America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

Monday, July 27, 2009

2009 Norwell Pro-Am

I trained more in January than I did in June, and the same can be said for July, unless I crack about 100 miles this week- who knows.. My form is systematically being stolen from me week after week by a completely unpredictable, highly demanding and stress-intense career. It wasn't always like this, as you can see from the nice graphic chart I've shared with you showing how my CTL and ATL evolved since January. Look at the blue line during the time between May 20 and May 31, where I can tell you that I was the strongest all year. It comes as no surprise- I did almost 54 hours and over 1000 miles of riding in May. But in June- after returning from Turkey- I was saddled with a new project at work which needs constant nurturing- and it's so large that I'm co-managing it with another PM. Management changes at work make it even more sensitive of an issue because all new eyeballs are looking at this thing extremely closely. There's enough dick-wagging and pissing matches going on that anyone can be violently thrown under the bus at any given moment, even though this train wreck of a project was inherited from a person who drove it into the ground and then got fired. My job is to turn it around, and it has basically consumed me. I've averaged about 100 junk miles a week since returning from Turkey in early June. This is going to change beginning this week, because it's now time to engage in a bail-out plan of my own. I'm going to look very closely at the training I did in April/May and with a few adaptations relative to intensity and volume, I'm going to shoot for a CTL of at least 100 for the week leading up to Chris Thater. That's only 5 weeks from now. At Norwell there were no surprises and I performed about as lousy as I expected to, maybe a little more. The good news is that my 60 minute normalized power has not fallen dramatically- it's still pretty strong even though it's dropped under 300. I was torn between using my light rear wheel and my Powertap, but the need for some quality data made the decision easy- at a race where my participation was purely for enjoyment- who cares about an extra 300 grams at the hub? What's that, half a water bottle's weight? Yes so this is not really a race report- sorry if Google led you here in anticipation of reading something exciting. I finished Norwell even though I was dropped on lap 4. I finished it even though I was lapped.
A bad day of racing is always better than a good day at work!
Thanks for reading.

Above, my son and I at Goddard Park. The bike is a FELT. I bought it a year ago, but never pressured him to ride it- he always preferred scooting around on his pedal-less LikeaBike Jumper. The nice thing is that he went straight to a big boy bike, without falling down once, without ever using training wheels, and without any of the "can only ride in a straight line" syndrome which infects all training wheel users. He corners like he's on rails. After getting on the podium at Attleboro and winning a "nickel", he says he wants to race a thousand times and win a thousand more "nickels". That's what he calls the medal they gave him.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Curses to this weather. Its become such that I get headaches when its sunny out- not used to it.
I raced Ninigret last night, it was nice and warm and fun. Jumped onto a late flyer with two to go and got smoked. The field swarmed us with one to go and I coasted home, watching a winnable field sprint unfold before me. Bad judgment like that makes my skin crawl, but I should remind myself that I wasn't there to win, I wanted to test limits and see where I stand. I already know that I have a decent sprint. What I really need to learn how to do is hold 27 mph for an extended period of time, as in a breakaway- seeing as the typical masters crit averages about 26 mph..
So lately, I'm less interested in watts and more interested in speed. I want to practise going 30+mph for 2-4 minute durations, such as during the last 2-3 laps of a crit. I didn't even use my power meter at the Attleboro Crit- instead I used my much lighter Easton wheel.
I'm pre-registered for Norwell, now if only I could train a little bit for it.. I'm averaging 2-3 rides a week lately.
Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Scene from a 2008 Crit

This is one of my favorite pictures. I am populating a smart little rotation with a couple of cool guys. Its pretty pathetic when your best result for an entire season is 6th place in a crit. Or 7th. but you take what you can get and you must avoid second guessing yourself because no matter the result, remember that our class of athlete usually isn't satisfied until we've pushed ourselves to the point of cramps, nausea, tendonitis, dehydration, road rash, broken ribs and collarbones. No one can push you harder, than You. There's always a few times in a race where you either crack, or don't crack, ("the moment") but you never discover that breaking point unless you're on the rivet and going for broke. Hopefully my rambling does not pollute an otherwise serene scene. We were in between the 4 guys up the road and the 40 behind us, and that's how it finished. Sure I cracked and had no choice but to excuse myself from the winning break, but persistence paid off and after about 5 solo laps, two others reached me, as you can see. It was a good day no matter how you look at it. Thanks for reading.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My new favorite park:

Goddard Park
There is a one mile loop in the middle of the park  that's ideal for intervals of one minute or less. Also ideal for an early Sat morning crit a la Prospect Park. Goddard is also just a mile or two from my house.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A day in the life

Alarm goes off at 5:30
Out the door at 6:25
Bike ride to work is 29 minutes
Change into street clothes in time for 7:00 am meeting
Meeting ends at 8:30
Head out for Boston at 9:00, after a pit stop at DD for toasted sesame bagel and coffee
Arrive on Beacon Street 10:30
Go to work at project- keep busy til 12:30- time to feed the meter, change parking space and get lunch
Walk to Viga and use Davio's bathroom
Line at Viga is out the door all the way to the corner- I grab two slices of pizza and a Coke.
Walk over to the Park and grab a park bench, eat pizza, drink Coke, feed pigeons and squirrels (you can't spell "Pigeon" without P-I-G! These things were huge!) Squirrels get right up on park bench and beg for piza crusts. Awesome.
Head back to project for more project managwr stuff. Leave Beacon St at 4:30- lots of traffic.
Get back to the office at 6:30
Suit up and hit the road- head down to Narragansett Town Beach on Route 1/1A. Takes 1:15 to get there- a city bus almost kills me- - catch the mofo at a red light and have words (he could not hear, with elderly driver, who keeps pointing to the sidewalk.. Get to beach at 8:00 to meet wife and son. They're packing up, but there's time to stick my feet in the water and have a beer.
Wife drives us home- we quickly change and we're walking up Main Street to get ice cream for dinner. We stroll around for a bit and get home at 10:00. Time for bed.
Tomorrow I'm up at 4:30 so I can be in Bridgeport by 8:00.

Life gets in the way

Where I work, two project managers were fired last week. Another project manager committed suicide the week before.. Requiring me to move from my cushy new estimating position to their former office, in order to co-manage and "turn-around" a $3 million hospital project that's in a nosedive death spiral. I'm going to work earlier and earlier, getting home later and later.. Not only am I missing a lot of training, I'm also feeling more stressed and fatigued than ever, so even if there were 27 hours in a day, I'd probably not spend the 3 extra hours training. So, as much as I would have loved to race Attleboro on Saturday all pumped and primed and ready, I'm going to have to just do it for the fun of it, if I do it at all. I think I'm expected to be in the office Sat and Sunday.. It's another cool gray New England morning and I'm headed up to Beacon Street to babysit some carpenters. Thanks for reading.