Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Let's be honest.....

This is a post that I have been trying to write for a long time. Probably since Easter. I took a stroll away from the a long way from the wagon. I strayed past the wagon a few times over the past few weeks. And then Memorial day showed up.....and....well....

Over Easter weekend I must have eaten my weight in jelly beans......and chocolate....and well...whatever else I could get my hands on. I did ok though. It was like a phase that lasted about a week. I went from 240 back up to 245 and then dipped back to 243. I floated around there for the next few weeks. I was still riding. Still running. Feeling good. 

Then......we went to dinner at Logans and I had some of their rolls. They must have been like crack because I was then eating rolls, cinnamon rolls, sandwiches, pasta, and anything else with gluten or wheat or whatever the hell it is that tears my system up.....including pizza. mmmm. Pizza.

But.....this time I continued eating wheat. Didn't stop. Cereal. Had a drink. Had another beer. Pile it on! Over these weeks I did race my bike. Did alright at Custer....and did the best I could at Yankee. Was feeling alright. Still right around 244 and knowing...KNOWING I was lucky to be that weight considering the garbage I had been pushing into my system. 

Then....Memorial Day weekend came. I had been eating okay....just not the greatest. It started Friday when we had Chinese. Then Saturday I had McDonalds to start. Then ate whatever I could get my hands on at dinner.....including strawberry shortcake with ice cream and whipped cream. It continued into Sunday at the Hotel. Had biscuits and gravy, with a cheese omelet, and sugar filled mango juice. After breakfast I rolled into the truck to go and visit my Grandmother. After a nice visit we headed to Applebees for lunch. Scampi pasta.......are you seeing the gluten/wheat trend. Ugh. Oh, top it off...we stopped at Dairy Queen on the way home. lol. 

So.....I put garbage in....and I paid for it. I was 248 this morning. Ugh. Monday night after the DQ I did head out for a road ride. Got 35 miles in but the last 12 were awful. My brain checked out.....and it was all I could do to get back to the house without calling for a ride. So....I felt awful. Slept awful. Had a very long day on Tuesday at work and was just tired. Today I drug myself out of bed again. I did load up the Defy to attempt Wednesday night worlds....but felt miserable all day so I decided to just head home. 

My realization is that eating like crap makes me feel like crap. Duh right? But, I was able to cheat for a while, but now the time has come to pay up for all the garbage that I have taken in. It sucks. I am lethargic. I am tired. I feel like crap. I can't focus. I can't sleep. Just blah. This does not bode well for me finding the positive in everything. I guess....i am learning something yet again. 

My weight gain always happens this time of year. I find the excuses and let the weight pile back on. Not this time. I had chicken and veggies for dinner and I am going to bed earlier. Tired of my allergies bothering me (which never did when I was gluten free) and tired of feeling like dirt. So, I am looking at the wagon. Trying to find the way to climb back on.....and continue this journey I started in January.

On a positive note....I am still down 20 pounds for the year....just gotta keep moving forward.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Yankee Springs Recap

The day started off fairly normal. Got Zack and Izzy up and while they were eating breakfast I loaded up the Crosstrek and was ready to go before they were done eating. Off we went and we got to Yankee just after 10am. Our teammate Mark and his family were camping so we parked at their site and set up shop.  We headed up to register and saw Dan S. talking with Jay and Mark. This is where the day took a strange turn.

Jay was holding my Epic for me. He picked it up and it rattled. The rear shock is worn where it connects to the upper link. Looking at it..Dan says..yeah you are not riding that today. I was what do I ride...and he said "ride this" which is a Giant Trance 29er with carbon wheels and a 1x11 setup. This is the bike I want....and he handed it to me for the day.

I headed out on the warmup loop to get antiquated with the new bike. It handled different, but I was fairly comfortable by the time I got done with the 2 miles. So, I had a bike to ride and we were in business.

Headed to the starting corral and got into line. They were sending riders off every 5 seconds. Got to me and GO!!!

Photo courtesy: Dan S. (the best shop owner ever!!)

As usual, I started to fast. This bike just wanted to go fast. Before I started Dan told me "listen, ride the bike..don't worry about breaking anything....just don't hurt yourself". He gave me permission to ride the bike like I stole it. lol. I did. I was riding hard because I wanted to get a top 10 (out of the 20 pre-registered). The bike certainly helped. It is lighter than my Epic (because of the carbon wheels) and it climbed quicker. I am not sure about the setup, but I was very comfortable on it. I felt like I was more forward than I am on the Epic so I was in more of a race position.

I held off the guys that started behind me for about a mile. Then I knew I was going to have traffic issues for the rest of the race, but it wasn't bad. Everyone called out their passes and I even had to call out a few of my own. I was riding really really fast. Just kept pushing myself to get done.....and knowing it was a time trail I was looking for the other sport clydes that started just ahead of me. 

About 5 miles in I caught one. That is when I knew I was riding pretty good. I jumped into a train and held onto a wheel for quite a while until we hit a long climb. A few guys passed and I went back to my own pace. The Trance is a great bike. I was able to climb quicker and descent like a mad man because the bike just loves to roll over stuff. Yes, this is my first real experience on a 29er. I did ride a Niner at the demo last year, but I was just cruising.......I was racing the Trance and the harder I pushed the better the bike responded.

Jay had not caught me yet. I made the turn to the mat climb and as I started to climb I shifted to the left and off the mat, meaning I had to walk. Dangit. I was pushing up the hill when Jay finally caught me along with a few other guys. I jumped back on the bike and started to chase them down. Grabbed onto the last guys wheel and actually kept Jay in sight for part of the new 1.5 mile section of trail they added in. I was closing the gap on him but then hit the last nasty hump and never saw him again. 

I passed the 12 mile marker and knew I had one mile to go. I looked at my computer and I was barely over an hour into the race. I couldn't believe it....I was around 1:03 and I only had one mile to go. So, I did my best to turn myself inside out to finish...and I burned another match to get into the last climb. It is fairly flat, but I was gassed so it felt worse. Out of the woods into the gravel area and then made the left hand turn onto the finishing stretch by the road. BURN IT. I burned my last match and was just flying into the last turn where all the spectators are standing. around the corner and hammered to the finish line. DONE.

1:08:06 was good enough for 10th place out of 17. I will take it. I turned in my fastest lap by about 4 minutes on a course that was 1.5 miles longer. Awesome. Zack had a rough day but still mustered 5th place in his class. It was a great day to race and hang out with friends!!!  I did beat Brian so I lead the series 2/3 as of this moment. We will see how that pans out!!!!!

P.S. I really really want the new bike now.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Yankee what?

Monday was I ran 2 miles. This was the day after the 2 was enough.

Tuesday was Dance....and I didn't feel like doing anything else.

Wednesday.....I loaded up the bike and headed to work. At noon....there was I wasn't sure if the ride was still going to happen...but it never rained. After work, I took the hour long drive to Yankee Springs and as I exited the highway I was realizing that it had rained....and rained hard. Jay started riding earlier and he got caught it it. We passed each other on Gun Lake road as he was heading home and I was about to ride.

Best part of Yankee.....rain doesn't really hurt sandy that it drains quick. The rain actually helps...and it did help....the super sandy areas were a lot better to ride after that downpour.

So....I got to the trailhead and my new friend Shad was there. Mark wasn't there yet so we went out and rode the 2-mile loop for a nice warm-up. Got back to the lot and Mark got there. Off we went for our full loop. The DNR had done a controlled burn so it was very interesting looking out there. It was literally a brown ribbon of sandy dirt surrounded by blackened trees, stumps, and wasteland. Always cool to ride in those conditions because the trail looks so different with no overgrowth.

Shad is a newer rider so he cut off at the shortcut after the ditch climb. Mark and I kept plugging away. The trail was in good shape with a few trees down from the burn and the storm that rolled through. There is a new section that adds just over a mile. I was hurting from chasing Mark and it felt like that new lap was ALL UPHILL. It wasn't....but you climb and then descend on a 2-track back to where the new loop begins. Pretty cool that they were able to add another mile in and not miss any of the trail.

Pretty uneventful rest of the ride. We got to the parking lot and I decided that I wanted to ride the warm-up loop one more time....full out for 2 miles. I felt pretty good and managed to hold a 12.5 mph average for those 2 miles. My average on the full loop was only 9.6 so I will take that speed even if only for a short distance.

Goal time of 1:15 for the time trial with the longer distance. Racing against myself. Get out and ride.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

2014 Fort Custer Stampede

David W. and I at the start!
 First singletrack race of the year. We headed down to Augusta and the Fort Custer Recreation area. Jay and Mark got there early and got us a good spot for the tent. We rolled in around 10:30 and got our number plates. Izzy was at a sleepover so no racing for her, but Zack was with me and he was ready to rock! I had a goal time of 1:15 in mind and I figured that might put me mid-pack....but that was when there was only 8 signed up in my class. There was 16 of us on the start line and off we went.

I started hard and hit the first corner in 5th place. By the time we hit the woods I was out of the top 10. I pushed as hard as I could and I was surprised that I was keeping the leaders in sight. We headed into the Crazy Beaver loop and I could still see the top 3....I was sitting in 8th or 9th. Coming out of the Crazy Beaver and into the trenches they were starting to pull away....but I could still see David W. a little bit ahead of me. He was sitting in 2nd or 3rd and I knew there were a few guys between I kept chugging.

Out of the Crazy Beaver and into the first part of the Red loop and the gap was opened....I started losing sight of them....and a few guys had passed me....some in my class and some from the classes behind me. Out of the trenches and into the meadow area.....this is where things got interesting. I knew there was a guy behind me....but he was not trying to pass....he was just sitting on. As we broke out into the field before the camel humps I hear a guy behind us scream "get the f**k out of the way" and then grumbling from a few a train of riders started to surge past. There was three guys from the same team leading the line and they forced the two of us off the trail as they passed. Then going into the camel humps a guy passed me on the right side.....ON TOP OF THE FIRST HUMP......crazy dude for sure. 

Things settled down from there....I could see a few guys in my class on the switchback climb but I was just riding my own race at that point. I was still pushing and I was feeling pretty good. A few people passed here and there but everyone called it out....or asked for an opening. The amusement park backwards was I was riding with another guy and we passed back and forth for a while. Out of the Red and onto the Green loop. Kept riding with the same guy for a bit and then after the creek I saw Ted R. on top of the climb. Frisbee.....

I started riding harder, and I actually picked off a few guys. On the boat launch climb I finally reeled in Ted and passed him at the top. I knew the next section was flat so I went for it...hard.....go baby go. The course was we turned off the trail and onto a 2-track then onto a paved section which dumped us back into the course backwards. I knew the finish was close so I kept going as hard as I could...

Towards the end!

Little did I know that Ted was chasing me down. I didn't think it would matter....because I didn't see him at the start line so I figured he was not racing my class....but he was. As we crossed the road to the finish people started to yell "go, you can get him...go go go" and he passed me right before the beat me by 2 seconds....and knock me out of the top 10. I should have known that he was in my class...I learned something. ha.

It was a fun day for sure. Zack did very well in his race taking home a 4th place and only being about 8 minutes behind the winner. Not bad for only riding his bike on dirt one time this year. 
Zack took 4th!!

So, Yankee is in less than 2 weeks and Brian and I have a friendly bet about who will win. I won at Barry Roubaix and he beat me at the Stampede. So...whoever wins at Yankee will be the champion....of what...I don't know...but it is just fun to go out and ride bikes!!!