Sunday, May 20, 2007
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Saturday, May 19, 2007
One week after the Tour d’ pain and bad luck I should be flying. And I felt, mummmm, OK. My recovery ride on Wed. was nice and there wasn’t much other riding.
However I felt pretty rough on Thursday and Friday was worse. I chalked it up to simply work and after a nice 20 mile warm up ride I would be tearing the legs off of anyone who got in my way, Right? Wrong. Even worse Lindsay’s friend was in town and after the 10+ hour drive home after the 105 mile breakaway in stage 5 and working 3, 10 hour days it was a perfect weekend Not to race. But… with 100 dollar prims every other lap, the opportunity for my “good legs” to get a result and the team looking for my support I had to go.
It was the worst decision I have made since moving to boulder.
I was miserable. And I beat my self up over it the rest of the day and my legs, which by now would be feeling great after a weekend of no racing and another recovery ride are still not 100%.
Sometimes it can be hard to know just who to listen to, your heart, head or body. And sooner or later you will listen to the wrong one or with all the yelling you won’t hear any of them. The only thing one can do is learn from there mistakes. So here is one of mine so you don’t have to make the same one.
We all need balance in our lives. A good friend of mine used to tell me that all the time. “dude balance, you gota have balance” I always agreed with him but never practiced it as much as him. It really is the key. Even if you’re a pro. You gota have balance dudes and dudets, you gota…
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Pic of me in the TT day 1.
The long, hot, Heavy Roads of southern New Mexico.
The last day of the Gila is a killer road race. featuring 102 miles of wind and 9000 feet of climbing. The last 15 miles are brutal. featuring a nasty climb of 8 miles or so that plateaus, rolls, false flats and pretty much goes on forever on twisty narrow, wooded terrain. I was pretty motivated to make something happen today. the early break had made it every day so far this race. would today be the same? or would today be the day that everyone came out to race? the course is long and heavy with loads of climbing and a very hard finishing 15 miles. A perfect course for me. I was tired and timid in the early morning cold. but as soon as the race started I wanted blood. I wanted to make everyone pay for my flat the other day. attacking a few times in the early miles trying to get across to a break that was just up the road lead to a fast 6 miles. that break came back and we turned onto the first climb of the day. I launched. after a minute the pack was single file on my wheel. I shifted up again and pushed more. snap! they gave up on my pace, for now, and I was off. I pushed real hard for 2 minutes and then notched it back to a more reasonably pace. As the climb went on my solo break grew to 6 or so, a nice break away number and our gap on the pack grew even more. we smoked down the first decent. "smoked" stands for 50+ mph, sitting on the top tube rotating by the sling shot draft effect you have at those speeds. On to the big climb of the day up to Emery pass. a long grinding beast of a climb, things started to go… not our way. We were told that pack had taken a wrong turn and we were to be naturalized until the pack got back to where they were before they tock the detour. 1:30’ what! 1:30 minutes?! I sad we had 4+ at the top of the first climb?!?! And you don’t take back 3+ minutes on a 50+ mph straight decent. but what ever… so they slowed us down. We tinkled and got on with it. This slow down, I believe, caused us to go to hard in the last 4 miles or so of the climb. In doing so we dropped half of the break. Having only 4 of us and then 3 after the long windy false flats going over the continental divide the pack was firing on all cylinders . our almost 4’ lead went down to 1:45. Then 3 new riders bridged that gap. If we had kept all 6 of us. We would have been able to push that gap out to 6+ minutes and it would have been easier.
The finishing climbs were upon us. I hung tough for a while. Sticking with the new, fresher riders. But then I just couldn’t hold them after some alone time the lead group of riders from the peloton came up, race leader and 9 others in tow. I hung with them long enough to think I would make it over the hump and onto the decent before the shorter finishing cat 4 climb. hanging onto this group would be good, the other lead group was just up the road and we would all surly come together. I could feel my back and right IT band tightening. I should have stretched more last night… I put it out of my mind I buried myself to stay with the leaders. Then an attack I couldn’t respond. 80+ miles in the wind at the front of the race had taken any snap I may have had out of my legs. Losing the draft I slowed. Loosing hope I slowed more, having my lower back tighten more slowed me, yes, even more. I kept on with it and some smaller groups passed me. Every time I was caught by someone it was on a small rise and they just went by. Not even a chance for me to get on. I felt like the Gila was just watching a laughing at my attempt to take him by the tail or what ever they have? A long gradual decent had me going slow into a head wind and thinking how fast one could go in a group, even a small one.
The last section kicked up and a some kids and parents camped out on the side of the road watching the wreckage of the day come by gave me the biggest applause of the week. It reminded me of why I do this to begin with. I finished strong but not strong enough. Today I could have played things safe. Finished well on the day and been in the top 20 or better over all. Taking home some money and upgrade points. But I figured I would rather go for it than play it safe. I would rather have loved and lost then never loved at all, Its easy to not make the hard decisions and “go with the flow” but what great people do you know did that?
Monday, May 07, 2007
Sunday, May 06, 2007
hammering along we knew now that the break would make it but I was feeling good and thought that after a hard stage the long gradual uphill drag to the finish would suit me. BAMB! flat. and it was me.
after a not so smooth change I was drafting the wheel truck at 52 mph. back to the caravan but with 90+ cat 2 riders now smelling the finish line I just couldn’t close the finial meters. in the end I got the same time. but a missed opportunity for sure. a very nice course today, however and a very very hard day.
Friday, May 04, 2007
As we hit the climb my legs felt heavy but I stayed with the front group as we hit the lat 3 miles that kick up something fierce on a horrible road I felt good. I stayed in the top 10 but soon a group of 4 or so drifted away. I slipped back then passed people. As I approached the last mile or so I realized I was just not on a special day. which is to bad because I feel I would have done very well, but… what could have been right…
maybe it was the driving, maybe it was the heat and maybe i didn't hydrate enough? but I'm not one to make excuses, somthing you feel like a nut... sometimes you don't... tomorrow is anew day, you never know.
I finished 23rd in th eend with the break making it. The race leader lost big time today. Finishing way down. I think its wired that someone can go so fast and so good in a TT as hard as ours was and crack that bad in a race like today. It happens I guess this is bike racing. This really is bike racing at its best.
Back home, breakfast # 2. the big one. TT bars make sure bike in all set, etc… get drinks ready and finally drive down to the start. Now we persevered the course to one see the course the hills and the win . the wind here will be the key factor. With a 4 miles down hill to the finish you need to nail your excretion level. If it’s a tail in the final you can empty the tank early if it’s a head wind you will need to save more gas. Our ride proved useful as the head coming back the last 6 miles was stiff. We will need to save something. However upon warming up the win d had shifted to a cross wind. This would make the way out AND the way back tough going, Ok recalibrate, or do I? some times, well, all the time in bike racing and triathlon we need to be prepared to re-think, re-calibrate and changes plans in real time.
.The Start. My warm up was solid and I was supper motivated. The wind now seemed to be coming head on? What! At 6000 feet+ the wind sudden rain storms and umm the wind is every changing and very unpredictable. I looks for signs of wind direction and tried to worry about the fact my 30” man had now caught me. He was on my “watch list” then I saw it a truck driving down the climb with a flag on it. The flag was not blowing in the wind! TAIL wind! I thought and all I could do was hope it stayed that way. I started to push a bit more and played at bit of shoulder to shoulder with my 30” man. Approaching the half way mark I led him and passed to people, through the turn, he came by me and we passed more riders. No drafting being had here. Officials every where and I’m just not a cheater.
Up the steep climb I dropped him as the wind ripped me apart for the side. “Come on wind, just a little lulled for me on the last 4 miles down to the finish.
There was, or just enough. I hammered the 53-11. a few times I got over 42 mph or so I tucked and sat on my top tube. Until I slowed to 40 back in the saddle, everything I had. With 500m to go my 30” man was back getting his disk going he had got back up to me but I was to proud to let him cross the line ahead of me. I gave it everything. He still beat me but… its just principle…
In the end I came in 22nd not as well as I had hoped but this is the big one for cat 2’s and it seems everyone has come to play.