Posted by: bikenfool | May 31, 2011

Johnny Kelly, Small Bladder and 16 Damn Seconds

Preparing…
Memorial Weekend is finally here. While I’ve running a lot, I hesitate to say I’ve training because it honestly feels like more like fun than hard work. Now the time has come to reach for my goal of running the Johnny Kelly Half Marathon.

I certainly feel prepared for the race, having attempted to keep up with Iron Chick has seen to that. Three miles feels like getting warmed up, six feels good, ten is just fine and over ten is not an issue for my cardio but does bother my joints a little.

run

Now keeping up with Iron Chick is no easy task and it has had me pushing myself harder than I have ever done. This past week found me Mountain biking 15 miles Saturday, Road Riding 50 miles Sunday, Running 6 miles Monday, Running 6 miles Wednesday, Road Riding 15 miles Thursday, Road Riding  15 miles Friday, Road Riding 30 miles Saturday and finally running 13 miles Sunday.

Yikes!

Stats june 11

Not exactly an easy week.

Still, I’m a slacker…
Regardless of my feeble attempt at training, I’m still a slacker compared to others. For example, last Week “Team Iron Chick” had just completed the “Reach The Beach” relay race covering ground from Wachusett to Westport.

Reach the beach

The relay race was around 200 miles and each girl ran 18+- miles over 24 hours. Pretty cool. And Iron Chick still did her full training schedule. You see why I am a slacker?

Reach the beach2

Race Day…
The other half of Team Iron Chick, my wife’s little sister Jeanne, arrived Saturday night for our obligatory pasta dinner. After having a nice meal we discuss our strategy for the next day. Being that we all run at different paces, my plan was to simply settle into to a good play list on the I-Pod while whittling away the miles.

Race morning was 60 and overcast. Albeit humid, the lack of sunshine was welcome and proved to be a big plus for the run. I felt pretty good. A little sore from the weeks activity but still, not bad. Pre race meal consisted of a bagel with Nutela, coffee and 12oz FRS. Note the coffee and FRS was a fair amount of liquid.

JK Half

7:45am and Hyannis Green filled with people. In usual form, the line for the bathrooms was long for the ladies and short for the men. Making our way to the starting line we were primed and ready to go.

We met up with two friends from off Cape, Mark & Jen then jockeyed for position at the line. As the gun went off, we slowly made our way down Main Street. Once off of Main Street I was able to settle into a good pace as the group thinned out. The miles ticked off without issue. I was running in the mid eights and feeling good.

Small Bladder…
Approaching the half way mark I had to pee bad. I thought about finding the nearest tree but couldn’t bring myself to do it. Then, while running along Craigville Beach, I see runners coming out of the bath house. Hum, a quick left turn and I’m heading for relief. As I enter the bathroom I press “Pause” on my Garmin. About a minute later and I’m back under way, slipping back into the flow of runners.  I increase my pace trying to make up for my bathroom break.

Craigville

The course makes its way by Four Seas Ice Cream before making a left on Pine and heading back to Hyannis. Looking down at my Garmin, I see the numbers look the same as they did at the beach. Damn, forgot to press start! Damn! Now I’m pissed. So I pick up the pace a little more cursing the whole way back to Hyannis.

fore305-2-sm

Mile ten clicks by with no issues as I run up next to Bob “Ecky” Eckerson, an old friend and the President of the Cape Cod Athletic Club. We exchange hellos and I move on. Still stewing over not restarting my Garmin, I continue to push my pace.

At about mile twelve I hear “Hey” and look over to see Jeanne running up next to me. “Damn”, she says, “I‘ve been trying to catch you since Craigville!” We decide to run in together.

As we hit the final mile our pace quickens. We’re now in the chute of orange cones. We’ve broken away from most runners at this point which gave the camera guys lots of great photo ops. Naturally we hammed it up a bit. Turning the final bend, we break into a full out sprint the finish.

running2

Crossing the finish line, I swear Jeanne had flames following her feet! Through stupidity, my Garmin had “short changed” the distance but it did show that I averaged 8:27 min/mile with best pace 6:14 min/mile. However, I’ll have to wait for the official results.

A few minutes later, Mark & Jen cross the line with Iron Chick not far behind.

Johnny Kelly Half

All in all, we had a great race.

16 Damn Seconds…
So I was shooting to finish my first Half Marathon in 2:00 hours. When the race results came out, my time was 1:52:15 while Jeanne finished in 1:51:59. She was 16 damn seconds a head of me!

Ugh!

Stupid bladder!

I should have just peed myself!

Johnny Kelly Half 2

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Posted by: bikenfool | May 16, 2011

Timing , Awareness and Destiny

The path you’re on…
I’m sitting here gearing up to watch the Amgen Tour of California. Even with the first stage cancelled due to snow, the excitement is building for this premier US race. However, the sad news of the death of Belgian rider Wouter Weylandt in the Giro d’Italia last week is serving as a sobering reminder of how things can change in a second.

Wouter Weylandt

The 26-year-old, who was due to become a father for the first time in September, died instantly after a crash on the twisting descent of the Bocco mountain pass around 25km from the finish line on last Monday’s third stage.

It sure does make me think about the future and the paths my life may go down. As I have been riding a lot on the road, the death of Wouter Weylandt really made me feel my mortality. Sunday, as I glided along beautiful tree lined streets,  I seemed to be hyper aware of things that were happening. Things that make me understand about how tragedies happen.

Timing is everything…
For example, on a quite road, the miles click away effortlessly as the birds chip. Approaching a corner, I see  an on coming car and at the same time I hear a car coming from behind. The two cars and I meet at exactly the same moment in time. On an otherwise empty road with hardly a car for miles and yet there we where, the three of us, our destinies entwined for for split seconds. If one of us is unaware, distracted of even for a second, life could change. That’s all it takes, timing, lack of awareness and bang, you run head long into your destiny. The moment passes uneventfully, “Thank God”, I think as I increase my cadence.

GOPR2432

Three more times on this ride, the timing of events would present eerie opportunities for an accident. Thankfully no accidents occurred but it did make me think about things and how they happen. I have never been one to take life for granted and I am sure not about to do so now. I was thankful to arrived home safe once more.

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Keeping up with the Joneses Iron Chick…
It is T-minus two month and counting until Iron Chick participates in Iron Man Lake Placid. I committed to doing as much of the biking and running as I can with her and so far I have done ok keeping up. This is no easy task as there are lots of four hour bike rides and two + hour runs. Generally speaking I have stayed injury free but damn I’m sore. Trying to adjust my diet to take in more protein has helped. My my weight continues to drop and my cloths are hanging off of me. Good problem to have I guess?

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You know it bad when I have been running as much if not more than I have been cycling. Go figure? I am actually enjoying it and am planning on doing my first Half Marathon on Memorial Day.

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It’s not all about running however. I’ve been road cycling lot, covering lots of miles with Iron Chick even though the weather has been terrible. Windy, rainy and cold conditions have been the norm and the one time I tired to ride in just shorts, it turned out to be painfully cold with the advent of an unplanned cloud bank. This gave new meaning to the word “Shinkage”. Can I just say that I am plain tired of being cold!  However, being cold is really relegated to road cycling as when I am running and mountain biking I seem to to be fine.

Untitled - 1

Speaking of mountain biking, it has become the red haired step-child in the fight for my time. I have managed to get out but not as much as I would like. The Stumpy and Enduro are fully tuned and ready for the season. Tim and I are planning our annual Pilgrimage to The Kingdom Trails in Vermont next week and additionally have our eyes set on a trip to Highland Bike Park in New Hampshire to shred some downhill runs. Wow the schedule is filling up quickly with multiple road races, mountain biking trips and a long training weekend in Placid highlighting the roster. Looks like it will be a fun summer regardless of the weather.

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Posted by: bikenfool | March 22, 2011

Almost there?

Nice…
A few weeks back, the infamous groundhog said there would be an early spring. So far, at least for this area, that prediction is holding true. Weekend weather has been very cooperative in providing a nice backdrop for lots of outdoor activity. As I sit here typing this blog entry, it’s 6:30pm and the sun is just beginning to set. Ah yes, Daylight Savings Time is here and I couldn’t be happier.

daylightSavings

Expanding my horizons…
For the last three weeks, I have been able to get in longer runs, raising my mileage from 7 to 9 and now to 12+ miles. I’m actually feeling pretty good after the runs with no chaffing, blisters or major soreness. Based on my current times, I am reasonably comfortable that I can cover a half marathon in two hours and still walk stairs the next day. Who knows, mabe I’ll even try a half marathon race this spring  just to say I did it?

IMG_0013

Rain drops keep falling on my head…
Not to forget my roots I have also been doing a fair amount of cycling. My road rides are starting to increase as the weather is getting better. Last week was the first C4 Thursday night group ride. About 15 showed up for the kick-off. We did the usual Osterville route only slightly abbreviated due to the sunset. We covered about 20 miles at about 18 mile an hour. Nice evening with fair temps and a beautiful sunset. Damn, I missed the group rides!

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Saturday however, proved to be far less cooperative for the two hours of hill work Iron Chick and I had planned. Heading out  around 1:00pm to ride the service road, it was cloudy and grey with 20+mph winds. Temps were in the high 30’s so we bundled up for the ride. Our route took us from Cotuit to Centerville. Then Down the Service Road to Route 130 in Sandwich then on to Route 6A. 

Service Road

On our way back from Route 6A, it started to sprinkle. Lightly at first, creating only moderate discomfort as it hit our faces. After traversing Route 130 and getting back on the Service Road all hell broke loose. Cresting a hill, the foreground looked milky white.

IMG_0479

At first I though it was smoke but after checking my eyes I realized it was bands of heavy rain, yikes! So let’s recap; mid thirties, 20+ mph wind, pouring rain, an hour and a half into a two plus hour ride. Could be worse…

Rain drops keep fallin on my head

On the bright side, Sunday was sunny…
The snow is all gone from the Cape Cod area but the ground is damp. I’ve been hitting Otis a lot lately, it seemed to be drier. And I wasn’t the only one as the other weekend there must have been 75 cars parked along 151 when Tim and I arrived. Surprisingly, we only ran into a few groups of riders on the trails.

GOPR3330

The outer Loop has been the route of choice and it has been good to me so far. The rock garden hill, cleaned and pressed, the killer five tear hill, child’s play. Yes it’s been a good start to the season. What a blast!

 

Posted by: bikenfool | February 25, 2011

Out & about, Tubeless tires, Life Cycles

When will it all end?
Not being able to get outside and mountain bike is making me cranky. Looks like rain Friday with a nice but cold day in store for Saturday. My plan is to hit the trails in Yarmouth where there is generally no snow left. I recruited Tim “The Man” to join me in this mid winter adventure. It’s been a year since we have ridden Yarmouth so it should be fun.

Tim "The Man"

Tim "The Man"

Going Tubeless…
I finally got around to replacing the gashed rear tire on the Enduro. I elected to go with Continental Mountain King 2 protection tires featuring Duraskin and Black Chili compound.

These are reasonably light weight tubeless ready tires weighing in at about 680 grams on my park scale for 26 X 2.2. They are replacing Kenda Kinetic Tubeless weighing in at 860 grams. I was not running tubeless with the Kenda’s and will now be saving the weight of tubes as well. These changes will net a decent weight savings coming in at almost 350 grams ( about 3/4 lb.) total.

Continental Mountain king

Continental Mountain king

At least I was warm…
With the snow is crimping my mountain biking, I was looking for a replacement fix and recently had the opportunity to watch the mountain bike movie “Life Cycles”.  This is an exceptionally well produced movie that is very cinematic. Telling the story of birth and death of bicycles through beautifully choreographed camera angles and scenery.

Life Cycles

Life Cycles

The producers use time laps techniques to show change of seasons and the passage of time in a very unique and effective way. I found my jaw hanging open a lot and my heart racing as I drooled over the riding spots showcased.

Life Cycles

Life Cycles

The movie features the like of Mike Hopkins, Cam McCaul Brandon Semenuk, Gram Gassiz, Matt Hunter, Riley McIntosh, Evan Schwartz and Thomas Vanderham doing what they do best which can only be described as awe inspiring. 

Life Cycles

Life Cycles

Shot at diverse locations around the world the producers do an amazing job of expressing the freedom of mountain biking and the connection between the bike, the rider and the earth. The cinematic time lapsed footage at Whistler made me yearn to hit the trail ASAP. Of course if I tried to ride like these guys, I am sure I would literally “Hit The Trail”!

Life Cycles

Life Cycles

I downloaded the movie from iTunes but it is available through many locations. My only complaint is at 47 minutes, it almost feels too short but is a movie that should be owned by every mountain biker.

Posted by: bikenfool | February 13, 2011

A Little Frosty

Yeh, its been cold…
It’s been a tough winter so far with record cold and snow limiting my mountain biking. Granted this is helping my running but damn I miss the trails. Weeks have pased since I have been mountain biking with the last time being a 6 mile jaunt through 4 + inches of icy snow at Otis. This left me exhausted and the Enduro relegated to the repair stand with a two inch gash in the rear tire. Victim of ice I assume?

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Cool Runnings

Punxsutawney who???
Riding in the cold doesn’t bother me but ice and snow are not my favorite. Thank god no crashes the last couple of rides out. Groundhog day recently past and Punxsutawney Phil claimed an early spring, we’ll see. On the good side of things, the days are getting longer with sunset happening around 5:15pm. By the end of the month, I should be able to run outside after work.   

 Groundhog-day-2011-598x479

First road ride of the new year…
The bad weather has had me running on the treadmill during the week and pounding the pavement on the weekends. It’s been six plus weeks since I decided to commit to running regularly and I have been able to stick to it. This weekend was actually supposed to be warm. Ok, warm is relative. Our average temperature has been in the low 20’s, the weekend was calling for mid 30’s so it will be like a summer day!

ug- winter sucks

ugh- winter sucks

Trying to take full advantage of this heat wave, Iron Chick & I hit the road Saturday to crank out 10k. Sunny but windy set the backdrop for a great run as I hit the 1 hour mark for 10k for the first time. Running is always easier than cycling in the cold. I was sweating my ass off by the time I got back to the house.

Iron Chick’s friend Terry texted Saturday to see if we we wanted to go for a road ride Sunday. The plan was to leave from her house in Harwich heading to Wellfleet and back, about a 40 mile ride.

Morning came all too quickly and a steel grey palate painted the sky. A 20+ mph wind made the 32 degree temperature feel more like 20. Regardless, we headed out into the cold cruel world and I do mean cold. It took about 5 miles to get warmed up. However, this part of the Cape is really beautiful and generally quiet at this time of the year so it seemed to make the cold more bearable. Surprisingly, the roads were actually in good shape with only pockets of sand hear and there. The Lower Cape has pretty much no snow on the ground which meant minimal ice and water on the roads.

Wellfleet

Wellfleet and back

Our route up to Wellfleet took us on scenic back roads with views of bogs, marshes and Cape Cod Bay. The hour and fifteen minute ride passed quickly and before you could say “Frost Bite” we were in Wellfleet where we had a hot cup of Joe and warmed up a bit at the General Store.

Wellfleet General Store

Wellfleet General Store

Once again, it took a bit of road under my wheels to get warmed up but once I did it was a lot of fun. All in all we rode about 40 miles, while I would have preferred it was 75 and sunny, it was simply awesome to be out on the road again and off that damn trainer (if only for a day).

Iron Chicks

Too Cool - Iron Chicks warm it up...

If the groundhog is right, it won’t be long before spring arrives…

Posted by: bikenfool | January 16, 2011

Motivation

Below are some cool clips that really help me stay motivated.

My favorite has to be the Versus “Pep Talk”. Damn cool!

The first clip is how I wish I could ride!

The last clip is pure fun.

Maybe some day… 

Find -The Mountain Bike Film from ResetFilms.co.uk on Vimeo.

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