Saturday, May 06, 2006

06 May 2006 - Gut Wrenching Night

Well, this race may be a bit interesting. At about 8PM last night my gut got all weird. It felt like the stomach flu. I was up about every 2 hours all night feeling like I needed to throw-up or run to the throne. I'm feeling a little better now, but still have an achey feeling in the midsection. We're finishing up packing now, and as soon as Thane wakes up and has breakfast we should be on the road. I'm hoping to get a campsite on the trail to make it easy for Julz.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

04 May 2006 - Loosen-up!

Tonight I planned to take a short ride to loosen-up as last night was not possible. Upon returning home from Julie's office banquet I had developed my own "natural gas"! It was horrible! Needless to say, after just 10 minutes on the rollers, at about 9:45PM, I had to pull a cyclocross maneuver and jump from the bike to make a run to the throne! Yah, the food was that bad! What was worse was that a co-worker kindly warned me about the food before hand, but I didn't listen and went with an empty stomach. So, after work tonight I set out to loosen-up the legs to prep for this weekend's 12hr. Julie is still undecided as to if she will go. Well, after fixing my front deraileur cable I remembered that there is a group that rides on Tues/Thurs from a place just 10mins away starting at 6PM. Getting home early I was able to get there in time for the start. At first I was just planning to sit-in as the legs were feeling iffy and I didn't want to push it. After the first few miles they began to feel good, and by the first big climb I realized they were great. Sitting in an easy cadence of about 80-100rpm I was able to ride along the front of the pack. Before others began pealing off the back they said we'd re-group in the valley on the west side of North Mountain. Cresting the top I figured I'd stretch the legs on the downhill pushing into the wind to a speed of 48.6mph. I've hit 56mph in the past without a headwind. Re-grouping we headed north the Boyd's Gap to climb back over North Mountain. I quickly found myself spinning away from the group opening a huge gap, enough to take a nature break and still reach the top about a minute ahead of the next rider. Again I stretched the legs on the downhill, this time hitting 49.8mph. This road was a bit bumpy and curvy, and having flat resistant tires (hard compound) at a high pressure I didn't think it would be wise to push any harder than I was for fear of a crash. In all my legs are feeling great and I have a good deal of confidence after this "easy" ride of 35+ miles at an avg pace of 18mph and 2,200 vertical feet of climbing. (Below is a clip of the printout for the ride.)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

03 May 2006 - "Back" in 1 piece, well almost...

Last night I was able to get into see my new chiropractic doctor for some physical therapy (using electro-stimulation and ultrasound) and a re-alignment. Boy do I miss the tuned-touch of Davis (Dr. Brockenshire)! Dr. Curry nearly twisted my neck off trying to get it re-aligned. He was only 90% successful as the 4th vertebrae is still slightly out. He chose to stop so as not to hurt me any further. Everything else moved fairly easy for him and I was feeling like new as I left. I haven't been on the bike since the race! I need to get back on the saddle soon, but I may have to resort to the rollers tonight since I have an important dinner to attend for Julie's work. We'll be having a formal dinner at the Wayside Inn ( It is the oldest functioning B&B and Restaurant in the country (I think), and has been showcased on the History channel and others due to its claims of being haunted by Civil War beings. I suggested to her that we stay the night! I did manage to get the Scalpel cleaned last night after taking a couple mile walk with Julie, Thane, and the dogs. Then I hit the sack, as I was very tired due to the weekend's race and the day's adjustment. This morning my neck is slightly stiff and aches if I cough, but it feels OK. Thane was pretty upset when I left him at daycare so I checked-in on him on the webcam and he seems to be just fine now. My uncle Edward will be picking him up tonight as we will be getting home late. This Friday the town of Winchester all but shuts-down due to the Apple Blossom Festival. Apparently it has the 3rd and 4th largest parades in the country! My office is closed, but Julie has to work. I will probably check it out with Thane, and my uncle may join us. Well, that's it for now. I'll hopefully post again before the race, but if not I will soon after with good results!

Monday, May 01, 2006

01 May 2006 - Lost Vertebrae in Maryland!

Well, it's been a while since my 1st post. I'll have to do better. Things have been very busy! We purchased our "dream home" house plans at a price of nearly $1K, to later have the builder call us at the 25th hour to say they were withdrawing...WHAT THE HECK?! So, with tempers flaring Julie and I desperately began the search again from ground zero. We looked high and low for land or a current house on the market. We ended up signing with another semi-custom home builder (Dan Ryan Homes). Our new home will now be in Bunker Hill, WV. On the racing side...A good friend, Mike Simonson, came down for a local AMBC event in Boonsboro, MD, just 20 mins from our apartment. Him and his wife arrived Saturday afternoon for yesterday's race at the Greenbriar State Park. Mike is on his way to receiving his Pro license, as he is racking up the wins in the Semi-Pro class, and actually took 4th overall this weekend. Well, he talked me into participating in the race. Honestly I was not planning to race until the morning of. I had pre-ridden the course once the week before, then again with Mike on Saturday. I felt this would be too close to my 1st 12hr which is this weekend. The course was brutal! It is a 5.5 mile course with 760 ft of climbing for 1 lap. I had to complete 3 laps. Investigations during registration was showing that others were running bigger gears. I thought I might even need to go 1 smaller! 3 climbs on the course with the 2nd being un-rideable on the SS. Yup, for those who didn't know, I am riding all Single Speed again this year, but this time in Endurance. It's been over a year since my last standard XC race and immediately 2 miles in I was again questioning my entry into the race. Again I was wondering how long I would last at this fast pace with my heart rate pegged nearly at Max! Yes, my max HR is 203 and I averaged 170 for the race and was as high as 199! I know where this was, it was the 2nd lap as I dismounted my bike to climb the 2nd half of the 2nd hill (very loose rocky steep grade). As I glanced back there were 2 riders gaining from the rear and I had just caught another ahead of me. I thought I was sitting 5th, and the pay was to the top 5! I immediately took my walk to a run, almost carrying the bike over the rocks while trying not to twist an ankle. Getting to the top I jumped on the bike and began cranking. I passed the rider in-front and dropped him. My next glance showed me a great effort rewarded as no one was behind me. I continued bomming the downhills making some extreme passes. One got a few yells from a geared rider who started 4 waves ahead of the SS class. It was a muddy section at the bottom of a downhill where I kept almost all my speed. I caught the rider very fast and yelled "LEFT!" As I did so there was a tree across the trail which I cleared without pause or worry, but the rider went bezerk yelling at me. My thought is I was able and he must yield to the faster leading riders. I kept pushing and found myself crying for the finish line on the 3rd and final lap. Crossing the line thinking 4th, they announced 3rd! The Scalpel rode great and soaked up the huge rocks and jumps better than any. I feel this gave me an advantage over most of the field as they were either with only front suspension or fully rigid. The trail is so rocky it will knock your glasses right off your face! So, now I sit at lunch at work wishing my doctors appointment was today, but instead I have to wait until tomorrow! Julie has been a great help, rubbing muscle cream into my upper back and neck as I think I left some vertebrae on the trail! My next race is the one I've been training for. 12 Hours of Lodi Farms is this Sunday. Start time is 12AM with a finish time of 12PM. Yup, starting in the dark!!! This should give me an advantage, as I have yet to be out-ridden in the dark! I'm hoping to get my 2nd win in a 12hr leading into the 24hr schedule in a few weeks. I'll be ready with 2 bikes, the Scalpel and the Optimo. Below are some photos from race day: