31 July 2006

zero my hero.

wow, what a weekend. the race was really fun, and we managed to take a solid second in the duo open. we both gave it everything and that's all you can really do. i really enjoy this type of racing more than the wors type racing. it takes up a whole weekend (and some) but there are so many stories you accumulate between racing and killing time before the race.

high(low?)lights:
finding the secret camping spot.
ron running over some guy's bike with his van.
listening to a marriage ending conversation while we were poaching air conditioning.
preriding the course.
watching the storms blow in friday night at 12:00am (and hunkering down in the tent).
sprinting past 50 people in the lemond start.
riding.
crossing the line at 10:20 with almost 80 miles of racing in.
cold shower.
sam's pizza and a black bavarian while talking about the race with our wives (thanks robin).
watching the storms blow in at 4:30am.
packing up wet camping gear at 8am.
podium.

now i feel like i've been hit by a car or something. shoulders, back, hands, feet. legs feel fine. i wonder how i managed to do this event with a hardtail until this year?

anyway, ron was already trying to talk me into a run at the 30+ masters 4-man 24 hour event next year. there is a stars and bars jersey on the line for that cat, and i think we could almost win it with the right team...how many chances do you get to truly compete for a national championship? i'll have to consider it...once i forget how sore i am right now.

since i'm not going to race at all in august, i may just take a few days off. maybe get back on at time trials...if i can get my bike cleaned up by then...it's a wreck right now though.

weekend rating: A (would have been an A+ without sunday morning's storm)

27 July 2006

floyd.

well, cycling has done it again. it has been leaked that floyd landis is the rider implicated with high testosterone/epitestosterone level in his 'a' sample.

uci protocols say that a positive 'a' sample does not consititute a positive test outcome, just that the b sample requires testing. but the press will run with this, the idiots that are the general public will decide he cheated (i've already had 3 people come up to me at work) and cycling takes another hit.

i'm not saying he is clean. cycling is inherently dirty (everything with money involved is dirty, sport or otherwise). i am saying that you cannot fight cheating with indiscretion and poor protocols...especially when scientific testing is involved.

this makes me sick to my stomach.

i wonder what riding for 6 hours in extreme heat would do to my testosterone levels?

pro cycling sucks and i'm a twins fan.

sooo, the 5 riders from the astana team that were on the dope list have been cleared. nice fucking work. so, one of the biggest tour contendors (vinokorouv) couldn't race because half his team were on some list and now they clear them, a week out from the tour. if i were a potential sponsor, i'd stop being a potential sponsor right now because without due process, you stand to lose all the bang your buck may have. and this probably means that ully and basso will be eventually cleared of this cloud...nothing like guily until proven innocent. the money lost is ridiculous. i'm against doping...yes. but being proactive at the expense of reason and scientific evidence hurts the sport more that doping does.

a twins fan? well, i have always been a fringe twins fan since i lived in msp...but now there is more riding on it. that being, keeping the white sox out of the playoffs. if lee has to leave milwaukee, the only place i want to see him go is to left field in the metrodome. and heck, if the twins make the playoffs, they could win it all with santana and liriano hurling ever 3-4 days.

i bailed a touch early from work yesterday to get a jump on the distribution of our bark mulch to the beds. i tell you what, this could be the best 100 bones we've spent on the house...it looks great. although the labor was a little bit more arduous than i was thinking it would be...damn raised beds. tonight is full on 'get ready for nine-mile' night. grocery store, rei, pack, maybe spin a little to make sure the bike still works. then it's go time.

26 July 2006

beat.

i'm tired. but my ride last night felt great. i also found time to do some yardwork and wash my racing clothes. not bad. tonight is more yardwork, then menu planning, riding and bike maintainence...maybe.

we're trying to decide if we are going to go straight every other lap or each take a shift of 2 laps somewhere in the middle. hmmmm. last year scotty and i did everyother and it hurt...but i think it maximizes speed. hmmm.

it's going to be hot hot hot this weekend. oh well, everyone has to deal with it. i wonder how that will affect the pros going for the solo national championships?

this is a weak sauce blog to be sure.

25 July 2006

busy.

it seems that whenever i'm aiming for a peak in my racing, my week blows up with non-racing busy-ness. right now i'm swamped at work, our landscaping got done yesterday meaning we've got our share to do now, puppy class last night, and whammo it'll be friday before you know it. oh well, sometimes the less i think/anticipate a race the better i do come race day.

puppy class last night went well, there is another 5mo old airedale in the class and it was like looking in a mirror. the exception? our dog was better behaved...which surprised me. plus he was more handsome but i think that i may be biased a little. plus the other airedale was female and she is not supposed to be handsome.

our landscaping looks really good, it will look even better once we get our bark down. in my mind, after we mulch we're done with the yard for this season...time to sit back and enjoy it!

whammo!

24 July 2006

another one in the books.

whew...these weekends are flying by.

friday was my company picnic. there were kids everywhere with a median age around 2.5...yikes. there was a dj coordinating the fun, and at one point he asked the adults to hold up dollar bills for the kids...if i knew it was going to be that kind of party...after the picnic i headed to blackhawk to do some night laps with my new hid...it was very wet but very fun.

saturday we did some much needed yard work and also started prepping the wood trim for prime/paint. met up with seth and kendra for giant deserts sat night and poof day 1 was gone.

yesterday, i put in 3 hours at work, 4 hours on the bike, a little chill time and the day dissappeared. amazing how that works.

the enduro race this weekend should be good...i'm looking forward to it. but after my night ride friday night, i almost wish we were doing more night laps than we will be. the hid is amazing...the swath of trail that gets lit up is daytime bright...even i can't screw that kind of light up. i'll get plenty of night laps next year.

tonight oliver starts puppy 2. tomorrow i'll ride some, as well as wednesday night tt. thursday off the bike, friday preride and then it's go time. i cannot believe it is the end of july.

21 July 2006

i'm going dental

yesterday's dental visit had an interesting story to go with it...after some small talk about weather and dogs, the hygeinist asked me if i had any summer plans.

me:yes, we're going to denmark.

her:ohhhhhh! i went to denmark last year! it was beautiful. we were there in august and the trees were nice and the people are great (enter her hands into my mounth). yep, we went for 1 week and it was great. do you know someone who lives there or just visiting?

me: my shister lives dare.

her: that's very nice, i'm sure she loves it there. are you flying or driving?

me:??!@!?? flhyyng.

her: ohhhh, very smart. you know, once you get to pensylvania it's nice but the drive through ohio is a bear.

??!#??!

she went on and on about some denmark on the east coast...i didn't have the heart to correct her (plus it's hard to speak while she's doing her teeth thing). i knew that the dentist interaction would be interesting if she was still in the room...and it went something like this:

d: hi andy, how are we doing today?
me: i'm fine.
d: how's your summer, any big plans coming?
me: it's been great, we're doing some...ah...traveling next month.
d: around the state?
me: not so much...we're actually going to denmark.
d: yea, i'd say it's a little more than a 'little' traveling.

he kept asking questions and i kept giving ambiguous answers so as to not incriminate myself to the hygenist lady. i did great...until he asked me if we were going to any other countries while there. i said i didn't know...but i thought for sure i was busted.

well, apparantly not because as i was leaving my hygenist said 'have fun in delaware!'

hmmm.

my ride last night felt really good. i pushed it a little and my legs reacted nicely.

and the tour...floyd put in quite a performance. i'll be watching the tt tomorrow for sure...on a dead hip! amazing. my favorite quote was when he was asked by frankie andreu how it felt to win his first tdf stage and his reply was (paraphrased) 'i didn't come here to win a stage, i came to win the tour...and that's what i intend to do.' tough as nails.

20 July 2006

boom!

storms rolled through madison around 2am...knocking out the power and thrashing some trees. oliver whimpered a few times but was a good boy mostly. anyway, he was in dog heaven because he got to sleep in our room...on his bed. lucky dog.

our house/yard weathered the storm well, i didn't inspect closely but we may have gotten some tomatoe plant damage but that was about it. and our grass looks green!

i ran again last night...it rained all afternoon and i assumed that tt's were cancelled. oh well. hopefully i can get some good riding in the next 4-6 days prior to the big tilt at 9-mile.

oliver gets his hair cut today...he will be a handsome gentleman for sure.

that's all i've got.

19 July 2006

there's an airline plane...

i ran last night. not that exciting in and of itself, but boy did i feel good. my pacing? i have no idea...but i felt fast. ran for an hour and felt good the whole time...

time trials tonight, although there is allegedly a good chance of strong thunderstorms in the afternoon to evening hours. we'll see...

busy at work lately, which is very good. the days go by rapidly and i feel better about myself when there is a long list of tasks completed at the end of the day.

our dog is still teething and that makes him a crazy boy. mouthing constantly, relatively highly strung, all around crazy. i get mad at a him and feel sorry for him at the same time. it's tough being a puppy i guess.

the 12 hour duo race is quickly approaching. i'm getting excited...and within our own team i know there will be strong competition...not to mention others that may also being doing the race. ron is riding super well these days, and while i'm not on top of my game i'm still no slouch for this event. i'm getting pretty excited.

17 July 2006

frustrated.

i'm not racing at the level that i should be. i know i'm never going to be a top pro, but i also know who i should be beating and i'm not getting it done. if i'm not performing at these races i'm not having fun. and if i'm not having fun than what's the point? wors races in and of themselves really aren't fun...it's the same people at the same courses year after year after year...

i won't be doing another wors race until we get back from denmark...which means not until september. eff it.

what mystifies me the most is that this is the best year of training i've ever done for the mtb. from the first week of january to the last week of april, i averaged 10 hours/week...mostly outdoors. my base is there. i've been doing speedwork now, averaging 8-10 hours per week. the fitness is there... i'm just not executing.

14 July 2006

it's the gosh darn humidity.

wow, you can see the moisture in the air. heat index is suposed to be around 108 in madison on sunday...hopefully the lake will bring that down around 100 for the race...yea, that will help. the good thing is that everyone has to deal with the weather, and i feel like i'm going alright. i will be hydrating like mad all through the weekend, and will probably carry my hydration pack for the race on sunday to ensure i keep drinking. and...i may take a page out of ben's book and use some enduralytes...or not, we'll see how i feel.

our dog has a skin infection. he's got a swath of fur cut across 8 inches of his back, i've been calling him patches. he's on antibiotics and we have to give him baths with special shampoo 2-3 times a week. great. last night was bath one and he took it in stride...he even like the hair dryer towards the end. he said he would cronicle his adventures on his blog but he was feeling pretty lazy this morning...i can see why...he only slept for 16 hours yesterday (he needs 18 to function). rough life.

this dog is expensive...but there is not much we can do about it. we're getting him groomed next week so hopefully that helps with his new rash problem.

13 July 2006

hot.

is what it will be on sunday. hydration from here out will be important i think. hopefully it withers a few of my competitors...like it did last night. somehow i won time trials...although it has an asterix*...jerry was riding in a dress.

between the tour and superweek, i almost wish i was doing a road race sometime. almost

we've ramped up oliver's food intake a bit...and it has seemed to calm him a little. seems the poor boy was getting hungry. feed the growth...our boy is already huge.

lance armstrong was on the jim rome show yesterday. hearing him speak...i believe him. maybe i'm naive...and he may have popped everthing under the sun before his cancer, but i think he was clean for his tours. hey, i still operate by innocent until proven guilty...unlike wada, the uci and the grand tour organizers.

wow...another crappy post.

12 July 2006

more crap.

the al won the all star game...imagine that.

it was a pretty good game, although i would have prefered the outcome to be different...like carlos lee hitting in the tying run in the bottom of the 9th rather than ending the game.

rode a bit last night, nothing major. tonight is timetrials...it's 'lady's night.' the night where the guys are supposed to dress like women. any other town would call this a drag show...in madison it's just another night at the races. i'm dressing like a lady mountain biker with tight shorts and jersey...oh wait, that's my regular attire.

our dog is getting huge. and he is shopping the counters a lot. bastard. he is still a good boy and all, but he is driving me a little nuts. with the heat coming over the next few days he should calm down for a while...hopefully. it wouldn't hurt to lose those back teeth.

11 July 2006

his bandages wrapped too tight.

ran yesterday and felt good. i even pushed the pace a little...maybe even a 7:30 mile! eat your heart out pat. that expression is disgusting.

met with a landscaper yesterday to have some work done. we're getting an island planting in front and an ornamental pear tree too. it'll look nice...hopefully we don't kill them. we've also decided to create a bed in the back yard where the grass doesn't grow real well...but we'll do that ourselves. these things have been bothering us and it will be good to take care of them...though i wish it wasn't so expensive.

it's supposed to rain all day in these parts...we need it.

i got my cross max wheels ready for josh...i'll miss them. started scheming trying to build my single speed out of my old s-works frame instead of my old diamond back. maybe...if the frame isn't too tweaked. since i'll never ride that baby aggressively on trails again, i think it would be a great singlespeed candidate. all i would need is a rigid fork for it...which can wait. then i don't have to worry about the corrosion i got with the steel framed winter bike.

well, another post about nothing. somebody should produce a sitcom about nothing...oh wait.

10 July 2006

manic monday.

yesterday's ride was a toughy, out to and around the blue mounds area and back. hot, hung over, dehydrated, hilly, tough. i made it through and actually felt good from time to time.

robin stripped our patio furniture...looks great. stain this week hopefully.

oliver chewed up a pair of my glasses this morning. if i were a violent type i would have beat him...but i'm not so i just yelled a little bit. airdales really are as advertised...if you yell they shut off their brains and it makes things worse. he really is a lesson in patience, because as soon as i calmed down...he calmed down. i could have learned that lesson without ruining a pair of glasses though...

8+ hours of training last week...right around where i wanted to be. with 3 running days. it's amazing how sore my abs get from running...that's good though, there is some flab in that zone for me.

my allergies are starting to hit mid summer form...i'll take mid july allergies over mid-january cold any time.

this post sucks.

09 July 2006

yikes.

i drank last night which means i'm feeling like azz this morning. oh well, it'll make my ride today that much more painful. it's my own fault so i'll stop whining.

superweek has started...ben and josh both lined up for race 1...although josh's name didn't show up in the results. good luck you crazy animals.

it's hot.

07 July 2006

what the?

our little dog is in a rage phase...poor guy is having some teething problemos, this time in the back teeth. he's not very polite, and when we meet people on walks i get the 'your dog is crazy' look. the problem is, he looks like an adult dog...but still acts like a 4 and a half month old dog (because he is 4 1/2 months). he'll be fine, his owners just need to remain patient.

got out for 1.5+ last night on the bike, felt good after the first 30 minutes. i decided to go for some easy confidence and ride a portion of the im loop. there is always someone to pass on that route. tonight i'm going to do some running, then it's off to betsy's new abode for dinner.

every morning this week i've been watering the lawn. it still looks yellowish but hopefully it'll come around when we finally get some rain...next month sometime.

the brewers ripped another win from the cubs...capuano should be on the all star team. maybe he'll be named to take pedro's place? 3 games short of the all star break and the brewers are 2.5 out of first in the division. the cardinals are floundering...and the reds are finally playing to their abilities. if the astros stay anemic offensively, the brewers really could pull it out! it'll be tough with clemens, pettite and oswalt on top of that rotation, but anything could happen. especially if sheets comes back and stays healthy (he is making a rehab start tonight).

operation b24_r26.2 has been on my mind a lot lately. i'm up for the challenge. but first, somehow get into the top 10 overall for the series this year.

06 July 2006

like a rolling stone.

we've been watching the pbs bob dylan documentaries they have been playing. he is one interesting cat...it's weird, when they show interviews of him you can understand what he is saying. i always assumed he always mumbled. i find it really interesting that his 'fans' booed him when he started doing more rock and roll. there was definately a disconnect...the camera would show the lines of people outside to get in just to boo when he played. people are idiots.

it reminded me of the ryan adams show we went to a few years back. everyone there thought they were going to hear accoustic, whiskeytown type numbers. in reality, he came out wasted and rocked the joint. people were booing and heckling him. he kept rocking...people left. then, he came back out and duplicated the set (the first 5 or 6 songs anyway) accoustically...almost as an 'f-you' to the people who left.

now, ryan adams is no bob dylan...but there were some parallels.

time trials last night were good...i concentrated on my lines and rode them well. stayed in the middle ring the whole time...to limit the damage. overall i was happy with my ride.

05 July 2006

independant

where did june go? as it always seems to be, june came and went FAST and here we are post holiday, in the thick of summer. we'll be in denmark in no time at all which means it's time to start piecing together an itinerary. so far, we know that we are flying there...and that's about it.

yesterday was a nice midweek break. robin let me sleep until 8 (wow!) which is really nice of her. i ran a little and did some yardwork. robin picked rasberries and made freezer jam...it is delicious. we went out for lunch and even had a lunch beer. all in all, we didn't do much but that was just how i wanted it.

once again, we watched the elver park fireworks from our office window. pretty convenient...and oliver took it like a champ. i think he would have been scared but he was too busy trying to get into the garbage.

03 July 2006

back to the drawing board.

throughout my athletic career, it seems that when i conciously aim to have a good race i end up having an off race. this weekend's race was no exception. there really isn't that much to report, i got a bad start, got caught behind a crash in the first 5 minutes and it was enough of a draft course that from that point on i had lost contact with the lead group in my wave. i went way too hard to try to catch back on and the rest is history. by the end i was slow pedaling trying to do damage control. everyone else on the team had a great race, with ron, brian and mike all in the top 20. in a way that makes it more frustrating for me because in my mind, i should be beating those guys every week. whatever, time for a few days of r and r.

i guess that's racing.

the weekend was a good one though, and the course was pretty cool. they've really done a nice job with trails in eau claire.

monday...i wish i wasn't at work.