This month started off with a bang for me. Riding to work yesterday, on Cowan, I saw that I was about to pass a cute girl that I often pass on my commutes - I think she walks to work in Central Park or something. So, seeing that I was about to pass her, I put on a little burst of speed to try impress her. It ended up backfiring - my left crankarm fell off and I nearly crashed. After my jewels recovered a little I went back and retrieved the arm, and pedaled the rest of the way with one leg. After Andre fixed me up I decided to just call it a recovery day, which left the legs feeling a little stiff. Today on the second I finally got the Internet fixed at home, which has been out since last weeks thunder storm. When I saw that there was an intense ride planned for Sunday, I just put in E miles. I was going to race this weekend down in Roanoke, but money and time wise it would be too much of a strain right now.
Met with Joe to make sure he would get the right size jersey. I
bought new cleats, and then E rode for forty miles. Getting ready to race tomorrow with Joe and for the Kom competition on Sunday. Hope to see Andre there. Late dinner at downtown restaurant, saw Bill there- my sister was surprised he chose the car over biking on such a nice night. Last race as a cat five tomorrow, wish me luck.
July 4th - I caved to peer pressure after the race. My sister and her hard drinking boyfriend convinced me to drink beer after beer, when I only wanted to conserve energy for tomorrow. They don't understand the dedication to a cause, only the instant gratification that comes with a Miller Light or Heineken. So, I will do my best tomorrow . . . . but if I look green in the face, it’s not my fault.
July 4th Race report - Compared to the Working Mans Classic B race, the ID3 Crit was easy. The course had 6 turns and one slightly significant uphill. Wind was also a factor, as were the numerous manholes that dotted the course. I removed my computer clock beforehand so that I could ride by feel. My feeling during the first couple of laps was that everyone was doing a slightly accelerated warm-up. So, I went off the front and picked it up. Every couple of laps I would do this in hopes that I could pick up the pace and punish the peloton, and then could Joe sprint for the finish. We got the first part but not the second bc of a lap count mistake. However, we did shatter the pack from 23 to 6 who finished as one. I was the last in that group, Joe was 4th. So all in all it wasn't too bad. Overall my feeling was that WMC really was more intense, and in a sense it will be good to race with the 4's, even if I get punished. Joe said he wasn't looking forward to it because it meant no more trophies . . . . I know it will make us all better.
July 5th - What an intense ride! Today really drove home for me today that tactics are just as important as the engine. Everyone offered good advice, especially Steve explaining how to keep the peloton complacent when there was a breakaway. Working with Jinks in the two man breaks really wore me out . . . . I was quite happy when Bill told me to setup so that he could drift off. When I came home I fell right asleep, and spent the rest of the day reading and recuperating. Joe and I predicted that the real effort this weekend would be on Sunday, and he was right. Anyway, I wish that I had enough energy to blog more, but I left it all out in Caroline County. Good luck to everyone going to Haymarket this week, and to everyone racing this weekend.
July 6th - Did an E ride today - tried to take it slow after yesterday. I wanted to take it off totally, but that was a no go because I had to get to work. It felt good to sweat a little though, almost felt like all the toxins were leaving my system. I've also been concentrating on hydration, because it seems like I'm perpetually dehydrated. Not really that interesting to blog about.
I'm also waiting to hear back about the upgrade . . . . I hope to race as a 4 this weekend!
July 7th - I was hoping to race as a 4 this weekend, but no word on my upgrade yet. Hopefully I'll get some word by tonight, so that I can register for this Sundays race online . . . .
July 8th - Feeling quite beat up today. Good thing that it called for an easy spin because anything else might have left me in a state of shock. I'm not sure why I was hit with such intense fatigue - felt fine riding to work, felt fine for the first half of the day . . . somewhere after lunch I noticed a persistent ache/tightness in my left quad, followed by a overall sleepy feeling. Then the right hip flexor called for attention. Soon it took everything I had to not take a nap. As the fatigue intensified, so did the aches and pains, which seemed to become more and more numerous. I made it though, and upon returning home soaked my legs and then put them up. Drank enough water to make myself a few pounds heavier on the scale, and called it a day.
July 9th - Woke up early to get the workout in. Did half before work, and then half after followed with some E style commute time. Then, when I was almost home, I stopped in a wooded patch to relieve myself. Back on the road I was itching all over. Soon small dime sized welts started to pop up all over, like 5 or 6 on each leg, and a few on my arms. I tried to wash them off with what water I had left in the bottle, but it didn't work. At home I popped a benadryl, and rubbed some calamine on, which seemed to help. The swelling subsided somewhat, but the benadryl is making me drowsy. See everyone on Saturday . . . . .
July 10th - You know the show the "Dog Whisperer"? I think Andre is like the bike version of that dude. Today I was riding the trainer while watching the tour. I wasn't training but was just tooling around, killing time while I waited for an important phone call. Wasn't even in kit, just some khakis and a T shirt. But as the tour progressed, I started to get more and more engrossed, and started to hammer. Just as I told myself to slow down because today was an off day, I snapped a shifter cable. Sadly for me, I had no other cable handy. So I made my way to the shop with my now two speed bike. At the shop Andre quickly took a look, diagnosed the cause of a couple noises I couldn't identify, and sent me on the way. Now everything is ready for tomorrow - hopefully it won't rain.
July 11th - Rode with the crew, and afterwards looked for Col Ed to do some extra miles because I'm not sure if I will be at the race tomorrow. After I didn't find him I did a few miles solo and called it a day. During the last sprint of the ride I did my best to get ahead, but everyone caught up, letting me know I'm getting better, but not that good.
July 12th - Some stuff came up with my sister last night so I was without a ride this morning. Did my E ride, half in the rain and then half on the trainer. Went to see the girl at GNC and sadly she will be moving back to Blacksburg soon. This news, combined with the soreness I felt today, and with the news of Jeffs injury has me in a funk. Jeff, if you read this I hope you're ok. You're strong though man, you'll be good again in no time.
July 14th - Rode to work thinking that I would just finish the training and call it a day. Wrong. During lunch I got a call from Ben - "are you racing?" I answered yes before I gave it any thought. After I hung up I realized I had no team kit, no money, nothing. Ben picked me up and off we went. I was a little embarrassed to ride in a white tee, but at least it wasn't boxers and a tank top or anything. I tried to work as best I could during the race, and it worked for a while - everyone was trading pulls and all. However, the synergy failed when I flicked a team PMA rider throughand received the answer "I don't have it - keep pulling." So I did, and developed a little gap. When I saw Ken was blocking, I went all out. I went even harder when the race promoter guy yelled at me to pick it up and ride away. I tried my best, and Ken did a great job of blocking, but I was caught with two left. I sat in, and faded a little, but was pushed forward by Ken. It was a extremely strong push . . . . thanks man. All in all I tried but faded . . . . oh well it was a good time. Big thanks to Ben for the ride - and good job to Ken for winning another prime. Hopefully the card is worth the hundred and not 4 $!
15th - Today was two ten minute intervals. I opted for a different route and headed out into deep Spotsy County. If you make a right at the intersection of River Road and Spotswood Furnace onto the gravel road, you'll end up on some roads which are perfect for training because there is hardly any traffic out. However, as I was mid interval I took a few turns quickly and at random in order to keep my pace up. Ended up on yet another gravel road which I had never seen before. It was then that I completed the sprints and ran out of water. Dreaming of a full bottle, out in the middle of nowhere I thought that if some hunter of whoever shot me it would be a while before they found my remains. Luckily the gravel gave way to pavement, and I found my way back to Route 3. That 7 mile stretch of gravel road was sketchy, and I doubt I'll be out there again, but it was fun. From 3 I crossed over, filled my bottles with a little churhes garden hose, and made it back into civilization.
July 16th - Finally became a CAT 4! I'm so excited that I've come this far . . . . anyway I have to get to sleep so that I can get up early and get to work . . . I'll post about the training tomorrow . . . .
July 18th - Stressful yet fulfilling day.Working all day I didn't have time to check the Internet to see what the training schedule called for, so after work I rode for three hours at a good pace. Rally wished I could have raced the Giro with Ken and Joe, if for nothing else to see how the legs felt during a RR. There was the one I did at Ephrata, but that seems like eons ago. I'm really trying to do everything I can to succeed during the race in West Virginia next weekend. It will be my first straight four race, and I don't want to disappoint. I have in my possession the training bible loaned me, so I've been doing my homework . . . . if nothing else I'll be a well read cat 4 . . . . .
see you guys tomorrow for an E ride!
July 19th - Good E ride with Ed, Greg and Andre. The conversation and nice weather made the miles flow by. I did a few miles by myself afterwards because I had no other obligations to family or work. Arriving home I refueled and started researching what was online about the weekends RR. Riding today made me think about how nice it would be if we had a RR out in the county. If I ever win the lotto I'm going to buy some land and build a course for racing.
21st - Did my workout monday and used today to rest. Monday was a good workout but the rain and combined effort left me drained today. Physically I wasn't feeling too sore or strained, but I was quiet all day, and quite slowmoving. It wasn't even raining too hard when I started, but sure enough I was soggy as hell afterwards. I'm glad that I did it like that because tomorrow is sure to be a real effort with everyone in the park. I know I suggested in the email that the losing team buy beer for the winning team tomorrow - I went ahead and threw some money in my jersey pocket . . . . . hopefully recovery comes quickly.
22nd - Today was a day off from work for me, so I tried to make the most of it. Before I left the house I got everything ready for the KOM i.e bottles, nutrition, etc etc. Also, wanting to look sharp I (re) shaved my legs. Must have picked the dullest razor in the house though, because I came out of it all cut up. So, after applying some neosporin (which later picked up plenty of grit from the road), I headed out around 1pm to get some fresh air and hit GNC. At the store I downed some cytomax and chatted up a friend of mine, who said that the girl I go to see would be closing tonight. With something to look forward to after the KOM I did a few more miles and hit the park. It was way too early though, and after 2 laps I sat down and stopped a fellow cyclist headed towards town. I told him that if he saw anyone in the BWR kit he was to let them know that I was in the park. Funnily enough, this turned out to be one of the guys who is known to never wave or acknowledge anyone. Once Steve and Bill showed up we did a few laps of KOM, and some three man pacelining. The big thing that I picked up was that my gearing and cadence needs some work . . . . . riding alone alot one tends to develop some bad habits which go unchecked unless noticed by more veteran riders. Anyway, after all Bill and Steve went home I shot back to the park to see if Greg was still working out. He was, and smoked me in one hill sprint. It was a good day. Good luck to everyone TT'ing this weekend, and wish me luck when I'm in WV.
July 23rd - Met up with Greg while he was practicing TT'ing in the park. For such a mild mannered guy he is a beast on the TT bike. We rode a couple of laps together, and afterwards I did a few cools down miles before calling Joe to consolidate our plans for this weekend. Tomorrow I'll be concentrating on getting ready for Sat - plenty of water, plenty of carbs, plenty of protein. And as seen fit, a prayer or two. Hopefully I can come back and tell everyone I did well, if not . . . . . well I'm not going to go there.
July 24th - Quite sore today . . . . . ! I did a few miles just for the heck of it, and then came home and felt sore. Tomorrow is the big day, so I'm praying and wishing that it goes well. Meeting with Joe at 7:30 to head down . . . . . here goes nothing!
July 25th - Rode today in my first cat 4 race. It was a real beast, with two significant climbs and some quick downhills where it was possible to reach speeds in excess of 40 mph. Each lap was ten miles with the two climbs, rollers, and a few flat sections (which no one really used to gain position). In my mind it was a strange race because no one gunned it from the start like a crit, which left me wondering when the strongers riders were going to stop playing games and put the hammer down. It seemed everyone was content to let the hills take their toll on the weaker riders, though. So, as the pack split into smaller and smaller groups, I found myself amongst the first group, feeling quite fresh. I took a pull at the front on the last section of flats before the uphill finish to drop and riff raff still hanging on, and then got ready to race to the finish. With 200 meters to go a young rider (maybe 15) shot towards the line, with everyone following. I was caught a little unaware, and ended up in 14th, at the back of the first separation of the pack. Overall I was pretty content, this being my first cat 4 race and all. Good luck to everyone tomorrow!
26th - This morning I woke up quite sore, especially in the hips and buttock muscles. Must have been all the climbing at speed . . . . . my thighs are usually most painful after a race. Anyway, this morning Joe and I went out on a ride I've never been on - down past Fairview Beach, into the country, and then back into town. Afterwards we had a coffee, and it was there that I realized that chasing Joe had left me much more sore. At one point Joe left to get some cream and sugar for his coffee and when he came back he asked me if I had been asleep . . . . I was that bushed. At home I put my feet up and tried to recover for the rest of the day. Looking back I should have consumed more water before and after the race . . . . and perhaps should look into buying some compression tights . . . .
28th - Signed up for the Page Valley RR, and am going to sign up for the TT tomorrow. Other than that I've been out training, doing my best to stay hydrated. Today I did a few laps in the park after chatting with Steve, and then came home and read the book Bill loaned me. If anything the last races of the season will be about racing smart, because whether I like it or not my fitness isn't going to improve dramatically anytime soon. At least I'll be racing with blue socks from here on out though . . . . . !
29th - Rain. No work today, so I did some morning E miles before the park in the afternoon. I did around 2 hours in stiff winds before the rain really started to hit. At this point I wasn't sure if anyone would be in the park later or not, so I went home and rested a bit. Around 4:00 it was getting a little sunnier outside, but I was feeling quite drained and zombielike. Knowing that I would see everyone at the TT this weekend I went ahead and kept resting. At 4:45 however, a friend called and asked if I wanted to meet in Central Park for some food. Never one to pass on free food, I threw some dry clothes in a bookbag and shot down River Rd. Halfway there I started to get drenched, but all the traffic was home bound, so it wasn't too bad. The only mistake was my thinking we were meeting at 5:15 when he had said 6:15. Used the extra hour do sprints in the lot behind Borders Books. I gradually wore myself out, then had some grub and called it a day.
30th - Recovery day . . . . only rode back from work. I'm not a TT beast like everyone else, so I'm trying to play it smart and have some juice for Sunday. Hopefully my legs will have forgiven me by then and I'll have decent form.
July 31st - Good luck on Sunday guys. I messed a few things up and will not be TT'ing Sunday.