Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolutions (Goals for 2011)

Happy New Year's Eve! I don't know about you guys, but I had a fantastic 2010. Let's see how I did on my goals:

Become a consistent Cat 3 racer- Not so much. Although I did feel incredibly competitive at the Focus Crit. I need to do more Cat 3 races.

Place on the Podium at VOS- Well, I was painfully close to being on the podium- four stinking seconds.

Break the State Time Trial record of 27:55- That definitely didn't happen, but the course was definitely slower than Hines Park. This was an unrealistic goal.

So here are my goals for 2011.

Become competitive in the Cat 3 field- I'm going to have Stephen, Brian, and Matt as backup, so it will be very fun.

Reach the top quartile at Camp- This is the main objective. Camp will open up many opportunities if I perform well. The most obvious opportunity is Abitibi (If I finish in the top 5).

Podium at Mount Graham- In the Cat 3s, of course. It would probably take a time in the mid 1:30s, but it's very doable.

Those are my racing goals (I'll keep the training goals top secret). There are going to be lots of highs and lows this year. So once again, I'll make that promise to not overly obsess about the bike, and to keep God first.

For Arizona riders, the Avondale Crit is in 23 days. Game on.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Incomprehensible to me

I always chuckle when I see Arizona riders sporting their deep dish race wheels on training rides. No offense meant; I just think it's funny seeing guys with Zipp 808s riding down Usery Pass. I'll stick with my "training" wheels.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Gag Gift

For Christmas, I especially wanted to buy my dad a kitchen knife in the spirit of Christmas.

So we bought a kitchen knife at Target and used a labeler to label the knife "Jackhawk 9000". This is of course a reference to "Talledega Nights: the Ballad of Ricky Bobby."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Showtime


Two weeks of Championship action. Let's go, Uncle Jim.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Practice Race

So DNA had a team handicapped race yesterday. The goal was to simulate a breakaway.
We had 3 groups:
Me, Jake, Brian M, Peer, Bill, and Jay
Don, David, Darin, and Phil 4 minutes later
Brad, Brian A, and Marc 1 minute later.

The course was 2 laps around the mountain, about 37 miles. The key features were Usery Pass, Hawes Hill, and a relatively downhill run-in to a flat finish. A constant drizzle kept the course nice and slick.

My group rode the first flat section together. Brian led us up Usery at a large amount of watts. He couldn't hold that pace for the whole climb, so I took over the pace. My Zone 4 pace was killing the group, so I went to the back. Our goal was to keep the group together as long as possible. Our group of five kept working well together on the flat. After lap 1, the gap between us and group 2 was less than 2 minutes. We reached Usery with about 10 miles left in the race. Brian gave a monster pull and told me to go for it on the climb. I upped the pace with Jake in tow. I felt surprisingly fresh. I pulled Jake to the top of the climb, and he pulled me down the descent, allowing me to take a breather. Looking back, I couldn't see group 2. We spent 3 miles trading pulls on the flat. We dodged an unleashed dog that went on to attack Darin and Phil. At that point, group 2 was closing in on us, and we were pretty spent. We hit the base of the short but steep Hawes hill with a lead of less than 3o seconds. This was do or die, and I gambled. My legs screamed as I pushed up the climb as hard as I could. Jake and I were both toast at the top, but we seemed to have broken the spirits of our chasers. We reached the finishing straight with a 20 second lead. We decided to sprint a little early, because we didn't know exactly where the finish line was. It was super close; I was leading by a bike length, but Jake brought the gap back, and the sprint ended in a photo finish. I couldn't tell who won. Immediately following, Phil and Darin finished. I believe the order after that went: Jay, David, Brian M, Peer, Don, Brad E, Brian A, Bill, and Marc.

It was very epic.

Priority

Before I talk about yesterday's team race, I must first talk about the monumental event that occurred today:





The Lions won a road game.


Do you know what that means? For the first time since 2007, the Lions won a game on the road. Last week, they won their first divisional game since 2007. Either we continue on with wins, or we start a new streak. I am hoping we do the former.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Winter Preparation

Something feels very pro about this winter's "off-season". Everyone is secluded in their personal training plans. In Michigan, it was like hibernation. Here in Arizona, it's more like a constant range of training camps. Regardless, I got the taste of a classic trainer ride last night.
My heart rate was about 10 beats higher than it was outside. There's a horrifyingly painful aspect to it that is hard to recount. There are more dimensions of pain when you don't have the wind blowing against you or the adrenaline of being in motion. You must constantly persuade yourself to not stop.

It teaches mental toughness.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Battle Begins



Week 1 of the semi-finals went well. My opponent, Cousin Matt, had an uncharacteristic bad day, and I had a good day. Let's hope my luck holds out for week two and I can go for gold in the finals.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

That Dang ACT

It was pretty rough compared to the SAT. That science section is absolute chaos.
Nevertheless, it was productive, and I might have scored well.
Either way, I'll get to do a team ride next saturday.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pav

Check out this article on the best Russian players in the NHL...and then check out all the comments. Pavel Datsyuk is the best!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Good Test

I enjoyed a 20 minute Critical Power test yesterday and did pretty well. My power is 23 watts higher than it was a year ago, and about the same as it was during the peak of the racing season. All in all, I feel like I'm in good shape.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

SAT

I took that monster today. I definitely like it more than the ACT because it has a lot more English/Writing/Word stuff and it doesn't have a science portion. I took a stopwatch with me, and it proved to be very effective.
Next Saturday, I'll be doing the ACT. I'm getting burned out pretty fast on this standardized testing stuff.