Is This A Logo??

Is This A Logo??

Saturday, 28 July 2012

This Week and The Olympics

So…as far as training/rides I managed to get in this week…here is the lowdown…

I got four mountain bike rides in this week, all local, and all solo.  The good thing with local is that the trails here are challenging, and plenty of climbs which makes for good training opportunities…however, it is nice to experience different trail a little more often.  The good thing with solo rides is that I can work on the skills and areas that I choose…however, it is nice to have another to challenge and push you.
I managed to get in three strength (weight) workouts this week.  This is something I need to try to do more often, because the benefits are so beneficial… (You get that one?).  Also, played a hockey game this week.
Finally, only got one road ride in this week…like to get in more than one per week though, as road riding is such a great endurance workout.  It’s also a great calorie burner (I am still trying to lean out a tad bit more).  However, I have a long road ride (160 kms) planned for tomorrow with my friend Centurion.  Centurion is a road riding machine…I’m serious…he will make our average speed over 35 km/hr.  I will be struggling just to keep him in view, I know it; but it will be a great workout, and a great opportunity for recovery and rehydration afterwards.  J

If you can’t identify the next two pics, at this point you are not old enough to read this blog.

And you won’t get this one.

No more life lessons for my son.
Anyways, I seriously digress.  Falling back to the topic of calorie burning, I want to repeat that I am using MyFitnessPal to track calories burnt vs. calories ingested.  So far it is the best program I have been able to find for this purpose.
Well, now to switch gears, change channels, take up a new topic; the Olympics have begun and we watched the opening ceremonies last night.

Like our fair country??

In case you didn’t know…I live in Ontario, where mountain biking is very popular and awesome trails are abundant.  However, I am from Saskatchewan, where mountain biking has not really caught on, and all my friends in Ontario say it’s because Saskatchewan is too flat.  They don’t really know the prairie province though…the Qu’Appelle Valley would make for amazing trails!

May just have to be careful of tornadoes!

Seriously, those pics are from Saskatchewan last week, when several storms birthed several tornadoes.
Anyways…I again digress…why do you constantly get me off topic?? 
The Olympics...I am disappointed in how Ryder did this morning.  I am guessing there must be a story there, but so far TSN and CTV haven't let us know.  Maybe they need to actually get off their asses, and out of the studio and go do some actual journalism and interviews??
Regardless of the bad coverage, I enjoy the Olympics for several reasons that I will post about next go round.  Also, I will let you know how badly Centurion destroys me on tomorrows ride.
So...that's it for now...till next time...

Monday, 23 July 2012

Summer 8 Hr Epic Mountain Bike Race Report

It was a rainy day in Pizzaville…actually it was a warm day in Hardwood Hills this Saturday.  Me, NewfieSteve and EnglishJim pulled in to set up our pit area for the race.  We were lucky enough to get a pit spot right on the race course in the solo area since EnglishJim was attempting his first 8 hour solo.  This worked great for me and Steve cuz, as a two man team, we could transition right at our pit rather than standing in the hot sun in the transition zone.

I tried to convince the guys that our team uniforms should be like below, but I couldn’t talk the Englishman and Newfie to join the tribe.

 Anyways, back to the race (pun intended); Steve took the first lap, which was great cuz I really should not have had two large mugs of coffee to start the day and needed that extra half hour to pee 13 times (it is tough to get old).  With that we were off to the races (OK, just this race)…and I have to say, a few people argued with me that tag team is tougher than solo.  It is not even close to true; tag is so much easier.  You get to rest, stretch, eat, drink in between laps.  It makes all the difference in the world.  And you don’t have to pace…you can go full out every lap, knowing you get to legitimately stop for a lap.

I did take one tumble.  Tearing down a piece of singletrack downhill that curved right, and just came off the track enough that the front wheel sunk into the very loose sand, and over I went…just short of a rock garden.  Heidi was a bit alarmed when I came home looking like this:

Actually, other than noticing a couple of bruises yesterday, all was OK and I was back up a gone in seconds

Then Steve broke his derailleur hanger on his last lap…while I waited for him to get my last lap in.  I knew something had to be wrong because we were each averaging laps just over 30 minutes each, and he was over 45 minutes.  He came by just past the cutoff time for me to get our last lap in.  So we ended up in 8th place with 13 laps (the one extra lap would have only put us in 7th).  Top 10, but we were hoping to be more competitive; but plenty of fun was had.

The course was fast for the most part, with a couple of long, loose, gravelly climbs to slow down the lap times…and things got looser as the day wore on.  However, there was lots of singletrack, which made it tough to pass; so getting caught behind other riders was common.

As for EnglishJim, on his first solo, got in the 8 laps I challenged him to shoot for…and he flatted on one lap, otherwise he might have had 9!!  Well done Mr. Jim!!  Here is Steve congratulating Jim:

We finished the day with refreshments, and recovery, waterside on our back deck (I peed in a hole in the dirt behind our trailer).  So, with another race under our belts…time to train and try to get faster for the next one. 

Onward, ho!!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Holy Hot It’s Hell!!, and the Summer 8 Hr

Finally, today normal temperatures cuz yeah…it has been hot this week!!  Hot enough that EnglishJim quit parking by the high school…hot enough that NewfieSteve has not been secret training (no I think he still is)…hot enough that I actually did not ride Tuesday.  So I rode twice Wednesday to make up for it.

I have actually amped up my training since my week off in Saskatchewan; slowly getting back up to where I would like to be right now.  Still aiming to be peak for the Crank the Shield race in September.  In the meantime, the Summer 8 hour race at Hardwood is this Saturday and I teamed up with NewfieSteve to do this race as a two man team.  When Steve sent me this…

...I thought I had better get training. For sure I don't want to drag him back too much.  Steve is a rocket on these types of courses…I like to fancy myself as more of an endurance guy (please leave the “that’s not what your wife says” jokes out of this).  So over the last two weeks I have logged serious road, and MTB miles through all this heat, got back to being more disciplined in my diet, and have made it a point to get back to more strength and core workouts, in an attempt to keep up to Steve this weekend.  We shall see!!

Also, EnglishJim is going to make his first attempt to solo an 8 Hr race this Saturday.  When I asked him why he sent me this…

(Reminds me...I should feed the cats...)  Actually, I am trying to motivate him to get in at least 8 laps…ridicule and finger pointing are good motivators aren’t they??  Besides, I know he can do it…otherwise I will send him this…

Anyways...back to our original programming.  On another note as I mentioned in an earlier post, I have begun using MyFitnessPal to log my diet, and workout information.  It has worked great…not only to track progress, but logging your info makes one feel much more accountable.  Also, using the social aspect of it, to accumulate goal oriented friends makes it that much more of a tool to be accountable, and motivational.
What else was motivational this week?  Fig and Centurion were in a 100km Centurion road race on the weekend.  Fig averaged over 37km/hr, Centurion over 35km/hr.  That is blazing frigging fast!!  So, I know that if I ever want to ride with these guys again, I need to be vigilante in all aspects of training, otherwise I will get left for dead, or at the very least dropped off the back…and that is not my style!!
In the meantime, today and tomorrow are rest/recovery days in prep for the race Saturday.  Then it is back to it!  That is all I have for now, so in the theme of silly pics in this post…I will end it with this…

 Damn rights!!  Do it!!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

An Epic MTB ride, a Great Road Ride, and the TdF

So Saturday had me and NewfieSteve on an epic 3.5 hour mountain bike ride through the Kerncliffe Park trails and onto the Geulph Line trails east of Waterdown.  (EnglishJim was apparently off doing a secret training ride with an unknown friend).  The weather was about 75degrees Celsius (a million degrees with the humidex) I think.  All in all it was a great ride with no crashes (a couple of near misses though) and no mechanicals.  The only real issue we had was that part of the trail was extremely overgrown making a narrow wooden bridge almost invisible.  No casualties though. 

We did get the stink eye from a hiker near the end of our outbound run, just before our turn around point.  When we did hit our turn around point (at Walkers Line and 1st Sideroad), and met the hiker (and her male companion again), this time she had a smile and a wave for us.  So I wasn’t sure what her issue was…I figured either schizophrenic, or she was angry at her companion previously.  NewfieSteve thought it was because she could now see him from in front…not sure what he meant by that though, so I’m going with the ‘mad at the boyfriend’ theory.
Anyways, we ended the day with a backyard BBQ of burgers, sausage, and rehydration beverages while watching CFL football.  The way every great Canadian training ride should end!
This morning I got out for a great road ride, 57km at an average speed of 30km/hr.  However, I was solo.  No one else was up for an early Sunday ride (my favourite time for a road ride cuz no traffic!!), and Centurion and Fig are racing in the Horseshoe Valley Centurion today.  I have never road raced, but I think it is something I may have to consider.  Centurion keep pushing me to do one, so I likely will.
Got home from the road ride in time to watch the last half of Stage 14 of the Tour de France.  Until this year I have never really watched the Tour.  I am totally enjoying it!  (Almost as much as seeing Riders kick the Lions AND the TiCats kick the Argos in the same night last night!!)  The endurance, speed, skill, and strategy of these riders is incredible!!  And it is a shame that Hesjedal is out, but may be best for his run at the Olympics!  Plus watching it is motivational!  Which I need!!
Well, now that I got the training road ride in, if the rain holds off I plan to end this Sunday with an evening MTB ride.  Here’s hoping!!

Friday, 13 July 2012

This week…Some Road, Some MTB, Some burning quads!

Sunday morning had me on an intense road ride.  Sunday is my favourite time to road ride…there is so little traffic!!

Have 6 hours on the mountain bike so far this week.  One of these rides (Wednesday morning) was a hill climbing workout ride with Jeff and Rod…two of the best climbers around.  They destroyed me!!  (Of course a hockey game Monday night and two games Tuesday night did nothing to help).  We hit every hill around here (and if you have never ridden here there are some very intense hills!!)  My quads are still on fire!!
Then Thursday morning I went out planning on a gentle recovery ride…but half an hour in I met up with Jeff (again??) and Don…and they convinced me to join them for a longer, faster ride than I had planned on, but was still good.  I did manage to get a more leisure, recovery ride in on Friday morning.
An epic ride is planned tomorrow with NewfieSteve…it will be intense!!  I will keep you posted!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

So Wa Happen this Week??

So my MTB was in the shop waiting for the new chainstay to be delivered then installed until I was able to retrieve it on Friday.  This was OK; it gave me a good reason to get on the roadbike as often as possible to work on my endurance.  And I did!!  I managed to hit the roadbike 5 times this week for some HIIT and some sustained intense rides…all of them solo.

I was in Collingwood on Thursday and Friday for work and took the roadbike with the hopes of getting a ride in.  Managed to get a ride in early Friday morning.  Talk about never ending hills!!  What a great workout!!  County road 19 seemed to go up forever, then I turned right at Line 2 (I think it was Line 2??), then right again at county road 119 to head back.  Great…I thought, this should be downhill all the way.  But no!!  Still more climbing!!  How the heck can it be uphill both ways??!!  Then suddenly a very steep twisty downhill on broken pavement.  I got over 81 km/hr before my nerves got the better of me and I slowed the bike down.  Then made my way back to my suite with much more of a ride and workout under my belt than I had bargained on…but it was great!!
We returned home ( Heidi had accompanied me to Collingwood) Friday afternoon and I picked up my repaired MTB.  I was looking forward to getting a MTB ride in, so got out for two rides on Saturday!  Got a great road ride this morning (Sunday), and planning on a MTB ride this afternoon.
Hope all this riding is doing me some good! 

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Last Two Weeks: Part Two A Sask., Part Two B XCMarathon Challenge 60Km Race

Part Two A: Saskatchewan

As mentioned last post, I returned from the Summer Solstice 24 hour race on Sunday and flew out to Saskatchewan on Monday where my sister met me at Regina airport to drive to my small hometown (two hour drive).  I had a nephew graduating on the Tuesday in Saskatoon…unfortunately timing kept me from attending. 

My daughter was graduating high school in Estevan on the Wednesday.  This is me and her (in case you thought that old dude was her escort!!)

I also was able to catch my niece’s grad enough to get a pic with her before heading back to catch my plane home on Friday night.  (Again, that old guy is me…not the general Saskatchewan grad escort!)

By the way, during my stay my mother mentioned that she still had my very first bike ever stashed away in the garage.  So we had to drag it out to take some pics!!  (Yes, that old guy is me!!)

The interesting thing is that that little ball of steel weighs more than my current mountain bike!!  Seriously!

Flew out of Regina at 7pm Friday, and with a 4 hour lay-over had me land in Toronto at 5:45am on Saturday where my Loving Caring (she would have to be to drive to Toronto that early!!) Wife, Heidi gathered my exhausted arse.

Part Two B: XC Marathon Challenge 60Km Race in Mansfield

So, I get back home Saturday morning, and get my life back in order (OK… at least similar to the order it was in before I left)…which basically meant opening my suit case and letting Heidi’s borderline OCD complex kick in and have to clean it out (just kidding…ish).  I head down to BicycleWorks to pick up my Mountain Bike (where I had left it before my vacation to attend to a couple of minor mechanical issues…a perpetually loose pivot bolt, and a broken spoke in the rear wheel), only to find out that the chain-stay was broken…so my bike won’t be available for the race Sunday.  Paul at BicycleWorks offers to lend me his bike…it’s not an SWorks but it is a carbon Epic decked out with all the top end components so I jump at his offer with a very appreciable nod!  So with a borrowed bike, it’s off to the races!

So…how out of shape can you get in a week??  Apparently a lot; a week of non-athletic eating (hot dogs, sausage, bacon, bannock…mmmmmm bacon and bannock) and an abundance of beer and whiskey is not really conducive to maintaining athletic performance.  The race, for me, was a mess…no serious crashes, however I did go over the bars on a steep descending sandy switchback that I tried to take the inside line on a little too fast.  However, a lack of energy and endurance of any kind kept me from maintaining any kind of respectable pace…and the heat and the extreme Mansfield sand (sand sucks for mountain biking!!) did not help.

So what do I have to do now?  First, get back on the training nutrition plan.  This is already done.

Second get back to training…not just riding.  This means much more road riding; with all the great weather we have had I have been hitting the trails with almost no road riding.  But road riding is so great for building endurance…and they have to be training rides.  This means extended rides at race pace, and rides involving endurance training…like High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) rides.  Trail rides will be geared towards training…hill repeats, extended race pace rides, and rides to work on certain skills (steep descending switchbacks??).  Apparently my mountain bike will be repaired and ready tomorrow.

So…let’s get back to work.

Monday, 2 July 2012

The last two weeks: Part One - Summer Solstice 24Hr Relay Race

This year’s 5 man 24 hour race team had a bit of a different look.  EnglishJim’s son Oliver was out with motivational issues and Shawn was in.  So the team included Shawn, EnglishJim, yours truly (that means me), NewfieSteve, and Launchzone.  We raced in that order, and within the first set of laps we found our team mid pack of the competition and fought for the remainder of the 24 hours to compete for a podium position.  Finished 4th in our category; short of the podium but huge fun, and a great group, everyone giving their all.

However, I was not entirely happy with my own performance.  I have been riding lots but not truly training (simply riding is not enough).  I need to get back on the training bandwagon.  The problem is, I had a week of vacation immediately after the race; off to Saskatchewan to visit family…a week of off-nutrition plan eating and drinking.  Then returned on Saturday just in time to take my vacation laden arse into the XC Marathon Challenge 60km race on Sunday (more on this in the next post).
After the 24 hour race I took my bike to the shop to attend to a couple of mechanical issues that surfaced during the 24 hour.  I left the bike for the week that I was away in Saskatchewan…and returned Saturday and went to pick my bike up.  Ends up the chain stay is broken…I needed to borrow a bike for the Marathon Challenge 60Km.