Wednesday, June 6, 2012

EVCC Weekend - June 2nd, 3rd

I had so much fun last weekend.   It was great to see many of my teammates from all over the state up in Norfolk to race and to help put on such a fantastic two days of racing.

Saturday, I made an early drive up to Maskentine Lake to help with the Mtb race.   I didn't help much.  I spent most of the morning walking the course with Dennis.  We walked most of the course stopping at some of the more interesting technical sections e.g. the man made berm, and the "Rock Garden".  I should have brought a bike to ride it.

After the Mtb race, a few of us got together for a easy ride in the country side around Norfolk.   For the most part it was a social ride only flexing our speed from time to time.  It was perfect, not to hard or easy.

Luckily I got to stay at Karen's and Dan's place.  Dinner was nice and later helped with registration.  I blame Dan for any issues with the Bib numbers. :)

Sunday was all about the Criterium in downtown Norfolk.  Up at 5:30, then I downed some breakfast and coffee, which magically appeared in the kitchen, then off to the crit course to help with setup.  I had the dubious honor of sweeping the course.  Spent most of the time sweeping turn 2.  There was sand all over.  Jerry and I spent a good 1/2 hr with push brooms sweeping it off the course.

more to come...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Crit, Crit, and another Crit?

Why do so many crits?  Because I can?  Because it is good training?  More endurance for a 3 day stage race?

After this weekend I am questioning my reasoning for doing so many criteriums in a weekend.  This weekend it was 3 crits (technically one was a circuit race) and last weekend it was 4 crits.  No stellar performances from either weekend.

I won't go into much detail but I was actually happy with my riding in Des Moines 2 weekend ago.  On a flat 1.5 circuit race, I was able to stay with the pack 'till the end.  When it came to the sprint I finish down the result list.  With half a lap to go, I was way out position.   I had a lot of work to do to even think about a sprint finish.  I was able to get into position but the legs were not primed for a sprint.

Later that Saturday, I competed in the Cat 1/2/3 race, same course for 75 minutes.  It was fast and fun.  Once the race started all the fatigue I thought I had, from the previous race, went away.  It was like a whole new day.  At the end if the race, I was with the bunch for a big field sprint. Just looking to get around the corner safely.     No legs or nerves to sprint, with plenty of people easily riding past.  I didn't stand up to attack the sprint.

Sunday, it was a hilly crit and again 2 crits that day.  Well, the crit had only one major hill.  I pulled the plug halfway through the Cat 3/4 which was the first race.  The second race the Cat 2's Masters got off the front and I was by myself.  I am actually happy with this race.  I kept plugging away like I was the lead rider being chased by the pack.  Eventually, a couple other riders bridged to me and only one of them could hang onto my wheel.  He was able to get the better of me on the uphill sprint by a wheel.  In the end he was the only Cat 3 to beat me in the Master's race everyone else was a Cat 2.

This past weekend.  Happy to be with the pack but not able to finish strong.   I did the masters race at 1:15pm Saturday.  I had thoughts of not doing this race but talked myself into it.  More training and a better chance of doing well by doing this race.  Also, I had planned to not go hard and save myself for the main event, the 3s race.  The race started fast.  Everyone was together until the first prime.  That is where the first bunch got away.  On the next sprint Brady got away.  I expected that.  So I spent the next couple laps trying to bridge up to Brady.  My first attack was hard an fast.  I got away for awhile but was reeled by the chase group.  I had one last hard effort to hang with the pack.  Recovered, I tried to get away.  This time more of a sustained effort.  I stayed there for a few laps.  I felt the speed was good and I like being on the front out of trouble. Two laps to go, I had one last dig to do something.  I should have talked to Kevin Murry because he was on the front of the group about to do something.  I went flying by and signaled for him to delay the "Murry Fury".  There was no getting away from the group. I dropped off an finished outside the bunch sprint.

The next race was the Cat 1/2/3 race combined.  I was hoping for a 3 only race.  Got off to a good start at the whistle.  I was right in the mix hanging out with the pack.  I was hanging tough until a wreck happened in front of me.  I could write a whole blog on this but the memories of my last high speed crash went through my head.  Luckily I was close to the grassy center median.  I missed hitting anyone.  Then looked back to see others crashing from behind.  Robert Greigg and Jon Vondracek suffered the most damage to their bodys.  Found out later that John V. broke his shoulder blade and some ribs.  Robert G had a type 1 shoulder seperation.  All painful stuff.  My bike was ok.  My right brake lever was pushed in but otherwise fine.  I was with the main pack nearly to the end but through some in attention got out the draft.  I had no motivation to get back onto the group.

Sunday, another combined 1/2/3 race.  Pioneers park GP, which has a hill that usually seperates who is strong and who is not so strong.  I seemed to climb the hill pretty well.  It was hard work yet I was able to get recovered before the next time up it.   Last lap,  I hit the bottom of the hill in good position on the outside of the turn.  The hill is less steep on the left side but more exposed to the wind.  I was hoping that someone else in front of me would take the same line.  Not much help there.  Granted there were about 8 people up the road so wee were sprinting for 9th..  With good speed to the top, I let off the gas as the hill flattened.    I let at least 2 other riders easily pass me. 

Wow a little more race description that I thought I had in me.  Maybe some analysis next blog

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Joe Martin Stage Race

 Had a fun weekend racing with my teammates and other Nebraskan riders.

The previous 2 years I have done cat 3 but this year I raced in the Mens Master's A race which includes categories 1 thru 4. When your a cat 3 it is a toss up on which group to race with. You can ride with Masters A or your Category. Matt O'Donnell signed up for the Master's A so I thought I would give it a shot too.

In the time trial, I was just looking to impove my time. I am riding better this year but I didn't think I could improve 2 minutes to crack the top 10 riders. The goal was simple - ride hard ride fast for 2.5 miles uphill. Last year, a lot of other riders passed me. Talk about de-motivating. This year was different..I didnt catch my 30sec guy but didn't get passed either. Looking at the TT results I was close the slowest time of all the riders. Bummer! On the bright side my time was ~:45sec faster.

The road race I faired better. Like the previous years, the first time I hit "the wall" I didn't have the strength to stay with the leaders. This "wall" is a stretch of road on a 15% grade and I'm guessing about 400meters in length. It is like a huge kidney punch. It can knock you to your knees all by itself or soften you up for the next hill to take you down. Luckily I was not the only one that fell off the lead group. Initially there were 3 riders with me but the group grew in size to about 10 riders. Including Matt O'Donnell from team Kaos. This was the chase group. I felt like one of the stronger riders with this group. I tried several times to go with a break or get one going. I couldn't get away. Sometimes, I got on the front to do some long hard pulls. The group stayed right behind me. Matt told me to get off the front because I was giving the rest a free ride.

With 5k to go there were a couple attempts to break away to the finish. They were brought back. The action started a good 1k to go with the finish visible in the distance. I was on the front just keeping tempo and waiting. If someone attacked, I rode hard to get on his wheel. Then I would grab a quick rest in the slipstream. After a couple more short lived attacks came a stong effort from a OKC rider. He was on the other side of the road. It was so strong and close to the finish... I thought this is the one to get a good result from the bunch sprint. Inside the finish line barracades (barracades - thats so pro), someone else got a good jump. There was no way I could catch him. I resigned myself to second. Then another guy edged me out for second so I got 3rd. I 'll take it.  Note: Even though we were the chase group, we finished the road race faster than the lead group of Cat 3s.

The crit was a hard battle too. I was looking to hang on to the group. The one obstacle to that was a short punchy hill. The finish line was right on top of this hill. The rest of the course was mostly downhill with a slightly uphill section leading to the finish line hill. The game plan was work hard on the hill to stay with the group and recover as much as possible the rest of the course. The first 10minutes were torture. I was still in the group but remember hearing 23minutes to go. 23minute?? I thought that I wasn't going to survive this. I don't know when but they switched from time to counting down the laps to go. In my mental state, 6 laps to go was easier to swallow. Down to 2 laps and having a hard time staying with the group. I was thinking to myself - "come on you can do anything for 5 minutes, sometimes twice" The speed was much higher now. Just one more hill to survive then I would be with the group on the final lap. I did it!!! I was already happy with myself. Then I heard Jordan Ross yell for me to move up. It was the perfect time for me to do it too. On the downhill section, there was a gap growing just behind the top 5 riders. I powered to make that gap before the left hand turn at the bottom. The group took the two bottom turns into the slight uphill section. I was able to get a good draft before the final climb. I climbed that hill on shear adrenaline and finished the crit 11th. I am good with that too!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My 2012 Race Schedule

Just wanted to get this in one place:

24 - UNL Cycling Weekend, Lincoln, NE (Road) Website
25 - UNL Cycling Weekend, Lincoln, NE (Road) Website


15 - Twin Bing Road Race, Sioux City, IA - Website
28-29 - Joe Martin Stage Race, Fayetteville, AR - Website


5 - Iowa City Road Race/Time Trial, Iowa City, IA
6 - Old Capitol Criterium, Iowa City, IA
19 - Capital City Criterium, Lincoln, NE (Road)
20 - Pioneers Park Gran Prix, Lincoln, NE (Road)
26-27 - Tallgrass Stage Race, Junction City, KS (Road Stage Race) -


3 - Nebraska USAC Criterium State Championship, Norfolk, NE (Road)
23 - Nebraska USAC Road State Championship, "Dave Babcook Memorial Road Race," Omaha, NE (Road)
29 - 30, July 1 Baker City Cycling Classic Baker City, OR


21 - Joyride Weekend, Lincoln NE (Road)
22 - Joyride Weekend, Lincoln, NE (Road)

?? - Papillion Crit?

?? - Gateway Cup

Oct - Dec
Enjoy riding and not get Fat!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Race Predictor?

I signed up for the Tour D'Husker race this weekend and after I went to the "View Registrants" to see the other riders that signed up for the race.  The page also has a "Race Predicator" link... it shows me 2nd for the Masters Crit and 4th for the 1/2/3 RR.  As more and more people signed up, I started dropping in the list.  Now, the predictor shows that I am in 12th on the RR.  I don't know if I like this "Feature".  Some silly programmer thinks that they can predict the outcome of a race.  Here is a code review for your program, you logic is all wrong!!

I know it is wrong but I do some predicting myself, looking at the other riders in my race.  I say to myself, "I can beat him, no problem", or "yikes, hang on as long as you can".  There are many ways I psych myself before races.  Like when we are all bunched up for the start, I start looking around to see who "looks fast".  When it comes down to racing, I just need to relax and feel the race.  I have been riding long enough to know what to do and to know who is riding well and how I match up that day.  Bring it!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cruise Intervals

In the previous post, I mentioned that I had to do 4x12min Zone 4 intervals with 2min rests in Zone 2.  9 minutes in Zone 4 is all I could muster.  This is a tough workout for me now.  I am just not use to being in Zone 4 for extended periods because I have been doing mostly endurance rides.

After I did all my intervals, I had just under 30minutes to finish the 2hr workout.  Today it is a 3:30hr long steady ride.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Still Rolling

I started my second week of Base 3 with an easy hour ride this morning.  Twenty five minutes in Zone 2.  The rest in Zone 1. 

Tonight, I have a 2hr cruise interval workout planned.  I am going to try to do 4 x 12min Zone 4 intervals.  In the training bible this workout is listed as a Muscle Endurance workout but to me it feels more like a aerobic endurance workout.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tough Weekend

Partly self inflicted and partly due to the wind. 

Saturday, I "organized" a hill ride.  Well, I threw out an event of facebook, invited all my bikey friends, and made it so they could invite their friends.  The weather was sunny, chilly and the 15 - 25mph wind made it feel like it was in the low 20s.  Like I said on facebook, it looked like spring but felt like winter.  I was surprised that over 20 people showed up to ride. 

On the hills, I did well but could not keep up with the faster guys.  Which was expected.  It was good to have them there for a little extra motivation to push.   They were pretty much gone after the first hill. 

Sunday, I dropped in on another group ride.  I was suppose to ride easy for 4hrs.  I did my best to keep the effort low in Zone 2.  Yeah right.  Into the wind, I was pretty comfortable hovering just behind the rotation.  That was easy and fun but the effort was more like Zone 3.  In the crosswind hilly section I fell off the group early.  The tail wind section I sucked wheel for awhile then took a few pulls.  That was a mistake. Even though we had a stiff wind behind us the speed of the group was enough to still create a head wind.  I quickly burned myself out.  I was on the back sucking wind.  It was a bit disheartining to see Brady, who was out on his own and had been chasing for a couple miles, come up from behind to chase down the pack.  That was impressive. 

There is work that needs to be done.  Lose more weight and get faster.

It was a fun weekend though.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Trainer work

I have been spending most of my workout time on the trainer this week.  

Tuesday was no problem... warmup, 35min Tempo, and cool down.  Easy!  A run and weights in the evening.  Done.

Wednesday, gets tougher. The schedule called for 3:30hrs.  I pushed through 3:00.  If it was to be an outside ride no problem, I have done plenty of those, but  I wasn't ready for that long on the trainer. So I got up early to get 1:30hr ride and did the rest in the evening.

Thursday, 5:30am spin class and some bonus time for an even hour.  Another 1:30hr was scheduled for the day.  Didn't know if I could do that.  I climbed back on the trainer thinking I would just take it easy.  If anything it would give me something to do other than sit on the couch thinking about food.  I was able to get up to a respectable cruising speed.  Nice high cadence and HR in the upper part of my Zone 1.  That is fat burning stuff for me.

I am suppose to do a Force ride today.  Hill work low cadence and effort up into Zone 4.  Going to the gym instead.  I will get the Zone 4 cardio running and squats/leg presses will do for Strength.

Looks like more trainer time this weekend with temps outside near zero.  I can't even think about it.. just trying to take one day at a time.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I was below 180lbs if only momentarily.  I weighed myself after spin class and before breakfast so I was probably a little dehydrated.  I had myself a little "carb fest" for breakfast in celebration.  The next milestone is 170lbs.  This is still big for a Cat 3 but I should be able to keep up a lot better.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2012 Update

This is the time of year when I start a count down to Spring.   I keep telling myself to get through indoor workouts and say to myself, "One day Closer to Spring".

I am still progressing through my training schedule.  This week is base 2 week two which consists of 16:30 hours for the week.  It looks like most of my time will be spent inside on the trainer.   We'll see what happens.  I should be able to get outside on the weekend but in the mean time it is trainer workouts and a couple session lifting at the gym.

I have a couple long rides schedule for this weekend.  It should be ok to ride outside.

I am still trying to loose some more poundage.  I can't seem to push through to the 170's.  For the past couple of weeks I have been stuck at 182lbs.  I need to dial in the diet a bit more.

That's it

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Beautiful Morning

When I woke up this morning it was nice at 34 degrees.  Really nice for Jan.  It was crisp, not too cold and a slight breeze from the North. 
I decided to take the long way into work to get in some training time and a commute.  It was early so I headed down Saddle Creek to Center and caught the trail at Aksarben Village.  There was a nice tailwind as I headed south.  I am still working on base miles so I kept my cadence up above 100 rpms and my HR in Zone 2.  I rode down the trail to Culvers then turned around back to the North to catch the Big Papio trail up to my Office at 113th and Blondo.  About 23 miles.

Last week it was easy to stick to my training plan.  I had plenty of time off with vacation and the holidays.  I was able to get 245 miles on the road.  This week is going to be a little trickier.  Today I am going to split the time with my ride in the morning and one this afternoon.  Tomorrow, I may have to ride the trainer in the morning and then lift after work.  I can cover Friday with a commute (the direct route) to work which for both ways is an hour.

The weight lose battle is heating up.  I have survived the Holidays with minimal weight gain and the past couple days I am seriously watching what I eat.