Saturday, June 18, 2011

1/2 Century....with some needed support

Can you bring me a powerbar and a bottle of water.....


These were the words I used on the phone when I called home. I will get to that in a minute...but I want to talk about the events leading up to that..

I had a big bowl of frosted mini-wheat's for breakfast. They were the maple style and are very good. I was planning on riding a half century today and I knew I would need a big breakfast. I loaded up two bottles and headed out for the ride. I rode this route one time last year and I knew the roads...so out towards Lake Michigan I went. I was feeling pretty good and I was just at cruising speed. No records need to be set today. I noticed that I was cruising along at 18-19 mph pretty easily....which meant only one thing......tailwind. I started to wonder how terrible it was going to be on the way home...with a head wind.

The first 25 miles were sweet. No problems. I got to the lake and headed south....looking for a place where I would stop at the beach. I couldn't find one. I never considered looking at the map before I left.....but at any rate....the ride started to get hard here. The south turn put me into the wind a little. It felt like forever before I saw the road to turn back home...but there it was. I rode about 5 more miles before I had to call home. I was riding into the wind and I was running out of gas. With 20 miles to go I knew I needed assistance...and I never ride with money. So the call went out....

I kept riding and Chelle met up with me with about 13 miles to go. I stopped and slammed the power bar and took the water from her. She caught me a little while later and gave me more water too....which was much needed!

The last 5 miles were awful. I have not ridden over 35 miles this year and I surely was feeling it. I finished with 50.80 miles. My average speed dipped below 15 mph because of the stops that I did, but my moving average was still 15.7 mph.

Good ride for my birthday and Father's day. Hope everyone I know had a good Lumberjack today.

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there on Sunday!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fort Custer TT Recap

This was today...and is fresh in my mind....so I need to get it out!

My original plan was to attend the TT but not to race. I wanted to, but finances..yada yada. So about Friday I get a message from Jon telling me to get ahold of a teammate that had a free entry. I wanted to race, but I was still hesitant because I haven't been riding much. I took it.

As usual...there was not a lot of people at the Fort. The turnout is rather disappointing actually. I was more hopeful actually that I would be able to do better because of the low turnout. I was right. I lined up at the start and was very relaxed. I had no pressure because I was just racing for fun. I lined up next to another guy for the start of the TT....and I never saw him again. The difference......I was in the lead....by a lot. As I reached the trail towards the red loop Dan T. came up (during his warmup) and rode with me for a few minutes. "Don't do anything stupid" were his last words of encouragement.

I know I started fast...and it took some time for me to find my rhythm. Heart rate was very high but I just kept plugging along. I got passed by quite a few people, but that is expected in a TT. I did have to walk a few of the hills....like the last part of the switchback on the Green......and a few others that I just didn't have the gas for. Amazing what a month off does. Lost what climbing power I did have!

I finished as strong as I could. My goal was 1:30:00...and I finished in 1:34 and some change. Not a bad finish overall. I took DFL in Beginner Clyde.....but it was good enough for 3rd place. I was only 16 seconds off of second.....not bad....not bad at all.

This race did stirr up some memories too. Many years ago my brother-n-law and I raced the Fort Custer TT. If memory serves me correctly this was the last race we ever did together. I remember he took 4th place that year. Out of 5. He shrugged his shoulders and said that he didn't deserve the award. The guy he beat told him good job and that he definitely deserved it.

He deserved it.....


It wasn't all good though......because seeing this particular area of Custer brought back memories of a lost friend. A lost brother. A lost family member. I believe he was looking out for me today. This one was for you Timmy. Thank you again for the many memories and getting me into this crazy sport to begin with. We miss you.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Rebuilding Part #1

Since the Fort Custer Stampede things have been very chaotic. I changed jobs in the middle of April and my stress level has gone thru the roof. Not because of the job, but because of all of the little things just adding up. During this rise of stress level my riding was zero. As a matter of fact, I only had 27 miles in the saddle for the entire month of May. Not good. I was down.....and not wanting to do anything.

A good friend of mine was witnessing my struggles and put things into perspective for me. Suck it up. He said it nicer than that, and he took the time to understand why I was being the way I was being, but then he got me back on track. It took me another week or so....but then the rebuilding began.

I got out my bike and rode 14 miles a week before Memorial Day. Then another week break. Dan S. and I rode 14 miles on Memorial Day and I was starting to get the spark back. Finally the following Saturday I got out for 18 miles on the road. Took Sunday off and smashed 34 miles on Monday. Another 34 miles on Thursday. So...in each of my last two rides I have ridden more than I did in May.

Because of the high stress and low riding levels I gained some weight back. I am back on track this week and I plan to stay there.

So why the rebuilding? Well.....after not riding and eating like crap for a month I am tired. I am tired of feeling drug down. Tired of allowing myself to think the way that I was thinking. So I am starting over....again. Rebuilding my confidence, my weight loss totals, my mileage, my demeanor. I was told that the only way to get better at racing is to race more. Finances just are not allowing that right now. But, having friends that have friends that cannot use entries is another story. I will be racing the Fort Custer TT tomorrow. This is the race where I got my first award. last year. Trained up. Lighter.

I will go into the race very rested. Ready to do what I can to. Rebuilding what I worked on last year. Lets go.....