30 November 2012

nub

i felt really great on my ride home. it was warm, i was riding well and the traffic wasn't too bad. off to get cal and he was tired or in a weird mood or something and was just a little bear the whole night. robin was at spin class so i was scrambling to make dinner and keep the bear from melt down. by the end of it all i felt completely spent. he made it through the whole day with the same pull up on so that is something - we are finally making progress on that front and it was just like everything i heard. one day he was ready and that was that (although we are still waiting on a deuce).

anyway, that tiredness has carried through to this morning. i'm grinding a little. so i guess my rest day was well timed. driving in feels a little foreign to me now - i wish i would have kept a tally of bike commute days so far this year. i could piece it together from the blog but it really isn't worth the time. if i am below 90% i'd be surprised.

happy friday.

29 November 2012

a few degrees

amazing how a few degrees feels a lot warmer. last nights ride almost felt balmy in relation to the two nights before. i was able to add on to the ride (through verona) and felt good doing so. the ride in this morning also felt warm - a nice tail wind didn't hurt that. all that being said, i'm looking forward to my rest day tomorrow. i've had a nice little block of training and i'm hoping that i can muster a nice result on sunday. the course last year was hilly on the edge of absurdity. the promoter is saying they have backed off a little this year - whatever that means. i'll be ready to climb some hills - the weather is supposed to be down right warm for the first weekend of december.

i need to stop listening to the band of horses channel on pandora. the play in madison on saturday and we aren't going. we had a babysitter lined up but i blew it and didn't buy tickets in time. they have been top on my list of bands i wanted to see live for some time now and i completely blew it. damn.

happy thursday.

28 November 2012

eots

my legs were a little tired on the way home last night. just a little fatigued - not sure why. maybe the extra layers - i've always felt like when i wear multiple layers on my legs they just don't feel like they have the same snap. maybe it is my imagination. besides that, an uneventful ride. one thing i'm super stoked about is our new phone service. we made the switch to verizon and so far so good. specifically for riding, i can now roll with pandora on my routes home and to mt horeb on the military ridge without interruption - two areas i had spotty data before. solid. we ended up going for it and got iphone5's. i know that the enhancements are incremental but going for the 3gs to the 5 was huge. i hate to admit but i really like it.

the ride in this morning was a cluster. i've mentioned this numerous times, but every so often the traffic dynamics change for a single day. today was one of those and people were driving frantically. in all honesty, gearing up to ride to work is becoming a drag and that just adds to it. i am still loving my rides home at night though. i used to hate riding in low light/dark but for some reason this year i'm absolutely loving it - the HID torch on my head probably doesn't hurt! i feel like i've got my dressing dialed also (after 10 years of cycling). extending my ride home tonight, normal commute tomorrow. off on friday and then it's another race weekend. looking forward to getting the legs going ahead of the big one - the state and regional championships.

all over the place this morning.

happy wednesday.

27 November 2012

2%

on my ride home last night on timber lane i flashed back to the hot spells we had this year. i had a very distinct memory of 102 degrees at 5:15. last night it was in the twenties and dark but i was warm. there is something about generating enough heat from within to withstand a very cold night.

anyway, as i turned on the military ridge trail i was thinking about 2%. like, if i could get 2% faster what would that mean? relative to 60 minutes of cross racing, i would be over a minute faster. that was the difference between 5th place and joe at hales corners. when you think about it that way, it sure doesn't seem all that unattainable. i think i have found my theme for training in 2013!

even colder on the ride in this morning. but, my motivation is high and i'm focused on laying down the best training i can in december.

happy tuesday.

26 November 2012

happy thanksgiving

what a splendid holiday (and 4 day weekend). if i were the leader of the free world, the first thing i would institute would be a monthly thursday holiday with a requirement for employers to also give friday off. not really, that would kill productivity but damn was it nice.

wednesday, i extended my ride home and was able to get a solid ride and finish before dark (bonus). met up with some family for pizza and then back home to do prep work for thanksgiving. thursday morning robin and i ran the berbee derby - man 5k goes fast. i went out as hard and tried to hang on. i ran 18:10 (2nd in age group) - considering i've ran like 5 times in the past couple of months i was more than happy. picked up some coffee and headed home to cook the bird and do the last of the prep. dinner was wonderful even though we had a three year old trying to conspire against an enjoyable dinner. man i love me some sweet potatoes. we all watched ice age together over delicious pie. what a wonderful day!

friday, saturday and sunday were spent hanging out, a little shopping, some bike riding, putting up christmas decorations outside and such. speaking of bike riding, my ride yesterday was really good for some reason. cold, finishing at dusk, felt really good. not one reason but the ride was solid. i really was able to push and my legs told me that it was an effective workout - a great end to a great weekend.

m: 1:40 (commute, etc.)
t: 1:10 (commute)
w: 1:40 (commute, etc.)
r: 0:30 (berbee 5k)
f: 0
s: 1:20 (mtb @ quarry ridge)
n: 1:40 (military ridge)
total: 8:00

and now, the stretch run. to the racing season, to the year, to work and to the holidays. at this very moment, i feel focused and ready for the last 1.5 months of bike training. i have some ideas in mind to keep it interesting. my goal is to have the best legs i can at nationals and each race/workout from now until then will be dedicated to that goal.

happy monday.

21 November 2012

soup

foggy ride in this morning - i should have worn gloves! besides that, uneventful. i'm done at 3 today and will try to extend my ride home. the next couple of days are supposed to be beautiful and i'm going to try and soak it in. after that, we are meeting up with r's cousins for pizza. it will be good to see everyone.

i got a slow leaking flat on my rear tire last night on the way home. i lucked out because i noticed it riding up midtown hill which is still a couple miles from home - but it held. my road bike is back to out of commission status - between the bottom bracket and now flat that thing needs some help.

happy wednesday.

20 November 2012

grinding

my road bike has been making a weird sound lately - sort of a grinding around the bottom bracket region. the other night, i fully disassembled, cleaned, greased and re-assembled everything hoping that would take care of the issue. it did not. what is really weird is that the noise starts only after 15 minutes of riding (almost exactly). on my ride in the dark last night i was thinking about it and came to a very obvious conclusion - bottom bracket. that thing is old, it is the sealed type that all bikes had before the newer standards started popping up (gxp, bb30, bb90, etc.). i've got an old one laying around and i should have installed it last night to see if it helped but i was too damn tired. once the couch got me it did not let go. oh well.

it was nice and warm this morning riding in. last night was nice too. riding without gloves and in knee warmers in the second half of november is certainly not a given - but is very much welcome!

happy tuesday.


19 November 2012

not it

saturday was boys day - calvin and i spent the day together while robin was in milwaukee to sell the home made gifts she has been making. we went to breakfast, went to the dream park in fitchburg, played a lot of 'tumble tackle,' rode bikes and watched football. it was a good day but towards the end we both got a little tired and equally cranky. but, that will happen with a three year old!

sunday it was race time again. hales corners was a race i really enjoyed last year and i was excited to race it again. going into it, i was wondering how the field would play out considering jingle cross was this weekend. well, lining up and looking around it was obvious it was going to be a hard race. the whistle blew and i got a really good start. third wheel into the first set of turns, out second wheel when ron almost went into the tape and that is where i sat for the first couple laps. harms towed melcher and maijec up to me and harms came around. at the barriers, harms and melcher had chain issues which left maijec and i to try and get away. it worked for the former, not so much for me. i just didn't have the high end gear to get away from people and eventually mark caught and passed me and melcher latched on. he was on my wheel for the last 2.5 laps,  he made his move on the hill and i held on for a bit but he had a better remount following the last set of barriers and that was that. 5th place in a very hard race - i'll take it. i don't think the spread from first to fifth was much more than a minute so it was a great race! i've got a couple weeks to try and find that high gear before the stretch run.

training from last week:
m: 0:45 (run)
t: 1:10 (commute)
w: 1:45 (commute/military ridge)
r: 1:10 (commute)
f: 0 (rest day)
s: 1:00 (trainer)
n: 2:15 (hales corners cx)
total: 8:05

this week is front loaded training wise, i'm hoping to add on tonight and get to bugger out a little early on wednesday. then, thanksgiving! we are doing the berbee 5k to stoke our turkey fires and then the big meal back at our house. i'm really looking forward to it!

happy monday.

15 November 2012

soft

the ride home last night turned out to be much tougher than i expected (in a good way). the military ridge is holding moisture from the weekend which rendered it a lot more difficult than normal. it was a grind to be sure but an unexpected training stimulus during a time when those are hard to come by. getting off the gravel and onto the pavement was welcome and i was pretty content knowing i got a nice hard wednesday night workout in.

it must have tired me out because i was pretty wiped the rest of the night and even went to bed a little early. this morning, traffic seemed a little crazy but it was a nice ride in. i'm looking forward to a rest day tomorrow. i have a client in town for meetings in the morning - he is belgian so maybe we can chat up the cyclocross.

happy thursday.

14 November 2012

third verse

the first 1/3 of my ride is uphill and i invariably pass people. the rest of the way is flat to downhill which gives people a boost. well, that and they don't stop/slow down at stop signs and i do. it really bugs me when people on bikes don't follow the rules of the road. i surely bend the rules at times, but to not even slow down at stop signs/intersections gives the general public a bad view of cyclists.

the ride home last night was great with the HID light blazing. sometimes i wonder what my deal is - i've had this light and haven't used it for any of my night commuting. i've got a pretty good combo going right now - planet bike headlight flashing, tail light flashing and the HID showing me the way. if you see a circus on wheels in the madison area i just might be me!

last night when i arrived home oliver was waiting for me on the couch. the problem with this scenario is that when i left he had been latched in his crate. he somehow figured out how to disassemble the crate without damaging it. the end was folded inside of the crate - you'd have to see it to believe it. our dog is a contortionist i guess. we have decided to leave him out today hoping that his issues with the carpet are over. this is his last chance though, if he does anything stupid i will make sure he cannot disassemble the crate in the future!

i'm planning on adding on tonight - some military ridge action. that will also be more enjoyable with a nice bright light i would imagine.

i'm getting really excited for hales corners. i love that course - it has a little bit of everything. long straights, a solid hill and technical challenges. a good all arounder course which is what i consider myself - solid at everything but not really the best at any one feature type. my goal remains top 3 but i sure would love to get on the top step one of these days!

happy wednesday.


13 November 2012

nys

sven nys is the best:

"I'm extra motivated if riders try to use special methods to gain advantage on me. I arrived here, claiming I would pretend that I didn't feel yesterday's efforts [knocks fist on table]. During the first half of the race I rode against these guys," Nys said. He won the race and he was more than pleased with the victory. "This one counts double, both for them and for me. I already said it before the race: if they don't win they failed. They failed."

second verse

i just wanted to stay home this morning. tuesdays are my least favorite day of the week. besides everyone needing to get out of the house for the first time of the week, it is garbage day and today was my first day of the week riding in which always leaves me scrambling to find my gear - especially this time of the year. lights, thermal layers, pack a lunch, etc. all things that should be old hat always seem foreign the first commute day of the week. today was no different. then, oliver really had no interest coming back in the house so i could leave which delayed me further. once i did get out of the house it was cold. my feet are still a little numb. on top of it, i am not feeling well - a case of the yucks to be sure.

i really cannot believe it is thanksgiving in just over a week - it really snuck up on me this year. i was thinking during my run last night (6 miles or so, felt really good considering how little running i've been doing) that prior to last year, the hales corner race (always the weekend before thanksgiving) was usually the end of the cx season. i must admit, there is something to be said about that. i'm loving racing but this time of the year gets so busy - weekends fill up, my clients want to burn any remaining budget for the year (and there are a lot of days lost to holidays) and it is cold and dark. i have a feeling that the december races will disappear next year without nationals so close to home - but i could be wrong.

happy tuesday.

12 November 2012

3

at calvin's 3 year old well child visit he was required to take a vision test. the cards had images of a house, an apple and an umbrella in (i think) 3 different sizes each. close up he got them all no sweat. but, i think he got a little bored of saying those three things so at the longer distance he started improvising. instead of apple, he said strawberry. the house was a beehive. and, the umbrella was a firefly. i guess maybe he couldn't see them but the nurse, robin and i all agreed that he was just being silly (when pushed, he did get them right). that kid cracks me up.

b-day/cx clash

robin and i took sunday off to spend with our little now three year old. we were both feeling pretty dire all day but still (hopefully) made the most of it and gave calvin a nice birthday. breakfast at marigold kitchen and then a trip to the zoo. during nap time i got out for my day-before-racing shake out ride (quarry ridge). that place is super dialed right now, someone is doing a lot of really good work out there. that is a perfect place to ride rigid - i feel like a kid with that set up out there. anyway, after cleaning myself up i picked up calvin's big boy bed and then we finished the evening with dinner/cake.

saturday morning was spent doing party prep and then it was off to the races. i got there in time to do a couple of preview laps and my only thought was it felt like the easiest course we've done this year. the place was nice and tacky, they took out a lot of the fast/loose corners and got rid of the run up that has always been at camrock cx. i thought for sure it would be a roadie dominated course. at the start, i nearly became tangled in my neighbor's handlebars when ron made his normal surge. that spiked my adrenaline and i was able to go hard the first half lap and got in front of everyone but maciej and melcher. maciej was absolutely flying - i knew i didn't have that kind of horsepower so i focused on staying on melcher's wheel. melcher flatted halfway through the second lap and then it was no man's land for me. maciej put a solid 45+ seconds on me over the first 3 or so laps but after that we were moving at the same speed. the closest anyone got to me was around 12 seconds but i started pulling away from third/fourth place the last few laps. a nice solid 2nd place to continue my wca season of no worse than 3rd place.

yesterday was party time. all of our immediate family was there (both sides) which made for a full house. calvin had a lot of fun and got some pretty cool gifts. he is a lucky dude - and we are so very lucky to have him!

no riding for me between the company and the weather. i drove in this morning so  i can attend calvin's dr. visit (i haven't missed a milestone appointment yet). maybe i'll run tonight - the trainer doesn't sound like a good option to me....

m: 1:45 (commute/add on)
t: 1:10 (commute)
w: 0:45 (run)
r: planned rest
f: 1:20 (mtb @ quarry ridge)
s: 1:40 (wca camrock)
n: 0
total: 6:40

it's that time of year when it gets difficult to get the ride time in. i've worked hard this year - hopefully my fitness can hold up for another 1.5 months!

happy monday.

08 November 2012

rumblings

still not feeling a-ok - i am still having some gi discomfort but otherwise feel a little better this morning. my planned rest day today should help (hopefully).

i spent a little time working on the motobecane last night. after a long year of commuting, racing and riding my road bike it is in dire need of an overhaul. it is making noises it shouldn't be so i have decided to take it out of the rotation. i decided to put my clincher racing ralph on the rear wheel and i'll ride my road tire up front. then, when it needs to serve as my pit bike i'll just throw whichever tubular front wheel i'm not racing with on it and call it good. hmmm, i think i made that more complicated than it needs to be.

we also took care of some prep for calvin's party last night. goodie bags for his 'dc' buddies and a costco trip to get a case of mexican coca cola for the party (bottles and made with sugar not corn syrup) amongst other things. i don't really drink soda (we still have a bunch from calvin's party last year) but when i do i prefer that stuff.

happy thursday.

07 November 2012

going viral

last night i got out for a run after dinner. it started off great, cool misty night. legs felt good. then, something i haven't dealt with often...the trots. bad. like, i had to stop several times for fear of having an accident. i made it home without issue but just didn't feel all that good the rest of the evening. i have been feeling the same way this morning. not terrible but not right. gi issues, a little nasal conjestion, tired. i hope i'm not sick....

i had a list of bike work i wanted to get done but once i got changed, did my portion of cleaning the bathrooms (a tuesday night family task) and doing the dishes all i could do was sit on the couch and watch exit poll results. too bad for romney, he seems like a pretty good guy for a snake. i'm considerably more conservative than i once was but i never liked romney. he seemed like he was running just to have another trophy head on the wall. that is all i'll say about that.

happy wednesday.

06 November 2012

dark dark night

extended my ride home last night (which pretty much started at the 4:44pm sunset). i rode on roads to the military ridge trail and then rode that home. my commuter light is OK but i think i'm going to bust out my HID light for commuting. might as well, i've got it and i've used it only a handful of times since i made the investment. 1 time per year to be specific. that light would make my ride a lot better!

i've got some bike work to do tonight. and, i didn't ride in so i'll need to run or something. between the predicted mixed precipitation day and voting i figured it was best to just drive in.

speaking of voting - i'm sure going to miss the campaign ads. how on earth will the fill the vacuum of ad space? i know, maybe they should now start incessantly showing christmas ads. i'm an ideas man.

well, i've got a meeting to go to.

happy tuesday.

05 November 2012

in the (esta) books

robin had a friend visiting this weekend so i broke my normal code of not driving longer than i actually race and headed to milwaukee for the estabrook park wca race this weekend. i got there early and did more preview laps than normal. this was mostly due to boredom as the course wasn't all to technically challenging. lots of long straight (sometime paved) segments with nowhere to hide. when it came time to finally line up i placed myself right behind joe and maciej.

off we went and i grabbed joes wheels temporarily. through the long starting straight in good position. through the turns and 1st set of barriers and i took a bad line and came out the barriers 6th wheel. into the spiral of doom where there was bottleneck of sorts. somehow, marc's foot taco'd maciej's wheel while some collateral crotch damage was done. i got through unscathed but a gap had formed to a trio of joe, melcher and newlin. i panicked slightly and went deep to try and bridge up but just could not close the gap after 1.5 more laps. at this time, i decided to have a little faith in my fitness. it seemed like they were going too hard to start so i dialed it back a quarter turn and just tried to hold steady. mark harms came by and try as i might i could not hold his wheel for more than 15 seconds. that guy is the fastest straight line rider in our field and this course was built for him. i watched him close the gap in no time and then almost immediately start distancing himself. 1st place was decided.

a couple more guys came around me from the my wife team and i was able to latch on. it was all i could do to hold the wheel but i did and after i few laps i started feeling better. we slowly reeled in and dropped newlin. then, melcher came back and joined us to make it a group of 4. joe was coming back too and we caught him with around 2 laps to go. first time in my cx racing career that i was in a group of 5 with that little to go - it was super fun! through the run up and the start finish we all stayed together and after we came off the pavement melcher made a move. the guy between us closed the door on me when i tried to come around but the next turn after that he got hung up in the course tape and i got a gap on 4th/5th/6th that i managed to hold for the final 1/2 lap. not my best place but it was my best race of the year. even though i didn't have my best stuff physically i kept my head in the game and came out with a sneaky third step of the podium.

the rest of the weekend was spent playing with little kids (much more tiring than bike racing), riding my mountain bike at quarry ridge and even watching a little football. it was a great weekend but monday is here and making me quickly forget.

training:
m: 0:45 (run)
t: 1:10 (commute)
w: 1:10 (commute)
r: 0 (rest)
f: 1:10 (commute)
s: 2:15 (estabrook park cx)
n: 1:20 (mtb to, @,  from quarry ridge)
total: 7:50

happy monday.

02 November 2012

chilly

chilly ride in this morning but it felt good to get the legs moving again. i have a lot of work to do but not the corresponding motivation. just push through i suppose.

i'm looking forward to racing again tomorrow - i'm thinking it will be a big and fast group since it is close to the milwaukee contingency and the madison folks travel well. i got the primary race bike ready to rock last night. the pit bike had a flat tire so i changed that. i woke up and it was flat again. i'll probably just put my back-up tubulars on that bike and be done with it. even though they are mud specific they are still probably a better option than clinchers.

happy friday.

01 November 2012

spooky

on my ride home last night i had a checklist in my mind of things i needed to do. find calvin's halloween bucket, get our popcorn/goldfish crackers in a bowl, pick up calvin, get him costumed, etc. i got home feeling good about the ride. i opened the door and saw oliver with his ears down and posture such that he did something bad. then, i noticed an odor. oliver had diarrhea on the floor - again the new carpet - and all my good thoughts and plans when out the window.

that put a damper on things for me but calvin was unaffected. that kid loves going door to door and asking complete strangers for candy. he was cute as can be in his little shark costume. we got home late and robin put the boy to bed while i started in with the carpet cleaner. we took turns with the fun and all in all it was cleaned up mostly well. i'm not sure what is going on with that dog. he is back in his crate today and will be for the foreseeable future. i can say this, i will not be an advocate for another dog ever again. he used to be unusually ambivalent, at times disobedient and generally annoying but now he is becoming destructive. i'm having a more and more difficult time justifying him in our house - we work hard to have a comfortable and clean home for our son and poop all over the floor is the opposite of those things.  

planned rest day today. ride in tomorrow and then it is estabrook! a little further than i like to go for a cx race but i really want to race.

happy thursday.