Most people do crazy stuff when they turn 40 - the classic midlife crisis type affair. There's buying a snazzy new car (does a 4WD Merce...

Sep 24, 2010

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday, when I pre-rode, the trail was tight and tacky. Even muddy in places from that rainstorm on Wednesday. Well, today it had dried up and was quite a bit looser. The rocks were noticable on the upper loop. Some of the tighter switchbacks were also a little trickier - watch the speed, weight back, lean and spot the corner or you're not going to make it. I'm happy I decided to take the time to ride the loop again because it will be even drier tommorow. I'm assuming that the lower section will be a bit sandier as well. Since the bike was handling well, not going to make changes. Tire pressure was good - handled the looser trail well. Again felt pretty comfortable on the climb and relaxed on the descents. I just need to remember not to overthink things while riding. That's when mistakes happen and mistakes lead to crashing.

After riding, I decided to stop at Pineview and test the waters. Naturally, I forgot my wetsuit and the water was a little nippy. But once I got in, it was nice. Did a few short laps in the swim area to loosen up. The swim will be wetsuit legal - it's about 66 right now. I was hoping for a non-wetsuit swim because I hate really getting the darn thing off. Oh well - bring the Beljum Budder and body glide.

Sep 23, 2010

Welcome to Ogden

I got into Odgen last night to see a huge thunderstorm hanging over Snowbasin and drenching the mountain. If I'd had my camera and been able to take a picture, I would have gotten a great photo of a rainbow over the mountain. I was planning on running a little yesterday, but with checking in, getting food and my achilles still tender, I decided to chill out in the hotel. It's a little extended stay studio with a stove, microwave and fridge. Of course, the first thing that I did after getting unpacked was going to the food store and wandering. It's always an adventure going to the grocery stores in different cities. This one had a mix of everything, so I walked out with enough food for the weekend (and beyond - since I had to get a dozen eggs, not six).

I'm already a leg up on where I was last year at this time. Last year I had to take my last class for my DPT - in Denver, on the Friday before the race. I got into Ogden at 9:30 the night before the race and never had a chance to pre ride. This year, I've already ridden most of the course once and am planning on hitting the top loop again tommorow so I am very familliar with the down hill. I was pretty lucky today - met a good group of people to ride with so I wasn't out there alone. It also made sure that I was riding comfortably - they were all from sea level and had the heart rate monitors beeping to prevent them from riding hard!

I did the bottom section of single track - a gradual climb winding through meadows and trees and with plenty of bridge crossings. The trail was a little muddy in places thanks to the rain storm, but by Saturday it will be tight and fast - as long as I can avoid the cow patties! Had no issues with the first section - felt really good riding. Then the right hand turn to drop back down across the road. I blew one switchback, forgetting how sharp it was, but cleaned everything else. Even the steps that freaked me out last year. Just rode right over them, weight back and sighting the trail. There was another section of trail that I did not clean last year, but made through it easily. After that, we reached the Snowbasion Lodge and the trail turned up.

Because of racer feedback, the course was changed this year. The new course eliminated the criss-crossing issues from last year. We rode up the ugly steep hill and turned left this year. It dropped us onto single track for a false flat descent through the trees and rocks, then another gradual climb on single track. Nothing super technical, but loose and rocky - small rocks that bounced my tires around quite a bit. Finally, the course topped out and we got to start heading down for good. The local mountain bike crew had build a new section of single track that eliminated a double track descent and it was worth every minute of climbing. Fast, tight switchbacks (missed another right-hander on that section) sweeping banked corners and plenty of rocks and roots to keep it interesting. Back out onto the road for a short bit, then onto the single track again. I felt really good riding, comfortable on the bike. I love that last section of single track - switchbacks traversing the ski slopes, in and out of trees. I'm looking forward to riding it again tommorow.

Photos from 24 Hours of COS

So I got the internet thing figured out at my hotel in Ogden, so here are some photos from Nick's race. I wasn't able to take too many - having to run support means little time to waste with photos. I did get a few good ones - and the one of Nick sitting and eating is from UltraRob.

Nick on his first lap - wearing light colors because it was pretty hot out.

The table of food waiting for Nick. I would get more creative as the night wore on with presentation and food on the table
Nick eating some chicken noodle soup before heading out for another lap.

Nick finishing his last lap. I headed up the trail a bit, thinking I would beat him down to the finish. I was wrong, so this is my finish picture!

Sep 20, 2010

Single speeding to Victory

After 24 hours Nick rode 12 laps of the Falcon trail and won the single speed solo class by 2 laps. He also placed third of all solo men, so I am going to nick name him my "single speeding stud." I did my part as support crew, keeping him fed and watered, in dry clothes and charged batteries for lights. Sunday night we were both very tired, me from staying up all night and Nick from riding all night. We were in bed by 800!

I think the quality of the racer is balanced by the quality of the support crew. Riding solo without support makes an already challenging race very difficult. I made sure that there was plenty of options each lap ranging from cookies and candy to potatoes and scrambled egg or pizza. Nick never had to go searching for food. If I thought he might want it, I had it ready. I also was able to get wamr clothes ready while he was eating saving even more time. Then while he was riding I charged used batteries to make sure he had enough light to get through the night. Between that I was able to sleep for a few hour in snippits of a few minutes here and there. Then it was time to get ready for him to come in again.

Mountain bike tires on pavement make a cool noise. That was one of the best things about the 24 hours of COS. The course looped past the solo pits before and after the lap finished. Nick was able to give me a heads up as to what he wanted before rolling through.And the whump whump of mountain bike tires on the road made it possible to be in the camper and still know when a rider cruised by.

I am still sorting pictures and will get some posted after Xterra USA.

Sep 18, 2010

10 down - 14 to go

I am resting in the Turtle after sending Nick out on his 7th lap. He is doing well, currently holding third solo and first single speed. The solo leader is a lap up on both Nick and the current second place rider, Larry and holding that gap. Nick had a decent margin to the second SS rider but we are only 10 hours in. A lot can happen between now and noon.

Running pit support is kinda fun. It is lulls of rest time mingled with insanity when the rider comes in. I knw what Nick likes to eat while riding so it is a little easier. But being a mind reader helps. Are we going to want soup this lap or egg and tortilla? What clothes is he going to need? So far I seem to be doing a good job. And now I am going to snooze for an hour so I am ready for Nick when he gets back.

Time for a Taper

I am tired. Taking a few days off the bike and off the run. Xterra USA is in a days and my legs are pretty dead. I need to recover so I have a good race. So while Nick is racing the 24 Hours of COS I am going to chill. Run support and help him race, and put my legs up during the breaks. Any training I do now will not help for the Xterra. Pushing too hard through some of the nagging injuries is a good way to mess up the race and get really hurt. I have already done too much in the last few weeks, between two marathons, an xterra, a 24 hour race and the fall classic. Hopefully it is not too late to recover and race well.

Sep 13, 2010

Fall Classic Report

The fall classic stage race closed out the MSC endurance series in Breckenridge on Sept 11/12. It is a circit race and hill climb on Saturday and a long cross country on Sunday. The points for all three races plus the stage race would determine the series champs. Nick was in third going into the race and hoping to stay there. He had a good circit race and was hoping to get some more time int he hill climb. But after choosing the wrong cog for the circit race, he slipped down into fourth. A huge crowd of single speeders showed up for the cross country and he finished ninth against some fast guys. Finishing fourth in the stage race, he alos finished fourth in the single speed series classification. Not bad at all for riding half the season ss and for his first year riding ss.

I faired better in my raceses. I was in third as well entering the stage race but ony by a few points. For the circit race I started easy and worked my way through the field to win by a few seconds. Having a clean run on thill climb was good and I managed to ga few more seconds. Entering the cross country and I had won both proir races and was hoping to make it a clean sweep. I had to work hard for every minute but managed to pull it off. Winning the stage race secured my second second place in the MSC seiries. If Iget a chance I will get a better report written.

Sep 12, 2010

24 Hours in the Sage Race Report

This was Nick and my second time racing at the 24 Hours in the Sage as a Duo. The first year, we were racing against all the two person teams, and did well. It was also my first 24 hour race. This year, we came into the race more prepared and with a lot more experience. We also were just racing against other Co-ed teams this year, not all the duo teams. It was a close race, with both first and second teams completing 19 laps. Nick and I - racing as the Pedalin' Fools finished at 11:05:38 with Bo Randolph and Bec Bale of Bo and Bec finishing at 11:08:23. Third place went to Brad Fox and Amelia Jervey of The Tortise and the Hare with 18 laps at 11:57:48. There were many lead changes between the Pedalin's Fools and Bo and Bec through out the race, with the lead never getting larger then 30 minutes.

The racing weather was perfect - sunny, a little warm, with some wind on the mesa. Night was clear and cool, but not as cold at the other years and not as wet. The KOA was awsome this year - tents every - we even shared our campsite with two of Nick's friends who raced solo. There were additional showers set up in the lawn and the KOA had a stove, grill and food going all night. And it was racing friendly food too, like mac and cheese, beef strognanof, and the usual burgers and brats. That's part of what makes the 24 Hours in the Sage such a great event - all the support from the site venue. Having the Turtle at the KOA was perfect - we had everything staged, food in the fridge and a stove to cook on. I raced in my Challenged Athletes Foundation kit for four of my 10 laps as 24 Hours in the Sage served as my primary fundraiser for Operation Rebound this year. Thanks to Mitch and the KOA crew for helping out with this awesome cause. Nick and I love this race and will be back next year for sure.

Sep 4, 2010

Getting Technical

Or at least trying! Thursday and Friday I decided that it was time to work on more of my technical skills for the mountain bike. Thursday I went to Palmer Park and focused on some of the sections I've always had issues with. I tried everything a few times, going back, reviewing the line and trying to figure out if there was a better option. Got thru a few things, messed up on other sections. Wasn't really feeling "on" on the bike, so I was struggling at times. It was a great evening to be riding and the trails were pretty quiet, but I wasn't appreciating being on the bike. Didn't help when I wacked my shoulder with a tree on one of the sections I was practicing. But overall, it was a successful day of riding on the rocks.

Friday, Nick and I went to CMSP for more of the same. This time it was on Blackmere. We spent quite a bit of time on one sections of trail and I still didn't get the line. I could see what Nick wanted, was wheeling my bike up the rock on the same line, but could not ride it down. Kept getting freaked out and unclipping through the rock and tree. Finally, enough was enough and we moved on. I was able to clean the last obstacle  on the third try. That was good, because it's something I have never made. Then, riding down Boulder Run, I wacked another tree with my hand and really stressed my left Achilles. I was cursing up a storm (for me) because my achilles was hurting really bad and this was the first ride I had not taped my ankles. I was pretty worried about possibliy doing some major damage. Seems that the trees are trying to take some measure of revenge this week. Despite the tree encounters, a productive set of rides.

Sep 2, 2010

Round and Round for Operation Rebound

Round and Round for Operation Rebound at the 24 Hours in the Sage a huge success. Thanks to the riders, the race organization and the Gunnison KOA, we raised over $1000 for Operation Rebound. The money raised will go to support disabled veterans and first responders who have been injured while serving our country. I appreciate everything that 24 HitS and the KOA did to make this event and the race a success. It was great sitting around after the race, knowing that we'd been able to make the fun and challenge of the 24 Hours in the Sage count for so much more. I look forward to next year and to being able to bring the challenge to more racers.

I cannot thank the race staff - Mitch Fedak and Traci Rock and all the other race officials, the Gunnison KOA crew and my fellow racers for donating time and money to both the race and to Operation Rebound. If you have one of the Round and Round for Operation Rebound flyers, remember that any donation to Operation Rebound is tax deductible. Thank you for helping me support Operation Rebound