Friday, October 31, 2008

I used to be blind

Well, I used to be legally blind, that is. I had Lasik in 2001 after practically begging for it for 2-3 years prior. I wore contacts for a few years, and then once my eyes got too dried and irritated I had to wear glasses 24/7. Except when I was sleeping. But, then I could barely see the alarm clock.

I neglected to ever ask what my vision was. For some reason I did finally ask, the week or so before I had the surgery. 20/400. Just for reference - legally blind is 20/200. I was two lines below legally blind.

For further reference, I never really noticed, but they took my glasses that morning and I couldn't tell the big "E" was an E. That's no joke. I *knew* it was an "E", but I couldn't *see* that it was an E.

My recent night vision issues had me worried about worsening vision yet again. I know my eyes aren't perfect anymore. Far from it, but I wasn't sure how bad.

Apparently they aren't that bad right now. And the doctor that did the surgery did such a good job you can barely see the scar on the cornea.

Good to hear, but it doesn't solve my issues with seeing paper flat 1D ground when I ride at night.

The bad news is that I probably won't have glasses in time for the race. I held out on going to an appointment where I'd have to pay full price and then wound up basically wasting 5 days of time that I could've been getting a prescription in.

Wound up picking out a pair at Costco with the prescription from an eye doc. Had I signed up for eye insurance last year it would've been a moot point, but I didn't.

So, basically I'm over stressing out about it. Did that enough today.

I even did yoga tonight. Now I'm voting and hope that my ballot will get in in time.

My local shop, and other random bits

There are a few shops that I really like. Absolute Bikes in Salida, CO has a revolving selection of old bikes, forks, and goodies from the 80s, 90s, etc. that they keep up on the walls to check out. Old DH bikes, old XC bikes, rear forks… they've got a ton of stuff. They're the only shop I've ever seen a FS SS bike built up at. The Absolute Bikes in Flagstaff, AZ was sweet also. Great selection of bikes, clothing, and accessories.

Within an hour's drive there is a terrific shop with good prices, knowledgeable personnel (whether you are in need of road help, XC weight weenie info, or DH gear), and more in stock than you could think to need. Unfortunately they are an hour away, and not really looking to field a strong team of XC'ers (or so it seems to me).

But, my *local* shop, the one I got my first bike from, and my first road bike from, and I will be getting my bike for next from, the owner is pretty cool. I remember a few months after I got my bike the rear shock wound up getting blown up, so I didn't have a bike for a weekend ride. The owner offered me his Moment.

This past week I was asking about the TriNewt light. I was about ready to buy one when he said to just borrow one of his!

So I did. I expected quite a bit from this light being that it's one of the higher rated lights out there (it seems). It's not cheap by any means.

I had a Fire Storm on my helmet and the TriNewt on the bar. Let's just say… the TriNewt wasn't really what I was expecting. The light is really diffuse, so it doesn't focus a spot anywhere in particular, and compared to the helmet light, the light that was coming out of it was not at all bright. Too bad he doesn't have a Slickrock I can use for my upcoming race, eh?

Oddly enough, I just Google'd the light and from a light test with 7 other LED's it was by far the brightest, and the photo made it look SUPER bright. Not sure why the light I was using was nearly dead, though. Maybe I'll see if I can borrow his other one instead?

I hadn't had wine in just over week, but finally broke and opened up a really good bottle of Como Sur (from a set of 20 barrels) Merlot. It's dark, but oh so good.

The end of the rainbow is our local evening loop? Who'da thunk?

Had planned on doing an easy road ride tomorrow in preparation for the XC race on Sunday, but instead I think we're gonna do 1-2 moderate laps at the local loop with an Xterra (age group) World Champ! Should be good times.

My gear is in from Specialized also. Yay for team discounts. Photos later of that stuff.

Question: will I regret that bagel and veggie cream cheese I just inhaled? It was good. I managed to move around my planned food intake for the rest of the day to fit it in so I wasn't over on cals. *sigh* Yay for not even really being able to enjoy food! Just wait for next weekend…when I am eating home made birthday cake for 3-4 days! It's okay, I didn't really need breakfast…or lunch…

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Almost a year now...

Well, it's a bit early for a year in review post, but it has been on my mind. Last year I had the opportunity to put together quite a collective of videos and photos from my year of riding. We'd done a lot of social events, recreational rides, and fun trips. This year has been a lot different. Not that it has been better or worse; just a lot different. As much as 2007 was about fun and games, 2008 has been about racing, competing, training, and trying to up the game. I spent a lot of time shuttling and riding downhill in the last half of 2007, and I got pretty good at it. 2008 I've gotten better at climbing, but worse at descending, and sometimes I'm downright scared and nervous. Funny how it changes.

People I thought I'd always be riding with don't even want to reply to emails anymore, and seem disinterested in trips (whether downhill/shuttle oriented or otherwise).

Lots has changed in 2008. 2009 will probably be a lot more similar to 08, but more so. More races, more serious, and lots more training.

I got my first bike in August of 2005, and by June of 2006 I had hit 1,000 total miles. It felt like a huge accomplishment at the time.

I'm not a numbers person; never really have been good with them. But, I love information - even if that information is in the form of numbers. In 2006 I started keeping track of my rides through Still doing that today, while also trying to figure out the best way to keep a training diary for 2009. I've got about 3 ideas for that (2 different spreadsheets, bikejournal, and a handwritten log in a binder).

This year I learned that it's better to track hours on the bike than miles. Probably true, especially since sometimes I keep track of downhill miles and trainer miles (I'm even only using 75% of what the Garmin says on the trainer for mileage cause I know it's way off). But, the clock doesn't lie. An hour of riding is an hour of riding whether you go 6 miles or 17.

In 2007 I had just under 312 hours.

2008 isn't over yet, but I've got around 335 hours. I might even wind up with 400 hours this year.

2006 I had just under 245 hours.

So, I'm making progress. For 2009 I'm estimating (at a really conservative rate) about 550 hours on the bike. That's a lot. Doesn't take into consideration injuries, 12 hour events, or week-long vacations for riding.

The progression feels good.

Speaking of feeling good… I hope my legs have recovered from the weekend's efforts. If not, I might just have to decide between pushing through or taking it easy. I'd like to get about 1-1.5 laps locally tonight. Tomorrow is off. Saturday will be a 1.5-2 hour Z1/2 ride with some higher spin-ups to Z4. Not sure I can push it into Z5 in 30-60 seconds.

Did some core exercises last night, and my back has been feeling a tad better lately. Definitely better than it was a month ago. At race pace this weekend? Well, we'll see what happens. I'm shooting for 2 hours on the course, and assuming the course is fairly identical to last year, I should be close or below that. Er, also assuming I'm not plagued with another mechanical like the last two races. Here's hoping.

Aside from that all, I'm wondering if the state's "fever" has finally broke. It might not be 90+ again today. Ooh, though I forgot to bring any kind of warmers or base layer for the ride tonight.

Last week it was downright hot in a few spots, and about 45 in others. Explain that one! Two climate zones in about 10 yards. Wacky.

It's Thursday… you can see the weekend from here!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I like intensity and all...

But, this is ridiculous...

Spent a lot more time in Z4 than I expected.  Though, I just compared to the two rides last week on this route, and they were very similar.  Hills = higher HR.  The recent heat isn't helping.  

Sunday was fairly similar on the mountain bike: Z2 = 22 minutes; Z3 = 35 minutes; Z4 = 30 minutes.  Apparently I haven't spent much time in Z5 lately.  No worries, though - my last race I spent over 15 minutes there!

Weekend Wrap-up, and oh yeah, I need glasses...

We went out to ride our normal loop last week, but forgot the bike lock. After a trip home and back it was nearly dark when we started. I haven't done a night ride in a very long time. My eyes have been pretty blurry during the day lately, but I thought maybe eye fatigue/staring at the computer wasn't helping... I just plain couldn't see street signs really well on the trip back to the trailhead. By the time we started out on the trail I could hardly see anything. My night vision isn't my strong suit to begin with, and I couldn't see contrasts in the trail at all. I was SLOW.
Made an eye appt. the next day.

Weekend "epic" take 2! It was great to get out on the bike again for a long day in the mountains. It was a lot less painful than the weekend before; 6" of FS travel will do that for you. Felt great to be back out on the bigger bike, despite the extra weight. I filled my Camelbak with food (though I forgot my sandwich, d'oh!), pills (nearly ran out of Endurolytes, though), and Kyle Strait knee pads. Luckily my husband carried around my elbow pads! I couldn't fit anything else in the pak.

We started out around 9, and began climbing up the trail. I got off and hiked about where I normally do, and tried not to waste a ton of energy trying the rocks that I may never be able to climb up and over.

Felt pretty good, and tried to keep the bike moving at a decent pace to keep up with the faster guys on the ride. I wanted a good intensity throughout the day, and figured I'd pop when I'd pop.
There were a few unexpected breaks (mechanicals), but I wound up climbing up a few of the singletrack sections a lot faster than I'm used to climbing. I gained a bit of confidence descending, especially on a bike that felt awkward the last time I rode it (in June).

I was climbing really strong, which was nice for a change. We got back down to a pretty flat section of the ride and finally I felt just out of it and spent. I had had Luke carry my Cytomax cause I forgot to have Justin put a bottle cage on the bike frame before we left. So, I wasn't drinking anything but water for most of the day. Legs just wanted to give out. I stopped for an Endurolyte and some gel, and slowly trotted back up to the group. Once at the back another guy started to cramp up pretty bad, so I slowed to ride with him and stopped while he took an Endurolyte and had a break. We caught back up to the other two and hung out at a trail intersection for a bit chatting with others before we headed out.

I stopped to pad up at the "top" and off we went. I followed pretty close to Justin and Luke for awhile, and eventually fell back due to dust and lack of visibility. There was a guy standing at the switchbacks on his cell phone, so Justin stopped to chat with him and find out if he was okay, and I went by. Kept Luke in my sights for a bit, but I stopped at the log jump and he kept riding. I waited for a bit for Justin, and on we continued. There was a group of helmet-less riders on the rock section, so I had to slow and walk there (was really hoping to hit it). Justin was getting a flat, so we changed the tire and another group passed us up as well. We took off toward the looser rock stuff, and I stopped again briefly at the playground. From there we kept going until the last creek crossing where we all met up again. A bit more climbing, I missed the last nasty rock section, and we took the bailout to the road. Justin had effed his rear der. on a rocky climb, so had no gears.

Wound up with just over 4 hours of ride time, and about 6.5 total (I think). We got some fab mex food down the hill and headed home.

3 Muskateers along the trail

Trees are turning...

Sunday we woke up late, Justin fixed his bike, and we headed south for some fire road climbing.
The legs were pretty packed up and sore when we started off, and I wasn't sure how the day would go. I felt really hot, and there's no shade out there.Eventually got into a groove, warmed up, and the legs were good to go. I pushed myself pretty hard. We wound up at the bottom of the first really steep long hill. The last time we'd been out there I'd cleaned it. Figured it was due to the steeps at the local loop. I followed Justin's line (until he went up and over a big rock, and I tried my luck going around it - if you can make it past the rock usually you have made it past 95% of the difficulty), rode through the powder and over the small rocks, through the crazy ruts, and there I was. I cleaned the tough section for the second time ever. Woohoo!
I even gained time on Justin coming in just after he reached the top. We got to the next steep section. I'd made this once, probably over a year ago. Never even got close since. He offered to have me go first, but I wasn't confident, and wanted to follow his line. I pulled out of the way and off he went. It was tough, but I cleaned it! Felt good, and off we continued.
I was a bit slower on the descents due to losing 2" of suspension in the front and 5 in the back, and also losing about 1/2" of tire, but no matter… Felt like I was running on cross tires!
We'd purchased Bonty Jones XR tires in 1.8. They are SKINNY. Being new, though, they gripped really well. I felt it was a bit more harsh of a ride due to having less volume, but they rolled really fast, and I didn't feel any less confident than normal. They also managed to fit in the tire ruts better than say a 2.2.
Sunday we got home, visited a friend's family and their new baby, and sat around for a bit. I had some chores to do, Justin packed up some wares he was shipping out, and eventually we got dinner together. I'd been kind of craving taco's. Friday at the store I got some lean turkey, whole wheat tortillas and yellow corn tortillas, shredded cheese, taco rice, black beans, and we got a bunch of peppers and onions to sautee. We spent a bit of time getting it all together, and surprisingly it turned out really well. They were amazing. We finished the leftovers last night. Super calorie dense, especially when you eat 2-4… :\ But, great stuff.

Are these real tires??

Dinner on the stove.

Hopped on the trainer for an agonizing 50 minutes last night during MNF. Mostly stayed in zone 1, but did a fair bit in zone 2, and jumped up to z3 for awhile as well. I can usually manage if I'm watching a video, but just watching the clock is tough. Maybe I need to set up workouts instead so I have something to shoot for, look forward to, and a set workout to finish. We'll see.
Lunch ride today (not sure if we'll be doing small hill repeats/laps, or heading up one of the hills). Gonna try to get the intensity up with a nice warm-up and cool down.Planning on taking Friday off again.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

And on the eighth day...

Tonight will mark day 8 in a row of riding! And 9 days of riding in the last 10. I think that might be some kind of record for me. I had much more time and mileage in August on vacation, but it was only 7 days of riding out of 8. Last December I did 8 rides in 10 days, but also - holiday paid time off so I had all day.

My "training schedule" has me in regen. for 5 days when I could be riding lots in December. So, we'll see what happens. Maybe some fun rides and then hit it hard for 4 days in a row in the next phase (hit it hard on the volume with mid-intensity anyway). But, I'm not up for planning that out yet. If nothing else, it'll be a good time for some easier road rides and family time.

I've been looking forward to the re-opening of some trails here in a few weeks. I won't get to enjoy them for the first few open weekends (probably better that way anyway, maybe the allure of re-newness will have worn off a little bit), but I am looking forward to riding them again. I might even hit up one of my favorite routes on my birthday out there. I rode it 2 years ago on my birthday on what was at the time my brand new endurance race bike. The bike was a bit awkward at first, and since I wasn't really strong the 32T middle ring was tough to ride. But, it was a good day.

While I'm not shooting for an early season long event, it'll be nice to travel cross county on the bikes again and ride some more techy trails just for fun.

This weekend I've got one good ride planned for Saturday, and probably something a little bit easier, but still decent on Sunday. Considered the local 10-mile course with hills, but I'll be spending a lot of time there, so it might be nice to travel a tad south and re-unite with an old fire road climbing fest.

I'm taking tomorrow off, though. My legs were pretty packed up yesterday on the lunch road ride on the climbs, and I know after 2 laps tonight (gonna try out the lights for the first time in many many many months - wish me luck) they'll be sore. Also, I've been really tired. I was having problems staying awake yesterday afternoon, and felt downright pretty awful yesterday after work until I ate (I was a little stressed out anyway). I'm tired again this morning. Also, gotta run errands at some point, so tomorrow night it is with plenty of rest and recovery on the couch.

OT… anyone watching TV?

Heroes: WTF? The only story line I've liked all year has been Sylar "reborn" as a good guy turned stay-at-home dad. And that was only a really brief scene. Suresh? No. Evil Peter? No. HRG? Ugh. Claire trying to catch bad guys? Please…

House: I missed it this past Tuesday since I'm stupid. But, otherwise it's been all right this season. It bothers me, though, that Fox feels the need to delay putting a show online for viewing until EIGHT days after originally airing it. Thanks, Fox, for punishing me for not recording a show ahead of time. You suck.

Fringe: The jury is still out on this show. I really like the way they write Walter Bishop. I also sort of like Pacey, er, Peter Bishop. I can't get past the fact that he was Pacey, but otherwise he's good. The main chick, though? She bothers me just a bit. IMO she isn't believable as the character. Her personage just doesn't seem strong enough, I guess.

CSI NY: has there even been an episode on this month? I forget. Luckily for this show I have a series recording set.

Survivor: I like a few of the people on the loser tribe, but unfortunately they aren't going to last long, even if there is a merge soon. I guess I could go either way, but I always like to see what's gonna happen. Even if I missed the finale last time on a season I really liked.

CSI: The previews for the the premiere made that episode seem like it'd rival the Quentin Tarrantino episodes. The premiere did not rival those episodes. It was okay, but not as good as I expected. Last week was okay. Is the show just floating along until William Petersen leaves? They are slowly letting the best characters disappear. I think the show is becoming a dead man walking. Maybe not. Will I keep watching when Grissom is gone? Maybe. Maybe not. I still miss Sara, and I will miss Warrick.

The Office: has been good all year, but it's time to bring Pam back. Seriously.

I DVR'd Crusoe last Friday (er, I DVR'd the last 1:25, I missed the first :35). NBC's online shows don't quite rival ABC's, but it was decent. They showed it without commericals, so points for that. Could be an interesting show, but let's be honest… if Crusoe and Friday have built all that crap, they easily could've built a yacht and sailed back to London by now. I liked Judy.

Grey's Anatomy: good, I think. I liked the dermatology stuff. How bad is George going to feel when he realizes Lexi likes him? Hmm…

Things to ponder since so many of the shows above are all on tonight!

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Stop and stare

I think I'm moving but I go nowhere...
Stop and stare
You start to wonder why you're here not there...

Man, it was nice to get OUT on the road bike today. I've been putting in a ton of trainer time this month due to impending darkness and just other random stuff, and it was amazing just to sit on the bike and pedal down the sidewalk and out on the street. The bike feels so much better when it's really moving and not just sitting stationary.

I didn't like the cars and traffic so much, but that's life.

It was great to feel the sun and wind and the not-so-clear mucked up hazy sky.

Wound up with a bit over an hour of ride time and about 1600ft of climbing in 16.5 miles. Not too shabby. The first climb started out around 5% and then hovered around 8% most of the way. I felt pretty good once the legs opened up, and attacked a short climb standing in the big(ger) ring about 3 down on the cassette. I felt fried after that, so did a lot of spinning. Small group with one newer rider, but I hit the climbs at my pace.

I hope that the other rider didn't get disheartened riding with faster people. I sometimes get disheartened and feel slow (it's easy to do this when you are the last one up every hill and down them as well - sorry 'bout your luck this coming Saturday, sucka's! I'm riding the big(ger) bike! Yield mofo's! haha!) when riding with faster riders, but everytime I can keep them in sight for just a minute or two longer I know it's making me faster.

The feeling of movement and momentum was just great today. Loved it. I might just do it again tomorrow on a different route and enjoy what warmth (read: high heat) is left in store for us this "fall". It's only been 3 days and I'm only an hour shy of my last week's ride time. I'm guesstimating total ride time for Sun-Sat to be around 13 hours by the end of Saturday. Not too shabby. It's also slightly mimicking what is in store for me once real "training" begins (soon).

All this get out and ride when I feel like it stuff is about to end... I'm looking forward to seeing what it will bring.

Monday, October 20, 2008

This is the sound of (soreness) settling

At long last I managed to get two good days of decent mountain biking in. I spent a good long while yesterday while climbing trying to remember the last time I'd done a long ride, and aside from vacation in early August I couldn't come up with anything. Shockingly horrific. I didn't even get in that much riding over the weekend (about 6.5 hours total; 50 miles), but it was way more than I had gotten in the past month of weekends.

In September I did a race that was around 23 miles, and other than that… our longest dirt miles were on vacation. We've had some long road rides, but it really isn't the same. 50 flat miles on the road can't compare to 28 in the dirt on mostly singletrack; not any day of the week. You can't substitute the general pain your body is in for 4.5 hours of not so easy riding. Foot pain, hand pain, wrist pain, neck pain, calf pain, and generally sore legs. It's nice to hurt again, and not from injury or medical maladies.

Next weekend should be more of the same with hopefully another 50 or so miles and another 6-7 hours of riding. Hopefully I'll be slightly less sore at the end of the big ride(s) in a week. Whatever pain I can get out of the way now will help me next month!

Aside from that, I'll be trying to get in 45-60 mins a day either on the road or on the trainer. Every little bit helps. I'm debating hitting the trainer up tonight since I'm having pinkie numbness in my left hand, and also I've had a sore hamstring off and on for a week or so, and it was fairly agitated yesterday. I figured 30 minutes of spinning might not be too bad either way, though.

Scabs are healing up nicely. I didn't have any pain while riding yesterday, except when branches scratched against them. There's two small spots left on my arm, and one small one left on my knee. Both are still irritated by clothing, but nothing too bad and the skin underneath has come back nicely. I've got a bunch of scar tissue over scar tissue on the elbow.

The knee still hurts to bend it most of the time, but I'm trying to slowly re-acquaint my body with having the knee bent again. I can't really functionally do yoga without being able to bend it for awhile without pain, and I don't think I could sit on my knees at all right now.

I hope to do a full set of core exercises tonight, though, either way.

Parting shots:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Back on the horse

Last night was my first time riding a bike not a trainer in a week (since the crash). I hadn't done a ton of trainer time either, but I felt ok on the ride. Not sure if I'm just a lot slower, or if the "new" course just isn't as fast, but my ride time wasn't super. Felt like I was pushing it a bit, but I had confidence issues (a lot of them - going downhill and back up). I wound up falling again, on a switchback. Just couldn't get my head around it, I guess. I did do the loose rutted descent both laps, which is good cause the past two times I tried it I wound up having to walk down it. It fully sketched me out, though.

The scabs were hurting, though, that is for sure. Felt like my arm was ripping apart from the inside out. The pain settled in a bit once my legs started burning. Still having a bit of lower back pain, but I haven't been able to do any core stuff and no yoga in almost 2 months. Just one thing after another.

Tonight I'm hoping to do some more trainer time while hubby runs around to another county looking for chain rings. Good times.

Hoping to wind up with around 8 hours of ride time for the weekend. I should be barely moving by Monday morning.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's Sunday, you know what that means...

For some people it's a long road ride.

For others it's a morning in the mountains.

Some people are up in the mountains racing.


I'm sitting on the couch flipping between Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown. So exciting. There isn't even a game I care about on til tonight. But, it looks like I'll get to watch a bunch of games anyway.

My abrasions are really hurting. I let them both dry out last night. Now every time I move they burn, throb,and sting. The nerve endings are not happy.

My right leg is feeling a lot better. My left knee is doing okay. It's hard to tell what is worse when I try to bend the knee: the scabbed over abrasion that is being pulled and stretched, or the swollen top of the knee.

Might be time for ice I guess.

Here's hoping tomorrow is better.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pain is weakness leaving the body

"You know what happens to scar tissue. It's the strongest part of your skin."

Sooo… I fell and went boom. Basically that means I have a lot of weakness leaving me at the moment, and also I guess I will have a lot of strong skin on my elbow. Funny thing, though… I've skinned my elbows probably 5-6 times since I've been mountain biking, and no matter how much scar tissue I have, I still manage to get "road" rash. So, maybe it isn't that strong after all.

Full damage report: bruise on my forehead (the bump went away last night); smashed something or other in my right knee causing pain/discomfort, but only with weight on my leg; really swollen upper knee cap on my left knee and minor abrasion; swollen and bruised right hip; skinned elbow.

The elbow is just at that burning and pulsating stage. I'm keeping it covered with Rx goop and Telfa (oh yeah, second best stuff evar). What is better than Telfa? J&J Advanced Healing. The only complaint I have with that stuff? It isn't big enough half the time. The bandage won't fit on the open wound on my elbow without exposing part of it, and if the bandage doesn't cover the entirety of it, it seeps open and is bad news. So, Telfa it is.

I was somewhat worried the Telfa would stick to the skin (despite the fact that it isn't supposed to stick to your skin). It did, but only on an outer section of the wound that probably didn' thave Rx goop on it. So, it wasn't too bad. Switching out the bandage this morning was pretty painful, but it's calmed down.

I took some Aleve this morning (which normally "aleve-iates" all pain), but it didn't make a dent in my knees. After lunch I'll probably try some Vitamin I in the hopes of curbing the swelling since I don't have any ice here at work.

I'm not worried about my hip, my elbow, or my head. My right knee I think could pedal all day. My left knee? It's gonna hurt for a bit.

Soo, looks like I'm missing out on my epic this weekend. It'll be 4 weekends in a row with 6.5 hours of ride time.

I'm joyously looking forward to a weekend on the couch. NOT.

BTW - thanks for the words of encouragement. How did you know I was really worried about that?

Late Edit:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Looking for ride time

My ride time lately has been pathetically low. I realized earlier this week that over the last 3 weekends (10/4, 9/27, and 9/20) I had 6 hours of ride time. Seriously.

About 4.5 hours the weekend of 9/20-9/21. 0 hours the weekend of 9/27-9/28. Less than 2 hours the weekend of 10/4-10/5.


I took Sunday off after 5 days of hard riding in a row. I think I took Monday off as well. Tuesday and yesterday I did intervals on the trainer, but that's less than 2 hours.

The prescription? Hopefully a good 4 hour ride on Saturday backed up with some pavement time on Sunday. We'll see if it works out.

No race for me this weekend. I need ride time more than results.

Hopefully what smoke is left in the air will clear before this evening for some time on the dirt.

(This photo is not from today). The air up above was clear today, and it looked okay to the west. Looking S/E it was smokey, and the smell sort of is hanging in the air a bit. The weather is set to cool down a bit this weekend, so here's to hoping there aren't fires any time soon (like in the next 3-5 years).

Late edit: the reason I opened up a blog post today was for this quote from VeloNews:

"... Your friends are your friends, and your acquaintances are your acquaintances ... A lot of acquaintances are there in the good times, and not there in the bad times, but you know, that’s normal, that’s life. I’m not bitter about it, and I’m not bitter towards anyone, but tomorrow I’m probably not going to be going to dinner with them, either."

Should I consider myself lucky to have learned this while I'm still "young"? It is the stupid things in life (like a drunken joke, for instance) that turn people against you. And while your friends either don't care what you did in a 3 minute window on vacation, your acquaintances might act like it's life or death. And they probably won't ask you what your side of the story is.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bad Luck Racing, Part Deux

Or, Show me the money (again).

The local races with equal payout is sweet.  I actually felt bad getting money since there was no one (else) in my class.

With the impending rain and the state series finale next weekend I expected a bit low of a turnout, but not non-existant.  There were hardly any Pro/Semi-Pro/Expert racers.  Sport/Beginner/SS easily was twice what the higher classes turnout was.

SO wound up breaking the chain about a mile in; first DNF.  Not good.  Additionally, smashed knee = not happy.

I wound up losing all of my small chain ring bolts on lap one, so after stopping about 3/4 lap in realized I had no small ring, but the middle and big ring worked.  So, I rode the remainder of lap 1 and the last 3 laps in my middle ring.  That'd be fine if I was strong enough to do a race like this (700ft of climbing in 3.9mi) in only the middle ring.  I was going to allow myself to walk the steepest hills on lap 3/4, but I never did.  I wound up riding the entire course all four laps.  Shocking.

My time wasn't stellar (the mechanical break sure didn't help), and my legs were thrashed at the end.  Felt much worse than the sub-20 miles it wound up being.

Oh yeah, it also rained!

Oh ya, I lined up with Tinker Juarez.  He made me feel like I was standing still when he lapped me.  I can't remember if it was lap 3 or 4.  I held him off as he completed his final 2 laps, though (/sarcasm).  Very impressive to see him out there, and cool that he supported a small local event.  He's even got 24 Hours of Moab in a week!  :eek:

Friday, October 3, 2008


I don't often feel like a rookie, but yesterday I did. I only took 9 days off the dirt, but it felt like about 99. While I felt great in warmup and climbing the big hill early on in the ride, the setting sun coupled with my failing vision and lack of ability to discern features on the ground all were factors working against me as I hit a short rocky bit I have been able to clean for months. Instead I had to take out my left foot and attempt a few hops to regain composure, only to fall in a big thud on my left hip.


It hurt for a bit, especially when I tried to put the power down for the remainder of the ride. I still tried not to take it too easy, and attempted 3 or 4 times to forget about the minor crash and continue on. Unfortunately I kept dabbing and near-falling for the rest of the course. I did finally clean one steep section I've missed my last few times. I missed the others, though, so not sure it was score 1 for me.

Post-ride we geeked out on training info. Gotta love it.

Today is a short road ride with a few spin ups. Tomorrow it's putting the power out for probably 2.5 hours (maybe a little less) and somewhere between 16 and 24 miles (depending on where you look for course info).

The best part? 50% chance of rain. I don't do well in the rain. What do you wear, anyway? I'm packing for the apocalypse, but I'll probably be dressed for normal weather. Like James keeps saying, weather is no excuse. Hit it hard and go for it. At least temps aren't going to drop too much; this isn't the mountains afterall.

Good luck to all those participating in the Xterra race this weekend!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Life Lesson #345

New gadgets are better than friends. Even though the gadget is outdated a week after you buy it, it still lasts longer.

I know that makes me sound bitter; sad but true.