Saturday, July 26, 2008

Crossroads Triathlon

This event kind of snuck up on me. Last week I had decided to take a little break from racing and get back to 100% before cyclocross season. On Wednesday I got an email reminder from that I had signed up for the Crossroads Triathlon several months ago. Should I still do it?

Wednesday the family went mountain biking at the Humpday North ride up at Smithville Lake MTB Trails. I decided that I would do a brick workout after the ride. If I felt fine I would race. The Crossroads event also has a pool swim which is really nice for me. Decision was made to race...

4:00 a.m. came early, especially after you spend 4 hours after work all day building custom cabinets in 90+ degree heat. But when your brother in-law brings you some new cabinets that were not able to be used in a new build job you just can't say no.

To Carolynn's and my surprise this 2nd year event drew 147 racers. A nice lady told us about this event at the Hospital Hill Run. Carolynn was also planning on making this her Triathlon debut, but chickened out. After seeing all the happy faces at the finish I think she will do it next year for sure.

As I lined up to start the swim I saw some fast guys ahead of me. Guy's like Tristan Collins, winner of the CGSC Leavenworth Triathlon and short course specialist Doctor Allyn Smith. I was seeded 12th in the swim (based on estimated swim times). I haven't been swimming much since the 1/2 Ironman back in June, but with only 200 meters I did not expect any problems. 3 mins, 11 seconds after the start I was out of the pool and quickly headed to my favorite leg.

I really wanted to see if I could catch Allyn since he was seeded 11th and started 15 seconds ahead. I felt good on the bike and at the half-way point was dead even with Allyn. This is actually an accomplishment since he has won several overall's at local triathlons over the past couple of years. Return trip I started get that old lactate buildup and slowed down some in hopes that I would have a good run. At the end of the bike I was in 3rd place overall with only Tristan and Allyn in front.

Run, as always, was my down fall. One day I will be able to get off my bike and run with the big boys, but today was not that day. I said to myself before the race that this was "just a training race" and that I was not going to push my limits. I kept an o.k. tempo and was only passed by a Bike Shack guy. He also got by me on the run at the Leavenworth triathlon. I will have to make a mental picture of this to give me motivation when I finally start doing those intervals...

Ended up finishing the 200 meter swim, 8 mile bike and 2.1 mile run in 42 minutes. This was good enough for 2nd place in the Male 40-44 division and close to top 5 overall. We will have to see once the final results are posted. I guess getting close to top 5 is not bad out of 147 racers. That makes 2 podium finishes (3rd place at Leavenworth) out of 3 triathlons this year.

Friday, July 25, 2008

De Stad Cyclocross Van Kansas Coming Soon....

Things are coming along well for this years cyclocross season. Updated Series poster below:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bikes and Blues Festival

My friend Roger Harrison sent over the flyer for the upcoming Bikes and Blues Festival up in St. Joseph, Missouri. Carolynn are are planning on racing the Team Time Trial on our tandem. Looks like a fun event to start of the Tour of Missouri week.

Flyer below:

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Knowing When to Stop

I was all pumped to race this weekends Shawnee Mission 3/6 Hour with Tige Lamb. We were going to race the 6 hour Duo open class. After Wednesday's training ride out at Shawnee Mission I felt good, but the next day not so good.....

The past couple of weeks I have been getting symptoms of my Colitis coming back. I have been off medication for about 6 months and everything has been o.k., but I think I may have again done to much. With work, classes, getting ready for this years De Stad series, training, racing and a very long "honey do" list I have done what I always seem to do. Go too far and put my health at risk.

This morning I decided that if I had any blood that I would not race. Well, I had plenty and decided to call Tige and let him know that I was not going to race and it was time for me to take a break for racing. Especially in this heat. Tige was cool about it and decided to race the 3 hour solo class.

Carolynn & I went out to the race to hand out flyers for the upcoming De Stad Cyclocross Van Kansas Series and hang out with the members of Cow Town Cycling. We took some pictures on the first lap and then it was time for me to go has I was getting a little sick to my stomach and feeling very weak.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Spazz-Ma-Tazz Race Report

Today was a new event for the Midwest Fat Tire Series. The Smithville Spazz-Ma-Tazz took over for the old Lunatic Fringe MTB race. I had not planned to do this event, but since it is my home course and the trails up at Smithville are so much fun I decided to race. Question was should I race Expert or Marathon. Since I was not in the points for the series, I decided to race Marathon and see how my legs would hold up to ~44 miles.

There was a good turnout for the Marathon class with riders like points leader Nate Means, Joshua Stamper and Brendon Jenks and Lyle Riedy of 360 Racing to name a few. My goal was a top 3, but I thought deep down that if I had a good day I could win. Since it had rained about 7/10th of an inch yesterday, the trails were a little slimy in places. Overall they were in great shape as these trails drain very well due to excellent design and maintenance. I decided to go for the start and try and open up a good lead and hope that my body stayed together. I know these trails very well and on my Thursday training ride, I was flying .... posting sub 50 min laps.

I got the start I wanted and me and another rider opened up a small gap on the field. About 5 miles into the lap we crossed a small creek that had a little rock bridge in it. Well that rock bridge was slick as owl shit and I went down hard. Nothing but my ego was hurt (update: dented/cracked helmet), but I did lose about 30 seconds. I was soon chasing hard and passed back into the lead. I set it on cruise control until Nate Means bridged up to me. He got by on a hilly part of the course and led for a few miles. Once we got back to the rocky stuff I got back by Nate and lead a few more miles. I could not match Nate's pace on the hills and he soon opened a small 20 second gap on me. At the end of the first lap we were only separated by about 10 seconds.

I was feeling the effects from the heat today and soon settled into a pace that I knew I could hold for 2 to 3 more hours. I knew we would end up doing 4 laps and I wanted to try and save something for the last one. I kept 2nd place until about 1/2 way into the 3rd lap. At the time, Brendon Jenks had caught up to me and we traded places a couple of times. He would lead on the hilly and single track sections. I would lead on the technical rocky sections. Brendon stopped after a muddy creek crossing to make a quick bike repair (still don't know what was wrong with his bike) and I never saw him again.

During the race, John, Ben, Kyle and a few other Smithville regulars kept given me time gaps on how far Nate was ahead. He was just up there about a minute, but I just could not bridge up to him. Every time I tried to push it I would start to get leg cramps which lead to making little mistakes like running into trees which is not a good thing. I kind of feel bad that I let the old Smithville crew down for not bringing home the win.

I ended up taking 2nd place in the Marathon class in 3 hours 57 min. Only 3 min behind Nate. After a few hours to "digest" what could I have done differently to be 3 min faster, I decided nothing. I rode has hard has I could for my present fitness level. Nate has been doing very well this year and has basically won every Marathon class he entered in both the Fat Tire and St. Louis NORBA series. I actually feel good that I was able to stay as close to him as I did.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Firecracker 50 Race Report

What a humbling experience. 50 miles at high altitude (9,600 to nearly 11,500 feet) can quickly bring a Florida boy to his knees.

Course was much harder than I thought. Yes the altitude caused me a lot of problems, but some of the downhills were downright fearful. I seriously underestimated how tough this even would be. Basically the Firecracker 50 kicked my butt and I am happy to have finished.

The event started at a late time of 11:00 a.m. I kind of wished it had started earlier because contrary to what I had thought, it is darn hot in Breckenridge. The start of the race was also part of the local Fourth of July Parade. We got to ride down Main Street with hundreds of spectators cheering for us. It was really fun given the little kids high-five's has we passed by. Actually almost ate it when one of the kids grabbed my hand. Once we were out of town the suffering began as we climbed Boreas Pass Road for the first of our two 25- mile loops that will have us climb a total of 10,800 feet on a combination of back country single track and narrow-gauge railroad grade road.

I stayed with the lead group until the steep switch backs. At that time my heart rate was only around 170 bpm, but I could not breath. There was nothing I could do but ease off the pace and slowly watch everyone climb away from me. Within a few minutes, the Pro Women were passing me. I also got to see them climb away from, but the view was much more enjoyable....

Results are in. Congrats to Cam KirkPatrick who got on the podium in our division (Male 40-49). He has been traveling around to big races and his fitness showed today. Another Midwest rider that finished was Larry Kintner. I raced against him several times up in the Nebraska during cyclo-cross season.

Eric ended up not finishing the event. After 1 lap of riding a single speed ridged he decided to call it a day. I honestly don't know how any of the guys out their on single speed ridged bikes even made it through some of that rocky terrain. Ben did not have a good day either and posted a DNF. A broken fork brought an end to his day.

Ben, Eric and I are heading out to ride the Colorado Trail today for a "recovery ride". Great, more high altitude riding :-)

Here are some pictures of the weekend:

Colorado Trip

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Welcome Back Christopher!

Christopher returned yesterday from a month long trip to Florida. Carolynn was very happy to have her little boy home.....Christopher sure has grown a lot during his visit. He is nearly as tall as his mom....Welcome Back Son!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

John Tomac's Son Eli

Remember John Tomac? Well I remember him well. He was one of the riders I always looked up to back in the late 80's when I was just "thinking" about racing mountain bikes.

Anyway, John is doing well and so is his son Eli. Eli is one bad ass on a motorcycle and is currently one of the top young kids in the mini ranks.