Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jingle Cross

X and i drove out to Iowa City a few weeks ago to race at Jinglecross. It was awesome.

Neither of us had vacation days available so we couldnt get there till around 11pm on Friday, meaning I raced only Saturday and Sunday. X was just there to spectate.

I knew i was out of shape and as this was my first big cat 2 race I would be happy with just finishing. I finished both days. I was happy.

Saturday re-cap:

The weather was great all weekend. My races were at 12:10 both days and it was short sleeve and no glove weather. We arrived on site with plenty of time and parked besides Sam W and Casey B. Sam showed me a short little singletrack loop in the woods and after a few laps of that it was off for a pre lap. The course was fun. One huge up-hill (easy to ride but hard to ride fast, it went on forever) and one huge down-hill (somewhat hard to ride but way easier than years past) were the main features, plus the lincoln logs and one set of barriers. There was a sand section but it was easy sand.

There were about 40 of us and i started in the third of four rows. My plan was to race conservative and as soon as they blew the whistle i did just that. Partly because i was a little uneasy on the gravely surface of the starting strait but mostly because i didnt have the fitness. Within 5 seconds i knew i was way slower than almost everyone else. Sam W started behing me but came shooting by before we even got off the starting strait. My conservative plan was already in full effect.

There arnt many exciting details. By the start of lap two i was close to last, by a lot, and the 3's (who started 30 seconds after us) were coming up fast. Pretty soon i was getting passed left and right. That was slightly annoying and got so bad that for a second i thougth i was a 3. A guy passed me with a 300 series number and i thougth, "ohh, he's in my race, stay on his wheel". Two seconds later i snapped out of it.

With two laps to go i started telling myself i was in the "human race", no categories, just racing against other humans. I was looking for ways to get motivated but nothing really helped. Mentally i was game but the fitness just wasent there. I pretty much had one speed all race.

Still it was fun. Jinglecross always is.

Just as fun as racing was watching the elite men race. I love sports and spectating at a big time cross race is one of my favorite events to watch live. I was running all over the place taking pictues.

Sunday Re-cap

After another buffet breakfast at our hotel we packed up and made the 5 min drive to the venue. We headed for the same parking spot as yesterday to find Sam and Casey already there. We had a good vibe going all weekend. I managed to ride 3/4 of a pre lap and get in a decent warm up, not as good as yesterday but i could tell i was stronger today.

I found Sundays course a little harder than Saturdays. The big uphill was ridable but not with my gearing, so i ran it. I was running really well early in the season but about 6 weeks ago i stopped my stair running so i made my way up the hill somewhat slowly.

I've waited too long to write this so the memory is a little fuzzy but i felt much better today. I had more control over the pace i wanted to ride. If someone passed me i could actually get out of the saddle and respond. I was still really slow but not as slow as the previous day. There was a crash on the first lap over the lincoln logs so i passed maybe 5 guys, that helped. Shortly there after was another technical spot which i negotiated efficently by dismounting, shortly after that was the flyover, and shortly after that was the run up. That's 4 dismounts (lincoln logs, technical spot, fly over, run up) in the first 3 minutes.

Towards the end of the race i was pretty spent at the top of the run up. It was all i had just to jump back on my bike and pedal the rest of the way up. I do remember a fan telling me "you're a good mounter", to which i wanted to reply "thats what she said", but i was too tired. Ahhh what could of been.

The downhill was pretty easy and pretty fun.

So, i finished 30 out of 33 finisher. Better than my second to last the day before.

despite my poor performances i had a blast.

(Concerning the last picture below... Mark H is the bomb) 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Leaving for Jingle Cross in a few hours, it's going to be ugly. Last weekends Topeka race helped prepare me for the impending blood bath.

(fyi... i've fully accepted that my cross season is pretty much over so while this post is filled with examples of my suckyness it does not reflect my state of mind. Like the Team Segal guys say, "superior attitude, superior state of mind.)

I raced the topeka cross race last Saturdays and it really sucked that i sucked because that course if fun.

A quick re-cap...

X and i returned from our Honeymoon on Monady at 3pm and it wasent until Friday that i felt like i was over my Honeymoon hangover. The time difference of 5 hours effected me but also just coming from paradise to cold Kansas City was a hard adjustment. Dont get me wrong, i love it here, but Paradise is also pretty nice.

Plus you think that after a wedding is over, it's over. Not so. Our house was still filled with box's, planning stuff, more box's. A wedding is not over until about 3 weeks after it's over.... from my experience.


Upon returning from the honeymoon (and two weeks of no riding) i got in 3 rides before Saturdays race. The last one was Friday and i probably went to hard for too long. Im pretty sure the weather was great, and it felt so good to be riding that i didnt care what remifacations it would have on the next days race. Besides, some of my best races came after a really hard ride the day before, although i think i was much more fit at that point. So Saturday afternoon X and i drive out to topeka and i arrive with maybe 1.5 hours till race time. I manage to use about 15 of those minutes to warm up. In the back of my mind i know it's not going to be pretty but i keep thinking "maybe all the rest will do me good and i'll go really fast tonight".

This did not happen.

Perhaps, if i was really fit going into the wedding / honeymoon than the rest would have done me good, but instead it just made a slow guy even slower.

Like i said, it was really a shame i wasent faster. This course is fun AND we had a great turnout in the 1-2 race. Something like 19 guys.

I started in the back and stayed there. The first lap was really fun. I was pushing the pace on the twisty secton of the infield (because i was getting my butt kicked on the long strait sections) and saved a potential washout with a quick dab of my foot. It was a fun move that made me feel like i was right in the race. Thats really all i have to hang my hat on, which is sad. Halfway thru the second lap i quit. Im not sure if i reached full blow up mode or if I could just sense that i wasent going to be able to keep up with anyone, but things got really hard and there was nothing my body could do about it so i quit.

I enjoyed the rest of the night, drinking and taking pictures (which i might post at a later date) and felt surprisingly okay with my short race. Mentallly i'm about 3/4 of the way out the door of the 2012 cyclocross season. To hasten my way out the door i had the 24 hour flu this past Wednesday. That sucked. Dry heaving green bile is gross.

So im about to go to Jingle Cross as a Cat 2 and i'm severly underprepared.

X is the smart one, she's not racing.

I knew i married a smart gal.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Our Honeymoon (Tahiti and Moorea)

Man, X and i are off to a great start. The wedding was a blast and the Honeymoon was off the charts amazing. Moorea (a small island in French Polynesia) is one of the most beautiful places i've ever been. This was only the second time i've left the country and i still have a lot to see but i doubt anyplace else is more beautiful that where we were. 

We didnt spend much time in Tahiti but we thougth it was pretty cool, until we got to Moorea. Then our eyes were opened. It's absolutely beautiful there. Like a living postcard.

You should go to Moorea.

it's expensive to get there and it's expensive when you get there, but it's worth it. We booked our trip thru costco, check it out... Make it happen. 

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind with the Wedding followed by the Honeymoon... the entire experience was amazing and i feel like the luckiest guy in the world so have such wonderful friends, family, and of course my beautiful wife. It feels good.

Now, here are way to many pictures from our Honeymoon to French Polynesia. Two nights on Tahiti and 5 nights on Moorea.

(Please pardon the PDA, it was our honeymoon after all.)