Monday, March 29, 2010

blown away... but not surprised.

beth on the home stretch!
before i get down to business... the "iamspecialized" facebook page just launched. give it a look. become a fan/friend. best bikes and gear out there.

 my wife keeps on impressing me. she is amazing.

on satruday beth raced the california 70.3, won her AG (3rd amateur woman overall), and snagged a KONA SLOT! i am so proud of her. she trained her butt off, put together a solid race, and more importantly had fun doing it. she is in great shape... the dirkster knows what's up!
filling out the KONA paperwork... with pizza in hand!
i had plans to race in sunday in Fontana, and even pre-rode the course on friday with ryan. i never had this race on my schedule because i knew beth would be racing on saturday and it was a big race for her and i didn't want to worry about my race. but after missing bonelli i decided i would give it a go. after she won her race i decided immediately to not race. satruday was her day and her biggest accomplishment in racing so far (in my opinion). there were awards to go to, kona slots to register for, and friends were having a post-race party. i had been up and on my feet since 4am and was beat... more so than beth!

so instead of heading home and rushing around to get my race gear ready, setting the alarm for 4am again, and getting to bed early we celebrated! post award beers at breakwater in brewing co., post-race party at charisa's (ian came through big time with a growler of port wipeout ipa), dinner at el caribe, and fro-yo for dessert. a long, awesome day!
post award beers at breakwater brewing co
frist time at breawater.  definitely going back.  many good beers.
beth had a rad race and so did a bunch of our friends. our house guests on friday night, slater and monique (team SlaMo) killed it and both had PR days. the women of team nytro (kristen, colleen, vicki, polly) ruled the podium. ian and charisa made their pro debuts against a super stacked field. leslie kicked ass taking the second overall and almost running herself to the win! pat took second in the gnar 30-34 AG and passed on his kona slot because he has a little grom on the way. kim mcdonald and kim rouse both ruled their AG's and will be heading back to Kona.  sorry if i forgot anyone... the day was kind of a blur.
slater... crushing dreams
I can't wait for Kona! it's going to be so much fun... for me... no pressure... just good times with a bunch of friends and watching beth throw down.

since i decided not to race on sunday cody gave me a "gnar sesh". i headed out to hodges and got it done. the weather is amazing right now. 80 and sunny! after the ride and headed home and then we took off for the beach to hang with tom and kerri. so fun and the perfect ending to the weekend. beach, sun, good times... and some IPA!
the view.

well deserved.
i am itching to race a bit but just going with the flow and enjoying what life throws at me... i will just be patient... kind of what i did last year. i built my race fitness and speed throughout the year and got stronger as it went along. i have some good races coming up and a lot of travel so bagging fontana is probably a good call in the long run.
4/16 - sea otter
4/24 - whiskey 50
5/1 - travel to utah for im saint george
5/8 - the traverse

then there are bunch of big races and cross starts in september and that's when i want to be flying!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Vision Quest 2010

Satruday was Vision Quest and it was a good day.  This was second time i have raced Vision Quest, the first time being in 2008 and last year i did shorter, but still brutal, Counting Coup.  I had originally planned on doing Counting Coup again this year, but after missing registration and it selling out in record time I decided I would take a slot for VQ or CC....whatever i could get.  The first offer i got was to buy an entry into VQ so I jumped on it and I am glad I did.

totals for the day:
55.14 miles
10,686 ft of climbing
avg hr: 153
max hr: 184

Here's the report... out my training log:

me descending motorway.  rad shot from Jason Zidroski - highrev photography
no warm up before the race. ryan and i made the call just to get to the front before the crowds. cold but could have been way worse. wore the perfect gear (thanks Skinfit!).

race started and i was able to latch on the front pack rolling out on blackstar. good thing because my lights were not good enough for how dark it was. the packed split about half way up and i hung on to a sho-air guy's (jason - cool dude) wheel until the golf ball. sitting on his wheel was probably a good there were times i thought he as holding me back and other times pushing me. helped me keep my effort in check.

blackstar (gate 2 gage): 44:30

i was feeling good and sun was coming up. killer views. stayed on it heading to motorway. lost sho-air b/c i had to take a leak at 1:33 mark and didn't want to have to descend motorway with anything on my mind.

top bstar gate to top of motorway: 55:01

motorway descent went well. rode smooth and stayed in control.

motorway: 13:40

rolled through aid station #1 and had them fill my bottle and got back on it. pushed up silverado to maple springs. halfway up maple springs i was feeling REALLY good and kept a consistent pace.

aid station #1 to 4 corners: 59:30

about at third of the way up to the peak i got a rear flat. tear in sidewall which probably happened on motorway descent. used all my air trying to get it to seal. dumb. i should have just thrown my tube in right away.... so i started hiking up the climb and waited for some one to roll up on me. it took about 15 mins for first guy to get to me and he had nothing and then 3 other guys nothing. after 20+ min of walking/hinking my friend craig rolled and game me a co2. lost between 20-30 min.

changed the tire and was getting back on it just as sean past. stoked see him. the "race" was pretty much over for me at this point. i mean i don't if i was racing in the first place. my only goal was to go sub 6 and i was on pace before flat. i knew that was out the window but not bummed at all! just dealt with and knowing i am racing next sunday i decided to play it a little safer.

4 corners to peak: 52:59

rode UHJ like a wimp and then had fun on LHJ. got to aid station 2 and took my time. refilled bottle, took off some gear, talked to dan.

peak to aid station 2: 42:31

stopped again on the road up to take a leak and then another stop just after gate to take off arm warmers. in no rush but i was feeling good. decided i was going to push it again. i started reeling people in and then got to west horse thief. bitch of a climb and saw everybody hiking. i was able to ride about 50% of it at least and that made a huge difference. i was rolling right by people all the way to the top.

WHT climb (from split to top bbq): 34:56

was stoked to reach the top and caught my friend craig on the way (gave me co2) he told me i better step on it because he was coming for me on the descent... so that's what i did. caught one more rider on the fire road leading to trabuco descent and rode hard. legs felt awesome and was able to drop him and then had fun railing the descent. some of the best riding i have done out there.

motorway descnet
craig did catch me near the end right before the gate on trabuco and we hammered to the finish. hands and tri's were achy but that was it. still had plenty of juice in the legs.
sarah was out if full support.  so rad.
finish: 6:23 (14th overall)

- nutrition: prolong, perpetum, vitargo - all worked well.

such a fun/hard day. flat did not bum me out at all. i would rather flat in a race like as opposed to a short XC or cross race. it's a long day and getting through it is what's it's all about... no matter what happens. i was prepared to hike the course if need be. 

I was pretty shelled the afternoon after the race and totally wrecked yesterday.  i got out for some easy spinning and it helped a lot.  i also did a lot of thinking about the race and the more i think about the happier i am with the effort, both physically and mentally.  first physically... i was never over it and had good legs the entire time.  i think i could have pushed it a lot harder.  mentally... didn't let the flat get me down.  just dealt with it.  no negative thoughts.  I am really looking forward to some more endurance races and learning how to actually race for that long.

the beginning of this week will be all about recovery.  my body is starting to come around and soreness is fading but I am still pretty tired and sluggish.  I need to play it safe so i can be ready race hard on sunday.  the weekend is going to be rad.  beth is racing the california 70.3 and saturday and i will be racing the Kenda Cup race on sunday up in Fontana.

post race beer.  i had been saving this one.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


last satruday night i was sitting around my house hanging out with my homeboy tom who just got back from racing the the Pro XCT at Bonelli Park.  tom is fast.  he raced hard and finished in the 40's out of 65+ riders in the pro field... and he was stoked and motivated.  his excitement got me thinking after talking with him some i charged it.

i logged on to the USA Cycling page and requested an upgrade from cat 1 to Pro for XC MTB.  i don't know if it was tom's excitement or the couple of jack and cokes we had, but i when woke up the next morning i kind of wondered if i had made a dumb move.

after talking with beth, ryan, tj, tom, and allison some more i knew i mad the right decision to try for the upgrade.  it's not that i think i am faster than all the cat 1 guys i am racing now... i'm not.  i race with superfast guys and have a lot of respect for them and a lot of fun banging heads with them at races.  right now i just have the time and desire to train a lot and i know that this won't always be the case so i want to take advantage and see if i can race with the best guys out there.  honestly winning doesn't mean much to me, but the chance to race against fastest guys and push myself to the limit is what i want to do.... and i want to race short track!

on wednesday i heard back from USAC and I was DENIED the upgrade.  i wasn't really shocked or disappointed because i knew there were pretty strict upgrade requirements and i wasn't really banking on the upgrade... it was a spur of the moment thing.  but that doesn't mean that i still don't WANT the upgrade.. I DO. 

i found a blog by a guy that also got denied and he did a bunch research showing just how hard it is right now to upgrade from cat1 to pro in XC MTB.  here are some his posts:

so the plan is do some more XC races and see if  i can do well enough to "earn" the USAC's approval.

enough of  that.

Vision Quest is satruday.  the weather is looking great and my legs are feeling good!  can't wait to race!

Monday, March 15, 2010

not according to plan...

 friday was rad.  tom was heading out from AZ to race the Pro XCT race at Bonelli and I finished all the prep work for my saturday day cutover.  so i was able to get out of work to hit the trails at hodges with him for a bit before the sun went down.  after the ride we cruised back to my house hung out and had a couple good beers.
tom cruising.

one of the best
then the weekend didn't start off exactly as planned... i have spent the past couple of weeks preparing for a HUGE datacenter network upgrade at work and Saturday morning it was GO time.  we started at 8am and i was hoping to be out of work around noon if all went as planned.  thankfully the the upgrade was a smooth as could be (NAILED IT!).... but then we had to sit around... for hours waiting for people performing another upgrade/cutover and then to verify services.   people were lagging and i was getting antsy.  with the race on sunday i really wanted to get out loosen the legs up.
work fuel
I didn't get home until after 4 and was just mentally and physically fried.  i jumped immediately on my bike, hammered out some stress relieving miles racing the sunset, and my head was all over the place with what to do on sunday.

the thought of racing the next day seemed like such a hassle.  the race at bonelli started at 830am, it takes at least 1.5 hours to get there from my house, i needed to register onsite, so that would mean a 4am wake up call... and with the time change that would have felt like 3am. so with Bonelli being a B race on my schedule and with my focus on the Vision Quest i decided to pull the plug on racing.

the other option was to drive up to the Santa Ana's and get in one last ride on the Vision Quest before next satruday's race.  this started to seem like a hassle too... just packing up the car, driving up, and then climbing my face off seemed like more than I wanted to tackle.  after the week i had i really wanted to relax.

so... i chose option 3. beth had a weekend of back to back big rides and when i called her on her way home on saturday from climbing Mt Laguna she still didn't have anybody to ride with on sunday... so decided to just take sunday and ride 100 miles with my wife. 

so sunday morning we rolled out about 8 and headed north up the coast to knock out a route we have been talking about for the last 2 years.  we always talked about riding up to Revo, having a coffee, and then heading home.  so that's what we did and we were stoked to be joined by the Fletchers.  Slater and Monique met up with us in oceanside and we knocked out the ride.  the weather rad... the nicest day in months (70's and sunny).  the ride was perfect and just what i needed.  the pace was mellow and i felt great the whole day and better the longer we went... and we just had fun.

good combo
ride fuel - double esspresso
leading the crew back through o'side
after the week i had this was perfect for my body and mind.  as much as i do like racing it doesn't get any better than spending a long day on the bike with beth and friends in awesome weather.  i didn't regret not racing for one second... the thought never crossed my mind.

food & beer.
this is second time I've had New Belgiums new Ranger IPA.  It's REALLY good.  a light, hoppy IPA with a lot of citrus.  this is going to be a favorite over the summer.
did not like this.  Karl Strauss to the 9's.  this was a seasonal IPA and was brewed in 2009.  i don't know if it was just old or what, but i didn't even finish it.
prepping for another awesome salad.
yep... another big mahi mahi salad.

Friday, March 12, 2010

busy. photos.

busy week all around.  work. training. life.  not stoked about having to work tomorrow, but looking forward to racing on sunday at Bonelli.  too busy to write anything else.  so here are some photos from the week (so far).

present for the wife

mahi mahi, brocolini, & roasted root veggies

Ska Brewing Decadent Imerial IPA
Peanut Free Nuttzo with chia and flax seeds

cooking kale

salmon burger, acorn squah, & kale/veggie mix

good morning

Monday, March 08, 2010

typical = good

week day morning on the trails
a pretty typical week of life around here... which means a lot of GOOD.  good times hanging out with my soon-to-be IM destroyer wife, good times on the bike both road and trail, good food, and good times and beers with friends.  that's basically what i want out of every week... simple... and i can usually make it happen.
booyah.  training is going well!

heading down double peak with sean
the highlight of the week for me was sunday.  i already had a solid week of training behind me and was just to going see what happened with the weather before i made any plans.  beth was up early and headed down to the gran fondo century.  after a bunch phone calls, text's, g-chatting we had a plan.  beth bagged the gran fondo due to heavy rain and ryan, sean, slater, and monique were all down for a 11am roll out up in the Santa Ana's.

crew getting ready.  slater teaching everybody how to stretch.

beth and i cruised up to meet the crew and got in a great ride.  i was stoked to get her up there... finally!  I kept it mellow climbing HTT and the turned around and descneded down to beth and climbed back up.  She was killing the climb.  by far the longest climb she has ever done on the mtb (9.08 miles, 3,328 ft of climbing).  then we descneded down maple springs a bit and were getting pretty cold.  beth turned around 2 miles down and went another mile before heading back up.  once back to the top we headed back down HTT to the truck.
glad to be done climbing... but cold.

beth getting ready to blast down HTT
view from the 4 corners
 it was cold and i was under dressed.  good reminder for Vision Quest:  being cold on the bike sucks!  need to make sure i wear/bring the right gear.
almost back to the truck. not warm.
 i can't wait to get beth back up there over the spring and summer when it's warm.  awesome riding and good training.

now time for some food and drink.

perfect recovery dinner.  grilled wild Alaskan salmon salad with heaps of veggies
brown rice pasta with veggie (zucchini, eggplant, mushroom, onion, tomatoes) , ground turkey sauce.  beth killed it with this one.  love it.

Now more importantly... BEER.  It was like xmas this week.  i got a beer shipment from my homeboy JP in colorado.  some new colorado DIPA's to try and some hoppy belgians!  so stoked.  his return shipment will be going out this week... some of socal's finest!  i knocked back two of the colorado DIPA's over weekend.  i really liked the first one i tried, Boulder Beer Company's Mojo Risin' Double IPA.  I would definitely have this one again.

The second 22oz was the Hoppy Man DIPA from Twisted Pine. This one was just OK in my book.  Very drinkable, but not as hoppy, and more malty than I like.  not saying i wouldn't drink it again but there are better beers out there.. .even from colo!

Monday, March 01, 2010


Well the first race of 2010 is over and in all honesty it was a bit harder than expected.  I definitely took my medicine on Sunday... but had fun.  I love racing my mountain bike.

It was my first race on the MTB since 9.20.2009 when I won the Kenda Cup Championship race at Bonelli Park so to say I was a little rusty would be an understatement.  2+ hours of racing is quite different than the 45 minutes cross/hammerfests I raced all fall.  My competitors were tough too... really fast.  It's going to rad knocking heads with them all year.... hopefully I'll on my game next time around.

race data:

rough one!
to get the best idea of what happening in the race I'll just post the entry from my training log:

course change. NO long climb up Mt. Pinos which comes 3/4's through race and is made for me. killed something i thought would work to my advantage. instead two laps from first single track descent. 
race start was mellow. i was 3rd wheel hitting the road and the on the front after the other guys peeled off. i sat up and super EZ waiting for guys to come around but they didn't. so rode on the front some more going super EZ... no effort. 
hit the climb and Marco attacked and i followed and he sat in. a couple of minutes later i put in a move and split the group of 15 and then sat on front not working too hard... but the climb is solid...
near the top, before the single track, i threw down another move and split the group again. me and two guys (eventual 1st & 2nd) got a way. that's where i hit my max HR... 205!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i hit the single track in 2nd. rode well but ended up getting passed by 2 guys on long (fun) descent before fireroad... then one more guy passed me.
worked my way back into 3rd after the hike-a-bike and more climbing. hit the super fast, rutted, muddy, fireroad descent in 4th sitting on Marco's wheel and then ate CRAP. super rutted creek crossing going 25 mph! i some how ran out of it and bike flipped a number of time. yardsale! garmin flew off, bottle, chain off. got my crap together and was now in 5th after getting passed. it definitely shook me up a bit it could have been bad.
never really got back on my game after that. i tried but top end seemed to disappear. held on to 5th for a while but was just riding not racing. having fun just railing the singletrack... playing it safe. it's february.
ended up getting passed by one more guy and couldn't respond. i wasn't tired, or bonking, just kind of flat and NO SNAP.
finished in 6th after final shitshow of a descent. tons of mud, knee deep water crossing, and cat 2 & 3 rider traffic (they only did one lap and started after us).
not bummed about the result at all. of course i would have liked to get on the podium but I just came off of the BEST base training i have ever done and just started doing some harder stuff this week. 20 hours of training in the body heading in too... the engine is there and better than ever... just needs to be finely tuned. the races I really want to perform at are still down the road a bit. i am confident that i am on the right track.
just a fun day on the bike... muddy!
so that's it... it's monday morning and i am pretty shelled.  plan on taking today really mellow and getting back after it tomorrow.

pre-race breakie. mesa sunrise waffle (gluten free), Nuttzo, banana, strawberries, agave nectar and cinnamon