Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Races #153-154: Jimmy just got J-Pow'd (aka Jimmy vs The Pros Part 2)

Photo by Blair Fraley, my Facebook Friend

USGP Derby City Cup, Saturday

I have had a lot of fun at the USGP in the past. Pre-riding I get to ride with a lot of the Pro Women and a ton of them are super cool and don't feel the need to wear a race face. Maybe I get to ride behind Johnson or Trebon and just kind of gawk for awhile. I must admit, I'm a super fan.

But this year the pros seemed more ominous than usual! Maybe it was my head, but I cringed every time I saw one I them, knowing the thumping I was going to get later.

I had a pretty decent start, there were some crashes on the first lap and I perceived that I was passing a lot of people. My brain was saying "yay, you are not be caboose!"

Wow, the course was hard. It is very demanding and there is not a place to rest. Tons of dismounting and run-ups, sand, off-camber, hills. Ouch!

I was battling with a few more guys. I put in an effort through the sand and pushed on the gas hard through the "green monster," the Derby City's flyover with steps up and a ramp down. Well, I get about to the top and I threw up in my mouth a little bit!

My average heart rate was 179 beats per minute and my max was 189 (I swore I saw 193 for a sec)! Typically it is more like 174-176 average and 180 max.

I only made it about 29 minutes and change before I got pulled and I felt pretty happy with that performance. That night everyone let me know I was pretty much second-to-last. Evidently everyone I passed quit the race! Darnit!

Look Mom! I'm a couple of blurry pixels on a Live Stream!

USGP Derby City Cup, Sunday

I want to thank the weather gods the weekend was lovely in Louisville the weather was in the 70's the sun was out. It's so much nicer to suffer when the weather is lovely.

On Saturday I chose to race my Redline. I guess I am a little superstitious about the weight. On Sunday I was determined to race the new IF, wondering if the superior handling would make a difference. I had the worst pre-ride ever, I crashed 3 times, once endo-ing in the downhill sand! This was foreshadowing of things to come. I'm not sure if the front end of the IF is a little heavier, but my wheel kept catching zombie hands in the sand.

I had the worst race —I was in immediately popped out the back. Or at least it felt that way.

I had a crash on 1 the downhills and some stupid wipeouts. I didn't have it that day. I felt like I was dragging an anchor. When I was pulled Bridget grabbed my bike and noticed the rear brake was rubbing. Not sure if it was like that all race or because of a crash. It would be nice to have that as an excuse for my terrible ride.

There was reports of very bad hecklers saying pretty crass remarks. The heckles I received were some of the most witty heckles I have heard. I wonder if they had more time to think of something witty since I was so slow?

I must admit, it is a little disheartening to have the crap kicked out of you by your idols. Not sure if this was a cool opportunity or something no sports fan should endure! I licked my wounds and commuted to work the next day! Back to the grind.

Races #150-152: Jimmy Vs. The Pros (Part 1)

So I know I am not the hot shizz, I went into this assuming I was going to get pulled. BUT... wow, I was hoping to stay in a bit longer! These guys are really, really fast!

Race #150: Cyclo-Stampeded
4 Laps, 0:27:00, 37 out of 46, pulled 7 laps down
My first pro race! Yay?

I was warming up on my trainer before the race when Ben Berden came over to watch the women start. He turned around and looked at me. I idolize him, but definitely think he looks like he could eat me for supper. I didn't make eye contact because I was so scared!

I started out okay. I avoided some tangle ups. The course was tough, a lot of climbing and it was starting to hurt. I was tailgunning chase group on the second lap when my chain bounced off going downhill. That stunk. Then I was in no-man's land, suffering, looking like pooh, getting heckled. I felt so bad out there, I get like I was fighting with the bike all lap and when my friends did cheer for me I was embarrassed because I felt like I was riding poorly.

I was so upset when they pulled me. I was pedaling around trying to cool off, I was trying not to barf and I was definitely holding back tears!

This is going to sound weight weenie but I wondered later if the Redline would have been a smarter choose since it is a few pounds lighter. It felt like there was 1,000 feet of climbing per lap.

Race #151: Magic in the Mud
5 laps, 0:34:00, 40 out of 47, pulled 5 laps down
I dreaded going to this race. I am not a mudder. But my teammates Strecker and Karwash talked me into it. Night race? In the Pros? WHY NOT!

Bjet got me on the trainer, she was awesome enough to bring all my gear! She made me focus and I had a great warmup on the trainer.

I was pretty pissed about the day before. I was determined not to be an embarrassment again, but worried I would look like a cat 4 in the mud.

It's pretty crazy to see your idols on the start line right in front of you. Well, something sparked. We started as I hung in there. I lost some places, but then I started gliding over the mud!

My friends were out in full force! Everyone was cheering for me so much, I bet I had more fans than Ryan Trebon! You guys really lifted my spirits! I couldn't help but smile at the signs and disco Stu! So many times the cheers would drive me forward and I picked up spots immediately!

That night felt magical. I felt so lucky to have all of you cheering for me! I was pretty psyched and felt like I put up more of a fight.


Race #152: Hopeless at Harbin
3 laps, 0:29:00, 50 out of 55, pulled 5 laps down
I wanted this to be my race. Last year I set up the course, got very little sleep but still had my best result ever in the 2/3 race, placing 17th after coming back from a back row start.

Well, I felt like pooh! Only 3 hours of sleep, tons of labor and no recovery from the other races.

I started out okay again, but at some point I think I blew up a little. I lost that last wheel and I was DFL! I was trying hard, but I didnt have any power. I almost gave up and DNF'd, a kind of "spiritual wreck" on lap 2. But I decided to relish the moment. I didn't joy lap, I kept hustling hoping to pip one spot, but alas, I was the lanterne rouge!

The interesting thing is that statistically the Devou CycloStampede was my best race. I finished slightly higher in the field. It just felt that much worse! Although, I think I did beat more "finishers" at Kings and there were more DNF at Devou due to mechanicals and wrecks.

Once again, thank you to everyone who cheered for me! It was truly memorable. And thank you to my darling Bjet for supporting me so much!

2012 Mileage Report

I gotta write this. Just posting a pic of Nike +


I was pondering wether to rest or not at the end of last month. Well, I decided to try and topple my mileage for December 2011. With plenty of time off of work I looked forward to some epic rides and setting a "new base" for some intense training leading up to Masters CX Worlds in Luhvuhl, Kuntucky.

Kerstperiode is celebrated in Belgium with 7 CX races in 11 days between Christmas and New Year's. This is based upon the 7 cyclocross races that Joseph had to race to earn money for the return trip from Bethlehem to Nazareth. Let it be noted he placed 4th, 2nd, 3rd, 36th, 1st, 1st, and 3rd. Payment? Goats. Goats. And more podium goats.

My kerstperiode was more about hours and miles in the legs and cutting back on racing. I wanted to go to the final CapCity but my sister was in town and I opted to stay local. Well, mother nature had other plans for my kerstperiode. She decided to pour cold rain down upon us, relegating me to some trainer workouts and runs when I would have loved to ride to Rabbit Hash or ride an epic hill ride.

The nice thing about the colder temps and some precipitation was waking up super early and going for some mountain bike rides. Rode East Fork with Rogue Pals, Versailles with BioBuds and a solo ride at Tower Park.

I did get a wee bit of CX training in. I would wake up early and do a CX workout at some local trails or I would ride up to Kings for some training races. Nice to do the sport I love without the pressure of packing the car and traveling.

Legs are feeling rested again with less intensity although the running was a bit tough on 'em. 

I hope all of you had lovely holidays and may we have a lovely 2013 full of epic rides!