Archive | June, 2013

TWO More Wins …And Then The Bottom Fell Out

16 Jun

debhelewinnersDeb DuBois and her daughter, Helen, competed in the duathlon portion of the Eagle Creek Triathlon on Saturday. Both came away victorious with Helen winning first place overall in the female division. Deb took top honors in her age group. Great job Deb and Helen!

Mike Garrison recently competed in the Odyssey Wild Wonderful 24 Hour Adventure Race near the New River Gorge area of West Virginia. Mike and his teammate completed 15 miles of whitewater paddling, 70 miles of mountain biking, and 20 miles of trekking/running in 23.5 hours. (My hands got tired just from typing that!) Complicating matters, Mike’s teammate suffered two flats inside the final 4 miles. The duo overcame the flats however, as his teammate changed into running shoes and hoofed the final miles pushing her mountain bike. Great job to Mike and his teammate!

Remember that ride at King’s Island where the you spin around faster and faster until the floor drops out and you are stuck to the wall? The bottom has definitely fallen out here in the past two weeks. June has never been a particularly good month for me. Like clockwork, every year just after Memorial Day I come down with a mysterious fatigue. I dunno… My best guess is that something I am allergic to blooms and I am adversely affected. Some years, the fatigue has lasted for weeks, well into July.

Knowing that I was in the throes of one of those fatigue deals I raced anyway at the Carmel grand prix on June 1. Had I been coaching any of you and you’d said that you woke feeling shaky and jittery, I’d have strongly encouraged you not to race. (Do as I say, not as I do). Despite the lethargy I managed to remain in the mix most of the race. That is probably due more to the small field than any will power I may have mustered. Local races continue to draw very small numbers to Masters races. Todd Hancock, a decorated and well traveled former pro racer, took the victory.

One of the races I targeted for this year was the O’Fallon Grand Prix in O’Fallon, IL. The event includes a 13.1 mile TT on Friday night, a 54 mile RR on Saturday and an age appropriate crit. on Sunday. This event is well organized and features low traffic, rolling courses suitable for crowning all around champions. Drawing riders from Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, the fields are very competitive.

I was still feeling the heavy fatigue early in the week and had conceded that I would not race this weekend…, until Tuesday night when I mustered the energy to do the Nebo Training ride. For better or worse (most definitely worse), I had a good ride that night and came away with a false sense of well being for the weekend, thus going ahead and registering for the stage race.

I had planned to simply ride my road bike for the TT as I don’t put enough emphasis on those, anyway. However, friend Brian Murphy suggested I borrow his TT bike for the two stage races I’ve targeted this season. Great in theory, not so good in the details. Brian is taller than me and as such, his bike is too big. I cannot reach the front end without compromising my saddle position. Needless to say, time trials on this thing so far have been labored and compromised.

Furthermore, life even gave me the sign of signs to leave the bike home for this weekend when the rear deraillure shifter broke loose Thursday night on the rough roads in Eagle Creek Park. I jerry rigged the shifter with electrical tape and hoped I’d make it through the TT on Friday. During warm ups the shifter came loose, but not so bad that I could not shift. Naturally, during the actual TT, the shifter came unhinged, preventing further shifting, and I was stuck in the 14 cog in back. Not the best place to be for a light gear spinner on a rolling course with a couple of mild Fishback climbs to boot.

I finished a dismal 12th of 14 in the TT with a time of 33:06. Let me be clear; I had no illusion of winning a TT. I had a modest goal of 31:00. The winner was 29:16 and the 2nd place was 30:09. A handful of others came in under 31:00. I often remind you guys to trust those little signs life gives us. Here again, is another example of paying attention. I did not heed my own advice and I offered up the perfect example of what NOT to do.

The RR was the Illinois State RR championship so a decent sized group showed up for the 45+ field. Summer like heat finally arrived as well. The friendly face of Mark Sills, Scarlet Fire, greeted me at the start line. Mark asked me how I was feeling and I bluffed, saying I felt ok when I really was not. But I had registered and I was here, so I gave what I had to the race. Clearly, it was not enough.

David Stone of Scarlet Fire attacked right at the start of the race, taking two others with him. With the three up the road I figured somebody or some team would take up the chase. Instead, everyone sat there, due in part to the heat and also due to the 4 other Scarlet Fire team members hoping someone would launch them to an attack. Guess who that fool was – or tried to be? Still early in the race I took a hard dig and brought the three to well within reasonable striking distance and then I let up, having set it up for someone to close it down. Nope. The three opened an even larger gap from there.

Meanwhile, being a stubborn cuss, rather than sitting in, I took pulls in hopes of encouraging others to form a pace line that might begin a chase. And everywhere I went, there was Sills right on my wheel. He was doing exactly what a good teammate should do and I commend him for his hard efforts. He was even gracious in saying had there not been one of his teammates up the road, he’d have willingly worked with me to try and escape the vice-like grip of the peloton. But in essence, I wasted what little energy I had all in the first 22 mile loop. On lap two another Scarlet Fire rider attacked 3 times in a row, putting a sting into the legs of the peloton. About a third of the way through lap two I paid for my lap 1 lack of discretion when I felt the bottom fall out. The rotor was spinning, I was exhausted, legs began cramping, and I had to let off the gas, letting the pack go.

Apparently, there was a reshuffling of the front group as two riders who’d remained in the pack, Rob Landes and Gene Tolli, finished 1st and 2nd, respectively. Stone hung on for a hard earned 3rd.

I woke up Sunday morning to rain and the familiar shakiness that attends this fatigue. Rather than dig myself into a deeper hole, I skipped the crit. and headed for home. It is humbling to make so many mistakes by going against the very grain I so often preach to all of you; I often remind all of you guys to take recovery seriously and don’t force yourself into action when your body is telling you not to. That advice comes from a deep, deep well of experience and once again, I am just as fallible as anyone.  In time, the rotor will slow and the floor will rise; other races still loom on the horizon.

Mission Accomplished

11 Jun

andyWTdC, 2013



Saturday June 8 was Goal Day for many B.I.T. athletes and across the board, goals were achieved. Several athletes participated in the Tour de Cure at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway while others ventured further from home to test their mettle. Leading the charge at the TdC was David Kaplan. Schedule restraints and a love for speed skating prevented David from joining regular classes through last fall and winter, but David did join us on Sundays through the winter. Wanting to improve his cycling performance and still maintain his skating prowess, David hired me last October to oversee his training through the 2013 season with a main goal of finishing the TdC 100 miles in under 4 hours. Like those of you who came to the week night classes, I put David through a winter of hi cadence, hi intensity intervals to improve his efficiency. Furthermore, David worked hard to lose weight, dropping over 10 lbs. by this year’s TdC.

I tailored David’s training to shorter, more intense workouts to improve his speed and to put more emphasis on his cardiovascular system, thus allowing for more improvement over the fall and winter. He had plenty of endurance before we began last October, thanks to so many rides of 50-60 miles in that Z3-Z4 area. What David lacked was that Z5+ extended range. In essence, he had a match or two, but not a book of matches, so we trained him to develop a book of matches.

During Saturday’s 100-miler, David cruised in the big pack through the first 65 miles, but as the miles ticked away what was once a 50+ person group had dwindled to 15 or 20 hardy souls. In the smaller group, David was required to take more pulls at greater effort, yet he never wavered and even had enough left for a 200 M sprint at the end, finishing with a time of 3:54:30 for an avg. speed of 25.4 mph. Well done, David!

Ashley Koss came to class last fall a little wide eyed, but full of determination. Early on, she struggled to attain the higher cadences we often practice in class, but by mid February, Ashley was cranking 150 rpm with the rest of us. Ashley was joined by Anthony Barr on the 75K leg of the TdC, completing the event with a bit of soreness, but also with plenty of steam. Anthony was gracious in riding with Ashley, exhibiting the camaraderie we work to maintain in the B.I.T. community.

Anthony’s wife, Robin participated in the Midwest Women’s MTB Clinic in Brown County. Robin’s participation was a step out of her comfort zone; her previous cycling experience consisted of B.I.T. classes and group rides, many of which have been ridden with Ashley. Robin came away from the clinic with even more enthusiasm for two wheel adventures and this despite taking an over the bars tumble toward the end of the clinic. Robin handled the initiation with aplomb, suffering only a minor bruise to her ego, but no such dent to her determination to add more such adventure to her cycling life.

Andy Waggoner came to the TdC with the goal of averaging 20 mph for the 100 miles and came ever so close, finishing with a final avg. of 19.62 mph. Andy was happy with that outcome and looks forward to going even faster next year. Others who participated in the TdC include Larry Stevens, Preston Conrad, Josh Ginsburg and Terry Iwasko, who this week is on the one week TRIRI with his son. Terry suffered a broken arm last winter after a spill during an outdoor ride, but never wavered and continued attending class while riding with one arm in a cast. He still struggles a bit to overcome the weakness in the formerly broken arm, but gains strength each week and obviously, hasn’t let the limb deter his ambition.

Adam Perler raced in the Festival of Speed in the Match Sprint competition last Friday night. Adam’s first race was a learning experience. Pitted against a much more experienced rider, Adam was caught off guard by his competitor’s early attack. To his credit, Adam closed the gap, but could not pass the other rider before the finish line. On the upside, Adam lowered his flying 200 Meter time from 13.1 to 12.4 seconds. His overall goal is to drop below 12 seconds. Adam also rode in the TdC. Many thanks to Adam for tending to Frank Oboh until Frank was taken to the hospital.

Phelgar Washington traveled to Washington D.C. to ride the Air Force Challenge, a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project. Phelgar’s goal was to earn the gold medal presented to those who ride the Metric Century in less than 3.5 hours. Mission accomplished. See the photo of Phelgar with his Gold.

Let’s all continue keeping Frank Oboh in thought and prayer while he recovers from the concussion he suffered during a spill at the TdC.