Monday, August 28, 2006

Sweet Serenity

What an hour hike through the park will get you, for about a day...

Monday, August 21, 2006

It's Rather Simple Really...

The day your catabolic activity exceeds your anabolic activity is the day you start to die.

Pretty grim outlook, especially when you deal with the fine balance of tearing yourself apart only to try and rebuild it again with the hopes of being stronger. This season has been a harsh lesson in the results of either A) overtraining or B) not having a sufficient base to fall back on after periods of intense load.

Yesterday was the MABRA Age-graded criterium championships. I was looking forward to a strong performance (along with the other 30 or 35 guys who got pulled or popped from the race). It was total carnage. I've never been in a race that went that hard from the gun and never let up. Out of a field of maybe 45-50 riders, I think 12 finished.

Paul lit it up starting a 3 man break after the first turn. I think I was still getting clipped in to my pedals.

After Dan took the first watch up front, I was feeling strong and helped cover some early counter attacks.

After 3 laps or so the field was already widdled down significantly. Of course, who am I pulling up the hill?

Frick, Ramon and Super Dave. All three would eventually bridge to the break.

Gina got one in focus!

Sitting in to try and recover a bit wasn't a big help as gaps continued to open up all along the course, uphill, downhill, flat it didn't matter, there was much pain and suffering all over this course.

Mr. Prickett not really enjoying his first race back after a long break.

Paul still mixing it up as the break grew to 8 riders and stayed that way until a few laps to go when 3 broke away and caught the chase group.
Ramon still killin' it after winning the 40+ earlier in the day.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Time Machine

So I've had an iPod since Christmas now and the thing holds like 10,000 songs, I think I have a couple hundred at most on there and struggle to think what I should add.

I go to iTunes every now and then to see if there's anything interesting. All I end up doing is finding stuff I haven't listened to or heard on the radio in decades. Sucks to say that at 31! But it does take me back. It's funny how music can invoke memories like it was yesterday.

I just wasted a good two hours on iTunes and I didn't buy a thing. The best song I came across that I considered buying was Godzilla by the BOC. But hey, where else can you buy a compilation album with Here Comes the Hotstepper (Ini Kamoze), Informer (Snow, remember, the white rapper/raggae guy?), Mr. Loverman (Shaba Ranks) and Sweat (Inner Circle). Don't even get me started on the 80's Hair Band compilation which seemed to overlap with the 80's Heavy Metal. Who would have thought Slaughter was a cross-over band?

I think I started out looking for Ska but like any good media parasite they only have the usual pop-culture friendly crap, whatever sells. Then it ticks me off when they lump bands into generas that aren't even close. Beside the hair-dos, were The Cure really punk? Enough to sit beside the likes of the Dead Kennedy's and the Ramones? Don't think so.

Hey Apple, try not having some 18 year old intern put together playlists of bands that broke up, go back together then broke up again before they were even born.

But hey, where else can I listen to a 30 second clip of Ohio Players' Love Rollercoaster?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Tour de Pain

I'm cooked, physically, not mentally though as I still have the desire to race this late in the season. But I added this weekend's Tour de Christiana stage race to my schedule to make up for not going to Fitchburg. As far as stage races go it's not too bad, unless you're just not feeling it, then it's a pain-fest. This was my third year going to this race and my first to finish all three stages. The promoter must have gotten tired of poor turnout for the TT b/c this year you had to finish each stage to do the next unlike previous years.

I thought my fitness going into this race was going to be good, I had high expectations, then we hit the hill on the first lap of the road race. I knew then it was all over. There's no worse feeling as a cyclist than that moment when you need to lay down the watts and the engine room just doesn't respond, especially in a race. I was smart and had stayed towards the front so I never lost too much ground the first couple of laps. But then we caught the women's race and the field splintered a bit and I just could respond to the accelerations on the last few meters of the climb. This horrible feeling followed me into the next day for the TT and then the crit. I think my TT was slower than last year, by alot.

Take note of the kid on the right in the red. He's 16 and kicks serious ass. He's won 19 races this season and won both the road race and the crit this weekend. He soloed the crit for the last 4 laps. One guy managed to bridg up to him but he dropped him on the uphill finish.

Something about an 8:06 start time for a TT coupled with feeling like pooh, I wasn't very motivated. Did the fact that forgot my TT clip on bars say anything to looking forward to this? Atleast I don't show up all decked out on an expensive TT bike with the aero helmet.

The crit is fast, technical and hard. Relentless really, no rest. You're either hammering uphill or hammering downhill or out of the turns.
Gina snapped some good photos of us coming out of the tunnel under the railroad tracks.

Suffering to get back in after a wheel change. Nothing like starting from a dead stop at the bottom of a hill to catch onto a 23mph race.

Next stop, Williamsport, MD for the MABRA age graded Criterium championships.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Picture Time

Well, after about 4 months I finally got around to posting the entire season's (to date) worth of photos to an FTP server. Gina has done a great job this season of snapping cool photos of the Water Boys in action around the Mid-Atlantic.

Here's the link, but email me first for the username/password so I don't have to worry about who's accessing them. They're all downloadable. Best bet is to use Internet Exploder, I mean Explorer since it acts pretty much like your windows browser when connecting to FTP sites, the only thing you can't do is view thumbnails, so if you want to find yourself you'll have to look an 'em all. You can copy and paste files or directories.

There's close to 1200 photos broken out by race then Category, mostly Cat 4 and Masters 30+.
Look for more soon from this weekend's Tour de Christiana followed by the MABRA age graded Criterium champs the following weekend.


Sunday, August 06, 2006

No Mas

So my brother got married this weekend. It was rather interesting event to say the least. It took place in southern Virginia near where he went to college and is now working as an elementary school teacher. It's also where he met his now wife Katie, who also works at the school. They met in February and he decided she was the one.

The wedding was very low key, not alot of frivilous nonsense, just a get down to it approach. I was one of his best men and Gina was the unofficial photographer.

I think the entire ceremony lasted 20 minutes even though the pastors watch said about 40 minutes.

It's official! Another one bites the dust.

We had to send them off properly...

They're off to the beach for their honeymoon. Best of luck and congratulations, Zane and Katie.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Say What? Too Hot?

It's been a while, several years actually I think, but for the second day in a row it's been at or above 100 degrees out with nasty humidity. After last season I swore I was going to acclimate to this type of weather and not have to drop out of races b/c of it. So far I think I've done a good job, especialy after Granview Heights where I lost my only water bottle on lap 2 of 22. So to really test the weather I went ahead a did the D-ville ride last night. Apparently the weather scared alot of folks away, probably for good reason as there was a smaller than usual group of about 15 or so.

Last night was definitely not a typical Tuesday ride, the pace was more moderate (not sure of exact speed since I finally removed the useless Cateye computer from my bike) but there were times we were pushing it. So my point is, to what degree does training in such oppressive conditions benefit? Do my muscles adapt to less oxygen to be able to perform the same amount of work? And if so, how often and what length efforts? I kept my efforts on the front short, 10-15 seconds max but felt that was all I had to give before I went anaerobic, I felt like I was sucking air through a wet rag most of the time.

Tonight is suppose to be 'cross practice, but I keep hearing that's it's too hot. Really? Weather says with humidity it only feels like 107.

On the upside the yard is nice and brown, relieving me of my weekly obligation to waste an hour and a half of my life mowing. Although my basil and peppers don't seem to be enjoying it too much. They require more water than me to not wilt.

On another note, have I ever revealed the greatest endurance food ever created? There's nothing better on those long 5+ hour rides than the one and only...

The original!