Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Training Week May 19 - 26

I started the year keeping a very accurate log of all my training on an excel spreadsheet on my phone, but I never got around to backing it up and my phone crashed so I lost it all.

So I've decided to copy Mark Fennell and post my training every week.

Here's last week:

Mon - 30 min spin class at lunch
Tues - Park Sprints - 90 min - hard
Wed - 45 min spin class at lunch
Thu - 75 min park ride - moderate
Fri - 60 min easy park ride
Sat - 60 min easy ride on new bike
Sun - Mt Ham Race + Ride back to start - About 6 hours total

Weekly total 12 hours

Monday, May 26, 2008

Races of Truth

Karin and I, and our 4 kitties live in a small apartment.
This was fine when I was a runner because runners don't have a lot of stuff.
Sure, I had a lot of shoes, about 20 pairs. I had to have something for every type of terrain & condition, but they all easily fit into my closet. Then I started cycling......

It started with 1 road bike 3 years ago. Then I added a set of race wheels, a commuter bike, more race wheels and now a TT bike too. Things started getting crowded.

Karin was kind enough to install a wheel rack in the hallway above the bathroom door.

There's no room for the TT bike, so it sits unassembled in the closet most of the time. But now it's time to take it out again and set it up for the TT's I have coming up over the next 2 weekends.

I don't enjoy training on the TT bike because it doesn't feel very comfortable (and it's not like you can join your local group ride on a TT bike). I've been told though that if it feels comfortable then you're doing it wrong. I've heard that these TT's are pretty flat. Bummer, but at least I don't have to worry about sprinting.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Mt. Hamilton

The addition of a KOM prize for all divisions this year gave me extra motivation to get to the summit first, but I really wanted to get to the top solo so I could take the descent at my own speed. I think they let me go because they (and I ) knew they could catch me after the climb.

The new bike climbed and descended great and I was quite surprised that I wasn't caught on the descent and was able to leisurely ride through the neutral water zone at Isabel creek and fuel up on a couple gu's.

When the breakaway train train caught me, I was glad that it was only 5 guys and one of them was my teammate Chris D'Alusio. The others were Billy Innes and Kevin Metcalfe from Team Specialized, Dan Bryant from Sierra Nevada Specialized and Clark Foy from SJBC.

We worked well together until the small climbs after the feedzone I pushed it pretty hard to see if I could shake anyone from the group and we lost Foy, so we were down to an all Specialized group of 5. Since Bryant was the odd man out the rest of us started constantly attacking trying to wear him out. I certainly managed to wear myself out pretty good and got gapped a bit after my final attack was caught. It took me about a mile to get back on.

With just a fast descending 5K to go Metcalfe went to the front and drilled it all the way to the finish straight. With 200 to go Innes launched and took it to the line with D'Alusio finishing 2nd, and Bryant taking 3rd. I was able to go around leadout man Metcalfe for 4th.

Many thanks to SJBC for putting on a fantastic event! The spread at the finish was great and gave us enough calories to make the long cool down ride back to the start.

The black eye on the day was when I found out that my friend Brian who I had driven to the race had crashed on the descent in the Cat 3 race and had to be airlifted to a local hospital. By the time I got back to the start I found out that his wife Molly had come to pick him up and took him home. He suffered a concussion and a broken wrist, but was in good spirits when I stopped by to drop his stuff off. He may be off the bike for a while, but should be running again soon.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Just in time

I had planned to go down to Hellyer for the Ready to Race clinic, but was concerned about the smoke in the air down there.  I woke up to rain, which is just what we need to help with the fire, but not great for riding, so I decided to move all my components from my Ridley to my new Tarmac.  I had never done this before, so doing so the day before a big race probably not the best idea in the world.  My teammate John said it took him about 1.5 hours to move his components over, so how long could it take me?
It took me a lot longer than that, and longer than I expected, but I was able to get it together and get in a ride to test it out before the sun set.

Just under 15 pounds with Williams 19 clinchers.

Can't wait to race it tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I am Specialized

Well, not quite yet, but soon.

They can have the box, I'll take what's inside.
My first sub kg frame!

Unfortunately it won't be ready to roll for Mt. Ham on Sunday but I should have it dialed in for Pescadero.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday Night GG Park Ride

The Tuesday night GG Park sprint workouts are in full swing.  

Definitely my most painful workout of the week.

This Tuesday tradition has been going on for years and years.  I remember seeing them many times over the years when I used to run in the park on Tuesdays.

About 3 years ago I decided to try joining the group for a ride.  I remember how intimidated I was those first several weeks.  I didn't know anybody, everybody had better bikes than I did and fancy team kits while I was in a generic blue jersey and black shorts.  I was afraid that they would all have attitudes and not accept some dorky newb into their clique.

 I'd just sit off to the side by myself and wait for the ride to start and stay just off the back for the first lap or so until I got dropped.  It was discouraging, but I kept coming back, and started talking to a few guys, who were much nicer than I had expected.  After a few weeks I was able to hang with the group and started feeling real comfortable on the bike.  Eventually guys started telling me that I should try racing.  I was pretty scared, but decided to give it a go.

If I hadn't found this group I'd most likely still be a runner, but I'd also probably have a lot more money in the bank.

In a few weeks I hope to give racing on the track on Tuesdays a try, where once again I'll be the dorky newb.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bay to Breakers

I woke up at 8:30 this morning, just in time to watch the last mile of the Bay to Breakers on TV.  Just as the winner crossed the line, I heard some commotion outside and looked out the window to see a group of about 15 costumed revelers waiting for the N Judah streetcar to take them downtown to the starting line.  I think they're running a little late, but I'm sure they won't be the last ones there.

This used to be on of my favorite races back in my former life as a runner.  It was 20 years ago as a high school senior that I did my first B2B.  I ran it about a dozen times after that, sometimes serious (once I was the first San Francisco finisher and won a trip to Japan to represent SF in the Osaka Half Marathon), sometimes for fun (once as a "ski" team running as Ted Kaczynski with friends dressed as Monica Lewinsky, Tara Lipinski and Igor Stravinsky).

The most painful times were running with the Reebok or Microsoft centipedes since I was usually one of the 2 slowest guys.  Running in a centipede is like being in a 13 man TTT except that you're physically connected by a large nylon sheet around the neck to the other guys and once you start really hurting you literally get pulled along at a pace that your legs just can't maintain.  I was usually stuck behind a guy who was a former US 1500M champion and when he'd start sprinting the last 400M with his sub 4 mile speed I seriously thought I was going to die.  The only thing that could ease the pain was the endless supply of Gordon Biersch at the finish.

Ahhh good times.

I'm sure I'll try it again sometime, but never as the slow man in the centipede.

No longer a track virgin

I've lived in the Bay Area my whole life and even lived in San Jose for 2 years, but had never even been to Hellyer Park.  Since I wasn't road racing this weekend I decided to give it a try and went to a beginner session.  I rented a Bianchi Pista (with the bars way higher than I like) for $5 and was ready to roll.  After our group of about 14 did a 40 lap warm-up, Mark (no way he's 55!) had us do some bumping drills, and we practiced attacking solo and in 2's and 3's and even had a mock scratch race of 10 laps.  It was a good time.

I hope to make it out there next Friday to watch some real racers and maybe in a few weeks I can try a Tuesday or Wednesday night race.

I don't think track will ever by my thing, but it certainly should help my road racing, especially my lack of finishing speed.