Sunday, November 29, 2009

23-26, BYU

This is a tough one to swallow, but congratulations on the win. Oh, that hurts...

What an exciting game! I thought the freshman (Wynn, not Hall) was going to do it in the end. This game tested Jordan 10x more than TCU and will serve him well over the next 3 years. And that hit he took on the 2nd play - OUCH!!! I was impressed with BYU's defense and how well they stopped the run, and the Utah long ball. I didn't expect that. Well done. I guess the young Utes forcing overtime against a seasoned and experienced team is a moral victory, but it still shows up in the "L" column and that sucks. And so, in spite of the loss, I think the U's future looks bright.

As for Max Hall's unnecessary comments after the game, I'll leave that to Monson and Kragthorpe to more eloquently describe that one. At least Brain Logan and the Ute players interviewed after the game were able to give credit where it was due and not walk hand-in-hand with Maxine into the Lenny Nomes hall of shame. Unbelievably classless! For the sake of the BYU program he just tarnished, I'm glad he won.

And now for the familiar quote that is oh so difficult to say, "wait until next year!" Enjoy your time in the sun.

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Car was Vandalized!

Last night while enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with my sister and her family, my wife's car was desecrated. As you can see, a Y sticker was prominently plastered on 2 windows, without my knowledge, and I drove the public highways as an unsuspecting victim. How could this happen? I don't pay tithing, I don't go to church, I'm not LDS - why me? I could have been injured, or worse yet, someone may believe I am a Y fan! Y would I be a Y fan? U know that would never happen.

Sadly, I called several window replacement companies today and none of them were willing to replace the damaged windows. Something about hazardous waste disposal and liability insurance premiums. My wife will not drive her own car now and my neighbors are looking at me like I'm some kind of alien. My life has been destroyed!!! Y me? Who could be so villainous?

Well, after a very short investigation I found the answer, and the perpetrators. It seems my wonderful niece Astra, and her BYU football player boyfriend, Remington Peck, were the instigators. They thought it was funny!!! I hear they were tickled pink with their "trick" after I drove off unsuspectingly. After all I've tried to do to bring CF awareness to the public, THIS is my payback! I am crushed...

Back to reality. Watch for Rem on the sidelines Saturday. He's number 50 and stands behind "Coach run-on-sentence" who says, I believe if we execute at the highest level and play position football and live up to BYU tradition and focus on what is in front of us and we play in a businesslike fashion and I'm able to maintain my LaVell Edwards stoic face and we do not get overly excited and we overtly continue on our quest for perfection and we stay mindful playing BYU football is about setting and breaking records our 12 - 25 year old+ seniors will elevate their game their children will be thankful and the heavens will open and validate our position as the supreme Utah team, and so, without 5 interceptions or mistakes that will slow our progress our lack of speed will be offset by our superior execution and we will prevail, and so, continue or unprecedented streak of 5 Las Vegas Bowls in a row and our tradition of setting and breaking records will be left intact. (Breathe...)

Don't ya just love rivalry week :-)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cystic Fibrosis

I have a niece and nephew that are both living with Cystic Fibrosis (CF).

Astra, my niece, is 18 and a freshman at the University of Utah. As has been her protocol for years, she undergoes pulmonary treatments at least 3 times a day and has been on supplemental oxygen since last spring.

Alex is 14, limited in his activity and battles the disease more from the digestive standpoint. Both struggle to gain weight and must take enzymes with each meal and snack in order for their systems to partially digest their food. Alex has no appetite and nothing appeals to him except pizza and hot dogs, not even Thanksgiving dinner!

The reason I mention them is because CF is a little known genetic disease that children are born with, and the disease does not get the attention and headlines it should. I'm not even totally certain what it is and was pleased to see an article earlier this week in the SL Tribune describing it and what is being to to help these folks. Click here to read the article.

CF is a cruel disease, it is non discriminatory and it is fatal. During this Holiday Season would you please consider making a small donation to the Boomer Esiason Foundation and give hope to those that dearly need your help.

I've included a link to the Heros of Hope Foundation that has a audio spotlight with Astra (August 2009, Astra Waller). The interviewer, Somer Love, has CF and was the featured person in the SL Tribune article mentioned above.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Where's the Man?

For those of you who have inquired about Kevin Nelson and what's going on in his life, this pic ought to sum it up. He's traded his mountain bike for a fishing pole. Last time he looked at his bike the tires were flat and there was so much dust on it he couldn't tell what color it was. I've invited him back to SLC to do some hill training so he can get back in shape but he says the Florida hills are only 5-10 feet high so he doesn't have much need for what we have to offer. Sounds like he's doing great and all is well on his end.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Fall Day in the Wasatch

There's not too many things more fun than a fall day mountain biking in the Wasatch. That's what I did for a few hours on Saturday, and I was not disappointed.

I rode the Flying Dog trail clockwise from the 24/7 side and experienced much of the the Wasatch offers weather wise. I started dry and loaded with rain gear, just in case, since the sky to the west was black - 1st hint. Nobody was in the parking lot, so that was good - 2nd hint. Since I like riding when nobody else is on the trail, I ignored the hints and took off.

This ride had it all. It was windy, cloudy, wet and dry, rainy, hailey (is that a word?), tacky, muddy, fast and slow. And, I was paced for about 50 meters by a Sage Grouse that ran 10 feet in front of my wheel. That was really funny and I wish I could of gotten a picture of that.

As for the ride, all was well for the 1st 40 minutes and then it started to drizzle. As I got higher the drizzle turned to light tapioca pellets that barely dotted the trail.

About 5 minutes before the summit I had to put on the rain coat cuz I was getting pelted. The trail was still solid and nothing but leaves were sticking to my tires.

As I headed down the Glen Wild side there was a noticeable difference in the trail surface. My tires were getting muddy and the trail was softer. I opted to take the Preserve Interconnect Trail back to 24/7 instead of muck up the remainder of the FD and that was a good call. The rain picked up but the trail shed the water nicely and mud was not a factor. The descent was chilly, but I was able to get some speed and the fun factor increased noticeably. I made it back to the trail head with frozen toes and fingers, but that was part of the experience, and had a smile on my face the rest of the afternoon.

I just love fall riding in the Wasatch.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Race Across the Sky Movie

I just got back from watching the Race Across The Sky movie with Jane, and I'm stoked. Click on the Play Trailer button for a taste of what you're missing. Chris Holley's mug and an Alex Grant's post race commentary added a local flair that makes the movie even cooler. There's lot's of cool riding shots and colorful insightful commentary by Bob Roll. They also threw in a couple of personal stories that got the emotional juices going and show what makes this race what it is - a must do Classic.

If this movie doesn't get you excited about the race, you're dead. I just hope I can get in again in 2010 and get under the 10 hour hurdle.

Monday, October 12, 2009

24 Hours of Moab, 2009

Now that my blood shot eyes have returned to white and the delicious aroma of campfire smoke is fading, it's time to recap the 2009 edition of the 24 Hours of Moab. Of the 7 years I've done this race, the weather was the best I can remember. Sunny, no wind, fast dry course, comfortable days and cool nights and a fantastic collection of friends. What more can one ask for!

As a Grand Masters team (aka the not so pleasant end of the age category spectrum) we again managed to pull off 16 laps and beat the 1st place all chicks team, albeit by only 1 minute 15 seconds! At our present rate of deterioration, can we hold the chicks off for one more year? We may have to recruit a youngster to fight them off in 2010. As for this year, we rode steady and had no mechanical or physical issues so overall the race was a resounding success. Click here for our Mad Dog Gray Hounds results, and here for the overall. Overall we finished 72nd overall out of 365 teams and were 1 minute per lap slower than in 2007. I attrubute that to my horrible night riding times this year.

Captain Bill Dark put together a fun and amply qualified team this year. Jim Westenskow was our rookie, but he rode like a seasoned 24 rider. Jim was the 60+ NORBA National MTB champion 3 years ago and brought a long list of overall top LoToJa finishes with him. At 63 Jim still challenges, and beats, riders decades younger than him. The guys climbs like there's no tomorrow. It was great having Jim on our team and it's going to be sad not having him in 2010. In spite of his great performance, Jim has scratched the 24 hour test off his bucket list and is moving on to other stupid things. Thanks for the great race Jim - it was an absolute pleasure racing with you.

As for my race, I was pleased. My 2 day laps (laps 1 and 4) were strong but my night ones (2 and 3) were my worst ever. This year I found some new lines, rode more efficiently than in past years and finished with a strong 4th lap. Several drops and shelves I've walked in the past I rode this year. Maybe it's the 29er that is giving me more courage, or, age is blocking out my memory. Sand riding has always been a strong point for me and this year was no different - maybe those memories are fantasy too!

An unpleasant lesson was learned this year and that was, weight does not matter when it comes to lighting. I sold my super bright and ultra heavy Nite Rider HID system prior to the race and opted for a lighter weight LED system from Princeton Tech. That was a BIG mistake. My night vision is not the greatest I'll admit, but, the 2- SB2 lights I rode with were barely safe. Although I managed the get through the technical sections, barely, I out ran the lights on the flats and was constantly in fear of going down at high speed. I backed it down more than usual just to stay upright. I will admit my 2nd night lap was better than the 1st, but it was also slower too. Next year I'll come equipped with some serious lighting and will knock off 10 minutes per lap, guaranteed!

The highlight of my race was passing the new National 24 Hour Champion Josh Tostada on my 4th lap. I spotted him a pretty good lead at the start and caught him at the top of the last climb at the last sand pit. We chatted for a while and then I just had to get going - he was going too slow . The reality of it is he was on his 16th lap and I was on my 4th! He beat our entire team!

Another highlight was seeing Lynda Wallenfels and Dave Harris winning the solo single speed National championships. Lynda had such a huge lead, she packed it in early while Dave had a fight on his hands to the end. Congrats 2-Epic.

Well, I'd better get some work done so I can make some money to buy one of those cute teardrop trailers, someday! It's always good to dream, but it's even better if they come true. I'll post some pictures later.

P.S. For those of you that don't know anything about this race, this is what USA Cycling had to say:

"About 24 Hours of Moab
Since its inception in 1995, the 24 Hours of Moab has earned a reputation as one of the largest and most prestigious 24-hour races in the world. Rightly so, Moab, Utah is recognized, around the world, as the Mecca of mountain biking. Attracting upwards of 400 teams and an elite field of world-class, ultra-endurance soloists, the 24 Hours of Moab delivers the richest awards table in mountain biking with a prize value approaching $30,000 and more than $20,000 in cold cash.

The 24 Hours of Moab is also unique in that it is operated in a completely remote venue, 12 miles from the nearest utilities. Each year, a mountain bike city grows up in the high-desert grazelands hosting 4,000+ racers, support crew and spectators. This amazing location provides a 15-mile race course that is breathtakingly scenic and brutally challenging. Typically, teams and soloists together, log more than 79,000 miles and more than 1,300 miles of vertical elevation gain during this epic event.

Since 2002, The 24 Hours of Moab has been designated as the AMTRI World Championships of 24-hour mountain bike racing. In 2005, it also became the series finale of The Inaugural 24 Hour National Point Series."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

PC Point 2 Point Recap

The 0700 start at Quinn Junction.

Round Valley glam shot curtesy of the event photographer.

Brad Sneed and me heading out from Silver Lake #1.

Raggedy Ann Fox handing out "prize money." Thanks Chris.

I'm gonna keep my winnings.

Whooped at the finish...

Lynn Peek and me at the finish. She must have been holding back cuz she looks much fresher than me.

My fan club: Derrick Batley, Chris Holley, Aaron Smith and Bob Saffell.

And last but not least, the finishers swag :-)

So, now it's official. I finished the first annual PCP2P race in 90th place overall (20th male solo), 10:45:55 after I started. Ahhh, the thrill of finishing!

My wife and a friend asked me how this race compared to the Leadville 100. Well, they both hurt, but in different ways. At Leadville, it's the altitude cuz the course is mostly fireroads and double track with wide single track thrown in to give it a MTB feel. It's not technical at all and favors a Roadie style. The P2P is shorter, with about the same amount of climbing, but, it's mostly tight single track that requires a lot more attention and riding skill. Which do I prefer you ask? Both, because they are so different.

For the benefit of the other type A anal retentive riders out there that may read this, I've put together a few of my personal stats to compare the Leadville Trail 100 to the 75 mile Park City Point to Point race.

Total Time: LT 100 10:48:26 / PCP2P 10:45:55
Riding Time: LT 100 10:18:49 / PCP2P 10:17:22
Elevation Gain: LT 100 11,320 feet / PCP2P 10,899 feet.
Kcals burned: LT 100 7710 / PCP2P 8017
Average HR: LT 100 134 bpm (74%) / PCP2P 137 bpm (76%)

To me they look very similar with the only difference being altitude and distance. Since there was lots of hurt in both, and their duration was the same, I think they are pretty much similar. But, PC P2P is technically harder so I would give it the edge. That said, DO NOT under estimate either one. Try them for yourself and see what you think. Hopefully they'll both be on my 2010 race schedule.

My lap time were as follows:

Round Valley: 59:35 (Avg HR 147 bpm/81%)
RV to Silver Lake 1: 2:01:55 (148 bpm/82%)
SL 1 to SL 2: 1:16:20 (143 bpm/79%)
SL 2 to PCMR: 2:56:43 (134 bpm/74%) In my mind this was the hardest leg.
PCMR to Finish: 3:02:47 (128 bpm/71%)

That's it. I'm looking forward to next year and hope to beat the time limit by more than this year - damn, there I go again...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Park City Point to Point Race

The 1st Annual Park City Point to Point is now in the record books and from my perspective, it was a great success. For a 1st year event, these guys did a superb job. My only offer of advice is put together a better website that is more informative and user friendly. Other than that, wow - job well done.

After I finished and was at my car cleaning up and hacking and weezing, my wife of 25 years said, "why do you do these things?" I think she was looking for an answer other than my standard one, but, as usual I disappointed her. While my glory days are far behind me, I race now to be part of something that is exciting and ultra positive. I race to be with young, motivated people that know no boundaries, that are able to look at adversity and over come it. People that face their fears and self doubt and challenge it instead of running away. People that push on even when their minds and bodies say please stop! I race to be with my friends, young and old, and new ones I meet on the trail. I race for friendship. I'm coming to grips with my limitations and realize that is my challenge now, and I'm ok with that. Why do I do this? Cuz I'm crazy just like you :-)

Back to the race. We started at the Quinn Trail Head at 0700 with comfortable temps, no wind and cloudy skies. To my surprise, the Leadville type start worked real well and I never got held up on the trip around Round Valley. I was hoping for a 60 minute time and that's exactly what I put down. I got a hand up from my wife and headed off to Lost Prospector and Silver Lake. After turning the corner to the Rail Trail I looked straight into a black sky and new we were headed for rain. Damn, I had dropped my arm warmers and did not have a rain jacket and was thinking about Leadville and LoToJa 2005. Luckily, the rain was not heavy and the temps did not drop. To be honest, it was quite refreshing, but it did make for some slippery situations.

While on Lost Prospector, Lynn Ware Peek caught up with me and we rode together for much of the next 2 hours. I was a little stronger than her on the uphills but she was wicked fast on the downhills and I just got out of her way. Riding with someone in these long races is a big advantage, so Lynn's cheery company was very welcome. We rode into Silver Lake with Bob Dawson who at 50+ was riding a rigid single speed. Unbelievable! Talk about a strong guy physically and mentally. Lynn and I parted company at Silver Lake and I headed up the hike-a-bike with Bob. I ran into a new friend named Brad - I'm sorry I don't remember your last name - and we hiked and rode much of the nasty steep and loose section together. He pulled ahead on the climb and I never saw him again. I'm certain he finished with a very good time so congrats Brad and thanks for your company.

After the nice flowing downhill section I made a wrong turn. Instead of turning left and going around the mtn to the south, I headed straight. I was riding with a guys and he blocked my veiw of the left turn arrows at the intersection so we kept going straight. After about .5 miles we ran into traffic coming towards us and I realized my mistake. I turned around but the "dude" said he was and he continued on. I got back on track just in front of Dawson and had no more issues the rest of the day. Bob and I headed back to Silver Lake 2 and took on fuel and water and headed out.

After about 5 minutes Bob says, he had to turn around because he forgot his water bottles. Age can be cruel at times ;-) I continued on knowing he would catch me, and he did. I bonked about 30 minutes out of Silver Lake and had to stop and gather myself. By the time I was ready to resume riding, Bob came along. We rode together for a few more miles but then we got separated before the horrible John's Trail descent and I never saw him again. That's not a good place for a rigid fork. I hope you're ok Bob.

After John's I headed up the Step's to Shadow Lake. OMG, that's was the crux of the ride for me. It seemed to take forever and I saw nobody for at least an hour. Thankfully, the trail was well marked. This leg took 30 minutes longer than I estimated and really kicked my butt. I was very happy to arrive the the PCMR aid station before the cout off. I stayed there awhile and had my bike worked on by the very helpful and friendly mechanic and was on my way to Spiro at 2:45 pm. By this time I new 10 hours was out the window, but who cares. I'm gonna finish this thing and that's an accomplishment in itself.

Usually I ride Spiro in the middle ring all the way to the Mid Mtn trail, but not today. I was in the granny most of the lower 1/3, but I kept a steady pace and made the Mid Mtn in about 45 minutes. What a relief to be there cuz now the bad stuff was behind me and I know I'm gonna finish. I made it to the neutral aid at the Colony and to my surprise, Lynn Peek was there chatting and eating up. We both looked at each other and laughed and decide to ride the rest of the way together. That was a huge lift to my spirits and made the last 10 miles go by fast. Like earlier in the day, Lynn was blasting the downhill and I had all I could do to stay with her - she may have been holding back, but I'm glad she did. We parted company about a mile or 2 from the finish when Lynn had to stop for something. Although I finished ahead of her in the stats, we were togehter in my mind and forged a life long bond that only adversity like this can create. Thanks again Lynn.

At the finish I was greeted by my wife and Mad Dog teammates, and Lynn's family. We took some pics and and exchanged hugs and relived our day with our loved ones. It was very special and gratifying. I overcame the constant thoughts of quiting between Deer Valley and PMCR and finished the race. I made some new friends and have another story to tell my grand children after I hang up my cleats. Hopefully I'll still be able to remember these things in 20 years!

See you next year.

Pics and stats to follow later. Sorry for the long post.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Park City Point 2 Point pre-ride

Seeing how the E-100 12 hour & 100 mile races several years ago kicked my butt, and in a big way, my memory has faded and I decided I need to get my butt kicked again. Why? I have no idea other than it sounds like fun :-)

Reading the route description and looking at the map reveals a significantly different course that looks hopeful. I've always done Round Valley the way Boris laid it out and I must say that has been one of my favorite loops. I like loops, so those of you that don't, just shut up! Loops are fun cuz everyone can see you suffer and it's harder to make up shit that supposedly happened that didn't.

Anyway, I rode the loop around Round Valley and over to Silver Lake and it is a BLAST! The RV loop is killer and has much better flow and is less dangerous that the original E-100 12 hour loop. The new course does not go near the old rock garden of death descent and all of the climbs, except for the one at about 6 miles, are very gradual and manageable. I rode the loop on my Single Speed (32x21) in 62 minutes and stayed below race effort. And the way the organizers have routed the Deer Crest section is fantastic. We ride quite a bit of the ICUP course backwards and none of the climbs are killer, like they were with the E-100. I'm not too familiar with the trails between Silver Lake and PC Mtn Resort, but if the 1st section is any indication, it's gotta be nice. Riding back up Spiro to Mid Mtn will be a challenge but at least I'm familiar with that section of the course.

So, the only issue I can see is conserving energy. The 1st half is going to be fast and a lot of matches will carelessly be burned because the fun factor will be so high. Saving some extra energy for the last leg will be curtail for me, so I'll probably be looking at a lot of asses early on. Hopefully you'll be looking at mine passing you in the last 2 hours. The fast relay teams should tear it up big time, especially the 1st leg.

As for a solo finishing time, that's a hard one to predict. Since the E-100 took me 13.5 hours, I would hope to do this in 10 to 10.5. I bet the winner will be around 7.5. I can predict this though. The 2010 version of this race will have a lot more participants cuz this course is gonna put a lot of smiles on many faces and the enduro junkies are gonna want to be part of it next year. Mark my word.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Night Ride

Now that the days are getting shorter and the 24 Hours of Moab is fast approaching, it's time to get the lights out and hit the trail. I rode the Shoreline last night to see how my Princeton Tech Switchback 2 performed as a handlebar mounted light source. I found it worked well where it was real dark, but not so well where there was a lot of ambient light. I have a 6 year old Nite Rider HID that has a large water bottle cage battery and want to transition to something smaller, so the SB2 will be my primary bar light. Maybe it will work.

I'm thinking of either a Nite Rider MiNewt variation, or, DiNotte Lighting has a sweet 200 lumen setup that runs on AA batteries that looks real interesting. If anyone has input on either, let me know the pros and cons please.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Leadville 100 Finale

Thanks Tim Fisher for the finishing line photo.

It's Wednesday night and I'd better get this finished before my memory fades and I turn into a super hero. Speaking fo hero, I rode my single speed on the Shoreline trail tonight and I felt like I had wings! Wow, did I feel strong and fast. So much so that I'm sending a urine sample into the USDA for testing to see what I'm on. I want more of whatever it is :-)

So, back to the Leadville Trail 100. After riding over the Twin Lakes Dam through all the cheering support people and spectators, I felt great. Shortly after getting back on the asphalt and climbing towards Pipeline 2, my energy seemed to wane. I had a target of 1:10 and ended up riding a 1:17 and my mojo was low. Then, I rounded the corner and saw the Pipeline aid station in the distance and my spirits picked up. One more leg and I was done. Praise the Lord!

Since my 10 hour goal was long gone, I took more time at the aid station and ate a cookie, drank a coke and shoved a few other goodies in my pie hole, and off I went. Within a minute I was off the side of the road taking another nature break. Geeze, how many times can a guy pee in 11 hours? I counted 8 riders that passed me and I was determined to get them back. As a matter of fact, I set a new goal of cleaning the entire course after the Powerline hike-a-bike. That was my new carrot and motivation to push to the end. I easily passed the 8 individual riders due to a nice tailwind and hooked on to a another group of 9 just after turning into the wind on the road that leads to the Fish Hatchery. With the infamous Powerline just up the road, my anxiety heightened.

Once off my bike I got in to a nice steady pace and pushed past many, many people. I followed a tandem from Wyoming up most of the hike and then hopped back on with my new goal in mind. This next climb is really long and tough, especially after 77+ miles on the ole legs. And, since I was so far back in the pack, a lot of folks were walking long stretches of the trail. As a matter of fact, most of the riders were reduced to walkers and that gave me more incentive to stay mounted. Long story short, I met my new goal and did not get off until I stopped at the Carter Summit aid station for a Sprite and brownie. I hopped back on and cleaned the rest of the course which brought a smile to my face. It's amazing what successfully finishing small contrived goals will do for the spirits. I actually smiled and raised my arms in victory when I crossed the finish line, even though the clock showed a dissapointing 10:48. I was satisfied for now, but the 10 hour carrot is still out there calling to me.

All in all I can't complain. I didn't train nearly as much for this years race as I did in the past, the conditions were more challenging early on and the course was a little longer. I'm encouraged because I can think of a ton of excuses and that give me hope for the future. If only I had done this, or this...

I'll apply for the 2010 edition and hopefully get accepted. I don't know why I want to go back because this race causes me so much discomfort and is such a huge obstacle for me. But, I guess I'm like the rest of you. I have this dream, and hope, and that keeps me going, no matter how stupid and trivial it is in the overall game of life. I know I can break 10 hours.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Leadville 2009 a Success

Well, it's Monday and I don't feel like working, so I'll make a short recap post.

The race started under a clear sky with temps in the mid 30's and a light drizzle. By the 2 hour point the rain had turned to light hail and the mountains were covered in clouds. It was neat, but very surreal. The Powerline descent was done in total rain and mud, but it was fun.

Dwight Hibdon and I started together and paced each other for the first 65 minutes, about to the Haggerman Pass road, then he pulled away, not to be seen again until he came down from the Columbine Mine station. DH rode a wonderful race and came in under his goal of 10 hours. Congrats and well done DH :-)

My race can be summed up with too many pee stops, too many stops to put on a rain jacket, too much time at the aid stations, no climbing legs at all, no altitude lungs and too much pre-race worrying and analysis. That ought to cover just about everything.

I went out at a very manageable pace and was good for about 2.5 hours, but between Powerline 1 and Twin Lakes 1 the bladder started getting active and I started to loose my mojo. I kept up with my fueling plan, which I'm having 2nd thoughts about for future races, and thought I did well with fluids. Like always, after the race I checked my camelbacks that I thought were just about empty and they still had 75% of the water I started with! Why I carry all that weight is beyond me. I guess I'm just stubborn and stupid. Something has to change.

My plan was to blow through Twin Lakes 1 and carry my momentum up Columbine and stop there for more fuel and a jacket. I did that but, I had absolutely no legs. I crept up the road in my granny most of the time and people were passing me left and right. When the hail started again I stopped, peed, put on my jacket and began my slow crawl again only to stop a few minutes later when the sun came out. I seemed to be looking for an excuse to stop, and I found many. When the fire road turned to the steep rocky single track, I got off my bike and just pushed. Some of the sections people were riding, I just walked. I bent over my top tube several times and wanted to quit, but there was no one there to surrender my bracelet too. Crying wasn't an option because I peed out all my extra moisture, so I just kept going. I mentioned quitting to a guys behind me and he encouraged me on. Whoever you are, thank you - that's the spirit of mountain bikers. When I finally summited I hung out for 6-7 minutes, lubed my chain, ate some food and put on a wind jacket. I spent way too much time here, and I knew my 10 hour goal was not going to happen, so I shifted to just finish under 12 hours mode. I really wanted the finishers belt buckle.

Coming down off Columbine is both exhilarating and scary. There is constant uphill traffic on the right side of the trail, and the downhill line on the right side is very rocky and off camber. But, it's downhill and the air is getting thicker and the worst is behind me. I flew down to Twin Lakes 2 faster than last year and felt quite good. I bypassed the aid station and just an uplift in my spirits by all the cheering people, even though I was at the ass end of the race. The support of the crews, spectators and LT100 support people is unimaginable. That truly make this race an great, must do event.

That's enough for this post, I'll finish with another post and some pictures.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Leadville 100

I finished the race in 10:48, not quite as fast as I had hoped, but I was happy that I passed a lot of people in the last 25 miles and rode the first 75 according to my plan. The climb to Columbine Mine at 12,600 feet killed me this year, like it did my 1st year, and I just about quite the race several times during the ascent. I think the 2nd half of the race may have been faster than the first, so that was good.

This race is really hard for me. I can't seem to get the altitude thing dialed in and it kicks my ass. I hope to do it again next year, but I'll have to give it some serious thought. Right now, I'm whooped and feel like crap and I'm going to go to bed.

I'll write more on Monday when I get home and have some pictures.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

3 days to Leadville

The training is done, I'm all packed up and now it's time to hit the road. Karl Vizmig, the Holley's and I will be heading out in a few hours for the 8 hour drive to Leadville Colorado. I've been waiting for this race since 2 days after last years debacle. In spite of the bad weather forecast, I have a good feeling. Check out Karl's blog for a link to realtime video of the race. You can also click on the Leadville 100 link in the right column.

Since my last post I've been in a 2 week taper and yesterday was my last structured workout. It was only an hour but I felt real good with good power and a low HR. That's good. My only issue is the right knee, but I have Vitamin I and Extra Strength Excedrin for that.

It's been a long time since I traveled out of town for a race and my level of excitement and anticipation is higher than normal. I'm really looking forward to leaving the stress of work behind and just focusing on Saturday. I'll try and post more the next few days and convey the flavor of the event.

Monday, August 3, 2009

2 weeks to Leadville 100

It's getting closer and I'm getting more excited. This is the biggest race I've ever done, and they seem to do it right. The atmosphere is off the chart and the support is unparalleled on any level. If it wasn't for the altitude, this would be the perfect hundie. But, maybe that's what makes it so intriguing.

Training is slowing noticeably for the next two weeks and I couldn't be happier. I just capped off a huge 2 week block with an energetic ride yesterday with Chris Holley. It's been a while since I've ridden with Chris and he has not let up since. I always push myself harder than I think possible when I ride with him and KC, so that made yesterdays final big ride before Leadville a special one. I was hammered after 6 hours and 56+ miles with him, but today I feel much better and encouraged. For the record we rode from 3 Kings Condo to Silver Spur up Spiro to the Mid Mtn trail over to the Red Pine restaurant (we made it in 1:32) down the Ambush trail (that was scary) and then to the Spring Creek trail head. We then did the 24/7 Flying Dog loop clockwise and out Glen Wild back to the trail head. To finish it off we headed to Round Valley and climbed up the back side of the 12 hour course and down Somewhere Elks and back to the condo on the rail trail. Nice loop, with 5600+ climbing mostly up Spiro and 24/7 Flying Dog, and hot (101 F max temp).

The last 8 weeks I've been real cautious so as not to get hurt or over train or over race myself. I did way too much of both last year and it bit me in the ass the last 25 miles at Leadville. Well, yesterday I almost bought the farm - really. I'm running a new Stan's Crow on the back and it is FAST. With 25 psi it grabs surprisingly well, and it wants to run. I was following Chris down the trail at the Canyons towards Ambush and we were ripping through the woods, over bumps, tight corners and flowy single track. Like an idiot I wanted to stay on Chris' wheel and see how the Pros do it. He launched over a bump and so did I, but, I had the angle wrong and while airborne I headed for a large Quaky on the left side of the trail. I could see the tree coming straight at me and it felt like I was a goner. It was not going to be pretty and there was no way I was getting off the mtn on my own. I was a dead man flying! I've never had anything like that happen before and was surprised how big the tree looked and how slow things seemed to be going. I remember asking myself why was I being so stupid to ruin my Leadville trip just 2 weeks away. Dumb ass - what a shame - it's too late now - get ready for impact. When my tire touched down I made one last effort to steer clear hoping it was not too late. Surprisingly, I missed the tree, but don't know how. I really think the tree opened up where my bars were and let me through. I just about wet myself. Once clear I yelled out to Chris and stopped to gather myself. I already talk too much, but that one raised my voice a few octaves and upped the tempo and level senseless drivel. Needless to say, I was much more cautious and measured after that. And thank you, whoever you are, for watching out for me on that one. I promise I'll be a good boy from now on out.

So here I am, it's Monday, I'm still in one piece and ready to go. The bike is tuned and I feel my body is as ready as it can be. No more 6-7 hour rides, only a 3 hour ride next Saturday. I'll be doing some interval work the next 8 days with good intensity but fewer reps and I be resting a lot. My weight is now within 1 lb of where I want to be, but I can live with it where it is. I'm excited to see if I can get under 10 hours with fewer training miles in my legs, and if so, that will set the stages for next year. If I don't make the 10 hours, I'll be happy with a 12 hour belt buckle and I'll give it a go again next year.

That's it for now and good luck to all you guys and gals at Leadville.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Blob!

This is what I found in my rear tire. It's a 35 gram, 4 inch long conglomerate of Stan's special sauce that was plugging the 1/4 tear in my sidewall. Yikes! Or, maybe it was just floating around looking to attack a goat head or other unwanted invader. It's now sitting on my treasures shelf, a testament to the sealing powers of Stan's.

Don't leave home without it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Funny Pic

I saw this on a Realtors website and thought it was funny. Sometimes your the frog, and other times the bird. Never give up, no matter what side of the meal you're on.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

3 weeks to Leadville

Flying Dog has it all - beautiful quakies at the the top...

and wide open meadows at the bottom. I love riding these trails.

I tore this tire before riding the White Rim in a Day back in March and it's still holding air! I got my money's worth out of it and now it's retiring.

I was all smiles after only 1 hour of my 6 hour ride. Notice there are no more pics!

I just finished my biggest week of training that I've done in the last 12 months, and I have one more big week before tapering for Leadville. I've decided to go 2 weeks hard followed by 1 week of recovery and that seems to be working better for me. And instead of a 12 week plan, I've done only 10. That was more because I couldn't make up my mine if I want to just wing it on training, or call on LW to do her magic. Being the anal sole I am, I opted on a regimine instead of flying my the seat of my pants (sorry Chris & KC) and I lost 2 weeks of training time. I can't say I'm going to be faster, but I'm sure less burned out than I was this time last year. Hopefully, that will make Leadville more enjoyable and I'll have a better result than 2008.

Another thing I did this year was race less XC events and I rode fewer 100 mile/12 hour MTB races. As a matter of fact, the only mountain hundie I did was White Rim back in March and a road hundie 2 weeks ago. I expect that will help also. That doesn't make sense, does it? I rode 6 hours today in the Flying Dog/Round Valley areas and picked up 5600 feet of climbing and felt better during the last 2 hours than I expected. Maybe things are coming together.

From a fueling standpoint, I've been riding with Hammer Nutrition most of the time and feel I have a good routine that should be simple and effecient and cut down on pit time. I'd like to find a few solids to add, but haven't tried real hard to find them. I'm counting most on Hammer to get me under 10 hours.

So, now it's 2 days off and 5 more hard ones beginning on Wednesday, then the taper. That's the next carrot and I can hardly wait to taste it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Last weekend

The last 2 weeks have been busy with work, and working out, so posting to my blog was a low priority. Now I have a few minutes before mowing the lawn so I'll give a short recap.

I've changed my training routine around, with the help of Lynda Wallenfells, to 2 weeks on and 1 off. Last year I did 3-1 and it killed me. Seems like I need more time to recover as I get farther away for the big three O. So far, it's working well for me. My knee problem over the winter cut about 4 months out of my riding schedule so I've been on the fast track to get back in shape. Although I'm doing well, I can tell the missing winter base miles are having an effect. Leadville is only 5 weeks away and that's my only "A" race for the year. I'm ready mentally, and I trust the physical will come around by then too.

My last 2 week block concluded this weekend with a 4 hour mtb ride in the Glenwilde area on Saturday; Flying Dog from both sides and some other goodies, and a 6 hour mtb ride on the PC Rail Trail Sunday. That one really challenged me mentally. Six solo hours on a slightly pitched smooth trail in a hot canyon with the wind in my face ought to do wonders for my mental toughness. More importantly though, I learned to drink water! I'm one of the unfortunate ones that does not get thirsty, and I suffer greatly afterwards for it. Eight days ago I did a 102 mile solo road ride and got so dehydrated I was fuzzy for two days after. Really. So yesterday I drank the equivalent of 1-24 ounce bottle per hour for 6 hour/88 miles and I felt great. I got home and drank a bunch more, ate some food and life is good.

I have 2, 2-week blocks under my belt now and the mileage and intensity has been steadily going up. I feel I'm adapting well, but my butt is slow to come around. More Gold Bond and Butt Butt'r will hopefully solve that inconvenience. And I'm thinking about a 24 solo in October!!! Yeah, right. I test (Powertap) again this week on Thursday and hopefully will see a little power gain and then I hit the final 2 weeks before a nice 2 week taper before the Bigee. I think LW has a couple more 7 hour rides in store so that ought to up the stakes a little higher.

In all seriousness, I don't know how I'll finish this race. Ten hours at 10,200 to 12,600 feet just doesn't seem doable. I'm still way off from where I think I should be and I have some minor lingering knee pain that bothers me a little. I really want to break 10 hours in the biggest way, but, I need to be real and be satisfied if I can finish. There's always next year and now that everything is physically in order, 2010 will be a spectacular year.

Have a good week the two of you that read this :-)

Friday, July 3, 2009

It rained yesterday

I decided to ride my trainer today.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Round Valley

I couldn't resist stopping and smelling the cactus. What a perfect day for riding in the Wasatch.

Here's my latest "secret weapon" - a Mountain Feed Bag. It worked really well and I did not notice it at all.
Stupid ham shot. Everybody else does it so I might as well follow along.
And when I got home my granddaughter was waiting for me. What a nice way to top off an outstanding morning in the saddle.

I just finished a recovery week and topped it off with a very nice ride around the Round Valley area in Park City. I just love those trails and it was a perfect way to start a new training block.

The next 2 weeks are going to be tough but they should get me in a good position to get under 10 hours at Leadville 100. There's always a number to shoot for in every race, and that's mine. I've come close in my first two tries, but not close enough. Coach Lynda has given me some good advice and tweaked my routine to a point where I feel like this will be my year. I can feel it in my bones. My mileage is way down from last year, so I should be very fresh, and ready to go.

I just got a blast from the Leadville folks and it looks like there will be a slight course re-route around the nasty steep & loose hill that even Dave and Lance have to hike. That will be a welcome relief. Also, I see that besides Lance, Levi & Tinker are scheduled to show up. Talk about the stars coming out. Should be another special year in August.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Deer Valley ICUP

Early on, Saturday looked to be a warmer repeat of the 2008 race with the possibility of rain and mud fouling up what's always a beautiful, fun course. Five minutes before the start it started to drizzle and a minute later, it was done. The race went on under perfect conditions and nobody went home dissapointed.

My race went better than expected since I won. I've won on this course before, but the 6-7 minute climb up Little Stick just kills me. And we had to do it twice - I know, the pros and most other riders do it 3 or 4 times, so stop crying. The funny thing about this race is within 2-3 minutes of the start, I was seriously thinking about stopping and riding back down the hill to my car. I didn't get a good warmup and felt like crap. Poor warmups seem to be my logo this year. And the thought of doing this daunting climb 2x was more than I could handle. Somehow, I convinced myself to hang in there, and I got the job done.

Joel Quinn got a jump out of the gate and lead our group up Little Stick. Poor ole Jim Westenskow dropped a chain right after the start and it took him about 5 minutes to get it out of his spokes and operating again. That was the end of his race, but he still finished 4th. I got behind a freight train after cresting LS and made a couple of dicey passes, but Joel was gone. Then on the fun swoopy single track throught he woods we got behind another slow group of 4-5 riders that were timid in letting us pass and when we finally did, we put the hammer down. When we got to the clearing, to my surprise, I saw Joel and got excited again. I caught him pretty quickly & stayed on his wheel for a few minutes and passed him as he struggled making a sharp left hand corner in the woods before the pavement. I decided to up the pace a little and cooked it nicely down the rocky single track off the summit. I looked back at the corners and he was nowhere in sight.

After finishing the first lap the 2nd time, climbing LS was a little better. I heard Lew's name called out by Ed and he was about 1:15 behind me. I figured he passed Joel and was in 2nd now so he was my competition. I found my groove climbing LS and figured if I was hurting this bad, they were going to have to hurt more to catch me, and I was betting they didn't want to do that. I crested the 2nd time and headed to the descending single track knowing I just had to stay upright and the race was mine. I backed it down a little so as not to make a dumb mistake and took it home to an uneventful 1st place finish, or so I thought. To my surprise, Joel got to the finish line 1st, and I never saw him pass me! Ed had him 25 seconds ahead of me and I knew immediately what had happened. I talked to Joel and sure enough, he missed the turn at the end of the first lap and did not come down through the start/finish before beginning his 2nd lap. Joel and Lew worked it out where Joel bumped down to 2nd and Lew stayed in 3rd - that was gratious of Lew. Ed put Joel 2 seconds behind me. It was a good race and fun day, and nobody got hurt.

My conditioning is improving weekly and my spirits are high. My delemia now is since I've got 2 firsts and 2 seconds in my group, do I bump up to the 50+ open group and get my ass kicked and confidence shattered, or do I stay for 1 or 2 more races. I'm starting to feel bad for the guys in my group that work hard but are denied a podium shot cuz there are 4 of us that dominate. Maybe one less dominating racer would be good, and humble pie might make me more hungry (I'm not feeling stuffed though, so why would I do that?). Chances are I'm done with the XC for the season since Leadville is only 2 months away and I need to focus more on that. So, that makes moving up a mute point. We'll see. I sure like winning and that's tough to walk away from.

The weather gods looked on me favorably Sunday too. I did a 5 hour road bike ride and as I rode my bike up my driveway at the finish, the skies opened up big time! Talk about perfect timing. I just started to laugh as I stood in the living room looking out the window as water rushed down the gutter. This was definatley my weekend :-)

Why would I want to change anything!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Wolf Creek Pass

I'll sum this ride up in one word - COLD!

Our group of 13 pushed off from the Kamas grocery store about 8:15 am this morning under sunny skies, no wind and warm temps. So warm that yours truly and a couple others decided to leave our wind breakers and warm gloves in the car.

The ride to Noblette was uneventful and the pace was nice. Seems like we were all saving our best for the climb to the Pass at 9,485 feet. By the time we got to Noblette the temp was noticably cooler, but not enough to worry about.

The climb is about 7.4 miles and 2,500 feet (I'm guessing) with 2 or 3 50-100 yard rest spots, otherwise it's always up. The hammerheads went off the front and I stayed with Barb Sherwood in the middle of the pack. We kept a good steady pace and did not redline, and, we didn't want to sweat cuz it was getting colder. I was catching up to Paul Moote, who was about 100 yards ahead of me, and issued a laughing warning I was going to catch him very shortly. That's all it took for him to light the rocket and increase the gap. Later he said he was searching for a spark and my verbal assault was just what he was looking for. Barb hung in there real well and was not too far behind when we crested the Pass.

We decided to head down from the summit immediately since there was no water and it was cold and breezy. The descent down was sketchy at best because we were shivering too much and our bikes were shaking. That's not good on a high speed descent like this so I backed it down to under 30 mph just to stay safe. We all made it down in one piece and gathered at the Noblette outhouse, out of the wind, and laughed and shared our "shivering" stories with eachother as we attempted to warm up. Later we found out one of the girls in the group had to get in some strangers pick up truck to warm up cuz she was loosing it! She felt it was safer being with a stranger than riding downhill frozen like a popsicle. She made it down without incident, but she did have the best story of the group.

All in all it was an excellent ride. I pushed a faster pace than last year and had higher HR and wattage numbers - but, I also have higher tonnage so my W/kg is probably worse. Things are coming around and I expect by Leadville I'll be fit and ready to break 10 hours. I'll do this ride a few more times and that should seal the deal for me.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sundance ICUP

I don't have any Sundance pics so hears one from the warmup last week at Draper.

Today was another great racing day. After last weeks exciting 3rd place finish behind Jim Westenskow and Lewis Rowlins, I was looking for a little redemption this week. In reality, I was just hoping to keep them in sight for the 1st lap and then blow apart on the 2nd.

The race started in the upper parking lot so we did not have to start at the bottom and climb that long damn pavement hill. Ouch! We did do it twice, but it was nice not to start on it. My group started with the Clydsdales and Bill Dark immediately shot to the front of the pack. I marked Dwight Hibdon but knew there was no way I would keep his wheel for very long. He is riding real strong this year, and he's 30 lbs lighter than my fat ass! By the top of the pavement climb I was still in 2nd and Lewis tried to come up on me before the single track but I accelerated and put Greg, a Mad Dog Clydsdale, between him and me. Nice move Brad :-) Jim was having brain farts shifting so he unexpectedly fell back and was in 3rd at the single track, but working extra hard to catch up. I decided to put the hammer down in the woods and go as hard as I could for as long as possible and hoped Jim, Bill & Lewis would tire trying to catch me. On the switchbacks by the pond, some gomer shifted at the wrong time as the trail pitched up and fell and knock me off my bike, then, he tries to get back on and stay ahead of me. I didn't let that happen and never saw him again. Lewis was 1 switchback behind me and was looking strong. I expected him to come up on me but he stayed back as we began the long flowy climb through the trees. At the 180 degree turn he was less than 10 seconds behind and I could see Jim on his tail. I kept my head down and pushed as hard as I could and gasped in relief when the dowhill came and I was still ahead of them. I sped down the single track and caught some guy and had a fast chick on my tail. I guess we made him nervous cuz he went head over heals off the trail and we sped on by (he was ok). I let the chick pass me cuz I didn't want to be her next casuality. Crusing down the trail was very controlled and exciting, and I didn't take any chances on the first lap. After passing the start/finish line on the 1st lap and heard Ed say Lewis's name and he was about 50 seconds behind now. That's what I wanted to hear. Shortly after that Jim blew by him and almost caught up to me!!! I got to the single track before him again and put the hammer down again. Today was one of those days where I just felt like things were good. I fully expected Jim would catch me cuz he was always there when I looked back, but he didn't. I could see him at the 180 turn before the S turns in the trees, but he didn't close the gap. Going down hill I opened it up a little more knowing if Jim & I got to the road at the same time he'd kill me on the climb, so the downhill was my only chance to seal 2nd place. Luckily I put some time on him on the downhill and got to the finish line about a minute ahead of Jim. Another great race with an even better outcome for me.

Mad Dog finished 1, 2 and 4 in my group and, we solidified our 24 hours of Moab team with the addition of Jim as our 4th rider. we're going to be strong this year - maybe the strongest ever. I don't know why but this season seems so much better to me than any other one in the past. I'm enjoying racing more, probably because I've put less pressure on myself, and the competition has stepped up significantly. Hanging around the teammates is a blast and everything is just great. Things are falling in to place for a great Leadville on August 15th.

One side note - Fidel Castro showed up at the race. Really. What an unexpected surprise. If anyone has a picture of him, I'll link to it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Draper ICUP Pre-ride

I don't think I like how these cranks bolt on. The XTR set up is much more secure and easier to check.
It's not much, but I haven't put any pics in lately and this is the best I could do. The skin gap between the red lines is the zone of protection my chest strap afforded me. HR monitors ARE important and can save your skin. Kids, never leave home without your helment or HR strap :-)

Taking Keith Paynes advise, I decided to pre-ride the Draper course in preparation for the Monday ICUP XC race. I've never raced this venue because I've been at the Ironhorse Classic in Durango Co the last 2 years racing the choo choo train and snow. Since I am mad at the IH race directors handeling of the 2008 event, I'm not going to Durango this year and will give Ed my money instead.

I saw Bob Saffel Wednesday on the Shoreline Trail and he was showing off his road rash from his Draper pre-ride and I didn't think much about it. He warned me it was loose and several tight corners on the Ghost Falls trail come up pretty fast, so be careful. Always listen to people with road rash.

My ride started out nicely with Aaron Smith leading the way through the revamped starting loop, through the tunnel under the road and along the single track that takes you past the barking little mutt. We hit the fireroad and Aaron said this was going to be the last wide area to pass before Clark's, so get 'er done in here if ya have to. He pointed out the start of Clark's TT so I hit the watch to see how fast (slow!) I could do it on my SS (34x21). Wow, that's quite the climb. I pushed about as hard as I could go and did a 14:02. I don't know where that puts me but now I have a baseline to improve on. The trail was in great shape and the shade was very welcome.

After a brief stop at the top of Clark's Jay Griffin and his son came up behind us and we headed down the race course. That top flat section is real fast, even on a SS, and I just about launched myself on the bump past the gate and slowed just enough to make the sharp left hand turn on to the Ghost Falls trail. I should have known that that bump was a warning to slow down. I stayed on Aarons tail winding down through the tight flowing tree lined trail just having a ball. My speed was very good and I was hooking up real well, until that tight downsloping left hand 90 degree turn just before the 2nd or 3rd bridge came upon me from nowhere. Like a rookie, I grabbed too much front brake too late and went down hard in a sliding ball of dust. Fortunately I landed on my left side instead of my too often damaged right and just got a little road rash on my back, hip and calf. But the fun was not over. I got back up and headed down, albeit more cautiously, kowning I had better keep things in better control. Fortunately I did because about a minute or 2 after falling my left crank arm fell off! That was wierd. I walked back up the trail a ways but could not find the missing bolt so I proceeded to half pedal and hike back to the parking lot. So much for my spirited and informative pre-ride.

I wasn't able to ride the entire course but I hope I saw all the tight, dangerous stuff. I've got a feeling a lot of folks are going to donate blood on Monday. To me, this is a fast course that should be approached with extreme caution. The corners are tight and loose and the tiny rocks on the surface are very slippery. My little incident is going to slow mw down quite a bit cuz I don't want to jeaprodize Leadville by going for it in a "C" race. I hope I can remember that during the heat of a race. I think I'm going to let more air out of the tires too.

So, it should be interesting on Monday. Be careful and have fun.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Soldier Hollow ICUP

Thanks for the pic Kendra.

What a great day for ICUP racing. The temp was perfect, the skies were clear and sunny and there were a ton of people toeing the line waiting to attack this great course.

Ed does such a great job with his series that we don't even know how spoiled he has made us. Unbelievably, he started the Pros within 2 minutes of the advertised start time and that's after running the kids races. Way to go again Ed. You're the man.

I had an excellent race today and finished 2nd out of 6. I am really pleased given all that has been going on healthwise the last 5 months and my limited amount of training. I rode as hard as I could and had no mechanicals or crashes. That's good! The only mistake I made was letting the winner gap me at the start by about 20seconds thinking I could real him in as the race progressed.

I came out of the chute in 5th and struggled up the 1st hill while Lewis Rollins was putting the hammer down in the lead. He was pushing an aggressive pace that I was certain he could not hold. I kept him in sight for the whole 1st lap and got to within 20 seconds on the last climb on the first lap and felt I had a chance. To my disadvantage Ed mentioned my name when I came through the start/finish line and Lew heard him (he told me that after the race). Lew was still in sight and I knew I had less than 15 minutes left, and, if I was going to catch him I had better git er done right now. I called to the engine room for more power and the response back was "that's all we got boss"! That's not what I wanted to hear. Lews a pretty short guy and he kept getting smaller and smaller and smaller. Every time I'd round a corner and see him I thought I was getting closer, but he was actually 2 turns ahead of me! Damn!!! I kept pushing hoping he was going to bonk or hit the wall, but it was not to be. Once I got back on the single track after the fast paved portion near near the end I saw he was too far ahead. Good for you Lew.

It was fun actually racing someone and having to work hard, even though I came up short. I love to race and I love competition and I had both today.

What a great day for racing and a great race. Congrats Lew.

I've had 2 races in 4 days and all is well. No heart pains, no nothing. I think my dealie last week was asthma and stress related and my ticker is good. The VA has scheduled a Nuclear Stress Test for June 2 so I should get a clean bill of health then will put all my worries to bed. In the meantime I've got to get back to my Leadville training routine and hope Lynda's 100 Mile PR program can work a miracle for me.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

19 Hours at the Ole VA

I've gone back and forth on whether I should publish this or not, but what the hell, let's have some fun with it.

This a a condensed recap of my Event this weekend.

4:00pm Friday - The Warmup: chest pains start at the end of a 2 day appraisal seminar. Not too intense but strong enough to get my attention.

4:30-5:30pm - Deeper Warmup: 6-8 reps, 2 to 3 minutes duration, intensity level 9+ followed by 10+ "oh shits".

6:00-10:00pm - Headed to the VA ER starting line and was moved to the front of the waiting room pack. Nice. Got lots of attention and "atta boys" from the officials for being in shape (someone saw something unusual for the VA on my stomach - it was a small muscle - hahahaha). Officials inserted an UCI approved IV in to my left arm and asked me to submit to a voluntary out of competition blood test. I agreed and then bagan the interview process while my blood was being drained. I answered the questions with the objective of getting a quick "get out of jail free pass" so I could head for home and avoid any more needles and probes. I was truthful, but they hadn't hooked me up to a lie detector, so...

10:00pm - The officials decided my answers need further review and my blood tests were inconclusive, so, a sleep over was in order, but I was still in the Event.

1:30am - I got to my transition area (the Telemetry Unit) and set up camp with my wife and daughter acting as my pit crew. The officials hooked up a bunch of wires and took some more blood and advised me to relax and get a good nights sleep (hahahaha) cuz this may last until Monday! Yikes, that's not what I signed up for. 24 hours max, not 3 days! I haven't trained for that.

1:45am (+ or -) - My initials attempts at sleep were rudely interruped every 15-60 seconds by the sound of the automatic adjusting bed randomly changing my position for me. Great. The description of the Event I signed up for made no mention of that. Fortunately it didn't take long to get accustomed to this and I was out.

2:30am - The alarm buzzer wakes me up from a deep sleep. Did I miss my next lap? Did I get DQ'd? What's going on? I look at my trusty HR monitor and the below 50 bpm alarm was sounding and the screen was flashing a comfortable 48 bpm. Nice :-) I went back to sleep holding a nice steady pace, or so I thought.

3:00am - Off goes the alarm again. Whoooooo. Now I'm down 39 bpm and still moving forward. Looks like my limited (lack of) training is paying off. There must be something about this more recovery time is better thing.

8:30am - Mandatory rest period is over. The IV is blocked up so out come the blood sucking needles again. This time the tests come back and show some enzyme in my blood that may get me DQ'd, but, the officials determine the level falls in the "indeterminate" range. Whew. I dodged another extended sleep-over bullet. Shortly thereafter the head official informs me my Event is over and I'm kicked out. Oh, poor me (hahahaha). Back to my nice home and soft, quite bed. Bad boy...

11:00am - I'm getting hungry and falling behind on my fuel and fluid replacement, in spite of having a very active bladder. How does that happen? Just in the nick of time a lower level official brings in fuel and fluid that was abandonded by another Event participant that decided to go home. Thank God for small miracles. I flipped on the vacuum switch and made short work of the trays overcooked contents.

1:00pm - I am officially banned from the Event and forced to sign expulsion papers. But, they want me to participate in a Nuclear Stress Test (NST) sometime in the next few weeks to confirm their suspicions and validate my expulsion. I reluctantly agree and head for home.

So, that was my "race" this weekend. I hope yours was more fun and rewarding.

Bottom line is I'm fine and did not have "the Big one". They don't know what caused the pain and that's why they're recommending the NST. I have my theory on what's going on, but my wifes not buying it, so, I'll do what she says. Gotta keep the better half happy.

I'm smiling and looking forward to Soldier Hollow this Wednesday evening and next Saturday.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Shafer Trail road.
Shafer switchbacks.
White Crack lunch stop.
Base of Murphy's.

Top of Murphy's Hogback with storm in the background.
Arches on Sunday morning.
Bob Dawson, single speed and rigid!!! WTG old man.
Chris Holley, smiling!

After hearing so much about the RAWROD (Ride Around the White Rim in One Day) I decided to give it a go, and I'm glad I did. It is so incredibly electric being around a fantastic bunch of motivated and positive people that you're inspied to push beyond your expectations. With a little less wind, it would have been perfect.

I got to the top of Horsethief Canyon Friday around 5 pm and parked the Element near the brat & beer pit and set up camp. The weather was perfect and the brats Fatty cooked were off the chart. Kenny Jones did a fanstatic job hooking up the group and making the weekend memorable. Thanks Kenny.

Sleeping Friday night was difficult at best. Since my only long ride since last fall and prior to the knee fix was a 4 hour, zone 1, flat road ride I wasn't sure the WR in 1 day was a wise endeavor. But, what the hell. I decided to go for it and see how far I could go. Long story short, we rode clockwise and I finished it without injury or mishaps in 9:21 riding time. I'm way pleased with that time since the wind was a monster and fought us all the way. I was hoping for 10-11 hours.

As I mentioned, the wind was the enemy all day and it seemed it blew for all but an hour, and almost always in our face. I bet it was mostly 20 mph and peaked around 40"! The traditonal tailwind after White Crack never materialized so the battle with the headwind raged on, and on, and on ... At one point between Murphys's and Candlestick it was a whiteout with the wind blowing so hard I thought for sure my frame was going to look like it was sand blasted. It was impossible to ride a straight line and I was blown off the road twice that I remember. I wish I had a picture but I didn't want to stop cuz I didn't think I'd be able to start again. It was that fierce!

Back to the ride, I walked Murphy's and Hardscrabble knowing if I tried to ride either, that would be the end of the day for me. Good call Brad. There were a lot of single speeders and quite a few with rigid forks (WTG Bob Dawson!). The SSer's seemed to do better on the steep climbs and were very inspiring to watch. The top of Murphy's is a great place to "rider watch" with everyone cheering the dudes and dudettes that pull off the impossible. Hardscrabble is different and harder overall due to it's steepness and loose surface. Both are great places to practice your hike-a-bike technique.

The icing on the cake, so to speak, is the climb out Horsethief Canyon. Camp is only about 1.5 miles away, but looking at the "wall" is daunting, especially with 8.5 hour plus in the legs. One guy offered $100 to anyone that would bring his car down to him! He ended up riding it himself and was glad he did. I push granny for all but maybe 2 minutes and made the top in 25 minnutes! I was gassed and wanted to quite several times but people were gathered at the top cheering us on so quiting was not an option. The other thing that got me to the top was the sugar drenched cinnamon twist donut that was happily waiting for me in the car. I was craving that donut so badly I was creeping myself out! I could not wait to attack it. And I did so with pleasure, and it did not let me down :-)

After about 20 minutes I got my body and head together and said goodbye to everyone but Bob Dawson and his buddy Mark. The 3 of us stayed the night at the scene of the prior nights feast. We swapped stories for hours, drank a few beers and ate sausage and eggs prepared by Chef Bob, and slept like babies. We were treated to a starry night with no wind whatsoever and an equally windless Sunday morning. It was the perfect end to a most excellent weekend. Thanks again Kenny.