Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kansas State MTB Championships

Sean and I headed over to the Crocodile Rock MTB race today. This years event held on those sweet Perry Lake trails doubled as the Kansas State Mountain Bike championships. Lyle had a very fast 6 mile loop laided out for us. Trail conditions were very good despite some rain on Saturday - only a slick sections in the rocks.

This past week I started getting some abdominal pains with some stomach bloating and a small amount of bleeding. I am thinking my Colitis was coming back. I thought about just heading out to the race and take pictures/hike the trails, but really did not feel that bad by the time Sean showed up so I went ahead and loaded up my bike. I like the Perry trails and wanted to get some saddle time in and support the local MTB events.

The approaching storm clouds only brought some relief from the heat. I was not really looking forward to 4 laps in 90+ degree heat. My recent "gut" problems only affirmed my decision to abide by Carolynn's wishes and stop racing at the first sign of trouble.

A good start for me as I followed Omaha's Ryan Feagan into the single track. My teammate Damian was in 3rd behind me and I quickly let him by so he would have the best chance at Kansas State championship in the Men's Cat 1 40 - 49 division. Damian would go on the not only win the state title but took 2nd overall behind Ryan on the day. Less than a mile into the event and I was not really feeling good and I did feel confident going fast in the corners due to my shoulder. I backed off the pace and soon just about the entire Cat 1 field was by me. I stayed close for the entire first lap and even caught back up on the slick rocky sections. I came in just behind the eventual 2nd place finisher and financial coach Brendan Jenks just ahead. On the second lap my gut was really starting to hurt so I backed her down even more and put it on cruise control. By the third lap I had to stop several time to let the pain and bloating subside. I figured I would just wait to get lapped and finish. Turns out according to HSP you do not finish on the leaders lap and they put me down for a DNF :-)

I plan to take a month off from racing and of course pay my doctor a visit. This has been one hell of a year for injuries and set backs. It is hard to keep motivated in times like these. Hopefully some tome off to finish up healing will help.

Congratulation to Damian Almanza and Tim Greene (Marathon) for bringing home 2011 Kansas State Mountain Bikes Championships to the out Cow Town family.

Some pictures from the days activities including the longest awards ceremony ever...

Kansas State MTB Championships

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Frisco Runaway Triathlon v3

My first triathlon of the year was today - the 3rd Annual Frisco Runaway Triathlon. Last year I really enjoyed the event and decided that I would again use the event as the start of my triathlon season. It has been a long road trying to get back into form after my shoulder surgery and this would be a good test for me.

After a rough day at work I decided that I would just drive down to Willard, MO (2 hour 40 min drive) in the morning. My legs felt like crap and I really did not want to waste the $$$ on a room and have a crappy showing. Recent results have not given me much confidence.

I awoke @ 3:30 am to pouring rain in KC and a sore back. I almost turned off the alarm and went back to bed, but my legs felt kind of good. On the road by 4:00 am and hoping I made it to the event in time. Luckily I was going solo because if Carolynn coming with me we would have never had made it due to all the bathroom breaks. I arrived about 5 min before the transition closed and all but one spot was taken. I did not get a good transition spot, but at least I got one.

Race began with a 300 yard pool swim. This year lap lanes were added which greatly improved the event. I still remember last years spectacle. I have been swimming some and gaining a lot of flexibility in my shoulder. We were asked to position ourselves based on our estimated time. I thought I could do it in 5:30 with my current fitness and lined up accordingly. My pace was no where near last years 4:38 time, but I almost reached my goal time - one second off. A 5:31 swim time was good enough for 11th overall and also allowed me to keep my heart rate down and to focus on a quick transition. A much better transition this year as I was in/out in 38 seconds. It pays to practice :-) A very tough 12 mile bike leg was up next. I actually like most of the course outside of Willard except for two nasty climbs. I settled into TT position and steadily worked my way toward the front of the field. The goal was to pace myself and not go into the red to much and allow for a good run leg. My legs felt good on the first half of the bike course and I really excelled on the downhills. My rig was rolling very well. I tried a higher pressure (130 psi) in the Kenda Volare tubular tires. Damn that thing rolled well. That was until the the return trip back and that first climb. I soon found myself being passed by several of the guys that I had just gotten by and wishing that i had a larger gear than a 23 (a 27 would have been nice). About midway up the climb I say the hell with this and decided to just give it everything I had. After the past two weeks I really needed a good results and if suffering was needed so be it. Once I got the the top of the climb another nice fast downhill awaited. I really powered down that hill and got by and left all the guys behind me. I could see the lead police car up ahead so I knew I was toward the front of the pack. This mad the suffering a little more tolerable (but not much..) as I tried to bridge up to the leader. The final mile I decided to take it a little easy and spin some to remove all the lactic acid in my legs. Ended up with a 33 min time/21.5 mph average. Good enough for the 2nd fastest bike split of the day and 1 min faster than last years time.

Another good transition in the 30 second range and I was off for a 5 K run down the Frisco Highline Trial . First mile was very good for me. I settled in behind a younger triathlete and felt like I was running well. I was in the top 5 overall and if I had a good run could stay there. I always aim for top 10% overall in a triathlon and of course a podium position in my age-group. Both was in sight. The run felt a little to easy and I soon realized why - heavy objects travel fast downhill. We hit the 1.5 mile marker and turned around and headed back all up hill. Not a steep hill, but just enough to drag you down. My nice 95 rpm leg turnover was reduced to a 75 rpm. A heavy weight settled in and I really struggled. A few guys got by me but I just kept focusing on my run and tried not to let it get me down. Not that this helped much with my run split. A poor 24 min run split (2 min slower than last year) was the end result. However, a solid swim, good transitions and a strong bike earned me 1st place in the Male 45 - 49 division in a time of 1:04:34.
Looks like I have a lot of work to do in the run. Reducing my weight by about 10 lbs (which is my goal) will definitely help. Track work will also. I need to find a local club that has track workouts that I can join. The run has always be my downfall in triathlon and it is about time I focus on it. Overall I am happy to finally be on top of the box again. Hopefully I can get back up on the top step a few more time this year.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kansas City Cup Race Report

Sunday was the Kansas City Cup and a return to racing at Landahl. It has been several years since we raced there and I do miss it. A great trail system with a little bit of everything. I hope the event raised enough money and sparked a continued desire to have move races out there. Hopefully by the next event I will be able to actually ride at my ability level...

Riding like a little girl... The past weeks training went well. I felt good on the mountain bike and my shoulder is getting strong enough that I can even ride technical sections without too much pain - still some but not bad. After Thursday's pre-ride of the course with Rich I was pumped about racing the KC Cup on one of my favorite trail systems.....then mother nature sheds a few tears and turns our once perfect course into a slick little bastard. Usually I ride well on wet courses, but not the slick rocks of Rim Job. I was hoping by race time the course would dry out and most of it did. Rim Job did not and this was my undoing.....Doug Long called us to the line and I was surprised to get on the front row with my teammate Damian. Damian and I had just got back from pre-riding parts of the course and I felt good so I stayed there not really knowing if I had the form to keep up with the front runners. The question was answered very quickly as the horn was blown. The race was on and I sprinted along with everyone else to the first section of single track. Only my current sprinting pace is not at an "Expert" level. I quickly fell towards the rear but still kept the effort high enough to keep attached to the last rider. The experts were going 3 laps and my plan was to run consistent lap times and hopefully end the day well. Most everyone else did not have the same plan as I and soon there was a gap and a pack of riders behind me. After several minutes one of the riders yelled out "can we get by Cow Town?" No problem was my answer and soon a small group of riders including eventual overall winner Aaron Elwell went flying by. I settled down into my pace and even passed back several riders. In reality I was not riding that bad and as we exited Wills and heading up the double track I could see a dozen riders that I was hoping to catch up once we hit Rim Job. I usually fare very well there and was optimistic. That was until I hit that first slick ass rock on Rim Job and about busted my butt. I quickly have visions of another shoulder surgery if I was to crash. This caused me to ride really tight. My teammate Ashley Blum, who would go on to win his age division and the Missouri State Championship title, caught up to me at the end of Rim Job and said I was "riding like a little girl" and to relax. Let if flow he said has he went by on the way to victory. As for me, I continued to ride like that little girl and finished the day safely. Better to arrive safely and live to fight anther day.

Everyone likes to be in pictures....Carolynn took some pictures of the days action. Here finger was still hurting so she only took a limited amount.

KC Cup

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sedalia Spring into Summer Duathlon

Carolynn I headed over to Sedalia for the Sedalia Spring into Summer Duathlon again this year. Last year we both had a good time. I won the Short Course division in the duathlon and Carolynn had a great ride on the Katy Trial. This year not so much....

You crashed on what?.... Carolynn was thinking about doing the short course this year, but decided that she did not want to experience any pain today (lack of run training) and would just take some pictures and enjoy a nice ride on the Katy. The race begins with a 2 mile run out of Cloverdell Park, goes down 1 mile and then returns via the Katy Trail to the East end of the park. Carolynn proceeds to head down to where the runners will be entering the park. There is this really smooth grass road that is part of the course. She heads down there, but does not get there early enough and the front runners have already passed. I am next and come running by and she missing taking a picture of me. She decided to get on her bike and catch me before I enter the transition area. Somehow she manages to find the only rough section of the grass trail and ends up loosing the front end and getting thrown off the bike. Bike was all twisted up but not as bad as Carolynn's arm and hand. One of her fingers appeared to be dislocated - it is just hanging down. When finished the race I did not really know what to do with a dislocation other than pull it really hard and hope it goes back in. Apparently this worked.

Update on the finger/shoulder: Carolynn poor little finger is still not straight. Bruised and swollen. Shoulder is killer her. I sure hope she did not tear anything like I did. Maybe it is time for the Locke's to retire?

Not ready to race just yet....As for me my day did not go so well either. My training had been going good, so good that I actually had the goal of winning the Masters 40+ Overall award. But race days can bring you many things including a pair of dead legs....First 2 mile run started off o.k. as I wanted to pace myself, but not at a pathetic 7:30 min mile pace. I could not believe the splits times that they were calling out. No wonder the leaders looked like they were a mile ahead - they where. I had good transition and was looking forward to a fast bike leg and gaining some ground. First 5 miles or so when good. I caught a dozen or so riders and was making up time fast. My new Speed Weapon was rolling good. (I loved the Kenda Tubular tires by the way). Then we hit some rollers and I just had no power. I actually had to get down in the small chain ring to keep my cadence up. The next 4 miles were really rough. Some of the guys that I had passed got back by me. I kept telling myself not the let heat get to you and push it more. This helped and I picked up the pass on the finishing stretch and was rolling along quickly with the aid of a tail wind. I finished the 12 mile bike strong and by a later calculation was in 1st in my age-group. The final 2 mile leg turned out to be my undoing. I guess I drank to much on the bike because when I tried to run all that water just sloshed around in my stomach. This happens to me a lot when it is hot out. I kept trying to will my legs to turn over quickly, but they would not respond. I got passed by 3 people on the run. All of them were in my age-group :-(.....turns out I still have a lot of work to do before I can expect good results.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Speed Weapon

Speed is the name of the game and here is my new weapon of choice for Tri's/Du's and TT's.

Well, mostly updated than new... I will again use my Orbea Aletta frame. I added a Ritchey Logic seat post with a normal set back this year. I liked the 76 degree seat angle of the Orbea last year, but when I resumed training this year I felt "out of sorts" on the bike and my TT position was causing pain in my shoulder. After many adjustments I found I felt more balanced and comfortable when I positioned my saddle more to the rear. This took a lot of weight off my shoulder and as a added bonus I climbed a lot better. So far the more relaxed geometry did not deter a good run - at least during my recent brick workouts.

One obvious new addition is a set of Williams 58 carbon tubular wheels. I was very afraid of going back to sew-ups (disclaimer: only road sew-ups for one year about 15 years ago). But Dave offered this wheel set as a trade and I decided I could not go wrong. I will not go into details due to time constraints , but after my experience with gluing on a new set of tires this will be my last set of tubulars. That is unless the "ride" is that much better like some say. Hopefully my new Kenda Volare perform as expected.

The final addition is a new Rudy Project Syton TT helmet. It is their older design TT helmet, but the price was right and I liked the way if fit more.

First test of my new speed weapons will be this weekend at the Sedalia Spring Into Summer Duathlon. Wish me luck.