31 July 2012

looking up

our appliances are back in place. there was one little section that needed to be touched up this morning which was happening as i left for work. i am hopeful that this is the end of the wood floor phase of our home renovation.

i have also found a buyer for my nike sportwatch. it is a great little gps so i'm a bit surprised it took as long as it did. the recouped funds will be going towards a new pair of mountain bike/cx shoes. i love my specialized experts but they are reaching the end - i've been riding them since i bought my epic after i drove my old bike into the garage. 6 or 7 years for mtb shoes might just be a little too long...

no riding last night, still feeling creaky. i had been planning on a little down time following 9-mile and my body is making it easy to keep the bike in the garage.

the november cross bike is almost ready for its maiden voyage. just need to get the chain on, adjust the shifting, trim and cap all the cables and wrap the bars. it is light as a feather - hopefully it rides as good as it looks.

happy tuesday.

30 July 2012

that one hurt a little bit

our wood floor project persists. the blemish in the top coat is finally being resolved today after a meeting with the owner, getting stood up yesterday by the sub-contractor, a few stern phone calls followed by a new sub coming this morning (with the owner) to make it right. end of the day, if the floor is done right i'll be happy but this is getting ridiculous. in hindsight, there were some red flags along the way but this is our first project of this type and took the sub-contractor for his word on things we should have not. live and learn.

anyway, after meeting up with the owner on friday, i wrapped up getting things ready to rock for wausau24. i made it to the venue around 3:00 and staked a claim to some prime real estate in the team area. ron made it by 6 and we headed out for a little pre-ride. marc parked next to us which turned out to be a great set up - we had 4 easy ups put together for ample shade space throughout the event.

our impression of the course (which was the same as last year) was that it was more bumpy. roots were more exposed, rocks were loose and everything was bone dry (even thought it sounded like it had been raining a bunch of late). saturday morning came quick and before i knew the start had been announced we were running (i went first). the first lap i was super sketchy - not handling the bike well and at one point almost missed a turn on a fast double track section. i spend the rest of the day trying to stay steady. my back took a beating and somehow i also bruised my tailbone. i did 7 laps for around 75 miles. there was a distinct chance that i was going out for an eighth lap - we were only ahead of 3rd place by a couple of minutes when mike started his last lap. but, he didn't get passed at all and finished 5 seconds after 10:00 to seal our 2nd step. i was ready/resigned to doing another lap if that was what it took but i would be lying if i said i wanted to do another lap.

this is the most beat up i've ever felt after this race - the 2 man 12 hour is still a tougher race than 4 man 24 hour in my book. the speed/intensity is so high and the recovery time is so minimal. it was fun to hang out after the race and exchange war stories and put a few back.

i hung around for awards to pick up our swag (planet bike floor pump, twin six socks/bottle, and some headset spacers) and then we hit the road. home to find out our floor hadn't been fixed which was a downer. but we got it worked out (they are re-top coating as i type this).

i need a few days off the bike to recover.

m: 1:45 (commute)
t: 1:15 (commute)
w: 1:00 (blackhawk)
r: off
f: 1:00 (pre-ride)
s: 6:00 (75 miles at wausau24, 2nd place!)
n: 0
total: 11 hours

happy monday.

26 July 2012

i wouldn't mind a little normalcy

what a week. no kitchen (a follow up visit is required to inspect a spot that we are unhappy with). as a result, we continue to struggle with feeding our son/us. it is a real fiasco at this point. Nobody is happy - the dog is pissed, I think Calvin is growing weary of having to literally crawl over things to get around our living room, and I know Robin and I are over it.

i did some sales training this week through my grad school which was great but has rendered me behind on work. I have nothing ready for this weekend and no stove to prepare food. I'm planning on boiling pasta on the side burner on the grill. I have to get everything together to camp and I have a few bike things I want to check/complete for peace of mind sake.

most of what I have written is due to a decision to do something. I sure wish it was just a few notches easier but I guess that is life. it sure seems that more and more the saying should be 'to be complicated is to be human.'

happy thursday.

25 July 2012

cross is in the air

not here (considering that we will spend another day pushing 100 degrees), but i'm starting to get excited after looking photos from the park city race raleigh organized last night. all the new season's kits, bikes, etc...stoked! that being said, i have a different fish to fry before i transition into a rest period and then start sprinkling in intervals (mid august).

our house is still in shambles - but i'm hoping we can start moving things back on the floor tonight. there is one spot that the sub contractor needs to come back and fix -- i'm hoping that won't reset the clock on the entire floor curing process because i'm over it. however, with robin, calvin and oliver heading north on thursday...and me following on friday - it might make sense to just endure it and let the floor cure for another 4 days. that way, it's done. yuck.

i haven't done much planing for wausau24 yet. i've done it enough to kind of know what to expect i guess but it still makes me a little uneasy. i'll have time thursday night/friday morning.

my training ends tonight around 5 - i'm bringing my mtb and i'll try to get over to blackhawk in time to do some riding. if for no other reason, to make sure the bike is operating correctly.

i'm all over the place.

happy wednesday.


23 July 2012

got me

i mentioned on friday that coming out of my rest day i felt pretty rough. well, it got worse. throughout the afternoon i could tell that i was getting worse but was pretty busy so i filed it away. on my ride home, i knew i was in trouble. i went and got calvin at dc and then when we got home we went up stairs and he let me get in bed while he played with his trains. by then i was in full on fever mode, chills and very achy. robin drove up to gresham while i sat in the front seat delirious. i went straight to bed when we arrived and i slept until 9 the next morning. i was feeling very tired and very 'hazy' but better. this kind of stuff happens to me a couple times every year, like a 36 hour virus that is very intense but then relents rather quickly. i have become so sensitive to things as i get older...

our floor is getting finished up today. it was supposed to be done on friday but so it goes. they got the stain down on friday and were going to poly on saturday but he couldn't come because of childcare issues. he came yesterday to poly but we all decided that the stain wasn't dark enough so he did a couple of tinted poly coats to darken it more. that meant that the finish coat had to wait until today. i will say this, they look great and in the end will be worth the wait. we were feeling pretty down about it yesterday, but then we remembered that 1) this is self inflicted and 2) we are very fortunate (in the big scheme) to be able to be worried about what color our wood flooring is. after that it didn't seem so bad.

i did get out for some time yesterday just to get the legs moving. i was feeling some lingering lethargy but it really felt nice to get moving again. and while we were sequestered in the basement i was able to do a little more work on the cx bike. i'm close, i need to get the chain on and i'm waiting for a front brake tube thing but once those are in place i can start adjusting everything and maybe get out for a spin one of these nights. we'll see, i may be spending most of my time getting ready for wausau24. i'm sure glad the sickness hit me this weekend instead of next...

last weeks training:
m: 1:45 (commute)
t: 1:15 (commute)
w: 2:15 (commute/blackhawk)
r: 0 (off)
f: 1:00 (commute)
s: 0 (sick)
n: 1:30 (roads/paths downtown/arboretum)
total: 7:45

not bad with 2 days off. i'm going to have an odd week again with some training sessions mixed throughout. 6-7 hours of riding on saturday will make up for it!

happy monday.



20 July 2012

flake

yesterday was a bit of a cluster. the flooring guys were late (as mentioned yesterday) and we had to go back to decide on a color over lunch. this put my day in total disarray. it was robin's ride night so while she was doing that, cal and i went to rei and noodles and co for dinner to avoid spending too much time in the disaster area that is our house. it is going to look pretty darn nice when done, and it really isn't taking that long - but boy it really affects me when our house is in complete disarray.

my day off yesterday rendered me feeling even more tired and achy and fatigued than i have felt in months. why does that happen? now, i am in no way comparing myself to tour riders here but it must almost be a curse to have rest days when doing the tdf. they are riding hundreds of kilometers at high intensity per day and then they just stop. i guess that is why they all still do sizable training rides on the rest day but i would think the difference in intensity would cause similar sensations.

my new streak started this morning. it will be short lived - i don't anticipate getting out tomorrow. i'm hoping for a longish ride on sunday morning though.

happy friday.

19 July 2012

let there be rain!

at least in madison proper, we have gone a long way towards catching up on our drought conditions. 1 inch overnight tuesday night followed by a 2-3" storm yesterday afternoon (with showers throughout the night). that storm just happened to hit half way through the short track portion of the blackhawk timed event. by the end it was pretty wet and muddy - kind of foreign. hid from the remainder of the storm in the shelter (it was a cook out night so i also had a burger and some fruit - bonus). i made a break for it a little early - there was still a lot of lightning but i made it home unscathed. i was thinking on the way home about the longevity of the chainsmokers team - they have been around since i've been in the madison area, pretty admirable for an amateur bike team. they continue to have relationships with good madison companies (ale asylum and willy street bikes stand out) and run a tt trial series that i'm happy to have access to. thanks chainsmokers!

the flooring guys got 'stuck in traffic' this morning and didn't get to the house until 8:45. back home at lunch to look at some some colors on the floor. hopefully, the floor will get stained today and polyurethaned tomorrow. hopefully we'll be able to get our house put back together on sunday. i'm glad we are doing the projects we are but i'm really sick of having things in disarray. our garage is a disaster. now the basement is as well. in due time i suppose.

happy thursday.


18 July 2012

gulp - sh, sh, sh, sh

one of the most nerve wracking bike related things for me is cutting a steer tube. i look and mark and measure and mark again. then, when it comes time to cut i still sweat it (and have been known to reassemble everything again just to verify my marks). i feel like dr. jacobsen, robin's doc at marshfield, who whenever using a particularly difficult saw during surgery would sing the danish national anthem. the problem is, i don't know the danish national anthem so i sing the next obvious choice: pussy control by prince.

the front end is assembled and i started to run the rear brake cable last night as well. this was after i serviced my mtb and road bike (i was procrastinating the steer tube cut). so, a very nice evening spent doing bike stuff.

a very curious thing happened last night - it rained. i'm pretty notorious for sleeping through storms, dogs moving about, children crying - but since the sound had become so foreign it roused me from my slumber. it was like listening to music - a very sweet melody.

'time trials' tonight - the format actually switches on a 3 week cycle (short track, short track relay and time trial) - i think tonight is a tt. then, tomorrow i end my streak. i don't feel to terribly bad about it, i do need a little break.

i've been here half a day and have nothing to show for it yet. too many meetings!

happy wednesday.

17 July 2012

saga

bike building is nerve racking...especially when you are dealing with 'new' technology. i opted to have eric's install my bb30 as i didn't have the bushings or experience with it. to me, it seems like the next time i'll need to know something about bottom bracket installation the 'standard' will change anyway. well, i applied the same thing to installation of the crown race. i've always done it myself with a pvc pipe. the new bike has a full carbon steer tube which is tapered to 1.5" at the base - i tried installing it the same way i've always done it but somehow it got cocked and i couldn't get it to seat fully. so, rather than messing around and doing something stupid to the carbon, i headed back to erics last night. same dude helped me - and he was done in about 5 minutes. a great $5 spent. i'll probably be back with some other problem at some point...

i then spent a little time working on the bike when i got it home. i'm hoping to cut the steer tube tonight to get that all set so i can go from there. i'd like to have that in place before i start cutting/installing housing and cables. once i get the front end set it should go pretty fast. should being the operable word. i'm not sure how it will ride but i think it is sure going to look sweet. look good, feel good. feel good, ride...good?

it also hit me last night - i have a busy few weeks ahead of me. i mentioned we are having our wood flooring re-finished...that starts thursday which means we can't go back in the house until 7-ish thursday night. friday we are heading to gresham for the night before heading to cal's cousin's birthday party in kaukauna. back home saturday night to a very messy house. i'm hoping to get a big (for me) ride in sunday morning and then i'm sure we'll spend some time putting our house back together. after that, it is prep time for wausau24. i'm pretty excited to race and even more excited that robin will be there with us.



happy tuesday.


16 July 2012

you pro?

and on the 18th day...there was more record heat. my miniature ride everyday streak is about to encompass its second spell of days in the 100s. i'm hoping to carry this through wednesday. we are getting our wood floors re-done and this will require us meeting at home to approve colors. based on the way i felt this morning, i could really use a rest day.

m: 1:45 (commute)
t: 1:15 (commute)
w: 2:00 (commute/TT @ blackhawk)
r: 1:15 (commute)
f: 1:15 (commute)
s: 1:30 (road ride w/robin)
n: 1:30 (road ride)
total: 10:30

the weekend was good. my mom was visiting so after heading to breakfast at marigold kitchen and art fair on the square, robin and i were able to get some riding in - the bonus is that we got to do it together. later, we had a date night with dinner at brickhouse barbecue and a movie (to rome with love). no woody allen's best effort but it was good to see him in front of the camera again.

with the weather we have been having, i have similar feelings to the end of winter (february/march) when it has been cold for an extended period, everything looks yellow and drab, and you have spent way too much time inside. no relief in sight (i don't consider upper 80s a break in the weather) so time to just buck i suppose.

oh, mike c and i are doing the 12 duo category at wausau24. i've done a few of these in the past and i think they are harder than the 24 hour 4 man version. you ride the same amount - just in less time. while you do miss out on most of the night riding and the craziness you get from sleep deprivation, the intensity of the effort makes it harder in my book. i'm excited to get a big effort in and to race again - it has been a while.

happy monday.

12 July 2012

14 days (and counting)

i wasn't overly impressed with my riding last night - not bad but not great. it got me thinking (and looking back) and i realized i'm on my 14th straight day of riding. solid! but, would be a good reason for feeling like i have 'dead legs.' my goal for july is exactly what i've done so far so that is something.

i woke up with a pretty miserable leg cramp last night. i don't even know how to describe where the cramp is - sort of my hamstring i guess. more like the region between my quad and hamstring really (if that makes sense). regardless, it hurt and i certainly noticed the disruption in my sleep this morning.

happy thursday.

11 July 2012

pressed

i decided to have my bb30 installed by a professional (per ron's recommendation). after giving it some thought, i have zero experience so i don't know right from wrong and frankly i don't want to experiment with this bike. while i was at erik's (they, unlike the trek store, are open until 9) some dude came in acting like a complete douche. i'm not sure how the service guys kept their cool because i wanted to punch him in the throat. anyway, once that is done i can start building up my new beauty.

blackhawk practice races tonight - i'm hoping that they revert to what was scheduled the week before the 4th of july (canceled due to heat). i really want to hit another short track. i crashed over the weekend at quarry ridge and have a giant bruise on my knee. the best part is that it doesn't hurt one bit. the best kind of injury! hopefully my back wheel doesn't fall off again tonight.

happy wednesday.

10 July 2012

responsible, sustainable, maintainable

i've mentioned my current read (garbology) - i haven't changed my mind a whole lot regarding how it is written. meandering and at time gratuitous, like the author felt it was necessary to add words/content to reach a certain page number. that annoys me - like 2 hour movies with a lot of having nothing to do with the story annoy me. but, the book has made me think about my familys' consumption habits, about trying to make things last longer (even though it seems our society has made it easier to replace than to fix) and opting for quality even if it means waiting a little longer to save.

the most moving idea (for me) was regarding how in past generations, people saved and made sacrifices to buy the things they really wanted. now, most people view NOT buying things as a sacrifice. i'm guilty of that one big time. anyway, it made me think so i guess even though i didn't really care for the author's style, the thought provoking nature means i'd give it 3 out 5 (stars or hearts or books or whichever units you prefer).

a nice ride in this morning. warm and dry (what a surprise). we could use a little rain here. actually, we could use a lot of it.

happy tuesday.






09 July 2012

nice weekend

a very nice weekend. we had our friends mark, lisa and matthias over for dinner saturday night. since the weather finally broke, we were able to eat al fresco while the boys played. i had a very enjoyable evening and my wife hit it out of the park with the food (grilled vegetable sandwhiches with herb infused goat cheese, orzo salad and fresh/home made strawberry ice cream and brownies. man, i'm getting hungry just thinking about it again. yesterday we each got out for a ride, robin took cal swimming and we had some down time which is nice. i'm already one meeting into monday and i'm still in weekend mode. oh well.

on the training front, a good week was had (considering the heat). i'm feeling more and more fit.

m: 1:45 (commute)
t: 1:30 (commute)
w: 1:30 (tunnel w/trailer)
r: 1:15 (commute)
f: 1:15 (commute)
s: 1:30 (mtb @ quarry ridge)
n: 2:15 (road ride)
total: 11 hours

my bike is on the truck and scheduled to be delivered today. finally.

happy monday.

06 July 2012

qualitative

this morning by far felt the warmest to me of this stretch we are in. not knowing the data, i do think that the humidity is the highest it's been since we started on this streak of 90+ degrees. and it is looking like one more day of heat before the front passes mid day.

i unloaded a semi-truck last night - put that on my review! my clients (a big pharma company) must be cost cutting because they went with some crappy logistics firm that nobody has heard of. as a result, the refrigerated container with my clinical samples didn't get here until after 5 pm (scheduled for mid morning) from o'hare. most of the receiving staff were long gone so it was time to dig on in.

happy friday.

05 July 2012

depressing

having a day off in the middle of the week? yes please, a day off is better than a day at work. having another day that feels like monday morning...well, i guess there are pros and cons to everything.

tuesday i was released from work at 3:00 (a day before holiday tradition at my company). i had intentions of getting 2 hours of riding in before picking up calvin. i managed just over an hour but my internal alarm was sounding indicating that my systems were not going to make it in the heat. i got home and just sat in the basement with the dog hiding.

yesterday, we packaged up the family and rode the badger trail to the tunnel. we got an early start which was essential to that ride. as we approached the tunnel we could feel the cooler air hit us and we lingered for a bit just feeling the natural air conditioning. we were pretty beat by the time we got back to the car but happy that we were able to get our workouts in together. i was toying with the idea of riding home from the trail head but pulling cal on my single speed for 1.5 hours was enough. in the afternoon we headed to edgerton for a party at my sis/bro in laws house. it was fun but we really didn't know anyone.

i rode in this morning and by the time i finished the 25 minute jaunt i was starving. this heat is messing with me! lower to mid 80s will almost feel cool!

happy monday thursday.

03 July 2012

smoke

man it's hot. i know, 'thanks mr. obvious.' i hate to admit it but i am getting used to it a little - at least while riding a bike. and like robin said last night, i'd rather have this than proportionally cold winter weather. agreed. the next four days will be skirting triple digits. and, a bunch of rain rolled north of us but we are still a tinder box as they say - not a drop.

great post this morning. i've got a lot of things running though my brain work wise so i guess i'm distracted?

oh, i have a tracking number for my new cross frameset. friday!!!!

happy tuesday.

02 July 2012

shoot the moon

a very good weekend. robin did the triterium sprint on saturday morning and she improved on most of her times relative to her first of the season. this was a much tougher field and she was up to the task - i'm very proud of how far she has come and, if she chooses to continue to race, look forward to seeing just how good she can be. we celebrated with breakfast at our favorite spot before going back to get her stuff in transition.

i managed 4+ hours of riding in the heat. saturday was a single speed ride on the military ridge, quarry ridge and badger prairie trails. the bp trails are more like paved paths at the moment - rocket fast. i pushed the flats as much as i could and my legs were feeling it by the end. yesterday, i was headed out at the peak of the heat (3pm) and rode for close to 40 miles hitting one of my favorite loops. i even added on a little at the end but was happy to be done. i don't drink a whole lot on rides but downed two big bottles during the ride and drank another 3 when i finished. hot!

training last week:
m: 1:45 (commute, add-on at the military ridge trail)
t: 1:15 (commute)
w: 2:00 (commute, mtb at blackhawk)
r: 0 (home with sick calvin)
f: 1:15 (commute)
s: 2:15 (gravel on moto)
n: 2:00 (road ride)
total: 10.5 hours

solid. more heat this week but i'm still hoping to keep my momentum  up. extend tonight. extend tomorrow (get to leave around 3). although, tomorrow might be tough - forecasted at 98 (with index temps around 110). yikes!

happy monday.