Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Turner frames have arrived!

This year, my team, DART-nuun is sponsored by Turner Bikes. I couldn’t be more excited about this. Turner is known for their attention to detail and their precision performance suspensions. As a team we’ll ride either the Nitrous or the Flux. Since I also race in solo endurance mountain bike events where having two bikes is essential, I got one of each!

The Nitrous is their super aggressive, top notch cross country racing frame. It’s got 3.1” of rear travel…. and it’s just 4.5 lbs!!! Geoff Kabush, who if you don’t know is many time NORBA National Champion in XC and short track mountain biking (not to mention cyclocross champ) races this rig. If it’s good enough for Kabush.. I’ll ride it.

The Flux is Turner’s endurance racing bike. It’s weighs in at 5.6 lbs and has 4” of travel (Fox RP3 Shock) with a more relaxed geometry for longer distance riding. Of the two I bet I ride this bike more often because it will be more comfy, less aggressive geometry. Oh and it’s this insane shiny chrome! Check it out.

Waiting on parts from our bike component sponsor Full Speed Ahead before I can put them together.. boohoo.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Primal Quest Horse Certification - Check

Our team’s biggest race of this season will be the Primal Quest. It’s a 7-10 day, 500mile/800km expedition adventure race. It’s has the biggest prize purse ($250,000) and usually airs on CBS during the NFL playoff season. It has become adventure racings premier race and typically it’s most difficult. To race you have to jump through many hoops, including getting six skill certifications:
1. First Aid
2. Horse Back Riding
3. Navigation
4. Climbing
5. Kayaking
6. Swimming

This weekend RVG and I traveled to Enumclaw to take care of the horse certification. Here is what we had to learn:

-Properly Saddling, mounting and dismounting
-Ability to trot-Ability to stop and turn a horse
-Ability to successfully cross a knee high, moderately moving stream riding or leading a horse
-Ability to recognize when a horse is stressed
-Show proper use of Horse Helmet, Hoof Pick, Rigging Lines and strapsfor securing gear to saddle.

I’m allergic to horse hair so I envisioned this really sucking. However horses and donkeys are amazing animals, and we had a blast learning to ride them. After that we went for a two hour run in Black Diamond.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Chuckanut 50k Ultra Marathon

Saturday I volunteered at the Chuckanut 50k ultra-marathon.
The alarm went off at 4:45am and I have to admit it was easier to get up because I didn’t have to prepare to race… or worry about anything. I just had to get dressed and show up at Justin’s house on time – easy. When we arrived I dropped off my runners, Justin Angle, Mike Adams and Jeff then checked in with the race staff. I was stationed at aid station 3/4, located at the beginning and end of the Lost Lake Overlook loop. Krissy had given me the cool job of running the 8 mile loop before the racers arrived and making sure it was flagged properly. The trail was awesome, with gorgeous views from the ridge of Bellingham the Sound and Lost Lake.

After running the loop I helped at the aid station, giving people water, nuun, Coke, refilling water bottles for them, etc. There were a handful of adventure racers running, it was fun to cheer them on: The Yeager brothers (TRIOBA race directors), Team MPGear.com (Jen/Rick Jerebec, Cliff Lyles) and a local team racing in PQ, Team TBD.

It was a very exciting race as Uli Steidl came through our aid station at mile 21 right behind some young hotshot from Olympia. Uli apparently wins everything; tons of Seattle Marathon victories, various ultras, I guess he’s just that good. He was apparently just playing with this young guy as I heard in the last 10 miles he put considerable time on him.

Oh yeah and I take back what I said about my teammates coming through Aid Station 4 suffering. Both Glenn and Tyler were looking super strong as they came through the 2nd to last aid station at 21 miles, with 10 miles left until the finish line. Glenn ran a 4:51, Tyler a 6:15,. My non DART-nuun friends also faired well with Justin Angle hammering the field to place 5th in 4:14 – so impressive, and Mike Adams finishing in a strong 5:10. Good times.

See the results here and photos here.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Chuckanut Run

Saturday I had some fun running with a few friends who, well let’s just say they are ultra runners, and very talented ones at that; Krissy Moehl, John Stamstad and Justin Angle. We ran the middle 18 miles (the interesting and hilly miles) of the Chuckanut Mountain 50k Trail Run. Since I’ve never been to Chuckanut Mountain I had no idea that the Chuckanut course was so awesome. There was 3” of snow up the dirt road, but most of the 18 miles was beautiful undulating trail, with a couple big climbs and incredible views of the Puget Sound and the surrounding mountains. At the end of the Lost Lake Overlook loop there was a bit of mud, so it’s doubtful there will be any course records set if the conditions don’t change this week. By the way, the record for the 50k/31 mile course with over 5,000 feet of gain was set last year by Uli Steidl at 3:43. That is fast. Chuckanut mountain is south of Bellingham, WA and the course runs through the Larrabee State Park. Since I’m not racing I am going to volunteer and help at aid station 3/4. My teammates Glenn Rogers and Tyler Patterson are racing so it will be fun to cheer them on as they come through this late race aid station suffering. =)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Hunger Defines Me

I recently read this article in Dime Magazine that Kobe Bryant wrote. He starts the article with the sentence “Hunger defines me”. I am not a Kobe Bryant fan really, but you have to admire his passion and dedication. In this article he discusses what motivates him; insecurities, fear of not winning another championship, the challenge of proving his doubters wrong, etc. It’s a very interesting read. I guess insecurities can work for you at times.

This quote struck me as I can relate to the bit about leaving it on the court or in my case the course. "When they (fans) leave they’ll leave with the understanding that they have just witnessed a player give himself completely to his passion; they have just watched an athlete pour every ounce of his heart and soul out on that floor." To succeed you have to be willing to sacrifice, you have to be willing to pour every ounce of your heart and soul into what you are doing.

So... are you letting others expectations direct you? Are you giving yourself completely to your passion?

training jibber jabber

I’m sure someone is curious what kind of days I am putting in… here is the last two, nothing special:

Yesterday
Run: 3:31 intensity – 18 miles 4,800 feet of gain
Bike: 1 hour easy overdistance (heart rate level 1)

Today
Bike: 1 hour spin class (intensity), 86 minutes easy overdistance, 26 minutes of hill climbing
Run: 31 min easy level 1
Weights: 26 min (chest, abs, stretching)

Still early season so I am focusing on my base training. Base training describes my focus or goal for this time period or mesocycle. A mesocycle simply defines a period of training that has one focus or goal (typically a 4-8 week period). This is my recovery week in this mesocycle. That means this week will have my lowest total training hours of the last 4 weeks. Base training is typically long, slow, low intensity training. Although my last two days are bad examples of low intensity, they are good examples of how you do need some intensity even in your base training mesocycle. You won't see me doing any race pace at this point and the intensity work is kept to a very low percentage of my overall training. Jibber jabber.

If you don't train and you read the above text I leave you this as my apology. A confession from a doping shithead - http://www.velonews.com/news/fea/9497.0.html

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Adventure Racing 101 - REI Seattle

Adventure racing is an intimidating sport. You have to be able to mountain bike, trail run/bushwhack/trek, paddle a kayak, ascend and descend ropes, all while using your map and compass to navigate from one checkpoint to the next and finish the course. When I started I was very confident on my feet as well as riding a mountain bike, these are sports I already did for fun. However I had very little experience on a rope. So I sought out the proper training to learn how to ascend and rappel. AR is not rocket science, but it's nice to have someone who is experienced help you along the way.

In an effort to help the continued growth of adventure racing my team DART nuun frequently puts on adventure racing clinics. Give in to that curiosity and come check out our free class next week.

DART Adventure Racing Presents:

Adventure Racing 101
3/15/2006 Wednesday 7:00 PM
Seattle Flagship:

Is adventure (multi-sport) racing as crazy as it looks?

Members of Washington adventure racing team, DART, will pull from their years of adventure racing experiences to bring you informative tips, training advice, gear suggestions and suggestions on how to get started adventure racing. Come and get hooked up with some great resources! This is an informative discussion of gear and racing techniques.

Location: Seattle REI Meeting Room
Contact: Seattle REI 206.223.1944
Cost: Free
Registration Required? No.

Thursday, March 2, 2006

let the base training begin

Without a real “plan” Cyril and I decided to do a “longish” road ride yesterday.
I figured we’d be out for a few hours, maybe 30-50 miles. But the weather was great, sunny and 40 - 50 degrees. The Cascade Mountains in all there glory provided the background. So we just kept riding. Starting in the U-district we rode 101 miles from the city to the farm lands, with amazing views of the Cascades, Mt Si and some stinky cows. THIS is what I envisioned a day would be like when I left the “real world” for my fake one.

Some Numbers: In the 6:34 we rode (yes very slow base training) I consumed Hammer Perpetuem, Hammer Gels and some of Cyril’s nuun.

Total Calories: 869 Protein: 20.5 Carbs: 146 Fat: 15.5

I averaged 133 calories per hour.
Not even close to enough, but I felt great all day. Typically I’ll put down about 240-280 calories per hour, it’s not possible to replace the calories you use. I did feel the deficit on the last climb up to my house from Lake Union. Since we didn’t start out to do a 100 miles I didn’t have enough food with me. Today I feel great – I think this is going to be a BIG year.