Thursday, August 31, 2006

Good days and bad days

Sometimes you have good days like this past weekend where I shaved 10minutes off my time from last year on the Rowdy Dawg Course. I was riding the last stretch so strong I was standing up and hammering.

And other days are bad days like yesterday where I rode in the afternoon with CP and just felt terrible. I think that I was bonked before we even started riding. I must learn someday how to properly eat when riding in the afternoon. Because now matter what it seems like I never eat enough. It wasn't until 1hr into the ride that I started to feel better after the energy drink starting kicking in.

My new bike felt just as slow as the previous bike. Which means that when you feel like crap and you'll still feel like crap on a fancy new bike. My front tire was having problems and was loosing air pressure down the Beast. I felt like I was getting bucked too far forward and then on the last hair section of root steps the front end felt totally mushy. I thought it might be the fork at first. Then the front dived and I went down.

The last downhill I started to feel a tad better. But this ride wasn't a good way to test a new bike. The weight balance is slightly different. The wheelbase is just a tad longer so in general my timing is off totally. So it deserves some more rides and some better prep on my part to review it properly

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Rowdy Dawg

Rowdy Dawg Mountain Bike Race
October 15, 2006

Start Time : 11:00
9:00 am for XXC
$10 for Beg 1

Special Thanks to Sponsors:
Oury Grip
Hammer Nutrition
Bicycling Magazine
Trek Bicycles
Sole Footbeds

I will be hosting a beginner racer clinic on September 23rd at the race course. Probably starting at 9am.

-Well go over fixing flats, chains
-basic bike prep b4 a race
-basic nutrition for pre event and during the race
-some basic tips on pacing / passing and strategy (survive!)
-And we'll ride the whole Beginner 1 course. Beginner 2s are welcome to join for the first part as it's on their course
email me directly at if you are interested and I'll send more information.

Cost is FREE, pay me back by coming out and racing.

See HERE for a flyer


Rowdy Dawg is one of the longest running mountain bike races in Virginia. The tradition continues on October 15th, 2006 on Brush Mountain in Blacksburg. This year's event will be very grassroots without a lot of hoopla. Just hanging out and racing hard. There will be water stations along the course but there will be no food served after the race so come prepared.

The Brush Mountain Breakdown is a trail running race that will be held the day before on Saturday. If you're a zealot for punishment you can do both. Man that would be something, I'm so unbalanced due to specialization to cycling that I can barely walk to the fridge.

The staging area will be at the the Broce's Field which is located off Forest Service Road 708 in the Jefferson National Forrest just down a little from Boley Fields campground.

Directions: Coming from West Virginia: Turn right onto Forrest service Road 708 (located at the top of Gap Mountain)

Coming from Blacksburg, VA: Turn left onto FS Road 708. This is the next road after the Pandapas Pond Recreation Area and Craig Creek Road (Rt 621)

This is a gravel fire road that will take you to the staging area.

708 also comes out the other end at Lick Run road should you prefer to take surface roads. For reference the closest primary road is Prices Fork Road.

map to boley

Course Descriptions

Use this info for background reference only. It's sort of a mish mash of last year's course and what we've discussed this year's course as doing. Rely on the information you get at registration and the pre-race meeting for the your official course:

Experts will do the following: Poverty Creek to, Gap trails, down royale, up horse nettle, to Brush Mtn Ridge Road down snake root, Poverty Creek to, up horse nettle, down the Jacob’s ladder- , left on Poverrty Creek, cross over 708 at Beauty parking lot, over to Queene Anne to 3way then left at 3way and back on Gap trails /PCT to the start/finish staging area.

Sports – Poverty Creek to, Gap trails, down royale, up horse nettle, to Brush Mtn Ridge Road, down Jacob’s Ladder, left on Poverty Creek, cross over 708 at Beauty parking lot, over to Queene Anne to 3way then left at 3way and back on Gap trails /PCT to the start/finish staging area.

Beg 2 – Fire road, poverty creek trail, left on queen anne, and then back on Road to Poverty Creek trail, turn right and take this all the way back.
beginner course

Beginner 1/Kids race- Poverty Creek, to Knobbit, turn around and come home

***What is the difference between Beginner 1 and Beginner 2? Beginner 1 is for someone who is new to mountain biking and hasn't done much at off road riding or is new to cycling. No race course is ever easy, but if you've been riding a little bit and want more of a challenge go for Beginner 2.****

XXC- course to be determined- Teresa has an idea of a really “sick” course route, but word is that it could be really , really hard, tell her( what you think: Gap to Royale to Horse Nettle, along the ridge, down beauty, along poverty creek, up horse nettle, down snake root, back on Gap. Or some twisted variation with an extra lap around queen anne, gap and royale to get back to Horse Nettle.

Here is a description of some of the course. The main course is a lollipop shape, where you go out single track, do a loop (experts do 2 loops: The 1st down Snakeroot, the second down Beast), and return on the same single track. It is about 90% single track and 10% gravel/dirt road.


Rowdy dawg course map

**NOTE** most of the pictures here show some techncial trail features because pictures of smooth trail all look the same. It isn't all like the pics below so don't let them scare you ****

The start line will be on the FS 708. This is all gravel and will be slightly downhill to single-file turn onto the Gap mtn Side poverty creek trail. The road length is just slightly long enough to string people out, but you will be coming to an almost complete stop as riders que up to turn onto the single track. As with any mtn bike race position to the front is an advantage, but let me tell you, this is a long hard course and there is plenty of opportunity to pass. So be courteous at the que and let's get everyone through safely.

A. Gap Side Poverty Creek Trail
This was a trail that was cut several years ago by the Forrest service with a small tractor. Poverty creek is actually on the other side of the fire road, but it was constantly muddy and under water so they moved part of the trail to the Gap mountain side. When it was originally cut it was very wide, nicknamed the Interstate. Over the years the track has been worn in making it more single track but with plenty of width to pass when needed.

This portion has some short steep climbs/downhills. It is typical very dry and loose with gravel on top of hardpack as well as some deep sandy sections. Watch yourself here, as it is VERY easy to override the turns. Many of the turns are just slightly off camber and can catch you off guard especially when you are at the redline.

There are also several false flats. The perception is that it is flat or downhill but it is really a gradual climb. This can really play with your mind so don't worry. There are a few large logs across the trail that will require dismounts.

The trail will come to a T and you will continue up the steep hill to the left. I believe that one of the beginner courses will use the T as a turn around point.

This trail will eventually top out and dump you onto an old gravel jeep road downhill. This is a rocket run downhill but be careful of the corners. Before this road reaches FS 708 there will be a left hand turn onto the Trillium Singletrack which is part of the Gap Mountain trails.

B. Gap Mountain Trails
These trails are definitive of mid Atlantic single track. Rocky, rooty, twisty. Just phenomenal. This direction is the harder way with more climbing than on the way back. There are plenty of rock gardens, small stream crossings, and roots.
It's not all rocky and there is plenty of smooth fast single track too.

These trails tend to follow the countour lines so there aren't any real long climbs but there are several very steep grunter climbs, so save some energy for those.

Several rock gardens consists of those buried baby head rocks that require momentum to get through. The key is to go fast enough that you can ride across the tops and keep from getting sucked down into the crevices. So again, save some gas for these.


There are some technical rock gardens, the key is to be fluid and nimble and be able to pop the front wheel on demand. All this gets harder in a race situation though so if it seems over your head walk it, I do plenty of times.

When you reach a stone bridge you are just a few yards from a 3 way intersection and the start of the loop.

At the 3 way intersection you will bear to the left. This leads you into some steep climbing with some of the toughest rock garden sections to get through. This will lead to another Y. We will go to the left onto some of the newer singletrack in the area. A very fun track. Some technical sections
DSC03314 (though we go the other direction of this rider)

C. Royale

This trail drops down to the main Forrest Service road 708 that you drove in on and started on. A short jog to the left up the road and you'll turn onto the Royale (with cheese) singletrack. This a super super fun run . The top part is fast and fairly smooth. It leads into a fast rough section that will really bounce you around. The trees are tight and there are some small logs that can be ridden across the trail. After the rough section there is a new wider cut that was done by the forrest service. It is a zig-zaggy section with some really tight and fast corners that also have NO camber. So get your weight on the outside pedal and brake before the turns, otherwise you'll slide ride off.

This dumps onto the original Poverty creek Trails. And you'll make a left

This trail is smooth and fast and mid to big ring. This is a multi use trail so be aware of hikers.

D. Horse Trails

You'll make a sharp right turn across the creek and get onto Joe Pye. AKA Horse hair. This is a really fun pretty section that has a slight incline to it but is a mid ring blast. The trail cuts through the foliage with some tunnels, and crosses a few small creaks.

Watch the wet roots. It eventually starts climbing to a midpoint where you drop all the way back down to the creek again.

This leads to the main horse trail which is the longest extended climb of the course. The trail is wide, and smooth with one really steep loose grunt. This trail tops out onto the Brush Mountain Jeep Road which runs along the top of Brush Mountain.

E. Brush Mountain Fire Road
This road has several large rollers on it. It's tough to hold your speed up and over but if you can you'll make big time though the risk is blowing up sky high. There always seems to be one more roller every time I ride it.

You'll come to a fire circle that the locals use turn burn their spare refrigerators, vehicles, and sofas. There is a new single track here that // the fire road. It is really fun but loose so watch the turns. It comes out at the top of the Snake Root Trail.

It hasn't been decided yet if the course will run down Snake Root or run down Jacob's Ladder. Historically the course has gone down Jacob's ladder aka the Beast

D. The Beast
I love the Beast. It's just an awesome run. It was called the Beast because for many years it had been very overgrown and by the time you got to the bottom your arms and face would be cut up from overhanging pricker bushes so it looked like you did battle with a Beast.

The very top is smooth with some tight switchbacks.

This leads to a straight rocket run with a sidehill to the right.

Let off the brakes and look out cause it is fast. Watch the speed though, because it trail eventually comes to a slight right turn. The mid section is some troughs through the rhododendrons and then levels out to a very fast big ring section. At a slight upgrade there is a large log across the trail so keep your head up for this.

There is some more big ring flatter stretches before it get real steep again

This eventually leads to a steep rough trough.

At the bottom there are some 2-3' drops off the roots. Sometimes you can sky off them though rolling them can be safer, IF you remember to get your weight back and NOT use the front brake.

At the very bottom is a root stair case

GET YOUR WEIGHT BACK and STAY OFF THE FRONT BRAKE. Walk it if necessary. Don't cut to the right too far or your handlebar will get caught by the small trees that line the side.

At the bottom wring out your hands from all the braking and jump back onto the Poverty Creek through this small rock garden

Turn Left on the creek trail. Smooth Big Ring blast.

This will dump you out to a parking area where there should be a water station. A sharp right and you'll cross that same FS 708 gravel road and will climb onto the Queene Ann (Old Gap) trail. This rolls on some short steep ups and downs. Be careful of the small woodenbridge if it is wet. It gradually climbs to eventually connects at that 3 way intersection where the loop started.

In years past experts turned right and did another loop, and sports turned left and went back the way they came to the finish. It hasn't been decided if there will be an additional loop for experts or not.

The way back is slightly easier than the way out except for the fact that you've got a lot of hard riding under your belt. The gravel road climb is also an oven if it is hot. The last section can also catch you by surprise as there are several steep grunters and off camber turns. By this time you're pretty wasted but you still have to be vigilant.

This is a hard course no doubt about it. No recovery. you are either climbing, or downhilling in technical terrain. Be prepared with food and water. It can get really hot in the open sections. The rocks claim many flat tires, so make sure you know what tire pressure works for you.

Just for reference, I am an upper level vet sport / low level vet ex racer. Last week I did a race simulation and had the following splits

Start to 3way : 37
Loop: 55
3 way back to the finish 36

I run IRC Serac 2.1s up front and IRC Mythos 2.1 in the rear with Stan's Tubeless at 28psi (I'm 130lbs). The course is perfectly doable on a hardtail and might even be faster given the climbing, but there is a lot of trail chatter that makes a full suspension very nice on the long haul.

So anyway, please come out if you're interested. It's a really awesome challenging course and it will be a low key grass roots hanging out kind of time.

Special Thanks to Teresa Martinez for taking on the thankless job of promoting this race and Nancy for coordinating volunteers. There is so much work that goes on behind the scenes to pull something like this off, even a low key grassroots version. And please thank the volunteers/SAR/ ham radio guys if you come out to race, things like these can't happen w/o them.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Congratulations to JB

Contgratulations to Jeremiah Bishop.

8th at the World Championships

That's the best we've done in the men's race since Tinker in 1995.

Mary M. got 6th and Dara Marks was riding in 7th till a huge bonk took her to 17th

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Race Simulation: Rowdy Dawg

John and I did a race simulation on the Rowdy Dawg Course. He had an awesome idea to take our time gap from last year and stagger the start. So he had a monkey on his back in the form of me chasing him down, and I had a rabbit to chase. It was such a blast.

The Rowdy Dawg is a tough tough course. The sport course is a lollipop, out singletrack, a loop, back the same way. Expert loop is the same but two laps of the loop. You can ride out here all your life and have no problems, but try racing it and it will eat you up. People come from out of town and poo-poo it because it doesn't have any big features like the long climbs of Douthat, or the technical ridges like Dragon's Back or Massanutten. They change their tune by the end of the race, and most say it is one of the hardest courses.

I was on the hardtail today and was a little worried. There is a ton of trail chatter out here, rocks, roots, that just pound you.

But it rode really well. The biggest problems were my hands and lower back, but for the most part I was stoked. Today I felt nimble and light on the wheels.

John started and I gave him 20 minutes before chasing. Unlike a real race, I didn't have the crazy energy of the starting line, and that feeling that I'm going way to slow because I'm off the back. Here it was find the sweet spot as soon as possible and be consistent.

It was awesome. Just riding consistent. Good tempo. It's wrong to say a time trial, because the only steady state sections are extended climbs. But I tried hard to stay within my limit on the flats, so I could go into the red for short periods on the short climbs and technical sections. On long climbs I tried to start in an easier gear than necessary and grab harder gears towards the top and after topping out.

So so different from the last time I raced here where I'd gone out way to fast on the start and felt like I was going backwards on the many technical sections that I know can be ridden strong.

The first part was really loose. Sandy. The hardtail has an 80mm fork while the dually has a 100mm. The 100 makes for a longer wheelbase and better high speed cornering. It took a while to get my front end under control as I was trying to muscle it too much. Almost washed out several times into the trees.

The course goes down a gravel road and jumps onto the Trillium trails. Here it starts to get rockier. Again just trying to hold it together and ride consistently. It was really fun to have someone to chase. One mantra was 'he's right around the corner...he's right around the corner." Everyone I'd pass I'd ask...did..(pant) pant) with...a...yellow (pant pant) helmet?

I felt bad a few times cause I knew some riders but didn't hang out to chit chat. Racer boy mode.

The gap trails are meat grinders. Partially buried rocks

If you hit these one iota too slow, your wheels get sucked down into each crevice. The leadout work I've been doing has been key for these types of sections cause I could increase my cadence to hold speed through here, and then not be totally blown on the other side.

37minutes to the start of the lollipop loop (3 way intersection)

The loop includes the Beast down hill. The bottom looks like this

My hands were killing me. Not sure if it was because of the V brakes (vs discs) the 80mm fork (vs 100mm) or the lack of rear suspension. I think it was the brakes.

This downhill is always potential for full on carnage, it's better to make it down in one piece that try to gain a lot of time.

55 minutes for the loop

Now the way back on the Gap trails. I passed a large group at the top of a steep grunt. They were hanging out and gave me some intel that they'd seen John. I started to get on it then. Two of them with full suspension jumped on my tail. This section was very rocky.
Behind me it sounded like a machine gun. Ga-GAGGAga--gAg-a-g...Rattle, clank...Like they were right on my wheel which they were. Of course I tried to go faster, and was getting tired and too close to being on the edge. On a smooth section I threw down a short sprint and gapped them huge. But man, that was just pure stupidity and chip on shoulder riding. Cause it took me over the sweet spot in a big way. They caught up on the next rocky section and I decided to let them by so I could calm down and get back to the plan.

At the beginning I was riding with my head. Now I was riding with heart. Go go goo. catch 'em if you can. Right around the corner, right around the corner. I was making mistakes in handling, almost washing out several times. Didn't seem to be bonking but the legs could cramp at any instant though were holding strong.

Finally that corner came and I saw him walking up a steep grunt. He'd bonked, like white spots bonking. John gave me a good push on steepest section which helped a lot. I 'thought' we were right near the finish and that was the last steep hill...WRONG. This trail gets longer and longer every time I ride it. More and more where was the end. But I was hossing it. Felt strong. A couple of times I actually stood up and honked out of the saddle. Maintaining momentum and shooting up and over. an expert man. This is the stuff that I've visualized about and rarely if ever have ridden like. This was slightly short lived though as the final sections were on vapors. Made it to the gravel road and just tried to get to the finish line. John rolled in a few minutes later.

36:20 from the 3 way. This direction is easier that going out but I also had 1.5hrs under my belt. So I was really happy.
2:08 total. The route we ran had the Royale trail on it that wasn't in the race last year, so that added on a few minutes. So call it maybe 2:05 for the same course last year.

Last year I did it in 2:15. Stoked. Nutrition wise things seemed to go good. 2 bottles of Heed.
At the end I felt strong. Not totally over the edge. I'm quite fond of this pacing strategy now. Screw those crazy starts. And worrying about position from the get go. Just ride my own ride. Works much better. Stay in control. Have the gas to ride the grunters/steeps. Ride the tech sections like you own em. Crest climbs with enough juice to grab a harder gear. Recover back to the sweet spot. repeat.

I am hopeful that the dually will make it slightly faster over the long haul.

But alas, here is the rub. Now that I'm a big time expert, I need to do 2 laps of the loop. Okaaaayy... That'll be at least another 50 minutes-1hr. So now we are talking 3hrs+ given everything going according to plan.

You know what the top experts did it in last year?

1 2:24:07 Justin Thomas
2 2:35:25 Todd Reighly
3 2:45:02 Chris Pohowsky
4 2:46:36 Justin Riddle

That's the goal, right there. It's good to have goals you know. I'm very happy with my riding right now. Better than last year. One step at a time. Put one foot in front of the other and soon you'll be walking out the door.

Notes to self :rdawg sport simulation

Breakfast: 6:30am
two pieces toast
natural peanut butter
egg white
Soy milk

3 Sport Legs at 8:30am

1 bottle (20oz) Gatorade 1.5 scoops (25g carbs) on the way out there.

Heed (1.5 scoops) per small water bottle (25g/scoop)=37g / small bottle
Started drinking immediately from start
1bottle in first hour
2nd bottle in jersey side pocket, swapped out when empty
2:08 total time had a little bit left in the 2nd bottle.

Camel back plain water (no elete) 40oz almost empty when finished

-5 Sport legs (carried in plastic bag) stopped on trail and downed at 40minutes in

very slight stomach bloating, some burping, not too bad. No bonking. Hungry feelingin stomach
no cramps.

After had a Payday protein bar. Mistake now I felt worse.

Conclusions: stay under 40g carbs/hr. Maybe 30g/hr might be better. Sweet spot is to limit stomach upset and not bonk at the same time.

Notes on gearing:
Hardtail has 24/32/42 up front and 12-28 on back. Only a few times was gearing not low enough to climb well. This works when fresh. When really tired gearing is too high. I spent a lot of time in the small ring sometimes 2,3,4 even 5 gears down.

On FS have 22/32/44 and 12-32.
22/32 is much more of a bail out gear than 24/28. When I rely on it too much I go a lot slower. Today's simulation showed me that I don't need that low a gear. On the FS I've found myself stuck where I'd like to stay in the small ring but was running out of gears. Middle would work ok but might leave me needing to shift back to the small risking chain suck.

Might need to to try a 24 ring on front.

I'd tried a 27t Dura Ace cassette with the 22 and it seemed too hard for overall training. Racing it seemed ok.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My wife is gonna have a nicer bike than me

When a man is obsessive about their hobby, it can be a tough thing to stomach when their wife get's something nicer than them. Well I better get out the Rolaids.

Just ordered a 2006 Titus Racer X Ano Black - XXS for my wife.

It's the ONLY full suspension bike w/o going full on custom that will fit her. This is designed for 5' and under.

This will be the first new bike (mountain or road) she has gotten in over 12 years. Let's see I've had 2 new hardtails and 3 new FS and 3 road bikes in that time. Her hardtail is starting to fade, the seat stays are starting to flex under braking, I can't get the rear wheel to lock up with me on it. Super Light steel does have a useable lifespan. Plus it has a 1" headset and you can't find any decent forks that will work for a very light riders.

Azure dreams


stay tuned


MKIII review at Pink bike.

This is a good review of the DW link MKIII. While I'm an HP and Azure person myself there is some great info on how to setup the DW link.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Doing the expert thing

I'm pretty happy I moved up to do this expert thing. (I affectionatly call it doin' some expert sh*t.)

This last week, I found myself quite motivated during my workouts. This week the legs were hurting, but there was some power there and it's a rewarding feeling to push through the ache and hurt. It's when I can't get myself to hurt when it's disappointing. I was hurting in this last race, and even though results-wise it wasn't anything special it was a good feeling knowing that I pushed consistently and hard.

My mindset is changing a little too. All the aspects of racing/training have taken on new focus.

Training harder (notice I said harder not longer). I'm not adding anything more onto my workouts that isn't already in the schedule. But if the workout calls for a 2hr hard mountain bike ride. Then I seem to be making the hard part harder.

Getting in the carbs right after and for the next few hours after a ride. Protein, getting the legs up, rubbing them down, stretching. Getting to sleep before 10pm.

Eating better
I haven't been craving junk food too much. I'm telling myself that it's ok to eat as much as I want and to not starve myself, but to cut out the junk (candy, fried stuff). We'll see how long it lasts but it's not like it's a huge effort for the moment. All of a sudden, I just don't want it as much.

I've known for a long time that my flexibility and body alignment is off. Cyclists in general are not well rounded unless they do other sports which I don't. But it really seems more noticeable now. I definitely need to try yoga and soon. For now I'm trying to stretch more.

My skill work has slipped a little and I can tell on the bike. Back to the basics, doing the drills and getting the focus back.

With every one of these things, there is no magic bullet. Just attention and consistency day to day. We'll see how long it lasts.

Friday, August 18, 2006

PRQ #11: Bart Gillespie

This is entry # 11 of the PRQ Series

Bart Gillespie



This series has sort of died away as all the recent requests for interviews I've sent out have not been returned. Bart had seen the series on the BLOG and sent in his answers. I appreciate it very much as Bart represents exactly the kind of athlete that inspires me (family, job), and I hope his sponsors appreciate a little (we all know how little!) bit of exposure.

If there are any other pros/semi-pros that would like to be part of the series, you can find the questions here. Just email them back to me at Being a family man or woman is not a prequisite


Who are your sponsors that you’d like to recognize?
Raleigh, SRAM, Rockshox, Truvativ, Rudy Project, Wooblenaught, cliff bar, kuhl, mavic, Revolution, dueter packs.

What makes an athlete a 'good investment' for a sponsor?
Direct sales are nice but otherwise exposure and product feed back.

How long have you been racing mountain bikes, how long as a pro?
I have been racing about 15 years, as a pro for 3 or 4.

What are your goals for 2006?
Win some mountain bike and cyclocross races and have fun and be healthy. With a family and carrer I don't like to set a bunch of specefic goals

Bike Geek Stuff.

What bikes do you race on? What other bikes do you own?
Raleigh Aluminum hardtail for most MTB races, also uses a Raleigh Inferno full suspension for endurance or extremly rough races. 2 killer Raleigh cyclocross bikes, I should be getting some new ones soon. A full carbon Raleigh road bike. I also have a Raleigh commuter bike with full fenders and lights for riding to work in the winter. A nice BMX bike, my 24" BMX was stolen.

How do you see XC technology changing over the next 5 years?
Lighter full suspension, although I hope it does not go too complicated and expensive so those that have the sponsors or means have a great advantage over the little guy.

What component or cycling gear would you pay full retail for if you had to?



How many hours a week do you train (min, max, average)
min- 2 hrs, max 15ish maybe 20, average maybe 10 hrs

Do you have a coach?

Do you follow a scientific periodized cycling specific training program or ‘just ride’?
I have a general plan but just ride how I feel.

Do you strength train?
I move rocks, haul wood, dig dirt, landscape, shovel snow. Who needs a weight room.
editor's note: I saw all the landscaping and construction Bart does at his BLOG. Whew!

How do you recover after a hard ride or workout?
I like choclate milk and playing with my 1 year old daughter but lately I have been landscaping the home we recently built which I don't recomend.

What is your nutrition protocol during a 2-2.5hr XC race?
a few cliff shots, drink as much cliff endurance drink as possible- I like green apple

What is your pacing strategy for an 2-2.5hr XC race?
Go fast at the start and try to hold the pace to the finish


How do you balance the stresses of regular life with training and recovery?
I work full time as a physical therapist, have a family, and have just built a new home so this is often a challenge for me. I commute to a from work for alot of my training to save more time for the family. I find my training is most limited by how much recovery I can get.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I don't feel guilty about any of my pleasures

What advice do you have for those of us with families, and full time jobs who want to race our best?
You can get very near your full potential with very little training time. Be consistent and don't get to out of shape in the off season becasue you won't have the time to build all the way back up. Make it part of your lifestyle. Train for life not racing.

notes to self on Leg recovery

Legs were really hurting yesterday. Race was on Sunday. Post race the legs didn't hurt too much but were tired.

Tuesday was an interval workout that went real well, and Wednseday was a 1.5 hr mountain bike ride with about 35 minutes of hard climbing in there. I was stoked to break 18minutes on Old farm given the condition of my legs, and with the exception of the steps at the bottom I rode the entire Beast.

Thursday my legs ached bad. Hip flexors hurt. Upper shoulders hurt.

Here is what I tried for recovery.

I'd been using the Stick massager (the red one)
(I think I need to get a longer one because this one feels too stiff). I had some trigger points in my legs for sure.

I used the roll on of Bio Freeze at least 3 times throughout the day. Massaged it in

The gel is way better and I need to get some.

Did some self massage, but it's hard with hairy legs.

Stretched my hams against the wall, and also followed some of these stretches for the lymphatic system of the legs.

Though my flexibility is about a 10th of that dude.

I was really surprised how good my legs felt commuting in this morning. But I also did't push it. Tomorrow will tell a lot about if they are recovered or not.