Monday, August 30, 2004

Filing lawsuit against Reeses Peanut butter cups

So, I think it's time to file a lawsuit against Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.

Because they are utterly and totally addicting. I cannot walk past then without buying some.

Worked in the yard sat. trying to remove a stump. What a bitch. 25' tree. 7" trunk, you'd think the stump would come out easy. Man. 4 hrs later sure.

Pry bar, mattock. Forget trying to axe it.

It was so hot, I was soaked in sweat. Really wore me out. Rode on the trainer Sat evening, and tried to do some 1min efforts at 300w. Not a whole lot of power in the legs

Sunday I road Tabor to Sandy Ridge and up Harding. 12:29 from the Church sign to the break in the pavement up top. I tried to really push some of the rollers, but didn't have anything in the legs. at least it felt like that. But I was still moving pretty well. On Harding, I pushed some bigger gears since the last time I was there even though I didn't feel so hot so that is a good thing.

Might try some night riding Wednesday. We'll see. I got my Ebay Sworks wheelset today. They look nice. I'm gonna stick them on the scale and see what they weigh. I still don't like that Skraxle thing for the front, But we shall see. I might sell the front and build a another, but the red rims sure to look nice as a set.


Friday, August 27, 2004

Gotta plan

Yesterday Karen and I had date night where our neighboor watches the kids, so we went road riding. It was nice, we got to talk some, but I don't like the route we took.

Glade/meadowbrook to Keisters Branch

Too many blind hills, and blind corners and there was lots of traffic.

I am so glad that I made the decision to get a consultation from a coach. I had emailed Dave Morris about a consultation and then hiring him later in the year. After trading emails we finally hooked up today on the phone.
I'd corresponded with him several times over email, sending comments on his book. He must have thought me some crackpot cause to me that book is the Gospel.

Anyway, my dilema has been how to structure my yearly training to deal with the bad winter around here and still be ready for the first race in April and then also how to deal with the large gaps in time between the races. We have races in April /May, then a large gap, then again in August, then a break, then again in October.

So for a $40 consult we worked out a general macro view of the year, that I think is going to work great. It's amazing how much better I feel about the whole thing. No more second guessing or trying something out only to waste another year beacuse it didn't work. Money well spent I would say.

So this is the gist of it. I'm glad for this Blog so it allows me to get it all on the computer before I forget it.

My last race is October 10. That week, start at the gym for 3 weeks of the adaptation lifting. It's really super easy lifting just getting your body ready for the hypertrophy lifting. Nothing too strenuous. I'm looking forward to lifting. I've done it since highschool and enjoy my time in the weight room. And this will be a good break off the bike.

During the 3 week adaptation phase, I'll still do some riding, just whatever

Then comes the hypertrophy phase starting November 1.
  • 2 weeks Hypertrophy

If I had the time, I'd do 4 weeks.

Now comes where I combine volume riding with lifting. This maybe tricky but in the strength phase I'm only lifting of 2 days/week, and the power phase it is 3 days a week but with some sprints too.

  • Monday- Weights
  • Tues 3-3.5hrs
  • Wed trainer 1.5 hour or 2hr outside (on a trainer you you can ride 70% less time for the same effort as outside)
  • Thursday - OFF
  • Friday - weights
  • Sat - 3 hr
  • Sun - 1hr

That schedule would run through the 2 weeks of Strength, and 2 weeks of Power

  • Strength 2weeks Nov 14-Nov 27
  • Power Nov 28-Dec 11

This puts me at Mid December (December 12)

Now do 2 weeks of the Endurance Phase including the Muscle Endurance work and Leadout Intervals.

(I hate the leadouts, but they are one of the best simulations of mountain bike racing)

This brings me to Jan 1 and time for the SMSP phase.

Dave suggested a 3week block SMSP +1 week rest followed by 3 week MSP + 1 week rest

then another SMSP. This would put me around April 1 and I could start doing in season training with the first race in mid April.

He offers two types of services. $150 a month for full tailored program with unlimited consultations, and $50 a month for just a plan. The plan is still customized to my riding, and ability, but not laid out day by day.

I think I can deal with the $50 plan, because what I really need help with is the specifics of the SMSP phase and how to stair step it over the course of the year.

So now I've got 2 more races, Oct 3 and Oct 10. I'm going to do a 3 week in season plan followed by 1 week rest and then taper up to the Oct 3 race.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

riding with Chris and Brian

Was working on the road all day, then checked messages when I got back to the office. Chris Lenth left a message that he was in town and he and Brian were going to ride at 5:45 at the Old Farm parking lot.

I got home and told Karen, and she wasn't too happy to let me go ride, but let me go. I drove to the lot, and there were tons of riders. This was that big group Wed ride. So we finally get rolling, and I was following Chris up, and kept up just fine. Chris has been in New Zealand for the past 4 years, and rides All the time.

We waited and waited and waited up at the top of the hill for the rest of the group including a guy who'd broken his chain. Finally I said I had to roll because of time. I just can't handle this waiting, when I only have a short time available to ride.

We went to Beauty and rode down, then over to Beast and up. My downhilling is so much slower than those guys, but my climbing has improved to the point where I can hang with them.

This year is the first time in over 5 years that I can actually keep up with Brian and Chris. Part of it is Brian not riding as much and part of it is me getting better.

He can climb anything on the full suspension. I wonder how much of it is the bike and how much the rider, because he was a good climber with a hard tail too.

It was good to hang with Chris and Brian. Even though Brian moved back into town, I rarely see him. He stopped calling about doing rides, because how in the world am I going to go to D. Back or travel more than 15mins from town to go ride, with Karen giving me the guilt trip. I have not ridden out of town except during the week at Salem when I am down there for a meeting in over 4 months. I did one Mon night ride at Carvins a few month ago and that is it.

Regardless of how much daylight there is, riding in the evening is not worth it. She resents so much me going out, and yet she does make an effort to go out herself. Tonight I think she is, but it's more of well you did it yesterday so I am going today. Ok, as it should be is what I think.

John asked about going camping but the first thing that pops in to Karen's mind is wives watching the kids while we ride. Well sure, but you two can go ride also and we watch the kids.

I'm thinking that I need to get the lights charged up again, and motivate myself to get out for nite rides at least once a week. I'm pretty lucky to be able to ride during the day at work, but it's hard sometimes when I'm focused on a project or something. And I'm hoping that a night riding will help my technical skills.

Get the kids to bed then go out and ride. I just hope I can find some company in case things go wrong when your'e out there alone. We'll see if I can get myself to motivate and go. It's been years since I've gone night riding.

It's been almost two weeks since the Massanutten race, so I'm recovered and riding strong. I hope I can keep this going until the October races. I always seem to come on strong late in the year.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Hard to concentrate

Wow this week is passing by fast. Kind of tough to concentrate. Work is pretty hectic right now. And with me it always seems to be 100% focus on something until it's done than move on to something else. I'll research something as trivial as hubs and rims to no end. Hour taken just to pick some item.

Also Ansel is starting kindergarten TOMORROW!!!. Man I am NOT ready for that. I've been in denial about the whole thing for months. I think I've asked my wife at least 10 times when his school was starting. It's really distracting me and making it hard to concentrate. I just cannot believe it. It's not that I'm too worried about him, he'll do fine with the academic part and the friends part. I just get all worked up about things like buying lunch and stuff like that.

After the race I sort of felt a loss of focus for cycling, as I am still up in the air how to approach the next season. I actually am going to talk to Dave Morris about coaching this week. I want him to help map out the macro level view of the rest of this year and next year, and then start getting coached by him starting with the SMSP phases and into the in season riding.

There are two more races left this year but they are in October. And starting off season training after those races puts my endurance phase right in the middle of the worst part of the year here, so I want to figure out hte best way to actually be able to do those long rides and not half ass them.

I was pretty soar two days after the race, and just rode to get my legs to come back. Our baby sitters dad and brother were in town and they are big time road cyclists. We did the Spruce run ride. Her Dad, Craig is a beast. It was pretty tough keeping up with him. I rode ok, definitely still fatigued from the race, but I was happy with my legs. I got a calf cramp(twinge) too.

This cramping thing is still on my back. I thought the endurolytes would fix me for the race as they worked in training. But it's another reminder that I don't work myself hard enough in training as I do racing. That is another thing I want to talk to a coach about. Developing some strategies for combating the cramping. Cause I know I could have placed top 3 if I didn't cramp.

On Sat I rode mountain bikes with my neighbor John. We went up OF and down the other side. It DOWNPOURED on us, and we cut back through Laurel Ridge to get home. Worst downpour I've ever ridden in. My brakes were to my bars and not stopping me coming down Laurel Ridge road.

Took some more days off, and rode the single speed in today. It felt really good. I want to get out after this conference call for an hour or so. And tomorrow try some intervals on the trainer.

The one major thing I noticed in the race is the ability to do a hard effort and pass someone really taxes me, and I don't have the recovery afterwards. Which means I need to do intervals with lower recovery times. I've been thinking about them but been scared to do them because of how painful they are. I have to get myself over this fear and train harder so that in the race it isn't so bad.

Yeah easy to say, hard to do with job, wife, kids, etc.

I'm also still working out the orthotic issue. I sent back some ones I get from Doctor's Foot Labs. That guy is an asshole. He gave me the total hardsell about these latest and greatest in orthotics and I totally gave and bought them. And he sent me 3/4 length ones that are on his web site and not the newest latest greatest he promised. I tried them and yes I got a noticeable increase in power and comfort, but the 3/4 length bugged me. Still got numbess but not as bad. I am going to call the guy at and talk to him as he is a real cyclist. I just want to make sure I get my money back from the other dork.

Of course I'm also still playing the ebay buying /selling of cycling shoes. Now I just won some DMT size 41.5 road shoes, and I have a bid on some size 41 specialized mountain shoes. I have my diadora 41 MTB shoes up for sale, they were just too small. My road shoes Specialized are too big. It's not like I really lose too much money. I consider the shipping cost to be like a rental fee, and I almost always sell them for what I paid for, or even make a buck here or two.

I also won some wheels. Some Hugi specialized Sworks wheel. the rear is what I really want. The front has that Skraxle type of axle, which I'm not too sure about. I want to weigh it an look at how it is to mount on to the fork. I might keep it or sell it. I also still have that pair of hubs that I was going to build into wheels. Now I am thinking of having a race set and a training set. Fun Fun. always something to do and think about and occupy time.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Best race in a long time

Well, I did the Massanutten Hoo Ha yesterday. Whew, that was a tough tough course.

My warmup started on Sat. Even though the weather was ok, just sprinking, I actually wanted to ride on the trainer. I did an 30 mins then 5x1 intervals at 320+watts. Sometimes I was up to 350 and 360 watts. I felt really strong, and being on the trainer allowed me to just daydream, visualize, and put my head down and grind the intervals.

Woke up at 6am and got ready on Sun. I'd packed the day before and just had to eat breakfast and load the cooler. I had an egg sandwich and water. I made some iced coffee to drink 1 hr before the race. Was able to go the bathroom several times, which is important for me.

Drive went fine, had to pull over a couple of times to go to the bathroom and was trying to drink water during the drive. Made it in 2.5 hrs. Talked to Todd Reighly and his friend Skip for a few minutes. Didn't see anyone else from Blacksburg up there. Registered and got all suited up.

I brought some thinner socks to wear with my cycling shoes and I only ended up putting the right one on. I wonder how I looked with one grey sock and one white sock. Maybe I should make that my trademark.

I took 3 Endro caps 1hr before the race. Started my warm up 30 mins before the race. 10 mins easy, 5 mins at zone 4, then 3x1 min intervals. I hightailed it back to the start and everyone was already lined up. I got in with the other sport vets, it took at least 10 more mins till we went off.

Off the start, I felt awesome, passed bunch really easily, made it onto the first climb and was just spinning a big gear. Moving up fine. My legs felt fantastic. The first part was lots of single track, technical with buried baby head rocks. I had the Mythos XC on the rear with 40 psi. I think a little less would have been better. I slipped out a bunch on some wet rocks but much less than if I'd had the Conti on there.

So I was slowly passing some people, doing fine, and made it to the paved road climb and passed a few more, including, I think, the first place vet sport guy.

But when we hit the ridge, I lost it. It is so technical that I lost all rhythm and I don't have the skill or power to muscle up those rocky sections. The ridge was hard, and I just did my best to make it through it. The last thing I needed was to land on my knee on some rocks, so I really gave up on trying to ride a lot of the technical rock gardens. That and I'd been pushing my legs too hard early on in the race and I knew I was going to fry them if I tried to muscle up them. But I did ride some parts pretty well.

After the ridge was some downhilling. I felt fine on the downhills. Not sketchy, in control, but that also means I was pretty slow. I got passed a bunch on the downhills. It's okay with me. I wish I was a tad faster, but it was SO rough, I'm glad I didn't crash.

I'd been trying to take Hammer Gel ever 1/2 hour and Enduro caps every hour. At 1:38 into it I got my first leg cramp. Not too debilitaling but you have to just shut down and noodle. It didn't feel too bad. And they kept coming off and on till the end of the race. I was so pissed about the cramps, I thought with those Enduro caps I'd had it beat. But training is nothing compared to racing. My speculation is that my training is no where near as hard as racing, and also that I'd been pushing bigger gears earlier in the race because I'd felt so good. Oh well.

One time I had a total quad leg lockup trying to walk up this hill. After that one went away I was lit up. Even so, with the cramps and all, I still had some strong legs. I cleaned several hills that others were walking.

Always try and climb even if someone else is walking. It is so easy to succumb to the mob mentality and lose heart when you see someone else walking. It's like you've already got your excuse. So it felt good to clean a bunch of those grunts.

Man that course is just hard. Rocks everywhere.
hoo ha 2004
Hard to get a rhythm going. And it is just a never ending course. Man where is the finish. Left here, right there, where the hell are we. Finally I could hear the finish line and barely see it through the trees. I had a HUGE smile on my face to be finished with that race.

Like always I smiled and thanked every worker, marshall and spectator I could. And went up to George Willets, the organzier and thanked him.

5th place Mens Sport. 2:37 overall time. They called out the top 5 and I got to go stand up front and I even got a medal. Ansel was so thrilled to see me with the medal. I was so stoked. It is amazing what that finish did for my moral. 5th place in a small regional race, and a little 5$ medal, and I'm on top of the world. On the flip side, I just need to accept the fact that I don't have the ability to hang with the experts right now.

Though at one point I was winning the Vet sport race, and if I can just figure out these cramping issues, I know I could have been on the podium.

the other success, was that I maintained focus on this race better than I ever have in the past. There was no inner dialouge about next seasons' training and crap like that.

I had a few lines from the Who's Tommy going in my head.
-Tommy can you hear me,
Tommy doesn't know what day it is, he doesn't know who Jesus was or what Praying is, how can he be saved, from the eternal grave.......

and some other lines, over and over and over.

Plus sometimes I'd repeat the mantra
-He's right around the corner

over and over. I learned that from Kurt Kabica at Davis.

After the race, I was spent. My stomach hurt, my head hurt, everything hurt. Today I am really sore. But it's all good because that means that I gave a lot to the race where in the past I know that I haven't pushed as much as I know I could.

So now what. There was supposed to be a race Aug 29 at Mountain Lake but it looks like it is cancelled. And then there are no series races until Oct 3rd and Oct 10. There are also some other things in Sept.

But the big dilema for me, is that if I start lifting after the Oct races, it puts me in the endurance phase right in January which is just crap for weather around here. And I know I just won't be able to do a good job with it. So I can start lifting now, and be doing endurance work in November when you can still ride and then do indoor work during the worst 2-3 months. and then be ready to go April.

I need to hire a coach for some consultation. I'm so sick of guessing and second guessing my self.

Anyway that's it for now.

Friday, August 13, 2004

easy with a few jumps

Road bike down into valley, rode easy with 2x1min. Felt pretty strong, but had not had lunch so wanted to get food in me soon

Tomorrow will be the same 1hr+ 5x1min intervals, and packing truck up, then race on Sun.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Just like the Belgians

Did :45 mins in pouring rain this afternoon. I had to get out and do something. The worst thing you can do before a race is take too much time off because the legs get stale, and stiff, and I am really susceptible to this. It takes me sometimes as many days as I take off to get my legs back.

So I went out in the hard pouring rain to this nearby hill and rode up partway pretty hard. There was some power in the legs but they were stiff and my heart/lungs weren't prepared either.

But it's good to hurt now so that I'll get all the pipes primed for Sun. I'll take it easy tomorrow too, but with a few short hops. Sat will be 1 hr + 5x1min intervals.

How time flys

I was looking through some old cycling logs, and the last time I did the Hoo Ha was in 1999. Ansel was 1 year old then. Man how time flys. It's funny, when people said that it is amazing how fast kids grow up, I said, 'yeah right' but after having kids it is SO true.

It is a condundrum though, sometimes they grow way to fast, other times, they take forever (when you are in a rough time). One of the most difficult things I ever did was to let go of some of my personal dreams/ambitions when we had our first child. Sure theses are pretty minor dreams/ambitions when compared to those of Olympic and national athletes, but still, it's not fair to belittle anyone's goals, whether they are a first time beginner, or an Olympic hopeful.

However, letting go for a few years of those dreams was a good choice. Because it just caused way too much conflict with the wife over training, racing, etc. And it also just took time away from just being around the kids. Which, for all the bitching and moaning I do internally about not being able to do the things I want, is actually a really important thing to me.

Example, I was reading Lucas (Lukie) a book before bedtime last night and he wanted to hold my arm while reading to him. So given the choice between standing on the podium vs reading him a book before bedtime, which would I chose? story time in a heartbeat.

So I am going to race again, and it just needs to be put into perspective with the rest of my world. Something I need to remember is that just getting off your butt, and signing up for a race takes a lot of courage. To go out there and stand on the line with another 100 other people ready to flog yourself isn't an easy thing. So just from the get go, I am doing better than 99% of the other people in the country who are on their couch watching TV or getting over a hangover.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Some inspirational quotes on Cycling

10k Truth Quotes on Cycling

My Faves:
"Pain is a big fat creature riding on your back. The farther you pedal, the heavier he feels. The harder you push, the tighter he squeezes your chest. The steeper the climb, the deeper he digs his jagged, sharp claws into your muscles."
Scott Martin

"To be a cyclist is to be a student of cycling's core lies pain, hard and bitter as the pit inside a juicy peach. It doesn't matter if you're sprinting for an Olympic medal, a town sign, a trailhead, or the rest stop with the homemade brownies. If you never confront pain, you're missing the essence of the sport. Without pain, there's no adversity. Without adversity, no challenge. Without challenge, no improvement. No improvement, no sense of accomplishment and no deep-down joy. Might as well be playing Tiddly-Winks."
Scott Martin

First Post

First post on a blog. This is mainly to document my cycling/training, but I'll fill it with whatever comes to mind.

The Title stands for
  • MWC (Married with Children)
  • FTJ (Full Time Job)
  • NGT (No Genetic Talent)

    I guess a little background and introduction is in order. I'm 36, married with two wonderful boys (one just turned 6 and the other will turn 4 in September). Full time job, and also just a regular athletic joe. In fact less than regular, basically no genentic talent, so I've got to try harder to reach a level that others can get to with less effort.

    Anyway, I've been into cycling since 1988. It's been something that has been instrumental and central to my life since that time. It is something that encompasses almost all parts of my life. It brings happiness and joy, as well as frustration and sadness. Unfortunately, it has become one of those things that, as a friend described, is an EGO INVESTMENT. I am ego invested in this sport. So if I do poorly, than to me it reflects on my self worth. Which is of course isn't as it should be. But that's the way it is like it or not.

    I'd never been all that great at mountain bike racing, but I just kept doing it. I even met my wife at a mountain bike race. It's a good story remind me to tell you about it sometime. Cycling was our life, our friends were cyclists, all weekend trips revolved around cycling, etc. However, when our first child came that all changed. It became readily apparent that I couldn't continue to place training and racing as a priority. So I sort of just let it go. I said, "hey, have fun, ride to smell the roses, and to enjoy the outdoors". Ok So I did that.

    And you know what, I got slow. It sucked. I coughed up a lung every time I climbed any hill. It just wasn't that fun anymore. I missed being fast enough to have fun.

    So I changed my plan, I said, ok let's train enough to reach what I call the Speed of Fun. The speed at which you are going fast enough to be having fun, where you can climb up some hills fast enough to hold your momentum, and where you can power out on the flat singletrack and be flying.

    I found a great training philosophy pioneered by Dean Golich and Dave Morris involving Block training. Basically two to three days hard in a row, maintaining intensity but decreasing volume through the block followed by rest. It worked so well into my life. Hour here, go balls out, 45 mins next day balls out, 1/2 hour next day balls out. Followed by 2-3 days of nothing.

    Perfect for my new life of Married with children, and ability to focus hard for a short time, then let go.

    And you know what, I got sort of fast again. It's all relative by the way. Fast meaning fast for me. And all was good, it was fun again. I could ride hard and enjoy it. But for an hour!!

    Another by product of MWC, was this mortality complex. I got so much slower on the downhills. I didn't want to get hurt. One reason was that getting hurt could affect my ability to provide for my family. The other reason is more comical. My wife got pissed off at me one time when I crashed. It was so funny. I'm bleeding from my nose, and scraped all over and she is ticked off. First words out of her mouth were, "Now you won't be able to help out".

    It was pretty funny when you think about it after the fact. Anyway, it sucks that I've gotten slower but I'm getting older, not as spry shall we say, take longer to recover, etc. It doesn't bug me too much, cause I've opted to emphasis more climbing than the downhilling now. However, it is starting to get better. I put a new fork on the bike. Manitou Black SPV 80, which helped slow the front end down a little bit, and I went to the Stans tubeless conversion which allows me to run lower tire pressures which has smoothed things out some. And of course, I'm just riding more than I used to which is really the main reason why I've slowed down. When you go from 5 days a week off road to 1-2 that tends to happen. Duh.

    Fast forward a little. 2 kids now. But things are a little easier. How about trying to race again. So I set up a training plan in earnest. Trying my best to follow a program as outlined in Dave Morris' book Performance Cycling
    Which you can find at amazon

    Yeah, I wrote the first review of it. I LOVE it. I am thinking really hard of hiring him as a coach for a year.

    So this year I've been on the program since Nov 2003. The problem was the 1 month period of long endurance rides happened to coincide with a pitiful winter. So I sort of half assed that part of the program, and paid the price come the first race in April.

    This on series up here is sort of screwed. You have an April race, one in May then nothing until August again, then it goes into October, and there are some other cool events in October. It's hard for me to figure out how to plan out the whole season, where the endurance phase is actually during a time when I can ride based on the winter, and where I'm not going to be indoors all day during when the weather gets nice. I might just bag the first April race next year, I'm not sure. I either want to be raring to go for that April race, which means starting the off season in September and missing out on the October events, or start the off season in Nov, and be doing endurance rides in March and indoor work in May.

    Anyway, it's August now, and I'd only done that one April race. Problem with doing only a few races, is that you only get a couple of shots at the glory.

    I've got a big race coming up this Sunday. Massanutten Hoo-Ha. I'm pretty nervous already. The main thing I'm thinking about is to just worry about those things that are in my control.


    I'm trying to think of little mantras and things to think about that I can say in my mind during the race to mantain focus. One of my bad habits is to be in the middle of a race and start thinking about the training I'm GOING to be doing next year so that I am not sucking wind like I am in this race. Not a good thing to to be doing in the middle of a race.

    Why is it so hard to be able to concentrate and focus for as small a period as 2-3hours.

    We had just gotten back from a week in Salt Lake City and Yellowstone Park. I got to ride for a few days there. At Altitude. My legs felt fine, but my heart /lungs hurt bad. It was so awesome coming back, I feel incredible.

    Yesterday I did 1 hour on the mountain bike and rode awesome, felt a little awkward on the technical sections but had lots of power.

    The rest of this week will be easy riding, combined with some short intervals to stay sharp, with a full day off on Friday.