Sunday, October 26, 2008

Get Out of Jail Free Pass

Today the weather cooperated. Absolutely a beautiful day here in NWA. I took the dogs out for a run this morning through the trails on top of Mount Sequoia. I don't usually take my sisters dog on runs but today I just couldn't leave her behind. She did great, I wasn't sure how she would act. She(Randy) stayed right with us, I never got the idea that she was wanting to run away from Smuckers and me. The run was just a hair over an hour and the legs felt great. The dogs, however, started to tire somewhere around 45 minutes. They made it though.

Second workout today was an hour and a half mountain bike ride. Decided to hit the multi-use trail, ride one lap at Lake Fayetteville and return home. I guess everyone had a get out of jail free pass today as I must have seen at least a hundred people on the 8 miles of paved trail. It was insane, I've never seen that many cyclist when it wasn't an organized ride. It was really good to see everyone out enjoying this great weather.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Arrgh! Rain!

I knew we had rain forecasted for today so it shouldn't have been a great suprise that my afternoon run was rained out today. I watched the weather all day, no rain in sight with temps right around 68 degrees. I wanted to run so bad, however work load was high so sneaking out for a midday run was not possible. I get off work at 430 every day, about 345 today I notice the sky getting really dark. Sure enough, about 30 minutes later rain falls. My commute home was a little wet to say the least. Thanks to the bike trails at least I didn't have to fight the rain and traffic.

The temperature has dropped about 15 degrees and it is still raining, as I type. I didn't make my run today. Not a huge deal, however, I will start preparing better for inclement weather. I have at my disposal a great gym with treadmils, pool, workout equipment, etc. Gives me no reason to miss workouts, just need to be prepared i.e bring workout clothes.

I'm looking for a trainer. Never thought I would be in the market for one, but I think it makes sense. Lots of bike training this winter with limited daylight and the possibility of rainy, nasty weather. I'll still hit the trails a lot, I'm a big fan of night riding and will ride outdoors as often as possible. Nontheless, a trainer or rollers is in my near future. I foresee much pain and suffering prescribed by this guy Bring it!

Monday, October 20, 2008


This is probably a post that every cyclist/blogger has done or will do. Tires. I've always been a geek when it comes to bike shoes. The other day I tried to recount all the bike tires I have ever used and have come up with a pretty good list.

Onza Rip
Onza Rail
Panaracer Smoke
Panaracer Dart
Panaracer Smoke(White)
IRC Mythos
Continental SS(loved these tires while in north LA)
Specialized Roll X
Tioga Blue Dragon
Specialized Roll X Pro
Geax Blade 200
Kenda Nevegal
Maxxis Ranchero
Maxxis Larssen 2.0 tubeless
Continental Explorer

I'm sure I have forgotten a few tires, these are the ones I can remember.

My point is that I think tires are an extremely important part of the whole mountain biking experience and they can make the difference between an outstanding experience and a truly suck time on the mtb.

Of all those tires listed above, only a few I can endorse as working here in NWA. The Nevegals are great tires for NWA, they work in all conditions. The only downfall is that they are sloooow. Not for racing, great for training just not for racing. The second tire I would recomend for NWA is the Maxxis Ranchero. I have to admit that I was a little skeptical when this tire was suggested by a local bike shop. I bought the tire, used it, it rocked. Hooked up well on climbs and descents, my only complain is that the tire failed with a cut sidewall(within 2 months). Still a great tire. The final tire I want to sing praises to is the Maxxis Larssen. So far this has been the most stable tire I have ridden. It's predictable and supple, I love the tire front and rear.

There you have it. A tire review from a blogger, how unique. Tires are hard to quantify, there are so many different terrains and every tire behaves differently. The tires I have mentioned work great here in NWA

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lake Leatherwood

Got a solid three hour ride out in Lake Leatherwood this morning. My plan was to ride the Xterra course twice for my scheduled 3 hr mtb ride. I did get one loop of the 13 mile course in, 1hr 35min. The winner of this event last year had a bike split of 1 hr 18min, I think I can come really close to beating that time. Today was just a casual ride, easy on the flats but I did go hard on the hills. I did get to ride Miner's Rock trail three times, it is by far my favorite trail. Total length is a little less than 4 miles. You have to climb from either end, but you are rewarded at the top with some of the best bench cut singletrack I've ever ridden. Just a hair over two miles of flowing singletrack that always puts a huge grin on my face.

Weather really sucked today in NWA. Sunny, light breeze and a high of 69 degrees. Damn the bad luck. I saw 6 bikers out on the trail today. 9 out of 10 times I ride at LL I do not see another biker. I did see a rider on Miner's Rock who wasn't wearing a helmet. What? How can someone be that ignorant?

Here are a few pics from today's ride, the leaves are falling

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Laying Low

Not to much going on around here lately. I've been laying low after my race last Sunday. Training wise, just a few spins on the bike, a couple super mellow runs. So far my knee has done just fine. No pain during either of the last two runs. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

This weekend should be great, sunny with highs in the mid sixties. Saturday I have a three hour mountain bike ride planned, where to ride? I think I have narrowed it down to Dennis Moore's trail or Lake Leatherwood in Eureka Springs. Both are outstanding trails with LL being the longer of the two. It is also the site of the Eureka Springs Xterra. I want to do this race next year as long as it doesn't conflict with this, like it did this year. Anyway, I know the ES Xterra course well. I believe it is about thirteen miles and hits every major climb in the park. Twice around would get me my prescribed three hours. On the other hand, Dennis Moore's trail recqires only human powered transportation to get to the trail head. I can leave straight from my house, ride the road for about 45 minutes one way, hit one loop, and ride home for a solid 3 hr ride. Of course I could head out to Hobb's or maybe Devil's Den or Lake Wedington. It's good to have choices.

Sunday is for running, I have an hour trail run as my main workout. I'm gonna head out to Lake Wedington with Smuckers.

I'm ready for some trails

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Two Turtles Race Report

The first race of the four race series was this morning at the Two Turtles trail at Lake Fayetteville. All these races will be around nine miles of varying terrain, today was about 70% dirt and 30% paved trail. I don't know if I was just pumped for my first race in a while, but during my warmup as I was easy jogging my heart rate was up to 161. WTF? I tried not to let it bother me, just chalked it up to pre-race jitters. The race was small, I don't know yet how many entered.

I did notice a couple former Razorback XC runners at the start, so there were definitely some fast runners on hand. Started the race in a large field that funneled the racers onto a paved trail. The paved trail lasted for about a mile and a half, then it was onto the dirt trail. I felt great through the first 6 miles, I started to tire about then. I didn't bring any calories or water with me, i feel like I could have used some calories sometime around mile 6 or 7. At mile seven I also started to feel a tweak in my left knee, not really the same location as my IT band pain but really close. The last couple of miles were at a very slow pace, got passed by four people. Finished the race 1.14, not great but not terrible.

My left knee still has a dull ache. I left the race shortly after I finished and went straight to the pool for a super mellow swim. When I got home, I stretched a bit and took an ice bath. Keeping my fingers crossed that all will be better tomorrow. Gonna relax, drink a couple beers, and watch some college football. Hope the Hogs can get a W, we need one.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ice Bath, Weak Core

Why have I waited so long to try an ice bath? My problems with my IT band have been well documented on this site, stretching and rest so far have been my only course of action to ameliorate my situation. Until now, I have known about ice baths for a while now but have been skeptical. Well, I tried one tonight after a run, so far my legs feel great. The real test will be how snappy the legs feel tomorrow. Ice baths may become a regular routine for recovery and injury prevention.

On another note, during a run last week which included some hill intervals I noticed that on the jog down the technical trail to start another hill climb my stomach muscles and lower back(core) became fatigued. I informed TG about this and he prescribed some core strengthening workouts. These wo's are kicking my ass. I've never done any type of core work and I'm paying for it now. I've read several articles about core strength and running, basically a strong core=more efficient running.

Trail running race coming up this weekend at Lake Fayetteville. From what I understand the race should be two laps around the lake for a total of~9 miles, basically a 15k. This is the first race in a four or five race point series, should be good times. Race report on Saturday.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Swimming, Biking and Running

I didn't make it out to Dennis Moore's trail as advertised, I opted for a ride on the trails on Kessler mountain instead. The Fayetteville area received probably a tenth of an inch of rain Saturday morning, so I didn't want to risk riding on DM's trail. He's pretty picky about his trail and the last thing I would want to do is upset him. Kessler drains very well and I waited around until about 2p to start my ride, I knew it would be dry enough to ride. Total ride time was just over three hours. Add in an hour in the pool. I slept well last night.

Today was my long run for the week, scheduled for an hour. Smuckers and I headed up the hill to the Sequoia Woods trail. I'm lucky to have such an awesome trail so close to my house. I pulled off the run followed by an easy spin on the bike. Took my camera along, here are a few pics


Friday, October 3, 2008

Looking Back

Tonight I found an old photo of myself running in a duathlon in Shreveport in 06. It got me thinking about my progression as an athlete. At the time of the photo I really thought that I was in great shape. Looking back, I was not in shape at all for the duathlon. That race was absolutlely terrible, but that is another story. Looking back I really wasn't in shape at all. I have been swimming, cycling, and running for a couple years since then. Each year, so far, has brought a new level of fitness. My only hope is that in a year from now I can look back at this post and can say that I have achieved a new level of fitness for myself. That is all I can hope for, progress.

I'm geeked about next year, my goal is to qualify for Xterra nationals. I have been reading these guys blogs, James Cody, as they prepare for this years nats. I want to go next year. I have some guidance, Trevor, in my pursuit of a nationals berth. TG has been great, personalized workouts, no cookie cutter, one size fits all. I look forward to working with him to achieve my goals.

I'm riding Dennis Moore's trail tomorrow. I will take my camera and post some pics Saturday night. We have some great trails here in Arkansas, Syllamo and Womble, both IMBA epics. Not to mention several other trails that are worthy of high regard. DM's trail, however, won't even get mention among mtb'ers that live just miles from it's corridor. Most people don't even know it exists. Dennis Moore is a long time resident of the Fayeteville area that owns several acres just outside of Fayetteville close to Farmington. An avid cyclist, Dennis constructed a ~6 mile network of technical singltrack trail atop a large hill(I can't call them mountains, even though technically they are). I love this trail, it's short but very technical. It can be the best or worst mountain biking expierence, some days I can fly through all the rock other days I'm not so fluid. Not to mention the nasty hill you have to climb just to get to the start of the trail, lungbuster. TG has me doing a intervals on the climb before the fun singletrack.