Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June in the books

June of 2009 was my best month. I had 238 miles. This June I barely hit 200 miles, but I am still stronger than I was this time last year. The really scary part about the 200 miles this June is that I had 1/4 of those miles in one ride. I rode a 1/2 century in the first week of the month...and scraped the rest of the miles together. The difference for these miles was simple. I found as many hills as I could and pointed my front wheel right towards them.

I am happy with my total for the month...and for the year. Yikes...I am way ahead of last year...so far in fact that I passed my mileage for last year a while ago.

My ride tonight was interesting. I got chased by a doberman. And I mean....chased. I accelerated and thought that I dropped him....but he was still closing in. I could hear his owner yelling for him to come back. He was barking....but he didn't seem mean...but I didn't really want to take my chances. Cruising 20 mph and having a dog close in on you is sorta disheartening.

Boyne is in the near future. 11 Days. I want to be under 240 pounds by then....and I am on my way. July will be a good mileage month!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

State Games of Michigan

This was the first year for this event and over 150 racers were there. I got everyone up early because Zack had a 8am start. We piled into the van and left the house at 6:50am. After what seemed like a short hour we arrived at Cannonsburg Ski Area. The skys were dark....but the threats of thunderstorms dimished quickly. The day ended up being very warm with partly sunny skies. My face actually got burnt....lol.

Zack started at 8am. He lined up with the 14 and under group and took off. The course was set up so that about half way through the riders would pass an open area. I asked him when he went by how he was feeling and he said "okay". This open area is right before a long climb so I told him to be prepared.....and he downshifted and went out of sight. He took 7th out of 8 with a good time of 0:53:42. The course was being changed after the beginners went through. The course added some of the skills area that the promoter must not have thought the beginners could handle. More on that later.....

9:30am Meeting new people and old friends. Getting ready to race.
9:45am Climbing the hill on the entrance road to the ski area....warming up.
9:55am Start line...sizing up competition. The funny part of this was that I was talking to the guy that beat me by 12 seconds at Custer....rrrrrrr.

10:00am General Sport Racers Take off.
10:02am....Dave sounds the gun and we are off.
10:02 and 30 seconds..........I am riding alone.

It took all of 30 seconds for my race to end. I knew there were 6 people in my class and that things can happen...and I am never going to quit.....so I kept going. The course was brutal. It started with a nearly mile long climb right out of the gate. By the time I got to the top everyone was out of sight. Smiling to myself....I kept going. The course seemed like it was on a wheel...and I was stuck on the uphill side of it and it was just spinning. I eventually got to the top but I was just feeling slow. The first hill killed me. Heart rate went sky high. F the hills. I managed to settle myself down and caught up with my eventual riding partner for the next 15 miles. She is a rider from the Fort Custer group and we just started talking. She would leave me on the climbs and I would catch her a few minutes later....just in time for her to leave me on the next hill.

The first lap went by in just over 40 minutes. Then....the long climb again. Then about half way through....another long climb. Lap two was quiet. A few singlespeeders had passed me on the first lap and I was expecting to see some of the other racers before finishing this lap. To my surprise I don't think anyone passed me. As a matter of fact, only about 10 people passed me on the third lap. Not bad for a beginner clyde racing in the sport clyde class.

My lap times were fairly consistent:
Lap 1 0:40:25
Lap 2 0:43:40
Lap 2 0:45:53

I figured that my last lap would be much longer than the others because I am not used to racing more than 10 miles. This race came in at 16.6 by my computer. I chalked it up to a good training ride in preparation for the Boyne Marathon on July 10th. I took a 6th place out of 6.....but I was only 11 minutes away from 5th place. Not bad considering the extra lap. Overall, it was a good day with family and friends. Next year I am coming back to try for a higher finish.

I know I still have a lot of work to do...but someone gave me an interesting compliment. Briana, my racing buddy at this race, asked if I normally race sport. When I told her that I am a beginner she was surprised. She said "you definitely have the skill set of a sport rider....you should be racing sport". If I was faster....I would be......but I appreciated the compliment on my skills.

Boyne is in about a week and a half. Hills are on the menu again....so I will fill up on hills for the next week and see what happens!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Stay tuned....

I will have a good post tomorrow about the State Games race......but not tonight....

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nerves?

It is the Wednesday before the FIRST EVER State Games of Michigan Mountain Bike Race. Now...that is a long title. I am not really nervous....but this race is on my mind. Especially because Boyne is looming in the near future as well. I know that I need to do well in this race to boost my confidence for the Boyne race (which is more important because of points). I have ridden the Cannonsburg Ski area numerous times. I know there are only three significant climbs and the race route allows a warm-up before tackling the long climb. Usually the trail starts straight uphill for nearly a mile. Not a good way to start a race for a non climber....haha.

I will do my best and represent my team with a smile on my face.

Yesterday I started a post and ended it in favor of a ride. I headed out for a 27 mile road ride and it was good. I felt really good. There is that one climb where my legs are engaged for nearly 9 minutes. Climbing for 9 minutes is not fun....but I know it makes me a stronger rider. To top off the 9 minute climb there is another long and steep climb right after it. I know that climbing will make be faster in the long run....so I look for the hills.

When Chelle got home she told me to check out channel 3 because Allegan Dam road was washed out. There is a really cool video showing it here: www.wwmt.com/articles/allegan-1378161-road-viewer.html

When I passed this last night I thought it looked washed out on the right side.....but I never imagined it would end up like that. So...I guess I need to find a new route :(

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The month less travelled....

So I have not been riding a lot this month. Way less than June last year...and only 6 rides total for the entire month....Is that right? Yes....rain and schedules have been hampering my riding. I did have a good day...and that is the only reason my mileage is as high as it is. So....I am signing off for tonight and I am going to ride. See you in about 25 miles.

Friday, June 18, 2010

99.95%

This number represents my the number of miles I have ridden when compared to last year. I rode 1200.99 miles last year....and I hit 1200.42 last night. I am riding at a 2 to 1 pace over last year. The super scary thing is that I have only ridden 4 times in June...and we are more than halfway through the month. Not good when you consider I have a race next weekend and my toughest race at Boyne coming in about three weeks. I am hoping for a peak at the Boyne race, so I am starting to build miles this week. I rode 30 last night...and I am hoping for 30 more tonight.

The ride last night was very good. I took my route towards every hill I could find. Aiming for the largest and longest that I know about in this area. I was feeling pretty good when I got to the longest climb on the ride. I literally climb for over 8 minutes on this hill. The plan was to climb it and then ride back down for another go. The road construction pushed that idea aside. The climb was terrible. The road crew had just peeled the top layer of blacktop off....so the road was like riding on cobbles....hey...Paris Roubaix right? I do ride a mountain bike with skinny tires....so I didn't get beat up too bad....but 15 minutes on the shingles had me ready for to get off the bike. Once the road went back together I had another long climb. I held a decent pace and was awarded with a nice rest on the downhill. Knowing that I needed a few extra miles I turned and found a few more hills. Then I took a different road than normal and it was all uphill. So I was thinking to myself....the hills will know my name. They can call me........daddy.........

Overall....30 miles at a 15.5 pace in the hills. I will take it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

That "left behind" feeling

Do you ever get the feeling that you have been left behind? I mentioned this feeling a few weeks ago....and I touched on how I didn't like it. I am still having this feeling...but it isn't involving a group ride. I think I am bringing this feeling onto myself. Here is why....

I am trying to get an overall award in the MMBA CPS this year. I figured that it would be relatively easy....I would just need some middle of the pack finishes and one or two high finishes. I have been close to the high finishes...with two 6th place destinations. Because I am a numbers geek I know where I stand in the CPS standings. I have done three of the four races, and I sit in fourth place. At first glance....not bad. When I look closer at the numbers I realize the gap is big enough that I might not be able to close it down.......hench...falling behind.

I am planning on 3 more races in the series....and I figure I will need a top three finish in two of them. This is a tall goal...but one that I have had since the season started. I have had a terrible week of riding since my half century....as in I have zero miles since. I was going to ride tonight....but things happen. Now the forecast calls for rain until Monday. There is another step behind....

As I fall behind I start to think
they vanished ahead of me in just a blink
I pedal as hard as I possibly can
but I just cannot seem to catch that man
he was there, but now is out of sight
"you will never catch him"....you might be right
the thoughts that are spinning right through my mind....
are he is gone....he left you behind.....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Milestone

This post is a day late....but I was being slammed by an allergy attack yesterday!!!

Sunday morning I got up with full intentions of riding 50 miles. I have never ridden that far before and I was thinking it was time. This morning offered me temps in the low 60's and rain filled cloudy skies. I filled the water bottles and headed out.....the route.....50 miles.

When I left the house my eyes kept turning skyward. I really didn't want to ride in the rain, but I really wanted to turn the wheels. Thankfully I stayed dry. The first nine miles of my route are simple with a few rollers. I was feeling pretty good climbing the hills but I decided to back off a little so I had some gas left in the tank for the last 15 miles. From mile nine to mile 23 the roads are mainly flat. The wind was coming from at a 45 degree angle but it wasn't blowing very hard. I managed to keep my average speed above 16 all the way to the lakeshore. That is Lake Michigan for those who are wondering!

The turn south was easy! The wind pushed me for about 4 miles until I turned back towards home with over 20 miles to go. At this point I was approaching my longest distance for the year, which was 33 miles. The only thing that kept me going was that I was going towards home. I kept pushing the pedals and the miles ticked away. At 40 miles I started to get excited about what I was doing. I was actually going to ride 50 miles without stopping. As the odometer climbed closer to 50 my mind started to get the better of me. Doubt was creeping in and I thought I was going to have to stop. Then the sun came out.....and the warm glow of our star revived me enough to get home. Final distance was 50.33 miles in just over 3 hours. Longest distance ever.

Half Century.

Wow.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mosquito

For such a little package, these guys have a lot of bite. Because of the rain we have been experiencing, the mosquito factory has been busy. So busy in fact that I was afraid to stop at all on my ride last night. No bug spray let to a shortened ride. I still managed to get 11.75 miles in, but I was slow because of the wet trail. I didn't feel comfortable hitting the corners hard because I didn't want to crash. I still had a decent average and I feel great this morning. Good to get the wheels turning after 5 days....lol.

My goal of running everyday has not happened. I haven't run once actually. I need to get off my duff.....

My goal of 15-20 pounds down by Boyne is on its way. I lost 1.5 this week. I have a lot of work to do....but I need to continue to lose anything....even if it is only 1 pound per week. Those 1 pound weeks add up after a year.....

....now....where are those donuts?