Saturday, May 29, 2010

Two Pair

Two great riding days last weekend, and looks like two more this weekend!

Last weekend I planned on racing the Cedar Creek Criterium Cat 4 race. Not wanting to limit myself to 25 miles of riding on such a nice day weatherwise, I did the Saturday morning Brands group ride but kept an easier pace with the "B" group and mostly followed wheels until it was time to head to the race start. I watched Dan and Toni from the Mineola Bike Shop ride do the Cat 5 race, Dan getting an excellent 3rd place!

Meeting up with 4 GAB riders, including Pyzahl, we lined up for our race. Everything going great for 2 laps, until on the hairpin turn on lap 3, a rider in front of me goes down. I have to stop to avoid hitting him. By the time I get going again, the peloton is gone. I time-trialed for 12 laps on my own but finally got pulled as the the group was getting ready to lap me. Frustrating to continue my streak of DNS and DNF in race events (that I paid for!).

Made up for it on Sunday with a great ride with the Mineola crew. Finished with Dan and Toni as we hit the Stillwell and Picardy climbs, following some of the Triangle route.

Today was an awesome throwdown on the Brands ride, group of 4 going away on Rouns Swamp. Mike W. looking very strong to catch back on on LIE eastbound. I took a little flyer at the end heading back to Brands. Felt good to air out the legs a little.

Tomorrow, just an early solo ride in the morning then planning to head to Jones Beach with the family to watch the annual Memorial Day airshow. Blue ANgels this year! Here is a little video from the last time we went.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cedar Creek Crit - Cat 4 Race

Me in the orange and blue jersey taking the hairpin in one of the early laps. Photo by Percy Z.

This is not going to be good. I am right behind the Kissena rider.

Can just see my orange jersey peeking in on the lower right corner at 1:50 in this helmet-cam video shot by Percy Z. before the crash that left me off the back of the peloton until I was pulled with 10 laps to go.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Brats Report

... as in the "Bratwurst" Century.

So after some scheduling and weather issues, the ride finally went off this morning but with a light turnout most likely due to the weather forecast. Rain was being predicted all day until the final weather report I checked last night which showed that the rain would likely be finished by the 8:00 AM ride start.

I got up early to get myself and the bike prepared, and headed out to Riverhead in a light misty rain. Eight of us met up for the ride: me, George, John and Robin, Phil, Dan, Tom M., and Dave on his tri-bike (I remember him from last year, too). We kitted up and got going right around 8:00 AM. Roads were damp at the start but mostly dried up after a couple of hours. Thankfully, we did not get one drop of rain!

First flat at mile 15, but John fixed it quickly and we motored on to the Greenport ferry. George and Dave took some long pulls but said goodbye at the ferry and headed back to Riverhead, while the remaining six of us sailed over to Shelter Island. Phil discovered a flat tire just as we rolled off the ferry. Once we got going again, John took the direct Rt. 114 to the south ferry while the other five of us tried to follow the BBB indirect route. We missed a turn and got lost for a couple of miles but eventually got ourselves to the south ferry terminal. Great scenery on Shelter Island, as usual, even with the overcast skies.

We met up with John and took our ferry ride to the South fork, rolling through Sag Harbor. The paceline working like a well oiled machine, steady pace around 20-22 MPH, very comfortable with a favorable wind. Some flooded roads but passable on the bikes. Dan flatted at mile 45, but with the roads mostly dried out by now, it would be the last one for the day.

We made the usual lunch stop in the Hamptons at mile 64, a little chilly as we sat outside eating but once we got rolling again we warmed up quickly. As often happens, we made the route up as we went through the Hamptons and then finally hooked up with the EB route for the final 15 or so miles back to Riverhead. A couple of us went out for another couple of miles, just to get the odometer to tick over 100.

It turned out to be a really nice ride, and the weather (thankfully) cooperated. I felt good during the ride, and I think that was the best I ever felt at the end of a century. I felt like I could have knocked out another 50 miles, no problem. First century of the season done, can't wait for the next one!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Finding Some Motivation

While running is on the back-burner for a couple of weeks, I've found some new motivation to get back on the bike. Last weekend I was determined to spend all of the "marathon" energy I accumulated out on the bike. Did a fast 50-mile ride early on Saturday morning, then a long 84-miler on Sunday. Half of Sunday's ride was on my own and half was with Dan A. and others at the Mineola Bike Club. Both were challenging rides in their own way and I felt tired but satisfied that I left "everything out on the road".

I rode 4 out of 5 days before work this week, getting back into the old routine. Everything feeling good on the bike.

If it hadn't been for Mike W.'s text message yesterday, I probably would have woke up this morning, saw the wet roads, and skipped my ride. Although the weather cleared up as the day wore on, if I don't get the ride in early, I usually don't get it in at all. So, big THANK YOU to Mike for the motivation to get out there. As it turns out, I met Mike, Rob, and Bob at 6:15 AM at the shop and we did a modified Brands Ride, returning on Vanderbilt Rd. for some variation and a few little hills to attack. It was a great ride with good intensity!

Mike's GPS track:

Tomorrow's motivation, in the face of some predicted 30 MPH winds, is the annual Tour de Parc, in Cedar Creek. This year I just registered for the Master's 45+ Criterium (it is Mother's Day, after all!) but am looking forward to the first race of the year and to seeing a lot of the EECT and Green Arm Bandits at the race, most of whom I've ridden with many times at the Early Birds and various centuries on and off Long Island. I have no illusions of placing but maybe I can work for the EECT Team. My simple goal: DON'T GET DROPPED!

Finally, the annual Spring (Bratwurst) Century is leaving from Riverhead on Wednesday. A loosely organized, unsupported century ride out on the North Fork, across Shelter Island, and back to Riverhead on the South Fork. I have the day off from work, but the weather report is not looking too good at the moment. We'll have to see how that develops. If the weather cooperates, I'm sure it will be a great ride as it has been in years past. Again, a good opportunity to reconnect with some riding friends who I haven't seen since last season. Can't wait!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

New Plans

By now, its old news that I pulled a calf muscle on my training run last weekend, just one week before the LI Marathon, my running goal for the year. Did everything I could think of to heal it and recover to be able to do the marathon. It was really feeling okay by Friday morning. Did nothing Monday through Wednesday, even took the subway to work, which I rarely do. I had done 45 minutes on the trainer Thursday morning and did my usual 3 mile walk to work that same morning and it was feeling okay. Tried to run on Friday morning, but after 1/2 mile the muscle tightened, hurting badly, and I knew the marathon was out of the question.

So, time to rethink things. I definitely need to forget about running for 2-3 weeks and let everything heal fully. Fortunately, I don't feel it at all on the bike. We are getting into the thick of cycling season now so the plan is to be bike-centric for the rest of the spring and summer. I will start running again in a few weeks and try to build a more substantial base. Then, I will probably shoot for a goal of doing a marathon in the fall. The best candidate right now looks to be the Wineglass Marathon, upstate in Corning on October 3rd. Hopefully I can make a weekend out of it with the family.

Last thoughts on this (I promise!): In retrospect, I may have rushed the training too much. I did not want to give up on cycling, so I was only a part time runner. It was only 3 months since the 3-week break after my hamstring pull so I'm thinking I did not have enough of a base built up. I should have had more 10-mile runs instead of 5-mile runs. Also, I would like to get in 2-3 20-mile runs before the marathon instead of just one. Going to concentrate more on preparation, nutrition, and stretching. These probably have more to do with this kind of injury than just raw miles.

See everyone on the road!