Posted by: bikenfool | February 27, 2012

Hyannis Half

Good day for a run…
Yesterday was the Hyannis Half Marathon, the first race of an annual trilogy and my first race of the season. While my outdoor running has been a little cramped lately, I felt confident that the mileage was not going to be an issue. However, since I have not slowed down much this winter, I have not had a chance to rest up either so my goal was simply for sub 2 hours.

Windy-Day

The weather has been cooperating on a regular basis, yesterday proved to be no different. The morning started at 30 degrees with a stiff 25-30 mph wind, yikes, but at least it was sunny! Iron Chick and I decided to dress a little warmer to help offset the gusting wind all the while laughing about how nice the beach would be. Still, it was nice to be outside and even as cold as it was, the sun felt great!

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Stop your bitchin and just run faster…
Maybe I should have just run faster or maybe it just seemed crowded? With 3000 + participants, we sure had lots of company. In any event, the race started at The Conference Center in Hyannis and due to the cold, the building was just over flowing with people.

Can you say “Mosh pit”?

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Lip service???
Arriving early, we settled into doing the obligatory bathroom rotation. You know, where you wait in line, go to the bathroom then wait in line, go to the bathroom then wait in line, well you get the point.

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After a few loops of the bathroom madness, we walked out to the start just as the gun went off, nice! If you have never run this race it really is a scenic course as it goes by Hyannis Harbor by Kalmus Beach, through Hyannis Port and then over to Craigville Beach before it begins to wind its way back to the starting point.

Hyannis Marathon

Steady Eddie…
With my favorite play list cranking through my headphones, I attempted to set pace. This was harder than I anticipated due to the crowds but by the time we were on the road to Craigville Beach, I felt settled in.

Hyannis Half 2012

The miles few by, as it seems a great play list will do that for you. Through out the run, I paced different people who help me make a B-line through slower traffic. All the while, I was expecting to be cold but I was actually comfortable. The wind seemed to be out of the north-west which was a plus based on the course direction. While I sure did feel the wind, I think it could have been worse.

In the end…
The last two miles felt great. I picked up the pace in a feeble attempt to make up lost time. Running into the finishing chute, there were hundreds of people cheering and talking pictures. As I crossed the finish I felt a good sense of accomplishment and a little melancholy that it was over.

Hyannis Half 2012 finish

I finished in 1:55 at an 8:49 pace. Certainly not my fastest 13 miles as that would have taken a 1:50 but I was just so pleased to be out in the fresh air, running and spending time with Iron Chick.

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Next up, the New York City Half in about two weeks!

On a sad note…
It just so happened that this weekend also coincided with selling my Cervelo P2c. I had been advertising it along with Iron Chick’s Cervelo S2 on Craig’s List when I received an email from a guy from Boston. Seems he was in the market for a new Tri-bike and as chance would have it, he was coming to town to run the Hyannis Half.

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I sure will miss that bike but it seems like it went to a great new home and I am sure the new owner will love it as much as I did.

Anyone looking for a nice Cervelo S2?

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Posted by: bikenfool | February 19, 2012

I’m Loving It…

And I am not talking about McDonalds!
What’s that sound you say? Can’t quite make it out but is sounds vaguely failure? That sound is my quads screaming for mercy.

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I stagger into the house, spots of mud peppering my clothes, “You look kinda like a leopard, let me rephrase that, you look kinda like something a leopard dragged in!”  Iron Chick says as she gives me the once over. “You betted have put a towel over the seats in the Jeep! Between the mud and the way you smell I’ll never get the clean!”

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“I love you too honey!” I reply grinning ear to ear. I was just getting back from a kick-ass 14 mile ride at Trail of Tears. We rode a new loop that Frank strung together and I am really liking it. With Tim and I in tow, he was dropping the hammer today as we flew through the trees like a group of rabbit squirrels. My legs were screaming but there’s no time for self pity, I was not about to fall behind.

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Was that Yesterday?
Back up 24 hours and I’m running a nice pace through the lovely village of Cotuit. It’s 45 degrees and kinda windy but man is it nice out. The sun is bright yellow, the sky is pale blue and I am admiring the beauty of it all as my Shuffle plays a killer mix. I’m 6 miles into a 10 + mile run and loving it.

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The miles are clicking by with ease. I hit 8 mile as I arrive at an area of Cotuit called Oregon Beach, a remote and beautiful spot off the beaten path. There are a series of dirt roads, at the end of this peninsula, that are simply marvelous for running or even cyclocross riding. The woods shelter me from the wind and I actually begin to feel hot.

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At mile 10, I am near my house but decide to keep going on a trail that cuts across the marsh. It’s very scenic and connects Pinaquissett Cove with Crocker’s Neck Conservation Area. Entering the conservation area, I’m hammering out a decent pace on the undulating terrain while thinking about how cool this would be on a mountain bike. I run down by a secluded beach and a couple miles later and I’m back at the house.

The boys...

Spring ahead…
Fast forward 24 hours; I’m digging deep, sweat drips down my nose as I fly over a seriously rocky section of trail. I’m hanging on for dear life and pounding on the peddles when I hear a horrendous sound. It seems a large thick stick was trying to make close friends with my front wheel. In an effort to keep myself from going ass over tea kettle, I quickly grab a handful of brakes and stop like a cat whose tale was stepped on. Thankfully, going over the bars was averted and surprisingly, no busted spokes either!

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We are almost done, hitting the flats at full speed. At 15+ mph, the whoosh of trees just inches of bars and the feeling of railing a corner as my lungs grasp for another breath is simply exhilarating and at this point I ‘m not thinking about anything but the trail in front of me. Tired and sweaty, we arrive back at the main lot with quads and lungs burning some 2 hours after we began.

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I’m feeling your pain…
Ok, I beat the crap out of myself this week and there is still one more day to go! I am pretty much sore all over but I wouldn’t have any other way! Tomorrow is Presidents Day so I get one more day to play, maybe a light Cyclocross ride? Yeh, I’m a glutton for punishment.

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The rest of the week I’m planning on taking it easy as the Hyannis Half Marathon is coming up this Sunday and I want to be rested. All I can say is damn, what a great weekend and what a great winter!

I’m loving it.

Posted by: bikenfool | February 12, 2012

A little cold never hurts?

Spoiled rotten…
Ok, I have to admit that I have been spoiled rotten this winter. It has been one of the mildest on record and that has allowed me to be outside more than usual and actually enjoy it.

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Taking advantage it all…
Last Thursday I had the pleasure of working down in Falmouth and I any time I do, I always try to take full advantage of its beauty. Nothing beats riding or running the Falmouth coast so after work I decided that a nice six mile run was in order. It was 42 and sunny with almost no wind, wow what a day.

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I headed out around 4:15pm, running from the head of the harbor towards Woods Hole. The ocean was flat calm, sea gulls few over head and the smell of salt air reminded me of warmer days. Running west, towards the sun set and its warm orangish glow, I remembered why I love to live on Cape Cod.Six miles flew by in about 51 minutes as I arrived back at the harbor just as the sun had set. After two previous evening treadmill runs, it was damn nice to outside.

More fun to be had…
Yesterday we had rain, sleet and snow for about 12 hours but luckily enough the temperature hung around 35 so nothing really accumulated. Unfortunatly, the temps did nose dived overnight, heading below 20 and leaving me wondering if I would actually miss a weekend of riding.

First Snowfall

All is not lost…
Stepping on to the deck, the bright sun felt warm, for about 5 seconds until the bitter wind chill slapped my face. I was well prepared however, armed with techwick windproof fabrics and of course a balaclava mask, I headed out to meet Tim & Frank at Trail of Tears.

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The trail surface was hard and there was what looked like a sprinkling of confectionary sugar strewn around. Dsepite the slippery look of the trail, traction was great and the patches of snow actually seemed to add to the grip.

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To boldly go where no man has gone before? Not really…
Frank lead the ride today, taking us on a fantastic 12+ mile loop that covered the gamete of twisty trails and offering up lots of hills. Good thing I actually like hills as we set a nice brisk pace to help keep us warm.

TOT-Frank

It always amazes me how well Specialized S-Works Captain Tires perform in snowy/icy conditions. They are sure footed and super grippy throwing lots of rooster tails from the sharp knobbies.

All around great tires that would further be put to the test as the sun started to melt selected spots on the trails making randomly placed “mud zones”. Thank God, there were no miss-haps; unlike a few weeks ago when I fell about 5 feet from the top of the big Ramp Rock at Otis. Yeh, it hurt…

ouch

Although it was 28 degrees with wind gusts up to 30mph we had a blast. Flying down tight twisty trails, trees inches off my bar ends, crisp air cleaning out my lungs and the occasional feeling of my wheels leaving the ground… Ah yeh, I sure do love mountain biking…

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Tim

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Frank

Posted by: bikenfool | February 5, 2012

Forgive me father for I have sinned…

Forgive me father for I have sinned, it has six months since my last blog! Yah, that’s a long time I know. Over last six month, I really felt drained of my creativity. Some how life got in the way of my blogging, go figure! Really it was work that got in the way and the fact that I was about to become the next victim of the economy. For three months, I put most of my focus on staying employed but thankfully this had no impact on my training.

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I truly believe that you control all situations and that situations don’t control you. It’s all a matter of perspective. Don’t like how things are going? Make your mind up to change it.

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Committing to that change is no different that committing to that skinny 6” wide ramp that runs 10’ up top of the big rock. When you decide to do it, you have to be totally committed or pay the price. In many ways life is no different. It may seem like things are out of your control but if you have the vision and the commitment, anything is possible. Now don’t get me wrong, I ‘m not saying this is easy, cuz it’s not, but the freedom it gives you is priceless!

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Speaking of committed, I am fortunate enough to be married to Iron Chick, whose never wavering commitment serves as beacon for me. She constantly impresses me and shows me how anything is possible. She is very inspirational and certainly motivational, which has helped me keep training right through the tough times. Actually, the training has served both as a stress reliever and a way to actually charge my batteries while creating the vision of how I want my life to go.

Visualize

Over the last six months, I have been lucky enough to be able to run 3-4 times a week and bike 1-3 times a week. Helped by the mild New England winter, I have only been on the treadmill and Cyclops trainer less than a 1/2 dozen times. Outdoors has been the name of the game. Running has become easier, with my typical run being 6 miles in the 8’s and 10+ miles on weekends. Long road rides stopped back in early November as Mountain Biking picked up but never the less, I have been able to ride pretty much every week.

I was very please with how training went for 2011. I finished the year at an all time high for biking and running as well as probably the best fitness I have had over 15 years. Here’s a review of my Stats fro 2011:

Activity Type Count Distance Time Elevation Gain Avg Speed Calories
Running 93 596.58 92:13:50 12,243 6.5 72,001
Road Cycling 78 1,814.69 109:18:08 47,369 16.6 132,118
Indoor Cycling 43 489.22 38:08:44 691 12.8 27,315
Mountain Biking 27 327.82 47:36:01 22,285 7 31,854
Treadmill Running 13 43 7:06:40 6 4,075
Cyclocross 5 90.65 8:35:32 1,480 10.6 7,300
Summary 259   3,361.96    302:58:56    84,067 11.1 274,663

2012 will undoubtedly be just as busy. I hope to cycle just as much as last year and with any luck, maybe more. Additionally, I’m planning on continuing to run, with the following on the docket for this year; the Hyannis Half, NYC Half, Rucus Boston 2012, Johnny Kelly Half, Falmouth Road Race and Cranberry Half.

capecodtrilogy-logo       NYC1-2
   rucus      NB-Falmouth-Road-Race-Logo

I am certainly glad to be done with 2011 from a work perspective but from a fitness perspective, this was one of the best years I ever had. Having Iron Chick training for Iron Man Lake Placid was a big help as it pushed me to keep pace with her running and biking. I look forward to 2012 to hone my fitness further and push my self harder. So far, so go!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from 2011:

Posted by: bikenfool | September 16, 2011

Times they are a changing…

Cooler weather…days getting shorter…leaves falling… yeh, summer’s over. It sure has been a good run and as summer ends, my routine is starting to change. Tuesday nights I usually do the Cape Cod Cycling Club Time Trials.

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Ten weeks out of twelve this season, I huffed, puffed, sweated and basically drooled my way through these events with my heart beating out of my chest and my lungs burning like the fiery brimstones of hell.

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Did I say I love this stuff!

Anyway, this past Tuesday, with the ever so accurate weather forecast calling for partly cloudy and 30mph winds, I decided to mountain bike instead. The whole time I was loading the Stumpjumper, I couldn’t help but feel melancholy and even a little guilty about not doing the the time trail. To make it worse, the weather turned out to be nice and the winds were actually light but I was committed to my choice and made a b-line to Trail of Tears.

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The minute my tires hit the trail, all my guilt just faded away. The Stumpjumper, having had its suspension recently rebuild, was in top form and with my endurance at a peak, I made short work of the fast loop.

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Trying to belay my feeling of remorse and guilt over abandoning the time trial, I made this feeble attempt at mimicking it on the trail…

While I am not happy about fall coming, days like this sure make it easier to deal with :)…

Posted by: bikenfool | June 2, 2011

Time Trial Time

It’s back…
With Summer comes longer days, warmer temps, lots of out door activities and oh yeh, Time Trials. Last year, the Cape Cod Cycling Club (C4) held weekly Time Trials in Osterville. The 6.6 mile flowing course wound its way through the village and provided great challenge to test your maxium threshhold.

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Now that it’s almost summer again, I figured I would get a jump on building up my endurance. So this past Tuesday, I headed down to the course to throw down my best effort. Ok it’s only been a day since the half marathon but I figure it will help my legs recover right?

Smokin

Anyway, the evening was nice with little wind and 65 degree temps. I did a one lap at about 60% to get warmed up. Traffic was light and as the general store was being painted, there was little activity at what usually is a tricky spot. My legs felt pretty good but on the hills, my quads were squealing like the three little pigs.

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Arriving back at the starting point, I lined up and reset my trusty Garmin. This was my second ride on the Cervelo P2. I can’t say enough about this bike. What a great machine; comfortable and smoking fast.

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I had swiped Iron Chicks “Speed Fill” at the end of last season to make it easier for me to hydrate when riding at speed. It works awesome as I do not have to come up out of aero to take a drink. What a great device…

Speedfill

Light-um up…
With all systems a go, I pressed start on the Garmin, snapped in and began the run. As the first leg is slightly down hill, I pushed hard knowing I might be slower on the upcoming hills. The Cervelo was moving out nicely and things felt good. The first hill was not to bad, as I stayed seated for the entire climb. However, the second hill is longer and required some out of the saddle time. Yeh, it hurt! The next section was smooth and fast to the general store but the uphill section into downtown was once again challenging my quads.

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Once I hit the flats on the way out of town, I dropped the hammer again, taking the corner on Pond Street at pace and without breaks- yikes. Pond Streets twisty curves and various hills provided some challenge on the way to Bay Lane. I really like the Bay Lane section. Even with a decent hill near the end of the run, it just feels like a fast road. Stealing a quick glimpse of my time makes me feel like I’m behind so once again I kick in the afterburners. At this point my lungs are burning along with what’s left of my legs.

2011 1st tt

Crossing the finish, I stop the clock at 17:10 at an average pace of 23.1 for 6.61 miles. Not my best time but considering the state of my legs, I consider it a good first effort. I just love doing flat out runs, traffic and poor road conditions aside. I can’t wait until we officially start the trials but until then, I will continue to work on increasing my upper limits.

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