Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rock Climbing

Riding a bike is pure fun, but as Seamus gets old am and frequently presented with opportunities to try new activities, have fun in different ways. Recently we have been spending a lot of time at a rock climbing wall. Nothing big, but skills and strength are required. The way the wall is built we can climb up to the top and then using the hand and foot holds try to circle the entire wall. This seemingly easy activity can be (and frequently is) very difficult. A simple missed hand or foot placement and all chances for making it around the wall are done.
The rock climbing is fun, physically demanding and in many ways mentally challenging. Participating in a sport you are not use to makes the mind work in new ways. Sounds like it is time to go right now, maybe I’ll try to take a few pictures tonight.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


This week has been very successful in terms of donations for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The Jeans Week at work has brought in nearly $700 and I am very close to crossing the $1,000 threshold. This is good for Fat Cyclist as well as cancer survivors on a grand level. If you haven’t done so yet, please consider a small donation, even five dollars helps. Go to THIS SITE to make a donation. I’ll match 20% of any donation through the 19th up to $500 in total donations to help the LAF.

This week I bought a new hat, not really a big deal right. But I bought a hat from the guys at Twin Six (http://www.twinsix.com/). Not only do these guys make fashionable and comfortable gear, they donate a ton of money to LAF on Fatty’s behalf (www.fatcyclist.com). I’ve now got socks, shorts, jersey, arm warmers (all Fatty) and hat from the Twin Six guys. It is all the top quality and stylish looks we want. But for me the real issue is these guys really care. I’d sacrifice a little quality (though I don’t need to) in order to support their business. It is great to find a company that cares for its customers and society.
Time to chill, two hours in the morning before work.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jeans Week and a Race Report

Note: As many of you know this year I am riding with team Fat Cyclist at the Austin LiveStrong ride to help raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The week of July 13-17 my work is letting staff wear jeans to work for a $5.00 per day donation to the LAF on my behalf. Now there is no way I can let your work let you wear jeans, but in recognition of my companies efforts please consider donating, any amount helps. Go HERE AND DONATE ,thanks.

Race number 3 in the Winter Park series was yesterday and the course had a new twist on what is an old classic. Starting in the ski area and riding some of the funniest singletrack in the area you end in Frasier, this year the crew at WP added about 5 miles to the old course, most of those extra miles were uphill. The WP series is fitting in to my schedule this year in an odd way; I’m not really there to race. I’m using the series as my only form of high-end/interval work this year and it shows. When I started the shift to longer races (50+ miles) I knew the first year would require more time working on endurance to ensure I could finish the races and I wouldn’t be able to worry about intervals, shorter races or even results. Thus far the new training is paying off as I’ve finished both 50’s I’ve entered and am now prepping for the Laramie Enduro (about 70) in three weeks.
The race at WP slotted in well for training, a week after the Firecracker and not on a weekend with a long training ride scheduled. I got to WP early and did a long ride to warm up, more than an hour prior to the start. Once the race started I was going pretty good and felt like I was climbing well. I slotted into the middle of the pack for about 45 minutes, then on a downhill I hit a root and went down. Head first with a nice roll on my right side. I got back up and kept racing, but lost all power and ability to focus. I kept on racing and finished the ride, tired, thirsty and with a pounding headache. I assumed the headache was a result of lack of hydration but after taking some electrolyte pills, water, Gatorade and eating lunch the head still hurt. This morning I checked my head (ok Ade did) and there is a pretty good bump on the right side. I’m too lazy to go to the doctor and not overly worried but I don’t think going down hard did me any good for racing.
I still got in a good ride/effort (just about 3.5 hours on the day) and am not overly sore from the crash. This week will be big hours for prepping for Laramie. No more races until Laramie, but lots of time and maybe, just maybe a few intervals.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Crash Course

I raced today. Full race report later. I crashed. I think I have a concusion.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Firecracker 50 Recap

The Firecracker 50 took place last Saturday, fortunately this time I finished. I was planning on a time of 5-6 hours, knowing that a steady pace would be key to finishing and the time not nearly as important to me as going the distance. At 50 miles and with 10,800 vertical feet of climbing (all above 9,500 feet and much above 11,000) the Firecracker 50 is a hard day of riding. I managed to finish in 5:34, a good time but not great.

The race is always a blast, riding down Main Street in Breckenridge with literally thousands of people cheering and watching, as the race starts the 4th of July parade. Given the fact most races have a few dozen spectators, all of whom know racers it is a great feeling to have people who have never seen a race before in their lives cheering you on. I tried to ride a steady and somewhat conservative first lap (25 miles) knowing that the hard part of the race would be the second lap. I tried to draft on the open sections and follow others lines on the technical sections of the course to save energy and pick good lines. The flume trail coming down from Little French was a blast, fast singletrack and the ability to just ride. Coming to the end of the first lap I crashed on the last downhill, misjudging the gap between two trees. It wasn’t a bad crash, but enough to delay me a few minutes. I finished the first lap in 2:34, feeling good and knowing I had fueled well the entire first lap.

Lap 2 was tough, from the top of the climb up to the Iowa Mill I felt like I was maintaining a similar pace, but when I started up Little French for the second time my speed went from slow to really slow. At this point in the race 3:30-4:00 into the race my mind started playing tricks on me and I think the mental aspect slowed me as much if not more than being physically tired. I had to keep refocusing my attention on the positive, stop thinking about how hard the race was, how bad I felt, how a nap on the side of the trail sounded good. After the downhill leading to the third feed zone I knew I’d be able to finish and rode steady and probably faster again up to Sallie Barber Mine. From there it was all downhill and my mind switched from dwelling on the negative to knowing I’d finish.

During the race I followed my nutrition plan perfectly, eating gels, energy bars and Clif Blocks (a new favorite) through the race. I’m not sure of the total food I took in but somewhere in the range of 8-10 gels, 2 bars and 3 Clif Blocks. In addition to the food I went through 10-12 bottles of water or Gatorade (probably a 50/50 split) and 8 Endurolyte pills to keep the electrolytes up in the race. I did start to feel like eating something “real” would be nice about 4:30 into the race so will have to figure something out for a more substantial bite for Laramie.

Now that I know I can physically handle a 5-6 hour race as hard as the Firecracker 50 I hope the mental game gets easier. One of the reasons I race is the challenges I face getting ready for races and in races. Breaking the barrier on the Firecracker 50 was a huge win for me as there are many points where the mind tries to overcome the body and tell you to stop, get off the bike and go home. Saturday I pushed through those thoughts and am more ready than ever to push forward with racing and embrace the challenges and learn from the challenges.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


At the rockies game. Very unlike me. Maybe a new sport. Laramie enduro training start tomorrow.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Firecracker 50

Raced the Firecracker 50 up in Breckenridge today. 50 miles 10,800 vertical feet of climbing. A long day on the bike but finished which was the main goal for the day 5:31 on the bike.