I’ll be missing another race because I didn’t let my body get over this cold. Because of my poor judgment, what should have been a four day cold has turned into a two and a half week ordeal. My cold started back a few days before Cherry Pie. If I hadn’t done that race, I would have been over my cold. After the race, I took a few days off because I felt sick, then did some hard intervals that Wednesday. After that, I started getting an ear infection and my cold got worse. So I took three more days off. Then began training again this Monday with an easy 2 hour ride. I felt ok, but still sick, and rode hard the next day for a little under four hours in the rain and I’ve been trying to recover since. Today I went out an a short pre race ride to see how I felt. I feel like I did before Cherry Pie and those other two hard rides. Still sick, but almost better. I’m not going to make the same mistake a fourth time in a row, which means no Banana Belt tomorrow.
Why, you ask? Because. They just are. Look around you and you’ll see almost nothing but STUPIDNESS. Cars, houses, roads, buildings, and most people’s thoughts. They’re all terrible. Why do we live in a world like this? Why do we choose to have things this way? There is no destiny. The entire history of time didn’t have to build up to what we have now: deforestation in the Amazon so we can eat beef at McDonalds, trillions of tons of excess c02 in the atmosphere, trash on the sides of the roads, gravel in the bike lanes, bike lanes made of oil, overpopulation, over-consumption, over-trained cyclists, inefficient and wasteful city planning, idiotic local news, a planet full of ignorance but only a hand full of bliss. Take gold for example. There is a recent National Geographic article that talks about gold and it’s global impact, and its recent rise in value (the gold not the planet. duhh).
Gold is something with no true value. It serves very little in terms of practical uses–fillings, computer stuff, Olympic gold metals. That’s about it. But for some stupid reason, thought up by our equally dumb ancestors eons ago, it has huge monetary value. Maybe it made sense a long time ago to use it as currency because it could be manipulated easily, was rare, didn’t rust, and was cool looking. But now it should have no value. Like diamonds (which aren’t even rare), gold causes misery and slow deaths to hundreds of thousands of third world inhabitance across the globe.
Mercury is flushed down what once were pristine mountain streams after the caustic Hg is used to separate $20 gold nuggets from rock–done so with bare hands by poor families in an attempt to make money for food, so that they can continue handling mercury to find gold, so that they can buy food, so they can continue mining for gold…..
Huge open-pit mines destroy entire mountains as American (and other) corporations pillage foreign countries (third world) for microscopic gold flakes. Why? So rich people (you and I) can wear jewelry and stock Fort Knocks. The average gold wedding ring requires 250 tons of rock to be excavated. What value does tradition have if it means the demise of others and the planet? Don’t buy gold.
Why do we still use coal? Why do we still use oil? Why do we continue to have wars? Why do we submit ourselves to be ruled by the most corrupt people we can find? Why do we (not me) want to be ruled? Why do people still shop at Wal-Mart? Why are people still buying SUV’s? Every day I see, feel, and hear brand new SUVs as they’re giant scrap-metal carcasses zoom by me with 1 foot to spare. Don’t these idiots remember gas was $4 a gallon a few months ago??? KENNETTRON MAD!!! Kennettron go take rock and make smash smash at wal mart parking lot. This make Kennettron happy. Kennettron run from mean policeman. Kennettron decide he do what he want from now on after he outrun policeman. Kennettron take rock and go make smash smash at doughnut store and steal chocolate doughnuts. Kennettron get tummy ache because Kennettron eat too many delicious doughnuts. But Kennettron no care, he can outrun policeman and he bigger than doughnut store man, so he steal more doughnuts and get more tummy ache. Yes, this is the logic of the world. WHY?
But, most importantly. Why does my stupid front fender keep rubbing on my wheel?? I adjust it and adjust it and re adjust it until I think it’s prefect. Then 10 minutes later it’s rubbing again!!#3t aklsdjflkasjdfk;hasldjfhjlaskdhfjkahweiufawohra hjskd
Sometimes, you just have to imagine a place that isn’t like the one we’re in. And realize that maybe (but probably not) things will get better if you do something about it. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to go do some hill intervals.
I have an ear ache and a cold. So I might just sit in the pack tomorrow. I also need a ride down to the race in the morning if anyone has room. I hate being sick. I would cut off my left pinky toe with a blunt rock and eat it right now if it would automatically cure me of my cold. So much for my big hours this week. Seems like I get sick every fifth week of training. I hate february. Especially how it’s spelled. With the silent ‘r’ in there. Stupid word.
Here are some photos from the cat 1/2 race that are on http://www.oregoncyclingaction.com/ over on the right hand side of the page in a slideshow. There are more pictures from the other categories as well.
Seth (HP Chiro) on the front.
Wes from Paul’s.
Jacob in a break.
Los Tres Amigos. Me and Chris–in the blue Z Team kit hidden to the right. And Quinn, peaking out there in the blue/yellow Flanders colors to the far left.
What I lack in sprinting I make up for in grunting and grimacing.
Paul B. of Hutches takes 4th after Austin and Wes S. of Hammer/CMG.
First of all, I have to apologize to Nick S. for letting him down in Vegas today. Sorry buddy, but they paid me off.
Second of all, I have to thank my teammate Chris Swan for an amazing lead out and support today in an effort to help get me some upgrade points.
Third of all, I have to thank the weather gods for the great weather.
Fourth of all, I have to thank the guy with the chain saw at the finish line for briefly stopping so we didn’t have to shout to hear each other while talking after the race.
Fifth of all, I have to thank that bee that stung the guy with the chain saw.
On to the race news.
I woke up this morning with a sore throat and a cough. I laid in bed listening to the rain coming down on the roof and sideways onto the window. Crap. This isn’t how I want to start the race season. So I went back to sleep to give it another try. And when I woke up the second time an hour and a half later, my sore throat and cough were diminishing and the rain water on the street was evaporating up into a clearing sky. That’s more like it.
My dad and I drove down to Corvallis, I got on the bike, I warmed up, I took a poop, I ate a cliff bar, I said hi to some people, and we began racing. The majority of the first lap was easy (for me). That’s because I had Chris’ wheel to follow, guaranteeing me a spot up front with little time spent in the wind. Then he got a flat and I was pretty much on my own. A break was up the flat and windy road (that’s windy like the wind blowing not the curve–they’re both spelled the same), so I chased er’ down part way and stopped when I saw the pack closing in on me. Most of the break was caught so I sat up near the front for a few more miles. A few more miles later, the break had gathered numbers and distance again and was lookin too strong, so after a couple guys took some hard pulls on the front, I sprung out and jumped the gap. I hate it when people do that to me (sitting on my wheel while I pull like a dog, then sprint by to get in the break while I go backwards). But the pack soon closed in after I got there and we all came together for the finale of the first lap. We went up the little hills at the finish line, then down the backside and began chasing down more stupid breaks that kept going off. And then, out of the gloriously gleaming clouds, a fierce golden light shone through as a thousand trumpets blew, beautiful women fainted, and the heavens opened their pearly gates as Chris emerged, faster and more powerful than before…Chris the White.
He had mackerelously (an amazing kind of fish) changed wheels and rode back onto the pack after flatting. Now there’s some strength.
But the task of chasing down breaks was too great for Chris to do alone, so I did my fair share this time around. At one point in the race, I brought back a devious-looking band of trouble makers in a pull that put my one minute power of the day at 666 watts. There you have it, Chris of the heavens and Kennett of hell. But our lordly powers combined couldn’t win the day.
The bunch was all together by the beginning of the climbs (roughly 2K to go). I rounded the corner going into the first hill sitting in 12th place or so, got boxed in a bit but moved over to the right as Chris and some others passed. I got in right behind Chris. We continued up the short climb at what felt like a deathly slow pace. Jacob Rathe and Greg Crawford
Joel Wilson (I think it was Joel) went up the road at this point, but Chris and I were too boxed in to move.
I couldn’t take it anymore, so I whispered into Chris’ ear, GO GO GO IM RIGHT HERE!! And we cut off to the far right edge of cement and passed the lolly gaggers in front of us as we crested the hill. I don’t know if anyone was sitting on us at that point because I didn’t look back, but I told Chris I was feeling good. “Chris, I’m feeling good,” I said. He looked like he was hurting as he continued to pull on the downhill false flat that lead to the base of the last little uphill sprint. “I’m feelin reeeeal good,” I told him as he chased the last two still up ahead. He took me around the final turn and BAM, I was off. I think I stepped on the gas a little too quickly. I made up ground on Jacob, who by this point had dropped Greg a while back, and I pulled right up beside him for the final few meters. But I simply had nothing left at that point, and he held me off to the line by a few feet to take the win. But I’m not too upset. I’m happy the first race is done and over with, like all of you probably are, and I’m also glad to have such an awesome teammate and team this year. Thanks again Chris, we’re gonna tear it up this year!!
If any of you who don’t have a blog (Mike and Will) would like to post your race report in a comment so we can hear about it, do it. I heard that Mike was an absolute monster today in the 3’s. And I heard that Will is an idiot and crashed a few days ago and now has a giant welt on his cheek.
This has been my greatest victory to date. And may be the greatest victory I’ll ever have. And all before the race season even began! Last night I started getting a sore throat. I had nightmares all night about getting sick. When I woke up this morning, my throat was even worse. So I didn’t ride at all today. I napped, rested, called in sick for work, and rested some more. The sore throat went away by noon, but usually it will come back by the evening if I’m getting sick. My throat still isn’t sore. It’s a miracle. I fought off a cold before I even got sick. Amazing. Simply amazing. I feel like I should end my season with a victory. Maybe this is the one. WRONG.
Tour of California. Looks like it’s going to be amazing. I’ve been checking Velonews at least three or four times a day to read new articles about “the greatest cycling field ever assembled on American soil.” I’m super jealous of everyone who’s getting to race in it.
With any luck, the sore throat is gone for good and I’ll see you guys at Cherry Pie on Sunday.
I’ve been waiting and busing tables at a retirement home in Sherwood this past week (my new job). I start at 3pm and end at 9pm. I begin preparing the kitchen and dining room for dinner at 5 and finish up with the dishes and re-setting the tables for the next morning’s breakfast. This week I’ve gotten to work with another person, which makes the job go much quicker; working alone requires at least another hour to finish the job. I glance at the clock every once and a while, anticipating the end of the night as my legs grow more and more tired from standing up for so long. I wait for the residents to finish eating so I can begin cleaning up. But before that, they wait for us to get them their food. They sit in partial silence as, one by one, they’re served their dinners. The kitchen and our whole process of serving food is extremely slow and inefficient. Instead of filling up all the plates ahead of time so that the residents can get there food at the same time without waiting an hour at their tables, the cook prepares one plate at a time. This means the residents spend the majority of their time waiting for their food to show up in front of them. When they’re done eating, they say goodnight (and laugh a questionable goodbye) to each other and head to their rooms in anticipation of breakfast the next morning.
Today I suffered up the backside of Parrett Mountain during threshold intervals. And finished the workout with endurance/tempo for a solid five hour jaunt.
Later today, as I sat in the YMCA spin class, I noticed the back of one of the other guy’s shirt. It read “The Eternal Life: God’s gift to mankind for the suffering of Jesus Christ.”
Sometimes I realize that I (and almost everyone else) spends too much time looking forward to the next thing on their to-do list, while they spend too little time appreciating what they’re doing at the moment. It’s difficult not to be in a rush. I’m in a rush to get on a pro team and race in Europe. Other people are in a rush to get to work, get a raise, go on a vacation, have kids, get the kids off to college, retire, whatever. It’s all the same thing. Few people realize that, ultimately, the only thing to really look forward to is death. Everything else is just a step or two in between.
So while the guy at the YMCA is anticipating the after life, and the senior citizens are anticipating dinner, I’ve decided not to anticipate anything. During my intervals on the hill today, I didn’t look forward to the end of each 7.5 minute torture-fest. I soaked it in, realizing that nothing else other than what I was doing right then mattered and that I should appreciate doing them, because one day I’ll be old. And later I’ll be dead. Haha. It sounds good in theory. But I guess some things are a bit too intense to really appreciate at the time of occurrence. If I remember correctly, by the last few minutes of each interval I was not “soaking up the glory of the moment.” I was wheezing for it to end. Ironically, the sport I chose requires yearning for the finish line.
I’ve completed three weeks in a row of good training and am smack dab in the middle of an easier week. Although today (Wednesday) wasn’t easy. The goal was to do 8 sets of 7.5 minute intervals at high threshold pace. I did one good one and three crappy ones before I turned in, deciding to err on the side of rest–my new mantra. Sort of. Ok, not really. But I am thinking about having it become my new mantra.
After some down time, this evening I did a spin class at the YMCA with my dad, which we usually do on Monday and Wednesdays. I think it’s great recovery to just sit there in a warm room and spin real easy, although I have a hard time going slow because of the loud music and labored breathing of everyone else in the room–which my dad makes 75% of out of the full class. While the spin instructor has the rest of the class doing interval type things and “hand dancing” stuff, my dad just sits there with his head down and his eyes closed, sweat dripping into a large pool at the base of the bike as he suffers for the entire hour as hard as he can go. Then he goes and swims for 75 minutes with the master’s swim team. I’ll blame him for my over-eagerness to overtrain.
But I’ve got some new people from Upper Echelon Fitness to make sure that I don’t do that. I’m being coached by Jeannette Rose and I’m also getting help from Russell Cree. Last week began my first week of coaching, which I like. Bring on the intervals is all I’m asking for.
Racing is finally getting here. Although now that I think about it, the last five months without racing have gone by pretty fast. Training has been great, but I’m ready to unleash the herd of horses aching to escape from my legs. I’m a bit nervous about Cherry Pie, but when I realize how many races there are this year, it seems stupid to put much (if any) pressure on the first few. So I won’t. But I will make some people suffer, no matter what.
The plan is to be a cat 1 by Tour of the Gila, which shouldn’t be a problem considering the race doesn’t start until the beginning of May. Today I’ve been scheming ways that Chris Swan and I can find a good place to train high up (Gila will be held at 5,000 to 8,000 feet elevation). And I’ve come up with the perfect solution: the very top of Mt. Lemmon in Tucson, AZ. My first thought was to go to Silver City, which has been recommended by a number of racers. We may still do that, but my new plan is far superior and less expensive. If we got to Silver City, we’ll most likely be renting a place in town, which is at 5,000 feet. The mountains we’ll be training on will be even higher. But if we got to Tucson, we’ll be able to sleep high (8,000 feet) and train low (2,000 feet). Brilliant. That way we can reap the benefits of altitude-created hemoglobin without our power decreasing from training without enough oxygen.* My idea is to either camp or use a friend’s cabin, or a combination of the two, whatever is super cheap. Camping would be tougher though. The plus side of camping is that I’ll most likely bring down a hammock to tie up in some trees, which I’m already looking forward to. Can you imagine it??? After a long hard day of riding in the warm sun, we get back up to our forest base camp, cook some pasta, and swing to and fro in our hammocks. That would be cool training. I’ve got it all planned out. Now I just have to tell Chris about it. Quinn, you’re also still invited.
As an added bonus, here is a list of my favorite races excluding GC stage races:
#2 World Championships (road race or TT)
#5 Giro di Lombardia
#8 Amstel Gold
#9 Stage of the Tour
#10 Stage of the Giro
Winning one would be a dream come true.
* For those not in the altitude loop, training at altitude increases the number of red blood cells in your body, which carry oxygen to your muscles. This is essential because there is less oxygen per volume of air the higher the altitude. BUT. If you train at altitude, you lose power because your muscles become accustomed to pushing smaller watts (meaning less pressure on the pedals and going slower) due to the decreased oxygen in the air. This occurs even though your body is adapting to the altitude. To get the most bang for your buck, current research has shown that sleeping and living high up while training at low altitude has the best effects for racing at altitude, and possibly at sea level too. But it takes time for any of these physiological changes to occur, which is why we’ll have to be either sleeping or training at altitude for three weeks before the race. I’m guessing that about 87 people are going to correct me on this. Go ahead. Let’s hear what you guys have to say on the matter.
**I usually never go back and edit posts but this one is actually quite embarrassing to me now. What a clueless cycling fan boy that I was back then. Over half of these bastards are/where doped to the gills and the fact that I once idolized those cheats pisses me off. The moral of the story, for me anyways, is to never look up to someone unless you know them personally. Also, damn was I horrible with margins back then or what?**
Here is a list of my favorite pro riders, not in any particular order and not with any particular set of criteria. These guys are just way bad-ass in some way or another.
Jeff Louder of BMC–I like his name. Plus I just like BMC in general because they’re a continental US team competing with the big Euro boys.
Martijn Maaskant of Slipstream–4th place in the Roubaix during his first year as a pro. Plus I hear that his girlfriend is hot, according to Qwin.
Fabian Cancellara of Saxo Bank–He’s the rider I most aspire to be because of his horse-like riding power.
Steven Cozza of Slipstream–It’s all about the mustache, baby.
Doug Ollerenshaw (formerly Rock Racing)–A fellow Oregonian.
Awesome facial expression, by the way.
Doug gets two pics.
Svein Tuft of Slipstream–2nd place world TT championships. Plus he briefly drafted off me in the Shootout.
Ryder Hesjedal of Slipstream–Cool name, lives in Hawaii, hangs out with Laird Hamilton.
Benjamín Noval of Astana–He’s never won a pro race, but he sits on the front of the pack all day and pulls like a possessed animal. Hence the nickname “El Toro.”
“Big” Jens Voigt 0f Saxo Bank (thanks Mike, I forgot about him)–The nickname says it all for this beast of a homo sapien. He’s large and in charge. Of breakaways, that is.
And here’s a link to a site about famous race horses.