike racers trying to win the race in the 1st few miles. It was crazy, but manageable. I felt really good for the entire race. The hills killed me! between the extra flab I'm carrying and lack of Interval training thus far, made every hill a struggle. But I was able to Hammer all the flats, and descend like a rock. I stayed near the front for about half the race, but was consumed by a very large group which I could not hang on to. Later, in the last 5 miles, I rallied back and time trialed my way up the long paved road, and made up a lot of time and positions and actually caught the group that passed me earlier. By the time I made it back to the final straight to the finish, I was in the red. I ramped up my speed and pushed all the way to the end. I finished in 1:54:48. that was 4 mins better than last year. This earned me 18th out of 84. Good day overall. I got 18th last year also. The best thing about the day, is that I was able to keep my fingers out of the wheel! It was really great to see all my good cycling friends. And there were some awesome results. Congrats to Mike W. Don C. Pete T. Mike S. Patrick R. for your efforts. And thanks to Brad Lako for letting me get one more, before he moves on to glory in the Tailwind USAC XC series. My money is riding on you.... Now on to the After party. This event marks the Rouge Racing Project / TSB bi-yearly reunion and Mayhem! We did it right. Drank as much free Founder's Ale as we could after the race. Enjoyed Jon Coleman's life saving chili! And then unleashed our fury in downtown Kalamazoo! The Kentucky boys really know how to party, and its always a good time to hang out with all of you. A couple more months and we will do it all again at the USGP of Cyclocross in Louisville. I can't wait!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Feeling Lucky at the Leprechan Loop?

The un-official kick off to my 2011 season has started. For the 3rd year in a row, I did it with the Port Huron YMCA Leprechaun Loop 5K. My early goal set for this year was to break the 20 min barrier, but with winter conditions being miserable the past few months, it has been hard to do any type of Sprint or interval type running to nail my high end. So in the past few weeks, I decided to alter my goal and just focus on beating my personal best of 21:56 from 2 years ago. As race day approached, I was able to get in a few really good practice runs and new I would be in striking distance of my goal and hopes of a podium. It would be tougher this year as I have moved to the Men 35-39 age group, and this group usually has some really fast guys.

But as luck would have it, within 2 days before the event, heavy snow fell again in the Port Huron area making everything a mess including the race loop.

I arrived early to pick up my stuff and meet my team mates and friends. Todd, Brad D, Brad H, Masher and family, and my work pal Curt were all ready to have fun and kick some butt. We took our spots on the line, and then we were off.

I went out rather hard, trying to keep pace with my pal Curt, but he was turning it on. So then I trailed my team mate Brad H for most of the race, as he was setting about the same pace I could hold. A little later, Todd came by and started to put in a good sized gap. Half way through the loop, the surface turned to a sheet of off camber ice along the board walk!!! This really hurt the pace as it was wise to be cautious. Several folks took spills all around me, including Brad as we rounded the old YMCA building. On the 2nd half of the loop, more ice and Brad and I pulled back Todd. As we rounded the corner on Quay Street, I was already at my max effort. Todd pulled a few feet ahead and Brad came around both of us. Down the final stretch, we all tried to kick it up a notch for the final push. Todd was able to pull ahead the farthest, then Brad, and then me just off his heels. I could not go any harder without puking! We crossed the line

Todd - 22:19
Brad H - 22:27
Me - 22:30

This was enough for us to also do the podium sweep for 1st through 3rd in Men 35-39!!!!! Way to go boys.

As for my pal Curt, he blew the doors off with an under 20:59 and took First in his age group!

Brad D also had a smoking performance with a 23 min effort, taking home 3rd in Men 30-34!

And Avery in her first ever 5K took home 3rd in the 11 and under class with a 42 min effort! WOW!

Overall this was a fantastic day for all. Great event, and I plan on doing it every year. I did not hit my time I was shooting for, but considering the conditions, I think I would have been there. So this is a good sign that my winter training has been going well overall. Now its time to hang the running shoes up until the fall, and focus completely on the bike! Barry-Roubaix will be in just a few short weeks, and with that my actual focused training plan with kick off too.

I can not wait to finally get my tires dirty!!! see you all soon...