Monday, February 18, 2008

Meltdown...Marathon Race Report

After a long week of work and very little training I awoke at 4am to head out to Santa Ynez! I met up with Rory and Jen at their apartment and loaded up the car. Our race time was 7:30 am and we arrived to the course at 10 till 7. As we rolled up to the venue which was at the Firestone Vineyard we were a little freaked about the FROST on the ground. Our fears were quickly realized as we stepped out of the car and walked over to registration. It was FREEZING! We registered and suited up. Knowing that it would warm up once the sun rose higher, I opted for the short finger gloves. Bad news for the first lap! We had 8 total for the marathon race. Not a big crowd but pretty much what I expected with the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo going on at the same time. This was an open class race which means that Rory and I were way out of our league! Then the ball was dropped...The race announcer told us that there was 1700 feet of climbing per each 11 mile lap! That's almost double the norm of an average cross country course. I just wasn't expecting that much! The gun sounded and we were off! The start wasn't too crazy but within the first mile 3 guys were gone! About a 1/2 mile in there was a water crossing! The layering meant nothing as my feet were soaked with ice cold water!
Rory and I managed to pull away from a couple of riders and settled into an average pace. As we ended the first lap there was even a larger water crossing! We came through the start/finish and got new bottles. All the XC racers were showing up and started t cheer us on. The second lap, Rory and I both started having chain suck issues. Between the creek crossings and the dust, our drivetrains were making sounds that you would here in a haunted house! About 3 miles into my second lap I took a pretty good fall on a descent. I had put about a minute on Rory so he missed out seeing this spectacularly lame crash! I drilled my whole left side into the side of the mountain! I was up quickly and just a little dirty and maybe a little embarassed!
By the end of the second lap I was starting to worry about wether or not my legs were going to loosen up. Usually this is where my endurance starts to kick, not so much. Rory and I yelled to Jen to hook us up with some lube and she than met us over at our bottles. Chain was sounding better as we headed out but that all came to an end as soon as we crossed the water again! We should have taken the bottle with us! When we hit the steep climb about three miles started, cramps...oh crap! I tried to keep up with Rory but told him to ride on because I was going to need to slow it down. He took off and I was instantly in no mans land! I knew I still had two guys behind me so that kept me motivated to press on.
This lap hurt. I was off the bike stretching out cramps for a good 10-15 minutes total. I was able to push good on the last climb and then push hard through the valley back to the finish. I was having mad trouble breathing from all the dust and new that if I tried to go on that I may end up hurting myself. I called it at the end of my third lap. I was bummed that I did not have it in me. On the other hand...I really enjoyed myself. Rory had gone out for lap 4 and when he came through the finish they stopped him and would not let him do the final 5th lap because the winner had already finished. He was bummed because he really wanted to finish. Usually he has the problem with the cramping, not me.
This was a great first race for me. I had a blast and so look forward to the season getting underway! Final stats for my race:
Lap 1: 1:18
Lap 2: 1:27
Lap 3: 1:44
33.4 Miles
5100 ft. of climbing
1 Funny Faceplant
1 not so funny crash
1 hammered drive train

Keep Climbing,

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Good. Great. Grand

Just wanted to leave a quick update. I have been enjoying my training very much! Lot's of work but also have been sneaking in rides almost daily. I had a great ride on my birthday Tuesday. Woke up early and hit the road for a 30 mile tempo ride. Legs are really starting to come around. Went to Disneyland after the ride and had a blast! Two days until the Firestone Vineyard Marathon race....60ish miles....pain....sweet. I can't wait! I'll post again soon with some pics of rides.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Bean Update-Chumash Ride-Sycamore Canyon-New Job and the Longest Blog Title in the World!

This is Such a Welcoming Sight!

As you read last week, I took Bean to the vet on Thursday. We thought that he was going to need A tooth pulled. All was well when I dropped him off and I headed to the shop for a day of work. I went to pick him up at 5PM and walked into devastating news. I was told that they had to pull 11 of Bean's teeth! My heart sunk even as they told me that he was doing OK. Chihuahuas are known to have bad teeth.(When we adopted Pippin he had just had all his teeth pulled.) I waited for what seemed like a lifetime for them to bring him out, it was probably 5 minutes. When they carried him over to me he was visibly HIGH from all the drugs and his tongue was hanging out the front of his mouth. I lost it and was overcome by emotion. The vet came out and told me that he was surprised that Bean had been eating for the last few months as his mouth was really thrashed. He had exposed roots and broken teeth. He also stated that Bean would probably be a brand new dog. I wrapped the little guy up in a blanket and headed back to the shop. I held him for the next two hours and he stared off into space. When I got home I laid him down in his bed and he didn't move for an hour. When Kristen came home he got up and tried to walk but fell over like a frat boy during rush week. It was so sad! I had to give Bean pain medication via syringe every 8 hours for the next couple of days. I am proud to say that little Bean has really started to come around and actually has become very active in the last two days. He has always been the only of our four that never gave us kisses. Last night he started giving Kristen and I little pecks! Thanks to all who sent prayers and good thoughts are way. I am confident that they made a difference.
Last Wed. I went for a ride with Mike in Simi. We headed out from his house in the middle of town and went towards the valley. We climbed Santa Susanna Pass and hit the trail at the base of Johnson's Motorway. It was probably 35 degrees when we left and didn't seem to get much warmer. The scenery was beautiful with waterfalls and green everywhere. It took us about an hour and a half to reach the top of Rocky Peak

and were then treated with a super fun descent down Chumash trail. The wind had picked up extremely to the point that I aired over a peak and was pushed about two feet sideways in the air! Scary! We headed back to his house and finished a great ride!
Friday I woke up with "The Crud" and I was not happy! I really wanted to get a couple long rides in but was unable with the way that I felt. Finally, Monday I went for a two hour spin down to the beach

but kept it very light as I had very little energy. It was pretty muddy with a few water crossings as you can see from the pics below.

The Shoe Cam!

The Head cam!

Today brought the beginning of my new job with Restoration Hardware. I was pretty nervous to begin this new chapter in my life, but after my first day I am proud to report that I am stoked with my new job. I spent the day with my new boss and he is really cool. I know that I am going to learn an amazing amount from him and really enjoy his leadership. We match up pretty well. I have a big job ahead for the next couple of months as I need to completely rebuild the structure of this store. This is the kind of thing that I am really passionate about and look forward to the challenge that is ahead. I will be training in Santa Barbara for the rest of the week and am looking forward to the drive up the coast. I was thinking about the days that I work later, taking my surfboard and getting in some riding on the way. I want to also take my bike and lights on the earlier days and hit up some of the great riding. I spent an hour on the trainer tonight and am still not feeling very peppy. I hope to lay down some time in the saddle over the next five days as I need to get ready for the
Marathon race at Firestone Vineyard next Saturday. 60ish miles! Good times!
Keep Climbing,