Monday, December 31, 2012

Everyone slips up

OK - I had be delaying this post. Hoping some miracle would fix it and I would never have to admit it. It would just go away. My weight loss journey has derailed. This is embarrassing.

I started out this year weighing in at 230 pounds.  I started doing MyFitnessPal and logging everything I ate and drank. I found out my biggest problem was portion control. I was losing weight like crazy, and some of my friends thought I just kidding. But when I started I was seeing big numbers drop off I think in the first 2 months I lost like 25 pounds. By the time I went to the beach in June I was down to 190lbs and feeling great!

Here is where the crash happened. I stopped doing MyFitnessPal.  It held me accountable, but it worked.  I started trying to guess where I was calorie-wise for the day. Estimate my portions. Guess what? I wasn't ready.

I put on 5 pounds, and justified to myself it was just my body leveling off.... then it was 10 pounds, and I thought that's not bad for just being careful on what I eat. Now today I am at 209lbs. I kept telling myself that its winter and I will be better in Spring, I can't exercise as much as I want to....etc.

You know what I found out... I'm a good liar, and I was in bad enough place that I wanted to believe the lies. When I justify I am still down over 20 pounds from where I started, no admitting that I am actually up 18 pounds from my lowest.... there is a problem.

I have a weak mind when it comes to food. It tastes so good. It can cheer you up. Heck you can drink your daily allowance of calories if you are not careful.... 1500 calories is not hard to do in this super sized Nation. Don't even get me started on sweets - they are my Nemesis. Schuler's is my drug dealer.

I am putting this out there to be held accountable. I need help. I want to get back to my 190lb self (or better). I felt great there. If you see me out and about and eating something I shouldn't, or thinking about buying junk I don't need - yell at me! I will no longer be the trash can after meals, if I don't want to throw it out I will save it in some Tupperware. I do not need to eat it.

No one likes to admit mistakes, but I screwed up. I got to be thin, liked it and lied to myself about maintaining it. I know life is a journey, and sometimes it is hard, but I do want to be healthier and lose the weight again.

There it is...

That is all I have to say about that.

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's the end of the world as we know it...

Well it looks like the Mayans didn't get the Apocalypse right.... we are still here.
My favorite picture that explained it....
This last weekend was the 2nd in the series of the Dayton Indoor Time Trials on Sunday. This would be Carisa's first time at this and a chance for me to better my time.  After church when everyone was in Sunday school, I ran home loaded the bikes up and packed lunch. I went back and picked everyone up and we headed down to Club 51 to get it on! We got there in time to see Alix Payton in action, of course setting the bar for women that day (and of course no one beat her). I got Carisa set up on a trainer for warm up and tried to explain as much as I could to her without over-whelming her. She was in the next race, with George, McCarty and Dan P (and two others). For her first time she did great. Her goal was 20 minutes and she missed it only by 11 seconds (and when she finished she said she could have gone harder, but she didn't know what to expect). Still ended up 1st in her age group, Great Job! Next I was up. My previous indoor time trial I had knocked 30 seconds off my previous best.. I was hoping for more but I knew it would be tough. Before the start I was told about the guy on the end of the row racing against me. We had a run in....
It was at Criterium Practice race in Spring. We were racing around the Kilkare track and he was in front of me following a really quick (and very nice) kid in a LionHeart jersey. As we came through the pits (which is 8 lanes wide and exits in 2 lanes) the LionHeart kid swung out wide to fall to the back of the pack and this guy was wheel sucking and followed him. As the LionHeart slowed to fall to the back the main group which I was in kept up the pace and started going around and straight out the 2 lanes we were in... as this guy on the end realized what was happening he jerked the bike to the right and banged into me and nearly took the pack out as we were rolling above 20mph. Everyone in the group yelled at him and he turned around and looked at me and yelled back to me to "Hold my line"..... really? If I did hold my line I would have mashed this guy flatter than a pancake. He ran his mouth to everyone for the next 2 laps and then dropped out of the race before the end and left while we were still racing. 
So anyway, there he was in my heat. Where the bikes are on the trainer, and there are no variables that would sway an advantage to either person. Just Mano a Mano. The race started and this guy blew out of the start like a rocket... he put 400 feet into me in the first 1/4 mile - he was pushing over 400 watts and it only just begun. Joshua Bozue was in my heat also and I was ahead of him. If you know him I should NOT be ahead of him, he is fast! So I was starting to panic if this guy was so much faster than me and Joshua there was no chance.... but in a 10K race there was plenty of time left. I just focused on Joshua and figured use him as a pace and just try to keep the gap down between us. Joshua caught me about 2 miles in and then his gap kept growing (which I totally expected). I just tried to limit the amount of gap. I would look over and see him with the pain face and I knew I wasn't the only one suffering. And guess what... the gap to first was closing to Joshua and me.. there was the crack. It's on. As we worked over the course I was breathing like a vacuum cleaner - sucking in all the air I could. Heart rate in the 180's almost all the time. We both caught the guy on the end and passed him and it must have hurt as he slowed more... the gap jumped on him. Someone was next to him was coaching him, cheering him on and he was back at it...  his loss has started to level off and he was keeping up just not gaining or losing anymore.
I was able to find a new pain place that day..  when I was suffering and was spinning the pedals over hanging on, when I saw Joshua suffering.. it almost lighted my suffering. I was able to push harder... I would click down one more gear and spin it back up the same. Going faster than before and deeper into the suffering than before. I only realized this at the end of the race... If I could have figured this out earlier I hope that I would have been faster still. Joshua finished just over 15 minutes (15:14) and I was only feet behind him. Holy cow I think I am going to get a new Personal Record. I kicked it down and pushed. I finished at 16:22 - exactly 30 seconds better than the race before! I did it. Another improvement. So far I have knocked a full minute off last years best time and I feel like I have more. I hope to improve next time too.
That is all I have to say about that...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A great start to December...

What a beautiful start to December.

I got out with Carisa on Saturday for a 100K bike ride. A metric century, 62 miles, more miles than degrees. We met up with George, McCarty and Smith at the Villa Road bike path. Headed out on the old Tuesday night ride with all the 'fingers'.  Little did Carisa know that meant after getting to Urbana and starting our way back as we ride down Middle Urbana road we take all the hilly roads down to Urbana road and back (yes that includes Dallas Road, County Line, Willow Road and Weber Road - there are the fingers).

Once we did the ride and got back to the start we reloaded our water bottles knowing that we still had the Snyder Domer climb and headed out. Carisa tried to punish me as we rolled into Tremont City. She asks "Where is that cemetery hill climb?" I'm like are you sure? So we turn right and head up, then back down to town. She says I think its quicker to go back up the cemetery... I'm like are you serious?  So we U-turn and head back up the hill and back down. I saw 16% on the cemetery hill climb. Craziness....  So as we get closer and closer to home we realize that we are going to be very close to 60 miles... but we need to make sure we break it so we go past our house and go nearly to North Hampton and back home.  We had well over 2,000 feet of climbing, which is great for Ohio! Carisa is now I think like 27 miles from her goal for the year, and I am 315 short of my mileage. Days like this are a gift, you have to take advantage.

Get out and ride!

That's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Gravel Grovel

Well I signed up for some insanity on my cyclocross bike. A metric century through Indiana... the hilly part near Brown County.  The Gravel Grovel. It is 62 miles of gravel, abandoned dirt roads (if you can call some of that roads). I went with my friend Garry, he did it last year, he is responsible for this craziness.

As the time grew closer I knew I was going to be racing on my cyclocross bike. I had swapped tires around (went to the larger Ritchey Speedmax 700x42's) and a saddle change. When I first got the bike it just seemed to fight me every step of the way. It seemed nearly every ride I took it on I ended up with a flat. A week before the Gravel Grovel I managed to be out two separate times and ran out of tubes and CO2 cartridges fixing flats. I was starting to freak out. I started double checking everything on the bike. I took it for a quick 6 mile spin 2 days before we had to leave and no flats, checked the tires the next morning they both were holding air fine. So as a safety measure I packed the biggest saddle bag I could find... put everything I could think of it in (tire boots, 2 tubes, patch kit, 3 air carts, chain links and a length of chain, tools for everything, zip ties, duct tape, etc) - it was ridiculous. Then in my jersey pocket with food, my camera, and my phone - I packed 3 more tubes and 4 more air cartridges (I forgot to mention I put a pump on the bike too). I felt like I was going across the world went I left in the morning.

Next I hadn't realized how far away this was from my house. The race starts at 10AM on Saturday... well I was riding over with Garry who is in Springboro. It is right at 3 hours from his house.... add in the hour from my house to his... and you got to get there early... I had to be on the road at 4:30AM. Insane. So much for getting a good nights sleep.

We made it there on time - actually our timing on arriving was perfect. We walked in to pick up our numbers and goodie bags - there was no line. Actually I lie, we were behind 2 people. Sweet! We got our number, goodie bag, and map. Walked over picked up our event shirts... boom we still have an hour to relax and hang out before we leave.  We went in the general store and grabbed a cherry coke (I know this breaks my no soda rule - but I needed caffeine). Then back out and people watched.


Yeah the line to register is now getting huge, as we sat there it doubled over the view above. We did good. Oh yeah, look carefully, the Sram rep was there... sporting Zipp 202 and 303 wheels (pardon my drool), but he totally did me in. He had the New Sram XX1 mountain bike groupo there. I was asking questions about it fitting my Niner and he was like oh yeah, no sweat at all.. easy, peasy.  Oh and it just about falls on your bike out of the box, makes it crazy light and you will ride faster than ever before..... I want it. I don't need it, but for goodness sakes it is lighter and faster. Who wouldn't want that?

Some shots from the parking lot - looking both ways.
After a bit it was time to start. 10AM we lined up with all the other 62 mile racers.  We got our instructions via the megaphone and we took off.  We road for about 20 feet, then we all got bottle necked at the first bridge. Did the one foot boot scooting boogie across it and now we are off.

The first miles were not bad at all. Smooth paved roads with little gravel. All the bikers jockeyed for position as everyone was warming up.  Garry and I were mid pack at this point and working up. Up ahead you could see the paved road disappear into a gravelly climb. I saw quite a few people there stopped... working on their bikes or already pushing them. I quickly shifted to the small ring in the front, better safe than sorry.  We both made it up the hill  (Garry of course in front of me) but we passed quite a few people. Moving along it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.... so far it was either paved or very hard pack with some loose gravel. Up and down all the hills. Normally on a bike you can carry your speed down a hill to make the next climb easier. Not on this ride... the gravel totally steals any momentum. You work for every mile here.
Here is where the disappointment sets in... you think you are in good shape on the bike.... and 30 minutes into a 62 mile race you see the leaders ahead on the course (on a out an back section) and you realize that you are 2 miles behind. Two miles in 30 minutes... They are CRUSHING this ride.  To add insult to injury they were in a pace line hammering. It looked so cool!  I just told myself "Head down and keep pedaling".  The leaders are on the left side of the picture below.
There was so many different types of terrain on the race...
Paved Roads
Gravel Roads
Muddy Double Track
Single Track
After the last turn around we climbed on last major hill. It was mainly a dirt road that just climbed and climbed.  It was about 3/4 mile long and was steep. I remembered it from the ride down (I was thankful to have disc brakes).  Garry and I joked about the climb coming up to it - then we had the brilliant idea of clicking through our Garmin screens to see the % of climb. It was neat to watch the climb go from 2% to 4%, then jump straight to 8% and then 12%... but it kept going.... 16%.... 18% and finally stopping at 20%. I was like this must be a hump in the road. I looked back up and there was a ton more to climb and it looked all the same. I had never been on a hill that sustained that steep of a climb and just kept going.  Crazy... I was now thankful that Garry told me not to change the gearing on my bike. I loved having a 32 tooth big cog on the back (even though I secretly wished for a 36). Some of the climbs were just crazy. Here is a video of the climb.
So far the bike was doing good... no flats. I have seen tons of them. Lots of people on the side of the road fixing flats. I was trying not to look too much as I didn't want the God of Flats to smile upon my bike - it had already had it's fair share.  Other than about 10 miles of riding early with a stick that broke off and got wedged in my cassette preventing me from the bottom 3 gears the bike worked very well (and that stick did end up bouncing out, imagine that with all the gravel roads we were on).
As the end neared, the last 8 miles or so, the road were graced with a ton of fresh gravel. Yeah... nothing like trying to go fast, stay upright and climb a hill in 4 inches of fresh gravel. Let me tell you.. you do not go fast. You do not even think about standing to climb the hill on your bike. You look for any dirt showing on the down hills so you have a chance to slow down. I will say I did master the gravel surf feeling on the down hills by the end... feels like you are riding a squishy flat tire at 25 yeah at that point you want the race over one way or
So I am less than a mile from the end on a old abandoned road (now looks like just single track from people walking on it) and I see a guy on a cross bike slowly catching me.  I came across a abandoned bridge (the kind with a barrier totally blocking it's path). I lifted my bike over casually and coasted the bike over the bridge. I hear the guy behind me panting like a freight train... he is really trying to catch me. I get to the other side and as I am setting my bike on the other side of that barrier he is right there... I made a joke about the bridges condition... he just did the quick yeah, yeah, yeah laugh and was all business. Crap. I didn't come this far to get skunked for one spot here at the end. I jumped on my bike and pushed. No matter how much I pushed I couldn't build any speed. The overgrowth on the road was so bad I couldn't look down to see my tire to see if if had started going flat... so I just kept pushing. I saw the road closure sign ahead and open road... just need to get there and see. I pass the sign and look down. Tires are fine.. what the? Gears shift check. Legs are just toast. No gas. Dang. Here comes that guy again. Maybe I can sit on his wheel and survive, to fight again. He would have none of that. I heard him shift behind me and he pounded past me. I looked up past him and I could see the finish. Double crap. I now pushed with all I had... my only chance was the big creek crossing at the end... it was big and wide maybe 40 feet across with only inches of water in it but you had to ride through maybe a 10 foot stretch of water to cross it, the rest was mud and rocks.  I figure if I can get close enough I will just blast the crossing and hope for the best. I watched him carefully. He approached the crossing looking all around, was there a problem I didn't see? He must have gotten confused (or didn't want to do the creek crossing) as he tried to go the wrong way (the correct way was clearly taped on both sides for easy navigation) and he slowed and then entered the creek crossing. I lost sight of him for a second, maybe the crossing was too rough for a cross bike and I would just have to hike-a-bike it as fast as I can. I get there and it smoothly rolls into the creek.... I am still moving fast. I see the guy ahead trying to ride up the creek instead of the other side... again he is going off course. This is my shot. I pedal with all my might and I look like I will get him. Then he cuts back in on me on the climb up the other side. I change my line to the most right (which is definitely not the preferred route) and he unclips to walk to block the smoother left path. Luckily before I entered the crossing I went to the small ring in the front so I had enough power to climb the other side.. it was just going to be a balancing act with wet, muddy cross tires on my bike and the wet creek side. I made it. Passed the dude and road to the finish.
That felt good but now my body, knowing it was done, was letting me know that it did not appreciate the 5 hours of pounding it just took. Aches and stiffness were attacking my body like no one's business. Garry and I rolled over to the car, dropped the bikes off and a lady asked if we were staying for awards and door prizes. I asked when are they doing it. She said 3:30 - it was just after 3PM now - so we decided yeah no brainer. By the time we changed, ate dinner the awards would be moving along nicely. She handed us some beaded necklaces and told us to keep them for the raffle. So we quickly got all the muddy stuff off - changed and got cleaned up. Reloaded the car, and headed back in to get our Yat's catered meal. Cajun food.... and it was good. They even had pie for dessert.  Funny thing was there were no drinks. When I looked around it seemed that everyone knew it and they all had their own micro brews. Beer bottles everywhere.  Garry went back in to the general store and grabbed me another cherry coke. We brought no beer, and my water bottles were disgusting now. 
We ate and it passed 3:30 with no awards. We looked around and it always seemed there was the promise that they would start in just a few minutes. 4PM passed. 4:30PM passed, we couldn't leave now, we were to invested in the time. Yeah I had a 4 hour ride home, but last year one of the door prizes was a set of Zipp 303's. Around 5PM the show finally got going. First the beaded necklaces - they gave out 3 colors red, orange and black. If you had red, enjoy your necklace (Sorry Garry). If you had Orange (which I did) you won a free helmet. 4 of us were up there and the first guy was trying them all on blocking anyone from taking one until he finished picking. Really - we all had the same orange necklace he just beat everyone up there. I announced from the back I would take the black and white one. The guy behind him grabbed it and handed it back to me. I thanked him and looked back up to see the front guy panicked and just picking the one he had.... really. The helmets were all the same size and he was buying time as his friend was looking at them from his seat trying to tell him which one to get because it was the most expensive.  Dude - it is a free helmet. Pick one and move on. They weren't made of gold.  The one guy who got black beads got a set of Avid XO Hydro Disc brakes. Pretty cool! Next were the awards. Some of these guys were FAST! My official time was 4:57 (yes 4 hours and 57 minutes). The overall winner was 3:35 (with second place only 2 seconds behind him). That is crazy fast! 

With 182 racers registered for the 62 mile race - I came in 84th over all (Garry was 80th - would have totally been way better if he hadn't waited on me so much). Of the 182 racers only 155 finished the race, the rest were DNF's. In my Masters class - there was 85 racers I was 41st (Garry was 39th).  Not too bad for my first adventure into a race like this....
Three days later my legs are back to normal. I sit here with a scrape on my right knee, and my right ankle is still very sore (I popped out of my pedal in a muddy section doing my best cross dismount and the bike bounced funny and the pedal whacked me above my heel in the Achilles. It is sore in the morning (I look like Frankenstein walking) but after I am up moving around a bit it loosens up. Every day it is getting better so I'm sure it is just a bruise getting better.
I think I have said enough and rambled a bit to much here and there but that is all I got about this....
Fred out.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Stealing some November Sunshine

So last Friday Jenna (my daughter) decided to try lunch bunch after preschool. So now dropping her off I would have 4-1/2 hours (vs. 2-1/2) to get things done. The weather, which has been getting warm for November, was cooperating and the high of 50 was at noon. I decided to head out on the bike and rack up some miles.

I drove to Beatty Town bike path and started there. In my first 5 miles I had spotted 7 deer, maybe I should say they spotted me and scurried away. The sun was shining, it was going to be a great day. I really wanted to get in 80 miles but I started about 20 minutes later than I wanted and it was going to be close. So I start scooting down the path, paying attention not to go below 20mph... with all the crossings and slowing starting for the intersections I had to cross, at 30 minutes in I'm over 10 miles in... keeping the pace at one hour I was at over 21 miles (which means I was over 21 miles an hour), so I was back on track to hit the 80 miles I wanted.

As I was riding through Xenia and winding through the intersections I started to realize this could be one of the last outdoor rides of the year. Did I want to spending it head down, pounding away... or sit up and start counting the deer again. I chose the later. Sometimes speed isn't what you need.... you just need the sun on your face and the smile of each mile clicking by.... 

So now settling in I ventured farther than I had been before on the bike path. I saw the Beaver at the Beavercreek bike path station, the back side of areas I had only seen by car whizzing by at 35-40mph. I road next to Route 35, the north up the back side of Harshman... getting a little freaked out I ended up turning around. I was in the same neighborhood that my Mustang had it been gutted when they stole the stereo many years ago. If something happened now there was so many miles to get back home... it would be a LONG walk.

So on the way home I started seeing more and more bikers, runners and walkers. Each had that it's great to be outside smile on.... I wasn't the only one enjoying the weather. It's days like this you have to take advantage because you don't know when the next one would be... I ended up with 53 miles that day, but the sun therapy was worth that ten fold.

As it turns out Sunday worked out the same way... nice and warm - mid 50's by 1PM. Time for a ride. A small group met at the bike path on Villa road and we headed out for a ride. We went from Urbana to Catawba and back to Springfield... hitting tons of hills along the way. 1300 feet of climbing in 40 miles. Very nice. I have a great team, each person is a blast to ride with... one of the newest members this year is my wife Carisa. I cannot believe how well she is doing. I think her running shoes hate me. Ever since I reintroduced her to the bike, she has not had the same love for running she once did... sorry shoes! 

Carisa had ridden mountain bikes with me back in the day... then 11 years ago Freddy came along. Carisa got more focused on work (to take care of the family) and riding just seemed to stop. Life moved on. I kept riding but Carisa ended up moving to the treadmill to get some cardio. I think that is where is all started for her. Slowly, each year becoming more and more. Then just last year Freddy and I had been riding the tandem and pulling Jenna in the trailer, Carisa was on her hybrid path bike. She decided that maybe she would like to get back into it. Luckily for me one of my good friends from back in the mountain biking world had a road bike he was no longer going to use as it just wasn't for him and next thing you know Carisa had become a road biker in March of this year.

Riding with her has been a blast. She kills me with her drive and her desire to get better. Let me describe a situation that has happened more than once this year.  We are out on a planned ride, and 3/4 of the way through she looks at me and says lets go farther.... I look at the water bottles and snack supply and try to figure out how to make it happen. She's crazy like that. I think the most memorable one was in June when we headed out on a Young's Charity Training ride. It was supposed to be 60 miles.... that day she added enough to make it a Century (100 miles). When she decided to make it longer we hit the last rest stop in Xenia (42 mile mark) and loaded up on water and snacks. I had miscalculated the mileage we needed so when we got back to the car we had 92 miles..... I told Carisa head back out on the bike and I would pick her up with the car when she hit 100.  I gave her all the water I had left and she took off. I drove ahead of her to pick her up and she road past me like a Champ. She needed another 3/4 mile. She looped around and came back with 100 miles. I was amazed. She did this only months after starting to ride. She is stronger than she will ever know... she has the drive. I was so proud of her.  Thanks for being a great motivator and my riding buddy, I can't wait until next year!

That is all I have for now.... Thanks for reading my rambling..

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Colavita, Crankenstein and a Indoor Time Trial

It has been a month since my last post... I had totally intended to do this sooner... but it never happened.

Let's see since my last post was the last Colavita Time Trial, the Crankenstein race and my first indoor time trial.

I have to say the Colavita Time Trial series was great this year. I did more races than last year but still would have liked to do more. They do take a time commitment to get there and with kids and working around the Church and Sunday School thing it is tough. That being said, I think they are by far one of the best race series around. The bang for the buck is great, the friendliness of everyone (participants and workers- great family environment), great courses, etc. If you have never done one of these before, consider it. They are low pressure and if it is your first that is a great thing! I would like to Thank and Congratulate Roger, Christina and their whole team, you do a great job and your hard work does show in the races! Next year I promise to do more races!

Next up was the Crankenstein Time Trial by Speedyfeet. I had heard about this in years past but never got a team together to do it. This year was different. Champion City Cycling had a total of 3 teams going, and I was on one. If you don't know what the Crankenstein race is..... it is a 3 person timetrial for 99 miles.  Each team member goes out and does 22 miles individually then all 3 people go out together to complete the last 33 miles together. So rider 1 goes off then when done rider 2 goes off... then when done rider 3 goes off. Then when the 3rd person is done they all go out together to do the last 33 mile leg. So the 3rd person essentially does 55 miles all together with no break. They also have individual classes too.... either a 22 miler solo or the 99 mile solo (insane)!  It was a great time! The weather turned out absolutely perfect for it.  I would recommend this again! Thanks Jeff for the race!
I did my first Indoor time trial of the year this weekend. Yes you know just the other day when it was still very nice outside....ha! Anyways... I got down to Club51 and brought my bike and trainer and warmed up for about 20 minutes and then it was my turn to race. I did the 6.2 mile bike course in 16:52 - a new PR (beat my previous best time by about 40 seconds, increased my average wattage by almost 30watts too).  And originally Carisa had planned on going and trying this too but she got sick and wasn't able to make it so I raced in her place in the next race. Doing it again I finished just 10 seconds slower than before.... not too bad. But did that mean I had more left I should have been using in the first race? I need to drop more time... I hope to break out of the 16 minute range this season... that is my goal.  Thanks to Paul R, and to Team Dayton for putting this on! It is also very family friendly and talking with people there, they do not care what team you are on... just that you are coming out and having fun! Thanks for the great atmosphere and event!

That's all I have for now - I will try not to make my blogs so far apart next time (didn't I say that before)

Fred out

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Triathlons, Outdoor Fest, LA, Nite Rides and Fast AJ

Hey its only been 3 weeks this time.... and the sad thing is that I have thought... hey that's a great blog idea and I should do it... but alas.... here I am.
This last weekend I participated in the Wittenberg Triathlon. It was my first tri this year, not ever, but this year. Nice way to start into it... 40 degree day... perfect for a swim in the pool, a bike ride and run. Yeah right. What was I thinking. (This is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy - to quote a famous Clark Griswald to be exact... that is what I was thinking).

So anyways.. I survived. They got the results posted and I ended up 2nd in my age group, crazy. I haven't swam since my backyard pool has been closed (an you know you can train there really and I hadn't ran since the Air Force 10K.  The guy that beat me pretty much crushed me by like 10 minutes, so there was no chance for first. I think overall out of like 85 participants they had me listed 14th overall. I did go through the bike splits, and I did feel good that I was the 3rd fastest on the bike split and I was on my regular road bike with no aero wheel, no aero bars, etc... I did have a aero helmet.  And I was only out of being the fastest bike by 29 seconds.... not too shabby. So my good old Giant feel so bad sitting next to the Trek Speed Concepts, Felt DA's, and the Zipp wheels and discs.... we did just fine. I think my bike leg is pretty much what helped me finish so high up.

What else.... went to the Midwest Outdoor Experience. It was rainy and cold but it was awesome. I had a great time there. The atmosphere there is so energizing. Watched some little kids ride push bikes over a obstacle course that I don't think I would have ridden (I like my bones in one piece). Met a bunch of great people, and even had secret talks with the guys from Niner bikes about my Jet9 and what it will need to be taken to the next level. Overall I would definitely recommend this event next year... it was tons of fun. SO much outdoor stuff (bikes, zip lines, slack lines, etc), Live music, Great Lakes Beer, awesome food, and all the vendors. Great event!

Pro cycling news... the USDA finally released the report on Lance... crazy... all this 'evidence', and some how at the time when this is doing the sport so much good we find out about pretty much any US Pro cyclist has now admitted to using. The weird thing is in a court of law isn't this called hearsay and would not be admissible in a court of law. No one actually saw him do it, they saw LA and the drugs.... or at least that I have read yet. Now I do not doubt he used, but for them to go after LA and give him a lifetime ban after he is retired, and then to give the rest of the witnesses at most a 6 month ban starting September 1st (which is the start of the off season for a pro cyclist).... seriously?  Give everyone else a slap on the wrist but go above and beyond on LA. I am now anxiously awaiting the treatment Johan Bruyneel gets.... this is going to be interesting.

Did my first night ride with my wife Tuesday on the bike path. Made it from Springfield to Spring Valley and back. Got in 44 miles, half of which was in the dark. It is always a good time riding with Carisa. She seems to be really getting into in and doing very well. Funny thing happened coming back, you know your slacking when your riding along and she rolls up next to me and asks "Want me to pull for a bit?" - God lover her, but man I must have been slacking..... and yes she did pull me back up the 'hill' into Yellow Springs.
The bike path this time of year looks great, but is usually funky to ride on with all the junk on the trail... but never the less it the colors do make for great scenery.
We are less than 48 hours away from Ironman Kona. One of my best friends Dan "Fast AJ" Payton is there with a small entourage. Dan qualified and is going to lay it down at the race. He has trained well this year. He should be doing great things. My only words to him were to Enjoy it! He has done the work and if you race with a smile on your face nothing can bring you down. I am proud to call him my friend. Good luck Dan, you surely don't need it but it never bad to have the luck anyway!
Be thankful that I did not use a certain picture here that I saw posted on the Internet with you and Colin in it - with GU products and something about check out our packet. You people and these weird Undie Races..... yes I could have posted that, but it is on the Internet for the world to see (You can thank Colin for that).
And on the lighter side of things now....
SERIOUSLY? A luggage rack on a Miata? Chrome no less? And it is a clamp on mount from all the bracketry on the edges of the truck lid (hard to see in this picture). Where are you going that you are planning on strapping your luggage on the deck lid of your car that you will no longer see out the back window with when the luggage is there? Seriously? If it clamps on and you are not using it - TAKE IT OFF!
That is all - Fred OUT!

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's been a month since my last blog, I'm sorry...

Yeah, it has been a while. I have been busy, but that is just my excuse for laziness.

Since the last post, I did my first ever Tour de Donut. 32 miles with 2 rest stops where they serve big glazed donuts. For each donut you eat you get 5 minutes off your time. Sounds counter productive huh. It is not a serious race - it is a fun race! And it was really fun. Carisa did it on her road bike and I took the tandem with Freddy on the back and the Fred's pulled Jenna in the trailer.  The kids were very excited about the ride. At mile 6 - Jenna started yelling "Where are the donuts, I'm ready!" Needless to say when we got the first stop around mile 12, I tried to give Jenna a bite of my donut and she announced "No, I want my own with sprinkles on it!" Once I explained they were all the glazed variety she had totally lost interest in the ride, Ha! Freddy had 2 donuts at the first stop (the same with myself and Carisa). We took back off and cruised down the road. Everyone just talking and hanging out. There were so many riders of all strengths, you always were passing or being passed by riders. When we got to the last stop - everyone had more donuts and we watched as we saw a guy working on number 16. Thin little dude, I'm thinking how can he do that and not be in a diabetic shock? He was crouched down on the ground hovering over his cup of water as he dunked the donuts in there before eating them. Umm.. yeah.... Fred out... I'm not into competitive eating and watered down donuts do not appeal to me.  Anyways - we finished the ride and everyone had a great time - I'm pretty sure we will be back again next year. Donut count this year... Fred 4, Carisa 4, Freddy 3.  We even went to Farmer Brown's on the way home and got a pizza to go and had it in the car on the way home. Definitely recommend this place (Have to have the Farmer Brown sandwich).

The next weekend was the Air Force Marathon. Carisa was signed up for the 1/2 marathon and I was signed up for the 10K. Yeah we signed up right after New Years - all those fitness resolutions and stuff... why oh why.  Carisa got on a training plan this time (this was now her 2nd 1/2 she has completed), and I wasn't so much on a training plan. I didn't run the first of the year for fear of soreness or injury preventing me from a good Mount Mitchell ride. Then I had every other excuse I could come up with..... 2 weeks before the race I went out and ran 4 miles cold turkey. Just to know I could do it, 12 minute miles... at least I was moving and not walking. Horrible pace but I felt like I could keep going no problem. I intended to run a few more times before the race but that never happened. The day before I knew I had to do something. So I figured if I could run 2 miles and see how I felt I would know how much Motrin to take before the race to make it. I go out and the first mile was 8:34 pace.... I stopped there and walked back home. I wanted to finish on a good note.  Saturday morning and up early to head to WPAFB for the race.  The full marathoners and 10K'ers all left at the same time. I just kept running watching other people - keeping it in my mind if they can do it so can I. I ended up a 59:11 for the 10K - got it done in less than an hour. Nice!  Needless to say that is the farthest I have ran in my life and I have no interest to do it or any more in my future. Carisa got done in less than 2 hours... got her goal. The course got screwed up with the 1/2 runners some ran more and some ran less, I guess that is how it goes.

Now on to my newest adventure. Cyclocross. Yes, thin mountain bike type tires on a road bike. Includes running over barrier obstacles and riding as fast as you can for 30-45 minute races. All while dodging other riders and sliding in the mud. I figure this should help me keep my fitness over winter and increase my bike handling skills.

This is the picture from my first cross practice.  I learned if I am not anaerobic I am not going hard enough and it is very important HOW to grab your bike to get over the barriers and even more importantly how to properly jump back on the bike (even though I have been catching myself doing the stutter step). This is so much fun, hard work, but I can see if I stick with it, it will definitely pay off next year.

That's all I have to say about that.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Lance.....

Lance Armstrong.... many things come to mind when you hear that name. Obviously the Tour de France, fast cyclist, Trek, PED's and many other things. We all loved him in the Tour with his bold attitude showing the world that the USA was a power to be reckoned with..... but looking back is it all worth it? 

Here is my take on Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED's). The UCI (International Cycling Union) test for them, and also do random testing throughout the year. Lance claims to be one of the most tested athletes ever. That may be.... but, I think he used. I think he was able to take the rules of the race... look at them, analyze what his body needed to be better and stay under any measurable levels that would disqualify him. Basically I believe he did absolutely everything medically he could but to the extent he stayed under any limits or detections. Now I also believe that the other top echelon riders did the same - the ones that got caught did not figure it right sometimes and that led to the test failures. Lance was either better or just lucky with the amount of additives he used. Supposedly he has never failed a test (where both the A and B sample were both positive).

With that being said the USADA (US Anti-Doping Agency) has collected testimony from his team mates that was supposedly the evidence that would prove he doped by either first hand experience or knowledge of it happening. That would have been a 3 ring circus. Since Lance has decided not to go to the arbitration we don't get to see that... although Johan Brunyeel is going through the arbitration - so there still could be a circus coming to town. Any of Lance's skeletons in his closet he was trying to keep there by skipping the arbitration could still come out. That is of course unless Johan drops his arbitration and just takes a life long seat on the Livestrong board to match his lifetime ban from cycling.

His legacy is being determined as we speak.  Yeah he won 7 Tour's... even if he loses the official wins, everyone will remember he won 7 and changed the way winners of the Tour approached the race. Now training specifically for the Tour instead of just trying to peak then, make the Tour the main focus of a entire year of racing. His rough attitude was what we liked when he destroyed other riders, but also why we hated him when his attitude was bigger than his bike shorts here in the US with anyone that crossed him or he just didn't get along with. He tried to take some of his power and make Cancer awareness a bigger thing - everyone had a yellow bracelet right? The everyone made bracelets for everything.

Anyways I digress. I will still continue to ride my bike with my Zym spiked water, and Gu Chomps and Powerbars (all I hope to make me a better rider)........

Monday, July 30, 2012

Top 10 Driving Pet Peeves

This one is a little different.  I recently spent some time driving on the highway and noticed a few things about the drivers in the USA. Even though some things are not illegal, you still wouldn't do them in front of a cop, but out on your own with just the other drivers, it seems to be fair game...... Here are some of the offenses I would like to see penalized....

#1 - Texting while driving. Seriously? You should NOT be doing this at all. If someone is sending you a text, then it cannot be important. It can wait until you are stopped, or at your destination. I will not text you if your child broke an arm, your mom was in a car wreck or what ever, I promise I will call you.

#2 - Weaving through traffic like Speed Racer just to slow down after you pass everyone. Seriously You put the moves on everyone like AJ Foyt in the traffic then slow down after? What was the rush?

#3 - When you merge on to the highway from the on ramp and try to take more than one lane as you merge regardless of where the traffic is you are merging into... or better yet, if someone else is doing the multi lane merge and it causes an even bigger multi lane merge from someone else.

#4 - On the highway with 3 lanes of moving traffic... you run across the occasional driver that has to drive in the fast lane.  Seriously? I even had one guy I came up on and he was in the center lane, only to move to the left lane to let me pass. Really? SLOWER TRAFFIC MOVE RIGHT.

#5 - As you drive down the highway and sometimes other cars will end up driving with you.... you get the occasional driver that is scared of the left lane. They will only pass on the right. Thinking they will be hidden from the Do they realize that a car passing on the wrong side stands out more?

#6 - Just because my truck down shifted going up that hill doesn't mean I want to race your rice rocket.

#7 - I don't care about the graphics, the wheels, or how loud your exhaust is... a VW Beetle is still a chick car. Other chick cars are Mazda Miata, Mini Cooper convertible, and others...

#8 - Passing some one just to get in front of them to turn. This has happened to me 2 times in the last week. The worst was as I turned on Shrine road by Fents Ice Cream (come on everyone knows where that is) I had a bunch of kids in a Ford Ranger pass me only to slam on the brakes to turn into Ryman Baseball Field. Did I mention the rocket scientists in the truck had a kid jumping around loose in the bed of the truck too. Nice.....

#9 - Speed limit drivers in the Fast Lane. The fast lane is for passing... not driving the speed limit. If you are going to drive the limit with everyone else - just get in the slow lane and drive with everyone else.

#10 - Turn Signals. Some people do not use them. For what ever reason... carrying their coffee, talking on the phone, not paying attention.... the turn signal gets ignored. It is a very useful bit of info for the drivers around you. Use it - they are not optional equipment on your car.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Repairing a Garmin Edge 500

OK - so last Monday on the TNP ride, I got a little crazy. Ended up on the ground. Biggest thing was that when I went down I plainly remember my hand going from the brake lever across the bars and hitting my Garmin. knocking it off the bike. Well.... it came off and still works - but it broke the mounting tabs off the bottom.

The Tabs..

The problem is now it will no longer stay on the bike.. those tiny little tabs are what keep it in place. Turns out this is a more common problem with them the tabs breaking off after I did a Internet search. If your unit is less than a year old and it wasn't wrecked - there is a chance you can get it warrantied. Mine is out of warranty... so after checking around it is $90 in the US to get if fixed. Which consists of sending the unit back and getting a newly refurbished unit back.  Now this is where my cheapness kicked in... if it's $90 to send it back because it broke - I might as well try to fix it first... what am I out - just the time I spend trying to fix it and whatever supplies I buy.

Doing research on Loctite's website for the best adhesive - this is what I used.....

The package says after 24 hours it can be filed, drilled, and worked. So we shall see.

The mix....

And applied to the Garmin...

I let it dry for 24 hours (just... because I had a ride I wanted to use if for that night). I first filed the blobs flat with the round cam... and it filed nicely. Next I filed the tab shapes (a dremel works fine here). Now I had to notch them. The file didn't want to do this to easily - so I took a hack saw blade and made the grooves - then went back with the file and made them a little wider.

The finished product....

I have since used the computer now 5 times over the last 10 days and took it on and off probably 100 times - showing everyone, and I don't transport my bike with it on. Still looks good. Actually when I filed the tabs I kept fitting it into the Garmin bike mount and I made sure to leave it on the tight side, as compared to the factory fit.

 So for $6 at Lowes - you can repair this your self. Get the resin, spend 5 minutes cleaning the Garmin and applying the resin, let it sit 24 hours. File it to fit the mount. Back in business. Worst case is that is still costs $90 to send it back to Garmin as a broken unit.