August 31, 2009

It's all about me

I noticed that the direction of this blog has changed a little since its inception. At first, it was more about life in general with a healthy dose of my outdoor activities tossed in. Now, it's all about my outdoor activities. All about me. I think I'll try and change that at least a little. See, I don't know how many people read my words, but those that do probably have almost as much interest in what is going on in other aspects of my life as they have in the biking and trying not to drown aspects.

So I'm gonna get a little crazy and expand the topics here. If for no other reason I'll have more to write about. And I'll start later this week. Because this is all about me one more time!

Without further adieu, I'd like to introduce my new ride. I don't name my bikes like a lot of people, but I guarantee if I did my names would offend at least a few of you peeps that spend 30 seconds or so here. Details: 1965 Schwinn Racer with 2-speed Bendix automatic hub. Fly. I am going to do my best to document some of the work I do. Might be interesting if you are into that sort of stuff...

August 26, 2009

Mt. Ogden 50k Participation Report

Yeah, the title reads "participation."

If you are hoping to read a harrowing tale of speed, fighting for position, bloody crashes and a testimony to the triumph of the human spirit you'll have to read elsewhere. Because nothing outstanding happened at the inaugural Mt. Ogden 50k at Snowbasin.



Sersly, the days leading up to the race as I attempted to recable the Titus were more exciting. I didn't bring my HRM, so I have no numbers to share even.

I started slow like I always do, which resulted in me being near the rear of the 175-strong field as I approached the singletrack. But knowing my fitness isn't great, I felt that being ultra conservative would be the way to go. So I just got in line on the singletrack and kept up. It was dusty (drama!) but we moved along pretty well for the next 45 minutes of mostly descending terrain. Things broke up some on the climb back up east fork, which I felt good on. Eventually, a 1.75 mile climb brought us back to the start/finish. My first lap, even with traffic was 1:44. I was cool with that.

Did I mention it got really hot, too?

As I started the second lap, the heat became hotter. By the entrance to the first singletrack I could feel my legs weren't right. Though I had been drinking a water/electrolyte mix, I hadn't been drinking enough of it and was starting to feel the effects of dehydration. I started drinking, a lot, and noticed my Camelbak was pretty empty. I planned to drink it dry and refill at the mid-lap aid station. Unfortunately, it was too late to save my legs and I really had to throttle back to keep from cramping. If I had to surge over a rock or a short hill the cramps would start, but they never fully kicked in.

At the mid-lap aid station I filled my Camelbak and started back up east fork. I was caught and passed several times, but made it without cramping. Finally back on the paved road, I was passed a few more times. With 25 yards to the finish I looked back and saw a rider about 100 yards behind me. With 10 feet to the finish I heard a grunt and the dude had buried himself to catch, and pass me. I think my words to him were, "If you want it that fucking bad, you can have it." He took it. Second lap, 1:56. Winning time, 2:36. 2:36! SHIT!

They took my timing chip and my legs finally had enough and started to cramp, forcing me to stand there until I felt okay to move to a shady spot where I could just lay down and rest. Which I did until I remembered the one thing that got me through the last lap.

Big Sky Brewing India Pale Ale.

And I limped back to the truck to get one. Because I'll risk falling down in a parking lot with leg cramps to get an ice-cold beer.

But the race was fun. And even though I no longer possess race legs, I can participate and have "fun" doing silly stuff like this. I need to train my ego to know this is how it's gonna be, that's all.

Or, or... I could train for it next year.

August 11, 2009


I finally pulled the trigger and registered for a race. I know, it's tough to believe.

The Mt. Ogden 50k. Approximately 31 miles of Snowbasin's finest trails await me.

Unlike a triathlon, mtn. bike racing is well within my comfort zone because I can handle water in stream form. I know full well that I am not in shape to "race" this event and compete against anyone but my own self. But I am not worried about finishing in a respectable time. The course has been dumbed-down and the truly difficult climbing sections are gone. I would say that this course has nearly equal amounts of climbing and decending with possibly 2 miles per lap (there are two laps) that may require the small chainring.

Now comes the fun part: figuring out the logistics. Camelbak or bottles? What to drink, eat, when and where? Pacing. What to wear?

Don't misunderstand, just 'cuz I ain't racing to win, doesn't mean I ain't racing. However, my trick is to race hard enough to feel good about it, but not kill myself like I did in the Ogden Half Marathon this spring. Caution and dosing of my limited efforts is my stragety, and I'll test my decending skills a little more than normal since there shouldn't be a load of horses and hikers on the trail.

Plus, I haven't done a 30 mile "race" since my days as an Expert, which ended in about 2004.

August 7, 2009

Aaaayyyyyy Okay!

It appears I have emerged mostly unscathed from my, er, fall the other night. Some pain lingers, but overall, I feel purty good.

After skipping the pool on Wednesday in favor of muscle relaxers (never again unless my life depends on it and I have hours to sleep) I dove back in Thursday. I was taking it easy and watching for signs of discomfort and swam 1200 yards pain-free yards in the process. I planned on riding last night, but the weather had other ideas as a summer cold front blew in and brought severe winds, rain and lightning. My point to all of this, I think I'll be fine for the Snowbasin 50k.

Time to find a sitter and get registered.

On the home front, Smarty Pants starts pre-school in less than two weeks. Where have the last four years gone? And, Wifey and I are starting a weight-loss competition on Monday with some very interesting spoils going to the winner.

Gonna be a very interesting next couple of months, fo' sho'.

August 5, 2009

Well . . . CRAP!

Last night I fell down and went boom. While playing a game at a family party I slipped on some grass while running and fell on my side and elbow.

Though it didn't hurt immediately, it did later. And sure does now. The pain is along the inner edge of my left lat in the back/shoulder area. Initially, I had some trouble breathing and thought I might have cracked or dislocated a rib. But I think that would hurt worse. Range of motion is good, for the most part I have no pain doing most movements. I probably just pulled or tore something.

Just pulled or tore something...

Being on the DL is tough. I am not sure what I can do as far as training goes. I skipped swimming this morning because the muscle relaxer I took before bed would not let me wake up sufficiently to drive safely.

As I type, it is getting sore. I think the ibuprofen and muscle relaxer must be wearing off. I am going to pop another 800mg and am going to give running a shot today. Tomorrow I'll get back in the pool and try to go for a ride.

This is sort of a derailleur and my racing is now up in the air. If swimming hurts, the odds of doing a tri are poor. The Snowbasin 50k is doubtful also.

Or I could be feeling better in a couple of days. Guess I'll find out won't I?

August 3, 2009

Narrowing it down

Because I don't want to swim in green curry, I will not be competing in the Utah Half Triathlon. Apparently Utah Lake is an opaque, milky green consistency, which is not at all conducive to a successful swim leg for me.

So now what? Well, I don't really know yet. Coming up August 22 is the Snowbasin 50k mtb race. I've ridden the course is sections and it isn't really that difficult, rather, it is quite fast. Since there is no water involved other than just a couple of little stream crossings, I think I need to do this one.

Of course I need to register. And commitment is another event entirely.