Saturday, June 27, 2009

Elkhorn Report - Stage 1

Overall, Elkhorn was a really fun race even though I was alittle dissappointed with my results. There were 5 of us PV team-mates in the cat5 and we had a great time racing, recovering, and telling stories.

We road-tripped over on Thursday morning. It took about 4.5 hours from Portland to get to Baker City. It was a partly cloudy day and just beautiful out. I was expecting terrain like Central Oregon - very dry and brown. I was pleasantly surprised by all the green and the snow capped mountains. We did a 1 hour ride around the finish climb of the 1st stage. Got back to the car and the huge batch of mesquitos almost ate us alive.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling really strange. I felt dizzy and pukey when I stood up and walked around. I thought, "great, one of those mesquitos gave me malaria or something". Luckily the race didn't start until 2pm, so I just laid on the bed hoping I'd feel better.

Race time I was feeling better but not 100% so I planned to sit in the back of the pack and see how it went. The stage was 73 miles with ~6500 feet of climbing and all of the climbing was in the last half of the race. The pace to the first feedzone was very mellow - thank goodness I thought. It was rainy but not terribly cold. We actually stopped for a peleton pee break at one point - that was very civilized. At that point, Candi, the nicest race official in Oregon, started yelling us from the car about hitting the gas since the gals were only 60 seconds behind us. The pace picked up and we finally hit the big climb to the 2nd feedzone.

This is where the pack shattered. I was at 350W for a good 5-7 minutes trying to hang on, but finally fell off and rode my own race when I knew I was going to explode. I got to the feedzone and looked back to see a couple big strong TT looking guys I spoke to earlier. No need to race downhill alone, so I wait alittle for them and we started a pace line.

A rotating paceline in a race really makes you feel like a bike racer. It was awesome. Short pulls and rotating like clockwork is a great feeling. It's way cool when you can organize one of these with people you don't know but have that connection of racing a bike. We caught about 10 or so riders. We made it over the finishing climb and then 2 miles on the flats to the finish line. I took a pull that was alittle long at the end and got dropped from the group with about 1k to go - darn it. I finished 24th, an entire 5 minutes behind the leader. A couple team-mates finished 11/13 - about 3:30min behind the leader. Only 2 guys in the top 10 were from Oregon.

Time for the Saturday ride, so I'll continue my report later on. Cheers.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Neglected Blog, Birthdays, and BMI

Wow, I've really neglected my blog. Wow, it's June already. Wow, my birthday is less than two weeks away. Yes, time flies.

After Cherry Blossom, I took a couple weeks off the road bike - rest week and did some mountain bike races. It was the end of my 16 week training plan, so it was good timing to get the mind right. I got the mountain bike tuned up and switched over to tubeless tire system so I can run some lower pressures. I'm going to really try it out in July on the short track at PIR.

I started a new 16 week plan in the beginning of May. I modified the current plan to focus more on the short intervals. That's my weakness so that's what I need to work on. I really hate the 1 minute stuff, but it seems to be getting better. However, it's got a long way to go.

The big race coming up is Elkhorn. This is another 3 day race with 4 stages. The 2 road stages are much longer than the ones I did at Cherry Blossom. It's also in eastern Oregon in June which means some hot weather. The final stage which is 100 miles with ~7,000' of climbing is on my birthday. I figure I had to do something significant to get my mind off the fact that I'm turning 40. Yes, probably some mid-life crisis thing.

Have you ever heard of BMI, body mass index? I've heard of it, but never really gave it any thought until the other weekend. I was at a barbacue with a bunch of college friends and they were giving me a hard time about being "too skinny". I'm currently the same weight as a my freshman year at OSU (I remember since I was rowing on the lighweight boat and I had to be 170 max at races). Well, actually if you look at a BMI Calculator such as this one, I'm actually "normal" weight for my height. Play around with the weight numbers for your height. It's actually pretty surprising. I think it's interesting how America's definition of "normal" is now actually "overweight". It's definitely easy to move to that category when you get out of college, starting working, have kids, etc. The key is to find a combination of exercise/diet that works for you. For me, I eat like a horse so I exercise like one.

Anyway, just goes to prove as long as you feel good, who cares what others think.