30 January 2013

pack and deliver like ups truck

i got a nice run in monday night and 'rode' the trainer for 40 minutes last night. i'm not so much training as i'm just trying to keep my legs moving. i did one last check of the 1x1 ahead of the trip to lousiville. i completed the conversion back last week but never got a chance to ride it - a scenario that always makes me a little nervous. i did a few laps around our driveway last night so i guess it's ready for the ss derby if we chose to enter...

crunch time today. trying to get ducks in a row for the next couple days in my absence here at work. i haven't packed yet although i have a pretty good idea of my clothing strategy. it is always a balancing act but i think i'm going to go with a series of lighter layers since i should have access to tents, etc. to warm up when needed.

it's going to be good. i could have done without this little snow event, but it really isn't as bad as some would have you believe. madison did the right thing by not closing down.

happy wednesday.

28 January 2013

rainbow stripes

well, worlds week has arrived. we don't really have a plan but then again, how much of a plan does one need when you know what you are doing - namely, watching bike races and going to events associated with the bike races? it's weird, i don't believe i have ever traveled to spectate a race, i've only traveled to race. a lot fewer logistics when you are just spectating...

we had a nice weekend. headed north on friday night to celebrate christmas in eau claire. on saturday, we headed further north and had lunch in rice lake and then went tubing at christy mountain in lovely bruce, wi. it was a blast and the best part was seeing calvin's face. he loved up and down - he was shrieking with joy the first few times up the tow rope! back to EC for dinner and gift exchange - it was a very nice day but really busy and i think we were all pretty tired by the end of it. i noticed that the weather was looking terrible on sunday so after a nice (and too short) lunch at sammy's pizza with my dad/sisters/brother we set off for home. the roads were not nice but driveable (albeit at a much slower pace). with a stop, we made the trip in right around 4 hours so not too bad. we got back in time to pick up our dog which saved us a night of boarding - bonus!

happy monday.


25 January 2013

one of those

man i was in the fog yesterday. something i ate on wednesday rendered me in a pretty rough state - on top of it, work was busy and ended with a crappy meeting at 4 o'clock. i barely got to daycare in time to get the boy but fortunately he was in a very nice mood. by the time i got dinner made, calvin bathed/in bed and everything cleaned up i was feeling really worn out. i rallied and got on the trainer for 30 minutes - while not a substantial workout it was a moral victory. i watched some of the replay of the men's national championship event - man that was a good weekend!

we are heading north tonight for the hoenisch family christmas celebration. it felt odd wrapping gifts with christmas wrap in late janurary to be sure. the best part is that my sister beth is back from DK so it will be great to see her - the only thing better would be if morten was with her too!

anyway, my motivation is low for work. actually, my motivation is low for most anything these days. winter without useable snow will do that i suppose.

happy friday.




24 January 2013

controversy

this beyonce thing is crazy. did she or didn't she lip sync the national anthem at the inauguration event? it has been in the first 1/2 hour of the morning news ever since - now, the wall street journal has uncovered lost footage showing that she was singing. the obvious question that isn't get asked is: who the fuck really cares? the obvious follow up to that would be: why the fuck does it matter? i watch the morning news to stay abreast of anything of national significance. i should know better by now.

anyway, i got out for a run last night after work. it was during a weird little mini-blizzard and the wind was cold. my route conveniently was into the wind the entire first 1/2 so finishing was nice. coincidentally, i got a notice from saucony that there are some gore tex trail shoes available for wear testing (Xodus 4 GTX). they need 200 or more miles over the next 6 weeks. i'll be right on the edge but i figure it will serve as motivation to get out the door over the next month or so. after the wear test i hope to be able to resume commuting. perfect. plus, those gore tex running shoes could come in handy while spectating worlds next weekend...

the thin layer of slippery snow has certainly rendered me sore.  i'll probably hop on the trainer for a bit tonight after cal goes to bed to loosen things up. we are heading to eau claire friday night and i'm not sure i'll be able to do much over the weekend so while i don't want to ride the trainer, i think that if i want to do something in the next 3 days i'm going to have to.

happy thursday.


23 January 2013

1x1

i wanted to do a workout but did not want to ride the trainer or go outside so i didn't. i'm going to run tonight - time to get moving again - i'm starting to feel lethargic.

the re-conversion is complete. for a generic frame it is a pretty sweet set up. nothing fancy, but it will do the job of commuter/trainer/townie - multi-function.

nice post.

happy wednesday.

22 January 2013

the itch is not gone

so, after a week of rest i'm starting to get itchy - you know, i'm starting to want to train again. it is always a good sign when you feel that way after a relatively short period of time off. that being said, the trainer is not part of that itch. and it was really too damn cold for any off-season training (if i were still trying to be race fit i would have gotten out) so i opted for making progress on converting the moto back to 1x1. i got the drivetrain installed and one of the brake levers installed. i should be able to wrap it up tonight in an hour or so.

for several years now i have wanted to convert my road bike to 10 speed but didn't want to make the investment. i now have shifters/rear derailleur that are currently not being used. the problem is that it is sram which i'm not a huge fan of. hmmmm. is current sram apex better than circa 2003 dura ace? i'm not so sure. it would be nice to have all our cross/road bikes to have interchangeable rear cassettes...

plans are coming together for louisville. it's going to be good!

happy tuesday.

21 January 2013

swap

i went to the brazen dropouts bike swap on saturday without much on my list. i found a tubular wheelset with filetreads glued that i bought for less than what i would have paid for a couple of new filetreads by themselves. solid. at the same table, i noticed a blue norcross ex in size medium that was well over half off. it was pristine, the guy selling it was saying it has been his pit bike the past two seasons and was barely touched. there were no wear marks on the cranset and the frame was free of any chipping/damage from normal wear and tear so i believed him. it had been upgraded in several areas (fsa slk carbon crankset, force rear derailleur, fsa carbon seat post, 3T aluminum stem) and seemed too good to be true. i had robin give a spin and we decided to spring for it. i really wasn't planning on that expense right now but we have been looking and this just made too much sense - it was an absolute steal for a race ready bike. got it home, did a few adjustments with regard to fit and it is pretty much ready to be raced.

besides that, not much. i did get out for a 1:15 ride on saturday afternoon before the wind/cold hit. i sure do like riding a bike and i'm excited to start training again - after a few more rest weeks that is. plans to head to worlds in louisville are coming together and that will mark the end of my rest period. after that, i'll try to get daily (well, 5 days a week) work in but not exclusively bike riding - i'd also like to get some run miles in. now that we have a fully equipped bike for robin, i'm also going to convert the motobecane back to single speed - hopefully ahead of worlds so i can bring it with for transportation, etc.

happy monday.

18 January 2013

angry

i didn't watch much of it, but what i saw last night made me angry. we tuned in late - and when we did tune in it was during a commercial explaining that stress sweat smelled worse than regular sweat. that, in the first 30 seconds of watching, confirmed my fears about oprah doing this come to jesus interview. in what i did see of the actual interview, i saw a man checking the boxes. saying the right things but in a way that was not authentic - almost robotic. i saw the shell of a champion. and i felt duped.

i ate it up when he was winning. the improbable string of victories at the tour de france. the coverage fueled my training every july and beyond. now that i have read tyler hamilton's book and seen just a few minutes of the 'confession,' i feel angry that i allowed myself to be indulged by this. super human feats are just that - there is no such thing as a super hero and when it seems like someone is defying the odds in an unlikely fashion there is a high probability that they are cheating (adrian peterson i'm talking about you). i should have known better. but for some reason, even after some of the rumors started to come out, i allowed myself to believe in this man and even went so far as to defend him.

anyway, maybe this will actually be a water shed moment. i do think that good can come of it - maybe this will reach into the deep dark corners of national federations and the uci. maybe this will go beyond the athletes and teams. this type of a thing doesn't happen to this degree without knowledge at a very high level. there will always be cheats. but hopefully it will not ever be to this degree or this systematic. maybe. hopefully. probably not.

i did spend some time working on bikes last night. i had washed my cross bikes the night of my last race. they look shiny and clean. but, as i was inspecting my b bike i noticed that the pulleys were jammed with mud/grass. i've also been getting flats on my road bike from just riding the trainer. so i did a very thorough inspection of the tire/wheel and found nothing. maybe it is a bad lot of tubes... i grabbed a different type and fixed it. we shall see if that helps at all. i do like the idea of switching to tubulars for everyday road riding - and tubular wheels is pretty much the only thing on my list for the swap tomorrow.

happy friday. 


17 January 2013

not much longer

i haven't done a bit of training since my race ended saturday afternoon. i'm starting to get that achy soreness that i get when i go from consistent training down to daily zeros. also, even though we still have a ton of snow piles the roads are clear and i'm getting the urge to ride. the swap is saturday so i might be using my bike time allotment there. maybe if i bat my eyes and beg robin she will let me ride during nap time. i'd like to get one ride in before the cold snap arrives...

i have been trying to enjoy not feeling like i need to do something every day. after cal's bath/bedtime last night i got up on the roof and took down all the remaining christmas decorations and put them in there places in the basement. christmas isn't done yet for us - we are celebrating with my family next weekend - but there is no need to have the decorations up any longer. i'm happy they came down before st. valentine's day!

and, i'm happy to report that i'll be supported by twin six again this year. we used to get little sponsorships from companies that were nice but not my preferred equipment to actually use. not the case with twin six - by far the best gear i've ridden in terms of both function and style. i have fully embraced the 'look good feel good' mantra and T6 gets me there every time. there has been talk of a metal derivative design with fuel for this cross season in 2013 - that would be super cool!

happy thursday.

14 January 2013

behind the pit lines

so, once heidi was finished with her race ron and i grabbed the bikes and headed in line to get a quick power wash. a soft spoken voice from behind us asked to move in front of us - he was in need of a quick wash since his rider was racing soon. we let him through and he went about his business. we were talking to each other when all of a sudden we both got blasted in the face by pressurized water. it took us both a few seconds to figure out what the hell was going on - turns out, the gentleman in front of use was using his hand to scrape off some mud while holding the sprayer in his other hand -  he wasn't paying attention to the sprayer direction and it was blasting us unbeknownst to him. the said gentleman? none other than legendary frame builder richard sachs.

a hazard of working in the pits i suppose... all i know is the unaffected behind us got a very big laugh out of it (as did we). i was adequately bundled so no harm no foul.

happy monday.

13 January 2013

and just like that

the national championships were everything they were supposed to be: challenging, humbling, exciting, aggravating and just plain hard.

saturday morning i headed over to the course to watch jeff's race and inspect the course. it looked brutal: very muddy and wet and you could feel the temperatures dropping. i had no idea what would happen over the 4 hours between jeff's race and my race. headed back home for some lunch and to get my last ducks in a row. it's weird having the nation's biggest event just 5 minutes from your house. you reach a point when you feel like you should be doing something to get ready but in reality, you've raced 3 or 4 times at the same venue already and there is just nothing more to be done. i tried to watch tv and not be too nervous. headed over and warmed up in the saris tent.

as usual, it was go time before i knew it. ron and mike worked the pit for me and for that i'm eternally grateful. my call up was 44 - the start was good. i got in my pedals and got to work and put myself in a good position. got to the mud and it was like i had never ridden mud before. i couldn't find a suitable line, i was having a hard time finding a rhythm and i felt myself falling backward. the second time through the pits a grabbed my b bike and started trying to ride better. still struggled and even crashed a couple times in the next 1/2 lap. through the start/finish area i tried to give myself a pep talk. got my primary bike back and felt more comfortable. started to race again, passed a bunch of people back and was feeling pretty good about my race. i got a new bike every 1/2 lap which was key. i could hear the announcers talking and new my day would end before the lead lap - i got pulled just before finishing my lap 3 (out of 4 laps). i was happy to see i finished 43rd - one spot better than my call up - and third best wisconsinite. 43rd doesn't sound like much but from how i started i'm proud/happy that i was able to rally.

it was the kind of result that you are happy with but know you can do better. i feel like i could race again next week and have tentatively already put nationals 2014 on my race schedule (in Boulder, CO). i sure do love cyclocross!

today was a great experience as well. ron and i pitted for heidi in the pro/1/2 race. i was dreading it a little going in but going elbow to elbow with some of the big pro teams was awesome. nothing but good experiences even though we were pretty limited on real estate. everyone was urgently but politely doing there jobs and i hope we were able to help heidi ride a little faster. it was a frozen track with just enough melting to really get mud lodged (and then re-frozen) in the nooks and crannies. we just spent our time chiseling away and trying to make sure she could 1) pedal/shift and 2) brake. katie compton crushed it as expected. the men's race was fun to watch as well - the 'old timer' jonathan page won in convincing fashion while trebon and powers struggled. what a great end to a great week of championship racing!

after a week of half paying attention to work i've got to buckle down and try to get things in order. i've also got bike work to do to get the cx rigs ready for storage over the winter/spring. the bike swap is saturday - and i have a small list of things to watch for. training wise, i'm going to try and make myself rest this week but then plan to get back into unstructured work to keep myself feeling good (and to maintain the sanity of those around me). an un-exercised andy isn't good to be around. i'm pretty much like a dog...

happy sunday.




11 January 2013

brown water

man that course is a mess right now. warm temps, overnight steady rain and a base layer of ice is making it interesting (to say the least). my race is a complete crapshoot weather wise - a lot will depend on how much thawing occurs during the warm temps today/tonight. looking at some hourly models, we could be right around freezing at race time. yikes!

it was fun watching mike this morning - i got a little too excited and was running all over the place. a little prep workout - my legs are tired right now! i'd still like to ride the trainer tonight to get the legs moving some and then it will be race time one final time for this cross season. i'm both nervous and excited...

happy friday.

10 January 2013

one race to go

yesterday was a complete whirlwind as race days tend to be. the time until i wanted to start warming up felt interminable and then once i started it went like a flash. i got called up third for my race and i leveraged my knowledge of the course by positioning myself where i wanted to be. before i had time to get real nervous we were off. i got a good start, held third wheel into the grass around the soccer field. the #1 call up guy started riding like shit, back and forth across the course and then he slowed way down. i got tangled up with him and then when i pulled my bars out from him, my momentum carried me into the snowbank and i went down like a ton of bricks. i rolled, looked back and BAM luke bachelor-clark nailed my full speed and went flying right over top of me. when i stopped getting ridden into, i picked up my bike and tried to chase back. my bars were turned to the right and my brakes were rubbing. i yelled for mike to help me out and after a half lap like that, grabbed my pit bike. i rode pretty well on my moto and by the time i came back through mike had my A bike ready. i made up at least 15 spots throughout the race and finished a respectable 6th (one spot of the podium). i'm sore but not too bad today. my rear tubular is out of true - i hope the carbon rim isn't cracked. it's a bummer, because those limus tires are preferred but i think i'll just run a racing ralph in the back for saturday and worry about the other wheel sometime in the future.

i'm upset that i crashed but feel good about the rally. saturday will be interesting to say the least. i'm still sick, i'm sore and the weather is doing weird shit again. but, it is what it is!

happy thursday.

08 January 2013

incremental improvement

i am feeling a little better this morning. i got a solid hour on the trainer last night and even felt like i could push a little at times. more of the same tonight with some pick ups to get the legs ready. my race tomorrow is at 11:30 - it is weird to be racing mid-week for sure. i'm excited to watch the single speed race - not only do i have a lot of friends in the race but i'm also excited to see adam craig, craig ethridge and some of the local heavy hitters square off (issac neff, cory steljes, jesse lalonde). should be good!

my lungs are still pretty shitty. but hopefully i'll cough some of it out today. i need to remember that i signed up for tomorrow's race to get myself ready for the big one on saturday. even if i ride sub-optimally tomorrow i still have a chance at being 100% for the big one.

happy tuesday.

07 January 2013

more

so, i was able to log an hour on the trainer on saturday night and then got our on the course yesterday to ride for an hour. chris newlin was there so i rode most of my laps with him - the course, as it was at the particular moment, was in very good shape. it will be a completely different monster as the warm temps and rain roll through.

as far as my health, i thought i was turning the corner on this thing on thursday - but saturday and into yesterday i started regressing. i could not breath, was starting to get achy again and was cold. we decided it was time to take antibiotics. i didn't want to but it was really starting to seem like i was on a pneumonia trajectory. still feeling pretty bad this morning. my coughs last night were 100% unproductive but right now is seems like i'm loosening a little. i love winter.

it was a nice weekend otherwise, we finished a 'built in' shelving project in the basement, did some re-organization of the basement closet, got all the christmas stuff put away for the season and got the tree out of the house.

m: 1:00 (ski)
t: 0, sick on the couch
w: 0, still sick
r: 1:00 (trainer), sick
f: 1:00 (trainer), sick
s: 1:00 (trainer), sick
n: 1:00 (laps at badger prairie), sick
total: 5:00

it's nationals week - something i've looked forward to for some time. now if i can only get the gremlins out of my lungs!

happy monday.

05 January 2013

getting worse

i have missed more training days in the past week due to sickness than i had since march. on thursday, i felt like i was turning the corner. i rode the trainer thursday night and friday night but woke up feeling a bunch of crud in my lungs that i cannot shake. i walked the nationals course a little bit today but haven't ridden a bike yet (stationary or otherwise). maybe some more light spinning during the packer game...

i know this is just a hobby, but every time i rode this year i thought (at least briefly) about these races coming up. i felt like i did as much work as i could to get to a place to take a shot at my best finish possible. and now i feel powerless to this stupid cold. running up the stairs leaves me wheezing at the moment - that doesn't translate well to a snowy nationals course at badger prairie.

the course itself actually looks fun - they plowed it and it has grass in a few spots. i'm sure it will get muddy and icy over the next week of riding on it but considering we got 18 inches of snow a few short weeks ago, it actually looks ready for a bike race.

happy saturday.

04 January 2013

infirmary

calvin woke up today even more sick than he was yesterday. most alarming was his fever, but that has subsided to low grade after a solid dose of tylenol. i'm home with him today, trying to orchestrate work while adequately comforting my son.

i managed an hour on the trainer last night - it was tough sledding breathing wise in the beginning but it did seem to loosen things up and by the end i was riding better. i was thinking i could ski after work tonight but now it is looking more like another trainer workout during naptime is more likely. oh, i just remembered that i got a flat while riding the trainer last night. the training gods are against me.

the forecast for next week is looking interesting. with moderate temps early in the week (upper thirties/sunny) it is going to get pretty messy. then, for the big one on saturday it will be cold and icy. oh well, what can you expect in wisconsin in january?

that does remind me of thoughts i've been having regarding the u.s. national championships. after seeing it the past two seasons, i think it is too late. i get trying to align with other countries but it just doesn't work here. and, for the few u.s. guys shooting for elite worlds they would be better suited participating in the world cups in rome (sunday) and hoogerheide (sunday after nationals). since i know that usa cycling is reading this (yea right), please move nationals back to early/mid december. your main base is the age groupers that will never ride a world championships.

happy friday.

03 January 2013

slow improvement

i started feeling a little better throughout the day yesterday. this morning i woke up with the same amount of congestion/wheezing but without that achy cruddy edge. i'm happy i chose to not ride last night - it might have been just that little bit of rest my body needed. now, it's time to get back to work.

poor cal woke up with a fever this morning. his mother is staying with him today and i very likely will need to stay home tomorrow. this winter (especially when the snow came) i was really excited for its arrival and i couldn't remember what it was about winter that i have grown to despise. then the sickness started hitting us. for 2-3 months out of the year, there is at least one sick person in the house. everyone is inside. all. the. time. he probably caught a new virus that i will get...oh, around wednesday of next week. oh well, just have to deal.

i heard a story about the house not voting on disaster relief on npr this morning. within the story was some quotes from chris christie. i never thought i would state this but i actually really like him. i don't mind if people have differing political opinions but sometimes sanity/common sense needs to usurp the political game. i appreciate that he can put his party affiliations aside and call out the scoundrels that need to be called out.

happy thursday.


02 January 2013

terrible timing

i'm sick. it is a really awful cold that has crept into my lungs. i spent the entire day on the couch yesterday and woke up feeling only marginally better today. i'm at work but we'll see how long i can deal. it is a total bummer with regard to nationals - i've tried to train through this type of thing in the past and it only made it worse. once it is in the lungs i need to shut it down. so, no training yesterday. i did ski for an hour on monday but it knocked me out pretty good. nothing on sunday either. so now i need to start playing mind games with myself. a few days missing workouts this close isn't that big of a deal - i've put in the work since march to be able and absorb this. plus, if i take care of myself and get better quickly i can still log a few quality workouts on the weekend to keep my edge.

happy new year.