Sunday, May 30, 2010

90%

I rode for an hour on Thursday in low Zone 2 (at best).
On Friday, Dad and I got up early for a more testing 3 hour ride. Now that the temperature is hitting 100 degrees consistently, we are back into our early morning riding habit.
Dad told me to test my fitness going up Usery. I started off with a decent rhythm of 250W for the first 5 minutes. Things got hairy when Dad passed me, and I decided to hop on his wheel. Heavy D is not so heavy any more, in fact he's lost almost five pounds and is climbing like an angel! He was going fast, popping me in 3 minutes. At the moment, I considered giving up completely. I felt like pizza-killing garbage. My legs felt like poop, and my upper body was aching from taking my inhaler. The pain of having to grasp the bars almost hurt as bad as my legs.
I felt sapped of the drive to suffer. Possibly the drive was still there, and the extra pain was making me suffer even more.

Saturday was pretty important. DNA group ride. I actually prepped for this like a race. I got to bed by 9:30 and hydrated religiously. In the morning, I went without the inhaler, a very good decision.
The ride was very fast from the beginning. People really drove the pace, mainly chasing my dad as he rolled off the front doing VO2 Max intervals. After spending 15 minutes in zone 3, we turned onto Usery. At this point, we had about 10 riders, with dad back in the distance recovering from his intervals. Matt (on a TT bike) and Darren started pacing us, and then Jake followed. 1/3 in, I decided to hit the gas. Matt, Jeff, Darren, and I got separation. We took turns leading. The wattage was no higher than the previous day's. The only difference was freshness.
Halfway through, it was down to Jeff, Darren, and me. The pace was very reasonable for me. I continually looked behind me to see the form of Dad getting larger and larger. Our group slowed. Immediately after Dad hooked on, Darren accelerated, and I followed. Then Jeff accelerated, and I think I was on his wheel. Dad took off with Darren, leaving Jeff and me behind with three minutes to go in the climb. I was content, because I had suffered well.

The next big climb was the Marina, roughly 1 miles at maybe 5-6%. Dad and I took turns opening up gaps on each other. With the very steep finish of the climb in sight, I attacked, only to get pulled back. Normally, my dad would have left me behind as I didn't have the gas to hook onto his wheel. This time, I just hopped on his wheel and sprinted by him at the top. I was very pleased.

I reckon I am riding a lot better than I was on Thursday. Maybe this week I will find some more watts, as well as some more pounds (I lost 5 lbs from being sick). Dad and I are going to work out a training plan for Regional Development Camp, which starts June 13. I'm psyched!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Leaving

Abi cried all the way home from school today. One of her friends is moving to South Carolina, and a couple more are leaving because they can't handle tuition. A ton of my friends are going away, one to Alaska, one to California, and a bunch off to college. It's such a bummer going away, but it's no good either to be left behind.
I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I learned that I was coming back to Gilbert Christian for Junior year. It's kind of been a musical chairs experience of new people and new places. I think what I've wanted the most is stability.
Sometimes though, I wonder if the people who moved away were the happiest. I'm especially happy in Arizona. Back in Michigan, WCA is not the WCA it used to be. Pretty much everyone left, and now the senior class is leaving. I think that if I stayed, I just would have been even more sad to see all my friends graduate.
When I moved, everything was made so important. All the friendships I had made became so underlined. Half the school year was spent making sure that we didn't waste any of our time.
There's a bit of that which I miss. By becoming a regular-comer here, do I become complacent? I don't think so.

Stay or go, our settings will always change.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

No one else in the photo

I haven't said a lot about Michigan bike racing lately, but I just have to post about this.You gotta give it up for Alexey. He took won both days of the West Branch Classic. Wherever does he find the power? Congrats, Lex!!

Here in AZ, Steve Marcucci smashed up the Mt. Lemmon TT record by 8 minutes!!! He is one of the best climbers in the state!!!

Congrats to my teammates all around the world.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Floyd

This is what I have to say about Floyd Landis.

He has serious guts.
It's considered stupid to rat out other riders, but it's not as much considered stupid as it's considered taboo.
Floyd broke the code of silence.
There's no need to freak out about this. People accuse Lance all the time. Lance will be fine.

Regardless of whether or not Lance is doping, I am impressed by Floyd. A professional bike rider finally manned up.

Your opinions, please.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

AZ State Road Race: Report

One 35 mile course. Two 1.5 mile climbs. One 6 mile climb. Eleven 15-16 starters. One nasty fever.
I made the decision to race today, despite feeling like crap. My temperature had been 99-100 all week, and I had never even started to feel better. This morning, I woke up and checked my temp, and saw 97.8. I figured that I had healed, but I hadn't. Once I started riding the trainer, I started to drench myself in sweat. Oh yeah, the fever was definitely back.
Getting ready for the race was difficult. Dad's Zipp blew, and he rode off to the start line wearing my size small bibshorts. I got to try out size medium, which wasn't terribly noticeable. Dad was scheduled to go at 7:30, and I was going off at 8:15. I had to take care of myself completely today, and that's good because I won't always have Dad to look after me.
The start was delayed by almost half an hour. The juniors were sitting around and talking for a while.
They staggered the 17-18s in front of us by 2 minutes. The 15-16s were strong. There were Nick, Michael, and Don from Strada, Juan and Alejandro from Yuma Bike Club, Josh Pratt-Ferguson (unattached), Colton Taylor from Four Unity Racing, Christian Matthews from Summit Velo, Marco Colex from Tribe, and Goran Grozic from San Tan.

The first 7 miles of the course were flat. We chatted and joked, waiting for the suffering that would assume on the first hill. No one attacked on that first climb. I averaged 204 for 7 minutes, just at the bottom of Zone 3.
(Photo Credit: Strada Racing Club)
There was a mile long flat section, followed by another climb. Now the big dogs came out.
Nick made a major attack, which was neutralized, and I think Josh had a go at it. The field narrowed down to Don, Nick, Josh, Colton, Marco, a YBC dude, and me. Another YBC dude bridged back on the 6 mile descent, which was very fast, around 30-35. On this descent, I started feeling harbingers of a calf cramp. Not a cramp, but a tired, scrapped feeling. I swallowed all the endurolytes and salt sticks I had, and drank a good bit. When we turned around, staring at the big hill, I realized that I was really warm. Josh noticed my sweating and commented on it. I snagged a water bottle from a spectator (he gave it to me), and poured a bit of it over my head and drank a little, before throwing it out to the side. That felt so pro. However, I should have poured the cold water on my quads, because I think that prevents cramps.
As we hit the lower slopes of the 6 mile (6%) climb, I was at the front, riding in zone 2 and checking out my opponents. I had them all accounted for. Except for one. Marco Colex went flying off the front as the grade increased. It was a monstrous attack, that must have gotten him 10 seconds immediately. I reacted quickly, forming a group with Don, Nick, and Josh. We caught out Colton and the Yuma dudes. We seemed to be holding the gap even with Marco. Don, Nick, and Ihad something of a paceline going. We popped Josh. I started to really hurt. I stopped pulling and sat on Nick's wheel. Don was going at a crazy pace, and was dropping us both.
Nick was hurting to, and he looked back at me and asked me if I could pull him back.I gave him the characteristic reply I make when I'm dying.
"Dude, I got nothing!"
"Bridge to engine room-more power. There is no more" ~Paul Sherwen.
I was done. Literally cooked by the heat. I was riding side to side across the road. I had nothing, and had about four miles of climbing to go.
Josh passed me. A minute later, Colton passed me. I grabbed onto his wheel. It was only 220-ish watts, but it hurt so much. Every part of me ached. My upper body drooped. I tried to get into a TT tuck to rest my arms. Colton pulled me up to Josh, where I popped again. A little while later, I got into a rhythm and started pulling Josh back again. I caught him with .75 miles of the climb left. He seemed to be lacking enthusiasm as well. Juan caught us on the downhill, and wanted badly to catch the leaders. At this point there was no chance of catching them, but Juan was totally committed. He attacked a couple times. I was totally sucking the wheels of him and Josh. The last time he attacked, I just let him and Josh go. I was sandbagging anyway, and didn't deserve 5th place. I rolled in for 7th place.
The power was very low, which tells me that the fever really affected me. My peak 5 minute power was 267, which is kind of a joke, considered that I once averaged 330 for 5 minutes. Had I not been sick, I would have produced at least 20 more watts, so I'm not worried. I risked my dignity by racing this, but I'm proud that I rolled up to the starting line today.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Finding Myself

After, South Mountain, I haven't been feeling well at all. I was scheduled for a tempo ride the next day, and chose to get up early for a group ride (because Gma and Gpa Scicluna were coming over at like 9:30am). The group ride was supposed to be easy, but it became a sufferfest. We ripped each others' legs off, and my throat kinda hurt.
I ended up with a fever, as we traveled to Nevada on Monday and Tuesday. Just through me not feeling good, Las Vegas and Hoover Dam weren't that interesting.
I am starting to feel better, and I'm thinking that I can get back on the bike today.
The State Road Race is on Sunday.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

South Mountain TT: Report

5.5 miles with 1164 feet of climbing. I entered the Junior 15-16 category not particular sure of how I would do. I knew that the all-time record was 20:40 for Junior men 15-16, and Stephen had gotten a low 21 last year, so I was hoping to go under 21 and give the record a run for its money.
My wise friends advised me to go aero instead of light. I think it worked. The course surprised me because it was a 12-14 mph pace when it was going downhill, but then it would even out occasionally and bring the speed into the high 20s.
Dad wasn't racing, so he generously gave me the Zipp 808s. I rocked the booties and TT helmet.
I got into a good rhythm at the start, but when I looked back at the halfway point, I saw that Stephen was really cutting into the 1:30 start buffer. I realized I had been holding back a bit.
I really killed it in the last 6 minutes. The grade maxed out at 18% with 300 meters to go. With 200 meters to go, a fast short downhill began, followed by a 150 meter climb to the summit. Simply, I rode as hard as I could.
My time was 20:42, just two seconds off the record. Stephen, after dropping his chain and stopping to put it back on, roared through the finish for a time of 20:24 and the course record!

I had a very good day. I must give a big shout-out to my dad who saved the day for me! The back Zipp wheel had something in its rim that was blowing out our tubes. It took about 20 minutes of fighting with it, for Dad to be able to get it to hold pressure. I couldn't have raced without my dad!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Giro Predictions

1. Ivan Basso
2. Cadel Evans
3. Michele Scarponi
4. Carlos Sastre
5. Damiano Cunego
6. Bradley Wiggins
7. Stefano Garzelli
8. Vicenzo Nibali
9. Domenico Pozzovivo
10. Vladimir Karpets