Friday, April 29, 2011

Let There Be Sun

Finally, after what seems like an eternity, we Mainers finally have some sunny days in the forecast and for a weekend even.  Most of my time this weekend I'll be bustin a move on the house but, hopefully, I'll be able to drag my sorry ass out of bed early each day to take advantage of the warming temps and sleeping family.  Of course, my wake up time is inversely proportionate to the number of beers I drink the night before so I might want to keep the partakement to a minimum.  We'll see how THAT works...

Now to my internal struggles.  Oh wait, I've spent way too much time wah-wahing about whether I'll get a new bike this year or not so I'll keep this short.  There is currently no bike for me on the horizon.  I've decided to sit tight and see how the first couple of races go.  If I suck a big fat one and it seems like it's the bike holding me back and not my total lack of fitness, then I'll throw down the coinage.  If I'm in bad shape and just not able to bring it, it will always be nice to be able to blame it on the bike (and ignore the fact that half the people who beat me are on hardtails).

Dilemma number two is which will be my first race.  I'm currently leaning towards the Maine Mayhem since Mike has finally posted info about the race.  Hopefully we'll get a good turnout.  It's a sweet course and close to home so I'll most likely be there.

Dilemma number three wasn't really even much of a dilemma, more a consideration.  I haven't done the Hampshire 100 for a few years and have been meaning to go back.  I missed it last season because it was the day after the off road tri that I was doing and I didn't know how my body would respond to the punishment.  This year they are on back to back days again but now I know what to expect.  Totally trashed legs from the run down the mountain.  I've been thinking that with a bit more hill run training I'd be able to do the race without killing myself so much so I could at least go to the 100, even if it wasn't to win.  Well, now, I see that Tinker Juarez is registered for the NH100.  How can I NOT go now???  I guess it's time to figure out how to properly recover between the two races.  Ice bath anyone?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Today, I find myself conflicted on multiple fronts.  May 15 is the date of my first race of the season.  Problem is, I don't know which race to do.  The Glocester Grind is the first race of the EFTA series and from what I hear, it's definitely my bag.  Really technical trails make me happy (although I haven't touched one yet this year) and usually help me do well.  Race day is also the only day you can ride there all year so it's a once yearly opportunity.  On the other hand, Mad Mike has his Maine Mayhem race happening in Rockport, only 45 minutes away.  That is a course that I know and love but I've yet to see any advertising and while I know the race is technically happening, I suspect turnout will be low.  So, do I drive over 4 hours to race on unknown trails against lots of competition or drive 45 minutes to race on trails I know I love against who knows who?

My current lack of fitness compels me to stay close to home because who wants to spend all day driving only to get your ass handed to you.  Then again, I need some competition to get my ass in gear and a good shellacking would do just that.  Oh, what to do, what to do.  I'm sure I'll flip flop my position multiple times in the next couple of weeks.  Maybe if Mad Mike would e-mail me back or maybe post the race on bike reg it would be easier to make my decision.  Mike, you out there???

Speaking of EFTA races.  I found this video on YouTube this morning about the Pinnacle race.  Sheer brilliance if you ask me.

Similar to Hill Junkie, I've been doing more and more running these days.  Unlike HJ, I'm not doing any stoopid hill intervals but, I must say, that I'm enjoying my daily trail runs with the pooch.  My running in florida seems to have actually propelled my running fitness to new levels.  There were no hills to speak of down there but my cruising speed seems to have improved greatly since I was forced to run around other people most days and my competitive nature doesn't allow me to do anything slow when other people are watching.  That's also why I like riding on semi busy roads (if there is a shoulder).  Lots of people around makes me want to go fast.  It's one of my adorable quirks.  Right up there with getting gas from drinking water.

on of my run locations in Florida.  a reserve down the road from where we were staying.

the straight trail at the bottom of the pic as well as the section along the 
lake are known as alligator alley because sighting are so common.  l
et me tell you, running there at dusk by myself helped me keep 
the average speed up.

The only time I felt safe in alligator alley was when I passed this bunny. 
I figured he/she would be an easier and tastier meal that I would be.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Brynna picture added to garner facebook traffic.
The Best Laid Plans

are accomplished.  Ha, fooled you there didn't I?  You expected me to bitch because that's what I usually do right?  Knowing that the first race of the season is three weeks away (despite the fact that all of my internet buddies have a couple of races under their belts) I've decided to man up for once and just do what needs to be done so that I'm ready to rock in a few weeks.  If that means getting up at the ass crack of dawn to get a ride in, that's what I'll do.  No more whiney bitching.  (today at least)

Saturday, I got up early and after a jog with the pooch headed into the Schmid Preserve to see how things were shaping up.  Because of the typical spring reasons, I hadn't been into the preserve in a while but since all of the snow left while we were on vaca in Florida I figured I'd give it a shot.  Turns out things were pretty damn nice and the trails were 98.5% dry.  There were a few splash through spots but only a couple of actual muddy sections so I was pretty happy.

Today, Sunday, I had planned on a hard road ride but after a delish easter lunch made by marcy and her mother, I was barely conscious enough to form whole sentences so an interval laced road ride just wasn't in the cards.  Mentally I just couldn't handle it. Instead, I decided to hit the preserve again.  Two hours later, my ride lust was satiated and I had added a couple of new sections to my typical loop.  How is it that I've been riding in the preserve for years now and I'm still finding new stuff.  Color me happy.
my picture added to lose traffic and to show what
it looks like when a dumbass wears an undershirt
and a long sleeve fleeced jersey on a ride that 
approached 70 degrees.  once a dumbass, always
a dumbass.

the trails on our property sure do look sweet though...

I think it's time for a group ride tomorrow night.  Now I wonder if I can get a group together to do it...


X-train time: 1:15
Ride time: 3:15
Ride distance: 15 miles

Total x-train time: 44:00
Total ride time: 63:00

Total distance: 601 miles

Weight: 188.9 (I was at 186 before vaca.  damn you time off!) 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Let's Get Crackin

Last night I began operation "get my ass into shape because my first race of the season is only three weeks away and I'm scared.  plenty scared".  All racers go into their race seasons complaining about poor fitness regardless of where their fitness really lies.  I'm no different.  My riding has been more than a bit slack recently but, for some reason, I'm not worried.  Do I need to start riding more?  Hells yeah.  But I kinda figure things will come around eventually.  Of course, I may have to make them come around instead of waiting (which is what I've been doing).  That may mean that I need to bring back the dreaded 3am rides from the days of yore.  You may remember them.  You know, back when this blog was interesting?  Yeah, those rides.  I'm also going to try to hit the weekly bleed your eyes out road ride in Brunswick if I can work out my schedule as well as the weekly training crits that have once again started up.  How exciting.  Let's see if any of this happens or if I'll just be back here whining in a few weeks about how, boo-hoo, I'm not ready for my first race.  Yeah, I can see where this is going...

Last night was a fabulous Bather's ride.  2 hours of almost entirely dry single track.  I wasn't sure if the mariachi was up and running and the selma is hanging from the rafters right now so I decided to throw down on the Mukluk just for fun.  I figured that, if nothing else, it would make me work a bit harder and shake the funk out after close to two weeks off the bike.  To everyone's surprise (but mine) the muk worked just fine for trail riding.  It was kind of fun actually (although it was a bit weird feeling going over skinny bridges) and other than a broken chain (second one on this chain with less than 300 miles.  that chain is going in the trash) it was a damn good time.

Well, as usual, I've run out of time so I'm cutting things short.


X-train time: 7:00
Ride time: 12:00
Ride distance: 155 miles

Total x-train time: 42:45
Total ride time: 59:45
Total distance: 586 miles

Weight: 189

Thursday, April 21, 2011

We're Back!

We're finally back from our 8 day florida vacation.  Many good times were had on our first family vacation in 3+ years.  Unfortunately, we're very white folks and Florida was in the middle of a mini heat wave so Marcy and I felt like we might literally die on a couple of occasions but it was sunny and beautiful the whole time (unlike the 40 degrees and rain every day back home) so we won't complain too much.  I vowed to not even think about riding on this vacation since most of our spare weekends in the summer revolve around me racing and I can say that I did a pretty good job, although, I did stumble across a tri race during one of my early morning runs.  It wasn't intentional and I didn't even touch a bike so I think I'm in the clear.

We weren't sure if B was happy to be on vacation.
I wish I had more time but my work life is in a shambles at this point but I will be posting daily until I catch up.  Looking at photos is always better than reading my drivel anyways.  Right?

Crystal Springs was the shit.  Crystal clear water and no gators!

B posing with the polar bear prints.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Heading Out

As if I haven't been remiss enough about posting lately, the fam is readying itself for a trip to Florida for a week.  So, this will most likely be my last post for 8-9 days unless you'd like me to post pics of my morning runs while down there?  Or maybe me going in for an awkward grope on Minnie Mouse???  We'll see what happens.  To finish my Maine days off right, I headed out for the annual "Paris Roubaix" Sunday morning.  A 25 mile loop on the crappiest (and hilliest) roads Searsmont and Appleton have to offer. It never disappoints but it's a bit too short for my liking so I livened it up a bit by riding 24 miles to the ride and 28 miles back giving me a nugget under 78 miles (20 or so on dirt roads) for the day.  It was a good kick to the junk.

breakfast: oatmeal with walnuts, craisins and maine maple syrup
oh, and about 32 oz of coffee and an over easy egg.  yummers.

The group had a solid 17 riders with a pretty even split of road and cross bikes.  There were also a couple of mountain bikes in there.  I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy...
78 miles, 5300 ft of climbing, two raw taint patches and a couple of blown quads.  yay!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Cramming It In

In about a week the whole damfam is heading to warmer pastures for a week.  We're finally biting the bullet and taking B to Disney.  A couple days of paying for Walt's cryogenics, a couple beach days, a couple something elses and then we'll be back.  This is our first real family vacation in over three years so thoughts of riding hasn't even entered my mind.  Even cyclists who live in Florida almost never consider going riding.  Who would want to really?  I'm totally talking out of my ass of course, having no riding experience down there, but from what I remember from my trip down there with my parents in junior high, the riding sucks.

but, I'm off target here.  With the impending 8+ days of riding exile on the horizon, I've been trying to eek out any rides that I can sprinkling in 3 hour rides here and there when the opportunities arise.  Sunday afternoon was just such a day.  45 degrees, sunny and windy as a mother fucker.  I chose a route that headed straight to the hills and kept me on narrow, twisty roads to minimize the wind effect.  It was a mostly uneventful ride with a few surprises.  Surprise numero uno is that my legs are actually feeling pretty good of late and a three hour ride leaves me wanting more.  Surprise number two was meeting this poor pooch on the road.
Don't see why he's sad?  Well, take a closer look:

Yep, that's one very enlarged sack.  At first I was concerned that the dog was a stray and I chased it down so that I could call the shelter but he/she eventually wandered into an establishment that looked to be a bit less than spandex tolerant so I let it go.

Surprise number three was the amount of gravel road that I hit.  I hadn't planned on any gravel for the ride but I was hitting a few unknown roads and google earth doesn't tell you if a road is gravel or not so hit them I did.  When you're on a skinny tired road bike it can be hard to hammer on such roads for fear of flatting but they were a nice change of pace and they weren't so soft that they were unenjoyable.
Surprise number four wasn't actually my surprise.  On one of my dirt road excursions I came up behind a family out for a walk.  I figured that they'd hear me clanging along but by the time I was within 20' of them, they still hadn't noticed and I didn't want to scare the shit out of them so I simply said "How's it going?" and I swear to god, if the woman had been Fred Sanford, she would have dropped dead right there.  Upon reflection, combining a deserted dirt road with a deep voiced (what can I say, my voice is dead sexy) greeting could leave someone a bit unnerved.

Dirt road two is lined with painted telephone poles.  Hippies live in them thar woods. 

Friday, April 01, 2011

That's More Like It

Around 2 1/2 hours on the road last night, most of it with KillBill.  Good freaking time.  We hit up one of the hillier loops in the area and just drilled it, averaging just a whisker under 20mph for the ride.  It hurt, hurt really bad.  At one point, near the end of the ride, I stood to push quickly over a little rise and was immediately forced to sit down as the quads screamed in agony.  KillBill may be a bit on the meaty side :) but he can put the hurt on and any ride we do together turns into a hammer fest.  Just what I need especially since I think KB is gunning for me this year on the race course.  Better get my ass in gear.


X-train time: 7:00
Ride time: 10:00
Ride distance: 95 miles

Total x-train time: 34:45
Total ride time: 47:45
Total distance: 431 miles

Weight: 188