Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rim Nordic #4 Race Report (the finals!)

i had a really good recovery/race week leading up to the race on sunday. i had a full on recovery week leading into race #3, didn't do much for intensity during the days leading up and felt a little flat race day. i wanted to treat this past week as more of a "race" week and to try to lockdown my plan for my final big race of the year on 9/20, the US MTB Cup Unification Race.

So this week i added a little intensity by hitting the swami's ride on thursday and put in some work but didn't go as hard as normal, and then rode with the Celo Pacific crew on saturday and also opened it up a bit... but still held back and played it safe. I was also stoked that beth and a few friends cruised down for the ride. it was rad having luke, slater, justin, and allison out there dropping the hammer and pushing the pace.

the restof saturday was spent running around north county. we hit B&L to pick up my wheel. gordon once again dialed me in last minute by re-sealing my wheel. the support i get from gordon and B&L is HUGE. i never ever have to stress about my bikes... they know and love what they are doing. if you are taking your bike anywhere else you are blowing it!

after getting my wheel we knocked out some gripping wedding invitation shopping... actually i did have fun looking through the five 10 inch thick binders of samples at the paper source. our last errand was my favorite... we hit costco to start shopping for our (my) new TV. this is what i am thinking as of right now: Vizio XVT Series 47" 1080p. Any thoughts?

our pre-race dinner. bbq chicken tacos and coleslaw with granny smith apples. good. beth also made a killer salad.

breakkie on the road sundy morning: mesa sunrise waffles (gluten/wheat free), nuttzo, and agave nectar.

ok... the race report.

beth's race started at 10:12 and mine was at 11:34. so i watched her take off.

Then I discovered that my front brake was broken. the body of the brake lever actually had cracked and there was no way to mount the front brake to the bars. i have no idea when or how it happened. so i had to break out my macgyver skills. i was kind of nervous as there was still some movement but it was good enough to race.

I found out earlier in the week that me and Griffith (now former Celo Pacific teammate) were in a dead even tie for the overall points series. I had won 2 of the 3 XC races and finished 2nd in the other. Griffith had 2 x 2nd's and a 1st in the XC races, but also took the win in the stage race that i didn't do giving him another win. they take your 3 best scores and drop the others. so we were tied with 2 wins and a second place finish each. it would all come down to sunday's race.

the race started in typical fashion. Marco went off the front, taking the lead, then it was Griffith, me, and couple of others behind as we approached the start of the single/double track climb. then unexpectedly Griffith pulled a Bart Taylor on me (if you don't know who Bart Taylor is you need to watch the greatest movie of all-time: RAD). he slowed down and waived me around him just like Bart did to Cru at Hell Track. i wasn't sure whether to go or not. my plan was to just sit on his wheel and then decide when to make my move, and wasn't expecting for the games to begin right off the bat.

so i went around and he proceeded to just sit on my wheel followed by the others. i decided to keep the pace a little mellower than normal even though this was allowing Marco to open up a gap on us. about half way through the climb, when we reached a really steep section i decided to throw down a move and see if i could break away from Griffith and the others... it worked. See the graph below. it's pretty ease to see where i made my move... at the 1.7 mile mark... hitting 200 bpms!

near the top of the climb i caught up to marco and went around, taking the lead. i just kept hammering and got away from everybody... and this time didn't let up. I finished the first two laps and was still in the lead and wanted to make sure to not let up like last race where I almost got caught.

on the final lap I got through the first climb and then saw one of the pro racers ahead (they started 4 mins ahead). I made it my mission to get to him. this pushed me and i finally got to him on the final climb and passed him. Even though we weren't officially "racing" each other i road like we were so I would keep the hammer down. I was able to hold him off and crossed the line ahead of him, taking the win in Cat 1 30-34, and winning the overall series. Stoked.

the race data:
18.54 miles,
Avg HR: 184 bpm
Max HR: 200 bpm

i am really happy with this race and it's easliy the best i have put together from start to finish. i rode hard, and focused the whole time. i also rode the descents faster and cleaner than ever. I am super stoked that our team, Celo Pacific, was able to take 3rd place in the team competition. I had a blast racing the series with the Celo crew. Great people and good times.



once we finally got home from the race, got everything put away, and cleaned up it was time celebrate victory. i had been saving a good beer for this occasion.

Avery Mahraja (courtesy of Ryan)

then i cooked up an epic recovery/celebration dinner. sirloin burgers, turkey burgers, grilled onions, peppers, mushrooms, and sweet & purple potato fries. oh yeah.... and another beer! come see me!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friction Fighter!

a couple of months ago i got an email from the folks at Anti Monkey Butt Powder and they wanted me to test their product. With all the time I have been spending in the saddle and driving to races i was definitely interested.

once i received the Anti Monkey Butt Powder I began using it right away. it definitely works. i have been using before rides and runs, especially when it's hot, and it's definitely helped reduce chafing and increase overall comfort. I have also just been using it on a daily basis post workout while at work sitting in my office all day. it's definitely made me faster on the bike.... ok not really, but it does work and definitely increases comfort. I have a couple of road trips coming and I will definitely be using it.

I want to say thanks to the the guys and girls at Anit Monkey Butt Powder for giving me the opportunity to test their product.

training... i finishing up a solid recovery week and really looking forward to racing on Sunday. I have been on the bike but the miles have been mellow. yesterday i hit the swami's ride and put in a couple of efforts but then just played it smart, and didn't attempt to make the front group when they made their break. I had a recovery week leading into the last Rim Nordic race and didn't do ANY intensity in the week leading up to the race and I felt bit flat on race day. So this week I wanted to experiment a bit and see how i feel on sunday.

I have a chance to win the series but I am going to have to throwdown! I'm ready.

Monday, August 24, 2009

what weekends should be!

last week was big... in many ways. first and foremost it was our 2 year anniversary. as far as training goes i finished up the biggest (highest volume + intensity) two weeks i have ever put in on the bike. race-wise we raced in the first race of the Dirt Dog XC series on saturday and beth raced in the Surf Town Triathlon on Sunday. and last but certaintly not least, good times-wise, we went to the Stone Brewing 13th Anniversary festival on saturday.

riding wise i feel like i am really starting to see a major change. all this riding has definitely made me stronger and will ultimately make me faster as we start to reduce the volume and get me ready to throwdown at the end of the season races. the last two weeks were challenging for sure but i was never over it. i really do love riding my bikes and get stoked to tackle tough workouts. this week will be all about recovering from the 600+ miles of put in my legs over the past two weeks and also getting ready to race the final race of the Rim Nordic series next weekend.

saturday was tough one. we raced the Wild Duck 5k at Guajome park in oceanside. beth and i are both running for Team BSK/Running Center this year in the SDTC's Dirt Dog XC series. It's always fun to actually be doing the same races from the time to time. it makes things pretty simple.

my race went better than expected considering the run training i have been doing which has basically consisted of 2 runs a week of 45-60 minutes and no interval work. mainly just hitting the trails and running by feel which i usually about 7:00-7:15/mile pace. defintely nothing to get me prepared for how hard the XC running races are. i know i am really "fit" right now with all the riding i am doing but my leg turnover running-wise is just not there... and doesn't really concern me right now. it'll comeback.

i decided to start conservatively so I hopefully wouldn't blow up and could finish strong. i actually ended starting way to mellow and before i knew it i was probably in about 40th of 180 as we hit a narrow trail. i had to run my way through the crowd to get back near the front and was working harder than i wanted to. that was pretty much the story of the race. i worked my way consitently towards the front, got passed by a couple of guys, but then passed them all back with a final strong kick in the .25 miles. i think i got 5 guys in the .25 so that was good.

making a move on the finaly uphill grass section.

when i crossed the line the clock read 16:57, but when they posted the results they had me at 17:00... gotta love manual timing. either way i'll take it. i was 18th overall. i knew the race was going to be tough and was thinking before the race that i would be happy with anything around 18 minutes on the rolling course. i am really looking forward to running the rest of the series and building my running back up as the mountain bike race season ends and the the Dirt Dog series progresses the championships on 11/14.

i was also stoked because it was my first race in my 2009 Avia Avi-Bolt II's. they were awesome, super light, and comfortable. i can't want to race in them again.

after the race on sunday i jumped on my bike and rode 40+ miles home and it was probably the best thing i could have done for my legs. i was worked after the race and the first 30 minutes of the ride was a full-on sufferfest but then after that i felt rad... and got in some solid miles, and felt great waking up sunday morning.

Beth had two really good races this week. she is definitely getting her running legs back. she had a solid 5k on saturday and then we were up mega early to head down to Imperial Beach (borders mexico) where she killed it at the Surf Town Tri. check her blog for the details. i watched her race and hung out with a bunch of friends before jumping back on my bike and riding home. it was long ride going through downtown and the harbor wasn't too fun but i got it done to finish my biggest week of riding... ever. 310 miles (286 road/24 mtb).

view from my sunday ride home from the top of mt. soledad.

ok... all training and racing aside. the real highlight of the weekend was attending Stone Brewing's 13th Anniversary Celebration. saturday afternoon after riding, running, and relaxing a bit we headed over (it was 5 miles from our house!). there were 40+ breweries on hand, each with multiple beers to try. for the price of admission you got 10 x 5oz tasters.

putting together our plan of attack.

i was on an IPA mission! hopefully i'll get around to posting a more detailed review on the beer blog, but for now i'll let the photos show how much fun we had and how good the beers were. definitely some new favorites and ones i want to drink more of.

comemorative tasting glass.

beth was a champ. she drove us there and only had a couple of tastes, which meant me and our crew had a couple of extra tastings to go around! i owe her for sure.

since beth was taking it easy Kerri stepped up and was my tasting teammate. she went beer for beer with me! she really like the Brew Dog Punk IPA.

i thought it was just OK.

as usual i made some new friends. these were the "Arrogant Bitches". Huge stone and IPA fans and have been to every anniversay fest. dedication. i love it!

beth did find one Belgian Beer she really liked.

me and nikee... she loves IPA as much as I do!

our crew. good times.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

another year... and a mid-week vacation

Wednesday was our 2 year anniversary. so i took wednesday and thursday off of work to spend some quality time with the 'lil monster before she heads back to work next week. last year for out anniversary we raced in the playa del run aquathlon... this year... we shredded some singletrack on the mountain bikes. definitely proof that i have found the right one... even if she is a little crazy!

beth owning the rock garden before dropping in.

team. cheese.

after hitting the trails in the morning we headed out later in the afternoon for some happy hour beachside.

i love oysters.

really i do.

after rehydrating we headed to an epic japanese restaurant. i can't even begin to describe how good the food (and saki) was. i don't want to give the name out of the place... because it's so small and when we got there for our 6:30 reservation there was already a 45 minute wait... on a wednesday night! so you'll have to find it yourself.

saki sampler

the end of our killer day.

on the training front things are going really well this week... but i'll save the details for another post.

Monday, August 17, 2009

ripping my legs off...

first of all... the biggest new of the week. my lil monster landed an epic job. she made it through a gnarly interview process and is now an official school psychologist

i really like riding my bikes....

week one of this tough 2 week block is in the bag. the week was definitely challenging but left with me a lot of motivation and confidence that what I am doing... training my ass off, recovering, and sticking to Trevor's plan is definitely working.

this week was all about finding some motivation during my rides. in my last post i mentioned that I PR'd my race loop (hell track) on thursday morning. i pushed really hard and i was out there solo early in the morning. sometimes it's hard to get motivated to push really hard out there by myself but after looking at the race results from last weekend's Rim Nordic XC race, where I almost let my lead and the win get away, i needed to step up my game. i thought i had held griffith by about 30 seconds but in reality it was only 9... yeah... 9 seconds. way too close, especially when i had over a minute lead heading into the last lap.

i just didn't push hard enough when i was off the front in the race... didn't keep the hammer down. so that's what i thought about during my hell track interval. just staying motivated to push hard and keep hammering even though i am not tracking anybody down or can see any one chasing me. it worked.

saturday was about a whole different kind of motivation. the motivation was to not get dropped and try to hang with some super fast guys. earlier in the week i rounded up a crew strong dudes (luke, slater, & sean) and planned a killer route. towards the end of the week I got an email from Brent asking me if I wanted to come ride with his crew. they were doing a similar route but incorporating some stuff I had never ridden before. I ran it by the boys and they were down so we joined forces.

the route:

i was kind of nervous for the ride. i was going to be riding one of the toughest routes in our area and with a bunch of strong guys... most of them being roadies. so i knew i was going to have to work to keep up. I think we rolled out at 7am 15+ deep and ready to hammer.

pre-ride fuel. gluten free waffle, Nuttzo, banana, & agave nectar.

elevation profile.

the ride lived up to my expectations and was epic. the highlight for me was the climbing palomar (south grade). my goal was to set a new PR and i new with the crew i was with that if i just dug deep and stayed with the top guys I should have been able to do it. it didn't really play out as i expected. i was on the front, leading a group of 5, working hard, and trying to not blow up. i ended up leading for about 90% of the climb and then Brent came around and it was just me and him for the last .75 mile of the climb. he lead me the rest of the way. mission accompished. new PR!

there was still plenty of hard riding ahead of us but i got through it. great day of riding with a cool, talented crew. i was definitely out of my comfort zone for quite a bit of the ride but i will be better for it. i hope that I rode well enough get back on some more epic rides with these guys.

the ride:
duration: 5:22
distance: 94.6 miles with 8500+ ft of climbing
work: 3343 kJ
normal power: 223
avg power: 175 (672 max)
avg heart rate: 151 bpm (190 bpm max)
* I weighed in at 133lbs the morning before the ride.

Palomar comparison.

Old PR: 5.25.2009
duration: 1:11:15
normal power: 251
avg power: 249 (384 max)

New PR: 8.15.2009
duration: 1:07:05
normal power: 267
avg power: 263 (429 max)

so it's been about 2.5 months since i set my "old PR" back in may and the numbers don't lie. i am getting stronger and faster! stoked.

the original plan was to back up Saturday's epic ride with another hard effort on the SART (Santa Ana River Trail). That just wasn't in the cards. Luke and I were pretty shelled after saturday's ride, slater and sean were heading out for a longer day than i could commit to, and ryan was nursing a tweaked hamstring (just like he nurses his beers!) so we decided to bag it and save it for another weekend.

i was kind of stoked because i raced last weekend and have not slept in for a couple of weekends due training and racing. so we ended going out saturday night and having a killer time with some friends and just relaxing. i actually slept until 7am on sunday (late for me) and then headed out for some more mellow road miles. I would have rather of hit the trails but got in another solid 60 miles on the road. my legs felt pretty good. after the ride beth made me a killer brunch and we just relaxed around the house all day... eating. we were both pretty beat from some solid weeks of training.

"recovery" snacks

so yeah... a big week. the biggest ever for me mileage wise. 299.95 miles! I should have spun around the parking lot on saturday to hit 300!

I have another hard week ahead of me, including the first race of the Dirt Dog XC series (it's gonna hurt!).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

just training


first and foremost training is going great this week. i have had some really solid sessions on the bike and both my runs thus far have been really good too. the body feels good.

the training week started on monday afternoon with a mellow cruise up and down the coast with beth. just easy spinning and good times. it had been a while since we hit the road together.

i got down to business on tuesday with a group ride with the swami's and then I knocked out 8 solid miles with Toby in PQ canyon during lunch. I was pretty surprised with how my body bounced back after Sunday's race. I am attributing it to all the beer and fro-yo consumed on Sunday night.

wednesday was just a a couple of hours on the road bike. nothing hard.

today (thursday) was a great day of work outs. i was up early and out on the trails for some bike intervals. it started with 10 x 2 mins ALL OUT! I felt good from the get go and after the intervals it was time for a lap of "Hell Track". it's my "race" loop. it's about 6.6 miles with 1100+ ft of climbing. My previous best time was 40:25 and today i crushed that with a 39:37 lap! progress.

hell track

then it was time for another lunch run. i was kind of tentative as to how my legs would feel after the morning ride but they were feeling good. I knocked out a new fartlek interval workout on the trails. i started with 2 x 3-2-1 (mins) with each interval getting faster/harder and then knocked out two solid hill repeats with some 1 min intervals in between. i kind of made this workout up as i went and really liked it. it will be repeated.

that's it so far this week. tomorrow will be mellow and then the weekend is going to be gnarly... i am not going to go into right now but i am going to be putting in some mega miles on the bikes. this will probably be the hardest back to back days on the bike that i have ever put in and with some really strong dudes. can't wait... kind of.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rim Nordic #3 Race Report

a good recovery week and weekend of fun and racing is behind me. i ended the week with some more easy riding and my body definitely started to get the itch to hammer.

on saturday morning i was up early to head down and watch beth and friends race Surf Monkey. it's a killer event with a bunch of different races. beth was racing in the stand alone 5k beach run for the Lululemon team. I got down there right as the sun came up and got in water for some super fun waves.... this session got be super stoked on surfing again. i had waist to chest perfect, clean, left wedges all to myself.

post surf love from the champ. i'm a lucky dude. thanks for the paparazzi photo kirsten.

pretty cold after getting out of the water and watching the 5k.

beth had a good race and finished 3rd overall and scored a bunch of good prizes. it was definitely one of the coolest events i have seen put on down here. i will definitely be participating next year... i just need to get me a paddleboard. after watching beth race i headed home and got on my bike to shake out the legs before sundays race. i kept it mellow on the coast with some race pace accellerations to get the blood flowing.

we were up early again sunday... this time we headed up to running springs for Rim Nordic XC#3. earlier in the week i convinced beth to race... and i was nervous. i knew she could handle it, especially after the way she was riding last weekend, but the course is pretty gnarly for a beginner.

beth pre-race. not stoked. she kept talking about how she would have rather slept in a bit rather than got up early to get there in time for the cat 3 races.

of course in true beth fashion she killed it and won the Cat 3 women's race by quite a bit. after the race we decided this was her last Cat 3/beginner race and she will be moving up to Cat 2 for her next race which will hopefully be on 8/30 at the final Rim Nordic Race.

the race director telling beth she was a sandbagger... not really. just giving her some course info.

i blew it with the camera. beth on her way to the finish.

I had a solid day on the bike too. another small field, but all fast dudes and fun guys to race against. the race went out really fast and was 3rd as we hit the single track climbing.

the start. trying not to end up DFL.

i was feeling good, a little flat, but i had plenty of juice in the legs. in the first two races up there this year i have just sat in on the intial climbs and waited to make my move on the fireroad climb. not this time. i took the lead in the race about 3/4's of the way up the single track. i got to fireroad and worked hard and got a pretty good gap.

i finished the frist lap in first place and then proceeded to have a horrible second lap. i nailed the single track climb again, but then kind of lost focus on the fireroad and wasn't pushing as hard as i should/could have. then to make it worse i was totally blowing the descents.

i finished the 2nd lap and still had a 1 minute lead over my teammate Griffith. I knew he would be coming for me and he definitely had the strength to catch me.

my hot water girl!

i got my act together and had a solid 3rd lap and nailed the descent to hold on for the win... barely. i was kind of shocked to see how close Griffith crossed the line behind me. maybe 30 seconds... maybe. i had no idea he was that close. it was a wake up call for sure.

the race.
21 miles, 3500+ ft of climbing
avg hr 178, max hr 198

it's hard to go off the front and hold it for 3 laps with out letting up and getting complacent. I am much better at chasing then I am at holding a lead. i also definitely lost focus on the second lap and nearly paid for it in the end. lesson learned. keep the hammer down.

so with one race left i have set myself for a chance to win the series. so with 2 wins and one 2nd place finish all I have to do is have solid final race on 8/30. anything can happen, but I would be stoked to win it!

i have a hard two weeks of training ahead including and epic weekend of riding on tap. i am really looking forward to hitting hard...