Friday, December 17, 2010

Cold and Muddy in Idaho...

I tried to head out for a ride today but the wind was whipping and cold and the dirt is pretty sticky due to the wet weather we've been having. I'll have to suck it up and just get cold or sit on the trainer soon, but for now there is no rush so I just took the day off and tried to relax. I think I was a bit irritable due to the foul weather and lack of sleep.

On a side note, I'm calling it out: I will read through the entire Bible this year, PERIOD! I've danced around it long enough and its time to make a commitment and just do it. If you read my posts then you'll know that I want to make my athletic endeavors an off-shoot of my spiritual life, and I can't make a commitment to ride without also stepping it up in the spiritual side. If you think about it, drop me a line and ask me how I'm doing, I'll need some accountability on this one...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Great Run Today!

Its been a couple of crazy days around the house. My wife has been working her night shifts at the hospital and the kids have colds that keep them from day care. Since I get sick time and she doesn't really, I'm the one who gets to stay home and wipe noses and dish out toddler cough medicine. While they were napping, (including my wife) I was able to sneak out for a 30 minute run. The time limit was enough motivation to get me through 4+ miles at a respectable pace and the weather was only mildly miserable but tolerable enough to wear shorts and a long sleeve-T. I was again reminded of how pleasant running can be when things feel good and you are in reasonably decent shape. Well, "good" is relative, since my calves/shins are still learning the running thing again I only had minimum soreness. I planned to soak them in a bucket of snow and water but the little girl woke up and crashed the icey party. I got about two minutes in the ice anyway... enough to cause me to reconsider the ice thing for now.

Now, if I could only figure out how to get that bike off its hooks I'd be convinced that the Mohican 100 was still doable. I guess if all else fails I'll sign up for a marathon or something.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

WINTER!


(Update: Road Bike Photo Finally Posted)

Since it has been just over a month since my last post, I figured I better update for those who decide to check on me from time to time.

I havent' made any progress with the fundraising of the project, and winter has set in hard the last three weeks here in Idaho, so the riding has been really hurting. I have decided to turn to the old faithful running shoes to get me by when the slush is thick and the air is frigid. I remembered quickly how much it hurts when you don't run much for a while. I have vowed to go easy at it as to not get injured this winter like I did last. It seems that while some cyclists go skiing, I have found my "winter" sport is running. This process has raised my interest in doing a couple non-biking events again this year, with a possible run at the X-Terra Triathlon in McCall come August. Really though, I walk by the bikes hanging in the garage and wonder, "when will the winter end and will I have what it takes to ride 100 miles off-road?"


Those of you who know I can do it can feel free to insert your encouragement "here" and let me know that the sun will someday come out again in Idaho and my bike will still pedal.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

First weeks of real training...

Mohican is a long way off, but I have started the "official" training this month. All I can say is that it is going to be a long stretch through the winter to get to where I want to be by April/May. I have laid out a schedule to serve as a guideline for training, since riding with two little ones at home and a busy work schedule often changes my plans.

Yesterday I went out for a 2 hour mountain bike ride and was reminded of how much work it'll take to ride for 9-10 hours. Although the trail I rode was very rough and technical, the effort to simply ride for those 2 hours was significant. I will definately need the long rides in my schedule if I want to have any hope of riding well in June.

On a positive note since the last update, God has really provided and I secured a great road bike to help with the training. I don't have any pictures yet, but I will post some soon. A super nice Neuvation F100 popped up on Craigslist and I was fortunate enough to buy it. So far I have put about 300 miles on it and hopefully will have 1000 on before January.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A win is a win...


My preparations for Mohican are still underway. This weekend I entered a duathlon in Hidden Springs, Idaho, with my good friend Mike. We took first in the long mountain bike course division. I'm not really sure how many teams were there, but hey, a win is a win. Actually, Mike ran very well and I had the second fastest bike split, so we couldn't have really done any better. Well, except that time when my sunglasses snagged on my glove and I almost crashed over the handlebars going down a hill while fumbling with them.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Action


In endurance events, there are times when it just comes down to putting one foot in front of the other. I'm motivated to do just that right now. I had to do a similar process to finish the Galena Marathon both times. Here I am at the start of the 2009 Galena race. The FCA-E yellow is easy to spot.


In my pursuit of moving my faith into action with the Mohican project I have decided that the only thing I can do while I wait on certain peices to fall into place is keep moving. I have to keep training and praying about how God will use me on this mission. It is not my race, I'm just lucky enough to get a go at it and whatever is provided for me to use as I continue on is a blessing.


Here is an update on the progress:


  • still waiting for two families to be acknowledged through the Nampa, ID and Ashland, OH areas and for God to provide a bridge for me to raise funds for their needs

  • looking for a road bike, which I will need to serve as a critical part of my training

  • Mohican 100 date is still not set, so I'm concerned I'll be rushed to get back to Ohio in time

  • financial cost of this project is looming, it is intimidating to think of what I will have to invest

  • no word back on various side projects, including a weekly off-road time trial in Kuna or the Owyhees

"He who hears my word and puts it into practice is like the wise man who built his house on the rock." Matthew 7:24

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dealing with Doubt






I have been stricken with feelings of doubt this week. It is hard when all the details that need to come together are still in the air. I have such a hard time with processes that take so long. I'm used to jumping into a situation at 100 miles an hour and just going, and it is hard to wait while we find a family to raise support for. Unfortunately I've also realized that in order to be fully prepared for 10 hours of mountain biking, I'll need to log some serious road miles on a bike I don't yet have... another area where doubt is creeping in. I guess this is what God wants, because I have realized that I cannot possibly do this ride without His providence in every way. I trusting him to lift up this mission and make it what he wants, I just hope I can get out of the way and let it happen.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to the grind

Like most people that have "normal" jobs, I'm back to work this week. I have been working to try and fit in workouts whenever possible and that includes riding to and from work, which can add up to some serious mileage but by itself is not really that hard. Being back to work does, however, provide a structure to an otherwise chaotic word of raising my busy toddler and a baby girl. It gives me a place to go and that right now anyway, is allowing me to fit in the training.

As I have had a bit of time off this summer from teaching, I have been doing a lot of reading. I thought I'd share some of the books that I read through and my insights about them if you care to know. I found them all extremely easy reads due to the connection between the content and my athletic focus right now. The one thing that I have learned by reading these is that achieving something great requires a mindset that not everyone can access. Obviously, not everyone could push themselves as far as the people I read about in these books. I hope I can continue to have the required mindset as the year goes on and the race gets closer. Hopefully you can find the time to read some of these and let me know what you think.

"Ultramarathon Man" and "50/50" by Dean Karnazes: These two books were amazing. I found them to be so motivating for not only runners but anyone who does anything in the endurance world. I think that if you desire to test your limits in any way you have to read these two books. Karnazes revealed a bit of the mindset that will be required for me to prepare for and complete my 100 mile challenge next summer. As one of the online reviews said about the books, they are the "best book about endurance cycling that is not about cycling."

"10 Points" by Bill Strickland: I found this book impossible to put down. I read it in less than 24 hours. Bill Strickland is a editor for Bicycling Magazine and this book is basically the memoirs of his abusive childhood and how he is trying to move past some of his demons through earning 10 points in the highly competitive local crit series. (Crits are types of races that are highly intense and held on short circular courses. They are probably the most intense type of racing imaginable, which is why they rarely last more than an hour) The way Strickland describes his childhood is chilling, and he flashes back to that in the midst of dealing with raising his own little girl. I can't say this book is for everyone because it is so intense, but I am throughly thankful I read it.

"Lance" by John Wilcockson: I was one of the sceptics about Lance Armstrong for awhile, but have always hoped he was not doping when he won so many Tours. This book compliments my hopes and helps put aside the scepticism. Wilcockson brings in so many different people from Lance's life and you get a really good picture about what Lance Armstrong is like. If you are a fan of LA and want to get some insight into the mind of the greatest champion in the sport of cycling, then you should read this one.

"Hurt City" by Bob Voiland: I actually read this before summer, but I thought I'd include it in the reviews since it is such a great book. Bob Voiland set off to ride to every state in the lower 48 from his home in Colorado. He did this all after the age of 50. He is incredibly funny and the book is amazing. Definately recommended for anyone.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The bike of choice for the my endurance races




Many of you may wonder what kind of bike someone rides for 100 miles in the woods. I have ridden all kinds of bikes, and for now I've come to the conclusion that simple is better when your relying on your bike to get you through hours of riding in remote places. I picked a hardtail 29er for my endurance bike because I needed this simplicity but found the standard 26" wheels on a simple hardtail (no rear suspension) to have less desireable traits for racing 100 miles. After much debate I set my sights on the Sette Razzo 29er from Pricepoint.com. I have been impressed by the bike on all my training rides, and have now completed my first long race on the bike. The race was the annual Galena Grinder in Sun Valley, Idaho. The course involved over 3000 feet of elevation change on each lap. Riders in my race category complete two 22 mile laps. I can say that the bike performed flawlessly. With the bike taken care of, now I guess its my turn to make sure I'm ready for the challenges that lay ahead.
**UPDATE** I just made this video... sorry its lame, I'll blame my camera man :)

video

Galena Report and First Wave of Support

In my journey to complete the Mohican 100, I needed to complete some races to fine tune how I will approach racing my mountain bike for 9-10 hours. The race at Galena is considered to be one of the hardest races around... so naturally I found it hard to resist! It provided a great way to test my race strategy and build some base fitness going into next year. I guess I'm thinking long-term.
The Galena Grinder was one big challenge, partially due to its extreme course elevation starting at 7000 feet and going up and down a lot before climbing to 8,400 feet and then going up and down some more... Because I only trained hard for about 3 weeks prior to the race I knew I would be tested. I would have to go up to the race in the morning, ride for five-and-a-half hours, and then drive back home. I left the house at 3:30 AM and arrived at Galena Lodge by 7:00. The drive was beautiful but trechorous due to the animals moving about during those wee hours in the mountains...

At the start of the race, I lined up knowing that the next five plus hours were going to challenge me, and I was right. The race started quickly, and I raced conservative on the first lap. My heart rate was right where it would be if I were going for an easy jog, and I was able to keep it there until the killer climbing began. After pushing my body and bike up to an elevation of around 8,400 feet only to have to go back down and then do it again.

By the end of the first lap, I was feeling great. I met up with a strong rider who rode with me for the next 10 miles until I started to hit my limit around mile 32. Thats right about when I had to go back up the huge hill again, and I did all I could to survive. For the last ten miles, I simply held on and rode as hard as possible dispite some cramping and a minor mishap with a large stick... ouch! Finishing was one of the best experiences I have ever had on a bike... I'm so glad to have reached an important milestone in the preparation for the Mohican 100. I know what I can and cannot do during long races and how to push through when the going is tough.

After returning home and recovering, I found out that I actually placed third in my division... guess I should have stayed for the awards, but I was anxious to get home.
Some of you have received an email from me, please continue to think about how you can help me fight child abuse and neglect. Feel free to email me at any time...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Bike and New Challenges

I'm expecting a new bike tomorrow, and as I anticipate the arrival of the aluminum steed that will take me through the next chapter of adventures, I can't help but reflect on my spiritual journey that is already in progress.

Last night I was reading my devotions and Bible and realized that the journey I'm taking as an athlete is a very small part of who I am. I realize that without my Lord remaining as number one on this path I'm on I will quickly become lost. So I am beginning a chapter of endurance training and racing I am doing this as a Christian first and Husband/Father second.

I hope you will continue to follow me as I train both spiritually and physically for the challenges that lie ahead.