We make holes in teeth!

Friday, October 19, 2007


My enthusiasm for biking has taken a hit this week. Every spare second of my time has been consumed with trying to get the team details in order. If I read or write another message about t-shirts, team bio details, or sponsor letters I'm going to flip my fucking wig. I think I need an intervention for 24 hours, basically so I don't show up at the MTBNJ picnic and postal the whole lot of you. That would be so bad for t-shirt sales, I'll grant you that. Though I guess I could wait until later to drop off the deep end. Due diligence insanity planning is where it's at.

So a bit of no joy in Mudville right now.

What does it all mean Basil?

How many one line catch phrases can I use in this post?

Walter and Steve both commented they like this better, which is cool. The 7 Weeks blog was too focused, not free form enough. While an occasional haiku isn't out of the realm of possibility most of that blog was focused and pointed, like a stick. You just didn't get so much of this:

I wander lonely
As a clam and bits and bits
And kibbles and bits

That's beautiful. What you get on this side of the fence is free-form garbage after a long day at work. I'm spent. Mudville Station here I come. Aside from work and Team MTBNJ I'm getting pelted with IMs from Nat about our psychotic daughter. "She won't sleep. She just sits there screaming no. She's playing but crying. Yes real tears. I need a drink and smoke."

You see, she was sick. Or she is sick. No more fever but all of the sudden she seems afraid of sleep. So she fights gallantly until she cannot physically keep her eyes open anymore. Then she sleeps, wakes up, and screams. It's a blast. I may go home and open another Bear Republic 22 oz bomber. Figure the end of February is a long time away. Besides, it would be more impressive to lose 15 pounds than 12 in 4.5 months.

So it looks like this week will only be the Tuesday ride. I'm trying not to think about this but I don't see how I can avoid the trainer until mid-late November. I could try to ride after work but Nat is usually bordering on insane when I get home, especially this week. Tonight I'm sending her out and taking on Sir Screams-A-Lot myself with my Double Douce. My only other option is waking up at 5:00 am and hitting the road. Sounds like fun if you're into things like stapling your hand to the floor.

I guess it's not odd that my desire to get up and ride nearly 2 hours before the sun comes up is pretty low. By "low" I mean Death Valley low. I was motivated when the races were still on but now I'm liking sleep. Plus I don't get to sleep until after 11:00 most of the time right now.

I don't feel like a fat fuck yet but 3 rides a week isn't going to cut it for the next month I can tell you that.

* scene change *

So after the bath tonight I noticed Julia had small spots of rash all over her body. Nat happened to be calling the doctor to ask about her not eating and mentioned the rashes, and they said we could bring her in.

So we brought her in.

And I'm there filling out the paperwork and Steve calls with some good news. I mean, he has no idea I've declared a 24 hour hiatus which means nothing really. So far in this hiatus we've gotten a lead on another potential rider and Steve's calling me with good news all the while I'm filling out this form. So my attention isn't all there as I'm putting down things like my daughter's name, which would explain why they said, "Your daughter's name is Giant Bicycles?"

I'm all like, "Whatever, Giant is sick."

And we get in the office and they take her temperature which takes all of 1 second and she flips her wig totally. They do it again 5 minutes later and she flips her wig, and flips her wig again, spins her head around 360 degrees and starts vomiting fire.

Anyway she has rosiola or some shit. All kids get it and so here I am standing in the kitchen with my blackberry finally drinking my Bear Republic 22 oz Red Rocket Ale and let me tell you it's the best fucking beer I've had in a long time. Nat didn't get her free time but hey it's cool because Julia should be better in a few days.

* scene change *

On the train on the way to work. This hiatus idea was stupid. Unless I totally unplug from the computer it's impossible to stay away from anything. It's ok, a nice beer, a Rutgers upset, and a good night of sleep makes it all better. It's Friday so whatever happens at work will roll off my back in about 8 hours.

So fuck it dude let's go bowling.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Off Sea Son

Yeah this feels better, this feels right. The big difference between this blog and the training blog is that I can just ramble incoherently here, where the 7 Weeks blog was supposed to be on point. Incoherence is my trump card.

With the race season over I can officially go into sloth mode. I don't know what that means exactly but on Tuesday afternoon's road ride I hammered it pretty well for about an hour. I'm stronger than ever and I don't want to lose much over the winter. Plus, if you can go faster often times you do go faster. I did a nice 20 minute warmup, 60 minutes "on", then cooled down for 5. Felt very productive.

I have this list I made for myself of things to do in the offseason a month ago. Here it is and how I can track it.

1. Weigh less than 180, aim for 175. Easy enough to track. Targeted end of February.

2. 20 minute warmup every day. Probably harder to track unless I put this in my riding log. Though I'm really in tune with warming up properly these days.

3. Refine my pre-race warmup. Come up with a routine. Something like: 10 min spin, 5 min hard effort, pre-ride part of the course, tempo, high-end, blah blah blah.

4. Start riding Saturday through Tuesday to get in the 4 on, 3 off pattern. Easy to track but I won't start this until after vacation. Right now I'm in unstructured mode.

5. I need to sleep more. This probably means writing down when I go to bed and making sure I get enough sleep.

6. Make weekend race simulations more like a race. Warmup, race start, etc. This is almost impossible to track except for the fact that any given Saturday ride can/should be a sort of race simulation depending on the time of year.

7. Work on bike handling skills. This can be noted in the riding log as something I specifically went out to do. This is also dependent on my dialing in my bike setup more. The Stumpjumper needs to be made more aggressive. Maybe drop the bars a few spacers and get a longer stem.

8. Add abdominal workouts. Track in riding log. I asked Bill to send me his 20-30 minute routine.

9. Higher cadence training. How to measure this? Almost impossible without a cadence meter.

There you go. 9 things. I guess we all need something to work on in order to get better and these were some thoughts I had a while ago. It probably seems too much to some people but that's how I roll, as they say. The idea is to roll faster and more efficiently.

Off the bike, life goes on. My sleep goal is not starting off well because my daughter is off the wall right now. But she's still sick so you just have to deal with it.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Now What?

My seven weeks is up and the seven weeks blog has run its course. That puts me back here again with blogging. What's the difference? This is a blog about a guy who rides his bike but has other things happen in his life. The other is just a training blog for the benefit of the readers. I think I get more feedback here and it's more colorful. Plus Terren, Matt, and sometimes Cliffy & Woody read this as well.

How did the season go? Quite well I think. This was my first season racing XC with no real biking background to speak of. I've been biking for 7-8 years but at a casual level, meaning I would be off the bike from October through March and sometimes August as well. I did 5 XC races and 3 enduro races plus one charity event.

The enduros verified what I've come to conclude, that I'm not at that level yet. The first was Granogue where I cramped fantastically. Then there was Rattling Creek where I was doing OK but 3 flats knocked me into a DNF. Then the 24 hour race where the heat cut the day short. In all, I'm just not ready for that stuff which is fine.

The XC races began in early summer with Lewis Morris where I came in 31st. After that was Blue Mountain and a 30th place finish. Things came together after that at Jungle Habitat where I landed 7th. Then at Tymor I came in 16th with a broken chain. Finally I ended the season this Sunday at Ringwood in 6th place.

Considering my background and start to the season, I'd say it was a very successful year of biking. I learned a ton and managed to do well at the end to boot. Now the winter is coming and it's time to keep that mojo rolling. My motivation will obviously be higher coming off a season ending race like I did.

Now I have a lot of bike building and maintenance things going on. Repacking hubs, building wheels, tweaking the new build to make it right, and so on. I need a race-capable fork on the hardtail and I'm building a set of light UST tires this winter. Plus I'm going to address the nickel and dime things to get the bike weight down as much as possible. I'll also want to race 2 bikes next year, the FS Specialized and the HT Trek.

Right now I have to organize my offseason goals and go from there. Losing weight and getting in the 170s is my main priority. I want to stabilize 2-3 months before the first race which is late April. So that means my weight loss needs to be more or less done by early February, in theory.

There are other details like abdominal work, learning to spin better, working on bike skills, and a list of things I can't remember right now but losing weight is the #1 item on the list. That will address the ever-important power:weight ration, or PWR as it's called.

That's my bike life right now. I'm happy the racing season is over because it consumes you. Race days are long and cost a lot of family time. It's hard to go on group rides because you end up going too fast and aren't much fun to ride with. Your week gets structured around racing. It's nice to be free for a while.

Having said that I can't wait for 2008 to start. The ultimate goal is to compete for the overall Sport 30-39 H2H series win next year and to collect a podium or 2 along the way. And the more aggressive cherry on that would be to move up to expert the following year. Is that aggressive? Yes. But given I've gotten myself up to 6th place in the course of 5 XC races this season, I think it's not entirely impossible though maybe unlikely.

Oh yeah and my daughter is sick and not letting us sleep so much at night. But at least she waited for the season to end to start vomiting randomly.

Yeah it's good to be back here Walter. See you clowns at the picnic this Saturday.

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