What did you do for New Years? Another solid race with a little love from the the camera on the run-up. Sweet race and worth coming back to.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
A sprained thumb while warming up at the first cross race of the year is a little bit of a physical blow and a pretty big mental blow. Sadly this is what happened to me at the USGP in Madison about 6 weeks ago today. My fitness up until that point was decent and starting to ramp up for cross season. The funny thing is it was a routine corner I washed out in and just by reaction I put my hand out to break by fall. When it broke it all right! It felt like I destroyed all the tendons and ligaments in my right thumb to the point where I couldn't hold a water bottle with that hand and have it not feel like it was 50lbs and ovular in shape. The medical tent attempted to wrap it so I could attempt to race on it but the tape job was anything but good enough and the pain was anything but dull enough to ride. It only took 2 more practice laps after wrapping the thumb to know the racing for the day was over and quite possibly the next couple weeks.
Although I was down mentally with the thumb I made myself useful and worked the pits that day for Tristan. It's a totally new perspective not racing even though you want to so badly but still being in the middle of the race and watching it unfold. The guys in the pits are pretty hilarious and are some of the best hecklers out there. They not only rip on every rider that is not there own but also the other guys in the pits to keep themselves entertained. I'm glad I helped in the pits just to keep my mind off the thumb and help out Tristan a little along the way.
The next 3 weeks were some of the hardest for me mentally trying not to freak out not racing and trying to train and do workouts as much as possible with the thumb permitting. 3 weeks doesn't seem like that long of a time but when you can barely hold onto the bars of the your bike to ride its an eternity! Slow but sure the thumb was healing and I could actually hold onto the bar rather than lifting my hand off for every little bump. By the end of week 2 I was gutting through through intervals on the road where the pain in the thumb was more than in the legs. One day at a time the thumb was getting it's range of movement back and starting to get better.
It wasn't until last weekend that I was able to do a cross race.... 5 weeks after nearly breaking my thumb off of my hand! The good news is my legs hurt a lot more than my thumb did that day. The bad news is my legs hurt a lot more than my thumb did that day lol. It wasn't my best race by any means but that's for many other reasons and leaves lots of room for improvement. 6 weeks ago today is when it all went down and now I feel like it's healthy enough (85-90%) to resume any type of workout and racing I can thrown at it.
Next up is the annual Halloween cross race at Washington Park in Milwaukee. I'm still not sure if I'll have a costume or not but I'm there will be plenty of other people wearing them.
Posted by Street-Player at 8:47 AM
Monday, October 17, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Now that it's been well over a week since the race I'm going to attempt an update before it gets too late.
WORS #6 Franklin has always been a hard race for myself. To me it seems like there is a little too much single track in any one sitting that twists and turns so hard and fast you never really know where you are or what's coming next much less any passing lanes. If I rode the course more than once or twice a year I'm sure I would have a different perspective on the course but that hasn't been the case until now.
The start is always super crucial for positioning into the single track and can make or break your race in the first 4 minutes. Having this knowledge and some pretty awesome start legs I was able to power my way past my slow 2nd row start position into 4th wheel over the top of the start climb and kept the gas on down the double track along the road. 2 minutes later the 4 of us have a pretty big gap for the start of race and keep the pace high leading into the single track to distance ourselves further. The first two riders gaped us right away and it was too late for me to catch them once I finally got around the dude and into 3rd place. Riding alone for almost an entire lap is a little weird, more mentally than anything else knowing that there are 100 guys behind you somewhere.
At the end of the 1st lap of 3 I was joined by Ryan K. who rides in the same age group and definitely knows how to kill it in a race. I knew he was able to ride the single a little smoother and faster than me so I was leading as long as possible to prolong the inevitable. Ryan went around me somewhere in the middle of the 2nd lap and that was the last time I saw him too. This is the point in the race that I knew I had to start using my skills and put down the power by myself to keep the rest of the field off my back. Knowing exactly where I was in the field my goal of a top 10 overall was mine to lose. I've been gunning for this goal since the first race of the season and have know I'm more than capable of the result and just need to put it all together and ride within myself. Having come so close on a number of occasions I reminded myself that today was the day and I was not going to let it slip now no matter how hard it hurt.
A couple guys were crossing the gap that I had built up with the lap traffic and with a half lap to go I knew it was going to be a battle royal in the last couple miles. Pulls were exchanged once they made contact and I knew I had to lead into the 2nd to last climb all the way up the ski hill before a technical decent, some single and the final monster climb to the finish. I dug pretty deep to get over the top of the climb ahead of the Polska rider with my heart still inside of my chest but beating so hard it was trying to get out! Skills were put to work and gave me a little gap on the decent and through the little bit of single before the last wall of a climb. A quick look over my shoulder at the bottom showed my gap was still there but not a whole lot. Spinning was all the legs could do at this point unless I wanted a complete locking cramp in both legs. With a little over 100 feet to go Polska made contact and gave just enough of an attack that I couldn't cover it. The battle was over and I was rolling in for 8th overall on the day and my first top 10 of the season! Mission (goal) accomplished and just in time for a rest week. A big thanks to Renee Elizabeth for the picture tags from the race.
The rest week is now over and the training has been ramped back up into full swing. The last little push in training is in effect right now before Ore to Shore and the first A race of the season. Before O2S though there is one more WORS race. I'm looking forward to it and hoping to improve on my placing from the last race after some rest. Next stop Camrock, WI.... I hope to see you all there.
Posted by Street-Player at 10:40 PM
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Since my last update I have partially started at least 4 posts and managed to not upload a single one. So now that I have a few minutes tonight I decided to post them all. It may be a little random at points but you'll get the idea.
Yea i'm "The Other Guy" which isn't so bad. Not the worst company to roll to a race with or get training advice from.
Managed a solid early season result and haven't been looking back ever since. This is probably my best start to a season in a few years which is a good sign of things to come.
I remember it was not all that long ago that I was super pumped to be graduating college and starting my first real job. School was beginning to drag on feeling tiresome and I was ready to move on and join the "Real World". Well my initial thoughts on how great the real world would be were a little skewed and at times I really miss the good ole days of school. Honestly I am very thankful for my job and am not trying to complain but merely explain my current thoughts. The mandatory minimum of 50 hours a week at work is the new tiresome act I find myself completing for the last couple months.
Time is more precious then ever before and must be managed carefully. Cycling is one of the few things that truly keeps me motivated and going day in and day out. I never realized the abundance of time I had in college until now when I could go for a training ride pretty much whenever I wanted. It's probably safe to say those days are going to be few and far between from here on out. Long story short I have to try to be smart about my time spent training given it's limited nature. Consistency is the key to success this season and I feel I'm off to a decent start even when it feels like my world is spinning at 100 mph to try to get all the things I want to do done.
One the 1st of June I pulled the trigger and signed up for professional coaching. Over the last couple years I have been getting help and advice here and there from my good friend and who I often call "Coach" Brian Matter. Since he has now made it official and joined forces with the all wise and talented T.J. Woodruff as a coach I have also taken the next step in my endeavors and decided to step it up to the next level with "Official" coaching. It's been less than 2 months and I can tell the difference in my overall preparedness and fitness improvements. I am very happy with my results so far and am on track to meet and hopefully exceed my goals for the season. If you are interested in being coach by one of the most knowledgeable people I know don't hesitate to email him (firstname.lastname@example.org) and see what it's all about.
As for the last couple weeks and races they have all gone pretty well. WORS #3 was Wausau and I proved to myself more than anyone else that I was in fact in half decent shape and my result at Iola wasn't a fluke. WORS #4 was the Subaru Cup and proved to be a tough weekend of racing in the CAT 1 field but still solid. Which brings us to last weekends races. Miners Revenge was a VERY last minute decision to race on Saturday. I was beyond impressed with the course and how technical it was. I can compare it to Mount Snow, Vermont and chalk it up as one of the most technical trails and races I have ever done. Did I mention we got to ride through an abandoned mine.... yea it was sweet.
I did my best to take it easy knowing I had another race the next day which proved easier said than done. The steep climbs and drops were just to fun to not rip them in a few sections and left me a little tired.
Matter and myself spent more than a few hours driving over the weekend, som
ewhere just over 20 hours by the time we went to the UP, back home and then to Eau Claire and back. Some how I managed to recover quite well and after a nice warmup I was ready to crush another days worth of racing. After about 60 seconds of racing I knew the legs were feeling GOOD. I managed to move from my 3rd row start position to 3rd place in the leadout and stayed there for the next 2 laps. I knew I was feeling good and also knew it wouldn't last forever with the previous days efforts. At the start of the 3rd lap the sweltering heat was really starting to take its toll and I had to go into survival mode and salvage my good start and placing as best possible. I was fading pretty good but managed to finish reasonably strong and put the icing on the cake from a great weekend of racing.
The coach really dialed up the training this last week with the most L.T. work I can ever remember doing. I'm still alive and can't wait to see what kind of new fitness I am going to get out of this last training block.
Next up WORS#6
Posted by Street-Player at 8:23 PM
Sunday, April 17, 2011
With the start of the mtb season all but 2 weeks away it has been long enough and I should probably make it known that I have found a new team to ride for in 2011.
KUHL is the name of the new team and if the last couple weeks of interacting with the new team are anything like the how this season will be.... well then I'm stoked!!!! From what I can tell everyone is super chill yet an adrenaline junkie in some way or another. The team is more than just riding mountain bikes but wide variety of sports including rock climbing and bouldering, literally climbing mountains, road, triathlon and mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding and the list goes on and on. A little pun is necessary at this point.... How cool is that! I feel very fortunate to not only have found a new team but a team that is so very diverse. The team is based out of Utah but has now looked to expand into the Midwest to further promote and expand their awesome products. Thanks to Tom Bender (former WORS elite racer) for orchestrating the new
I will be riding with a few local faces you may know this season which include Sarah and Scott Kylander Johnson, Dallas, Brad from CarboRocket, and a few others.
The last couple weeks have been super busy trying to finalize a last minute bike deal and hopefully get the new rig and new kits just in time for the season opener. I'm crossing my fingers but it looks like we will make it. Thanks to Trek Bikes for continuing to support our top athletes on one of the best bikes made on the planet; and it doesn't hurt that they are hand made right here in Wisco.
Here is a pic of my new ride for 2011 minus a few sweet upgrades.
I can't wait to get the new bike and FINALLY ride some dirt this year. It's been way to long and a little too close to the first mtb race of the season for my liking. The first race might be a little rough but the skills should come back quickly.
Pictures of the new ride and kits will be posted as soon as they show up. Till then keep the rubber side down and the training miles rolling.
Posted by Street-Player at 12:46 PM