Saturday, May 30, 2009

English Mountain Challange

Today was the first day I rode just to ride. Until now my year has been all about training for triathlons. Today I rode in the English mountain Challenge. Most of you have no idea this ride exists but for us in Knoxville, the past 4 yrs this ride is viewed as the hardest around.

Before I get started describing my day, I must tell you I chose to complete the metric century rather than the 109mi century. The entire group of guys I ride with were only doing the metric. I was glad, because while I have been putting in miles, I have no long rides over 60 miles on my legs this year.

At the beginning of the ride, it was a who's who among Knoxville cyclists. Many cat 1 riders and also two world class riders for their age group. Kent Bostick and Dirk Pohlman. Click on their name and read about their respective accomplishments.

Now to the ride, it started like any other ride, on big bunch. Our group just kept moving up until we were in the 3rd group. Dumb me looked down at my cassette during a section and there was a slowdown. I ran into the rider in front of me and almost went down. I must say, it was a great save. I teamed up with a local rider who knew the route and we moved up to the 2nd group. Very soon, we found ourselves in the gap between the 2nd and 1st group. We took turns pulling and after about 6miles we joined the first group. I sucked wheel until the rest stop before the mountain at mile 38. I knew i did not want to race up the hill. The next 4 miles were all over 10%grade with many sections topping 20%. I left the rest stop after a couple of other riders. They had a nice gap and I was not about to close. I rode the hill at 6mph at 10 degree and 4mph at anything over. The last section is a 1/4 mi at 22%. I had passed one rider and caught another by the top. He and I descended a very sketchy downhill. About half way down, I came across a section that had many tree limbs laying on the rode. He blew by them, I could not. It just wasn't safe for others. I stopped and cleared the rode and finished going down. At the bottom there were 3 more riders stopped. I didn't know why, I had plenty of water and was fully recovered from the climb. I decided to push on and go the distance. So I was alone from mile 38 to 63. I felt good but expected to be swallowed up by the pack.
Not to be this day, I pulled in third to finish and felt so good not to have to run afterwards. the whole experience made me feel great about cycling. It is so enjoyable when it is your only event.

5,000 ft of climbing in 63miles in 3:30

just an FYI the entire 38 miles leading up to the climb were uphill. 3,800 ft in 38miles. Kent and Dirk continued on for the century as I am sure there were other studs who followed. On this day, I am glad to have chose the metric. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Venom Cycling Team

Today we received our new shirts from our sponsor "Venom Energy" Our shirt looks just like the red can.

They are very nice I must say. I realize you may be jealous that a group of rank armatures has a a cooperate sponsor, but to that I say we got it like that.

No really, the Dr Pepper/Snapple Group has sponsored the Pilot Cycling Team for the past two years. I am so happy to have such a great sponsor. We turn around and give 100% of the money to the American Diabetes Assoc. Last year we raised over $26,000

Yes, $26,000 smaackarooneys!

I need your help, I need each of you to retweet this message. I need 5,000 $2.00 donations

This year has been tough raising money for the ride. The economy has tightened everyone belts. I know as a group if we band together, we can help this cause.

I need your help, Click here to sponsor me! Please! I only need 5,000 $2.00 donations Sphere: Related Content

For David and Josh

Alright, I met spoke with and was floored by her approachability at St Croix 70.3

To all those who do not know her, here is a story I picked up from one of my twitter buds Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Days and Ramble

Last night the Pilot team went to the Foothills Parkway to do some hill training. We were 6 strong and had a great ride, today we did a new lunch route with Ryan our TI friend. It exposed me to a new section of greenway in Knoxville. It will be great for the kids.

I would love to share some pictures with you, but somehow my camera has broke. I need to pick up one of those super cool, waterproof, trendy cameras Jill uses. they seem to be bomb proof.

Jill, refresh my memory, what type is it again?

Last night the group gave me real grief about the recap post on St. Croix

It was not supposed to sound like a cheep porno but somehow my lack of writing skill created a masterpiece. Nothing like support from the team.

News days are here, this Monday I jump back into this Tri thing. I feel like it will be just a try, not a win this time. I have only swam once since returning and my high calf is shredded from running last Sunday. Yes, I iced it and now am treating it with heat. The issue is, I have also been riding daily.

The event is a very short sprint tri 350m swim, 10mile bike and 2.5 mile run.

I should do alright for an old man. 35-39 age group. This is a beginners tri, so most serious racers don't compete. This helps make old men fell good when they finish in the top 50. I have a calf strain and it will make the run hard. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, May 15, 2009

St. Croix Flop

My experience at the St. Croix 70.3 was real short. I did learn a valuable lesson in this race. Remember this was only my second ever tri. After 6 months of solid training, I really felt prepared to finish in the 5:30-5:40 range.

Now with the story, only I think I will tell it through pictures in reverse order.
Our last night we watch the sunset at the"Hole off the Wall" local bar and grill just to the right of the world famous 13,200 ft dive destination "The Wall." I did some snorkeling here and it was amazing for 100yds off shore.

Before we went to dinner we spent one last night at the beach.

On Friday, we hiked about 4miles to some amazing tide pools. Hit them at low tide, which for this island is tough to find.

View from the tide pools

At the end of the hike, we came to a bald that gave us some of the most amazing views.

can you say peaceful retreat, without children. Jenn and I did some serious self medicating

We took a snorkel trip to an amazing Buck Island. We had a cook out with the crew on a small deserted beach. This grandpa came for a snack.
It was hard staying here "The Carambola"

My only glimpse of my favorite blogger
the first one to tell me her name and her bikes nickname you win a $20 Pilot Gift card.

I found myself too embarrassed at my result to attend the post party to meet the pros.
Sorry Vinnie, I let the valley down with that performance.
Big Beard snorkel trip

Botanical gardens, furnace built 1830

Whim plantation tour

Breakfast at the Carambola, Amazing view

Now for the fun story, this is the start of the fun. To begin the race you jump in and swim to the island. Everyone gets over there by 6:15 for a 6:30 pro men's start.
Swim felt great and I was ready to hit the waters. I felt relaxed and very confident in my ability to have a good day.
I had spent the previous six days preparing on the island for every aspect of this race. I was ready to slay this course. Slay as much as a second time triathlete could.
My age group has 65 swimmers, without thinking I line up right in the middle of the pack, the gun goes off and I am sprinting into the water. I dive in and land all over the swimmer in front of me. I begin to take strokes. Well, I attempt to start swimming. You see, I am on top of a guy and there is a guy on top of me. I try to move right to the outside of the course and no luck/no way.
I tell myself, just calm down it will all settle in a little bit. at the second I get kicked or hit in the head. I am not sure, went by too fast. My right eye was half full of salt water. I am a little shook up at this point. I continue to swim. Finally it begins to loosen up and I flip over and fix my goggle. I turn back over and am very anaerobic. I get kicked this time for sure and am now in complete panic. Why am I here, this is not like practice, fuck,fuck,fuck are all this I remember going through my mind. I sight and i am just passing the second set of entry gates to the course. My mind your ok, my mind says turn left and swim to the island and compose yourself. The dip shit i am, I listen. As I stand up and watch the 65 guys I am competing against swim away, my mind really shut down. I was there to compete not just to finish with some lame ass time. This is what I am now telling myself. This might have been the root cause, too much pressure put on myself. Either way one thing is for sure, I am not an Half Ironman.

Set up and ready to go
Special thanks go out to both sets of Grandparents for taking care of the children.
Jennifer, Happy 15th Anniversary
Married 15 together 24
I love you

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, May 1, 2009

Paradise 5k

Went to run the 5k last night. this really was to get a look at the run course for the 70.3
Overall, it went real smooth. Legs felt good, didn't push them and came in at 23:13

The run coarse is a little less hilly than the Knoxville half but still has it's challenges. Part of the route is ran on dirt paths the maint. crew use at the golf course. The run takes you right out on a bluff overlooking the ocean. The sight is amazing!
The lesson learned is it is going to be real hot. I was hot after 3.1mi, keeping hydrated during the ride will be essential to being able to run the entire half marathon. Sphere: Related Content