We make holes in teeth!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wayback 9/21/2008 - Rumble in the Jungle

Last race of 2008. Again, absolutely do not remember this at all:

I went into this race with no expectations. It is what it is, I am what I am, and all that. Absolutely zero pre-race jitters. The game plan was to go out and enjoy the course and but in a steady but solid effort. Off the start, I jumped out as normal but not as hard. Still, nobody else came off the line. I wanted a fair position but *not* the hole shot. But nobody else wanted it so screw it, I'll jump out. So I went into it in 2nd. It's odd that my class, for all the speed some of these guys have, start so slowly.

Soon I was passed by 3 of the guys I know from other races, all of them still battling for the series. Up and down the water tower hill then into the fence area. Now I understand why people were commenting on this area. Last year it was not even a half mile and this year it must be triple that. The first lap was a little sketchy with riders, and I didn't have my groove on, so that was a bit slow and I was passed by maybe 2 other guys when I clipped a tree - 1 of about 20 trees I would clip yesterday. After that you get to the switchbacks and I kept my pace, just slowly creeping up on people. Just like last year, passing was a non-issue.

First pass of Warthog was uneventful, just kept my head into it and kept a pace. Out in the lot Ben was there encouraging me. The guy who had gotten the hole shot was on my wheel. More pavement then the rocks, Vreeland yells "NORM!" Which prompts a conversation from some guy Chris knows, Mike maybe? May very well be the mfissel guy who replied to me on the economy thread last night.

Well on the pavement there Hole Shot passes me, Mike passes me, black jersey (Kirt's class) passes me. But we're not at the hill yet. So we hit the hill, and I and my 190 pounds catch those 3 guys just as we take the right after pavement. Then a Bulldog guy, then a few other guys I don't know. What's the world coming to when I pass guys on the climbs? With the exception of Black Jersey I would never see any of those guys again.

The second lap through the sketchy stuff was much better. Still plenty of trees to clip but I didn't clip out at all this time. Just kept my pace and tried not to do anything stupid. Out to the end, then up the switchbacks slow and steady. On the switchbacks I see Black Jersey again and Kirt behind him. I know they're in the same class so I'm keeping it steady but trying to hold off Black Jersey from passing to give Kirt the opportunity to catch us. We get to the pavement together and I just keep going, kinda surprised neither pass me.

We enter Warthog and Kirt says something to the effect of pulling him through this. So I guess Black Jersey is fading at this point. We talk a bit, then Kirt says he crashed 3 times today.

"I haven't crashed yet," I proclaim like a moron.

All of 3 seconds later I hit one of the logs and OTB we go.

"I crashed once," I say, under the bike.

Kirt asks if I'm ok and he goes on, Black Jersey behind him. I get up and try to tag along but they're too far out ahead so I just try and pace myself out. For the rest of the trail to the end, I just enjoyed myself and at point found myself just having more fun in a race than I've ever had. Nobody in my class ahead, nobody chasing me, so I just do my thing. I pass a few people but for the most part it's desolate out there.

Eventually TJ catches me, I had no idea he was behind but apparently he flatted. We talk out the last half mile of the course. Nobody in the lot to chase. Nobody chasing us. We just roll in.

Overall 6th place, 6 minutes out of 5th. So that lead pack was way off the front. All in all thrilled with my race, the course, and the day.

Wayback 6/29/2008 - Bulldog Rump

State championship, 2008:

So I would never say something like this before the race but this one was pretty important to me because I screwed the pooch on the Stewart race. I was in good shape coming into this one and I had tapered off a bit because I wanted this to be a good one. I didn't want to be thinking about it for the next 10 weeks until Ringwood.

I got off to a great start and was 4th after the first field section, then 3rd shortly after that. Things stayed like that, with the 4th place guy behind me through the end of the first lap and into the Root Wall into lap 2 where he got off/on his bike faster and I slipped to 4th. This is the series #2 guy to this point. Shortly after, the series leader passed me and I dropped to 5th.

Second lap was just that. I tried to keep the 3/4 guys in sight but they're really expert-pace riders and I wasn't able to hang. I had gone out a hair hot so I was keeping a steady tempo pace the best I could because I didn't want to blow. It was hot. At the end of lap 2 one of the guys I often battle with was going back and forth with me. On the climb he passed me but I kept him in sight. So I was 6th after 2 laps.

During lap 3 I was caught by 2 more guys, 1 of which I know from racing named Aaron. He's ahead of me in the series because I bagged the Stewart race so it was imperative to keep him behind me. Meanwhile, another guy in the series hunt passed us both, dropping us to 7/8.

As we entered the field the 5 and 6 guys were less than 100 yards, Aaron passed me and I just kept pace with him and we caught the 6 guy. The 5 guy had a bit left in the tank and was out of touch. Going up the hill it was a battle for 6-7-8. I managed to pass Aaron *at the tree* to beat him by less than a second. If I had another 10 feet I think I would have beaten the 6 guy as well.

In all, I was very happy with this race. I'm not really concerned with 6 or 7 or 8. Once I dropped from that lead pack I just wanted to keep it respectable and find my groove and finish strong. I was 10 seconds off 5th place, which I'm happy with.

I remember this one a lot more vividly as Aaron and I battled a lot this season. He was a good guy but I think gave up racing after 2008. I seem to remember seeing his name maybe once or twice last year but he seems to have fallen from the race scene.

Wayback 6/15/2008 - Darkhorse Gallop

So this is the first part of my recap on the DH Gallop from 2008. Unlike the other races, I do remember this one to a point. Here's part 1:

It may be the beer talking, but here are te 2 best things to happen to me today. The second was when Fred and I were pre-riding and came up on a young, maybe 12 year old girl who was about to cry. She had tossed her chain so we helped her out and told her that if anything happened there was a *very* tall woman behind her named Ann and to ask her for help (I had introduced myself a bit earlier). We saw her after and she thanked us for helping her out.

The best thing was that my little girl, right after her bath, says to me, "Poop....toilet." So I put her on the toilet and for the first time ever she peed in the toilet. Ok so not a poop, but I was pretty psyched about that.

Part 2, the actual sort of recap:

A few minutes before bed so I'll throw out some thoughts. I don't really know what happened but I think a combination of just overdoing it in recent weeks, dehydrating myself doing a pre-ride, and going out way too hard blew my race totally apart today. The prologue was really fun but then after that everything was an endeavor in trying to manage my blowing up. I think my mistake might have been getting on the front of the line and going off too hard.

I found myself doing a lot of things I thought I had learned not to do, like cooking myself early and on the climbs then losing control on the downs and braking too much. By the end of the first lap I was feeling better but when we hit the fire road climb I was dragging ass again. I was just trying to hold on by this point. I'm sure by then I was way dehydrated.

The second lap was really up and down. Sometimes I'd feel good, other times like shit. I cleaned that big hill in the middle even though I was feeling like junk, but after that I had little left. I found it hard to pass anyone, to gain ground anywhere. At the end of the lap my calves both cramped up. The last fire road climb was like going up a 90 degree wall. I was probably doing about 6 mph. 2 guys passed me with about 50 yards to go. I watched them go and had absolutely nothing to give. Kinda sad.

Pretty demoralized after this one. Like Fred and I were talking about after the race, it never seems like you have your best ride when it's race day. But today I had about my worst on a course I should have done well on. So it goes.

It was a good day seeing everyone and I have a new t-shirt and pint glass from Mike who ran the race. Plus I got to hang with Fred all day.

I specifically remember blowing up early. Then I guess after that everything else fades from memory.

Wayback 6/1/2008 - Lewis Morris Challenge

My recap from the team forum for this race:

Since this seems to be the recap thread, might as well go. So to recap, I think I have mental problems...

My time last year was 1:53:50. This year it was about 1:39:50. That's a 14 minute improvement. My goal this year was to be under 1:40, shooting for 33 minute laps. My laps were 33+, 33-, and 34-. I wanted to start out slow and steady, not blowing on the first 3 climbs - I did exactly that, and after that 3rd climb on the first lap the only person to permanently pass me was Kirt, at the start of the 3rd lap.

In short, I knew this course wasn't great for me. I had a few goals and I hit them. I paced myself very well, managed to reel back in a ton of riders. Never pushed past the breaking point. And yet, I still feel like that race where it all comes together just hasn't come yet. When I was done my legs hurt. Squatting down to get some carrots in the fridge this morning while I was packing my lunch, my legs let me know just how unhappy they were. I feel like I raced at my limit, right where I should have been. I had a strategy, stuck to it, and beat last year's time by 14 minutes. And yet, I dunno, I still felt lethargic out there. I don't know if my warmup isn't right, my pre-race meal, my race nutrition of choice, or what.

Oh and another thing. I joked about one of the experts pacing me through the race. Well just into the second lap, Marc Lewis passed me and we went back and forth the rest of the day. Marc used to work at Planet Bike and used to race expert-level on the Specialized team. NORBA denied his expert application so he was in sport class. Literally for the last 9-10 miles, we paced each other around the course, and at the end we sprinted out the fire road to the finish. He bailed at the end and I took the spot ahead of him, but I'm pretty sure he backed off the gas and let me have it, though we were hammering at a pretty good clip. Regardless, his pressing me at the end is why I managed to keep it under that 1:40 time.

Still, it was a fantastic day. I got to see everyone from the team (except Steve!!!!!), plus a whole lot of other people from the site. These races are turning more and more into really fun events and even if I have the crappiest race, the before/after is really a lot of fun. Good stuff.

The BBQ after was good times. While I wish more people could have come by, my wife would have punched me if the whole team showed.

I do remember Marc Lewis and I racing at the end, but I don't remember much else from this race. A lot of 2008 just blends together when I look back, though I'm not sure why. This is just another race in the stream of races. At this point the LMC is my longest running race, spanning from 2007-2010. I'm luke warm on 2011, though there is that utterly meaningless streak to consider.

I've also done JH 3 of the 4 years it's been run, though again, I have zero recollection of it. That will come in another post, but as it pertains to my memory, Utah insisted that I was there because he said that's where he met me. But I have no memory of that.

Wayback 5/4/2008 - Wawayanda Spring Cleaning

This is what I wrote shortly after the 2008 Wawayanda race:

"I believe I ended up 5th in my class. Started off really well, for the first 20 minutes or so bounced back and forth with different sets of riders, usually sitting at #2 or #3. When we hit the masses of 19-29 and 30-34 riders in the various rock gardens, it started to take its tool on me. Felt decent through the first lap and just tried to keep my pace for the second lap.

"The second lap started to see the course get greasy, and I just tried pushed at the limit I could handle without toasting myself, but at about the 1 hour mark I could feel it starting to slip away. And at some point I was passed by 2 guys in my class, 1 of which I was able to eventually reel back in at the absolute very end, right before I saw Kirt lose it.

"Given that I've lost quite a bit of mojo in the past 2 months and put on 10 pounds, I'm fairly happy with the result. Still plenty of work to do of course. "

That's a pretty lame recap, but I know at the time I wasn't really into things so much. My step-step-grandfather was quite sick, and actually died that day. This wasn't a sudden thing, he was going for months. In many ways it was better to not have him nahg on too long, which in hindsight he probably did. I doubt he would have wanted to see himself be kept alive being so un self-sufficient for so long.

So I kinda wanted to win one for him, but it was a pipe dream of course. I had been doing these trainer intervals from the Ross book, which was rapidly setting me up for no progress at all. I think I could get away with that stuff now, but then it was a joke, as I had no history or base to pull off such a stunt.

That spring we had gone to Taiwan as well, just before Julia turned 2 and the flight was cheaper. I rode an exercise bike twice while we were there and then gave up and just put on weight.

Here's the post I put up later that week about it:

Accommodation in aviemore