Tuesday, October 27, 2009

az weekend recap (in photos)

we had a killer time in AZ... as always and can't thank tom and amy enough for hosting us. beth had a great race with a PR and I got in some fun riding in the dirt. so there's not really too much to write... so here are some photos from the trip.

obviously not AZ. the surf the morning we left. it was fun. i actually got in the water 4 times last week. it's been a very long time since i have surfed that much.

i spent 3 hours saturday morning chasing tom and brian around McDowell Mountain Park. they make me feel slow!

after riding we headed down the SOMA expo and got beth all ready to go.

satruday night after some "refreshments" we headed out to Chelsea's Kitchen. great food.

very solid ipa

she cleans up nice

tom and amy

sunday morning we were up super early to head down to the race. tom and i dropped beth off, parked, and the got on our bikes. we cruised around during the race and got to see a lot.



tom slugging hot chocolate. it was actually pretty cold down there until the sun came up.

bet bringing it home.

the champ. feeling good.

me and tom post race. i think we were more tired than beth.

good times.

Monday, October 19, 2009

SCPS#6 Race Report: blowing it!

another CX race in the books and another learning experience.

on sunday morning brandon, B&L's time trial machine, and i headed up to long beach for SCPS #6. We got there a little earlier than we needed to make sure I was there to check out ryan's first go at cyclocross. he had solid race and crossed the line gutted... definitely earning some beers.

my race started 1:30 and I got the first call up because i was still leading the series. i got the spot i wanted and proceeded to completely blow the start. I was in way to big of a gear and found myself somewhere back in the 20's heading into the first turn and then almost got taken out when things bunched. the laps were pretty long (we ended up doing 4) and i had a lot of work to do. so because i blew the start i had to work really, really hard to get through guys on the tight course. i caught the lead pack at the end of the first lap and sat in. when crossed the start finish line i was sitting pretty comfortably in 5th.

I moved into 4th and then a 1/3 of a way through the lap I came around and jumped into second and sat on the leader's wheel and then eventually took the lead. we were still rolling 5 deep with me on the front. i kept throwing in surges trying to break up the pack but they were hanging strong until towards the end of lap. i was finally able to make a move stick and only 2 guys were able to come with me... both from Helen's Cycles.

so heading into lap 3, the 3 of us were pretty much off the front with me leading the charge. i really wanted to get away and kept throwing down attacks. i would surge and try to get away but they were covering everything. half way through the lap the 3rd place guy took a little spill and I took advantage by putting in a strong move and me and second place guy got away. i tried hard but could not get him off my wheel.

on the final lap it was just me and him. again i just kept trying to crack him but he was strong and hanging on. i was still feeling good but wasn't sure how much they guy behind me had in the tank. 3/4's of a way through the final lap i blew it. we hit the sand pit, which was barely ridable and i had been running it all race, and dismounted... and tripped... and fell flat on my face. 2nd place ran by me and I scrambled to get back on my bike. he got a gap just big enough that i had to give everything to try to get back to him. just as i was getting close, going as hard as i could, we hit some sandy turns and i blew the second one by going in too hot and that was it... game over. his lead extended and i couldn't get back on in the final minutes of the race.

i rode in in second place... and knew i blew but not disappointed at all. the race was FUN. i definitely made some mistakes out there. the start for sure... time to start practicing those. turning my self inside during the first lap of every race to get up to the lead group is killing me. i also need to make other guys work and take the lead. i shouldn't have pulled the group and sat on the front for the final 3 laps. once the 3 of us got away and i could not get them off my wheel i should have sat up and let them take the lead and do some of the work/thinking and then attacked from behind when i could tell they were slowing. lessons learned.

so it was another tough fun race. my next race will Storm the Beach on 11/1 which is the race the Celo Pacific puts on. I will be helping setting up the course and working at the race. It should be a fun weekend... but first... beth and i are headed to AZ on Friday and she is racing the Soma Half on sunday. she's ready to go... she pr'd this weekend in a tough XC 5k and has been riding solid, and killing it in the pool. sunday will be fun to watch. we'll be staying with my buddy tom and i am taking the mtb and am stoked to get in some riding with him.

...tonight is HUGE!!!! The bolts on MNF against the undefeated (and hated) broncos! I have some great beers in the fridge and am counting down the minutes until kick off!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

cross training...

good post recapping last weekend's races at outside all day.

so i have had some people ask me what i have been doing for training these days. to be honest i haven't really had any kind of plan. my last block of focused training was before the US MTB Cup Unification race and since then i have been just doing what I feel like and racing cross on the weekends. I haven't been training for "cross" because my fitness is still high from the solid plan Trevor had me on over the summer and leading into my final MTB races of the year.

so my weeks have been pretty much about recovering with some EZ riding and running through wednesday (assuming i raced on the weekend). On thursday I have been hitting the swami's early morning ride and then on friday I have been tearing up the local neighorhood trails on the the tricross! all the soccer mom's walking their dogs love me! then i race on the weekends. i have also been getting back in the gym.

i'm going to be all about cross training over the next few months... i don't mean cyclocross. beth and i just joined the YMCA that is a 5 minute walk from our front door. yesterday morning i went to a TRX/Gravity Boot camp. it was killer. 45 minutes of running, jumping rope, plyometrics, medicine ball throws, squats on the BOSU, and a lot upperbody and core work on the gravity. i was sore by lunch! I also bought my own TRX for home and plan using it often.

Gravity. the same people who make this made the chuck norris total gym... and probably the best infomercial ever!

TRX system.

i really enjoy lifting weights, functional strength training, and hitting the gym. so now that i am only focusing on one sport (cycling) i have plenty of time to get back in the gym and it's fun to try new things. it's fun and totally different from training for endurance sports which is a good thing... especially this time of year.

sunday i will be racing SCPS #6 the long beach CX festival at el dorado park. i have heard the course is really fun and I am stoked ryan will be coming out for his first CX race. he got his bike and monday and is jumping into the fun this weekend. stoked.

that's it... time to go ride.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kross-Toberfest Race Reports

Awesome weekend of racing and some killer photos from last weekends race in Irvine courtesy of Richard Miller!

this weekend was the Southern California Prestige Series (SCPS) Kross-Toberfest weekend with races on both saturday and sunday up at Bonelli park. I was really looking to racing two days in a row again. my body seems to respond well to it. the last and only time i have done it was the weekend of 9/19-20 when I raced my first CX race (2nd Place) and backed it up with winning the US MTB Cup Unification race on Sunday... which, ironically, were also both held in Bonelli park.

Saturday. Day 1.

one of the good things about cross is the relaxed start times. my race (men cat 3/4) always starts at 1:15. so even with the 80 minute drive up to San Dimas there is no need to rush around in the morning. plenty of time to relax and have a solid breakkie before hitting the road. i got to the park registered and watched a bunch of my Celo Pacific teammates have great races on a really fun course.

at 1:15 we were ready to go. i got a call-up this week because i was in 4th place overall in the standings so i was able to start on the front. this helped a lot. when the gun went off we were hammering up the road and when we hit the dirt and into a tight corners i was in 6th... right where i wanted to be. nearing the end of lap 1 i had moved into 3rd place and then went to the front before we got back on the road to the start/finish.

i was leading a pack of 5+ into lap 2 and controlling the pace. i kept throwing in surges, not to try and get away, but to just make the guys behind work a bit. then i blew it one of the run-ups when i couldn't get my shoe out of my pedal and a guy took the lead from me. no worries. i just sat on his wheel and then went back to the front near the end of the lap. i was liking being in control. entering lap 3 there 3 of riding together with a couple of others just off the back.

i wanted to get away. so i just kept throwing down move after move and was finally able to make one stick. once i got a way i didn't let up. i got a sizable gap going into lap 4 of 5 and was able to hold on for the win. my first CX win. i was super stoked and had a killer time. i love all the strategy and mind games involved. good racing.

after the race i cooled down for a bit, packed up the truck, and headed for my sisters in LA. I spent the rest of the afternoon chillen on the couch, watching the MLB Playoffs (damn i hate the dodgers), Ironman converage, and then unfortunately Florida taking it to LSU... oh yeah... and enjoying and ice cold Stone IPA and some epic black bean/steak chili my sister made. perfect day.

i was in bed by 9:45 and didn't wake up until 6:30am. solid sleep.


I lounged around a bit, ate breakfast, and watched the NFL pre-game shows before heading out.

pre-race breakkie quesadilla. corn tortillas, with Nuttzo and a banana cooked in the toaster oven... plus a lot of coffee.

I got in a solid warm-up and then it was time to race again. i got another call up and this time i was first because saturday's win put me in the lead of the points series. however this time i didn't have a great start... actually i blew it and didn't charge hard enough and heading off the road into the first tight corner i was sitting in 15th or so. so i had to work to do and I did.

by the end of the first lap i was riding in a pack of 5 including Griffith and Doug who I have been battling in every race so far this year. by the middle of lap 2 the 3 of us got away from others and then near the end of the lap i wanted to get a way so i put a move and got a small gap.

i hit the road heading to the start/finsh and put my head down and hammered and was able to extend my lead and I didn't let up. the race was 6 laps and i was heading into lap 3 with a solid lead and riding scared. i held my lead and then in the middle of lap i crashed in a turn and dropped my chain and it got wedged in my front der... always something. this let griffith and Doug close the gap a bit but as soon as i was back on my bike i went as hard as i could for 5+ mintues and was able to get all the time i lost back plus some more. i was able to hold on take the win for the second day/race in a row.

so it was definitely a good weekend of racing and I am learning more about cross racing every time i race. i love the tactics and head to head racing.

after the race i hung out for a bit and then headed home to hang out with beth... and get caught on all the football and baseball i missed!

last week i pick Pizza Port's fall seasonal High Tide Fresh Hop IPA and was saving it for after the weekend's races... and since I won my races I got to drink int out of the "victory mug"!

then we headed to Rimel's for an epic "victory meal". grilled scallops, sauteed veggies, and roasted potatoes.

awesome weekend... and there will be more racing next weekend. loving the fall!

congrats to everybody that killed it in Kona! gnarly.

Friday, October 09, 2009

coaching, testing, racing... and beer...

kind of a mixed post. first of all my good friend, and the guy who helped me make huge gains on the bike this year, has some openings for athletes for 2010. If you have followed my blog you know i have been working with trevor all year and there is no question i am faster than ever before on 2 wheels. whether you are going to race bike, triathlon, or run i am positive Trevor can help you out. if you are interested get in touch with him: tglavin1@msn.com

Second up are some posts from Cody. he is going some pretty interesting testing between his hardtail and full-suspension mountain bikes. Check it out here.

i am pretty stoked for the upcoming weekend. i will be heading up to Bonelli park in San Dimas again for another weekend of cross racing. this weekend is Kross-tober-fest weekend with races on both saturday and sunday. so i'll head up saturday to race, and then head to my sisters for the night, and then head back on sunday to throwdown again. it's a good chance for me to get some points for the series. i am currently in 5th place in 3/4 men after racing 2 of the 3 races so far. they count your best 10 throughout the season. currently being in 5th also means i will get a call-up for the races this weekend which will hopefully make for a better start. i really need to be in the lead pack right out of the gate... that's the goal for the weekend.

training-wise i have just been cruising. some mellow running, riding, and also getting back in the gym a bit. nothing hard.

and of course with it being the "offseason" with NFL football and the MLB playoffs going on right now I have definitely been enjoying some good beers. i really hoping to resurrect my beer blog.

that's all for now.

Monday, October 05, 2009

getting there... go team!

no photos... i know it makes for a boring post but i really haven't taken the camera out since we moved... i get back at it.

i think we have finally turned the corner and are officially "moved in". so stoked. i love our new place but getting everything done has been some hard work.... especially when you mix in real work (jobs) and training. so beth and i have been burning at both ends for sure but it looks we are past that. so i am really looking forward to getting back to normal days and just being able to come home from work and relax.

i got in some good riding and running this past week. nothing really hard except the swami's ride on tuesday morning. I ran 3 times this week ( 6+, 10, 8+ miles) for a total of 25.11 miles and felt pretty good. I'll probably try to keep the mileage in the 25-30 range the next couple of weeks and see how the body responds.

i got out with beth for a long ride up to san clemente on saturday morning. we gotta a late start which was awesome... not rushing. just woke up, drank coffee, ate breakkie, and then hit the road. the weather was perfect. 65-70 and not a single cloud in the sky and light winds. we could have ridden all day. we got in 4 hours and called it a day and then headed home to finish up on the crib.

on sunday beth was up early to head down to race the mission bay tri and i headed north up to irvine to race Velocity Cross (SCPS #3). we got there with plenty of time before the 1pm start to get in a long warm up and the race was delayed because of bad crash in the race before so we had to clear the way for an ambulance.

the cat 3/4 race was gnarly and the biggest field of the day with 80 guys on the line... seriously. i was sitting in the 4th row back on the start and it was about 6 across. the course was another fun one. i think we did 5 or 6 laps during the race... i can't remember. there were a couple of run-ups, some barriers, and bunch of tight twisty, technical corners.

i had a bad start (i know... shocking) and heading into the first series of corners was probably in 30th-40th place... totally blowing it. so i began to chase... and chase... and chase. over the course of the next couple of laps i worked my way in to the top 5 and then into 3rd. 1st and 2nd were riding together and kind of playing with each other and not wanting to pull each other around. so i knew there was a pretty good chance i could catch if i continued to hammer. just before the end of the second to last lap i caught them and we rolled through the start/finish line 3 deep and out onto the final lap.

i was sitting in... in 3rd position letting them pull me up the short road section. about a 1/3 of the way through the lap i made a move and went to the front. they latched on to it. they we hit another fire road section and made another move and then totally washed out in a loose corner and went down. they went by me and i tried jump right back but my rear brake was rubbing hard. i looked down to see a rock wedged in my brake/shifter. it took me a second to get it out and gave them some time to get a gap on me. i chased for the rest of lap but couldn't get back up to them.

i finished in 3rd place, only 10 seconds back of first, and 5 or so on second... and pretty stoked with the way i rode. racing head to head on the final lap was awesome and something i have been really looking forward to. i need to start better though. i can ride with the leaders i just need to start the race with them instead of chasing them down all race.

i'll say it again... i love cross racing. i like it just as much as racing my mountain bike for sure and can't wait to race again next weekend... twice.

after the race i hauled ass home to hang out with beth (who killed it in her race) and watch a very disappointing chargers game. i don't what the hell is up with them right now.... i think the coaching is horrific! but it was ok... i had some good beers and beth owned it in the kitchen making awesome nachos and turkey chili.

so back to some light riding and running this week and then more racing next weekend. good times.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

let the "offseason" begin...

before i get into anything concerning me... well not directly. gordon just got a killer new bike and it has sparked my interest. he just built himself a 2010 Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper Carbon HT 29er! I checked it out yesterday and it's sick. I plan on riding it very soon. there is no question i want this bike... either in the 29 or 26 version. check the B&L blog for gordon's review and description of the bike.

the last race i had on my race calendar for the year that i was actually training for was the innagural SoCal Epic 50 miler and since i am not doing that anymore the season is over! kind of...

it's different for me this year. i actually raced a lot less and it was mostly all on the bike. it definitely didn't beat me up the way racing and training for xterra did the past 3 years. in years past by the time i hit october i was burning out... fast and my body was getting tired/rundown. this year i don't have that feeling. my body feels good and I am really looking forward to hitting up the 'cross circuit.

my plan for the the fall is to race a lot of cyclocross, do the last 3 dirt dog XC running, races, and have fun. i am not going to follow any specific training plan or put together some master plan to peak for any of these races. that's the beauty of these races. they are short and just anaerobic hammerfests (my favorite type of racing). the CX races for cat 3/4 are 45 minutes of hell on the bike and the running races are no longer than 4 miles... but super hard.

so it's simple. not much prep is needed. no need to worry about nutrition, race planning, or tapering. just show up on the weekends, throwdown, and have a good time.

so i am going to back off the bike miles a bit, but still get out on some group rides, try to hit the trails with beth as much as possible, and go long on the weekends if i have time. for the run i am just going to try and get back at it. for the last month i have been running 1-2 days a week and not fast... and not really having that much fun doing it but i think that will change if i start getting some more miles in my legs. beth is convinced i will find my love of running again as soon as i starting getting out there more regularly. so for right now i am just going to try to run 3-4 days a week, mellow, and try to build a long run back up to 90 minutes. i haven't run over an hour since may.

so this is the start of my "offseason". no race focus, just having fun and staying in shape... and hammering on the weekends! it's nice that it's october and i have no big races looming. i just want have fun riding my bikes and running (not training), watching football & the MLB playoffs, and drinking good beer!