Sunday, May 25, 2008

Final Ironman 70.3 Prep

I just have under 3 weeks to go for my second big objective of the year - The Ironman 70.3 Kansas. Training has been going well. My swim form is good and most importantly my running has been going extremely well. Betsy from Back and Bodyworks gave me the Evolution Running dvd and it has really helped. Now I just need to work on my brick workouts and get in some open water swims.

Finally got the old Triathlon rig built up yesterday and took her out on a little spin. She felt so good that I ended up doing nearly 3 hours. Lower back is paying for it this morning :-( For my triathlons this season I am going to be on my Javelin Assisi which I built up as TT rig. I have tried more triathlon specific bikes with steeper seat tube angles, but with all the climbing around here I feel a road bike works best.

Although my recent race result at the Robidoux Roundup does not reflect it, my training has been going well. I should not of even raced considering that I has just completed the 2008 Bike Week and put in about 20 extra miles of running. But I wanted to visit with the team and ride the new trails up in St. Joseph.

These final three weeks are very important. I have a very bad tendency to over train and not give myself enough time to recover between workouts. I have to remember that all the hard work is done and all I have to do now is focus on efficient workouts and getting plenty of rest.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Car Free Challange Results

Well, it's two wins in a row. Last weekends Hare Scrambles and I won the bike division of the Car Free Challenge. Yes, I am still the Champion :-). There were 545 riders participating in the bike division of the challenge.

5 years ago Eric Rogers and a few others got together and started the Kansas City Commuter Challenge. This year they changed the rules and added car pooling with mixed results. One guy logged his trip to Wisconsin as a car pool. Looks like they have since removed his miles and posted a comment that out of town miles do not count. I only bring this up because I am seriously thinking of not participating in the challenge next year. I'm just kind of getting tired of hearing folks and groups complaining about this one and that one making up errands or "how did he do that many miles", etc. I will continue to commute like I always do, but this might be my last commuter challenge. They say it is best to go out on top....

Individual Results - Bicycle Miles

All commuters
1 Chris Locke Cow Town Cycling Team 331.00
2 Tom Awe The Wheel Cyclery Team 306.51
3 Steve Cosentino DST ChainGang 258.20
4 Ray Craighead RSG Rollers 256.15
5 Jeffrey Haug Cow Town Cycling Team 249.50

Some statistics from this years Car Free Challenge:
  • Total Miles: 41,011
  • People Registered: 1093
  • People who have logged trips: 798
  • Teams: 61
  • Solo Commuters: 163
  • First-timers: 216
  • Carbon Dioxide saved: 38,877 pounds
  • Gasoline saved: 2,278 gallons and $8,362

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bike Week 2008: Day 5

Final day of the 2008 Bike Week. Hurray! I am getting tired of awaking so darn early...

Actually I have enjoyed keeping the vehicles in the driveway and riding my bike. I have done a poor job so far this year of commuting in, but now I am in the habit of riding in and plan to do so at least 3 times a week.

For having nearly 300 miles in my legs I actually felt very good this morning. I think yesterday's intervals did me good. Even though my legs felt good I kept the effort level very low and plan to do the same on the return trip home. Heck, my butt even feel good that's to a plentiful supply of Chamois Butt'r. That is some good stuff

I have noticed several sections of graffiti during my rides this week. Some of this "artwork" actually looks very cool.

Things are looking good for me. I just got an email declaring it Chris Locke Day.

Daily Drawing Winners:

May 10th: Janie Oldberg of the Prairie Village Yacht Club team
May 11th: Megan Kegley of the MoBikeFed Wheel Wizards team
May 12th: Ken Sonnenschein, organizer of the annual Bike 4 the Brain ride
May 13th: Matt Schafer of the Patti Banks Associates team
May 14th: Joseph Istas, a carpool commuter with the Garmin Bleeding Edge (305) team
May 15th: Chris Locke Day:
#1. a bicycle commuter with the Garmin Bleeding Edge (305) team
#2. a bicycle commuter with the Cow Town Cycling Team

Cliff Drive is now open to only bicycles on the weekends. The "Grand Opening" if you will was yesterday. I didn't get a chance to go to it, but Cliff Drive is part of my route to work. Earlier in the week it was a mess, but by today the city had done a great job of cleaning it up. I wish we had more routes like this in Kansas City. Did not see any cyclist on my ride, but I did see a gentleman in a wheelchair enjoying the beautiful day.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bike Week 2008: Day 4

Another solo ride in this morning.....I need to start paying attention more. I nearly got hit this morning. My fault entirely. In the early morning hours I sometimes go for miles without seeing anyone and you kind of start day dreaming.....

Some pictures and a test video from this mornings commute in:
Test video taken on the levee along Front Street.

Ride home was a little windy which was good for my planned interval workout. Intervals are one key item that I have left out of my training in preparation for the longer distance events that I did such as the Cohutta 100. Fartlek intervals were on tap today. The beauty of fartlek training is that the intervals are completely random, done according to how you’re feeling on any given day. Today I was feeling good on the hills so that is where I opened it up.

As I approached Riverside I started my cool down. I noticed at the new shops at Hwy 9 and Briarcliff there was a sign for a weekly farmers market every Thursday, so I decided to stop by and eat a Cliff bar to aid in my recovery. I saw this guy with a Cow on his truck selling beef. I went over to say hi and take a picture. Funny thing is he recognized me from earlier in the week when I took a picture of the CowTown T-Shirts. Small world sometimes....

Since Carolynn is getting her hair 'done', Christopher and I are going to ride to get dinner. A easy ride will do me good and help loosen up the old legs. Subway here we come....

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bike Week 2008: Day 3

Very slow going this morning. I really wanted to stay in the bed, but the Challenge must go on. I tried a Mean Bean as a test. Before I left I checked the old BB and saw that I had missed a call. A quick call to my voicemail let me know that I was riding in solo today as Dave had to work during the night and was doing what I wanted to do - stay in bed. As I started my commute in I was still very tired, but after 30 minutes of riding I started to wake up. It might have been the Mean Bean or just a fellow commuter that caught my attention in North KC. The remainder of the ride I felt good and enjoyed the North wind that added my ride to work.
The sun has started to rise very early. I took a little break while crossing the river to snap a sunrise picture. Only need my lights now for about half the commute in. Good thing too because this morning my battery died out on me....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bike Week 2008: Day 2

What a great ride in this morning. The wind was calm and the temperatures were very nice, especially since I under dressed yesterday and froze during the morning ride. My legs felt great and I was in a good mood.

I rode up Green Hills Road expecting Dave to come flying down at any moment. No site of Dave so after a few miles I headed back to 68th street thinking that he took another route. No such luck. After about 15 min I decided to head into work without him. It was already 5:30 am and I needed to be at work by 7:00 am. Before I clipped in to take off, an older guy comes by on a motorcycle and stops and asks me what I was doing. Apparently a bicyclist standing on the side of the road in the early morning hours in the Northland is an uncommon site. I assured him I was up to no harm and was just waiting on Dave.

As I got to AA Highway I got a funny feeling that I was being followed. I turn around and sure enough it is Dave pedalling for all his worth trying to catch up. We took it easy going through Riverside, but then picked up the pace as we worked our way to North Kansas City....

....As I waited for Dave (Do you see a theme here?) at the entrance to Harrah's Casino. He was still having some ill effects from his effort to bridge up to me earlier in the ride and my attack on Hwy 210 did not help this at all :-). I thought to myself who goes to these gambling places to risk all their hard earned money. Then it struck me that us riders gamble everyday. Not with our money, but with our lives when we ride on these crazy Kansas City streets. Some of the drivers out there just don't care.

I just had to stop and take a picture of CowTown T-Shirts.

Another good ride home this evening. We hit Cliff Drive and this time I rode some of the dirt mounds which only added to my mileage :-). Still don't know what they plan to use all the dirt for, but they are fun to ride none the less. ..started to rain a little once we got near The Wheel Cyclery. It was nice having some fenders to prevent the water spray.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bike Week 2008: Day 1

4:45 am comes early when you have crazy cats fighting all night long. I swear I am going to kill those things one day....

I was out the door a little past 5:00 a.m. this morning. Soon after I got the call from Dave Wathen that he was just now leaving his house. I usually meet him at 68th Street and Green Hills Road in the Northland, but now we were to meet over at 210 Hwy and Chouteau. I had a lot longer distance to cover than Dave so he was already waiting when I got there.

After a quick photo, we continued on and took Gladstone Blvd to Kessler Park. For anyone else riding this route, be aware of all the construction that is going on. Several sections of the road along Cliff Drive are all torn up. I sure hope they are done by the time the Tour of KC arrives. The Cliff Drive Classic is what makes that event. With the road in their present condition you need to have a cyclo-cross bike. Poor Dave looked kind of worried on his Seven road bike riding across one of the many gravel sections, but my Kona Snake and 700 x 32 Ritchey tires handled it with ease. Even rode a couple of the dirt mounts along the way.

Got in 31 miles for the morning commute. Plan to return via the same route on the way home tonight. I will try and remember to take some pics of all the construction that is taking place on Cliff Drive.

I was suppose to meet Dave at Paseso and 7th street at 4:20pm. When I left my work at 4:05 I knew I had to hammer some to make it on time. Thankfully there was a nice South wind to aid me. I arrived at our meeting place at 4:21pm only to find no Dave. After 10 min he showed up. Darn work thing got in the way again.

We again took the safest route for us home. Cliff Drive offers traffic free roads and are usually in good condition. Currently Cliff Drive is in horrible condition with branches and debris all over the place. Even with the conditions the ride was good. With the tail wind we made quick time and before we knew it we were crossing the Missouri river heading into the Northland. We cut through Cerner instead of taking Hwy 210 because we thought there we be less traffic has we headed West. We would be wrong. I don't know what it was about today, but it was just crazy out there with just tons of cars. We only saw two other cyclist, everyone else was burning the fuel.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bike Week 2008

Bike Week 2008 is here. Since Saturday I have parked my vehicles and plan to go everywhere via my bike or my feet.

This weekend was spent getting ready for the Car Free Challenge and doing some errands like getting that much needed hair cut (all via the bike). The ladies at J. Michael's were into the Challenge as I told them about it. I encouraged them to give it a try. Both have bicycles, but declined because they felt the roads to work were too dangerous. I agreed with them, but added that they are getting better and by following some simple rules of the road you can have a safe ride.

For my daily commute to work (31 miles one way) I will have all my safety gear on. Especially lights since I will be beginning my day at 4:45 a.m. It may be overkill, but I have the following: Dual MiNewt, Princeton Tec H2O headlamp, EXL-ITE Illuminator belt, PMS Safety Wear ankle straps, Micro R mini rear light, illuminNITE vest/leg warmers and a Cateye rear light. This year I will also use my cool U.S. Postal back pack that Roger Harrison gave me which has some reflective strips on it..

My rig for this week will be my Kona Snake. I have fenders on her and since I installed them, I have been bone dry for every ride. The weather this week is calling for a slight chance of rain. Not that I want it to rain, but I am one of the few fools that ride into work no matter what the conditions are during the Commuter Challenge. It is my only chance to defend my title :-). I have left the food preparation up to my wife, Carolynn. In preparation of tomorrow's commute she has chosen a high carbohydrate meal of pasta.

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mothers Day Mom!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

DBA Fundraiser for Amelia Lamb

My good friends Vicki and Tige Lamb are trying to raise money for the Diamond Blackfan Anemia Foundation (Their daughter Amelia has this rare blood disorder).

From Vicki:

...this year I am going to use the Hospital Hill Half-Marathon as my way to do a quick fund-raiser for the DBA Foundation. I’ve put together a quick little video on the link below which helps explain our cause. Please take a few minutes to watch it.

Currently the DBAF is not set up to accept donations on-line so we are asking that you send us your check and we will mail them all at once to the foundation. The check can be made out to the Diamond Blackfan Anemia Foundation and mailed to our address:

7769 Rosehill Road
Lenexa, KS 66216

The DBAF will mail you a receipt of your donation for tax purposes. Thanks in advance for your support. It will make race day that much more inspirational. I can’t think of a better way to honor Amelia (just five days before her 4th birthday) than to run my 13.2 miles and know that I just helped raised money for a foundation committed to improving my daughter’s quality life and ultimately curing her of this disease!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Hare Scrambles Fun.

Christopher wanted to go riding his dirt bike this weekend, so we headed down to round #3 of the Forward Motion Hare Scrambles series on Sunday. I needed an easy day after yesterdays triathlon and looked forward to riding some new trails.

You know what I found out? Hare Scrambles are some very tough events. Especially in the muddy conditions that Sunday's race was held. Most of the course was o.k., but there were some parts of the course that got so bad that if you took the wrong line you were up to your seat. One poor rider was stuck until the sweepers came by at the end of the race and helped him out.

After we signed up, Christopher and I headed out on a practice lap to check out the course. We had a little over an hour before the race started so figured we had plenty of time. First part of the course was dry and we both were having fun. As we worked our way to the back part of the course things took a quick change for the worse. We were soon in conditions that reminded me of the Blackwater 100. I still can't believe Christopher's bike made it thru some of those sections. He did great, but close to the end of the lap his bike stopped shifting due to all the mud and a few crashes which bent the shift lever mechanism. After a minor repair we finally made it back and finished getting ready for the event.

I only have a CRF230F, which is just a entry level trail bike. Not designed to be racing any events for sure, so as I lined up for the start my mind set was just to have fun and finish. I came to recover from yesterday and have fun.

Hare Scrambles classes start in waves every minute with a dead engine start. There were at least 150+ riders lined and my class was near last. Good part of this was I didn't have to worry about someone passing me. The bad part was I had to sit there breathing in exhaust fumes for 15 minutes. When I came time for my class to start I kind of got a little worried. The last (and first) Hare Scrambles event I ever raced in was over 18 years ago and I broke the Tibia bone in my right leg and posted a DNF on the day. The plan was to just roll off the start and have a good time. I don't know what came over me, but when the starter turned the 30 second board sideways all worries were gone. Like I said before, my CRF230F is a dog with no power so I did the best I could to keep from getting run over heading to the first turn. But then I got this strange feeling and just never let off. I kept her pinned around the first 5 corners of the course and before I knew it I as in the lead "Checking Out".

I was really surprised how fast I was actually able to go, especially in the back muddy sections. While the top section actually became dusty by race end, the back woody section was a muddy mess for most of the day. I actually think my under powered bike helped me with traction has I was able to just motor past other riders who were spinning like crazy in the mud. During the race, course workers had to re-route the course due to deteriorating conditions. It was really comical seeing all those riders getting stuck for the first 2 hours of the race. Once oneself becomes stuck in the mud it is not so funny. On my 5th and final lap of the race I approached one of the more rutted out sections of the course. The main rut was getting really deep, so deep that it swallowed my poor little CRF up past the crank case. As I approached this section I knew that I might have to look for an alternate line because on the previous lap I was dragging my foot pegs. I made the first error of the day when I decided to just go for it and tried to blast my way past. Because of the electronic timing system that they used, I knew I was in 1st place but I didn't know by how much. It took me a good 5 minutes to work my way out. I used every muscle that I had (and some that I didn't, but later that night found out I did have) to drag that 250 pound mud drenched beast of a bike out.

In the end I won by a huge margin and did very well in the overall despite being on an underpowered dog of a motorcycle. I found out that I just can not show up to motorcycle race and just ride. I guess you can not take the racer out of an on motocross er'. This may have been my last Hare Scrambles. At least for awhile. I need to get back focused on preparing for the Ironman Kansas 70.3.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Fort Leavenworth Triathlon Race Report

Today's CGSC MWR Fort Leavenworth Triathlon was well attended. You get a good mix of newbies and veterans at this event. A lot of Military personnel participate in this event as well since it is in their backyard.

The event went very well for me. I felt good in all three disciplines. I was especially happy with my bike leg and felt very powerful during the entire ride. Swim was good considering it has been about 3 weeks since my last swim workout. My run time was not great, but my legs felt good and if my shoelace would not have broken (over tightened during my transition) I could have pushed in on the run.

Morning temps were in the 40's and very windy making for a very chilly triathlon season opener. Temp's did rise some, but it was still cold for May. Some racers, including myself, were having a hard time deciding what to wear. I wanted to wear my new team tri kit, but it was way to cold for that. I did wear it during the swim and decided on just putting on a long sleeve jersey and vest for the bike.

I was seeded 8th in the swim. I may have been a little generous with my estimated 2:30 swim time, but I would rather be caught on the swim than slowed down by slower swimmers. Swim was short at 200 yards, which is one of the reasons I always like this event. I decided to just use the swim as a warm-up and just focus on my swimming stroke and gliding. I actually caught one swimmer which kind of shocked me. I finished somewhere just under 3 min.

Getting out of that water and running outside into 40's temps was an eye opener. I was glad Carolynn was there to give me a towel and my jersey/vest. I had a very slow transition to the bike as I wrestled with putting on a long sleeve jersey on a wet body. Better a slow transition that be freezing on the bike. I was also happy that I decided to wear my aero helmet as it helps keeps the chill off the old noggin.

Once out on the bike I quickly got up to pace and felt very good. The 22.5 km course out on the Fort Leavenworth military base is very hilly. I settled into a good rhythm and was climbing well. On the top of the first climb I started to see some other riders. This gave me some motivation and I was soon past them. Once on the back part of the course you descend down a mile section of twisty road. I knew from my previous events here that while the road has several tight curves in it, you can still take them a full speed if you have the nerves. I was soon spun out in my 53x12 and quickly making up ground on the guy who started just ahead of me. At 6' 6" this guy swam like a fish, but that arm span of his didn't help him on the bike. Once past him I began my second lap. This time I had to be very careful because now the course was full of riders completing their first lap. Another strong lap kept me in 3rd overall.

The 3.1 km run is not my strongest discipline (or any distance for that matter), but my legs felt good so I was motivated to run hard. A somewhat quicker transition turned out for the worse has I pulled too tight on my right shoe lace causing it to break. I did the best I could running with a shoe that was about to fall off at any moment. I stopped a couple of times to see if I could try to re-lace it, but that was not working. I shorted my stride which helped me keep my shoe on. I almost took both my shoes off and run in my socks, but wisely decided against that. The roads out on the base are not in the best condition and I would have torn up the soles of my feet if I had. Still had a good run with only 3 runners passing me.

Results finally got posted. I ended doing better than I expected. I got 3rd place in the Male 40-44 division and 11th place overall. Not bad considering I lost about 3 minutes on the run.
For some pictures visit Roger's House of Photos.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What Do I Go From Here?

Where do I go from here?

I decided earlier this year to focus on longer distance events, but my results have been very poor. Most likely because of a heavy work load and over training. I still can not get it into my head that I am not 20 year old anymore. This old body takes a lot longer to recover from races/workouts.

After taking several days off after the Cohutta I was starting to feel a lot better and was actually looking for to the opening round of the Heartland series. Got up Sunday morning and luckily got online to check my email and weather. Luckily I went on the race site and found out that they had cancelled it.

New training plan? My friend Mark Studnicki gave me some sound training advice. I am going to follow it and hope to get back to my old self.

This weekend is the CGSC MWR Fort Leavenworth Triathlon. I have done this event several times. It is a fun, low cost triathlon held on the Fort Leavenworth military base. Very well organized, especially since Roger will be there setting up the course. I am looking forward to wearing my new Cow Town triathlon clothing. Some sweet stuff.

Where do I go from here? I think I am going to just focus on getting ready for the Ironman Kansas . I have plenty of base miles and just need to focus on quality training with plenty of recovery. Work at the Stowers Institute has been very hard as of late. My current heavy workload is going to make training a little harder, but I am going to try and be disciplined and just keep focused on doing what I can.