Monday, June 15, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
The worst part so far has been the itching of the scar. It feels like a feather is touching my skin, but I can't scratch it because I have no feeling. My face is pretty swollen still and I haven't been able to take a shower for 3 days, eeeuuwww.
Below are some photos. View at your own discretion.
All wrapped up post-surgery
This was a drain inside my neck for blood, damn thing was like 3 inches long. I had it removed the day after surgery.
Feeling better...making the calls to the family to give the ok
The day after surgery I had to have this stupid thing wrapped around my head
All bandages off...but still numb
If you were to add up the length of scars I have just on my head/neck alone, it would be close to a foot long. The scars are like tatoos though, a story behind each one.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
The evil scientist behind my nutritional needs
Climbing one of the steep pavement sections
The exchange of the goods to keep me fueled
The Tifosi in the Aid Stations
Just chillin' out in the heat
A picture in a picture
Still all smiles after a long day in the saddle
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I will spend a night over in the hospital, but the surgery sounds pretty routine. Once this tumor is removed I will feel like a huge weight was just lifted off my shoulders. Staring at this damn lump for the past six months has been torture.
If all goes well I should be up and riding by the weekend. I'll just have to take it one day at a time. Wish me luck!
Coming into the race I knew I would still have some fatigue in my legs from the prior weekends' race in Ohio. With the usual speed demons toeing the line (Sheppard, Plews, Williams, Thompson) I knew the pace would be fast from the get-go. The race begins with a 2 mile leadout on a fireroad before darting into the singltrack.
After a mile things already began to seperate and by the time we reached the singetrack there were a few small groups formed. I was in the second group with Plews, and 2 other riders. Plews set the pace early on, although I think he was probablt riding easier than i was. I was full throttled to stay on his wheel. I knew I wouldn't be able to hold this up for long, and sure enough after 7 or 8 miles I began to slowly lose sight of him. The other 2 riders and I then began to work with each other, only this time I was the pace setter. Not able to shack them of my wheels we stayed together for the first lap. The Chris Brandt joined us and he moved to the front to set the pace. This is when the fatigue really began to settle in.
I still have yet to master the proper pacing for a XC race. Around mile 28 of the 34 I was fading back and losing time. Trying to push the bigger gears began to really be a challenge, and I couldn't believe how little strength I had in my legs. I crossed the line roughly 20 min. behind Sheppard who won for the 2nd straight race. After siting down I looked at the data on my Cateye HR monitor and noticed that my Avg and Max HR's were lower this race than they were in the 100-mile race the weekend before.
Bruce Rogers and I after checking the results.
Having the ProAir/HFA banner set up turned out to be a success. I have numerous people approach the booth to get some info and ask questions about ProAir/HFA, the #1 albuterol inhaler. As we were taking down the banner, one woman asked if ProAir/HFA was my sponsor, I said yes. She was very happy to hear that a product such as ProAir/HFA would support an athlete. Needless to say she has been using the inhaler for years and even has some friends who do as well. I gave her some discount cards to help save her some money on her next prescriptions.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Do you or someone you know suffer from asthma or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)? Both can be life-threatening diseases as a result of breathing becoming extremely difficult. Not only do these diseases affect your daily living, but can also affect your ability to exercise; such as running and cycling. Some even have an asthma attack caused by exercise, a condition known as exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB). Just ask Katie Compton how important an albuterol inhaler is to her racing career. "Using ProAir/HFA 30 minutes prior to exercising can help you prevent EIB for an hour" (ProAir/HFA Prescribing Information, Teva Specialty Pharmaceuticals, LLC 9/2008)
According to the IMS Health National Prescription Audit, TRx Data, February 2009, ProAir/HFA is the #1 albuterol inhaler.
Swing by the Booth to get some 411 and you could score a Discount Card worth up to $100 off your next prescription of ProAir/HFA.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I had contacted a bike shop nearby the airport a week leading up to the event so that I would swing by and pick up a few CO2 cartridges. The shop would be closed but the gentleman I spoke with said he would come down and meet me at the shop, very cool. Well, at 6:20pm Jenny and I arrived at the shop (in a raining downpour nevertheless) only to not see anyone in sight. After a phone call that just resulted in a voicemail, we had to come up with a plan B. I figured I needed to get some CO2's before heading to the hotel not knowing if there were any opportunities at the race venue site (there were none at the Cohutta 100).
So we stopped to get some dinner in Westerville, OH and with the help of a guy at the restaurant we were going to be heading to the Easton Mall in Columbus where there was a shop that was open 'til 9pm.
I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason. The shop Roll:turned out to be a BMC dealer and the owner (Stuart Hunter) was super helpful, and a very cool dude with an accent. He and a few staff were also doing the race for the first time so we chewed the shit about that for a while also.
Jenny's aunt was driving from Pittsburgh to watch the race and also help Jenny in the Aid Stations.
After a pre-ride of the first 15 miles of the course on Friday the legs were feeling pretty good and the course was in great condition. Ohio had received a ton of rain the weeks leading up to and even the Friday night before the race but the trails were nice and tacky. The trails were flooded with off-camber roots, so any precip would make the course even tougher. With a small amount of rain Friday night it was enough to make the trails pretty slick the first two hours; which was where the majority of the singletrack was.
The race begins at 7am in the town of Loudonville (pronounced just as it looks) on pavement, and the first 1/4 mile is flat then there is a steep climb for a 3/4 mile.
The pace was fast up the hill but was a good pace where I could stay towards the front and not go anaerobic. Once we hit the singletrack I was roughly in 12th place behind Greg Kuhn. Some real fun sections in the beginning got the cobwebs off and even a hike-a-bike within the first 10 miles kept the HR elevated. Reached Aid #1 (mile 20) 6 minutes behind the leaders. The next stretch of trails before Aid # were pretty damn sweet. Lots of fast flowing singletrack with lots of roots and another hike-a-bike just for fun. I rode most of this section along with TJ Platt of the G.F 29er team. The trails in this section were pretty muddy and sloppy at times causing some chainsuck ( a term used when your chain gets stuck between the chainrings and the chainstays due to mud. I was caught by a couple riders (Harlan Price, Bart Gillespie, Josh Tostado and Rob L) when putting my chain back on. I joined the group and rode together with them until Aid #2. Only Josh and I stopped for fuel while the others kept on. Rode with Josh for a while before losing him just before Aid #3. This next stretch was to be the longest on pavement/fireroads with lots of steep climbs. Damn those roads can get steeeeeep...in Ohio??? Yep! For 6 miles it was nothing but up and down and out of the saddle climbing, even breaking out the granny gear at times.
Between Aid #3 and #4 I was joined by Greg Kuhn, Scott Henry, and Brian Alders. We all took turns taking our pulls and seemed to motivate each other to keep the pace as high as we could. We rode together for the next 20-30 miles together before Greg attacked on one of the longest (1 mile) steep climbs in the race. I didn't have enough gas in my legs to go with him and it seemed neither did the other 2 riders. At Aid #5 just before the last singletrack section Scott managed to get in front of me and Brian and it would stay that way to the finish. I finished with a time of 7:36:11...good enough for 16th place. I did, however, notice that I was the fastest rider (besides Tinker) over the age of 35. Not really sure if that is something to be proud of or not.
Here are the Top 30 results: 104 total riders finished and 19 riders DNF'd
1, Jeremiah Bishop (Monavie Cannondale.com) 6.50.26
2, Chris Tanguy (Team Fraser)
3, Jeff Schalk (Trek Racing Co-Op)
4, Michael Simonson (Gary Fisher 29er Crew)
5, Brandon Draugelis (Cannondale)
6, Tinker Juarez (Monavie-Cannondale.com)
7, Bart Gillespie (Monavie-Cannondale.com)
8, Rob Lichtenwalner (VisitPA.com)
9, Harlan Price (Independent Fabrications)
10, Alex Grant (Monavie-Cannondale.com)
11, Chris Eatough (Trek Racing Co-Op)
12, Greg Kuhn (Team Fraser)
13, Josh Tostado (Bach Builders)
14, Scott Henry (Team Hammerhead)
15, Sloane Anderson (Pureenergy-Proair)
16 Aaron Oakes (USA) Team Bulldog/Cycle Craft
17 Bryan Alders (USA) Monavie-Cannondale
18 Tim Finkel (USA) Gary Fisher 29er Crew
19 Andy Gorski (USA) SPK / Speedgoat / Salsa
20 Jesse Stevens (USA) Velocity Bicycles
21 Ernesto Marenchin (USA) Speedgoat.com
22 Jed Prentice (USA) Bike Doctor
23 Matt Ohran (USA) Monavie-Cannondale
24 Justin Farmer (USA)
25 Andy Applegate (USA) CCN / Cannondale
26 Thane Wright (USA) Voodoo Cycles
27 Robert Spreng (USA)
28 Fredrick Dreier (USA) Velo News
29 Scott Cole (USA) Adventure 212/Specialized/Ergon
30 Tj Platt (USA) Gary Fisher 29'er
The 100 mile-loop format is so much more enjoyable/challenging than riding laps on a 30 mile course. The course design was amazing and riding through some of the Amish country (saw a couple horse and buggies) gave me a chance to soak in some of the beauty of Ohio. I would never have thought though that the roads here would be so damn steep. Driving in a car on these roads can be a bit scary at times, especially when you come up a steep hill and can't see what is one the other side. Although I will say that I enjoy the feeling of your stomach dropping on some of the rollers.
Jenny and I stayed at a quite hotel (Mohican River Inn) 5 miles from downtown Loudonville where the owner (Andy) is very much into preserving the natural beauty of the land and offers great hospitality at a great price. I would highly recommend staying here if you do the Mohican race.
And lastly, I would like to mention that my BMC Fourstroke 01 once again rode superb. With non-stop roots along the trails, the bike soaked everything up and allowed my energy level to remain high and fatigue level low. The DT Swiss XRC 100 fork did a great job as well, especially on the steep climbs where I was able to fully, and I mean fully (well 98%) lock it out and not waste any energy. I don't ever take riding this equipment for granted. Even my Rudy Project glasses, which allow me to see the trails crystal clear, make riding in the saddle for 7+ hours a tad more enjoyable.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
After just returning home from a long trip to Ohio, and now having to make a long trip to Eastern Oregon or work, I am going to keep this post short with just a few stats from the race and have a more extended version later in the week. I have to say though, I was very impressed with the course layout and scenic views throughout the journey. Another solid turnout of over 400 riders shows that the 100 mile race format is becoming very popular.
7:36 finish time
All info provided below is from my Cateye MSC-HR20 heartrate monitor.
Avg speed: 11.8 mph
Max speed: 46.9 mph
Avg HR: 156 bpm
Max HR: 183 bpm
Total calories burned: 6996
% calories burned from Fat: 29%