The Tour is Over

Le Tour is over. Like previous years, I was hooked. My TV has been fixed on VS all month, and I've watched several stages many times.

Contador was unbeatable this year. He was impressive. So was Lance, but he didn't have it in him to challenge Contador. But with his new team - Team Radioshack - next year should be very interesting.

For some great pictures of the Tour, go to The Big Picture


I'm not over it yet, but I will be tomorrow...

I heard back from the ref at the Spirit of Racine on my penalties. This is what she had to say:

Your penalties were both on the bike. One for position and one for drafting.

The violation reports are as follows

A male rider #744 with a black/grey top on a black cannondale was within a half bike length (of the rider in front of him) in a static position without a pass

Male #744 with a black/grey top on a black cannondale was left side riding for 40 seconds
without passing anyone.

Note that these violations were on different occasions on the bike course.

I think I know when I got the drafting penalty. I got swallowed up by a group and the ref was right there. My problem is that the bike is my strength, and I can't stand getting pa
ssed. Especially by groups. I don't think I dropped back quick enough, and that's how I got nailed for drafting. I can assure you if I was going to draft intentionally, I would be sneakier than sitting a half a bike length behind someone.

The other penalty is the frustrating one. I'm not going to deny it. I ride on t
he left more than I should, but I'm usually passing people and don't typically get passed much on the bike so I'm not blocking people. And when the road is clear, I ride on the right. Those 40 seconds cost me 8 minutes.


Lesson learned. I need to pay more attention to my position on the road and not be so stubborn on the bike. If people are faster than me - even if they are drafting - I need to slow up and let them go even if it costs me a little time.

Now that I think about it, I have a better solution. I need to get faster.
If I can improve enough to start in the elite wave, I could get out there on the bike early enough I won't have to deal with the groups.

But I'm not going to dwell on it anymore. So it goes.


I decided not to be an idiot - for once - and I'm not going to do a half ironman this weekend. There's a 5K and sprint tri not far away this weekend so I'll do one of those instead. I'm giving myself two weeks to recover from Racine, more mentally than physically. I feel really good right now, but I've been training hard this year and I still have two hard training months coming up before the Great Floridian and I want to be mentally and physically ready for those.

After Florida, I'm giving myself two months to rest, relax and have some fun. I'll still train, but only as I feel like it. Then, in January, training resumes.

This time, it's for IMWI 2010. All or nothing. Kona or bust.

That's right. I want to go to Kona. I have little confidence I can pull it off, but when I think about IMWI 2010 and what I want to accomplish the only thing that gets me excited is Kona. It makes me nervous. It makes me want to swim 5 days a week, do 100 mile tempo rides, run in sub-zero temps....It makes me want to push myself to my limits, see what I'm capable of.

I have no choice. I have to go for it.


Cycling is a dangerous sport....

Jens Voigt went down hard during the Tour today. He's hurt, but it seems he's going to be okay.


That probably doesn't make you want to ride, so here are a few pictures that should. They make me want to ride.

All of these pictures were taken in New England.

Rapha Continental


Number 3?

This week is a bit of a free for all for me. Being right after a half ironman, I don't have a training plan set. I'll do some training, but only as I feel like it. Mainly this week is about recovery. So, with no training plans for the weekend, I started looking at the triathlon calendar. I thought I might find a sprint tri to do. That would be fun.

Then I came across the Chisago Lakes half ironman. This Sunday.
Being frustrated over my penalties (two - one for 4 minutes and one for 8 minutes - I e-mailed them to see what I was penalized for) I started thinking. I'd kind of like a do over. A chance to see what I can do on an accurately measured course and one with a smaller turnout. I could ride my own race like I did at Rockman and not have to spend the whole time trying avoid other riders.

Is back to back half ironmans a stupid idea? Hmmmmm..... I'll have to give this some thought.

In the meantime, a random picture...


Spirit of Racine

Today was the Spirit of Racine half ironman, a race I wasn't going to do this year because it frustrated me last year. I didn't like the bike course. It's too crowded. I was going to do Door County.

But I didn't feel like going to Door County so I did Racine again.

The swim. Like last year, the swim was short. My time was 25 minutes, and I can assure you I do not swim 1.2 miles in 25 minutes. I did the swim at Rockman in 35 minutes. I did a better job toda
y at staying in groups and taking advantage of the draft so I should have beaten my Rockman time, but not by 10 minutes. Speaking of drafting...

The bike. I go out of my way to try to ride within the rules, but it looks like I wasn't successful today. I got caught up in a few groups, one of them I was unable to lose. The marshals were out in full force and I got caught in the middle of the group just in time to look over and see the marshal writing down numbers. I tried on two different occasions to break free of this group and couldn't do it because they started working together after they all knew they got drafting penalties. In the middle of the bike leg, I attacked a small hill and then did threshold for a while to pull a gap. I was successful, but they caught me again. Later, I dropped the hammer for a minute to pull a gap, and then backed off and rode threshold for a while to s
ee if I could lose them once and for all. It hurt. I was doing 32 mph, and I pulled a gap that lasted until the end when they caught me again. My bike time was 2:21 (the bike leg was a mile shorter than last year so that's why I was 9 minutes faster this year - I should have bike a 2:25 - 5 minutes faster than last year). I averaged 23.5, although they have me down for 23.8.

The run. I paced myself really well today, and pushed hard on the second lap when I realized I had a chance at breaking 4:30. I sprinted to the finish, and finished in 4:29:20. They have me down for 4:41:20. They tacked 12 minutes on to my run, for penalties I assume.

I'm very frustrated with this race because I try hard to ride within the rules, but today I just couldn't do it (I guess). I never sat on anyone's wheel but I could have gotten hit with blocking (riding on the left) or not dropping back quick enough after getting passed. Or drafting. I don't think I drafted at all, but it's not up to me.

Personally, I think they need to limit entries on this race. I'm sure they won't, but I think 2,000+ people on a half ironman course is too many.

But it is what it is. I think I'll stick to races like the Rockman. That one was awesome, although it wasn't organized as well as Racine. There were only a few hundred people so you had no problems riding your own race. The course was measured accurately and was much tougher than Racine. My time was 23 minutes slower, but at least I know that it's an accurate time a
nd it was all I had on that particular day. Today I ran 4:29 (although the official results have me at 4:41) but it doesn't feel accurate to me. I was given 10 minutes on the swim and a couple more on the bike with the course being a little short.

As much as I'd like to say my half ironman PR is 4:29, I think I'm going to scrap this one and stick my old PR - 4:53.

One of the goals I set over the winter (which I decided after the Rockman was too agressive to go after) was to break 4:30 in a half ironman. That goal will have to wait for next

The next goal on my list is to break 1 hour in a 40k time trial. I'll probably only do one 40K TT this summer so I have one shot at that goal. After that, there's only one left on the list and that's to break 11 hours at the Great Floridian.

This is what happens when you run a half marathon with no socks on...


Days of Wine & Roses

That's the name of the Bombay route Dennis and I attempted. Wine & roses? Not quite. Not by a long shot.

I mapped out the route
(wine & roses because it goes from Middleton to the Wollersheim Winery) and - luckily - e-mailed it to Dennis before he left to meet me at the park in Middleton. He showed up with his Cannondale - well, one of his Cannondales - with his new wheels, new tubes, new tires... I showed up with nothing new, and a Garmin with a dying battery. I forgot to charge it. That should have been a sign.

But Dennis had the route too so we figured all was good.

Six miles in, Dennis gets a front flat. His new wheels require valve extenders, and the tube he had wouldn't work with his extender so I gave him my tube. Back on the road.

Then...closed road by Crystal Lake. Probably from the flooding last summer. But that didn't stop us. We scaled the fence and carried our bikes. The road was mostly clear so it wasn't bad.

Then....Mussen road...

For the second week in a row, Mussen Road has gotten the better of me. How could I have forgotten the name of the road that had me standing on the side of the road last weekend wondering how I routed myself right through the middle of a lake. But, I did. I forgot and routed myself through a lake again. Now it was detour time.

Two miles into our detour, Dennis gets another flat. A rear flat this time. His new tubes with 80mm stems (to avoid valve extenders) have both gone flat within 20 miles. Between the two of us we now have one tube, one CO2 and one valve extender - the one on his front wheel. We took the extender off and tried it out, but like before it wouldn't go on our spare tube. Screwed. 20 miles out of Middleton.

Dennis called his wife to pick him up. I offered to hang out on the side of the road with him for the 45 minutes he would have to wait, but he said I should continue the ride. My Garmin was dead, so he gave me his. We were on the corner of Cty Y and Mussen. A left on Y and I should run into the route right outside Roxbury and then I'm good to go.

The correct way was to take a right on Y, and that would get me to Roxbury and back to the route.

Eventually, I found my way back to the park in Middleton...the same time Dennis made it back.

This wasn't our day, and it's a shame because it was a beautiful day for a ride. The temp was just right, the sun was out and the winds were calm.

Below is a picture of my detour last week, after discovering Mussen Road was under water. Yes, I climbed over the rock pile with my bike on my shoulder. It was a little sketchy. So was the pile on the other side of the lake. I almost fell in the lake with my bike.

Here's hoping the obstacles are behind me for a while. The Spirit of Racine is this weekend. I'm not sure what to expect. I don't feel ready. I never do, though.


Team Wolfstana

Le Tour has started which means...well...there goes July. I'll be watching a lot of TV in July. It looks like the stage is set for a good Tour, and hopefully no one gets busted for doping.

Once again, Pac Cycle has a fantasy league going. Last year we only had a couple of guys participating and so far this year we're already up to 10 teams in our league.

My team for Stage 1:


As for training, it's going well. I had a bit of a setback being sick for a week with food poisoning, but now I'm feeling well and putting in some of my best workouts ever. I have the Spirit of Racing half ironman coming up in 2 weeks so it's a good time to get in some good work. I'm feeling confident that it's going to go well and I'm going to put in a good time. I'm hoping for sub 4:45, which I think is realistic but it will require me to have a very good day.


Quote of the day: Jens Voigt doesn't know where you live, but he knows where you're going to die.