Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dry Week to a Wet Weekend

A dry week here in NWA led to rain on Saturday and Sunday. The week was absolutely gorgeous weather wise and of course I was sick. I did get some training in through the week, two runs, a swim, and a mountain bike ride. Saturday morning I got out for a longish trail run with Smuckers. Even after a week of no rain, the trail still had water draining. The run was solid, 50 minutes and the legs felt great.

Today I headed out to Lake Leatherwood, site of my first Xterra, for a timed mountain bike loop to see how I stack up against last years competitors. Average time last year among the top twenty finishers is roughly 1hr 25min, I feel this is a time that I can duplicate or better. So I headed out to Eureka with a goal in mind and to push myself to achieve it. I get to LL about 10a, I knew I needed to get my ride in quick as showers and T'storms would be moving in shortly after noon. First thing I notice is that there is a lot of standing water around the campgrounds, not a good sign. Must have gotten rain the previous night. I kit up and head out anyway. Half way up Miner's Rock climb I knew it was going to a long day on the trail. When Miner's is wet, the rest of the lower trails are really going to be wet and slick. However, I pressed on hoping for the best. Made it up and down Miner's without much trouble, a couple of downed trees I had to hike around. The rest of the nine miles was a real test of my handling/technical skills. The trail wasn't really muddy, but every rock and root felt like it was covered in slime. Any kind of technical climb had me off the bike walking, I felt like a complete newb. I limped my way through the course to finish in 1hr 45min. I road up and down Miner's Rock a few times to round out the mileage at 19 miles for the day. I'm hoping for a dry course next Sunday as I am planning ride the bike course and then follow with the run course

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I managed a two hour mountain bike ride today, a major accomplishment given my sickness. I was supposed to meet some friends for a ride at Dennis Moore's trail but given my fragile state I decided to stay on the flat trails of Lake Fayetteville. It was a good choice, my legs felt great and I finished the ride wanting to go longer. That's a good sign that my sickness is about over. The weather today was perfect, upper 70's light breeze and all the sunshine you could ever want. Saw lots of people on the trail, mostly hikers but also a large amount of bikers sans helmet. What the hell? Every time I see the morons bombing down the trail with no protection I want to yell at them. Sometimes I do yell "HELMET!" as I pass, just depends on what kind of mood I'm feeling.
Also, I have to say that I am loving the new bike. The bike fits. I have been riding bikes that are to big for me. My current ride is a 17" Stumpjumper 29er(I'm 5'10 with 32" inseam) and when I first saw it I thought no way is that bike going to fit me. It looked really small with a seriously sloping top tube. The bike took some getting used to, but after I got the longer seatpost everything fell into place.
My mom is in town, always good to see her. She took me out to eat tonight at Powerhouse. She had the Salmon with a spicy ginger sauce that was awesome, I had the Bleu Cheese fillet, it did not disappoint, cooked to perfection. Great meal.
Heal up LC.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Feeling a bit under the weather, hopefully the worst has past. I managed to get out for a 30 minute run today. I felt ok, just a bit tired now.
No fever, just wicked sinus congestion, a sore throat, pressure, ear popping, runny nose, extreme Barry White voice. The latter really drives the women wild.
More content later, planning to ride tomorrow.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A New Post, A Criterium, and A Dry Trail

The new seat post came in late last week. This is my first expierence with a Thomson seatpost, I have to say that the set-up was extremely easy. Getting the seat to sit like I wanted was a joy, most of the seat posts I have used in the past were frustrating and didn't always line up correctly. Did I mention it was pretty? Well it is, sleek and simple. Finally I can get the correct extension without risk of damaging the frame or seatpost. It's a long post, here it is compared to my previous post.

Sunday was the Joe Martin Crit that covered a 1.1 mile course around downtown Fayetteville and the entertainment district. I have been to this crit for the last five years and it never gets old to me. I love watching the pro's zoom down Dickson street at 40+mph in a pack of a 100. My dog and I wandered around catching different vantage points along the route for a few hours. Floyd was in town. Apparently he didn't like me taking his picture, both times I tried he was either looking away or his hand was blocking his face. Coincidence? I think not. I'll post them both and you can draw your own conclusions.

This was taken before the crit, the OUCH team picked a great spot to chill. FL just so happens to be looking away at nothing in paticular

This one is just after Floyd dropped out of the crit. I'm across the street, not sure what the hand gesture is all about. Is it code, perhaps a roadie gesture for don't take my picture?

I'm sure he gets bombarded every town he visits. I tried to snap two pics, with no sucsess. I talked to others that said he posed for pics with them all weekend. Guess I need to work on my approach.

Two days of no rain had me itching for some singletrack. Late on Sunday I headed out to Hobb's State Park as it is the fastest draining trail in the area. It is always the first trail to dry out and if I had any chance of an actual mountain bike ride this was it. I was pleasantly suprised to discover perfect trail conditions. This trail is an anomaly. I went for a trail run late Sat. only to abort because the trail was half submerged. I had a blast on the trail, the bike performed great. Ended up with 22 miles in a couple hours. That put me at 102 miles for the week on the mountain bike. I also put in 2.5 hours of running, and an hour of core work. 13.5 hours total for the week. Not great but I will take it given all the rain we've been having.

This week I should see a higher volume of training given that my Tuesdays and Thursday evenings are now free, no more classes!

Here are a few pics of the crit

Friday, May 8, 2009


The Ergon grips showed up at the shop today. What a relief, my hands and arms were tired of the traditional grips that came with the bike. No more pain or numbness. Seatpost and brakes should be in soon. The race bike is shaping up, now I just need some dry weather so I can get on some singletrack.

The grips look good, hope that someday I can get a pair in Ergon Green

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Beyond Saturated

Today marks the seventh day in a row we have had measurable rain and plainly put I am sick of it. The sun peaked out for about two hours today, long enough to bring on some thunderstorms just a few hours later. This weather is killing me, my brand new mountain bike hasn't been ridden off road as much as I would like.
The good news is that I have been logging some solid run time in the last week and a half. My run sessions have been kept on the short side, 35-50 minute range. This seems best for me, longer runs at this point seem to take to long to recover from. I believe that was part of my problem last year, I always wanted to go for long runs at the wrong time and I ended up injured. This year, quality not quantity.
Sunday I woke up to what I thought was just a cloudy, overcast sky until I got outside to find a heavy mist/light rain combo falling. Crap! I thought to myself, I have all day, I'll wait it out, no way this keeps up all day. That was at 8a, fast forward to 5p, same exact conditions. At that point, I was done with sitting indoors on my only day off. So, I kitted up and headed out in the rain. Three hours in the rain, on a mountain bike, on the road is not my ideal Sunday ride, but you take what you are given. I needed some quality time on the bike and I was going to get it anyway I could. Most of the ride was urban, I'm sure people were wondering wtf? is this guy doing out in these conditions. I like to think that maybe I just might motivate someone out there to get out and exercise.
The new bike is awesome, I love it. Talked with the good people at Avid and they are sending me a set of Juicy 7's to replace the ill Juicy 5's. Avid's customer service rocks, very good support for their products. Also, I have a set of Ergon GX2 grips that should arrive late this week. They can't come soon enough. The regular grips that came on the Stumpy are killing my hands on longer rides. Ergon grips really are worth the money, you can't put a price on being comfortable. One more addition, a Thomson 410mm seatpost. I have the og Specialized seatpost maxxed and I need an additional 3cm of height to achieve optimum leg extension. I really wasn't happy about shelling out 55 bucks for a new sp for just over an inch, but the fit will be just right. I'll be able to get the nice saddle to stem drop that is sometimes elusive with 29ers. I'll post a pic when I get all the new bits installed.
Hope it's drier where you are. Congrats goes to my Mom and her Airline High School tennis team for a job well done at state. Great way to go out!