15 May 2012

cardio | bike commute | Pacific Raceways

The last time I went for a run I got sore. Doing some zero-impact cardio the next day seemed to help so I did it again. This time I was not nearly as sore (my run yesterday was mostly on dirt and I wore my Hoka Combo XT shoes) but why mess with a successful routine?

I have NOT been sleeping enough and I suspect it will catch up to me tonight. Yikes. Of course last night was voluntary sleep deprivation because I went to the best f'ing concert I have attended in years - Rammstein were in town! One word: AMAZING. I took my lame-ass camera along and got some pictures and video but they don't do the show justice.

In other news the weather is still KICKING ASS which is just fine with me. Any time I hear someone complain about cramps or that it's too hot (it will come, trust me…) I feel like slapping them. And telling them to think back just one or two months. We NW natives need to relish the summer weather that we get. I for one am going to do that every damn day it's warm and dry.
At the gym I felt tired, both sleepy tired and physically exhausted/dragging. When I got on the elliptical trainer my cadence was S L O W for like five minutes, then I was finally able to pick it up. And, just like these loosening up workouts are supposed to feel, it got better by the end.

My ride to and from work was uneventful except that I had this totally Zen experience on the way home. I kept hitting all the lights and was weaving around pedestrians and used the street and sidewalk seamlessly. Sometimes this kind of riding feels (and looks!) dangerous/ridiculous but today it felt like absolutely the right thing to do. I was avoiding walkers by a healthy margin, no one yelled at me and I never got close to any automobiles. It was really fun.

Last Saturday at the Ravensdale Road Race I realized I was not drinking enough. So I'm going to try and change that; starting with tonight. Instead of putting some kind of powder in my bottle, I'm just going to take water or electrolytes and eat food. At Pacific Raceways you don't really need any food since it's so short so I went with Nuun only. Let the testing begin.

I had a couple of teammates in Greg Kauper and Dave Hecht so that was super. Corrie Martin was also there but honestly (and i 'm sure he'd be the first to admit it), he was there for the workout and should not be relied on for contributing. Turns out he cramped and had to quit anyway. :( Greg Michler was also there and he's coming along really well. He just needs to figure out the tactics thing because his fitness is up to this kind of race.

I had some trouble with my tires and could not get one of them inflated for quite a while so by the time I got on my bike I only had 15 minutes before the start. Just enough time to hit the head, eat a gel and pretend to get in a warm-up.


In my opinion clockwise up the escape road with the finish at the top is the hardest course. For some reason going up the switchback seems easier to me.

NOTE TO PROMOTER - I love the switchback! In both directions! Bring it back! Why are people afraid of the switchback? Why do people love the flats? I have one word to describe the switchback: EXCITING. And one word for the flats: BORING. Oh sure, you can sit in till the cows come home and not get dropped - and that's probably exactly what people like, but c'mon. Tipping your bike over and railing it around a corner is what cycling is about to me.

Anyway, so what happens on the very first lap as we get to the hill? Garage Racing drills it and suddenly I am going as fast as I possibly can just to stay in contact. Ouch. warm-up complete.

My recollection of the race is a bit fuzzy for some reason but this pretty much repeated itself for the next few laps. Throw in a couple of attacks just past the summit and even one or two just prior to the descent (I'm looking at you Mark Mirante) and the pace was animated for sure.

After a few laps there was a massive surge going up and over the hill and the pace just stayed high. Some of us rode away from the pack in what felt like a brute force move rather than a tactical attack. As I looked around I saw Dave and Greg (nice!), about six Garage riders (par for the course) and Jeff Reed (way to go!) and some JL Velo rider (Chris?). It was obvious that this train had left the station. I was just glad to be here.
We sorta kinda rotated… about half of the break was not psyched to work and so gaps kept appearing. The other half of the break closed the gaps most of the time but way too frequently we just sort of rode along doing this quasi-tactical thing and did not truly commit. Unfortunately Jeff flatted out of the break; that was too bad.

A couple of laps later I was off the front. And for the life of me I can't remember how it happened. Was it Chris who surged? And then Nikos Mills went after him and I jumped on Nikos' wheel? I honestly don't recall but three of us were away. And we worked together really well! Our gap grew quickly and everyone was pulling the same amount. Nice.

Then on the hill Chris missed a shift and his chain came off the front chainring. Damn.

ASIDE - I have started riding a bigger cassette for this very reason. Well, that and because I'm not very strong. With the 25 in back I can leave it in the big ring, never worry about missing a shift and still save my legs on the climb. And a 12-25 is not so huge that you miss cogs in the middle if your bike has 10 speeds. I love it.

I looked back and decided right away that we could not wait for Chris so Nikos and I just kept riding. I looked down at my cyclometer and based on time we had about five or six laps still to go. With both Dave and Greg behind me I had no qualms about trying to make this stick so we kept at it. And we worked together pretty well. Nikos is obviously the better climber but I was feeling like the pace sometimes picked up on the flats when I was in front so did not take such a huge blow to my self-esteem. :)

With two laps to go I saw a pair of riders chasing us. By this time we had started to relax just a little but our gap was ample so there was still time to put my hand on Nikos' back on the last descent and let him know how excited I was about getting 2nd place again. Not.

We rolled down the hill and then in true gentleman's fashion Nikos said, "So, you ready?" I nodded and then he effortlessly rode away from me in his 53x25. Oh well.

I do feel very happy about making it into the move. For sure that is more than half the battle. This year I seem to doing this pretty regularly and I'm not complaining.

The riders behind us were Aaron Lavin (3rd) and Greg (4th). Nice job guys. I heard that Dave threw a hissy fit in the pack because of the tactics employed by Garage. I do sympathize but two years ago the tables were turned. What can you do? I would never discourage anyone from showing up to race. I say come on down. One perspective you could adopt is that this is great practice for the weekend; just sayin'.

Sleep 4
Waking HR
Body Weight
Body Fat
Workout Food cardio - water
drive to race - large bottle w/1 tablet Nuun and 2 scoops HEED
15 min before race - gel
race - bottle w/1 tablet Nuun
Time of Day cardio - 5:30 AM
race - 7:00 PM
Workout Type cardio - endurance
Weather 70, mostly sunny, dry, light wind
Course cardio - elliptical trainer, 13 incline, 13 resistance
race - clockwise up the escape road
Results 2nd - Masters
official results
Time cardio - 30 min
Pace cardio - 140-150 rpm, heart rate was in the low 130s at the end
Equipment commute - Town Bike
race - Road Bike
Mad Fiber wheels
39/53, 12-25
Clothing race - bib shorts, sleeveless undershirt, short sleeve jersey, cap


  1. Thanks for kind mention. You raced an excellent physical and tactical race.

    I agree whole heartedly about Garage. They have a bunch of super strong guys. Bring 'em on!! It makes for some really great racing.

  2. I don't remember how that break occured but know it was not me (Chris) that started it. Did drop my chain, too bad I did not chase back on. The PIR Masters racing this year is awesome due to the race makers in Garage, Firestart and Jeff (Starbucks). I totally get wasted everytime.

  3. @Jeff - you are absolutely flying out there, if not for that darn flat I'd be in even bigger trouble.

  4. @Chris - great to 'meet' you and good job! :) Looking forward to many more breaks.


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