Friday, August 31, 2007

Down for the count and the death of a hero

Well, I'm sick again. Must be the fifth time this summer. I'm not sure whats going on inside me this year but this is definitely the most I've been sick since I can remember. At least since B started daycare. Man, those days sucked!

It all started Wednesday. Marcy and I met up after work to check out a new place to ride just a few miles from where each of us work. It turned out to be a pretty kick ass trail system with some smooth/buff singletrack and some that is super technical with 30' drops down to the rocks lining the shore. Very good butt pucker riding. Marcy and I had a lot of fun but, unfortunately, during the ride I started to get a sore throat so instead of hitting the trails to get back home I decided ride home with Marcy and B to spend the evening with them. By the time I woke up my throat and head hurt so bad I wanted to kill myself. Unfortunately, (again) I'm so busy at work I was forced to head in anyway even though all I wanted to do was sleep on the couch.
Thankfully, I made it through the day, got some good sleep last night and this morning I feel like I'm on the mend. I hope so because we have an action packed weekend ahead of us. B's 2nd birthday party is Saturday, a race on Sunday and kayaking/picnicing on Monday.
And to top things off, I saw this pic of fellow Mainer Adam Craig over on Nick Martin's blog and I've gotta say, that dick broom (Nick's term) Adam is sporting is about as bad as it comes. Sure, this pic was taken during an 80's party but the Craigster has been growing that beastly thing for a month or so now. Like the glasses though.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

H100 installment 2- this time its personal

What, its been a week since installment one? Well that’s just me trying to build the suspense sorta Harry Potter style.

Here goes...

We roll out to a staggered start around 7 am. I really wish they had started everyone together, with about 10 miles of dirt roads to sort things out I think it would have been fine and would have allowed for more racing. They didn’t though, sending everyone out in waves every couple of minutes. Expert SII ended up being the first on the road followed by the rest of the experts and somewhere back there were the elites. For about 10 minutes we rolled along at a brisk but manageable pace. Soon, though, Andy made his first dig of the day and broke out from the front of the bunch. I was feeling comfortable and knew that to hop on at his pace I’d be putting myself at risk of going too hard too early so I watched as he disappeared in the distance. Soon after the eventual winner, Michael Broderick (who I later heard came in third in the pro field at mount snow this year!) motored by us with a small caravan in tow. Me and a couple of others jumped on as well and tried to keep the pace for as long as we could. Before long, Broderick had pulled the group up to Andy. Soon after we hit a section of “trail” that took us along the edge of railroad tracks that in areas was so tight because of encroaching bushes that riders had to be especially attentive. At one point, with Andy right on my wheel, I heard the sound of branches hitting metal behind me and thought Andy had brushed too close to the edge. After a couple of minutes of no more sound behind me, I looked back to see no-one there despite the fact that we had had a nice train going. It turns out Andy had clipped a railroad tie, did some aerobatics and ended up down the embankment. Andy was later able to bridge back up and passed my group despite taking a serious hit to the melon during the fall.

After losing contact with the lead group of four I settled in with a group of similar pace and ground out the remainder of the semi-flat opening miles. At one point Adam Bradley, who I kind of sort of knew from racing against each other a few times, took a monster pull of about 20 minutes through the worst section of the day, a sandy rail trail. That was to become the theme of the race, Adam would pull me along on the fast sections, he gap me slightly on the climbs and then I’d frantically try to pull him back on the technical downhill sections so that I could get a good pull again for the many dirt road pieces. Adam and I would stay together that way until about 10 miles to go doing our best to reel people in, dodging angry dogs along the way.

With 10 or 15 miles to go I was able to open a gap on Adam on a tech descent and ensuing tech singletrack (he was probably cooked from pulling me the whole day too I’m sure) and with a few minutes he was no longer in sight. I continued to put the hammer down and ran like a scared dog whenever I’d come to a fast open section that he was so good on. At some point around this time I finally succumbed to the urge to piss I’d had since before the race started. I had hoped to get through the race without stopping but it was no use and by the time I had finished the job, Adam and one other had bridged back up. We again formed a small group until I was, once again, able to open up a gap and slowly extended it over the next few miles.

Soon after, while on a particularly tough climb, I heard the tell tale signs from behind and looked back to see Skip Brown closing in on me pushing his massive gear. From then on til the end Skip and I would swap spots back and forth until the last few miles when I was able to get away a bit and open a tiny gap of about a minute to roll across the line in 5:43. Unfortunately, Skip had started two minutes behind me so his final time was 5:42 and 5th overall which pushed me to 6th and first in expert SII.

About 10 minutes later, Andy rolled in and I did a double take since he had passed me about three hours prior never to be seen again but it turns out he and one other took a costly wrong turn down a long hill and lost 10-ish minutes backtracking. Suckfest

That’s it for today. Next time “THE AFTERMATH!”

Monday, August 27, 2007

I'm still alive

but you wouldn't know it from looking at (or smelling) me right now. Very busy week ahead.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Recap installment 1

Today I’m going to take a stab at a better race report from this weekend’s Hampshire 100. To do this race justice, I may even do it in two or three installments. Here is installment number one.

During the two weeks preceding the race I found myself battling some inner demons I was left with after a somewhat disappointing Wilderness 101. I knew going into the 101 that it would be a learning experience considering it was my first “hundie” but I still had set pretty high goals for myself as I usually do. Unfortunately, between the unfamiliar territory and riding conditions and my lack of proper on bike nutrition those plans were unceremoniously kicked to the curb shortly after the halfway point and I found myself steadily falling back as I watched in despair as rider after rider passed me with ease. During those two weeks I gave plenty of thought to how to be sure I wouldn’t make the same mistakes during the H100. I figured the terrain would be a little more to my liking since NH and Maine riding is pretty similar even though the climbing likely would be tough, the feel of the course would be close enough to what I was used to make it ok and the nutrition thing seemed pretty easy to deal with. I could put my own Heed mix in my two drop bags (I prefer a much stronger concentration than what you typically get from aid stations thus allowing me more calories), I would force myself to eat more Clif Bars and I would also carry one bottle of Perpetuem. Despite the horror stories I’ve heard of people getting really sick while racing on Perpetuem I’ve had good results myself during hard and long road rides so I figured I’d give it a shot and the calories would really help.

With a course length of 62 (actually 63) miles and six aid stations available I decided to forgo the camelback. I really can’t stand the things and with so many aid stations I figured I’d have plenty of opportunity for replenishing my water (foreshadow, foreshadow).

Finally, on Saturday I made the four hour drive over to New Hampster and quickly set up camp which, because I was planning on sleeping in the Element, only consisted of setting up the pop-up, my bike repair stand and pulling out my camp chair. Pretty easy. I then tooled around, got in a quick pre-ride to loosen the legs and generally killed time until Andy and Skip showed up since they would be the only folks I knew in the race. That night it got down to about 50 degrees and I slept like a log in the toaster. It was damn comfy.

At 5 am my alarm went off and my back-up alarm (Marcy calling from back home) called literally 10 seconds later to be sure I was up. I had breakfast and readied myself for the race to come at 6:45. One other change I made after my 101 experience was that I applied about 1000% of the recommended daily allowance of Assos to my arse so that I would be sure I wouldn’t have ass skin falling off in a few days time.

Yikes, I went a bit overboard on this first installment so I guess I’ll get to the actual race next time.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hampshire 100

The first annual Hampshire 100 was this weekend and it kicked ass. The weather was perfect in the high 60's, the course rocked and I had a blast. I managed 6th overall and 1st in expert SII. Despite a horrendous fall and getting lost, Andy pulled off a solid 2nd in SII. Nice job but his bike has seen better days. As usual, I don't have time for a proper race report so here's an abbreviated version.

Camp Nelson. The rolling toaster makes a fine tent. I slept like a log.

The expert podium. Check out my triumphant hands jambed in pants.

A much better heart rate over the course of the event compared to the Wilderness 101.

The course.

More course info can be found on my page at Motion Based. Check it.
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Friday, August 17, 2007


If you had asked me last week if I could get any busier at work I would have said probably not. I would have been wrong, three 12 hours days prove it. Work, work, work, no ride, no ride, no ride. I did manage to squeeze in one commute and a group ride but thats it. With this weekend being the Hampshire 100 I'll either be extremely rested (legs at least) and ready to go or extremely de-trained (not really a word, I know) after close to a month of very low ride totals and therefore in for a world of pain. I'm hoping for the well rested option.

Thats all I've got. Back to the grind. See some of you chaps tomorrow.

Monday, August 13, 2007

why bother?

Wow, why do I bother trying to post these days? I'm so f'ing busy at work and home that I don't have a creative thought left in my brain at the end of the day. Makes for super reading I'm sure. As much as my blogging sucks donkey dick these days I still can't bring myself to ditch it. Maybe its because of the cool people I meet as a result of blogging, maybe its because I get to post silly pictures of myself occasionally, maybe its for the chicks. Who knows really but the one thing I do know is that I'll keep plugging away until the ole hit counter starts reading zero for the day because when even Marcy stops reading I know I'm in trouble.

This week is a prep week for the Hampshire 100k on Sunday. It should be a pretty good time and so far the weather looks pretty sweet. Hopefully I'll be able to put everything I learned at the Wilderness 101 to good use and have a good ride. One thing I do know for sure is that Andy is a marked man. After his 101 performance I won't be leaving his wheel. Until I chuck a stick in it anyway.

Friday, August 10, 2007

couple of w101 photos

Pre-race happy bikes.

My mug about 20 minutes after the race. I look like I want to curl up under a rock and die. Question: when did my beak get so crooked?

Question #2: what the f is up with blogger putting all of my paragraphs together? It makes reading the blog even more painful than usual.

Question #3: for you experienced ultra dudes. Is it normal to have slabs of skin peeling off your ass after a 100 mile race? Hypothetically of course.
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Thursday, August 09, 2007

yet another quickie

sorry about the crappy w101 recaps. It was such a cool race and there are so many things to talk about including race details, meeting some of my blogging peeps etc but I've been so f'ing busy with work/home/sick kid/and a non-profit fundraiser I'm working on that there just hasn't been time to write. There hadn't even been any time to ride.

This morning I did get to ride into work which felt great. The ass is pretty much healed up and the legs felt pretty good. Hopefully I'll be able to get in some good, intense rides before next weekends 100k in New Hampster (right next to New Gerbil).

To the grind.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

(slightly) better W101 recap

1. 4:45 awake in comfy condo. make mental thanks to cristi for letting us stay at her place.

2. arrive at venue, drop bags and get ready for start.

3. roll out with about 200 others in a neutral start.

4. not sure when the race became non-neutral but was we were still in a large-ish group heading into the first feed station at mile 20 at this point I'm guessing I'm in about 75th place or so. the original game plan was to start off easy and then pick people off as the race wears on. at this point all was going well and I was picking off small groups of people while I traded work with several others being careful not to redline. too early for that.

5. grab a sandwich and other munchies at aid station #2.

6. pull out of aid station to find I can't clip into my right pedal. as I struggle with it I hear the tell-tale sound of a cleat hitting pavement. F!

7. turn around and retreive cleat and thank my lucky stars I had thought to bring along a spare set of cleats and bolts. reattach cleat and continue on.

8. Having lost my drafting partners, I must now soldier on my own.

9. Things are still going fairly well through to aid station 3 but am starting to get tired. I hadn't been able to eat anything since aid station 2 and it was beginning to show.

10. See Jeff W has abandoned with a broken seatpost. Chat with him for a few minutes until he essentially pushes me out of the aid station. "The hard work is done" he says. Liar.

11. Leaving aid station 3 it became apparent that my lack of eating was catching up to me. My reserves were gone and I began to suffer immensely. This is also when I briefly considered removing my seat post, beating it on a rock to break it and then have to abandon the race. Thankfully, I thought better of it and continued on.

12. I suffered immensely over the next few hours. The legs no longer had any power. I could spin up the climbs but thats about it. Standing and hammering even for short periods was out of the question. I was so spent that I couldn't even get my pace up enough to create lactic acid. The technical descents were brutally rough and here I was running 5-7 psi more air than usual. I wanted to let air out but feared the extra rolling resistance on the dirt road climbs. I'm still not sure which would have been worse, the pinball like action my tires were taking on the descents or slightly more rolling resistance. I'm betting the pinballing was worse.

13. Watch as many of the people I passed earlier in the day pass me at what looks like double my speed. I have no will to fight and just let them go.

14. Finally arrive at aid station #5 expecting them to have cold coke to get me over the last hump. Not only did they not have coke but they didn't really have cold water either. I wanted to throw a hissy fit but didn't have the energy.

15. Suffered on. Couldn't stand in the tech sections because my hands hurt so much (must get ergons, seriously this time) but sitting was even worse since it felt like I'd been sitting on a cheese grater for 9 hours. On the smoother downhills I'd actually sit with the back of my thigh on the seat to protect the arse.

16. Get to finish, throw down bike and plant self in camp chair.

17. Sit in cold stream and scream like a little girl as the bacteria leaden water touches my chewed up ass.

18. Drank 5 or 6 beers and had three dinners.

19. Slept like crap because of lumpy ground and drunken yahoos.

20. Pack up camp and hit road at 6:45 for 9 hour ride home.

21. On the ride home I have plenty of time to reflect and figure if I had been able to force myself to eat earlier on in the event that I'd have been able to knock close to an hour off my time.

Monday, August 06, 2007

more 101

I've uploaded my GPS info from Saturday's race. You can check it out HERE. Definitely check out the charts section where you can find stuff like this:

I especially like those itty bitty climbs of close to 1500 ft over the course of 3-ish miles mid race. Fun fun.

This next one is especially fun. It shows quite clearly that I essentially turned back into a pumpkin around the 60 mile mark.

W101 quickie

52 out of 222

I don't have time for a real post re: this past weekend's Wilderness 101 but since most of the people who read the feeble blog were either there or have already heard about it from me I'll just give you some interesting tidbits that have happened since the race.

Sunday, after meager sleep JMo and I packed up camp and went our seperate ways. After 9 hours of 80 mph driving (seriously, I averaged close to 80 for the entire trip. thank god there weren't many cops out) on a VERY sore and tender ass I got home, unpacked and spent some much needed quality time with Marcy and B.

The day after a 9.5 hour race, what is the very last thing you would want to do? Besides maybe taking one up the poop shoot I'd venture to guess most people would not be caught dead on a bike the day after. Unfortunately for me that is exactly what happened. I'm not one to deny Brynna a ride in here trailer if she asks for one but when she requested a ride yesterday my sphincter involuntarilly clenched tight enough to form diamonds. But since I'm a sucker dad who does whatever my daughter wants, I dutifully hooked up the trailer and the entire family went out for a quick 30 minute jaunt. I tried on several occasions to sit because my legs were tired but would promptly scream in pain and jump back out of the saddle. A thirty minute ride totally out of the saddle with a 50 lb trailer in tow the day after a race like that is brutal, trust me.

Today the legs feel suprisingly good and besides for a butt-load (quite literally) of antibiotic cream where the sun doesn't shine I'm feeling pretty good.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

t-minus 3

W101 is quickly approaching and I'm not ready! Last night I finally decided to cut down the Ergon P1's from the Mariachi to put on the Dos but it turns out they won't work. Because of the Dos' narrow handlebars I'd have to cut so much off the P1's that I'd be cutting into the flared section. Not good. Thankfully, I noticed this before I started hacking away. So back on the Mariachi they do and I'm stuck with the Lock-ons for this weekend. Oh well, must learn to love blisters...

Tonight is yet another rest night since the legs still feel dead from the race this weekend. I tried to open them up yesterday on the ride home but for the most part they just didn't want to go so I took it easy and spun most of the way back. That is until I got to town in Damariscotta and had an old volvo wagon with a couple of kayaks stop in front of me. It seemed like the perfect moto pace vehicle. When they started back up I jumped on their bumper and worked my butt off keeping with them on the hill out of town. I noticed the female in the passanger seat smiling from the side view mirror so I figured for once I actually had a willing participant to pace me. Turns out they were not only willing but they did a very nice job of gradually picking up speed so I could stay on their bumper (at one point almost hitting my head on one of the kayaks on the roof!). When I couldn't hold it any longer, I peeled off and waved. They waved back and went on their way. Good fun and I was finally able to get the heart rate up into the zone 5 range.

Tomorrow will be a very quick (and hopefully intense) ride and packing for my Friday 6am departure. Can't wait.