We make holes in teeth!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Biking Lent

With the 24 hour race (6 hour race?) in the rear view mirror my focus now becomes, what's for dinner? Oh wait, no that's not right. Something else out there I'm pretty sure. More races, sex, drugs, rock n roll. You know, the whole 9 yards. We also have the home stretch. The final nail in the 2007 bike season coffin (and right now my season looks a whole hell of a lot like a coffin full of the corpses of my race results) is the All-A-Muchy 50k.

That race is 6 weeks away and more than likely that's going to be it for me. In between there are plenty of other races to choose from but right now I'm leaning towards picking up 2 more of the H2H races. They're short enough that explosions and cramps really shouldn't be an issue. Of course with my luck it will be 105 degrees and by the end of my next race I'll be delusional, thinking I'm the King of France.

In the meantime I plan on hitting the bike pretty hard. I'm pretty pissed off with my 2007 season so I'm going to try to go out with a bang, even if that bang is a total supernova and I destroy all my bikes with a sledgehammer in an adrenaline rage. The upside is that pushing myself hard might result in a good showing in one of these final races. The downside? I really can't see one. Seriously if I blow a gasket it just brings me to the beer that much faster.

Speaking of which, I'm giving up beer through the end of the season. And wine. And any form of hard alcohol. I will on occasion lather rubbing alcohol into my skin closest to my liver but any more than that is off limits. Figure this is sort of my 6 week Biking Lent. Maybe it'll straighten my ass out and salvage a most astoundingly mediocre season thus far.

I was so not fatigued by the 24 hour race effort that I was out Monday doing 20 minute threshold intervals and then Tuesday doing 5 minute high-end sprints. At the end of each of those 5 minute jobbies I was really pounding away to squeeze every last bit of love I have for biking out of me. I'm coiling up that Supernova Spring real tight for the imminent blast. This morning was more threshold work, a walk in the park compared to a few of the high-end runs I was doing yesterday. That's like saying getting kicked in the balls is better than getting kicked in the balls and then getting kicked in the balls again.

My morning workouts are now almost completely in the dark. I have lights but that just tells my where the road is, not how fast I'm going or how much time I have left until I can stop pedaling and keel over to die. The GPS has a backlight which stays on for 5-10 seconds. But hitting the button is an effort in trying not to crash when you're trying to hold your pace at 24-27 mph. The threshold stuff is easier because I know roughly how far my 20 minute loop is. I don't have a good 5 minute loop yet.

Eventually I'll move these workouts indoors and onto the Trainer of Doom. But I'm going to hold out against that for as long as I can. Right now I'm feeling that I can hit these L5 sessions a lot harder than I was able to earlier in the season. I suppose that suggests it might do more good this time, or it might suggest that riding outside is mentally easier than the basement. Or it might suggest something else which I haven't considered like insanity or that I have a case of the shingles. I'm not a scientist I just ride my bike.

I have some feedback to catch up with.


"Question is are you having fun? It seems like it is hard to achieve that balance trying to maintain a strict training regimen. if that metric works out, can you post a review in the training links on mtbnj? *For the curious reader, Dr. Joe married both Nat/myself and then Terren/Cheryl later the same year.* sound like a real swinging group, polygamous and polyamorous..."

Fun. What is fun but state of mind? My new philosophy is that I will turn my biking experience into such a sordidly painful affair that the 23 hours a day off the bike will be pure bliss, an almost Eden-like state.

As a semi-serious and less incoherent response, but only slightly, I offer you the following answer: Brooklyn Chocolate Stout. Could I have done a 4th lap Saturday? Yes. Would I have had fun? No. Did I do a 4th lap and did I have fun? No and yes. So there ya go. At least I'm learning along the way.

But to also answer your question further, fun is why I'm hitting the bike like Mike Tyson hit, well, probably every woman he was with. Waking up at 4:45 and farting around the neighborhood at 15-17 mph is useless. I get virtually no training benefit from it and I don't enjoy it. So my new approach is to hit it like an accountant hits calculator keys and shorten the session. Let me tell you there's not much more of a sublime existence than panting so hard after an end sprint that you feel like vomiting while the sun rises to your left. That's what life is all about, not sleeping in. It also works if the sun is on your right.

Hope that was intensely helpful.


"what is your HPP? we are considering homeschooling our kids for a spell, but that is due to a lack of faith in the educational system, not really hippie parenting..."

We let the kid sleep in our bed and go to sleep when she wants. Fighting her to sleep was so counterproductive we all just got irritated. So now we're all happy and under-slept. I don't think we'll do home school because we don't want to raise a freak with no friends. Plus hippies are too lazy to do stuff like that.


"glad you had a good experience with them norm. john and frank are fantastic guys to deal with which is why i switched shops. having people you trust working on your bike is very important."

I really only trust myself but even that guy is a fucking wag sometimes. John and Frank were indeed good guys and I'm glad they were there to bail me out so I could ride an overly impressive 3 laps!!! I'm willing to bet you partied longer on Saturday than I rode. I am the king of the castle!!!!


"why does jake get to be the wizard? i'm the one who made the call - NO FAIR, I call foul! glad it worked out. Steve, AKA the deity"

I don't know man you guys need to work out who is who. I just ride my bike or at least talk a whole fuck load about it. If I rode as much as I talked I'd be cracking Maurice by this point. Instead I'm eating Fred's girlfriend's cookies. I like cookies. C is for Cookie.


"Norm, all I can say is that you have such a way with words. If you weren't the proverbial computer tech would make an excellent writer. I also want to say that Natalie should be nominated for an academy supporting actress in this case.... Or at the very least the Peoples Choice for most awesome wife!"

Yeah after today's entry you might not agree as much. Further, I have no idiotic reply to you today. Yeah I know I need to call you back. I suck at that stuff. Sorry I wasn't able to bring home a victory for the team George. It was goddamn hot and fat guys sweat a lot in the heat.


"Even though you were not totally pleased with the outcome Norm, there were positives to take away. Like you said, you rode longer in the wicked heat, and you cramped less on the trails. x'perience laddy, aye. In 24 hour events you can never predict what is going to happen. Given the unusual circumstances of the oppressive heat and torrential downpours, I'd say that it could have been worse for you out there. So 3 laps is really not that bad at all. You have heart, and determination Norm, balanced with enough smarts not to put yourself in a really bad position. That is known as racecraft and the more you compete, the more you will learn and streamline that craft. Good job man, and thank you for representing p9 SportsGroup. Good job to Sean and Kirt, and the rest from mtbnj as well! Actually, good job to everyone who participated. That is one tough event and imo just to compete takes a lot of tenacity and determination."

There are always things to take away. This time, other than the dirt on my bikes, I took away the immortal words of Kenny Rogers: "You gotta know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away. Know when to run." So I knew when to walk away, and I did. God I hated Kenny Rogers as a kid. Do you know that both Sean and Kirt and taller than me?


"Thanks for the kudos Norm! I really appreciate it. It works both ways though, you know. You have been a great representation for the team, I especially value your dedication, commitment and methodical approach to cycling, thank you. Believe me, I know how tough it can be when you are limited in experience and are amongst the big boys. I have had my share of being in the "Deep End" when I was racing motorcycles. But you tough it out and eventually you come to feel a bit more comfortable as time goes on. You are faring well my friend."

I'm absolutely sure Kenny Rogers had more than one memorable song but for the life of me I can't remember a single one. All I keep coming back to is The Gambler. Eventually, The Gambler will do something worthwhile.

OK folks, eat slower to be less fat. And stay away from the cookies too.

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