Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The lone HUP...

As I rolled into the parking area for my first 'cross race of the season, I couldn't help feeling a little uncertain.  A new town, first race of the season, no knowledge of the local racers...It was enough to make one feel a bit apprehensive.  And then, a funny thing happened...Apparently, EVERYONE loves HUP United.  Regardless of the racers or the team for which they ride, the spectators out on course almost universally cheered "Hup, hup, hup!"

Unfortunately, that was pretty much the highlight of my day.  After spending 4 hours trying to convert my bike to a 1 x 10 yesterday, gluing Griffos onto some Ksyriums, and taking the day to prepare for the race, I'd simply failed in the most important preparation...Physical and mental.  

I just wasn't prepared for the technical riding (lots of tight U-turns and off-camber stuff).  Further, I hadn't done any true explosive burst work (I've been focusing on preparations for Clearwater).  The result?  When it came time to "go," I completely vapor-locked and wasn't mentally ready to push through the pain.  When combined with my poor technical riding (requiring extra accelerations) and a poor decision to ride a 44-tooth front ring (I guess I'm really NOT Richard Groenendal), the result was a disappointing finish outside the top-20 (of 45-50 riders) in the 3/4 race.
It didn't help that the Tubulars flatted 10 minutes before the start of my race and I was caught swapping cassettes to a back-up wheelset in a hurry.

Race review (BLUF):
Physical--Not enough explosive power, but good sustained riding and aerobic engine (no surprise here).
Technical riding--Sucked.  You gotta practice this stuff...
Mental--Good training day, but a poor racing day.  I needed to bury myself to stay in contact early and I let the group go.  The result was that I sat in no-man's land and couldn't push beyond my 40k TT pace.  With that said, I had FUN.  That's why I raced and I'm happy to have had the opportunity.
Equipment choice--Needs improvement.  Time to simplify.  A 40-tooth will be enough for me.  Tubulars will likely not be used again.  I simply didn't find the Griffos to hook up well (on a grassy, dry day?)...Wassup wit dat?  If I can't get them to hook-up on this course, I have no confidence they'll run well in the mud or snow.  I think I'll be back to tubeless running Stan's on a pair of Michelin Muds very soon.
Oh well...I'll be in Portland in a few weeks...Hopefully, my efforts there will end in a better result.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Everyone has their vices. Smoking, drinking, carousing, travel, or buying bikes...

It's no surprise that Interbike is held annually in Las Vegas...If one wanted to collect vices (and bikes), this would be the place.

The reality is that I don't care much for Vegas and I'm not particularly interested in another bike that will make me "30 seconds faster over 40k" for the 6 races I use it each year.

What I do care about is TIME. How can I gain more personal time? How can I more efficiently use the time I have available? How can I improve my race times without spending $6,800 on a new piece of equipment?

Don't get me wrong. I love new bicycles. However, I'm much more interested in a bike that I'll enjoy riding EVERY DAY than one I'll spend more time talking about.

With that said, I do have one nasty vice...Do you ever find yourself watching "The O.C." on Soap Network? Well, let's just say that I have a new way to pass the time when riding the trainer.

Friday, September 19, 2008

General('s) fun...

Got up for the bi-annual CGSC run...1300 students "running" at the speed of the slowest the dark...on rough roads...At least we were wearing reflective belts.

The CSM motivated us before the run with a lecture on the unapproved use of iPods on base...Apparently, it's not safe to wear an iPod when running on a sidewalk...Now, instead of running on the sidewalks on base, I'll head off post to the narrow roads of Kansas for my runs...I thought this school was supposed to understand the impact of 2nd and 3rd order effects...

Oh well, 80 days until the madness ends.

Monday, September 15, 2008

New program...

I've been "method"ically following my plan for the past 3 months.  Week in, week out...drip, drip, drip feeling the bucket of fitness slowly filling.  However, it's not training if it makes you feel comfortable so it's time for a change.

IronGuide just hit me with my final 6 week plan for Clearwater...I expect my quads to get bigger and my stomach to get smaller...Ain't that what ya' pay your coach for?

One workout in the book...Time for the droplets to get bigger...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hope springs eternal...

This past weekend I made my annual "pilgrimage" back to Notre Dame for the football team's home opener.  The campus was beautiful and filled with hope.  However, it wasn't just visions of football success.  It was the sense of genuine potential which permeated the trip.  Potential for self improvement, potential to change the World, potential to help others...