Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Cup Runneth Over

Wow what a summer so far. I think I can honestly say that I most likely never will ever take summer classes again. 15 weeks compressed into 5 weeks, holy mother of pearl.

On top of all this schoolin' there's been training, trail work, collegiate team duties, working in the college of nursing and throwing in a few races in those weeks as well. So I apologize for no recent dribble from my keyboard.

On the bike front I acquired a Kona steel 29er to make a "trainer SS" out of and a set of Stans wheels. Single Speeds kick my ass and help my climbing so... I liked to NEVER got those Stans wheels to take a tire and bead up either. I had to resort to fix-a-flat to fill the void inside so that they would seat, it worked though. The heat arrived early and has been relentless too. 100+ degree days in East Tennessee is very unusual. See below. I think we even broke a couple of records too.

I haven't had an ICEE frozen drink since I was a small kid. I saw the ICEE machine and those classic red and blue cups today and thought "I've done two hard efforts in the last two days, I'm gettin' one" so I did. That small frozen blueberry drink brought back so many fun memories from my days as a kid.

Racing; I'm by no means a fast racer but my speed has improved this year thanks to AC's training plan he developed for me this Feb. There have been a ton of miles on the road bike but it's paying off. The heat hasn't let up since that Clemson race. This weekend there was a race at our local Kingsport city park called Bay's Mountain. My class, Cat2, had to negotiate about 2500 ft of climbing in 18 miles in 95* heat. Half way through I got a little nauseated due to the heat and upchucked on the trail then afterwards started feeling better. I managed another 1st place this year but only because I was the only 40-49 Cat2 rider. All the Cat2's started together and I finished in the top 10 out of 25ish so I'll take my age win. This was the promoters first ever race too and he did pretty good for his first time. He went way over board with sponsors, he managed to get a truck load of stuff from a lot of companies. I think my 1st place winnings of swag was well over $200 worth of goodies! Very nice!

ETSU short track has commenced as well. We've changed the course by adding a 4ft wide ditch in between the double to keep all the "I roll a jump instead of taking the by-pass" wusses out of the way of the ballin' riders. There's also a detour that takes you through the woods a little further down that makes you navigate a 30" deep ditch. This little thing seems to be the biggest obstacle for most people. Popping rear tires, burping of rear tires and flipping over the bars seems to be the most frequent issues at this obstacle. I plan on remodeling the rock garden before collegiate racing starts too. Here's another race simulation that I've improved at. Last year I was getting lapped 4 to 5 times per the 25 minutes plus 2 laps schedule we ran. This year we are racing 30 minutes plus 1 lap and I'm able to keep my being a lapper down to 2 now instead of the 4-5. So fitness has improved so that I'll be able to keep up, not win, at collegiate races with the young whipper snappers. That is this years goal but I don't need to start counting my chickens before they hatch.

Yesterday and today I put about 10 hours into the trail system. There was a mean thunderstorm that rolled through last Thursday and Friday. It fell so many trees on our course that this one man show can handle. I had to put a request in with the college grounds people to chainsaw the big stuff. I did manage to get about 40 smaller tress removed from the other sections but it's whooped my arse! Then near the 4X course the city water department had just installed a new 15" water main through the bottom 100 yards of our XC trail. It seems one of those city worker boys didn't do something right because late Friday the main broke and dumped water through the lower section of the XC course for about 6 hours creating a huge Grand Canyon like crater through that section of the course. They did come back and quickly repair and doze everything back smooth but I'll have to shape some sort of line down there to keep all the riders flowing the same line or it'll look like a spider web of trails for a 100 ft or more. So that's what jibberish that's been going on in my life I hope all the readers have been getting some trail time and having a great summer. I'll try to post more since classes are finished. First collegiate race is August 25th!

LAter G..............................

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