Saturday, December 31, 2011

By the Numbers...

This post probably don't mean too much to anybody but me, but here is some of my data for 2011. Training has already kicked off for 2012, and I am hoping for good things to come.

Happy new year!

Total Bike Miles: 4,373
Total Running Miles: 96
Total Training Hours: 305

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mr. T Starter Kit! - 2011 Bling...

What started out as a bad year of weight gain, work stress, piss poor training, and then racing was turned around in July with a new position, some weight loss, better training, and a renewed focus on racing. Especially with CX in my sights. So as for the year I am very pleased with my results. I try to set some goals every year, to drive me and keep me focused. These are goals that are reachable but always challenging for me. So how did I fare for 2011?

My mountain bike season started out rough. I focused on more endurance miles, which I saw a big return on my endurance for the longer races. But weighing over 190 lbs left me struggling to reach the podium. What made it worse was a string of like 3 or 4 6th place finishes. But again, July came and a lot was lifted off my shoulders. For the last 3 races of the Tailwind Series, I nailed 3 spots on the podium. My morale improved and I was back on track. CX was in full swing now but there was still one more mountain bike race to settle the score. The ICEMAN. And this time it was a USAC sanctioned race, so doing well meant even more to me this year than ever before. I was nailing my training plan, and had one goal in mind. Win the damn thing! I gave it my all and just missed winning by less than a minute. But I set a personal best time on a longer course and came home with 2nd place in my class. My best result to date!

Then came the Cyclocross season. I was stoked. I knew I would be a player somewhere in the Master 35+ class, but where was yet to be seen. I started out the season racing doing the B race at Plaster Creek which is part of the Kisscross series and I took a commanding win. I was surprised that I just beat 40 other guys, but knew this was not a USAC race. That's the one I was hungry for... The following week was the kick off to the Tailwind series, and I came out swinging. I took the Win on the 1st day! I could not believe it. It was my first win since 2008! I was really stoked, and this confidence carried me through the rest of the season. I was a top 3 guy almost every race and finished up the series 3rd overall in points. I missed a state championship medal, but can not complain about my consistency through out the season. In addition, I fared well at the USGP's racing single speed and finished in the top 10 at all but the last race.

So as for my actual goals, here is how I did.

Mountain Bike Goals

1. Finish Top 3 at Brighton Stage Race Overall - Took a DNF.
2. Break top 3 in a USAC XC Race - Did not accomplish in Tailwind, but did at ICEMAN!!!
3. Finish in top 5 at least 4 times in Any Series - I accomplished goal, thanks to ICEMAN.

Cyclocross Goals

1. Top 3 overall in Masters 35+ for Points - Nailed it! 3rd overall!
2. Top 3 at the CX state Championship race - Missed it. Took 4th.
3. Win a USAC CX Masters 35+ race - Nailed it!!!! and took a total of 4 wins counting my single speed races and plaster creek.

I am already looking forward to 2012, and am eager to get back on the bike and push my limits. Goals are being set, and training plans getting dialed in...

Thanks again to everyone who cheered and encouraged me along the way. it is a big help. And look forward to seeing all of you again at the races!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Come on... one more dance!

My season officially ended after Springfield Oaks, but I could not resist the chance to do one more local race. Especially since it would be a new venue for me. JB Hancock was designing the course, and I had nothing on the line so no pressure. After Springfield, I took a complete week off the bike, and now feel like a complete slug. But how much fitness could lose? I'll be OK for one more dance right?

The race was the Stomach of Anger Series final - Big Bad Wolf CX by Red Zone Racing. And unlike the Mad Anthony race in the Stomach of Anger series, this was a well thought out, regulation, fun with lap counters CX course. Brian did a wonderful job using all the terrain to make for a fast free flowing challenging CX course. One of the best this year! Team Sandbag was out for total domination today. Starting with Jacob Ridley taking a win in the C-race. Securing him as series champion! Then for something new, Curt, Jim and I lined up against 4 other 3 person teams in the team race and came home with gold! and a few growlers!!!! Jim went first and stuck to Jim Hilditch's wheel for the first lap. Then curt took his turn and past Kevin of the Racing Greyhounds to put us in First. the final lap was up to me. With a small lead, I punched it pulling away farther and farther from the final Greyhound! Crossed the line and collect our Beer! This was one of the funnest, most exciting cx races I have ever done. We need more stuff like this in the state! Next up was all 3 of us lining up for the single speed class for 60 mins. And again, it was a TSB clean sweep of the podium --- AND MORE FREE BEER!

I expect for this race to grow and would recommend it highly. Especially is JB stays involved.

Furthermore, this was a great day for Team Sandbag and myself to end the season. Now it time to start planning for next year.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Not what I had in mind... Part 2

Well, Springfield Oaks is becoming my new Stony Creek. 2 years in a row now I came up empty handed. Last year was my rear shifter going out, leaving me with no morale, and a DNF. This year I was ready (at least I thought) but it just didn't workout. I think I'm kind of like that stuff you buy at the Hostess Outlet store. You know, the stuff that's outdated. It still taste good, but just not as good as it is when its fresh....

The conditions were what I was hoping for, but sometimes you wish and wish, then you get and get. It was too muddy. At least for a heavy guy. But it was the hand that everyone was dealt. So it was our turn. Masters 35+ looking around, there were some new faces. Title sniping! But it was to be expected. It really didn't matter to me at that point. Because I only had 2 things to worry about Try to beat Simon and Dan Bannink. From the start, I let a few guys go. Pete Thompson, Adam Naish and a few others. I wanted to race smart. I was in a good spot, and as soon as we hit the slippy down hills, I was starting to pass guys left and right. I was now sitting near 3-4th, and growing a gap. But the course was zapping my power. Still fighting, and holding my own. Andrew Weir came by and I pushed on. I was still in the top 3 hunt for states. Half way through the race, I was still feeling good and looking for opportunity to bridge the gap back to Andy who I could still see just ahead. And then it happened... In the off camber section of the course, my chain fell off the cassette on the inside and got stuck in the spokes. I was forced off the bike, and had to yank it out by hand. During this time at least 5 guys passed me. I was pissed, but did not panic. I jumped on the bike and 50 ft later, it happened again. I finally got it back on again and was riding. as soon as I hit the next technical section, I caught all the guys that just passed me except for Todd Frerichs. Todd slowly inched his way away from me for the rest of the race. I tried to burn the rest of my matches to make contact, but they were gone from the attacks after the mechanical. Then Jarod caught and passed me, but I was able to make one more move to pass him again. It didn't last. He passed me again. Final final nail in the coffin was when Dan came around me riding the strongest race he had all year. I new this was the final spot on the podium for the Masters 35-39 state championship. And my last chance of seeing a top 5 for the race.

I was disappointed, but realized that a lot of things were out of my control. More importantly, I learned a ton about training and realizing when your body has told you its enough. I had a great run for the entire season, and I can't hang my head on 1 race in which I didn't get the result I was looking for. As my good friend Brad Lako told me today... It's just fuel for the fire.

Overall for the points series I took 3rd. It was unbelievable how tight the series was for the entire season. My hats off to all the guys I raced against in Masters. It will be a season I will never forget.

Congrats to all the state champ podiums (some of my favorites - Simon, Jarod, Todd F, Sven, Kelly, Jeff W, Wiz, Jim G, JB, Andrea, DC, Keith, Andy, Pete, Marc D, Rich S.). And thanks to everyone for their support, encouragement and cheering this year! You are all the best!