Sunday, December 27, 2009

Always around christmas time

This week was scheduled for my Base 1 R&R week, it didn't really start out as so but having done nothing but a game of hockey, a 45min run, and 70+ hours of sleep logged in the past 5 days it seems that I'm right on schedule. Every year around christmas time I get this bug, no fever, no cough, but massive congestions and a whole body ache with some chills which makes for some very uncomfortable holidays. Good thing we go back to school on the 11th so I get another week than usual to enjoy my time.

Hopefully I'm good to start my Base 2 off tomorow with some quality cross training with De Cal, snowboarding that is !

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ok this time I really was skating

Pretty much in the same position as yesterday, waiting for my feet to thaw out. I got out for 4 hours today but probably 3:30 of it was ride time. Woke up at 8 to figure out how to get to Lock 8 park in Port to meet up with Sara from the SHCC for a ride. Turns out it was the easiest shit, just follow the canal path said Jeff K and sure enough that's all you had to do. She drove in, got ready and we headed out.

Got into the trails and they seemed to be perfect until we found our first ice rink when she was leading. There was a good competition for most graceful ice rink crash. She managed to somehow throw her bike out from under her and land sitting down and I had a little burst of speed and was deciding which trail to take when the ice chose for me and it was neither and I flew off the bike but managed a mid-air summersault and landed with no pain at all.

Nothing seemed to be working for me today, drivetrain was all messed up because the chain is brand new and the cassette might be done fore, my fork turned rigid, and my egg beaters ate through the backplate and are starting on my shoes... gotta change those asap.

All in all good day, sun was out the whole time and not a cloud in the sky. Had a sort of bonk on the way home in the headwind, I realised that I don't eat enough before I ride (just a bowl of oatmeal this morning). If I'm going to be putting 3-5hrs 6 days a week, we'll see if I stick to this, I'm going to need alot more fuel.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I was skating at one point

Got my last exam done this morning and couldn't wait to clear my desk of all textbooks and binders to start a full out 2010 plan, still waiting on those 2010 road o-cup dates though. My goals have been pretty much set alreay, might make a few small changesé I'm not too sure if there is going to be Lake to Lake or Tour of Pelham, there was talk that it wasn't going to happen and a few weeks ago they took their website down ??????

My feet are just finishing thawing out right now, the chrono read 3:30 on the mtb today. Took the trails along the canal from Welland to St. Catharines then did a couple hours of 8x12/brock/short hills and back through the 2-bridges trail and the same mtb trails home. Weather was decent, perfect when I was in the singletrack where I was moving much slower and working much harder then the roads and doubletrack. I was going to stay in St. Catharines for another 30min but the snow was coming down pretty good and I was having a tough time with the FastTracks at 40psi on the hills. Slipping and sliding everywhere across the trails, ended up going backwards a few times.

Saw the same deer about 6 times in the 8x12 trails with all the switchbacks, she just kept running onto the trail a little further down where I would be in a couple minutes. Lots and lots of deer shit on the trails, I had a feeling I was going to see one today.

Oh yeah, and the Canadian Geese are still here ???

Friday, December 18, 2009

What else is new ?

So another day chainless and cyclocross-bikeless means another beautiful day on the trainer. Tried to mix things up yesterday with plans for some weights and yoga until I found out that my mom cancelled the family membership at the Y, seems I didn't go enough during the past six months... race season!!!

I did, however, get some cross country skis dirt cheap and now waiting on a similar deal on some boots so I can do some of that when the snow falls.

Today's trainer session consisted of 2:20 at a pretty good pace (not sure if you can call it a pace if you aren't going anywhere). Of course I was watching a movie, Changeling which is based on a true story and Angelina Jolie is in there. Pretty intense movie, her son gets kidnapped and when the police say they found her son and she gets him back it's not actually her son, daaamn.

Attempted some core work afterwards but that lasted 15 minutes and I was pooched. Still got a good burn in. Eggplant parmesian, chocolat milk with protein powder, and some blueberries will tie me over until supper. Then the studying begins...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Trainer bound....

It seems I am yet again forced to ride the trainer. I have decided not to take out my sexy mtb or road bikes due to road/trail conditions and the only way I can go outdoors is my beater; no chain for it...

After the endurance ride yesterday I decided a spin up/iso-leg interval session would keep everything upbeat. This one hurt;

- 1h warm up spin
- 8x5min build to max cad. (hold for 30s)
- loosen spin till 2:00 mark
- 12x1min iso-leg (6/leg) no recov.
- endurance spin till 3:00 mark (add saddle time)

Iso-legs felt tougher but stronger today. I did this by switching between 2 gears (1 higher then I am used to) and still keep recovery time at 0.

Got work tomorow so I plan on making that a power day by doing an intense set of weights then possibly yoga &/or a 1h spin.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Advil or Ride my bike ?

Yesterday I woke up completely congested and throughout the day it turned into a full out cold. The cross race was totally worth it. Took some advil and decided not to ride the bike, haven't had a day completely off where I had no work, training or anything whatsoever to do in a long time.

This morning I was still congested, this time however the advil was substituted for 3:15 on the trainer while watching King Kong. Great movie, didn't expect it to be that good. That movie has just been sitting there for over a year now in my house and I never bothered to watch it. After a warm shower and some stretching all the bad shit was sweated out and now I feel 100% better. There is no cure quite like time in the saddle.

"The helicopters took him down"

"It wasn't the helicopters, it was beauty killed the beast"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

First cross race... she was even tougher

My first cross race ever was in 0 degrees, 6 inches of snow and freezing rain, perfect. Took the hole shot like I planned on doing and right before the first corner, which was pretty much a forced dismount on the first lap, I threw the hands in the air as if I was coming across the line first. It was a thing of beauty, put a good gap on the field from the first run part then it was pretty much all down hill from there. The 45 minute shit show took alot out of me, by the end there was not much left in the tank, not enough to push through the snow anyways. I was being realled in so running was all I can do to hold my spot, which was 6th I think.

Stayed around and watched the 1 oclock race to see Chown destroy the hills, Jay not listening when I told him to gear down but still being able to ride the hills every time, and Box taking a hard-earned win. It was a close race right till the end between Box and Chown. The last racer showed everyone how to properly hydrate in the pits with a nice tallboy of Stella Artois. The 1 oclock racers toughed it out for 60 minutes and got 6 1/2 laps in, some 5 1/2. We went for 45 and got 3 1/2 laps done.

I defenitely underestimated the brute force that is needed for cyclocross, I'll be at the New Year's cross a little more prepared and hopefully on the bike more.

Picture stolen from Jay (McGyver)'s blog, after the hole shot on the pavement there was a u-turn and pretty much forced run section.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

First cross ride... she was tough

Got up sooooo early this morning, 9 freakin 30 !!! Arrived at the bank in Fenwick for 11am to meet Rob Watt and the legs were already burning. First time ever riding a cross bike, couldn't even hold 30 into the headwind. We headed out to a school to do some hard efforts on the bumpy and pretty hilly terrain. Hopped into a rocky pit of some sort and got my first official cyclocross crash, bumped my head off the slide and all, no gracefulness whatsoever. Got used to some mounting/dismounting and a little stair run up. We went to some church and found some pretty sick doubletrack in the back forest and headed to some other school where they were setting up for the parade and found some more of the same type of doubletrack. Trying to ride beside a frozen puddle my front wheel caught some ice and the bike disappeared, this crash hurt alot more than the other one, ice doesn't cushion a fall very well. Found some trails that looped around and some that went into nowhere at all. Stopped for a little ice sliding break then the ice build up on the cleet made for another stop.

Got back to Rob's to pump up the tires and have an M&M cookie (thanks) and headed off for a crit effort through a subdivision. By the time we were done police were blocking off the roads and people were lining the streets to see us finish the workout so i gave them what they wanted and threw the hands in the air a good 500m before the finish to give my salutations. Rob thinks they were there for the parade, but all the blood in his body was pumping to his muscles and not enough to the brain.

Got back home for some cabage rolls and perogies, a baby salad (baby carrots, baby cucumbers, baby tomatoes, and baby spinach leaves), and a one-week-old protien shake. Removed the water bottle cages from the bike because of its 25ish pounds of beefiness this is where the weight problem seemed to be.

Great workout, nothing to do now but wait for the results to come in

... oh yeah, and race

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Burnin' Glucose

Got my second exam over with today... philosophy. Went suprisingly well, finished with an hour to spare. Used the extra time to finish cleaning my road bike, she's done with the outdoors until things dry up again in the spring.

Borrowing my neighboor's Kona Jake the Snake for this weekend's race (not the bad ass green colour of De Cal's), it's a perfect fit. Half a size smaller than my road bike with a longer stem and 172.5mm crankarms ! It's got exactly what I want on it; mostly 105 stuff with some tough Deore hubs. I'm hoping he sells it to me, we'll see. I guess I have to race in the 11am race because I'm no longer a Junior and I defenitely don't have enough points to go Elite if I don't have any races under my belt. I'll try and sneek under the tape right before the start haha.

Didn't get any riding in today unfortunately but I am burning lots of glucose with the noggin to get ready for the double header of exams tomorow. When that is over and done with I'll have plenty of time to ride, especially with a cross bike...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

One down, four to go

Got my first of five exams over with today, on to serious matter now...

In this post not only am I going to write down my workout like Peter Glassford but I'm going to give a quote at then end as well like Watson because while I was riding I was watching the Michael Phelps story of the 2008 Olympics that I got for 5$. So here was my workout today (all on the trainer);

- 30min spin for warm-up
- 6x5min build up to max cadence, hold for 30 sec
- 15min spin to relax a little
- 10x1min one-leg (5 per leg) no recovery in between
- 15min spin cool-down

The one-leggers hurt a whole lot, haven't done them in quite some time. Ended up with 1:45, I wanted to go for 2 but I felt a slight pain in my knee so the extra 15 minutes of cool-down wasn't worth it for me. I am following Joe Friel's Training Bible and it sais that I should do 'em at least once a week during my Base period. I was quite motivated the whole time while watching Phelp's races, almost made me wanna hit the pool for some laps.

My coach, JF Bérubé, told me I'm overtraining for this time of year. I'll try and tone it down a bit, for real. Got another exam tomorow morning so I'm going to eat then study... for a bit.

"The reason I win is that I don't like to loose"
-Michael Phelps

Monday, December 7, 2009

Birthday gift from mother nature

Woke up this morning a new person, I am now an adult. Well when I woke up it was more like noon then morning, but either way I got my big boy attire on and headed for the open road. The snow had just started to come down a little bit when I left but by the time I got out to West Lincoln it was coming down pretty hard. Stayed seated on all the climbs today and had a pretty quick cadence going up them. The bigger ones were Ninth st., Decew rd., some stuff around the Shorthills, and 3:02 into the ride I climbed Saylor's Hill. After 3:20 of none stop (didn't even clip out once!) riding I got home and refueled a little bit before heading out to Red Lobster with the family. Of course, about an hour after I stopped riding so did the intense snow fall. Finished a lobster/artechoke dip appetizer and their mega platter or whatever it's called, soooo sooooo good.

Shaving my legs is turning into a one week process, 3/4 way done my rigth leg and 1/2 way done my left. It seems that I'll be heading out to Hespeler cx this weekend with "the scrawny cyclist" Rob Watt. Should be an embarassing display of cyclocross skills on my part, all in good fun. I am now officially jealous of DeCal's new cross bike and I am looking for one myself. I was going to bid on an Alan but when I got home but the bid went from 500 to 620, decided to hold off on that one. My exams might keep me off the bike for the next few days... hopefully not.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

We are speedskating shaved legged men

So it's almost 1am right now and I just got back from work. Suprisingly can't seem to fall asleep and decided to do a post since I actually have alot to talk about.

Starting from yesterday, I had set my alarm to go for an early morning ride before heading out to Hamilton to visit a friend. Woke up around 11am and it turns out my mom thought I needed the sleep more than the riding so she did me a favour and shut the alarm off for me... much appreciated. After brutal instructions on how to get to Hamilton on the Coach Canada buses from the Welland terminal, of course, we ended up getting to McMaster U at about 5. We spent 4 hours of travelling/waiting to get to a place I can ride to in a couple hours. We got bored and what a great idea we had ! I let it slip that I was contemplating on shaving my legs or not, well the decision was made up, my 2 best friends (who happen to be girls and experts in the leg shaving department haha) were going to shave my legs. After going through 2 razors and half my left leg done we missed the bus and were almost stuck in Hamilton for the night, but we made 'er home.

Onto the most epic day on the saddle ever! Planned a ride with Andrew De Cal in the morning that I almost bailed on but manned up and got a couple coffees and some breakfast in me and I was out the door. She was cold today let me tell ya. A quick stop at his house again for some sandwich baggies and we were gone, everything was great; rodes were dry, sun was almost out and we had a good pace going. Many good blog-worthy photos we could have taken if we had a camera. When we got to NOTL the ground was covered in snow, stopped at Tim Horton's on Cliffton Hill for some ground brew and a muffin when we were asked if we were speedskating, hmmm yeah right down Niagara Falls. Haha, it was a funny moment but we explained that our silly attire kept us warm while we were on our bikes. The closer we got to Ridgeway/Fort Erie the more snow there was. We even seen a couple snow banks. We got onto the Friendship Trail which was pretty sick, lots of tight turns and super dry. By the time we were halfway to port we were riding on a mixture of ice/water/snow piled 3 inches high. This is starting to sound like our dad's stories about the walk to school being uphill, against the wind, in 10 feet of snow both ways but it was insane. After a quick stretch I couldn't clip back in so we stopped for some more coffee and off we were again facing the worst Mother Nature can throw at us. When we got into Port we were both pretty exhausted, Andrew peaced because he wasn't feeling too well at all, no kidding, when it's your first long ride in three months and you're faced with that. He still had to show me how to get home though because the direction signs aren't translated into french for me. Got home with about 160km done today but it felt like 600. Can't say that I have ever done a century in December before. I don't recall much from when I got in the door because about 3km after me and Andrew parted ways I hit the same wall he did. I do remember eating everything in sight though.

The worst part of it all was that I had to work in an hour washing dishes in a steaming hot kitchen. After alot of trips outside for some fresh air and near-vomits I made it through the shift and now I am really starting to feel tired. Later.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rode with Adam Morka

So yeah, title sais it all. The roads were pretty wet from the storm last night and no sunshine to dry them up. Met at Mossimo's Pizza (the best around) for 10 and rode around the Short Hills and did the STCCC Tuesday Night race loop, Saylor's is always a good climb.

Talked the whole time about this and that, it was pretty sick to be riding with some guy that'll be racing and kicking ass around the world in a just few months. After 2h we parted ways, when I got home I realised how freakin cold I was. My hands are just starting to thaw out now as I write this.

Hopefully get another ride in before he peaces and starts his training in the south where it'll be nice and warm while we are way up here freazing our asses off haha

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Got away

This weekend was nothing but work, farm in the morning and dishwashing at the club at night. The positive side of this is that I have some capital again, but at the cost of no riding.

Had a great ride today around NOTL and whatnot, weather was no nice for a december day, I even seen a guy riding in shorts ! Going through downtown NOTL I did some motor pacing and had a good enough tailwaind to pass a car that was doing 40 and caught the car a little ways up. By the time I got on Lakeshore I had a massive headwing and was just hanging on to 29-30km/h when a guy came by me on an electric scooter "you're doing good" he said. There was no way I was gonna let him get away haha, held his 33km/h pace which was pretty easy with the massive draft. I recovered enough to launch an attack but couldn't hold it up in that headwind alone. Some guy (the one in shorts) met up with us when we went by an intersection he was at, he was feeling pretty good too in that draft, he launched out and I followed... this time we got away haha. 3h of ride time, no bridges up when crossing the canals, great ride.

Everytime I make a protein shake with kiwis it burns my throat a little, they aren't going in the blender anymore. My semester is over for school so now I can ride full time, I mean study real hard, until exams then before next semester.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's just a little water

Cleaned the heavy out of 2 double floored 250ft. chicken barns over the course of my three day weekend, I need the money so this was good. I guess you can consider it some solid cross-training, didn't get any riding in, but I did do 2h on the trainer monday night. Had a good leg workout yesterday, got the squatting weight up to 275 for 6 reps and made a goal to get to 350 for 5 reps by the end of christmas break. Still haven't started yoga yet :(

Did 2h on the trainer today while watching Superbad (best movie of all time) and then dressed up and went out for a ride. The rain had just stopped and there were big puddles everywhere on the road and there were no completely dry spots. Rode out to West Lincoln/Silverdale and the smell of the chicken farms out there reminded me of the weekend. It looked like a scene from Twister because of the flat landscape and a completely black sky. No sooner did I notice this that it started to downpoor, I decided to press on... time to man up I told myself. There are no more excuses, it's just a little water.

Held 46km/h pretty easily on 20 mile road coming home, when I turned onto Wessel then Effingham I realised that I had an intense tailwaind that I was now taking straight on. Could barely see the road with the rain hitting my face insanely hard and my glasses were getting pretty useless at this point too. Took the downhills suprisingly fast and finished with Saylor's Hill again.

Coming back into my neighbourhood I felt like I had just taken on the world and with a couple of my cycling neighboors outside just coming home from work I through the hands up in the air and shouted "Victoire" (victory in french) haha and went on home to shower and refuel.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Spun for an hour and a half yesterday before heading over to my old high school to watch my sister win the SOSSA finals and now they are advancing to the OFSAA (All Ontario Finals). Awesome leg workout today, first one back in 3 weeks. Going to really feel it this weekend when I have to clean out the heavy from 2 double floor 250ft. chicken barns :S

Did some squats and built up to 225 pounds (2 sets of 10 reps) and then did some more at the end with lunges. Kinda wish I can try 315 but last year on the third rep the only reason I didnt fall over and cause some good damage was my spotter. Got some calf raises, leg curls, hip adduction and leg presses in as well.

Not sure how much training I'm going to get done over the weekend with the work that has to be done at the farm and it's dark by 5 oclock now !!! Might be forced indoors, hopefully it stays dry because I would defenitely be down for a night trail ride.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Painless Ride !

100k today, out to Niagara-On-The-Lake then stopped at Liberty! on the way back. Shoot the shit with Jeremy, Derek, and Andrew then filled up the bottles and headed to North Pelham to finish the ride with Saylor's Hill again. Went pretty hard on all the hills and drained most of the fuel left on Saylor's. Just over 3h so 32km/h average speed ain't so bad, I was feeling very good today and ate a huge omelet with a bagel for breakfast versus my bowl of corn flakes last time.

No knee pain !!! My IT Band from my left hip down was bothering me more, that is due to inflexibility. I always make yoga my objective but I never end up getting into it. Hopefully by the end of the month I get into the groove of doing it at least 3x a week. Only have just over a week to make that happen so I better get on that.

Haven't been doing any weight lifting for my legs yet but I've been doing alot of core and once a week I work the upper body. Hopefully tomorow I can get a good swim in... possibly 1k haha

Monday, November 16, 2009

Learn something new every ride

Got my bike fitted Saturday morning, Rick from BikeFit was a huge help and right from the first pedal stroke I knew that it was perfect. Didn't have to change the stem but the new 172.5mm crankarms are on and that 2.5mm (in a full circle it ends up being 5mm) makes a huge difference. Went for a 2h test-ride Saturday afternoon with my neighboor Reg "The Tractor" Bolduc, even at 55(ish) he can climb anything. The knee felt pretty good, started to get a little stiff by then end of the ride but that it to be expected on the first time back when you are riding hills and finish with Saylor's Hill.

Yesterday was the SHCC FartFest, a good 2h trail ride then some amazing chili. Good people, good food, good ride, great times. Knee never really bothered me on the mtb, could be because of the extra float with the eggbeaters and your position is changing constantly. Solo 2:45 ride today out to Silverdale then Rockway and, once again, finished with Saylor's while being in the middle of a massive bonk.

Things learnt over the weekend (for me the weekend is Sat-Mon)

-A bowl of cornflakes and a coffee is not enough to fuel a good afternoon ride
-Whistling at a deer won't make it come running to you like a dog
-My road shoes are too big for me = another purchase
-Music doesn't make me forget about my bonk

Monday, November 9, 2009


Stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, not a medical condition but I've got this big time ! Did my first upper body weight training session since before the race season started in april on friday and I can barely unbend my arms today. Started feeling pain saturday and I volunteered that night until 3am for my friend's dad's cancer fundraiser. Carrying full and empty cases of beer stacked 3-4 high plus bringing the whole sound system there (basement = stairs) and back home makes for another tough night on the arms. Yesterday it started to get better during my hockey game with some rub-A535, but by night-time I couldn't find a comfortable sleeping position.

Today my arms are a bit better but still unable to unbend them completely without help from the other arm and some intense pain. Still haven't found my goggles (good excuse ? haha) so friday's cool-down swim was 300m (looking to get that up to 500m next week).

I've been off the bike for 12 days now and it feels like 12 weeks. 5 days til my bike fit appointment and a post 50ish km ride. Going to join the Short Hills Cycling Club 2nd Annual Fall Fartfest for a casual trail ride and some food. It has turned into a fundraiser for Ashleigh's (a member of that club) recovery from an unfortunate accident. Hope all goes well.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

He Floats !

Haven't swam laps in a year or maybe even longer, kinda nervous going in to the water... might not remember how to do this. Haha, jokes, it's like riding a bike, well not really.

Anyways, swam 300m and found an excuse to quit; I was blind ! Forgot my goggles but that's not a big deal for the pool at Brock. My eyes didn't really hurt, I was just freakin exhausted; my arms haven't gotten a work out probably since the last time I went for a swim. Thursday I've got my mind set on the 1k mark.

Knee is feeling much better but the mornings are the worst for some reason. I sleep on my stomach so it's most likely because the knee is being compressed all night. After an hour the pain is gone, I'm going to try for an easy mtb ride tomorow and see how that goes.

Missed a good race on Sunday, I'm going to call the W.O.W Enduro off as well. Racing will resume in April with the Tour of Pelham where I'm hoping for a top 5.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's all starting to come together

Been a week since I've been on the bike and it's killing me. My physio is going pretty good, after just one session my knee felt alot better and today it's feeling really well. Had a bike fitting appointment this morning and here are a couple things wrong:

1) Crankarms are too long; 175mm crankarms when I need 172.5mm. Ended up getting a pretty sweet deal on some new ones that will fit, that was the only size they had in stock and they should be here by the end of the week.

2) Stem is too long; nothing major, 100mm when I need a 90mm. The 90mm I have doesn't fit my bar though so there's another purchase to be made.

My tentative training plan for the next two weeks to keep some sort of level of fitness is going to be:
Monday - Easy spin on the hardtail (if there is no pain)
Tuesday - Swim (1h)
Wednesday - OFF
Thursday - Swim/Speedwork (1:30)
Friday - Swim (1h)
Saturday -Easy spin on the hardtail (if there is no pain)
Sunday - Hockey

Going to hold off on the weights. Next fitting appointment is in two weeks and hopefully everything is all good by then and I can get on with preparing for the upcoming season.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Starting Physiotherapy

After 5 days of rest, ice, heat, and rub-A535... nothing. My knee feels exactly the same, checked out the anatomy of the knee in my syllabus, the symptoms and the pain situation confirms patellofemoral syndrome. This is the most common 'overuse' injury among cyclist (25% are affected at some point). Different articles all have a different point of vue, but physio is always highly recommended. Surgery is not an option for me that is why I gave up running, this is not going to happen with cycling.

Another thing that confirms it is that I have done/do most of the main causes:

1) Too much too fast early in the training program; I was trying to get in 4-6h rides 5-6x a week. I was told by my second set of parents (Nat and JF) that injury would come of this. Of course, I didn't listen.

2) Excess side to side swinging of the knee during downstroke; Noticed this a few times on rides but didn't think much of it. "In more than 80% of cyclists with patellofemoral pain had excess side-to-side swinging of the knee during downstroke" (Owen Anderson 1979). An old source, but still relevant.

3) Bike Fit; bought the bike and never got it fitted

4) No stretching; I never stretch before or after a bike ride. Stretching is said to help prevent this from happening.

I am going to make an appointment with a registered chiro/physio, but until then I'm going to try the stretches and strengthening plan I made. Starting a self-made physiotherapy program is probably another one of those great ideas I have, but it won't hurt... I hope.

I think that the Firemen's Park CX race this weekend is out of the question, but should be a fun event to help out with. Never thought I would be helping out at a bike race that I could be racing myself.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Self Diagnosis

I'm going to rest today and tomorow and see if I'm up for a mountain bike ride on wednesday. The pain is getting pretty bad, I did some research and think that I have patellofemoral syndrome (this is completely unofficial) due to a combination of improper cleet positionning, seat height, and saddle placement. A couple days rest and a good bike fit and I should be good to go.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Let's try and look on the bright side here...

Ride started off today like it did the past few days; cold, windy, and a sharp pain in my right knee. Started off with a 40km/h tempo on Cataract which wasn't too hard to hold with a nice tailwind. Got into St. Catharines, rode another 15 minutes before meeting up with the Short Hills Cycling Club. The ride was good and organised today and there were some pretty good climbs.

On to the bright side stuff... my Dura-Ace front derailleur was feeling a little heavy so when it suddenly broke in half, I thought hhhmmm, I just saved myself a few grams FOR FREE! Right on. Being stuck in small in the front wasn't so bad, made the mistake of trying to put 'er in the big ring. On to Saylor's Hill which seemed alot shorter and easier than usual today which is always sweet. After 65km the pain in my right knee kicked in, this time it was bad. I broke off from the group and started heading home. Another 6km in my smallest gear and that was it for the right leg, time for some one legged pedalling. Even with my right leg suspended in the air the pain was really sharp in that position. With only 5km to go til I'm home I called it quits and my dad came and got me. It turned out to be such a nice day that my 72km total pissed me right off. Today could have been an easy 120km. No bright side here... well, I do have more time to study now.

I'm going to get my road bike fitted tomorow. Maybe the pain is from my cleet position, seat height, saddle placement. I hope it's the bike fit thats doing it and not another sport-ending injury like my compartment syndrome for running.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Man vs. The Elements... and Directions

I was planning on doing the NOTL loop that I had planned to do yesterday today. Left the house with no spare tube, co2, money, extra bottles or riding partners. Maybe not the best idea I've had but I was determined to ride even though the clouds made it seem like there was a storm coming in I wasn't going to rest today. I only had two water bottles for the ~100km route so I had to be like a camel, the crappy weather helped alot for this. 25km in my right knee started bothering me again, I convinced my self I can ride through it and I did. When I was almost in Niagara-On-The-Lake I realised that the street signs weren't matching my plan. A stop for directions and I was back on my way, made another wrong turn and climbed up to where the Brock monument is but I figured this out on my own. One more stop for directions confirmed I was heading for Lakeshore road and from there I knew where I had to go.

Heading out I had a good tailwind, after 45 minutes this shifted to a massive crosswind and the wind never stopped shifting after that, but never in my favour. I almost got hit in NOTL twice! People don't know how to drive there, they think that no matter what cars always have the right of way. One lady tried to make a left hand turn across my lane because there were no CARS coming from either direction, nice. Fall brings all the leaves down from the trees and the big winds bring them straight in my face really really fast haha. With 95k done I was out of water and still had roughly 10k to go, not bad. When I got home and felt like I had just accomplished something pretty sweet, still a little pain in my right knee. Hopefully it passes.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Forced Indoors

On my way home from class I had a route into Niagara-On-The-Lake mapped out that I was determined to ride. It was pouring outside but that wasn't enough to stop me, realising that the 4h planned route would have brought me home at roughly 7:30 (well into the dark) did. So the trainer it was. Had an awesome set up, maybe a little overkill for 4 hours but I hate being interrupted. Spun through "Observe and Report" with Seth Rogen which was just a funnier version of "Mall Cop". Afterwards I wanted to make a little seat-height adjustment and the clamp broke. Got the new one on and onto "Year One" it was. Started off perfectly until the right knee started killing me, took a little break, lowered the seat a little and after 30min it started up again. It could have been from the seat height or the leg workout I did earlier, whatever it was I called it quits at around 3h, hopefully tomorow's ride goes a little better.

Food before the ride, Ketchup goes on EVERYTHING!

8 bottles (4 cytomax, 4 water); 2 bananas; trailmix and a turkey sandwich

Low quality pictures... I know

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Love Fall Riding

70k of mtb yesterday; 40k with DeCal at a nice pace that he set. Got into some trails that I haven't ridden more than twice this year and I forgot how awesome they were. The short hills loop that we did has to be my favorite trail in the region now. 14 degrees with a cool breeze makes you feel like you can ride forever. I didn't want the ride to end, but unfortunately I've got a mid-term in 15 hours so studying it is...

Monday, October 19, 2009

That guy doesn't feel pain

Woke up this morning knowing that the ride that was to come was going to hurt... BAD. I was about to go on a ~120km ride with the unofficial winner of Paul's Dirty Enduro (he ended up getting second because when he got to the finish and he had made a wrong turn and had to go back) Andrew DeCal. The plan was to ride out to Grimsby and descend/climb Woolverton then ride a bit further into Hamilton and descend/climb Fifty and McNeilly. We had a tempo going on agaisnt a crazy strong wind, we were holding in the 32-36 range. 32 when I pulled and 36 when he pulled. Woolverton was super-tough and after skiding off the road while descending McNeilly I realised that this was probably going to be the hardest climb of the day, that and Andrew told me it was. The view was so sick at the top of the climbs, you can see Toronto perfectly across Lake Ontatio.

By the top of McNeilly I was dead, we headed to Woolverton and went back down to stop at a convenience store to fill up our bottles. We switched bikes for a bit so I can try out his new Q-rings and they are pretty neat, almost tempted to get a set myself. On the way back he was ready to do some tempo again, I wasn't haha. He had so much left in the tank while I was running on fumes.

When I got home I realised that this guy is going to be the guy to watch out for on the road and the trails because... he feels no pain.

Monday, October 12, 2009

9h weekend

This weekend was sick. Saturday was a 4h day in the saddle, the roads were super-slick because it had poured earlier but I had good tires for it. Rode around for 1:30 before meeting up with a group to do a hilly 2:30 hour ride. Went hard on the climbs and super-easy on the descents. We rode on some roads more suitable for a cross bike and most had them, a few even had hardtails. Would have made for a longer ride because I still had to make it home but my tire blew out my sidewall while leaving Tim Horton's and I wasn't even riding ! Oh well, better it happened there then descending one of the hills on Cataract and a forced walk home. Managed to get a ride from Rob W, thanks man !

Sunday was a 5h day with a freezing (I believe it was 3 degres) and windy 1h ride into St. Catharines to meet relatively the same group (Shorthills Cycling Club) for a 3h pretty much flat course then a 1h ride back home. Climbing the locks in thorold at the end with a super-strong headwind was fun. Got home at 1:45pm just in time to take off for my 2 oclock hockey game. First time out on the ice this year and man can you ever tell. My first shift was about 25sec, in a pick-up league that is pretty embarassing. Got home and ate back all the calories I had burned both days and then some, it was awesome.

Woke up this morning after a 14h sleep feeling pretty good minus the saddle sores, I feel fine now. All in all, off-season training is going great so far.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody !

Friday, October 9, 2009

It came close...

I took off for the same 4k run that I did in my previous post feeling like a million bucks. The pace of 5min/km felt way too slow. I told myself I would stay at that pace for a good month before doing anything else, but it was too tempting to go a little faster. So I picked it up and by the 2k mark the stiffness started to creap up from the top of my ankle which is how it all begins. I backed off to a 6min/km pace to get home and it is still tight a couple hours later.

I'm going to take a good week off running for now and start some weight training that I havent done since april. Going to also be doing some yoga and swimming.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Painless Jog ?

After 6h of studying nothing was sticking anymore so I figured the best way to clear things up there was some fresh air and exercise. By the time I would have gotten on the bike and got some momentum it would have started to get dark. The joggers were sitting right there so I figured "what the hell". I don't have to worry too much about compartment syndrome kicking in because there are no races to be ready for.

My goal was +/- 5min/km. To give some perspective on what that is for me, exactly 2 years ago (while being coached by JF) I was able to hold 3:35/km for 7k. A textbook 5min/k it was, crossing the black line on my street (where I start all my measurements from) the watch read 20:00 and the distance was 4k. Perfect, but the best part: NO COMPARTMENT SYNDROME !!! I'm not saying it's gone because one speedwork session and I would be unable to walk. This, however, tells me that there had been improvement and a full recovery without surgery is not impossible. So no surgery for me, for now, and I'm going to start this distance 3-4x a week and see how things go:)

Back to the books for another 3-4h it is.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

University Cup #4 Ganaraska Forest

Time: 1:33:52 (+13:47) Pos: 17 (Mens A)

After another bikeless week rest was not what I was in need of at the starting line, more like a water bottle. Of course for my last race of this season I had to forget my water bottles at home just like at the Marathon Challenge Champs. No big deal these are only 7k laps so if I just grab a good swig of an oversized bottle my dad had everytime I came around I should be pretty good... Then I found out that these were 11k loops, but what I thought was only a 2 lap race was announced to be a 3 lap race at the starting line.

The start was pretty relaxed at the start and I was sitting comfortably in the middle of the pack and I started to feel week as the lap went on. By the end of the first lap I was pretty tired but I was trying to stay on the wheels of an SSer that I had passed on an earlier climb so I kept pushing. I guess he dropped out of the race after a lap because he rode straight into the parking lot from the course. I got my first swig at the beginning of lap 2 and another one (along with a piece of banana) on lap 3. I was getting stronger and much smoother on the course as the race went on so I thought it would be a matter of time before I picked off one or two in front of me, but for the last 22k I was by myself. I never found myself in need of a drink which is weird for a 33k race, I guess it was the nice cool air. Defenitely happy with my performance although the final results is somewhat disapointing.

What a great series, so laid-back and some very good riders. Thanks again Dave and everyone who organized it !

This was definitely a great season for me and my goal at the start of the year was to move up in the field of competitors and possibly move up in O-Cup. Next year I'll be racing Senior Ex and this off-season I will be preparing the best I can for it, trying to follow Joe Friel's Traning Bible that I failed at following this year. I've got a set of goals and objectives that I will post up later once they are finalized. Next week will be pretty relaxed and the week after I start my "preparation" phase.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Squeezer 2009

Time: 1:17:36 (+8:54) Pos: 18 Overall; 5 (Mens 16-19)

Couldn't have asked for a better day, everything just went so smooth and despite all the rain everything was rideable. It was unbelievable to be lined up with Adam Morka in front of me, Zandstra, Mark & Emily Batty and Stu Alp not too far away. Right off the start I knew that it was going to be a good race. The pace was pretty relaxed and no one was launching any early attacks. I got into the first set of trails in around 20th spot, I was fealing good through the whole first set of singletrack and somehow managed to keep rubber-side down. To make things even better, who better than to be right on your wheel than one of the (and soon to be the) world's best female cyclist Emily Batty. She was extremely motivating the whole time and pulled me back to a group whenever I got dropped off (thank you !). We ended passing that whole group on Hogsback climb because Emily took a sick line that allowed us to ride the whole climb. She ended up dropping me in the descent and the slick singletrack that followed. I ended up catching back up at the bottom of the second decew climb, at the top I caught a glimpse of Brandon Etzl and Emily was keeping a crazy good pace through Driftwood that I couldn't hold.

On Wiley Rd. she asked me if I was going for top 15, I was too tired but she was like ''why not, it's right there" so I went for it and ended up catching up to that train that had positions 14-18 in it. Lost them but managed to stay with Etzl who took me at the final climb and managed to put 6 seconds on me ! Looking forward to next year's race already.

After the race was just as good talking with Adam and Emily who are as good of people off the bike as they are on. Adam, who lives right here in fonthill, even asked me to email him to go for a ride someday! Just a sick day.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

University Cup #3 Boler Mountain

Time: 1:10:01 (+9:05) Pos:15

Even though I didn't train at all since Monday I think the late season rest ended up helping me alot today. I started off nice and easy and was picking people off one by one until I got to a point where no one was visible at all in front or behind me. I was checking the bottom of the switchbacks while I was at the top... nobody! Checked the top when I was at the bottom... nobody! I ended up getting caught by two guys and tried to hold their pace and I did, for a lap. They dropped my at the end of the second lap, going into the last lap I felt strong so I chassed the whole time and ended up making some good ground on one of them but couldn't pass him in the downhill finish. Perfect conditions, as we were leaving it started to downpour so we couldn't have been any luckier.

I was told that it was not raining at all in Welland so I had high hopes for a dry Squeezer tomorow but we brought the rain back with us and now it is just miserable outside. It's going to be a good time either way and it's going to be unreal to line up with racers like Mark and Emily Batty and Adam Morka. Now I've got to sleep for a couple hours to get a good recovery for tomorow's mud fest

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rest Day

I've got three classes today and I'm feeling kinda tired so today is a rest day for me. Tomorow I plan on pre-riding the Squeezer loop at somewhat race pace.

Monday, September 21, 2009

STCCC Youth MTB Last Ride

Today was the last ride of the season with the st catharines cycling club youth mountain bike crew. It was a really fun season with those guys because I love to see the new kids start to get really pumped about the sport and guys like Jeff Lemon and Kirbie really have alot to teach you. I'll be back riding with them again next year even though I'll be 18 because it's a prefect ride to have after some good training over the weekend.

Even with the rain, the guys still managed to figure out a fun course for our little ITT. Really looking forward to the off-season so that I can get a good race season organised and stick to my schedule so that I don't get burnt out by this time next year and hopefully have enough left in me for a decent cross season.

University Cup #2 Hardwood Hills

Time: 1.09.50 (-11:41) Pos: 17 (Mens A)

This race had a much bigger group at the start line then U-Cup #1 and I was feeling pretty good so I lined up at the front. Right off the start I took off really fast... too fast. I was sitting in about 4th after the first climb and going into the first set of singletrack I got dropped to 6th. When the trail opened up again I got dropped by that group and eventually got caught and dropped by another 3 or so guys. I was hurting really bad after the first lap but felt strong after the second lap. I started taking it easy and just enjoying the course, the third and fourth lap went by pretty quick. Especially since 3k before the end of the last lap some guy popped out of the B course because he had made a wrong turn and I decided to chase him down. I caught him before the last doubletrack and just kept a strong pace to the end. No crashes and only one dismount on a steep climb in the first lap, I was way too tired to do it. Fun course, all in all a good day.

I can't say I didn't expect a slow pace because, like a replay of last year, all my fitness is lost by September because of the lack of base miles in the off-season and poor race-season planning. This is why I've decided to make the U-Cup #4 my last race for the season to start preparing for next season properly. I got enough points in O-Cup this year to move to expert and by the end of next year I want to go Senior Elite so I've got to make sure I don't burn out. The winter races are going to be strictly for fitness testing and, of course, fun.