Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This week I will do the following:

Monday" easy 60 minutes (200w)
Tuesday: 45 minutes tempo (~244w) in a 60 minute ride
Wednesday: 7x3(3) VO2 max intervals in a 90 minute ride (below)

Thursday: 60-90 minutes easy (200w)
Friday: 60 easy with 1x15 tempo
Saturday: 4 sprints, 2x3(3) VO2 max intervals and 15 minutes tempo in a 60 minute riude
Sunday: Monroe Race

Next week will make me throw up, wait and see.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Olbas Oil

Jay Wansley had two massive cotton balls stuffed up his nose while he warmed up on the trainer before yesterday's race. See, Jay is sooo PRO that he took Simon Burney's advice and shoved Olbas oil laden cotton in his nose to clear out the crud.

Since Jay is faster than me (and crashes better than me) I am going to start shoving the stuff up my nose too.

Check out what Jay sort of looked like in this Paris-Nice photo of Jens Voigt.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fort Yargo Cyclocross Race

Man was I pumped up for this race. I felt good all week and knew it would hurt like it always does. My big obstacles are Nate and Jay and they seem to have an extra gear right now. Jay and I almost missed the start and I had to start in the second row but I was behind Brady so I knew it would be OK.

The start was great and the cat 2 duo of Nate and Brady went out fast up the long hill. It was Brady, Nate, Jay and me into the hole shot and stayed that way until Brady flatted and Nate got a small gap. I felt that I could have closed it but I had a poor position. Nate was ahead about 2 seconds and then Jay and me. By lap 2 Nate and Jay were together and I was chasing which was beginning to be a familiar position. Seems like I am always chasing these days.

By the 4th lap I was sitting pretty in 3rd, just 5 seconds back from the first two. Going into the sand I biffed it on the gravel and got up pretty quickly but it took me a few minutes to get it together (because it hurt and I was bleeding) and then my bike decided to stop shifting. Near the pit, I switched and that bike hated me too, shifting poorly. I was passed by 2 people on the hill and rode as well as possible. Jay crashed hard as well and in fact needed some medical treatment. On the 2nd to last lap Brady came through like a train, passing me in the sand and eventually taking 4th. Good for Brady, he battled back well!

I took 6th and am not happy with it. I hope I can do better in Monroe. All this effort should be paying off soon. Of course, when your competition is also doing the A race, either they will burn out, or get even more powerful. For my sake I hope I can continue to keep up.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Tomorrow is the hardest course. Have a good ride everybody.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Good training week, got through it pretty well. But I had to wear my Fignon glasses all week because I have some sort of eye problem. I also had one hell of a sting from a wasp in my helmet Sunday which has caused other problems. Hopefully I can wear my contacts Sunday if the swelling goes down. Sunday is going to be really hard and I hope the race goes well. Gotta try for a top 5. Gotta try for a win. Get well soon Yash (he has a sports hernia)!

Monday, October 22, 2007

This Week's Planned Fun

Monday: easy 60 minutes and massage
Tuesday: 4x4(4) VO2 max intervals in a 1 hour ride
Wednesday: 3x15(5) Threshold intervals
Thursday: 45 minutes tempo in a 1-1.5 hour ride
Friday: 60 easy
Saturday: 4 sprints and 3x3(3) VO2 max intervals to open up
Sunday: Fort Yargo Cyclocross Race 35+

I should be good and tired for the race.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Conyers International Horse Park Cyclocross Race

A fantastic day to race! No rain, but it was chilly at the start which gave way to blue skies. The 35/45 masters race had around 40 racers and some tough guys were there. Jay Wansley who won the Birmingham race was there as well as Myogenesis rider Brady Rogers who is always tough, Jon Dahlman who I battled in the single speed championships, Nate Zukas who now 35 was racing here instead of his usual A category starts, and a handful of GTC racers including Theron Collucci and Jeff Welp who are very strong.

The course was very nice. No pavement but the start/finish was flat and fast grass. After the start there was a 90 turn into a set of double barriers and another fast grass section that led to another set of barriers. Across some more grass and up a steep dirt embankment, into the woods and up a log-forced dismount hill which has a sand surface. More woods and then a 1 minute hill that got more painful each lap. More woods and a slight respite down a knarly downhill run, into a series of grass s-turns, a few grass hills and then a 180 turn onto the run into the finish. I guess laps were around 6 minutes.

The race started fast and I tried to get the hole shot but soon Nate went ahead and I sped up on his wheel. We had a gap and were joined by Jay and together they battled each other long enough to gap me by about 10 seconds. I tried to close it down but I never got within 5 seconds. They were very strong and made no mistakes. In fact, Nate was incredibly smooth through everything and I tried to follow his lines at speed which was tough.

The end was exciting since I had closed to about 5 seconds going into the last 180 turn and they looked back wondering whether to position for the sprint. I was hoping they would begin messing around so I could catch them, but they are too smart and went ahead with the sprint. In the end it was Jay-Nate-Me.

I am happy with the race since they were obviously better than me today, and since I was sick last weekend, it was a nice result.

This year if I happen to take 3rd I get a Duvel. Second place yields a Chimay (dubble) and if I ever win, I get a Orval or Rochefort (my choice).

This week brings more training and a very tough race next weekend.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


It starts tomorrow! Good luck everyone!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I made it through another week of hard training for the peak for states and nationals. It was tough coming off of 3 days sick with strep but I am happy with the results. I almost had 3 days of training with 100 tss points each day, but came up a bit short today. Hopefully I will not be too baked for Sunday's race. I also picked up these for my race wheels.

I know the benefit is mostly psychological but they are sexy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Great Ride Today

I did a nice 40 mile loop from school that included Dogwood/Oxbow and the neighborhood of Karl's Gate in Cobb County and also the regular river flat sections. Very fun and hilly. Kept it tempo in lieu of CX practice.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Planned for this week (dare I post?)

After last week's debacle, I lost 5 tss/d to my CTL which will be hard to gain back. I am feeling better but today will be a good test. I will probably have a challenging race Sunday since I will be training hard again this week.

Monday: 60 minutes easy (200w)
Tuesday: 8x30s(90s) and 4 sprints in an hour workout
Wednesday: 2 hour ride with a total of 75 minutes tempo (238-259w) in 15 minute blocks
Thursday: 5x5(4) VO2 max intervals
Friday: Easy 60 minutes and massage
Saturday: 60 minute ride with 2 sprints and 3x3(2) VO2 max intervals opening up for Sunday
Sunday: Race at Conyers International Horse Park

I am going to hold my breath and hope for the best. Hopefully top 5 on Sunday.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

For Sale Motobecane Fantom 52.5 Cross bike

Entire bike for sale including wheels and tires. This is a single ring set up with the sweet Cyclocrossworld Wetzikon single ring kit. I have only ridden it once on pavement. Tires in pictures are NOT the Maxxis Mimos specified and the pedals are not included in the auction. Here are the components with original cost:

Motobecane Fantom 52.5 Cross Frame with carbon fork (red) $350
Cyclocross World Wetzikon Single Ring Set $129
Handbuilt IRD 32 spoke 30mm deep dish wheels with Shimano Ultegra Hub (rear), Dura Ace (front) and Maxxis Mimo Tires, SRAM 12-25 9 speed cassette $350
Avid Shorty 6 Brakes $84
Ritchey WCS Saddle $99
Ritchey 110mm WCS stem $99
Deda Aluminum Handlebar (used--no cost)
Shimano Ultegra Right STI shifter $130
Shimano left brake lever (non-STI) $25
Thompson Masterpiece Seatpost $140

Total cost to build ~$1407 asking $950.

EBAY Item Number 250175848187

If you buy it local I will waive shipping.

(There is nothing wring with the bike, I am selling it for other reasons)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Today I only paid $3.40 for the new Radiohead album. I am glad.

After 4 listens, I take it back. I should have paid at least $7.80. It is pretty good as listened as an entire album.

But, it is no OK Computer or The Bends. Those two albums ruined music for me. They were just too good.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I was unlucky to crash yesterday during cross practice. Got some mean road rash and a bruised knee to go with my other bruises from the race. Not only that, but last night I came down with a nice flu bug. It sucks. Two days off from work does not suck though. Oh well, when you have a 2 year old and work among 2,000 kids you are bound to get sick. Hopefully I will be riding again on Sunday but the Conyers race may be a sub-par performance.

Update: Looks like it is strep throat which is good news.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Training This Week

With the beginning of the GA series a week away, this is what I am doing this week.

Monday: OFF (massage)
Tuesday: 60-90 minutes easy (~200w)
Wednesday: Cyclocross Practice at Jim Miller
Thursday: 3x15(10) threshold intervals (~310w)
Friday: 2 hours steady (~200w) commute to school
Saturday: 5x5(5) VO2 Max intervals (318-359w)
Sunday: 60 minutes easy

No Sunday cross practice this week due to my wife preparing for trial.

Next week is going to also be hard training. I will list that later.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Oxmoor Cyclocross Aftermath

The first race is behind us and it was a rude awakening to the season. I had a pretty hard training week so I felt a little blocked for the race. My CTL was negative but only in single digits. I isolated my problems (excuses):

  1. I started out way too fast. A stupid mistake I never make. A little bit of ego I guess. I usually like third wheel unless the holeshot is important.
  2. The adrenaline rush was too high. I was calm at the start but then on the first lap my adrenaline kicked in making me feel too jittery.
  3. I did not know whether a rider that came between me and the first placed rider was a 45+ or 35+. The promoter did not assign different race numbers or stagger us so I thought he looked like he was over 45 years old and I guessed wrong.
  4. I drank too much before the start and had a nice cramp in the ribs through the first 3 laps. It eventually went away.

So, thirds was not bad but I would have liked to have stayed with Jay W. (the winner) a little bit longer.

The Course

The course was a tight, technical tour of a local park. It had a little of everything including a water dismount that bama cross is somewhat famous for. The start began on pavement and after 200 yards crested a steep hill (the eventual finish line). From there is was a short grass section and then a double log dismount, more grass and then into the woods. The entrance to the woods had some sand and was a bit twisty. This gave way to a nice long off-camber section downhill to a double barrier dismount, a hard 90 degree left over a wooden bridge. The course then went alongside the back of a couple of baseball fields which was grass but had been irrigated recently turning it into a nice 100 yards of mud. The mud got pretty deep in spots and to me was the hardest part.

We then zig-zagged over gravel through the pits and to the steep drop off to a stream. You had to dismount at the top, run down the embankment, through the stream and up the other muddy side to more grass. From here there was a log that I could ride over but some folks had to dismount later in the race. Then we had a strange little detour around a light pole that took you down an embankment and then 180 right back up. You could ride it in the 39 but I had to run it on most laps. After this we had more grass and a drop down to a ditch that was a risky proposition to ride or not. I chose to risk the endo and ride it on each lap. You were riding down the hill, hit the soft mud and hoped you had enough strength to pull up before you went over your ass. This led to a threesome of 180 turns and back onto pavement. A short grass section and through the pavilion (no beer) and then up to the hill again.

bamacross #1 west homewood 042

I think we did 7 laps in 48 minutes and it was a lot to take it for a first race. Very technical and as Jay proved, if you got away it was very hard to make up ground. there was just no place to get momentum and you could only be so smooth through the various obsticles. then again, he was just as smooth so you never made up ground. I think He beat me by over a minute.

bamacross #1 west homewood 044

Hopefully in 2 weeks I will be riding with him and not too much behind him!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Is This the Start of Another Heart Breaker, or Something Better Beginning?

The Kinks sum up the way I feel about the next 9 weeks. Last year I started off really strong and then got sick, missed the state champs and lost the masters title in the last race. Definitely a heart breaker. So, this is the last shot do actually realize some goals. So maybe "something better, beginning".

Opening Up

Every cyclocross rider has their own way of preparing for a race, but most of the elite guys do an "opening up" workout the day before the race. Basically, it is a workout to test the legs and get them ready for the varied efforts of 'cross.

Depending on the way you feel, the workout could be very short with a couple of intervals, or longer, getting the legs "unblocked".

My opening up workout is normally done on a Saturday early morning ands consists of:

1, 5 minute easy block
1, 10 minute tempo block
4 sprints@15 seconds, 2 on the fly (46x17) and 2 standing starts
3x3(3) VO2 max efforts back to back
cool down and go home

This takes anywhere from 60-90 minutes and if I am feeling rough I may include a block of high rpm threshold work.

Normally I feel refreshed and ready to go. Sometimes the opening up workout feels like shit, but normally the next day I feel better.

Race Day
There is little mystery on what to do on race day. Get to the venue, register and hit the course. i will do the following:

2-3 laps tempo, scouting the course
1 lap just below race pace
Change into race cothes
hit the trainer for about 20 minutes
head to the start about 10 minutes before the gun

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Practice Makes Perfect

Yesterday we had a very nice cyclocross practice at Jim Miller park in Marietta, GA. It is the usual spot for the Wednesday night 'cross scene and has been (and will be) a fantastic race venue.

We started off doing 3 lap blocks at race pace, which if you read between the lines means let the A-level guys lead and we try and catch up. Our main A guys, Daryl Sawyer and Tim Barrett are hard to keep up with and it is easy to see the difference between cat 3 and a cat 1-2 even in 'cross. A very young A level rider, Oscar Clark, was also getting back up to speed with the rest when he was not sliding around in the woods. The efforts were hard but not uncomfortable and on the last 2 laps I had to let the A guys ride off since they had much more in the tank.

This year I have gotten to ride 'cross with Tim Owens who rode B's last year and finished in the top 10 overall. He has been keeping up and matching the A riders for most of the laps so he will be a strong rider in the B's or even in the A's if he elects to race there.

We also had nice group of women ride last night and there has been a core group for the past few years. Hopefully this will translate into larger numbers for the series.

The Jim Miller course has gotten very used in the dry weather and some of the climbs and decents are getting sketchy and tricky--but that makes it more fun. I had a nice scary encounter with some poodles and a stop sign last night but was able to avoid both and manage not to plummet down the culvert to certain death.

Everyone is very excited about this weekend's race in Birmingham and hopefully the GA contingent will increase their series participation to record numbers. If their races were Saturday, many riders from GA would make the trip each week for a double race weekend.

Finally some rain today and maybe that will loosen up the ground for Sunday.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Finally, a Race Weekend Coming Up

This weekend the Bamacross series starts in Birmingham. The organizers have copied the GA cyclocross model and from what I have been told the course should be pretty fast.

In doing a 30 minute race pace effort yesterday, I felt tired and a bit slow, but I did train pretty hard last week. I was with some A riders until I tipped a PVC barrier over and had to stop and put it back up (rules are rules!). So I had to try and bridge about 30 seconds back up to the lead group with 1.5 laps to go. I managed to catch 2 of them since they were dropped by the lead rider. That effort made me happy because you never know whan you will stumble and have to try and get back to a group.

I am modifying my training week this week to include the race.

Monday-60 easy
Tuesday-8x3(3) VO2 max
Wednesday-Cyclocross Workout
Thursday-60 easy
Friday-30 tempo and 4, 39x17 sprints and 2, 48x17 sprints
Saturday-Opening up workout including 15 tempo, 5 VO2 max, and 4 sprints (2 from standing start).
Sunday-Race (either A's or Masters 35+)

This will be more of a training race and iin the A's I just hope to hang on. If I race masters I will be looking for a top 10 placing.