Monday, May 31, 2010

2nd post today.....

I am a little upset with mother nature. Apparently she couldn't decide what to wear so she was late with the thunderstorms and lightning today.....that I still haven't seen. I was going to ride a 1/2 century this morning....but the weather was calling for t-storms starting around 4am and going through the day. I got some much needed sleep, but I really wanted to add that milestone to my books today. Oh well....sooner or later I will get it!

Looking at the schedule I have another race in a month and then a very important race on July 10th. The State Games race is in June and we will be heading there for basically one reason. In 20 years I want to be able to say that I was at the very first one. The Boyne marathon is the July race....and I need to earn a podium spot there.....which means I have work to do!

I really want to lose 15-20 pounds by then to be lighter and faster. I need to continue to ride and I am thinking about running a mile a day. If I start running one mile per day for the first week and then move up to 2 miles the second week I will be up to 3 or 4 miles every time I run. This will help with cardio and the weight loss. I will always be a biker....I love it too much!!!

Here are my goals for the next month and a half

1. Lose at least 15 pounds by July 10th.
2. Run a lot.
3. Compete in the State Games with a smile on my face!
4. Hill repeats???
5. Show everyone what I am made of......
6. Keep smiling!!!
7. Have fun!

In my oldest daughters motto "if you had won". Learn it.

Bloomer XC

The third installment of the MMBA CPS was on Saturday at Bloomer Park in Rochester Hills. As a west sider we had a long drive ahead of us for this race. Zack and I loaded up and picked up my friend Chris for the trip. Chris was taking pictures and corralling Zack after his race was done. When we got to Bloomer Park I was surprised by the amount of people.....or lack of people. I guess he holiday weekend chased off a few people and I have only raced where the turnouts are huge. It was nice to see that only a few people would be racing so I wouldn't get passed as We got a parking spot right by the start area so we were not walking a mile to the car when we needed something. It was a sunny mid 80 degree day. My plan....hydrate and ride fast to get done faster! This would be the first time we have ridden here....and the intel we gathered from the locals and finishers was 'relative' to their beliefs.....No offense Jesse....but you weight half of what I your perspective is slightly different than mine!!!

I lined up with seven other clydes for the start. We took off and right away I knew the podium was gone. The first four places were out of sight on the first flat. I just smiled and told myself to ride my race and just keep going. There is an interesting sledding hill that we bombed down, then turned around and rode right back up. I stalled on the way back up and walked up the hill...hoping things would get better. Not so much. As a big guy I need a little bit of recovery between climbs to get my heart rate under control. Bloomer offers an uphill/downhill combo in the first few miles that was fun, but pushed my heart to the max. The first lap was decent. My goal time was a realistic 1:30:00 for the race so a first lap of 43:46 put me about 3 minutes behind third. Not too bad!!! The problem is that we had another lap....and I pushed myself to the point where I thought I was going to puke. I had to back off and just enjoy the ride from that point on. I figured I was in last because I had slowed down so much, but the trail was a blast and I was starting to have fun and forget about the race. I finished with a time of 1:33:29 and ZERO crashes or injuries.

That kid with the orange shorts is a terror!!! He has only done three races and he barely rides his bike....yet there he stands on the podium in the 2 slot. His time was 51:39 which was only 8 minutes slower than my first lap!!!! He was super excited about his finish and he barely talked about the course....just that it was fun! WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU ZACK!!!!!

So....we drove 3 hours each way for me to ride for an hour an a half and Zack to ride about an hour.....we might be crazy....but we have fun! I learned a few things at this race. They are as follows:

1. Try to preride the course so you know exactly what you are in for.
2. Bring more fluids in a BIG cooler!
3. Eat correctly so you don't feel like you are going to puke 8 miles in.
4. that kid will pass you if you don't lose more weight!!!

As far as I can tell Zack and I are both in second place in the CPS standings. With his 2nd place finish he jumped ahead of me by 1 point....but I haven't told him that yet.....

On a side note....I had a guy introduce himself after my finish. He asked if I was Sean....that writes this blog!!! I am really sorry that I cannot remember your name!!!! You caught me right after I finished and I was still foggy!!! Anyway, thanks for introducing yourself because it was nice to know that someone actually reads this!!!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sorry about that.....

I need to apologize for such an odd day for a post. I wanted to let the world know about my ride at Fort Custer on Thursday evening and this is the first chance I have had to spill my thoughts....

Thursday the weather was awesome. I left work and headed right to Fort Custer. I had decided earlier in the day to try the MMBA group ride that heads out every Thursday. I took off on a lap by myself before the group ride. I headed out for my red to blue to red loop. It comes out to just over 12 miles. I head down the blue loop because there are two decent climbs added in and about 3 miles or so of extra dirt. The plan was to ride 30 miles to complete a 'Dirty Thirty' ride. As I rode back into the trailhead after the first loop I started to see people from the MMBA ride. I refilled my bottles and talked to a few of my new friends. After talking to them for a while I got the itch to ride solo for my remaining 18 miles. I don't know why, but I like riding solo right now. I am still progressing and getting faster, and I don't ever let anyone down when I am by myself. One of the guys made a very good point....he said "you won't get any faster unless you ride with faster people". I understand that concept, but I feel bad when people have to wait for me. I am getting faster, but not even fast enough to hang with the slow group. They drop me, then when I catch up after they stop for a rest....they take off again.....leaving me in alone anyway. So, I took off alone for 18 miles to suffer in agony by myself.

The second loop was interesting. I rode 18 miles without touching a foot down. Cleared the switchback on the green. Cleared the nasty rooty climb, and anything else the trail had for me. I was glad to be riding by myself because I got really tired over the last 5 miles. I reached my goal of 30 miles, but I lost a lot of time on the second lap because....well....I am slow and overweight. Overall I managed to keep my pace well above the average I carried last year. I know where I stand and what I need to do.

Wildlife.......and an interesting offer?

I did see some different wildlife on my ride. I saw some deer, a live chipmunk, a dead chipmunk (which appeared to be murdered by an unsuspecting mountain biker), a raccoon, and a duck. The interesting offer made me laugh for about 15 minutes. It was very unassuming, and I know I took it the wrong way....but it made it WAY funnier. Towards the end of my ride I turned to head back to the end of the red loop for distance. This portion of the trail is called 'Crazy Beaver'. The story is that a beaver built a dam in a lake....with no river present....hence...Crazy Beaver. As I was entering this section of trail I noticed a guy and what I assumed to be his wife or girlfriend stopped at the turn off. As I approached the guy smiles and says "Crazy Beaver?" with a slight amount of excitement in his voice. He was also pointing to my right, which was the way I would be turning......and precisely where his female companion was standing. So, my question was this "was he offering me a ride on the trail.....or describing something else?" I can't help smiling right now thinking about it....and wondering just how far in the gutter my mind is......

....maybe this was one of those 'you had to be there' moments.......

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

1000 and counting

I felt good. Real good actually. Good enough that I had a smile on my face while making the final uphill grind toward home. I was smiling because my legs were sore when I started the ride. I rode on Sunday, followed by two hours of running around with the girls. Then I had another hour of soccer on Monday and my legs were just hurting. When I left the house I knew it was going to be a good ride. My mood was in the right place because I knew I was going to clear 1000 miles for the year. As I rolled into the driveway I had a pace of 16.44 mph over 25.85 miles. Considering that I was averaging 15 mph a few months ago....I will gladly take that pace.

Looking over the schedule for the rest of the year is interesting. Bloomer in a few weeks, a course I have never ridden. State games....where I will get my ass handed to me by the skinny fat guys. Boyne Marathon....23 miles on a ski hill...and a trail I have never ridden. get the point.......and Pando.......

I have only ridden 1 of the 5 courses that I will be racing on. I am hoping for a good showing in a few weeks...and I am planning on Misery Loves Company on Sunday for a solid 12 miles of ass kicking roads and hills. Time to get to work on the second thousand miles....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rain, rain, go away....

The forecast for this week sucks. Rain almost every day. After not riding from Thursday last week through Monday this week I knew there was trouble. My days were like this:

Friday: a whole lot of nothing
Saturday: Soccer, cold soccer in the am followed by working on school. Also watched three movies....Lovely Bones, The fourth kind, and Brothers.
Sunday: Mother's day. Sat on my ass watching a movie and eating while working on school.
Monday: worked then finished project for school.

So when Tuesday rolled around I needed to ride. Not only for my mental wellness, but because of all the junk I ate over the weekend. It rained all day and the weather was calling for rain every day until I got loaded up and headed out. I felt pretty good during the first part of the ride....but then the cool wet began to set in and I could feel myself slowing down. It might have been all the extra clothes but I was dead at the end of the ride. 18 miles in the rain was way better than riding on a stationary trainer......after all ......its May.....

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Affair Part 1

This will be an ongoing series. You will understand why as soon as you read it. Each part will take place on it's own schedule. The closer the parts are together the better the story will be. If the dates are further apart....well....they may still be good....

Part 1

I have had numerous affairs in the past. Some of these affairs are very long while others only lasted for a short time. It is hard to say, but I am flirting with having more affairs. There are many opportunities for me to change my life for the better. I have had my eye on this one little number for many years. I was very close to this affair many years ago right before my oldest daughter was born. We flirted, but then an injury ended any future involvement between us. It has crossed my mind many times over the years. What would it be like if we hooked up? Would we have fun? How would people react to our relationship? Would they be happy? Would I be happy?

At this point I am sure that anyone reading this is thinking "why in the hell would he be putting this on a public forum?" My response is simple. These affairs are not with another person. These affairs are with numbers on a scale. My weight struggle has been evident for many years. I was 180 pounds when I got married. I grew to 220 pounds before dropping back to 190 before Megan was born. Then I broke my foot and shot back to 220. I generally hung around here for many years, but then things changed again. I started driving nearly 2 hours each way to work and sitting in an office chair for 10 hours a day. I shot up to 250.....and eventually back and forth between 260 and 240. My high was 273. Only 27 pounds away from 300 pounds. I gained nearly 100 pounds over the course of 12 years.

So, I have broken up with and stopped seeing 270. This affair was very short. A matter of a few weeks. I then started an affair with 260. We were only together for about 5 or 6 weeks, then I grew sick of being tired, so I broke things off. 250 and I have had numerous affairs over the years. We would spend a few weeks together between the other affairs. We have spent probably the most time together out of all of my affairs. The last break up was just this past Friday. I told 250 that I never wanted to see it again. I need to move on. As comfortable as I am with 250, I need to be better and not allow myself to fall back into arms that have treated me so badly. Our time has come to an end. I am with 240 now. Hopefully our relationship will be short lived because I see that 230 is giving me the eye again. For now, I am content to be in a relationship with 240. We will work together to be faster on the bike and just healthier in general. Once I have gotten everything that I need from 240 I will move on.

There are a lot more numbers I would like to see before this is all said and done. Every time I meet a new number I will add another part to this story of affairs. I would like to see 5 more parts, one for every 10 numbers ranging from 240 down to 190. It might be a long term affair, but it will all be worth it in the end.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Learn to love the hills......

Learn to love the hills.....Grasshopper.....

These words have been stuck in my mind for a long time. A very fast mountain biking friend has been telling me this for over a year. She told me again here a few weeks ago....and it has stuck. Because I am so heavy I struggle in the hills. I am getting faster, but I still feel the pain from the inclines. Tonight I decided to stretch out my route a little at Fort Custer. I headed down the red like normal, but I turned and went onto the Blue loop where the race course was. This route added a few miles and a couple of nice gotta stand up and mash the pedals least for me. Eventually the Blue meets back up with the Red and I looked for all of the hills I could find. The new switchback, the reroute up to Granny's Garden, all of Granny's Garden, Amusement Park and Crazy Beaver. I was feeling the pain at this point, but I decided to head out again for another loop. This time I wanted more hills. This meant that I was going to ride the same Red to Blue to Red loop....but then turn off at the Green and include the climbs out there. The last climb going up from the Boat launch about killed me......but I survived.....and I kept my average speed up to a respectable level.

Overall....a 26.21 ride. 10.57 average speed. Hopefully this ride pushes my weight under 250......and boy do I have a funny idea about how to leave 250 behind. More on that later.

Side note....I passed 900 miles today. I didn't pass 900 miles until some time in September last year.

And Jody, keep telling me to love the hills.....I appreciate it!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What the hell....?!?!?!

That was what went through my mind yesterday at Fort Custer. I was riding the Red-Green combo and I caught up with Dan and a group from Custer Cyclery. Dan yells "hey it's Sean, I'm gonna follow him" and off we went. I was killing myself to keep my pace high. I had already ridden the red and was starting to run out of gas, but I kept pushing. I cleared the nasty root climb....actually.....I cleared everything....Never put a foot down for 11 miles at Fort Custer....Nice. Anyway, I was going hard to try and stay ahead of the group. The last part of the green loop is flat two track. I was about .1 miles down this portion when I heard....."here we come".....and 5 or 6 people (I don't know how many because I was suffering from lack of oxygen) went tearing past me. Then I hear Dan say "I am gonna see where the hell they are going" and he promptly leaves me in the think to myself.....

WHAT THE HELL..........

I am killing myself and they leave me like I am watching a race on the side of the trail. I didn't feel too bad though because they are all fast riders. What irked me most was that I was faster on this ride than I was on my race. I think the difference was that I was being pushed by faster riders...and not being left behind by faster riders......hhahaha.

At any rate I am feeling pretty good about my progress and I am plotting my next few races to see what happens. Hanson Hills might be my next I need to find a course with some elevation change......

Monday, May 3, 2010

Fort Custer Stampede

May 2nd was an interesting day. When I got up to eat a bagel it was still raining pretty good. I was relaxed enough to know that the rain was going to end and that the trail would be dried out by the time I started. I was right....but it wasn't quite enough....but more on that later. As I lined up I was checking out my competition. There were 11 of us big guys lined up and chatting about the Yankee TT. I started to get nervous because 3 of the top 5 finishers from Yankee were lined up with me....and they were talking about winning. I figured I would hang with them until I ran out of gas. When the trail turned to a slight uphill I heard an awful sound.....that thankfully was not from my bike....but one of the speedsters (for my class) was spinning and not moving. His rear derailleur was toast. I got excited because I knew I could beat him to the end. As I approached the switchback climb I started to feel settled in. I actually pulled another racer up the hill with me. When I let him pass he said 'thanks for the pull dude' and promptly left me in the

Apparently Granny wanted me to visit for a few seconds longer. As I approached the end of the section I came up on the wooden bridge. My mind told me to swing wide and ride through the mud, but my body took over and tried to pull my Epic left and onto the bridge. FAIL. The bridge was still wet and had a nice layer of dirt on it from the other riders. Back tire the edge of the bride.....chatter.....DOWN. I caught myself for the most part but took a good slam to my shoulder. I got up and moved to the side to take inventory. No blood....keep riding. When I ran up the next hill I realized my bar end was broken. I was less than half way done with the race. I jumped on and kept going.

The last mile and a half are really flat and fast. Just before this section I caught a sport rider that I could tell was struggling. I was chasing another guy in my category and really wanted to catch him because I thought I still had a chance at podium. The rider in front of me said "go ahead" but I was trying to catch my breath and was able to say "no worries, I just need to keep the guy wearing the blue jersey in my sight". The guy lowered his head and mashed away on his pedals with me right on his rear wheel. He helped me bridge to the guy I was chasing. I stuck with him until the flat and I just fell behind. I was still hauling ass when I passed my family and a few riders. It felt good to pass as many people as I did. Overall it was a great day to be racing. I finished with a smile on my face and was surprised that I dropped to 6th. I am very proud to represent Cross Country Cycle. I am also proud of Zack that finished 11th in his class.

I will take the improvement on my time this year. I only missed my goal time by 1 minute, and I was less than 4 minutes off the leader. Simply stated, I rode hard and had a blast. My next race is not for a while, so I have time to build more speed. If not, I will take what I can get!

sorry about the results page. here are the times

1st 47:13
2nd 48:26
3rd 48:28
4th 50:37
5th 50:48
6th 51:00