Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Things I Like

First of all, things I don't like- Not posting in a while. I mean, it hasn't been as long as a Lang Reynolds or a Adrian Hegyvary, or especially even a Steve Fisher. But regardless, I haven't posted in awhile, which means that Kennett probably will get more blog hits then me this month (notice how I didn't link to his page...). So where have I been? After Elk Grove, I got on a plane and was able to take a nice mid-season break.

But not there. Flew back to Seattle, and RESTED! I took many-a-days off the bike to recharge for a final kick in 2011. Our last traveling race for the year is September 17/18th- The Univest GP. So this last couple of weeks and the weeks to come are a unique opportunity to actually get some training in during the season, instead of just racing and recovering. But somewhat related, and still pretty unrelated to that, I give you some things that I just can't get enough of right now-

Track Racing-
Who knew races of such short distance and ~0 total elevation gain could be so hard? At one point, I considered myself a track racer- Heck, a track SPRINTER even! Now, since today I did 30 minute intervals instead of 10 second intervals, I'm pretttttty afraid of having to make a sprint on the track. But track has been too much fun, and since I normally I don't race on the track more then 4 times a year, I've been taking advantages of track race day! Highlights include getting into breakaways and doing Sibling madison with Tela.

Life-Lessons from "Working"-
I have a pretty cool job, mostly because at times it reminds me of my Grandpa's show "Kids Say the Darndest things". Because Bill Cosby is my G-pa. I'm such a kid saying darndest thangs right now. Anyways, I often hear some pretty fantastic statements regarding either track riding, or LIFE, and I try and really let that guide me through moments of insecurity. Here are some examples-

- How are ties broken? "The last person that finishes first".

- In reference to spinning water around in a bucket "a kid I know did that with a hamster once".
- "Is the track a CHEF because it has an APRON????"
- "Everyone knows my least favorite thing. Tomatoes"
- "This is the worst thing that I'm best at"
- "I learned in a science fair that some things are awesome and some are not awesome. And it's a SECRET"

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Elk Grove Recap

I really wanted to take a shower on Sunday, so luckily the weather played along. But first, I had to start in the bright sunshine. After Saturdays 27 corners per lap for 96 miles, Sundays course was the Time trial! Times 15!  Another race with lots of corners, including 2 U turns. Which was great if you could corner. With 4 laps to go, it got really dark, then cold. 3 laps to go the wind started picking up, and 2.5 laps to go the skies opened up. Luckily, it was pretty easy to find photos from the race.

First, we have a photo of the Doppler radar from Sunday in Elk Grove, Illinois.  Weather experts should know that Red and Orange signify "Heavy Rain" and "Very Heavy Rain".

Next, I found a picture of us just riding soft tempo in the group once the rain really started. Keep in mind that when I say it was raining, I really mean it was raining.

Then people still were pedaling reallllly fast (cough cough Adrian)

More then 1 guy back, everyone was having this experience! We were the ones on the right of the picture-

The problem with this is visibility becomes pretty slim. I tried to take a picture while racing, this is all I could get-

We all finished just slightly off the front group of ~35. Lang moved up 2 spots and finished in 19th on GC. Also of note: Steve, Gabe, and Lang get embarrassed in the sprint for 40th.

Chicago is famous for pizza, so we got some. We all had only one slice, except for Steve, who really needed some snacks. Lang, being Gluten Freeeeeee got a pizza that had no crusts, just SAUSAGE as the deep dish. Yeah. Here is a picture of Steve with one of the pizzas that we got. It's an optical illusion because that pizza is a size medium-

Finally, our host dog was as I like to say, 4loko crazy.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tour of Elk Grove stg 1 and 2

"Now we don't have any mountains here in Elk Grove, but we sure have some turns." -Race promoter before the start of the 270 turn circuit race.

Flash back to Friday afternoon, where we did a 4.5 mile time trial. The unaerodynamic fact about this is that we decided against bringing TT bikes, based on the fact of how two bikes take up more space then one bike. I however could be bothered to bring a Cole T85 and a Cole Disc wheel, which ended up being our only set of aero wheels for the race.  Ian saves the day. We all brought Clip-On aero bars. Wait no we didn't, Steve couldn't be worried about the TT until he learned what the time cut was, and then was like "omg, wtf, I need some clipons". We were all spaced out by 18 minutes in the TT order, so immediately after finishing our ~10 minutes of racing, we continued racing towards the start, and swapped wheels with whoever was next. Then I had to be bothered to remove my aero bars so little Steve could assume a superman position. Gabe, our resident guest rider, made us all look silly by basically doubling the rest of our finishing places, getting 47th. Then Myself, Cody, Steve, and Lang came in 84 87 90 and 95. So basically, the skinsuit I lent Gabe led to him being Wacky-Fast. So my plan of winning every single stage and making BANK hits a road block in the very early stages.
UCI races can't have crits in them, but they CAN have 27 corners in a 15.6 k lap! Which we did 10 of, for a total number of corners that only a mathematician could compute. 270. This race was entirely in neighborhoods, so 80 percent of the time, I had no idea where I was, 100 percent of the time. This race was pretty easy for 10 minutes, and then things got LOCO when UHC was angry that Gabe got in the early breakaway.
 So then I was on the rivet for around 2.5 hours. I pulled this off the Aerocat racing Facebook page-
"We averaged 45.5km/hr for 156kms... BLAZING!!!!!!!! First 50km we averaged 50-55km/hr and 65+km/hr and some sections on the course (flat, this is not descending)..."

It was fast, and lots of turns. The course map they put in the bible made no sense to me. Here is a picture of it-

Wait no, that is a picture of the A-maze-ing labyrinth, aka the best board game, ever. But really, here is a picture of the course- Try and follow it

So the breakaway finally was deemed acceptable, and then we went really slow in the group for the last two laps. Which was really pleasant, because riding the course at 20 mph made it much more fun then 35 mph. King Lang worked his way into the move, but Cyclingnews forgot to talk about him.  My list of Feillu's is really long on why I didn't get in the breakaway, but that is for another day.

"A large chase group of roughly 18 riders came together nearly one and half minutes behind the six leaders. The chase group included Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare), who was the highest placed rider in the overall classification of that group, Jonathan Cantwell (V Australia), Brad Huff and Ken Hanson (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda), Emile Abraham (AeroCat), Fernando Antogna (Jamis-Sutter Home), Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) and three riders from Geox-TMC, among others."

Lang is OTHERS!!!!

So that went away and then got 12 minutes up the road. Then we did a lead out for the bunch sprint. Steve took the front w/ ~2.5 K to go, and pulled all the way to ~800 to go. Then Gabe started sprinting. He did 800-400 no problem, then started to fade. I was almost worried as he slowed down a bit, but then he found his 10 on the cassette and kicked again and held it all the way to 197 m to go. Then I couldn't not win the bunch kick, so I went for it and held it to the line. We had some people on certain pro teams giving us crap about "the amateurs doing a leadout when there is 20 guys up the road". Sorry guys, we are here to race. We had a guy in the first big breakaway, a guy in the break that went to the line, and then we won the pack sprint. For a UCI race with a bunch of Pro teams, not a bad showing. Adding to the fun of sprinting for the group is that by winning the bunch sprint, I was 25th, which was the last spot getting paid. So to the people who gave us crap, I am now 200 dollars richer.

We were all pretty messed up after the race. 95 miles of basically crit racing is really hard. A sure sign on the difficulty level of race is how Twitter etiquette goes out the window with fatigue. Tweeting multiple times in a row is frowned upon.

As you can see here, Lang wrote a Novella, and I wrote a mini-novella.

Steve showed a huge sign of fatigue by talking about cross. Lame.

Cody has zero-tweeting capabilities because his phone looks like this, because his Canadian phone doesn't work in this world.

Today we have a shorter circuit race, with equal amounts of corners and two Uturns a lap! Good thing I did a standing start workout on the track once when I was 14!

Friday, August 5, 2011

How to Eat to Prepare for a Race

I am in Chicago for Tour of Elk Grove. NOT Tour DE Grove, because that was in May and in some other state. But anyways, this is a UCI race which means that I can't fill in the tubes of my bike with helium airbubbles to make it lighter. This race is also the richest race in the states: Theoretically I can come away from Chicago with over $36,000 in prize money. In order to do this, I'll need to win every stage, every hot spot sprint, and the overall. I'll let Steve, Cody, Lang, and Gabe win some premes, as well as finish high, so that we can win the 2k for best team also. So that's the plan. But how do I prepare for such financial domination? It's easy. It starts in the kitchen.

It's a fairly well known fact that proper nutrition can be the difference between 12th and 11th, 21st and 18th, and winning and being hungry. So if you don't do it right, perhaps don't even start. There are many crazy nutrition plans out there: Everything from only eating fruit to Breatharianism, which is when just the sunlight and fresh air provides you all the nutrients that you need to survive! AKA those people think that they are dandelion plants.

So here is how I eat in order to get ready for a race.

First, find the biggest blender that exists in this world. I personally use the Vita Mix, because it is huge and has a stirring stick that reminds me of my ancestors grinding wheat to make bread. But I try not to get reminded too much, because I'm gluten free. Anyways, once you get this blender, it's time to go to work. Here is what I add into a normal liquid meal-
  • Two scoops cornmeal (for fiber)
  • One head of elephant garlic (for immune system support)
  • Three full salmon filets (omega fatty acids, essential for recovery!)
  • One package of spicy italian sausages, in the plastic (for protein and aided digestion)
  • Six raw eggs
  • 100 chia seeds (this is important, count them out)
  • Eight teaspoons of apple cider vinegar (apple is a fruit!)
  • Two Watermelon flavored jolly ranchers
  • Salt, lots of salt
  • Berries for proper smoothie color (of course you put berries into a smoothie, what kind of monster do you think I am?)
  • Kefir for the liquid base (to help with the stomach)
  • Two large prunes, One handful of Kale (not too important on quantity), Three heads of Broccoli, and 1/2 of a spaghetti squash (this must be cooked pre-blend)
  • One french press worth of COARSE coffee grounds
  • OMG lots of spinach, soooo good
  • And finally, love
This is the really important part- A serving size =  however much you have in the blender when everything is finished mixing. Keep in mind you might need to have an extra blender blade handy if you are doing this more then twice a day, because the plastic on the sausage wrappers tends to wreak some havoc on the blades. But only creatures eat more then twice a day anyways, so none of you will have to worry about that.

Finally, do not, and it is absolutely pivotal that you DO NOT drink this in a regular cup. Are you kidding? You must find a large goblet or bucket and drink it out of that.

But really, I had two breakfasts today.

Love, Ian