Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pigskin Classic 5k/ Kirtland Park Cross

This weekend was a crazy but fun weekend. I swear I was in Cleveland more than Akron. Saturday I competed in my first 5k. I know a lot of the cyclist who follow my blog, I know I kid myself thinking people follow my blog, have given my some crap about getting into running. I gotta be truthful I like running. It's not better, sorry Sara, and it's not worse. It's just different. I like challenges, that's my nature. Truthfully, I got into cycling not because it was fun, though it is. I did it because it was hard. Watching tv is fun, but it's not something I tend to do on a regular basis. I want to be outside pushing myself to my limit and then past that. I was to get better at what I do. It will just give me something so I don't get burnt out.

Sara and I drove up from Akron in the morning and arrived at the race. I was amazed by the amount of people that attended. There were 500+ men there. Sara and I warmed up before the race and met up with some of her Grunt Girl team mates. I'm really glad she got on the team as all the girls are really nice women. Before the race, Sara moved up to the front as she wanted to actually compete and the other Grunt girls and I lined up about mid pack. I thought I'd be around them and run a steady pace. The race started I took the first turn and wanted to go. So I went, pushing myself to run a little faster than I had on my other training runs. While running, a girl turned around and told the guy I was running next to "I'll see you later." I turned to him and told him, we could be the guys with girlfriends who are faster than us. I soon dropped him too. The course ended by going around the block. I had secretly wished to do a sub 25 minute 5k. Didn't think it was possible, since the fastest I had run that distance was 28 minutes. When I turned the corner, I saw the clock and it read 23 minutes. I ended up coming in at 24:11 with a 7:55 minute/mile pace. Didn't think that would happen.

Kirtland Cross

Sunday was the Kirtland Park Cross race. Sarah and I arrived at 10:30, well before the noon start. So we were able to walk to course, then do a slow ride to pick out lines, a faster ride to see if the lines would work. Then I took Robert Sroka on a lap to help him out on the lines as well. After signing up we still had almost a half hour to warm up some more. By the time the race started I had a good grasp of the course.

Sara's race was first and she kicked ass. She ended up 13th overall and the first woman by a large margin. She looked strong and was riding really well. I would like to think I've helped her to become a better cross racer, by teaching her some of the skills and showing her lines and how to pace herself, but in truth she's a beast and will kick most people in whatever she puts her mind to.

My race started next, I lined up on the second row. This led to a not so good start for me as the bottle neck lost me some positions. I had planned to be to the inside of the climb on the non-preferred line, to my dismay I got stuck on the preferred line and got bottlenecked and had to walk up the hill. From there on I started picking off positions on the climbs and descents. The first lap I passed someone going down a hill by continuing to pedal. I flew up the climbs but then lost positions on the long flat. It was a great course with lots of climbing and technical descents. The highlight had to be the amphitheater, thanks Robert and Johnny P for putting that in the course.

I ended up finishing in 21st, one place behind my top 20 I had hoped. Over all I had fun. Big Props to Robert Sroka, for his 2nd in B's, Johnny 8th in A's and Sara for her 13th.

Thanks Camba, Bike Authority, Rudy Project, Ritchey products, Kenda and Crank Brothers for helping me race.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This is going to be a quick one as I have to leave for work soon, but I have been running a lot more often now. To all my cycling friends don't worry, I won't be hanging up the bike for good or switching over to running. For me it's going to be a nice compliment to my biking. I doubt it will make me a faster rider, but it will give me something to do to break up being on the bike and still being active. That way I can end the season and not be as burnt out as I was this year.

Last week end I did my first practice 5k, ended up with a around and 8:30 pace and completed it in 28 minutes. Not to shabby for my first attempt and not even pushing that hard. Sara was impressed by this, which made me more confident. So yesterday I had planned to ride the Kent cyclocross course which I had missed because of work last week. After work I'm driving home about to get my gear and head over when I get a text from Sara asking if I wanted to ride the course with her. Perfect! I'm throwing on my gear and she calls and asks if afterward I wanted to do a trail run, I say to myself why not and throw my shoes into a bag and I head off.

We are on a time constraint because we have to be in Hudson by 4:30 for the trail run and I left my house at 3:20 to bike over to Kent. I do my best time trial effort with a headwind and a large bag to bike the 7 miles as quick I can. I show up and we do two quick rides around the course, which after the Cross my Heart course was a blast. I will definitely be at this one next year. The two run ups were a blast and the spiral was fun and tricky. After riding back to here car I did 9.5 miles. We load our bikes to the back and we head towards the valley.

After meeting up with some of her Grunt Girl Teammates we make it to Pine Hill trail head at about 5. We run a good paced three miles until we get to the badly rooted part of the trail. It's well past sunset now and our lights aren't bright enough so we turn around and run as far as we can until our lights don't give us enough light to see the routes and decided to walk back out to the cars instead of hurting ourselves. We probably did 3.5 miles of demanding trails running.

Back at the cars, her teammate Andrea asks me if I plan to do the 5k that Sara is entering this weekend. She said my pace was fine and that I'm ready. After some badgering we leave and me and Sara decide I should do it this weekend. So now I'm doing a 5k Saturday and then the Kirtland Park CX race on Sunday. Should be a fun interesting weekend. Check back monday for a recap of my races.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A whole lot of nothing.

So after the OMBC championship race I took a much needed vacation off the bike. It's been a hell of a season but by far an amazing one. I have been spending my time resting and eating whatever I wanted to.It's been nice, but truthfully I never really rested. I've done a couple bike rides, and started running. I didn't think I'd like it but Sara has been a huge help. Learning why I cramp up when I do, what shoes I need and all that stuff is all the little things that Sara helped me out with. She was impressed with my first run with her and I'm really enjoy. So the plan is to do some sort of run on Thanksgiving morning with Sara, my brother Travis and my sister Valerie. It should be fun.

I'm missing a cyclocross race this weekend because I'm working, it's all fair because I worked for him last week. Hopefully, I can hit up the Grunt Girls trail run Sunday morning depending on my schedule with work. Then I'm confirmed for the last two cross races. Then in December the Ray's indoor Mountain Bike Time trial starts so I'll be doing that. The second sessions starts in January. So I won't be starting anytime soon.