Entries in cyclocross training (100)
Home again. My lady and I finally are home and we were so happy to see our boys. This past week was tough and will never be forgotten, but I won't drag you all through that roller coaster ride of emotions again. Promise. I so appreciate the thoughts by the way. Tremendously helpful my peeps.
I've got to get things started, mainly to provide some focus...on something else. I need to listen to T and myself and just put one foot in front of the other...one pedal stroke before the next. Have some fun and get ready to trade paint with the boys this fall. Parsing through all this mail I have received from friends, so many are asking "..so when are the Wednesday sessions going off? Soon?". HA! Man, champing at the bit, you are. Sweet. I haven't even cleaned my bikes from Belgium! Ha! I need some more of the singletrack action before I can think about 'cross training to be honest. Some of the silent in the woods stuff that got stalled unfortunately this summer given the events. Once I am satiated, I will begin again. One two three hup. One two three hup.
No goals this year. No expectations. Just bliss. OK, I actually do have goals this year: sincerely I want to get Boups to be as fluid as Sven Sven Vantourenhout through the barriers and podium in an Open race and I am going to work AC2 into the ground on intervals so he can crush it in the 3s. Get the Brothers Squire to work it hard in the 45's and make the others hurt a bit. All these guys bleed cross. It makes my hair stand on end to watch these guys get better and better and better. I am also going to bring more new members deeper into the cult of our cross church and clinic them until they see the light. Feel accomplishments and progress in themselves. Dubba and I have been conspiring on this. Yum. More Children of the Changing Leaves need to be baptized.
I need to stretch tires.
I need to re-cable.
I nedeto re-tape.
I need to think cross.
The smiles are coming.
Hup ditty hup ditty hup ditty hup ditty.
Cross is my therapy. In fact, bikes have been responsible for most of the good things in my life and thinking about it brings me to better places. So, being out here in NJ and keeping the head above water these days is made better when I think about cross.
I went for a run in an old haunt of mine yesterday, Tamaques Park in Westfield NJ. Haven't been there since high school it seems. It hasn't changed. I knew there were trails so I went and found them and instantaneously, the only thing I could think of is "WOW! This would be an awesome cross course!"
It is akin to Elk's Lodge in Boulder where we get our training on but better. It's got a WAY better open fields to train in plus a TON of sweet single track that reminded me a LOT of the course we did in Schriek Belgium in January.
So, if you are a crosser in mid NJ and want to grab your buddies together for a little mid week training workout, I'd suggest Tamaques (after you investigate with whom you need to) the allowance of bikes in that back wooded section. It's got a phenomonal start/finish area wide enough for plenty of peeps to line up with plenty of straight aways to pass safely before diving into sweet paths with logs already put in your path to hurdle.
If you all set up a course in there Jersey-ite crossers, send some pics! I'd love to see how this turns out.
So P-Lo sends the mail yesterday AM which I equated to a surfer friend calling up another surfing friend: Dude, surf's up. Waves are perfect. Let's hit it. In cycling translation (especially in Boulder): Dude, weather's perfect. No sand on the roads...and no wind. Let's hit it.
And so, he and I rolled our recovery ride yesterday AM talking and catching up
spinning in the beautiful sun. SO the topic turns to injury and pain and I mention that I am STILL having this mad left leg set of issues. Pain, loss of power, etc. It starts at my hip, runs like a sword through my left ass cheek, down hamstring and straight down through my shin/extensors to my foot. WTF?! So P-Lo, recommends his guy here who sees Chris W, Health Net and a bunch of other endurance folks with crippled bodies to get some testing done. Apparently he's like the Muscle Whisperer and is about 500m from my house. I'm feeling infinitely better these days (stronger ironically even before I get za plan re-launched) but I've gotta get this remedied.
I'm lucky. I mean, REALLY lucky. I count my blessings every day. Beautiful family, thankfully good health. Trust me, I know the blessings when they are in front of me.
Another huge blessing is being able to be competitive in the sport I love and I race with some of the best guys in the country, weekend in and weekend out. But to do this, takes a lot of sacrifice and dedication. So, of course when the time comes each year, I get on it and watch the diet, train in the wee early morning hours to ensure the balance with fam and work, etc.
But this element, called "work" often injects some fairly sophisticated barriers to surmount (puns semi-intended) in order to be as on top of my game as I can. Heavy stress, people management, business growth, and of course 100K mileage years on United are all part of the drill managing a world wide product management organization and product portfolio.
On the travel tip, I get to see some crazy places around the globe and meet super passionate software geeks like me. But then I get exposed to things like the following IM I had this AM with my lab director in Romania. Put this into context on how I need to try and keep some fitness while on the road...especially in the late summer as I am trying to ramp it up (lots to do with keeping my mind sane, less the body at this time of year):
So many obstacles. So little time. So next time you see me out there smile and it will surely mean the dogs didn't get me.
What did you do today to elevate your heart rate folks? I mean besides throttle your computer? Whatever you, me, all of us with the taken-for-granted ability to wiggle all of our appendages are doing by staring at our PowerTaps and putting in our miles to keep fit and reach our goals this season pales in comparison to the depth Chris digs day in and day out to get it done. My boy Klebl, the same kid who is responsible for getting me on a mountain bike in 92 and falling back in love with two wheels (Damn you Klebl. Damn you. I could be a happy fat drunk Irishman at this point), won his 8th national cross country ski title amongst throwing down in Europe. Read his blog here and next time you throw your leg over your carbon fiber, smile and get it done. Chris is.
The system works! I do not know what else to say. Over the course of a year or so, the Parks and Recreation board and City Council members of Boulder have listened and reacted to the needs of cyclists...in in our case 'crossers in particular...to prioritize a facility in Boulder designed to allow for us to get our knobby tired game on. I've posted on this project in the past, but it is amazing to see this project get wings. Bobby and Pete have been using an incredibly soft-style evangelism with the City that has expressed the needs of mountain bikers, 'crossers and off road enthusiasts in a manner that wasn't condemning 'the System' and shaming it into the realization we have no facilities, but rather enrolling them with the true need and a participatory manner. It worked! The project is now top priority and being examined for implementation as early as next year. That is unbelievable considering I was prepping myself for the fact that *if* the project got approved, it likely would be something my children would benefit from when they come of 'crossing age.
The conceptual image of the park above is still in major flux but as you can see, so much is being accommodated. Awesome. Smooth trails, cross specific trails, technical single track...you name it! I love the fact that a staircase feature was injected into the plan for cross specifc needs. Imagine if you will a set of stairs with a bunch of local sponsor labels on it. Look at the image to the right and replace Duvel with New Belgium and inject RockyMounts, Boulder Cycle Sport, VeloNews and so on. Rad. A set of barriers along the cross course would also be great. Perhaps something that could be moved in terms of location.
In other news, there may be some surprises this year with respect to some yummy UCI courses here in Boulder. New courses that is. Stay tuned....
I'm on sabbatical folks. I am going to finally take some time off and maybe do me some hiking and enjoy some of the natural surroundings here in our home. I've got this feeling inside me that I've got to push back which is to 'keep going. keep going!!' I call that the badness. On a sprint Sunday, I cranked out 1600 + w for a 300m sprint. In some sense that's cool and I'm probably on my way to another mini peak, but it amounts to nothing at the wrong time and I've got to release and let it go and get out of the tunnel vision I have around keeping at the sharp end of the fitness scale. Maybe we need a Peak Season series here in CO. Hmm....
I'm going to finally be building up that Ahrens two-niner I've been anxious to since Mike sent it to me this fall. I'm so looking forward to getting my groove back with this new bike. I have that addictive craving to get back in the woods this Spring and groove in the trees. The roadie taught me things last year about myself but it became a slavery tool. I need to get beck to where I came from.
Hope you local folks can make it this Thursday to Boulder Cycle Sport! The good people at New Belgium Brewery have donated the fine stuff for us and Chris King (which every single one of my bikes have...including one on my single speed from 1996 which is ROCK SOLID....but why am I telling you this....you all know Chris King''s quality) has donated a Belgium Flag colored headset in honor of Za Trip for one of you lucky folks to walk away with as a raffle prize! THANKS TO YOU NEW BELGIUM AND CHRIS KING!!!
Place: Tongerlo, Belgium
That's right Boulder 'cross fans! Dubba and I dragged the crew out for a TRUE international edition of the Wednesday Morning World Cross Championships - Belgium Edition. Today in our ranks we had Two US National Champions (Dubba and Kathy Sarvary (50 to 54), a few Masters hard men (Me, KP, and our new friend Dave) a master US 'cross course builder, frame builder and race promoter (Tom Stevens) and one of the 3 Canadian representatives to the Trevisio 'Cross Worlds and our house mate, (Osmond Bakker). Truly and international crowd.
We started our day in Blauberg and pedaled the 10 or 12 k to the sporting complex in Tongerlo where a cross was held a few weeks ago. Weather dot com indicated rain (as always but we hhevn't seen a drop. In fact it's the perfect temp and tackiness out today.
We show up and with Os' help, reconn our course. This is not your average Elk's club, Boulder-ites. This is tight, twisty, wooded, bermed and slick single track with laid down trees for double speed barriers, open speed grass sections. Absolutely fun.
After the reconn and course set up, we shed the big coats and get our race faces on. JUST like home, Dubba calls out... "New England start, folks. Could happen anyti...GO!" We're off. I uncharacteristically blow a chain off the cassette at the start and have to literally stop and put the mo fo back on! I bite the handlebars to motor and bridge up to KP and Dubba. The Os has clearly been racing in the Super Prestiges and World Cups during his time here (he's got Hoogerheide coming up this weekend so he can thank is for chasing him today) and was off to the races. Brandon dispatched KP and I mid way through and attempted to bridge with KP and I doing our groove thing through wooded single track. Epically fun. We can OFFICIALLY say the Wednesday Worlds has gone international.
So, just to ensure things felt EXACTLY like Boulder, as we are kitting back up with jackets, an official looking lady comes trudging across the field and starts talking to us, indicating..."You know, this is private property and you need a reservation to use the sporting facilities here." Just like home indeed. Classic.
We then did some tempo work for a bit through this insanely muddy/forested trail network, then back out on the roads for our ride back to Blauberg.
Some digies of the people from the Wed Am Worlds ride. No vids today folks, SORRY!
We showered up and had a destination in mind: 4 Bikes in Westerlo. This shop apparently is the bizomb but we wanted to go in and see for ourselves. It definitely had all the bling with one of the most immaculate service bays I've ever seen. KP and Dubba are hooking up the free cappuccinos from the Saeco machine when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye like a shiny Gnome all dressed in white:
The limited edition Selle Italia Flight saddle. Hmm. Looks like I'll be back on Selle's next year as I gave up hope in the US trying to find any of the white goodness. Oh, and check out the ka-bling shoe covers I scored. White sex to cover the white sex.
Lastly, house owner Jocelyn and our old friend Rachel Lloyd showed up to say hello and wish us luck. Rachel is prepping for Hoogerheide this weekend and the Worlds in a few weeks time. Go Rach!
It's late. I must not be seeing straight. Is Mini-Sven actually as PRO as he appears? Holy GOD check out the Joe Namath's! If you get your hands on one of the early season 07/08 DVD's (I forget which one...maybe Koksijde? I will have to re-watch) but they have some pre-race video of Mini-Sven with a circle of people surrounding him as he sports a replica of his dad's UCI leader's kit and he's performing the most fluid dismount/remounts...Sven Van-t style (southpaw). Sick.
I will clearly have to continue the 5AM daily 'cross drills with my boys. It's clear the competition is good. Damn good.
"But daddy, it's cold outside and there's no light"
"Shut up kid and drink your Chimay and get out there. Hup hup, now. Hup hup."
8 feet in Tahoe. Holy crap. All that powder and none of mi compodres will be make it up the 80 or 50 to even enjoy it. A million people without power. D'oh!
I say this because THIS is the exact tip of that storm coming in over the Flat Irons:I got out today on one of my final prep rides to get some openers in. I am trying out that Freddy's XTra as well. Holy crap. As I type this my legs are on fire. Swung by the Boulder Res and got in some hot laps on the sand, to get all Mol'd and what not. Felt super good and powered through. I feel like I did in September. I got in just enough to open and feel confident that the fire is still burning and get that taste again of butt-in-seat power to drive through deep sand lap after lap.
On the way back, I got all Kerkove-style with the camera.
Impersonation 2. Could be a Sager though.