Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Total Distance: 104 miles...
Time: 5 hours total including mud jam interruptions...
More details at:
Garmin GPS Data:
Enjoy the pictures!
Monday, October 12, 2009
I thought it would also be a great way to take the Raven out on her first ride on her newly built Salsa Moto Rapido mtn bike.
But then, like a pesky friend, chaos took over the driver's seat...and things got a little more hectic...
Somehow, in the fog of the early morning, I ended up changing our initial departure riding point from Buck Hall to the Swamp Fox trailhead. And just like that, we were riding up the Swamp Fox trail at 8:30 in the morning..which seemed ok at the time considering the weather was nice. I figured, a mile up through scenic points of the Swamp Fox trail and then turn around, and fork over to the Palmetto Passage and leave the best part for last...so far, so good..
But, did I mention anything about the mosquitos? Absolutely relentless! At first few miles, not a big deal...but wow, they never ever gave up the fight...not once!
The Raven was the first to spot a snake on our ride. Snake, she yelled as I rode past it much too closely. When I asked her to describe it, she said, brown with diamond markings on it...gulp.
I started to worry that my great idea to get the Wifey and Raven into some nice weather trail riding was much too premature in the season.
After turning around a mile or so into the Swamp Fox trail, we return back to the fork in the trailhead and I decide to simply ride onwards towards the Palmetto Passage...another left turn taken by chaos. I figured it couldn't be too muddy on this part of the trail, so we pedal on. Upon looking back to check on the family, they heft big smiles letting me know they were having fun or at least smiling for me to let me know they were with me....Then I hear the Wifey say something about a tree going after her and then "oof!". Wifey hit a tree, but had a great recovery and we were back pedaling away. Raven trudges through some muddy lines and holds up the Wifey who is starting to pedal like a pro through the muddy stuff. It was classic lowcountry trail riding. I really wish I had brought my camera. We cross the highway and enter the Palmetto Passage with the family still showing a good deal of energy left...The Palmetto Passage is definitely a must repeat for cooler weather since everyone was really enjoying this part of the ride...
Remember those pesky mosquitos? Well, they certainly don't give up the fight easily. All of the nice scenic stops I had planned on making basically did not happen. We simply charged through each and every break point only to stop on top of a windy bridge long enough to hydrate and take a break from blood loss...Raven wrecks once into a tree and holds back the tears and continues onward. We reach Buck Hall and briefly rest to catch our breath. At this point I realize it is getting very hot, much hotter than was forecast for the day... I round up the troops and we set off cruising along at a good pace. The Wifey blazes ahead with a newfound set of legs and sets a pace that Raven simply cannot hold, so I bring up the tail end to keep everyone in check...The Wifey clears some roots on a climb which simply leave me amazed while looking back Raven gets off to walk...all the while mosquitos are eating us alive...literally. I tell here to get back on as soon as possibly and keep moving...The Wifey later announces she has just seen a snake on the trail about 50 feet ahead with a mixture of screaming and excitement in her voice. The Raven and I plunder on carefully making our way forward. I take back lead point and start pacing us closer to the end constantly reminding everyone that it is ok to walk over obstacles that they do not feel comfortable riding over. The Wifey seems to have taken to mountain biking overnight as she attacks another rooty uphill climb with positive determination. I stop and stare at her in awe as she flies up the climb only to stop a few feet short of the top and discover she is geared too high. She falls over, tangled up in her bike in a nasty looking pile. I wince watching it happen and then we help her recover. She gets up and keeps on moving! Wifey is on a mission! Raven cannot believe her mom is a mtb maniac! We finally exit the Palmetto Passage and we try riding up the side of the highway to shortcut our way back to the car, but Wifey finally succumbs to her rampant energy bursts and hides out in a shady rest while she commands me to continue onward and bring her chariot to her. I proceed, pick the family up and head back home..
17 miles of mosquito laden lowcountry trail fun was had...Overall, a great day!
Cheers to my Wifey and the Raven for riding as hard as they did...
Next family ride: Marrington(hopefully on a cooler day)
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Life has been going on. Regular, busy life...
News which has been rocking our boat of life:
First, I broke my toe. Yes, its broke and I can't figure out how to get it to heal without sitting dead calm still...its quite an annoyance. I broke it surfing trying to stand up too fast for a wave and jammed it into the top of my board...I thought it was jammed, but I cannow clearly see it is broken, all swollen and different looking... Hitting it into all sorts of corners only helps me verify the toe exists. i thought it was done healing recently, but a weekend event last week left it really puffy and not feeling all too well...
The Wifey has been going through a major case of kidney stones... From what she describes, its like giving birth all over again...ouch! Anyways, its a bit different having to adjust to running out to get her meds, handling some of the indentured Wifey's chores as well as just being there for her to "hug". I really do feel for her...especially when she had one pass a day before our Waves to Wishes 5k run....so now she is on meds for most of October and has been told via doctors orders to chill out...
Awaiting exciting news for one major "secret" event which is currently going on involving living arrangements for the Wifey and I.
Adopted a new pet into the family...a Green Cheeked Conure Parrot we named Mr. Bean because of his silly antics...so far, he has really fit in well with our current menagerie of animals...
All other animals are doing fine and receiving considerable attention and care as well...
Cello practice has hit a wall...I am learning long stretch positions for flat notes on the first position...needless to say, there is pain involved and it really has me frustrated... simply means more practice, more focus.
Work is moving along...always lots to do in software land...Writing some really cool features for more secure multi-threaded SSL related communications which I had wanted to integrate for quite some time now...also dabbling with a bit of low volume eCommerce stuff which may make our software more powerful in the foreseeable future...
Bought a lightly used Dual-Sport motorcycle from Dave Hall. Its a really well kept mini-green machine Kawasaki KLX 250. Since it had a kickin new aftermarket pipe on it, jetting was needed. I ordered a new jet kit from it and knocked that out in a day. What a difference that made! This bike is great! Lots of off-road power, and I can simply ride from my house right to the trail head in under 15 minutes. I have been out a few times recently and hope to get some more time in out there since it just begs to be ridden, and it keeps my broken toe stationary in a stiff boot.
Finally was able to license both motorcycles, both the BMW and the Kawasaki...now both are fully street legal! woohoo!
Participated in the Folly Beach Challenge Triathlon. Did miserably in the kayaking portion, probably because I used my giant aluminum canoe, Did ok on the bike portion since I am an ok spinner, and did really miserably on the running portion. Left me spent and hurting. Did I mention my toe was broken? Not planning any more of these events anytime soon. I really like biking, and running is ok for small events, but combine them all up with some kayaking/swimming and you really have to be in tip-top condition...and nowhere in my hectic little world is there such time to alot to multiple sports...and probably a bit too late in life to get into super multi-sports...
Speaking of sports, the Raven is now fulltime on the soccer bandwagon.. After wanting to call it quits early in the season, I went out with her for a little one on one training (broken toe and all) and taught her fundamental basics on different passes, attacks, control techniques and the essence of defense strategy to help give her the foundation she missed. Upon attending her next scrimmage match, the coach came up and asked what happened, since the Raven was on fire! She was a totally different player! I was so proud! So, soccer is our current family focus with her and she has a massive schedule of events coming up for this sport...so it will definitely keep us entirely too busy for the months to come...
Since I am canceling all of next month's racing activities because of my increasingly weakening athletic abilities(broken toe, broken spirit), family has planned to sneak in some simple convenience camping sometime in October...looking forward to this...
Built the Raven a new bike...Salsa Moto-Rapido with some nice farkles...21lbs ready for some fall XC fun...i think she is gonna love it...
Bought some new shoes to replace the Bontrager RXL Dutch-boy clogs I was so enamored with. What a disappointment those shoes were...I now entirely associate the word "Bontrager" with "Pain". Replaced them with some super comfortable Mavic Chasm shoes...the difference is night and day! Rubber Tread, Carbon Sole, nice arched inners, excellent fit. Superb workmanship has gone into the Mavics and I really look forward to great times spent in them...
hoping to get back on the bike soon and just remember what it was I was trying to accomplish before all the dust started flying...a weekend in DuPont sounds really nice right now...sigh...
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
It turns out the guy that broke his hip was on Goat Hill which was a rocky climb section, and overall slippery early in the morning...I got through that section by hike-a-biking up it on my first lap... I wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him racing again soon...
Overall, the trails were fun and fast and once dry, really let me bike hookup on the corners. The USNWC is one of my favorite trail systems when visiting relatives in the Charlotte area. It is amazing how tough they can be after a few nonstop laps on them.
I believe a large reason('excuse') for my performance hit was that I had not properly recovered from the previously raced events. I had just finished ORAMM, and Fools Gold, both of which are giants to accomplish outright for someone like myself. I also think going out surfing from Thursday-Sunday the week prior to River's Edge in hurricane surf for 4-5 hours each morning did not help. I think I have to learn to consider my past actions as well as the future when deciding to race these events since my overall fitness level in the "now" does not always dictate how I will do 4 hours into such an event. I guess I am going to have to learn more about tapering and preparation.
Sleep deprivation may/may not have had such a large impact on my performance, but I am thinking it did. I will have to monitor my sleep levels more carefully and determine what I truly need to have a stellar day...
Once again, I need to refactor my nutrition... My friend Mark is a die-hard user of Infinit liquid nutrition and I may start using this product soon to get used to it before the 12 hours of Unicoi. This will be my first 12 hour and I really want to NOT worry about my stomach clogging up with crap, which is what my gut felt like 3 hours into both Fool's Gold as well as River's Edge...Honey and water seem to really unclog my system, so I am sticking with those. Electrolytes kind of just felt like they sat in my stomach...Less electrolytes may be the key to help keep my system normalized, but I just don't know without further experimentation..so I am going to go simpler in my upcoming training rides.
SHOES....my new shoes hurt so much I am going to be changing them out as soon as this post is done. I had been riding SIDI Dragons for the last 2 years without any issues whatsoever, when they finally felt apart after the Cowbell Challenge scorching heat race... I then went to my LBS and purchased some nice new blingy Bontrager RXLs with lots of toe box room...Well, lets just say what's good for some is not always good for me. Not only will these shoes not tighten down enough to hug my foot, the cleat positioning is still too far forward on the backmost setting which puts my hold over the front of my foot instead of where I was used to it previously, stressing a totally different set of leg muscles. They also have a terribly wide heelcup which makes me feel like I am wearing large flipflops when off the bike and hiking. Partly to blame is the fact that they are fully carbon undersole and stiff as concrete. Power to the pedal is the only thing that these shoes do well. If you are a superhuman biker and never consider getting off your bike to push, these shoes might be right for you, but not for me. Because the ankle strap cannot be repositioned, they dug into my right upper foot pretty badly. I still have a tender lump where the ankle strap meets my foot and cannot even put them back on to do a recovery ride. So I am now considering new pricey SIDIs or some Mavics with the rubber sole for hiking....Cannot wait to get the shoe issue straightened out to get on with my riding...Sheesh!
So to wrap this blathering all up, lets review; recovery, sleep, nutrition, and properly fitting shoes should be my focal points...like I said before, "The learning never ever ends"...
Sunday, August 30, 2009
First off, it is now a fact that I do not do well without a proper night's sleep. I can work all night on software projects and really fascinate myself with some of the solutions I come up with, but I cannot actually go to sleep and then wake up in the middle of a heavy REM cycle and start performing properly again.
The Rivers Edge 50 Mile Marathon at US National Whitewater Center was not a race I was planning on entering, but being that I knew the course so well, I was curious to see how it would go for me racing from memory. Well, with no real preparation, the battle was over before it started...
I left the house at 4am on Saturday morning and drove my caffeinated butt up to Charlotte, NC for the race. I was prepacked and very organized before getting to bed and left in a seemingly awake state. The drive up was very uneventful. So far, so good...
About 10 minutes before I arrive at the USNWC, I start to feel groggy. Not good..I park, start unloading my cooler and simply stare at my equipment before me for about 5 solid minutes in complete and utter indecision. This was the first sign! (I definitely was not entirely awake).
I finally start toting some of my stuff down to the feed area since this was a lap race and I had to setup my station for my bottles and food. I find a spot way down at the far end and upon returning to my car to suit up, I run into Stephen Janes of Siren Bicycles! He greets me and offers me a spot under his feed station tent and I move my stuff over there. I meet his friend OJ and his lady friend whose name I cannot recall. Then Mark Sackett shows up with Mike Pierce and his lady friend Krystal...all good friends ready to have some fun racing. At this point, I find out the race has been postponed because of the prior night's rain by an hour, and I simply start to settle back under the tent and forget to start preparing. I start checking out all the cool bikes everywhere, and find out this is the largest single speed group I had ever raced in. I watch everyone shuffle around and suddenly snap to attention, run back to my car, suit up and head back not knowing what to do next. I realize I am in a groggy haze.
Before I know how to snap out of it, the race is being started in a stretched out mass group format...basically a free-for-all! I suddenly wake up knowing if I am not in a good position entering the woods, I will be hike-a-biking, so I start flying up through the pack and find myself a few nice temporary spots and then catch Mark Sackett up ahead doing the same thing...I catch his wheel and start pacing him flying right into the woods on his tail. We find a steady flow for the first 5 minutes and then start encountering lots of mass traffic. Mark starts navigating traffic really well, so I slipstream into his wake and flow past most of the stragglers undetected. This works really well and we end up passing well over 30 people in the process. I know we went into the woods upper lead pack so I start thinking about how hard I am going and try to set my own pace at this time. Mark also eases off the throttle and we find a smooth group of riders cruising at about the same pace. Body feels good, legs feel great, bike is handling perfectly...Now we are racing! Too much fun!
Reality check: This would have worked well if it were not for how eel-skin slippery the trails were because of the rain. People were slipping left and right on any little root in any given spot.
I had not realized the severity of this critical situation even after watching a guy go down nearly 10 riders in front of us (and find out later he had broken his hip)! In my mind, my only concerns were to set and keep my pace, drink often and ride a strong first and second lap, backing off on the third and punching out the last. All of a sudden, I am flat on my left side, helmet grinding across a root face, with my body soaking up the entire blow. The air being forced from my body let out a massive bellow and I simply slid right off the trail into the bushes. I had slipped on a massive angled root. It was over before I knew it and later I would realize the damage that had been done. Some riders from behind witnessed it and stopped to make sure I was alright, shocked by the hard crash they had seen. I simply said go on, I will be fine...(not!) I let/watched 5-6 riders fly by me and limped my way back on my bike hoping I could shake this off. For the time being, I lost my entire focus on the race and simply ghost pedaled my way through the remaining few miles left in lap #1 thinking I should go ahead and DNF. Upon arrival, I decided to not DNF and try and ride a slow second lap to find my pace again. Did not happen...I entered the woods for my second lap and really started to feel the pain setting in. Left hip, elbow, neck, mid back...all over the left side...pain. I cruise through lap# 2 in good form, but the pain was really wearing on me. I enter lap# 3 and think I should have stopped to relax a bit before taking off again, but I really wanted to find my speed again. I lose a ton of energy from my body at this point trying to manage the pain and stop to pop some Advil to help out with that. It seems to make things worse as my legs start locking up and I start getting wicked cramps. Nothing seems to help with the pain and onset of fatigue...
The downward spiral begins...
1/3rd of the way through lap# 3, I start to feel a rush of riders start passing me. I simply had given up the fight. It was not my day to race. I hadn't felt this terribly during a race since Cowbell and only because of extreme heat had that happened. I decided I did not want to DNF, so I start the deathmarch. It was some ugly deathmarch...Stephen Janes catches me at a open spot in the field as I was waiting out some debilitating cramps and looks in great form! He asks if everything was ok and if I needed anything, I say no thanks quickly to him to allow him to keep his speed and he flies by as I cheer him on! A few minutes later, Mike Pierce comes up on me crawling up goat hill and also checks on me. I basically tell him I am not going to quit and will figure out a way to finish this thing...He is also moving along at a great pace! I start back up and do the cramp dance every 2-3 miles pissed at myself for falling, not sleeping enough, not eating enough, possibly overdrinking too much fluid, etc...simply pissed. Fully upset with myself, I feed on that energy and get a little momentum going. I finish Lap# 3 and stop to guzzle down some cold water. Before I let myself relax, I go out for Lap# 4. I find routine in this lap and also a little comfort knowing I won't have to trudge up this trail anymore today. I find myself climbing areas I had not earlier and although still shaky, I am not cramping up as often. I actually clean the clay hill climb from earlier which I had only cleaned during lap# 1. I am shocked that my legs are actually semi-working again. Pissed at myself again for coming back to life so late in the game. I actually felt more in control during this lap than #3. I finish Lap# 4 satisfied I had not quit.
Total Time: 5:58:41
Place: "DFL" (last place SS) :(
Pain factor during race: 85%
Overall in-race fun: 90%
Hanging out with friends after the race: Priceless...(Beer and Advil really helped)
Today I am truly feeling the after effects. MY hip is purple. My elbow slightly bruised and tender and my neck muscles are super sore...my back keeps spasming and my body all over has a truly worked over feel to it. I haven't really felt this poorly after a race in a very long time. Not to mention the scores are posted and I left thinking I was in 15th place to find out I am in DFL place...
This might mean a little time off the bike to let things work their way back into place...but I think its for the best...(we shall see how long that lasts)
more thoughts on this race fiasco to come I am sure...
Friday, August 21, 2009
Local Blueberries for dessert!
Good thing I stayed as a guest of the Hall's or I would have never had any relevant information on the town hosting this tough endurance race. Did you know Dahlonega was site for the first real "gold rush" in the US? If you are a Deadwood buff like myself, then this is a neat fact! Anyways, Dave's mom & dad were a treasure trove for information and I really enjoyed their time while there. I actually stayed right down the road from "Dahlonega Square", which is a really nice little square with lots of shops and antiquities nested with restaurants and lots of churches. I was amazed by the number of people frequenting about on Sunday throughout the square. It was filled with motorized mountain goers, family members and lots of casual tourists all centered around a building labeled the Dahlonega Gold Museum.
Speaking of Gold, during the race, I had my head down plenty enough during my long arduous uphill hikes to realize there was a reason for the name of the race. Mostly everywhere I looked, pyrite was littered into the rocks strewn along the trail. Fool's Gold! It was beautiful in the noonday sun. I actually brought home a small nugget for my daughter's rock collection.
Dahlonega is definitely a must repeat experience!
Monday, August 17, 2009
To better define an "endurance race" as "fun", it would be better to add descriptors like: pain, intense, excruciating, anguish, fear, suspense, pain, dehydration, nauseous, excitement, speed, hiking, loss of hope, optimism, stubborn tenacity, and more pain...
This race hurt bad....I do believe Dahlonega Georgia has some of the tougher mountain bike trails out there...Bull Mountain to be exact...my lower insides still hurt!
I rode up to Ga with Dave Hall of Terrapin Beer and found ourselves arriving early on Friday with some time to pre-ride the course...It turned out to be quite a wakeup call for me since I was not expecting such tough climbs...33x21 seems too tall now, but I stuck to my choice. The first ascent up Bull Mtn was kind of like a water runoff line going down the mountain with just enough of an edge to dig into with lots of roots and rocks thrown in for a good challenge. I found it immediately impossible to keep my heartrate down and just redlined it all the way up stopping to catch my breath at the top. Dave had charged way ahead of me and falls back to see where I am at and asks if I was also having trouble keeping my heartrate down and we both conclude that this is some pretty relentless climbing...After 10 miles, I finally find my legs and we wrap up 10 more miles including some great rolling singletrack, calling it a day..good fun stuff..
After an excellent night's feast and wonderful quarters as a guest of the Hall residence, 5 am arrives and it is time to race the 50 miler...Of course, this is when everything happens so fast that your head starts to spin, so before I knew it, I was suited up, energized, and sitting in a large pack of racers ready to do the challenge...I roll up to the pack with Mark Sackett and we soon find Stephen Janes awaiting nervously for the start. The 100 milers had just taken off and we were up next. After some chatter, we hear 3-2-1 GO! We are off like a bunch of frantic bees trying to find a way out of the grassy start field...Immediately, there is a crash right before the grass meets the gravel and holds up a massive pile of riders behind...After some joking and anticipation, we are off and rolling up the primary gravel road...I "switch on race mode" and start finding a spot in the crowd to settle into my pace...I am soo far in back and notice their pace is so much slower than mine, so I spin up further and after about 50 or more riders passed, I find a nice open spot to settle into. I start focusing on heartrate and a relaxed cadence. Pedal, drink, relax...so far, so good. I find the first hour climb to start getting steeper and steeper. I finally adjust my pedal stroke and start to standup climb...Man, this hurts! Estimating the climb to be about 5 miles, I start to fall into a zone. I look back and realize there is noone behind me for quite a ways, so I ease back on the energy output and try to focus on conserving. It was too quiet for too long...all of a sudden Mark comes up beside me and says hey Joel! Surprised, I lose my momentum for a moment, but realize many others are closing in on me...Mark and I pull ahead and simply ride along smoothly uphill for a mile or so. I get bored and frustrated with a few gearies passing by so fast, that I fall in behind them and start trying to draft them. This works for a good while and I end up lowering my heartrate as well. We arrive at some downhill sections and start flying along with some full suspension gearies buzzing right past me.. I always play it a bit more held back on downhill gravel road descents. SAG#1 is fast and I switch bottles out and blaze on...total stop time:20 seconds. We enter some tight, twisty, fast singletrack and I open it up and quickly gain positions on more than 4 gearies in the woods. My bike is meant for exactly this kind of terrain and I find myself finally having some fun! It is around this point in time I realize I am finally racing, and not just trying to survive an endurance race. Mark is a daredevil and entered the woods ahead of me, but I track right up on him in the singletrack and we end up riding back and forth like this for about 20 miles...I skip SAG #2 charge up Bull Mtn exactly like yesterday's preride. This is where the music stops and the record scratches because my wonderful legs just decided to go on an abrupt strike. It was totally my fault. I started conserving water after skipping SAG#2, but forgot to eat entirely and started making up for that mistake too late in the game I believe. I physically stopped, popped some endurolytes, washed it down with water, and started walking to flush out the legs, but the pain kept my legs twanging like banjo strings. Every wrong move up a climb at this point had me encountering a new muscle group in my legs. After giving the salt a chance to get me out of my rut, I switched to Honey Stinger Gels...wonderful product. These little shots of natural sugars, really kicked in and helped bring me back to life, but the bursts were short and I was really forcing my legs to give me more, not to mention, that the climbs at Fool's Gold were relentless and unforgiving. I ended up bonking and entirely considering giving up more than once. I switched out bottles at SAG#4 and trudged my bike up the loop thereafter. I definitely walked/hiked a lot on this section since the climb was so unbelieveably steep and rocky...At the 40 mile marker, I reached deep into my head convinced my body that I was almost done. Somehow, I was able to mount my saddle again and start pedaling over all the climbs which presented themselves on the way to the finish...48 miles in I was flying along legs back to normal and excited that I was going to finish this race...52 miles later, I was deliriously happy to be crossing a creek at Camp Wahsega realizing it was all over. Finishers received a bar of personal travel soap from Sudstress which I put to use shortly thereafter!
My official GPS trip time was 5:46.25. Overall, I am very happy with my results and see a large amount of improvement in time next year since I "plan" on doing the 100 miler... Unfortunately, that is all I have in terms of placement results since the official results people at this event very not organized at all. Surprisingly, only top 3 in all categories received awards/mention, WHAT? Too bad for them since I was not the only one disappointed by this glaring omission in results feedback which does not fall well within expectations when based on a unusually high entry fee...Hopefully they will get their systems together by next year...or the quote "A fool and his money are soon parted" will ring more true than ever @ Fool's Gold
Nonetheless, BIG thanks to Terrapin and Sweetwater for all the beer I could possibly drown in after this mentally exhausting event. Thanks to the event promoters in charge of nutrition, as there was great food available throughout the day! Delicious subs and tons of high-end pasta!
Congratulations to Dave Hall on the 5th place finish...(MTB Race news mentioned top 5)
Congratulations to Stephen Janes for kicking it into high-gear and making it through the 50 miler!
Congratulations to Mark Sackett for building a rigid singlespeed beast the week before the event just to race against me and kick my butt...That was too much fun man!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
While this was my second 5k in a series of 4, I wish it was my second in order to simply be able to drop this time from my results...27:45! 5 minutes lost from my last time!
However, I do believe after talking with my personal trainer/wifey, that I did a ton of wrong things leading up to an event like this.
First, I haven't really been running lately. I was actually knee deep in trying to finish up a software project which is way overdue.
I have been riding my bike when and if I can, but it is sooo different from running.
Worst of all, I rode 30 miles a few hours before running my 5k, in near 100degree weather...
I also ate a bowlful of potato salad right after my ride and before my 5k. Big MISTAKE!
The strange part is I felt fine starting the 5k run, then hit a wall nearing the 1.5 mile mark. The course had also been changed once again and felt oddly longer than last time...I was not the only one to comment on this...
I actually had to stop and walk during a certain point since my legs felt like weights and my heart was jumping up my throat, not to mention the stitch in my side probably from eating earlier...it was a bad feeling...I knew my time would suffer, but not that badly since I was fast walking when I did stop.
Upon finishing, I asked a few runners if they felt the course was longer and most everyone agreed the course felt much longer...and everyone's times were off by around 2.5 minutes! ODD?
Anyways, I felt like crap and couldn't even get in a cooldown walk, so I jumped in the car and went home...
Upon getting home, I showered, changed, crawled downstairs made myself a huge chocolate milk protein shake and started grilling dinner and playing with the dog...feeling tired and fine, but not destroyed. Then as dinner was completing, something went funky in my body and I felt as if every bit of energy from my body had been instantly zapped. I crashed on the couch, forced down dinner and sat there suffering...my head started hurting beyond understanding, my body felt queasy, and I thought I was going through caffeine withdrawals again, but I have not been drinking a ton of coffee lately! I asked wifey to make me a hot cup of coffee to try and quell the strange feelings, but the coffee did not make a dent in my current status...I decided to try and just go to bed. Took 2 advil and I sat in bed for 30 minutes, feeling nauseous, before I ended up in the bathroom and losing last night's dinner. After washing up and once again retiring to bed, I felt much better and finally found sleep. Woke up refreshed and ready for the day...
Was this heat exhaustion? I don't know as I have never directly experienced it...either way it was a terrible experience and will have to monitor myself closer during stressful exercise...
Monday, July 27, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Something radically awesome and uber geeky is happening this year at ORAMM! I, myself, being a techhead, first and foremost, have been checking out this technology for quite some time now. It was shown successful at the Great Divide earlier this year and now officially hits the most important race on the calendar, ORAMM!
Here it is quoted straight from a quote from Team Dicky's Blog:
We're going to be testing out a new thing this year...GPS tracking. A handful of the top riders will be equipped with a GPS unit that will track their movements on a fancy little computer program. This should allow us to give spectators an accurate idea of when the top finishers will be crossing the finish line. Pretty cool. Thanks to AMB i.t. (Champion Chip) for making this possible. We look forward to seeing how this new technology will work for backcountry mountain biking.
Now remember, when the leader finishes the race, simply add 4 more hours and you should get my time, roughly, give or take an hour... :)
More information here: http://blueridgeadventures.blogspot.com/2009/07/gps-race-tracker.html
This is going to be some kind of cool!
Monday, July 20, 2009
The initial part of the ride was fully experimental and simply to satisfy my curiosity as to how I would probably fare on a singlespeed climbing this neverending 9.2 mile gravel road. I also had a "secret" gear combo I was using which I had my doubts about, but am now certain it will work fine for most of ORAMM...
Upon starting the climb, I thought I was never going to finish this ascent since I am not the worlds strongest climber, but I can maintain, so I found a steady pace I could hold and basically just kept it right there and enjoyed the sounds of nature. The grades on the road ranged from 10-20 degrees! I would guess about 90% of the climb was done standing up and carefully listening to my heartrate monitor. It was intense at times and I did desire to stop on the side of the road a few times and simply walk, but I resisted and before I knew it, I had completed the climb and the rest was adrenaline history...riding the Blue Ridge Parkway on a singlespeed was interesting, yet liberating..the views were incredible and I felt great relief after having made it to the top of this climb...
Heartbreak was not that bad actually, although my hands still burned from holding the brakes so tight, but the switchbacks were manageable and the speed was insane! Stargap was a mess and needs to be mowed down(I do not look forward to this part of the ride next week)
Overall, about 3 hours riding time...some time was wasted seeing the sights up top and being a typical tourist. Equipment held up really well and nutrition notes were taken. Excellent day and worth the time making the trip!
1 week until ORAMM!
Trip GPS recap:
Check out this Garmin Connect activity: ORAMM Scouting Trip
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Monday; work, errands and a light 2 mile run to get back into the swing...followed by 10 miles on the bike with the new equipment onboard...
Rotor Q-Ring installed, new tires with more bite installed...cleaned the chain, adjusted the saddle once again...rode very compact and responsive..I can't wait to really try out the new Q-Ring tonite!
2.5 weeks until ORAMM!!!!!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Of course the Tour de France starts Saturday, so I will be able to watch some exciting racing while the butts slow cook..I think there is a FIFA Soccer game on too!
mmm..South Carolina Pulled Pork! Can't wait...
of course this means an extra long bike ride on Sunday....woohoo!
ITS Going to be a GREAT Weekend!!!!!
so far feelin real good....
Monday, June 22, 2009
So, Saturday morning comes like a typical race morning usually does come, fast and blurry. Before we knew it, we were driving from our hotel out to Fisher Farms 10 minutes behind schedule...Justin was waiting to get his numberplate from me and was ready to go...I was slapping stuff on and noticing all the madness going on around me...It was an awesome turnout! Pros in attendance were Harlan Price, Dejay Birtch, John "Fuzzy" Milnes, Dave Hall, Rich Dillen(Team Dicky)...So with all this madness going on I start to realize it is only 9am and the heat is already off the charts! We finally get shuttled into town and the race starts. The first part of the race has us flying through town for about 6.5 miles along backroads and greenways and all you hear are the townspeople ringing cowbells which is really neat! Spinning like a madman, I start to find my pedaling start/stop points since the rolling hills give me some needed momentum. Finally we arrive at Fisher Farms via the back entrance which corrals us over the hardest of the 2 ending loop climbs right from the start....immediately a bottleneck occurs and geared riders all around me start dropping straight into their granny gears...i only make it halfway up the hill climbing since there is too much traffic in front of me and immediately unclip and start running my bike up through spinny gearies...I make it up the climb and out of the woods in good shape, but right before you cross through the starting checkpoint, you have to pass through the Kudzu corridor...I have never realized just how much heat kudzu traps, but it is similar to laying out in 100+ degree weather on top of aluminum foil...radiant, pulsing heat. It just takes the fight right out of you. I get bottlenecked again and jump off and start running my bike up and out of the kudzu...My body at this point is pouring sweat out by the gallons trying to cool off and this is just entering the first lap! Not good.
Laps 1-3 are a blur...they went by smooth, hot and not that easy, but they did go by...Lots of twisty, turny rooty slippery singletrack. Twitch cramps waiting to happen everytime I slid across roots....deep gultches with skinny rail crossings....log piles everywhere, dropoff bridges, off camber singletrack, slippery grass turns, open field scortching heat, rock gardens, more rock gardens, slippery punchy climbs...you name it, this course had it...a true challenge....
Lap 3 saw me finally entering a zone, but something still did not feel right...my legs were still not altogether there and I was just not wanting to be there anymore...it really had me concerned. I roll back to the pit upon entering lap#4 and realize I am not alone...I hear many rumours of others quitting, such as Dejay Birtch, Rich Dillen and still many more who had not made it through lap 2...so I am thinking ok, I am not crazy or totally weak, this heat is insane! I relax, drink lots of water, load up with Perpetuum, endurolytes and another bottle of cold water on my back to drop my core temp down a bit and roll out for Deathmarch Lap 4. This lap hit me hard....I went out slow because I had just eaten a potato to see if it would help restore my system levels, but nothing was processing anymore...I spent more time in the switchback hanging off trees and trying to focus on the trail ahead that I knew, this would be it for me. It was nasty hot when entering the open fields and jungle heat emanated from the woods. There was no shelter to be found. I continued onwards conserving energy at all times. Everytime I saw a hill, I walked, switchbacks were taken with great care and my overall pace came to a crawl...So many riders were passed at this point who were keeled over with cramps and heat exhaustion, it started to look like a warzone. I saw EMS pulling a few riders out with IVs to rehydrate them. Upon passing through the final stretch of kudzu, I decided I would take a long break in the pits this time around before thinking of Lap 5.
Upon arriving at the pits, I saw someone there who surprised me entirely. Justin Fisher, who was sharing our pits, was zonked in a corner with a look of total confusion on his face. I knew immediately what happened. Heat exhaustion had hit him hard. I took this as the final sign. I got off my bike and started downing cold liquids. I sat there for about 10 minutes staring off into space deciding what I should do next...I then started to feel stiff. In a final fleeting moment of panic, I got up and decided to try and roll through lap 5. Justin thought if he tagged along behind me that he would find his legs again and hold his strong lead on his race class. It was weird having Justin trail me since he is usually miles in front of me, but I rode on through the technicals using reserve energy in spots I should not be using it, but my mind was not thinking clearly. I should not even be out here anymore. Justin yoyos back and forth catching up to me on flats and from my quick glances appears sluggish and not in total control. After about 2-3 miles, I ask Justin if he is feeling any better and he immediately replies loudly NO...I take that as the final marker and throw in the towel. I cut off the trail and decide for both of us that it is time to head back to camp. It is at this point that Dave Hall comes flying by pedaling with some insane determination to finish this lap. That was me getting pushed out of third place at the time...So I realize I won't even get a Cowbell for this effort and really decide to stop, drop and roll...Justin and I walk back to camp stunned by the amount of heat still smashing us in the face....We arrive, cool down and watch one rider after another stumble in. Because of the record 115 degree heat, DNFs were not recorded and places and times continued. This is great for me since I did not want a DNF on my records...but deep down inside, I gave up the fight...but only to be able to fight another day...8th place in my first Singlespeed marathon...better than dead last i guess...until next year...lessons learned...
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
+1 for insane pedal power!
Check out the leaderboard:
Monday, June 15, 2009
Garmin GPS recap:
Check out this Garmin Connect activity: Tour de Cure Century - Irmo, SC
Tour de Cure Century - Irmo, SC
If you are experiencing problems with the link, copy and paste the following URL directly into your Internet browser
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I had ridden my road bike for about 2.5 hours earlier around noon to make sure all was in working order since I have the Tour de Cure century coming up this Saturday and I wanted to really put in a decent ride for that event. With this said, you can probably already tell I was not entirely prepared for the race that evening. I made my way out to the race with SS changes consisting of taller gearing, 36x17, and the Reba Race back on to get used to her since this is the fork I have selected for the Cowbell Challenge on Jun 20th. I was hoping the taller gearing would really let me put a gap between my opponents when I reached the flats, but little did I know nature had just thrown a monkey wrench into things. An hour or so before arriving to Marrington, it had rained/downpoured in that general area. This means the trail was not going to hook-up at all! This also meant my taller gearing was going to grind my legs to a pulp with all the stopping and starting I would now be doing in every approached corner...things were definitely not going my way this week. So, once again, I changed my strategy on-the-fly and decided to just ride a steady even pace.
2010 Events Schedule
- Nov 7: Swank 65 (Pisgah)
- Sep 18: Pedaling For Peanuts (TEAM) (6th place)
- Sep 14-18: Pisgah Stage Race (CANCELLED)
- July 25: ORAMM (Pisgah) (40 miles+ DNF)
- May 23: Catawba Riverfront Classic XC(4th SS)
- May 8: 6 Hour Grind on the Greenway (12th Mens Open)
- May 1: Tour de Cure (Little Mountain, SC) (CANCELLED)
- Apr 3: 6 Hours of Warrior Creek (12th Place SS)
- Mar 28: After Bridge Run Ride (82miles 3:58)
- Mar 27: Cooper River Bridge Run (58:00)
- Mar 6: Snake Creek Gap Time Trial#3 (4hrs 26min SS)
- Feb 20: 12 Hours of Santos (Ocala Florida) (5th Place SS)
- Feb 6: Snake Creek Gap Time Trial#2 (5hrs 11mins SS)
2009 Events Schedule
- Nov 8: Swank 65 (87th 5:46:06)
- Oct 10:Dirty Spokes 12hrs of Unicoi
- Sep 6: Shenandoah 100(cancelled)
- Aug 20: Daniel Island Twilight Fun Run 5K Series #4 (32:43)
- Aug 15: Fools Gold 100 (50mile-10th SS- 5:43:00)
- Aug 6: Daniel Island Twilight Fun Run 5K Series #3 (27:45)
- Jul 26: Off Road Assault on Mt Mitchell (7:49:00)
- Jul 23: Daniel Island Twilight Fun Run 5K Series #2 (skipped)
- Jul 9: Daniel Island Twilight Fun Run 5K Series #1 (22:00:00)
- Jun 20: Cowbell Challenge Marathon (8th SS)
- Jun 13: Tour de Cure Century (4hrs:45mins)
- Jun 7: Catawba Riverfront Classic (3rd SS)
- Apr 25: Cohutta 100 (cancelled)
- Apr 5: After Bridge Run Ride Century (cancelled)
- Apr 4: Charleston Bridge Run 10k (52:59)
- Feb 15:Myrtle Beach Marathon Bike Ride 63 miles (28th)
- Feb 21: 6 Hours of Santos (35th-Overall, ?? SingleSpeed)