Monday, June 29, 2009

Breakthrough Tour of KC crit series

It was good to get back into some races this weekend. It felt good to be back in the pack. I finished 2 of 3 races and won a couple of primes in the process, so I can’t complain about the weekend as a whole although I am still quite frustrated with some health issues I’m dealing with.

Friday’s Longview crit was O.K. I won an “also-ran” $50 prime and then fell off the pace and finished in 19th. It was brain-boiling hot for our 5:45 start and I cooked myself attacking for the prime. Stull hung in there, cross-eyed as he was, and nabbed 6th. I was disappointed to find out Bike Shack took 1-2-3 on a break. Wow, that should never happen. I never saw them get away b/c I was near the back at the start and apparently they got away near the beginning. Shame on whoever was on the front and watched them ride away.

Saturday in Lee’s Summit was a bummer. It was raining and I love racing in rain so I was feeling kind of jacked up- maybe too jacked. We were all together as we finished lap 2 and a prime was announced. I shot off the front and got a big gap but coming around turn 3, my rear wheel slipped a little and I pulled my hamstring trying to hold everything together. I stayed upright but I had to sit down and try to work out my cramp. I kept looking back waiting for everyone to fly by me but it took forever and I nearly coasted across for the prime anyway. I was just barely pipped at the line, but by then I was more concerned with my leg. I tried to ride another lap and stretch it but it wasn’t working so I DNF’ed on lap 4.

Surprisingly, Sunday was a good day for me. I felt O.K. and hung in the lead group, won a beer prime, and finished with the pack. There was an officiating decision at the end where we went from 5 laps to go then to finish lap with no warning. I was catching my breath at the back of the pack at the time and couldn’t move up to do anything but luckily Stull was in a good position at the front and came away with 4th. Dave finished in front of me as well. I got around a few guys on the back side and on the finish stretch there was only one more rider I could possibly catch so I dug in and got him by a half bike length at the line. It felt great to finish off a race even though it was a sprint for 18th.
Congrats to Matt and Nate on a couple of 2nd place finishes. Remember Nate: Look for the car with the blinky lights.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Northland Ride

For those interested in joining me, I'll be riding up north on Sunday morning. We've got two choices: 45 mile hilly or an alternative that is shorter but with more intense hills. Either ride starts/finishes at Michaela's house- 8900 N. Polk Ave., KCMO, 64154. We'll decide tomorrow which to do.

Directions to Michaela's: Get yo azz north of the river via I-29 or 169 and turn onto 152. If you're on 29 you'll take 152 E, from 169 you'll want 152 W. Take 152 to Green Hills Rd. and turn north. Immediately after crossing over the highway turn left on 88th St. Then Right on Camden, Left on 88th Ter., Right on Polk.

We will average 17.834 mph

We ride at 10.

Call my cell if you want advice.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Boo hoo

I just read through my last post and realized how whoa-is-me it sounded. Somebody kick me in the shin! In my defense, the unknown spawns despair. After yesterday’s ride, I know a lot more and hence, I feel a lot better. I rode at about 70-80% for an hour and felt just dandy at the end of the ride. I wanted to do a few more hills but stopped myself. I figured out where I’m stressing my leg. It’s on the first few pedal strokes after sitting down after a standing climb. I’ve always tried to go hard all the way over the top of climbs- perhaps I’ve gotten lazy in my geary ways and need to stand a few more revolutions before sitting back down. Perhaps I need to get back on the SS for my commute. Health is coming back too. It’s all systems go. Battle speed…

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Down Time

Whether I needed a break from riding or not, I got one. I haven’t felt right since sometime around the Iowa races and my health got slowly and progressively worse after returning from that weekend. It started out with a general tired feeling and grew over the next few weeks into all-out fatigue. I’ve been getting slowly better for about a week now but for awhile I was literally coming home from work, eating and collapsing on the couch. I was sleeping 12-14 hours a night and still couldn’t muster energy to do anything during the day. Eventually, headaches were added to the equation and finally some restricted breathing- just for good measure, I suppose.

About 2 weeks ago, I stopped riding. My daily routine was: Work, eat, sleep, and that’s all. Aside from a weekend mtb ride, I’ve put in less than 100 miles since Iowa at the end of May. I tried to get in to see a doc here in Manhattan but there are no openings- not even my own doc of 14 years could see me! They told me that since I hadn’t been in for over 3 years, they dropped me from their patient list- wow. Whatever, I’m getting better now anyway. I figure whatever it was, I’ll be that much more immune to it next time.

That brings us to last Sunday, when the Kansas Age Group State Champs were going to be taking place in my backyard. The route would follow the same roads I ride nearly everyday. I still wasn’t feeling 100% but I figured I’d give it a go. Not having been on the bike in awhile, I thought it best to get out on Saturday and ride the course one time. It felt great to be moving the legs again and pulling air deep into my lungs. I had installed my new IRD carbon cranks and I was having fun feeling those out as well. The ride went well and I even turned in a pretty good time. But after I finished up and stepped off the bike, something that felt like a hydraulic vice grabbed me just under my left ass cheek. I knew what it was instantly and I knew what caused it. A pulled muscle- probably groin. And it was my own fault for riding too much, too hard, too soon. Ouch, that wasn’t going to help during tomorrow’s race. I went home and iced it and tried to stretch it but it was still extremely tight on Sunday morning so I didn’t race. I marshaled a corner instead. Something or someone did not want me in that race.

Sometimes it just be’s that way.

So, now I’m back to square one. I figure the only thing to do now is start from this point with the objective of getting back to top form around September. Hmmm, what happens on two wheels around here starting in September that I could possibly be interested in?

Tonight I’ll take a slow and easy ride and see how the leg feels. Same goes for tomorrow. This weekend I’ll try a longer ride and I’ll build up to where I can ride the ToKC for starters. Maybe show something in Lawrence. Then maybe expect a result for the August ToKC.