Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tucson 2009-2010

I'm once again in Tucson for what we will be another training camp AND some downtime. Pictured above are some good friends - Marc and Kay and Lee who were with me in Tucson 2 or 3 years ago. Lee is fighting for his life right now, with cancer. Marc and Kay are still biking fools; Marc now has his wife Elli turned into a biking fool as well.. My sweetie, top pic, is standing above his hometown of Aspen, where he lived until just last year. The weather is 75 and perfect; why we come to Tucson to train. I have found a sensational house, in Sabino Canyon and a stones throw away from the shops/ grocery store. When I see out on the balcony to enjoy a drink, the mountains are right in front of me. As we left Denver airport, we fly right over Aspen and like Pierre I try to find all the roads I have ridden on, in Colorado. Many. I finally got my bike last nite at midnite, so going for a ride soon. I wanted to check in and say thanks to all my friends and support systems.
I am lucky to be here. I didn't know if would do Tucson this year; as Pierre and I finally opened our training center. It opened 6 weeks ago and seems like this day was yesterday. It has been a whirlwind. I got out here and as usual I am east coast neurotic until about now - 2 days later. Takes me a long time to SLOW down to west coast time. The shop has been extremely rewarding and we, I think I can speak for Pierre as well, are really excited about what we can DO for athetes. We also moved house as well, so the last 4 mos have been great transition. Maybe it is the time of year, but I think maybe it is a new chapter for me; I am very excited about 2010 and the possibilities. My mind is clear and I have a renewed focus and energy for what I want to do. I want to get behind a team again, put on a race in Herndon, make the shop as successful as I can, and make MORE time for my sweetheart. Pierre and I have been through ALOT, together. Life does seem to get better and better; being able to SEE more and understand life more. Learning from others and being able to love more freely.
I have had an incredible year coaching wise. The results were as good as it can get: of course the big ones were Nate and Steven getting podiums at Jr Nationals, Kay Tsui cleaning up once again at Masters Nationals, Jeff Anderson winning the 45+ cyclocross series, my juniors overall kicking ASS all year, Blair learning how to ride crits, the Richmond HPC boys kicking plenty of ass, I know I could go on and on. Jody Bailey racing the S100 under 10 hr; Paul Wilson finally coming up with a win at Turkey Day, Chris McMillan and Kat 2nd in the Quantico 12 hr cranky monkey race. Rob Urbach winning the overall 45+ Triathlon series. The athletes I am working with right now are just as magical as it gets. Many of them are prompt for big years in 2010; which always feels me with great energy and excitement, in seeing their dreams come true. Lot of breakthroughs. Gaining triumph in these sporting events is winning in all frames of life. It is very rewarding.
I have some plans for myself next year as well; I want to regain some race form. Go to Master Nationals. It will take some very careful planning on my part to MAKE time for myself, to focus on the actual training. I have been making plenty of excuses for it not happening, mainly work - but I don't let my athletes get away with this one so why should I? I have to block off time for myself to train. I also really want to make more time for my relationship. Pierre and I work like crazy; but somehow we both must slow it down. Somehow. Not sure yet; but somehow. I know the fact that we moved, opened the shop - this has been hard. But now that we have alot ironed out and are getting into a routine, we need slow down. I think I have almost had an ulcer from stress.... this is ridamndiculous.
So on this note, I am finishing my bike, getting dressed in cycling clothes, and going to visit one of my fav mountains, Mt Lemmon. I told Jeff I will likely be crying coz I not going uphill fast these days..... lotta work to do. But, the hardest month of any training plan is always the first one. I have all kinda lines I tell people so I have to suck it up and get busy with it now. It is almost 72 degree here, so I better not be crying.
Happy Holidays to all, I LOVE Christmas actually and all the lights, and I love the joy. I wish we humans would keep this joy all year. Not let it die out. Special to be able to go ride a bike up Mt Lemmon. That for sure.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Off Season Startup

It is again the off season and Nate got his post in before me dangit. Man I cannot believe my last post was August - NO idea how this happens. Things are happening though!!! We decided to commit to moving "west" of DC out here in Herndon, VA and try making this training center a Go. Rock on (now if only we have mtns but we should gonna create them indoors beware clients.....). I have not exercised in about 2 years or 500 watts as Nate would say. Last training ride I did was with Mike Fawell and this was in June I think. We only have 1100 sq feet you wouldn't think it could be SO hard getting open. But we are trying to do it "right" and create the ultimate training experience vibe. Of course alot of this comes from what I liked as a training area. Good light, lots of fresh air, clean, high ceilings, and the proper training equipment. It is crazy how I was always too poor to train on something as regal as a Computrainer and now I own 18 of them....what the?? Maybe one of these decades I can actually keep my word to Jeff and Kay and Mimi and get my ass with some form. Gonna try yet again for 2010. I am seriously rested - and have actually never taken a real break. I can't say I enjoy it - my body kinda feels out of sync on a daily basis.
We moved house as well and I found all my old training logs. It is true I used to log about 30K/year. I know - insane. But I do believe in volume as all my athletes know. BIG hours in the off season. Even though I no longer racing seriously - I SO miss my big rides and when we are open and rolling, I definitely up for the 5 hr rides up Mt Weather.
So yes, the shop almost ready. I was going to have a "soft" opening tomorrow evening - but decided to wait and be able to do it right. Plus I would likely scare people away coz really I haven't had much downtime and am kinda wired right now. Pierre too - he doesn't know I been makin our coffee in the AM mostly decaf so we don't stress too hard. SO much to do and get done, lotta details. Thanks God I have had the best builder in the world - doing our buildout. Steve Mitchell. He is saving my ass coz I don't know this buildout stuff. I don't have the eye to see things as an architect and he does. This is going to be a work on progress and Rome wasn't built in a day (as someone keeps reminding me). I don't think I ever thought I would own a business. But one thing led to another and here we are. I will have a official shop opening in about 2 weeks. I am into hanging lotta pics and kinda decking it out now. I found the coffee maker Christine Welhburg swears by, the Cuisanart all in one thingy. We still need get comfy station going. Figure out what to use as our water supply. Jenette is coming up to help me get some last minute stuff done and help me design official HPC first time ever clothes so I can one century get Jeff Anderson a LS skinsuit. God knows he has waited long enough. I hope he deosn't quit racing before I get him a LS skinsuit. I have the colors in mind, but Jenette does have the eye. Anytime I am dressed up it is thanks to my friends. This is rare indeed.
Mimi Newcastle is my right hand "everything" woman and Alvin Chang in this list as far as helping me with ANY thing computer. Without Mimi, well, I wouldn't have figured out how to write this blog likely. Thanks MIMI for ALL you do for me and have done from day 1. You ROCK! Now we gotta get you a National Championship. Chris Kelley been there every step as well and I call her, going between crying to joy, the challenges of opening.
So this what I been up to. Classes start this coming Monday @ 11AM. I cannot thank my friends= mostly clients enough for the support and camaraderie in making this happen. There are so many people I have to thank; that have been there every step of the way to see this training center become a reality. That have given me the support I needed to go after my dreams. It feels good. All I can say is now that I have 18 trainers and rollers and core equipment and my firs time ever office with a desk - watch out. You guys/gals gonna be training alright. No excuse now for not being able to do Muscle Tension workouts....... and core. I truly cannot wait to start riding again. I rode with Jen Cheng and Jen 90lber Yip (-ping my legs off) last weekend and about killed me. Pierre said he never thought he would see the day I return from a 60 mile ride and he have to carry by bike up the stairs. Dangit!! I am tired of hurting on every ride I do. How about getting in shape???!! Dah. A training center would help with this...

Ciao for now - I hope not 3 mos again til I can write the next post

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


This blog today is 2 things - it is very hard for me to write but also the best for me to write and share. There are people that change your life - if you are lucky enough to see far ahead, not be selfish, focus on what you are good at and supposed to do, and just do it. Nate Wilson has been one of those people - in my life. I am ridiculous coz when I think of him leaving I cannot stop crying. SORRY Nate. I am not trying to embarrass you. I started coaching in 2003, it was the fall my mom passed away from cancer. My mom was my biggest fan in my cycling. My Dad never seemed to understand cycling = me. He does now. I admit I was fairly neurotic back then with my sport - some of which I am not proud of. My mom came to my races - I thought she would be here forever. But one day she fell - and after going to the hospital she had cancer pretty much all over her body. I was out on my bike when I talked to my Dad about it - my life changed that day. She didn't live much past being diagnosed with cancer. That fall I realized life doesn't last forever. I grew up, fast. I had been racing my bike and waiting tables. Pierre used to tease me about having 2 graduate degress and tossing shrimp for a living. I loved the bike.

So 2003 I sent resumes everywhere and actually got hired on the spot. I worked 3 days as a personal trainer and realized this was NOT me. Then started in with a company coz they had a VO2 analyzer - and having a M.S. in physiology and loving the "science" of training - this was a good start. But after bout 1 month I again needed more - and so in 4 mos I started my own biz. I spent every penny I had on a VO2 machine. Bike racing does not teach you how to "coach", any better than books. I think really athletes and working with athletes teach you the most about being a coach. Their needs harnessed with their dreams coupled with the coaches science of training and performance. I know racing as a cat 1 seems to have given me more than what the books did - but truth is, it is the books and real life experience combined, that enable me to make it as a coach. So I started as a coach - but I still had so much to learn. I may go back to school once more (and it will be in CO or the west damnit!) for sports pysch. There is ALOT to being a coach. The training part is easy - with power and HR and RPE - that part is the easy part. But getting an athlete stimulated for a great ride - is what matters. Despite a bad week of training or coming back from an injury or stress on the homefront. When you line up with a number on, it is Game on.

So - back to Nate. I started coaching Nate many yrs ago. I can think of so many rides we did together - the 100's of repeats I made him do on Hunter Station (and yes he hated them). I had only been coaching a short period of time when I started working with Nate. And what made it so real - was his desire to exceed. Despite ALL odds. Despite he was on the small side. Despite he had been dropped in many races. He was smart and analytical. He was very caring towards his fellow man. He read alot about training - and all along our relationship - he always questioned me and asked me intelligent questions. The friendship and the trust just happened. That now is very special to me. I had dinner with the Wilson's last nite - kinda our goodbye dinner as Nate takes off tomorrow - and I told him the truth - which is that he gave me as much in developing as a coach, as I gave to him in his cycling career. This is rare. I have some other athletes that have this energy as well - that they give to me. It allows me to grow as a coach and person. It is kinda funny to me that I was always kinda shy in school - and now I coach. It is alot of 1:1 and I thrive on this. So the development came from both sides - the room to grow and adapt and advance.

Tonite I am testing Nate - he has been on spectacular form. I wanted him to be peaking in July - kinda from Fitchburg > Nats. He did have a hard day in the Crit Nationals - but other than this one day - he has been "on" for about 2 mos. This is kinda unheard of - a long peak. Him getting the win at Millersburg was perfect. I knew he was going to win and soon. He was hating 2nd place. And you have to hate it enough, to win. Congratulations Nate. I can tell you I have been honored to work with you the past 5 yrs - the memories are something I shall cherish forever. I will make sure I make all the future jrs do as many if not more repeats on that damn hill Hunter Station. I know you are going to make it - and as your parents also feel, noone could be prouder of you than me, them. It is about being a winner OFF the bike as well as on. That makes a great champion. I have so many pics I coulda put up - they are from Jim Wilson and Linc Brookes. I love the one of Nate sprinting. I rode with Nate on Tuesday for an easy spin and riding beside him - to have a memory of him from yrs ago to the Nate of him riding beside me that day - I was in awe of what he has developed into. Not coz I was his coach - but that he never gave up. Not ever. I knew he never would - but to actually see it all come true is ... what to say. I don't know.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mt Hood

My days of vacation are closing out. Back very soon. Though cannot wait to see my dog. I miss him. Yesterday we did a fabulous ride. It was a stage I had done in the Mt Hood stage race 3 yrs ago. Up to Lost Lake. Amazing roads. Super narrow - less than one normal lane, pines everywhere, orchards and wineries in all the distant views. These roads out here are similar to what I did in Europe many yrs ago. So narrow and winding and they kinda beat up - I LOVE them! It is just so spectacular - where bikes were meant to be ridden. This is the dilemna I face in NVA daily. I love to ride a bike - but there is few roads to ride - unless you drive out. It doesn't fuel my soul. My work does - thank goodness for this. Just getting into my athletes trials and training. But I do struggle daily with that part of my soul that needs to be fed, by narrow roads and wildlife and no cell signal and seeing ALL the stars. Not just 2 or 3. One day, after my work is done in NVA I will be in a place where I can see all the stars and feel the quietness of living where cell phones don't work. I am not anti technology - I love it as much as anyomne - but it is being able to shut it off. This is hard to do in NVA. Naturally I should say.
So the revisit to riding the roads to Lost lake, at a MUCH slower pace - was so nice. I actually felt good, which is kinda rare anymore (esp on climbs). I woulda used a 27 in spots but just "muscled it" as I tell riders to do. There is always a time and place for muscling it - one of these times is when you need a 27 but only have a 25. What is insane is that in all my yrs of racing, when I was fast, I never had more than a 23. I have NO idea how I did this. But all those yrs at Killington and Manyunck - well I remember Dede Demet/Barry having only a 21 so I felt like a wuss. With my 23. Like I said I like technology.
The day before we climbed Beacon Rock. Pierre is pictured with his neice Erica. Pierre was able to get together with all his family - all his siblings and parents. Wonderful, coz it has been a while since he has seen all of them. Me - I am just loving every sec of being in the wild west. And getting in some terrific bike rides. It is the most I have ridden my bike in any one week. Yeah!!
Today I am feeling kinda lazy - may be from the big breakfast I just ate. Last nite in Mt Hood was great! Another great brewery - Double Mountain - really laid back and live music. Oh yeah - forgot to mention this part - there was like 5 bands playing - where you walk to downtown and sensational music. We had a beer and delicious pizza, then went to check out more music. Ended up at The Pines which had 20 musicians who were tight - I did some dancing and man do I suck. I used to play music and have to find my guitar again. My body too used to riding a bike and I need some work - in dancing. Big time. But I decided I do have to either play the violin and/or guitar again. I love music too much to not. In Reston I don't know where to go to listen to live music. It is incredible to just walk one mile, see all the stars, have a beer and super pizza in a place that basically has no rules (Pierre said it was a place like your own home, which it was, where you have your friends over for a beer and pizza), dogs allowed everywhere, get up and have 4-5 bands playing and you can pic. Then walk home - I have to take a pic of these stairs (it is like 10 flights of stairs into one). Small town. WITH so much culture and creativity and people say hi and are kind. I always ask is this coz I am on vacation so my stress load much less?? I don't know. I know the athletes I work with are super cool and this is what I thrive on. This is 100% what keeps me in NVA. But after Nate, S Black, S Kendall sign a contract with Garmin, I may call it a chapter and open the next one. I need turn out some National Champions first and cyclocross pros - this the chapter I on now and I love it. Just seeing all the stars is magic, this cannot be denied.
Ciao. I am off to find some local apple pie - this is the purpose of my ride today. Mt Hood is fruit-ville. I cannot believe I am hungry already. All this vacationing makes me starving.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Now this is the life - living at the spa

Howdy - my dog is not going to want to come home.
He is with the Wilson's and now he even weighing in!! Man I have trained those Wilson boys well. They even have my dog on the routine. Thanks Avery! Nate! He does look pretty damn trim - awesome. You have more willpower than me - he cracks me and I give him too many pupperonis.
Life in Mt Hood is awesome. Pierre's family is super cool - they live life. We had a BBQ las nite and the moon was coming up right over the house. We did a hike up Beacon Rock and the view was super. Pierre's neices and nephews are bad asses - could ski like 20 mtns before I got down one bunny slope. Today we are rding to Lost Lake. We did this in the Mt Hood stage race - but I didn't see anything coz the race was tough. I was sick at the time and how I got through this race I don't know. There is a OR book of cycling in the Gorge Valley and Heidi Goldberg is in there!! racing the crit. She took 4th that day - it was a really hard crit and she had chased on after crashing. It was impressive.
That all for now - I have to get dressed. Not sunny here which is very rare. Ciao.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Crater Lake paradise

Last day in Bend, for now. Next year we have alot of unfinished business.....yesterday we traveled to Crater Lake (thanks Reed for driving us there - I really wanted to go!) - it was about 1.5 hr there (bit longer on the way back coz they were working on the roads). Steven, Pierre, and m rode our bikes round the loop - it was about 32 miles an 3800' of climbing. I LOVE to climb even though I now slow - it just works. For so many disciplines. It was not too steep - so real good strength work. So hard to duplicate this in NVA.

We had the cooler packed with only the best of foods - Mimi I am bringing you back a bottle of the XXI. WOW! We didn't open it til we got back - we all having too much good outdoor fun. Crater Lake - breathtaking! You come up the entrance road and I couldn't believe it was REAL. That it wasn't a poster. Just incredible. While we rode bikes Reed did a great stroll to the lake, went for a dip, and took a nice hike. Excellent. I have seen everything I wanted to see while here in Bend - next year we all have to go to the top of Mt Bachelor. I was wishing all of us had gotten to Crater Lake - another label for 2010. It was amazing. Today we pack up and head to Mt Hood. To stay and visit with Pierre's family. We there for 5 days and then back to VA. Has been one hell of a trip. I have been pretty bad about working - I have to start doing more today and this week. Getting lotta training plans out. Sometimes you just have to tune it all out - the noise. Makes me so much more creative when I tune it out and actually think/ see. I am focused on where to do the training camp Dec-Jan 2010 - wanna try find something in San Diego area. Find some new mts for the riders besides Mt Lemmon. Plus I have a house in Toulouse for 10 days - this may be a spring camp for us. Oky ciao for now - Nationals 2009 was the best yet and much more to come. Yeah!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wrapping up 2009 JR Nats

Well Jr Nats has come to an end. It was a week I share cherish always. These guys (and gals) out here racing put on a show. It is just so cool to be a part of. Below is Steven Black on the podium - he took 3rd in the crit - it was such a exciting crit. He had been off the front much of the race, thought he had won the race about 23 laps in (outta 50), recovered the grim laps hanging far too far on the back (I swear this is the hardest to watch sometimes), recovered, narrowly escaped going down in a crash, took a free lap, got back in, and then was off again going acros to the break which looked like it was THE move. It was the move, the 2 person break went down to 1 guy (Max who won the RR on Thursday). Steven and another guy bridged up, made contact with about 6 laps to go. They only had an 8 sec lead the whole rest of the race. Every time I saw the break Steven was on the front (NOT what I wanted to see). I knew this guy Max was smart - and knew how to use his breakaway mates (as he did with Nate in the RR). He told Steven something to the effect if he lead the lasp lap - he wouldn't sprint. Well HE did sprint and Steven was cooked -

but Steven stayed off for 3rd. It was SO exciting a race. These guys RACE. I mean really race - there were moves going ALL the time. This is what I love. I don't see enough of this back home. Actually real racing. Nate was tired. I knew when I saw him lined up at the back - perhaps mentally he was abit tired. He has been firing for over 1 month now - and after having done the Cascade Classic PRO race, I knew sooner or later it was going to hit. No athlete likes this - but all athletes can only stay on top for so long. I keep telling him what he has done in one year is beyond my expectations - but sometimes hard to see "out" when you inside being the athlete. This is what the coach is for. Nate - I don't have words to say how proud I am - of what you have done. It is all right in front of you now. You just have to LIVE IT. Keep doing what you do with the attention to detail, focus, determination, and sheer heart that you have. It is coming you way. That contract. Enjoy the ride. I know hard to understand this when you 18 and hungry.
Zack Allison was racing the U 23 - he is pictured above. I coached him in the early years - miss working with him, as I do with anyone I coach and who moves on. Kevin Gottlieb is pictured below with Steven Bk. Kevin was very sick about 4 weeks ago. He managed to race for me down in KY and raced brilliantly in the tour of Red River Gorge. He had been very sick. He did well out here - maybe not quite the legs he normally has. So hard when an athlete's rhythm gets knocked off. To get it back - when peak in race season. I feel for him, for Blair right now - who broke his jaw and right when he was peaking, for Jen Rasmusson - who broke her collarbone when she was flying. So hard. There is nothing I can do. Cept tell them to stay ++ and their day will come. This sport is so damn hard. So hard - there is no money in it, there is only our joy on days when we have great legs. The days that the legs suck - and this is ALOT - just in the day to day training - well we keep plugging away. Wanting it to go our way on race day. Why I hope Nate can see just what an extraordinary year he has had.

Nate is on the flight home. As are the Kendalls. The Kendalls had a rough go. Steven who I know is a champion had some bad luck. He suffered in the heat on day 1 - his RR. Day 2 the TT - great WU and I know he was ready - he borrowed a disc which didn't work well. It kept skipping - and time trial is getting in the zone getting the rhythm, listening to legs and lungs, and I cannot imagine how frustrating it musta been to have a disc that was skipping. We did a prelim ride on it - but under alot of strain the chain/cassette did not mesh. He still finished a very respectable 10th. Nate took 9th in the TT - which on the day was very good. Steven's last race the crit - which is his race - saw more bad luck. He went down in the first lap, bent his RD - which I didn't know. He got back in the race, then with one lap to go he chased down a solo guy who was off - it was a terrific move - one which I thought coulda won him the race - if he had done it on the next lap. But he only had a 15 and the finish was super fast - so he was trying to get away. The course was 85% down hill with a short up - so too many fresh legs in the pack and he didn't have a chance. Add to this that Brad Kendalls bike was stolen - the Kendalls got screwed by Fed Ex shipping bikes >>> rough go. Everything WILL be okay - but sometimes life is not fun.
Our last nite we had a Bedrock Bungalow block party - between the Cha Cha, the Rumba, and the Jitterbug. The Kendalls, Blacks, Wilsons, Gottliebs, and the coaches P and me. We cooked pasta and had different sauces - Reed can COOK!!! no wonder Steven wants him at all the races...Steven likes to eat..... it was awesome. It was we could all get together and toast what a week it had been. Was fantastic.
Yesterday most of the group took off, the Blacks are here for 2 more days then go to CA for Disneyworld; P and I also decided to stay on for 2 more days then we head to Mt Hood - to spend a few days with Pierre's family. Yesterday post crit and all the goodbyes, P and I rode to Redmond. Very nice ride - but we couldn't find the right road to come in on - so had to take highway 97 for 20 miles in. There was a vicious storm blowing in - the lightning is the most sensational and scary I have ever seen. My legs were pretty blown from having ridden the 95 mile ride the day before (up to and around Mt Bachelor - where we also ran outta water and there is NO shade and NO 7-11 every 2 miles). Coming back in the highway I thought sure I would die. But I didn't. I just don't have the legs of past - and being caught out in the real wild west with big trucks going by, lightning that looked like it would take out the city of Bend, legs that were sucking bigtime, man - I got home and had a glass of wine while I was still alive... okay it wasn't that bad but I did crack on he way home. Like a real wuss. Maybe this will give me some form so my juniors don't KILL me on the rides every Tuesday. They sure do now. Keep it up juniors.
Reed and Pierre went to Trader Joes to get supplies for our trip to Crater Lake. I am excited!! We are going to take our bikes and ride the rim. I wanted to stay on, here in Bend, just to have a few extra days but I feel we don't take enough time to HANG anymore. Just BE with friends. Esp back there in crazy cell phone, net, land of NVA. The pace is way too high - in places it doesn't help any of us. I don't want life to pass me by coz I been online for 10 hrs every day and don't get to see a big smile from Steven Bk as he discovers some real stuff. Life is too damn short. My mom passed away - far too early. I never thought she would go that soon - it woke me up. I am thankful I fell in love with someone from the west - Pierre - coz time slows down in the west. It is where I will be one day. The pace is too crazy fast back east. So we headed to Crater Lake and I hear it is beautiful.
Juniors that I work with - I love coaching you all. I am determined to produce some National Champions and I know I can. I know Nate is going to make it, and several others that work with - if THEY want, are going to make it. I thank my parents for the sheer will they gave me - to never give up. Maybe improvise at times - but never quit. Modify here and there - but go for it, 100%. This is what I love doing and creating. Learn from each other. I have some screaming fast 13-16 yrs olds coming up the ranks now. I will be back here for sure - to JR Nats.
That it for now. I have some training plans to write. Our road season is coming to an end, and I am thinking of off season and cross and reaching goals for 2010. It has been an incredible year for me as a coach, but I feel I am only getting started. It is weird. I have learned so much of what I need to work on, as a coach, in the last 4 weeks. Being at BIG races. Seeing exactly what I need to focus on FOR the athletes. I felt this at Gila this past April - being there with Blair and Nate. What I have to train, how, when - just getting more and more dialed. How to guide all of them/the athletes for perfection. Power meters and HR- there is SO much more to it than this. So much heart and soul involved. This year as given ME so much. Thanks to all the people that support what I do.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Time to get fired UP for TT/Post TT

This starts my day on a roll. French Press and Pierre
is gone so I can drink it all. YUM!!!!!
Off to the TT - I am excited today - good hard course. Post results after.

Post TT - the boys did well. I know this is something I have to spend lot more time in coaching - steady state. Doesn't work except for indoors in NVA. I don't know if an uninterrupted 20' stretch where I live - unless I drive. Has to happen. SKendall 10th, Nate 9th, and Steven Bk 28th. I know they all can TT. Bike adjustments, more SS training.
Tomorrow I am doing a big ride getting up early - before SKendalls crit. I am looking forward to it. This afternoon we went to the Deschutes Brewery for tastings - did this yesterday too. GOOD stuff.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

2009 Nationals, Bend, OR

Good times. Jenette always said this to me - on some crazy road trips. I like the phrase. This has been a road trip - my 2nd time in OR. The first time I brought the women's team I had out for the Mt Hood stage race. Getting athletes/people to events - to give them experience, is something I do. I was lucky in my life to travel alot - and the adventures enabled me to grow in so many ways.
I am here with the juniors I coach and today was a BIG day. I don't think I have ever seen Steven Black SO happy. Ever. His smile was like he smile I saw from Kevin Gottlieb in KY - when we brought him a birthday cake - and everyone in the cafeteria sang him happy Birthday. It is these moments you are just so amazed to be a part of. To be alive and to witness the sheer joy of life being lived. To say I am proud of my boys is not enough. Man am I ever. We went to the Cascade Lakes Brewery and celebrated. I have determined the Deschutes brewery is the best beer in Bend. More coasters for my collection.
Congratulations Nate Wilson on 2nd and Steven Black on 3rd. To the parents, the support staff of the many sponsors - thanks!! It feels good. And I know there is so much more to come. This may be the most exciting. Tomorrow is the time trials - they start @ 11:04, Nate goes last @ 12:32. It is a hard time trial course - UP hill and then down. I rode it with Steven Kendall today - taking it easy - and we were doing about 50kmph all the way in - hitting 70km for parts of it. So hard on the way out. Good course for all my guys really.
I also met Pierre's parents for the first time - Sandy and Romeo. I was scared!! and I am almost 50 - to meet the parents. They are fantastic people. I am spending all next week post Nats up in Mt Hood - maybe learn how to windsurf - with Pierre's family. Pierre's family all of them are QUITE the athletes. Should be fun. I know there is one ice cream stand I will be back at in downtown Mt Hood.
Really super day and I cannot wait for it to begin tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nationals Day 1 HOT

Day 1 National RR 15/16 yr old - 75 km road race. I think I told Steven about 100x about the heat and drinking. He did Everything right - it was just HOT and too short of time in heat to acclimate. He finished about 15th which is awesome - out of 77 guys I think maybe 30 finished. It was SO hot. Steven is a sprinter all rounder - and has muscle mass. Hard to deal with when not used to heat. I am psyched coz I know his legs will come good - the more days he is here in this weather.
Pizza time celebration, later. Coach Hef. Those chow hounds will eat all the pizza if I don't leave - we have to RIDE bikes UP hill about 3 miles....Proud of you Steven K. Tomorrow rest day, Thursday 17/18 RR

Good times

Greetings from Bend, OR. Home of JR/SR Nationals for 2009. Bend is awesome! I have been many many places - but Bend is homey and low key and gorgeous and the people are real. I like it. I checking out for training camps - very very good roads here. I wanna find another place besides Tucson. Though not many places warm/sunny enough in Dec/Jan cept S CA and AZ. Pics are of the homies I train and my dog who REALLY wanted to come - funny how smart dogs are. Even BIG ones. He looked all sad and kills me when I see him like this. He sure knows how to work me with those eyes of his....He is in the great care of the Wilson's - Avery and Carolyn - whom he loves. I am focused on the boys bringing home some hardware. Steven Kendalls' RR is today @ 4PM. He does 15 laps of a 5 km loop - it is going to be hard. Not any big climbs but enough leg breaker stuff what is going to break the field cept for the strong men. Finish is very good for him - good flat sprint. I think the hills in the course are definitely going to be a factor + heat + so dry out here. Plus 76 other guys who want the hardware as well. Humm......
Jenette would lov it here - there are SO many Great coffee shops. I really like the feel of this town. It is gorgeous - when I have more time I will take some pics. The travel day on Sunday turned out to be about 16hrs and I was tired from that. Had a nice spin yesterday and hope to have more energy today. We going to go check Nates' RR course. About Nate - I didn't add in our final GC results from TRRG, KY - Nate finished 8th GC, Robin 10th GC and Andrew Barker 11th GC. For a composite team, to come together for a race, for those that know how hard it is to just meet up and race as a team - this is sensational. There are SO many factors involved in a stage race to start, and then to put a team together and have them ride as a TEAM...hat's off to ALL of us - the riders, the staff, the sponsors. I think Andrew may have won the overall at LaBitibi last week. I saw Robin and met his younger brother Yannick who I hear is a beast and likely one of Steven's main threats. Robin "I will get da bottles" Eckmann was crazy fast in KY - so I am sure his brother be one to handle as well. We are going to have a TRRG reunion at the Taco Stand and Steven Black is going for the Boswell Challenge. I will take pics. It is a 5lb burrito and you have to eat it under 4min. Steven Black gave it a go yesterday but just a trial run. He needs the support of his TRRG team to cheer him on - so we will have this on the agenda.

I am happy to be here - as I said before to actually get the chance to SEE my work in action at races is the greatest reward for me, as a coach. All the tuesday rides and 100 of repeats and 3 mile and 5 mile and 10 mile time trials - all that work, is worth it. Always been my motto. Then to see the riders I coach go for it - most incredible feeling for me. Win or lose. Just going for it. Back home I know is the Va State TT this weekend, Tour of Lancaster Cty, Blair gets his wires off and so can start traning again hurray!, the building hopefully is underway - for my training center. I have about 10 plans I have to get out now - then go for a bike ride with my friends. Last week was really cool coz I got to do 2!!!! bike rides with my mates from home. Jeff A, Kay, Rob Urbach, twice in one WEEK!! I haven't been able to do this in what seems like yrs. There is NOT much better than a ride with friends. Well being able to sqeeze a coffee stop in the ride IS the ultimate. Only thing about my juniors - they don't drink coffee....... that is a good thing I am sure. Ciao for now - will update post Steven's race today. Nate and S Bk race RR on Thursday, TT's are on Friday, then crits on Sunday.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Catching up on July 09

Last time I blogged was right after Fitchburg - and now a whole month has passed - I don't know HOW so much time passes between blogs for me. Just busy. I am always impressed by those who can keep up their blogs. Like Nate. Who is racing the big boys @ Cascade - but he just chilling after racing - lotta time. I got back from Fitchburg and working like crazy to get caught up and get training plans out; so I could head off to Kentucky for the Tour of the Red River Gorge race with a 17/18 JR team I entered in the UCI invitational race. I decided to do this after being support for Nate and Blair out at the Gila. It felt good and along the journies of life you hit upon what you wanna spend your life doing. This always changes - but I knew that I wanted to get a team to the TRRG race. So I started asking for sponsorships - what I needed came in (thanks to vmware, Jim Strang, Juergen Eckmann/Pearl Izumi, Kirk Otteson/Veloworks Cycling Development, Len Forkas/ Hopecam, KBS - Nate's team). And as always many parents throwing in extra money for making it happen. Thanks to ALL of you that allowed me to get a team to KY. I feel giving people the opportunities in life for them to grow is one of the best things I can do, with my life - and I happen to do much of this through the sport of cycling. I don't know why it came to be cycling - it just did.

It is such a team effort to even GET a team to a race - we had Pierre's brothers in Oregon working the jersey design (thanks Renee and Franc) with Alvin Chang/east coast getting it to Champion on the east coast; the riders (from CO, NY, VA) and their parents and directors getting it to all come together for a week in Kentucky. The staff - me, Pierre, Carolyn Wilson, and Reed Black - taking a week of "vacation time" to go make sure the whole system operates smoothly. Carolyn spent both her birthday and Mother's day being in a car 8-9 hrs - okay crazy. We all in this sport coz of one thing - we love it. It is what we DO. But the process of what it takes to make even ONE single race happen - is crazy. So many logistics. This particular race - the UCI 17/18 jr event was a frst year event - and as such, it had its' share of glitches also. The worse being the road race courses were TERRIBLY marked and roads were wrong and what shoulda taken 1-1.5 hr to predrive took us about 4 hrs - we did this 2x for both road race courses - and that meant missing dinners in the cafeteria (wait a minute was this planned guys????? I know that UKY food was not the best......)(slowly coach is catching on to the ways of the riders humm.......) and massage being done too late at nite.
BUT - it was sensational adventure. Just about everything went great. The team, the staff, the race itself for the most part; it went super. No crashes in the caravan thank God coz I was driving the Wilson's car and yes the first stage WAS hairbrained with many new caravan drivers and oh yeah - NO, yup I did say NO communication between officials, motos, comm cars - the radios weren't working. That was in the 2nd stage - the first RR stage. I heard they had 3 repeaters but NO communication. That was HELL. We had 2 guys up in the break and we couldn't get across. Nate came unglued and all I kept thinking was I shoulda have been there. Somehow. Whether that meant getting a fine - who cares. These are the factors I don't like about racing - some things simply are NOT fair. I know life is such - some things are not fair and you just deal. But there has to be a line. As I was talking to Jeff Anderson this morning about drugs in the sport - that Greg Lemond is still on a mission to prove Lance not legit. I think can't Greg find another mission in life besides trying to bring down a sport and its' heros?? IF they can be called that. But let it go. Isn't there karma - what goes round comes round? I think this is enough. Like I said earlier we all decide on how we want to spend our life and time on this planet.

I want to work with athletes - create them, believe in them, support them, and myself - always be an athlete. I haven't been able to ride much - extremely busy trying to open my life long dream - a training center. I finally found the space - and now hope in about 2 mos I am ready to open the doors. Being great on the bike and reaching goals in the sport of cycling pretty much comes down to one thing - hard work. On this I agree with Lance 200%. I always wanted to have a training center. I been doing it at Spokes for the last 5 yrs - cannot believe 5 yrs!!!! and decided that I was going to try - try and make a center happen. I started looking for space last fall but got kinda freaked about all the economy stuff. So waited it out and I also didn't come across THE building, that I wanted to work out of. So kept looking and renewed the search this spring - finally found 2 good places - settled for the one in Herndon next to Great Harvest Bakery. Good location, not quite as big as I would like - but got the right vibe from it. Jim Strang told me don't take any space unless you feel it is right. Jim has been an incredible mentor to me along the way - my adventure of going from bike racer to a business person. He has always supported what I am doing - and I owe him training lessons for life. I used to be in Spokes with ripped clothes and cycling shoes duck taped together so they would stay on my feet (oh gosh I hope Steven Black doesn't read this......) - Jim always kept me up and running. Many people have been there. I wanna have a grand opening for the shop and will mention all the people that allowed the shop to actually happen. They are the people that kept giving me confidence. Allowing me to grow.

Now - back to the race - I will write a brief:
Our team was Nate Wilson, Steven Black, Kevin Gottlieb, Ben Salibra, Andrew Barker (who is leading the LaAbitibi up in Canada right now!), and Robin Eckmann. Day 1 was a 2 stager - a 1.0 mile prologue in the AM and a RR in the afternoon. Robin ride a fast 1.0 mile - he was flying when he came in. Andrew also rode well for someone who said he cannot ride prologues! Day 2 saw fairly aggressive race - we had some mehcanicals. Ben flatted and chased back on so hard - got on in the feed zone only to come off again coz the sec he got on it really heated up. I hated watching him so close but not quite on. Hincapie Steve Baker helped us out alot - trying to get Ben back on. The dude rode the original race course - which was 5 miles longer than anyone else (yes they changed the course without telling any of us) and still made the time cut. Steven Black went rolling in the mud - Pierre and I saw a rider covered in black and mud and realize oh NO it is one of OURS'!!!!!! He looked like he was half porcine and man it was kinda funny - he really was completely covered in mud. You realize it is YOUR rider and you are like OH NO. He chased his mud butt back on - was pretty damn hard chase back on - made it on and into the BREAK and finished 7th on the day. Like I have heard some say - once you make Steven Black mad - watch out. Nate was also in the move of the day, didn't get enough fueling, got popped on the last climb - rolled in 9th or 10thon the day. I was very bummed this day - coz none of the radios were working, we spent 4 hrs + previewing the road course the day before, and then they change it without letting us know.

Day 2 - was a 14 mile TT. We had some very fast TT boys. Robin took 6th, Andrew Barker 5th, and Nate 11th. I followed Nate in the car and it was the best TT I have ever seen Nate ride. All I thought about was how many damn 3 mile beginner TT's I have made him ride in the Computrainer classes - and he wasn't losing time over the tops going down the other sides. His limiter in the past. You gotta make it hurt when it is easy to ride. When going up a hill - easy to generate power, but when go over the tops - easy to coast and go fast. Must work the downhills and the tailwinds.

Day 3 - last RR - was going to be a hard day - had 2 very tough climbs - one in the beautiful Daniel Boone Nat Forest. Gorgeous but one bear of a climb - the 2nd KOM. We pre drove the course and decided since we were 10' behind Hot Tubes and not likely going to claim the top position in GC - we were going to go for stage win. It was SO cool seeing the team come together and ride as a TEAM. I did receive some ?? about the strategy we employed that day - but sometimes you have to go AFTER it. Win or lose. We decided to race as a team - and see what we were capable of. We lost our 2nd place in GC this day by 7 secs - but had one last day to go for it - the crit and it had 4 time bonuses. It was very hard for me to tell 3 of the boys who were loer in GC to work their butts off - but this is bike racing. The GC riders were selected at this point in time - and we had one day left to use the course for our advantage. The course had some very dangerous spots - and in the first 15 miles there was a 30 person pileup which took our an entire team. We kept all our riders safe - and went into the first KOM ready. You cannot sit back and settle - when some of the cards are on the table. Look at the TdF - there are 4 guys within 30sec for the 3rd place podium. Tomorrow is going to be a war between these 4 guys. You can bet their teams are going to help. The non GC guys will work their asses off. I was so PROUD of the team on this last RR stage - I was proud of what they were doing for themselves - but also for bike racing in general. They spoke - and even though we lost 7 secs - the were heard long after the race was over. And - what is really important - you only get stronger from standing up to fight.

Day 4 - last day - a twilight crit. We the staff were ready to have some fine Kentucky bourbon - we had MADE it!!! It was SO hard - the support of 6 riders in a very serious stage race. These were the best juniors in the US - and these guys go for it. Carolyn, Reed, and Pierre - were miraculous. If it had been just me and Pierre- scary to think. Carolyn and Reed did pretty much ALL the bottles and prep and cleaning and laundry. It seemed like all of us worked from the time we got up til we collapsed into bed. Ben - who had the worse luck all week - 2 flats and chasing for maybe 100 miles all up - was out go to guy for the crit. He was amazing! he took 2nd in the field sprint to Nate Brown - ending up 6th overall. Kevin Gottlieb was so active on the front when he needed to be (when everyone else was trying to get some air). Kevin had been sick and didn't know if he could even race - the form he will get from last week going into Nationals will be outstanding.

It was really a race - and took all of us inside and outside the race - to make it happen. Thanks to all the people who had a hand in this. I cannot wait til the next one. I am off to JR Nationals in a few days - Steven Kendall, S Black and Nate really have a shot at a podium. I wanna be there. One of the greatest things for me as a coach is seeing my athletes LIVE. Showcase the work - that we work so hard on for yrs, together.

Til the next time ciao

Monday, July 6, 2009

catching up, Lost River, Kay Tsui once again 3 peats at Masters Nationals, Nate getting his Cat 1, Fitchburg, here we come Tour Red River Gorge!!

It has again been forever since I blogged. Nate is right. Seems like mos have passed since last time I blogged and only 1 month! This time of season for me is always so busy - racing in full swing, wanting to spend time with my family - half of which live on the west coast = harder, and then expanding the biz. I have found the space to open up - not done til it is done so I don't like to say anything - but looking close - I be in Herndon right next to the Great Harvest Bakery......hope biz isn't slow or I be at the bread shop too much and......

June startedout with our annual family vacation - which we did in Holden Beach, NC. Great as always to see and have some TIME with my fam. We did lot work (my brothers did) on my Dad's house - I got bitten to bits by fire ants - if anyone knows about fire ants - it hurts like hell. They basically eat the cells away - the venom and gets all pussy gross. I took a pic of my toe but not going to show it. I countered this with lotta salt ocean water and margs.
Back from vacation - always sad coz I never know when I see my fam again - but it was that next weekend - my brother came up for his Birthday with his fam and we did the DC thing - museums and the zoo. I attached a video of the orang atan. They pretty damn cool. I saw a bald eagle which was also super cool. I always get kinda sad the animals behind "bars" - but they are safe and get fed - and try to look at it this way. Saw the pandas and gorillas and all in all - good weekend.
I think it was the next week - took a group out to pre ride the Lost River RR course - that was "okay". They had just paved the roads and covered in the chip seal loose gravel, so the descents were hairbrained. Sucked in that Ben Mingo lost his Garmin and Nate ? locked his keys in his Mini (another Nate from NCVC). Thank God we ended the day on a high with Splunkers!! We all waiting for the Steven Black/ Zack Allison showdown - at Splunkers. I hope Steven is in top form for this one.
That next weekend was the 12 hr of Cranky Monkey - which I did - yes Susan. I loved it - it was my favorite of all my mtn bike courses - outside of Moab. Hard - really hard - which is better for me coz I don't have great technical skills. I trying to figure out why on a road bike I can descend 60mph but on a mtn bike - all those damn tree roots???But I love it - so challenging - the skill level so unknown to me and this why I love it. My team got 5th out of either 11 or 12 teams, and the other team I had in of Chris McMillan and Kat Hansen got 2nd fastest duo time of ALL the duo teams. They were smoking fast. The mtn bike scene is FUN. It is hard core but people are people. The road scene super more intense and the level of athletes the same. The fast mtn bikers are sick fit. Unreal. I am doing Moab again this year - which I already pumped for.
After this came the preride of Poolesville - which did about nothing, par for the course - as most everyone flatted. NO WHEEL VAN???? for a race that has a well known gravel road and an entry fee which isn't cheap? I don't wanna be the big mouth - but come on. This is crazy. So we spent a day detailing the course for the race - and then I think 95% my guys flatted - super. Get a wheel van for EVERY category for this race okay?!
Next day was Reston - super fun race to watch and it so close to where I live so sweet! My juniors kicked ASS in the cat 4 race - the video of Chris Abbey well seen by now - nice rolling and back up to finish. Not sure what Chris has for falling yet? I think he is getting the next 3 yrs of crashing outta the way......Nate and Blair raced great there - I been working hard with Blair on the crits and the work well paying off. He was flying this past weekend in Fitchburg - if you can handle that you can handle of them. The big crits are fun - once you figure them out. Lotta adrenaline.
Post Reston time to write training plans!!!! and I have to get this done today as well.
Masters nationals came next - Kay Tsui again got down to business and won all 3 events. I think she is now a 7 time National Champion. Unreal. I want to race again, one day. I want to get in shape first. I raced many yrs past 2000 not in shape and it isn't fun. So as soon as the day comes where I can focus - for my own plan - I be back. I miss it, everyday. Just other things going on right now.
Mike Fawell and Mimi Newcastle traveled to Nats - hard to get on that podium - but we going back 2010.
Next stop was Fitchburg - where I traveled up on the worse day ever - Thursday - took us about 12 hrs SUCKED!!!!!!!! We did the 95 rt - hell. But the next day sun was up and coffee in hand - went to see the juniors smoke it - Nate in a break all day and Steven Kendall top 10 - what a monster sprint this dude has. Unreal. Abbey had a bad start which cost big, Blair managed that 75 mile pro race well - think that pro race one of the hardest. Russ Brown also came in well - 1st or 2nd in the first sprint. Stage 3 the RR - Nate again in a break which went on the first lap. Okay - picture this - Nate with NO teammates against Hot Tubes with 6 or 7 guys and they know how to race. Oh boy. I was in the SRAM car and saw the break go off - 3 hot tubes and 1 Nate. UGH. Not pretty. I know fate has a way - one of the hot tubes got his chain stuck - so made it 2 hot tubes 1 nate. They were FLYING. OMG. They actually worked together and didn't start any games til about 3 km from the finish. Not much you can do when it 2 against 1. So Nate settled for 3rd but gained the pts jersey and moved into 2nd GC. The last stage was a crit - and again picture this - they call up the top 10 - Nate in 2nd and next to him 7 HOT TUBES unis. Man - I didn't even want to watch. Was going to be UGLY. How he managed to get 2nd GC - says it all. A break did get off but did not gain that much time. Steven Kendall was taking monster pulls - to maintain a lower gap - and he was on fire for the finish, hooked bars with Nate Brown and down. Damnit. I am confident he woulda won the field sprint. I hope I can find the cash to launch the U23 team for 2010.
We traveled back yesterday - I wanted to stay an extra day to ride. But we came back. Didn't want to travel today. I am behind in work - have to get plans out ASAP. Then hope to go for a mtn bike ride.
OH yeah and THE tour is on - that happening too!!! How can you not love summer??!!
Next up is Tour Red River Gorge - the UCI 17/18 event. All I thought when I saw Nate lined up with a team of Hot Tubes is wait for one week - it be different game. We have 2 Slipstream guys racing with us - Andrew Barker and Robin Eckmann. Robin I saw race @ the Gila - he finished 4th GC in the cat 2 race. Plus Kevin Gottlieb, Steven Black, and Stephen Koelbl. I am EXCITED!!!! I support and believe in athletes/ cyclists/ but all athletes. Working with these juniors is some of the most inspiring work I do. They are so results oriented - whether they have sponsorship is secondary. Which makes you wanna sponsor them MORE. They just wanna RACE. Nate tried as hard as he could to get the leaders jersey - but the odds were stacked against him. How hard he fought for 2nd GC was on his face many many times. The work ethic they have is some of the best I see - and the lessons they learn just from racing a bike transform to life. I have always believed you have to be a winner OFF the bike to win on a bike.
Nate Wilson got his upgrade. I started with him when he was a cat 5. I wanna put a before and after pic of him - waiting for him to send me the pics he wants to use. :-) He only turned 18 in March of this year. Sensational. He has the most incredible parents, as are all the parents of the juniors I work with. I so wanna find the $$$ to build an HPC U23 team. My kids are as good if not better than Hot Tubes - for sure. I am confident writing this. Guess we will find out this next week as well. The race starts July 14 - goes through July 17. I will try and post daily updates but SO much to do and we will have 6 kids to looks after.
After TRRG is one week home and WORK!!!! then off to Cascade and Nationals in Bend, OR. Whew. Hoping to open shop around Sept 1st. I don't get to ride much anymore - cannot wait til I can. I wanna go to Masters Nats with Mimi one day and see her win the crit. Until later, ciao

Friday, June 5, 2009

Staying Motivated

Okay. I know another pic of the Big D. But - he clearly shows what I have been dealing with the past 2 days - athletes hating the rain, not wanting to get on the TRAINER ^%#$^&%, and getting into soul you have any idea how many doggie treats there are nowadays??? Go get a dog and you will see, it is almost as bad as the cereal aisle.
Even my dog won't go outside and remains tied to his fav spot on the sofa. Yeah the rain sucks BUT I am all about training inside. I know there are a handful of us "freaks" who do like training inside. I absolutely believe in it - it is controlled, it is quality and yeah I finally confident enough to sign a 3-5 yr lease on an Indoor Training Center... so I must believe in indoor training, or something. Prices finally working in my favor. Rollers, in my opinion, are pure fun. You have to focus. Depending on what kinda rollers you have - some require lot more work. It is nice to have a bigger diameter drum set just to spin. Not build up any lactic acid. Then the smaller drum rollers you actually have to work. I swear by the Computrainer; though I could never afford one when I was a racer. Now that I coach and make more than a $20 split from a bike race... I have plenty of Ctrainers ready to go in my studio. But seriously, training inside is SO valuable. When I was in my best form - I did most all my training inside. Yes 3-5 hr endurance rides were common. People look at me when I say this and FREAK is all over their face - but sure isn't the first time I have seen this look coming back at me. Mainly I get this from my juniors when the repeats on Hunter Statiopn go to 10. Though that look I think means more I wanna kill you. I actually used to try and break the 3 hr time limit for 100 miles on my rollers - I did this enough times that I didn't have to keep proving I could do it. All to a little, man what do you call it now, cassette player. I use to have music set out to last 3-4 hrs and just swap out. Only got off to pee and get more hydration.
Yeah I know it is raining and it seems like it has been raining for mos. But get creative. Having time to listen to music is good; I don't usually do this when I am out on the road. Safety thing. I never have enough time to listen to good music. Some will argue with me that music is cheating - but I sure did alot of great hi cadence work at 130-140 rpm listening to a beat. Plus Dave Matthews used to play in the house I lived in, in grad school, so that was kinda fun too.... that is another story. I just saw the DMB the other day on TV and Carter is still the drummer - if Carter ever reasd this I still have the socks he gave me. Must be a bike racer thing - keeping socks.
The workouts you can do are quality and to the point. Which you should be doing all the time - but nice to reinforce this inside. One of the main reasons I have been trying to locate space to open a training center is to provide the athletes with what they need. I live in Reston - talk about NOT happening for training - I have about a 5 minute stretch of open road/if that long, and this is MAX. You cannot get fast on a bike without steady state - you know that gamjams ?? - why train at threshold?? Well you need train more than a 5' stretch. 3 x 20' at FTP should be on the boards now that we moving from crit May to stage race mode.
So ath letes' - don't get caught on camera eating your Pup-Peronies and Jerkie Treats and Marrow Bones......Tour of Mt Nebo coming up very soon and those 2 -3 extra lbs can hurt. Just suck it up and turn on tunes and make it fun.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Smelly Cup

Howdy All,

I don't like to be negative - bad for biz. But I am not happy and it has been several hrs since I came home from Baltimore. Another one of my riders down, a bike stolen, and glasses stolen right out from someone crashing. Can we please get another race??
I been racing 4 ever. And I know you just race whatever roads are present, whatever riders who show up, weather on the day, I know all about it and then some. But this race is like the Tuckahoo - where it was only a ? of when and how much crap was going to happen. Can we weigh up the ++'s against the ---'s and see which list is bigger? I have fear my DOG will be stolen if I turn my back.

Yes Jen Ras crashed - I have picked up so many riders at this race - after going down. Jen is okay - torn shoulder ligaments, but she was ready for RFK, and CSC, and definitely Philly. I know this IS bike racing - going down. I remember racing this race when it was up in the top section of the Park - with that big hill, and duking it out with Ros Reekie every year. That was fun and that race course seemed safe. Maybe not. But was it changed coz too many weren't fit and so the races only finished with a few?
Yup we can just also shut up and ride off the front like the Aussie did. But what about the rest? The people diving up the sides and then having nowhere to go. Ugh.

I guess this can be my one venting blog. I just know I am not going back to this race ever and riders I coach - will have them do a training day instead. Some races just aren't worth it. I remember few yrs ago I had 2 Colnagos, turned my back and some kid was running off with both bikes. This can happen anywhere. Agreed. But Jen had just crashed, and in about 10 secs someone had run off with her glasses??? Come on? The scene hasn't changed in yrs and find another course.

Whine whine whine. I know. Back with something ++.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This is quick - I am beat - LONG day. Nate was 15th - had 2 mehanicals - rear wheel - had to stop 2X and chase back on. Not luck. 15th with this - good legs. Definitely can land a top 10.

Blair Berbert in cat 1 - 61st - but less than 1 minute from REAL long time pros. It may not look like it on paper - but racing his first PRO race and this is PRO - less than 1' back from the real guys - fantastic.

Ciao. Early start again tomorro.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gila west coast here we come from the east

Howdy All

I said I would make sure I kept everyone updated - I am out in Silver City, NM supporting Nate Wilson (racing the cat 2 race) and Blair Berbert (racing the pro 1 race). Blair was 2nd last year in the cat 2 race - so when we went today to preride - sure was nice having someone know the roads.
Yesterday was travel day and a rather long day - but all that matters is we got in safe and the bikes even more safe - thank God everytime TSA doesn't destroy another bike. Yes traveling is a blast with a bike anymore NOT......we got in, got the rental car, picked up Jacob Miller (Blair's Kelley teammate) and started our trek towards Silver City. Another Sienna rental van (had one at Mt Hood 2 yrs ago and it rocked) - packed to the top with bikes and wheels and tools, and oh yeah - 4 people. Arrived in Silver City about 4ish I think- opened the door to our vacant rental house - and Nate was right - NO stove. OMG. How much Subway can one person eat at a stage race - I guess I will be able to answer this ? by the time I leave the Gila...this for real no joke... We unpacked, too cracked to put bikes together. Went to of course Subway #1 (I going to work this one...) - the boys are off getting Subway round 2 now...then we went food shopping - what can one cook with a single hot plate and a toaster? Then last stop was Walmart to buy air mattresses and blankets and towels.... I was exhausted and that air mattress - well no Hilton room but sure felt good.
Today we got up and put the bikes together. Showered all the travel scuz off and then we rode the TT course. Man - talk about all UP and all DOWN. That sums it up. No joke. Going to be a very fast back in - Nate on the Jr gears going to be tested but we here to fight each day and that what we will do. Tomorrow the race starts - they have approx 100 miles of racing tomorrow with a climb at the end. Rumor is Lance A to be in this very cafe I am working in - later tonite. Of course (until I buy a Blackberry or similar) I have to find a wireless. Chances being that when I saw we had no stove in the house - likely no wireless and I was right. Damnit.
It felt great to ride my bike; I cleaned it cmpletely this AM and there is nothing like a clean totally spotless drive train. Thanks to the person who taught me this yrs ago. I felt Fast!! today.
I am now getting caught on all mail. I am always so thankful my clients have the patience to know I am going to answer all ??? -hard when I travel. Going to have to get a tech gadget I guess; I love technology but also think if we get so caught in up tech gear - we forget to find peace. But I think this has to come from within yes. The contrast between east (DC area esp) and west - the pace - always freaks me out. Same as power/HR - too much of this and no memory of RPE - how you feel - bad thing. Gotta have the instincts in bike racing.

My boys are ready! Very ready. Nate - I started with him 4 yrs ago now - watched him develop into now racing the cat 2 race at Gila - and if lady bike luck is on our side - we can do some serious damage. Nate is 1 pt from his cat 1. Yeah - rock on. Blair B is ready to go uphill fast - this I also know. But in bike racing - gotta have the luck. I will make sure I post results here ASAP post race - so stay tuned.

Ciao from Javelina country. Yes I forgot my damn camera UGH. Blair has one so I will try get some great pics. To all the juniors bak home - you can all be here one day. Hope you all had a great junior ride today. Miss you all.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Shenandoah 09 Spring Camp

Shenandoah camp 09 we DID and another great week of training, chowing, hanging, sleeping, and above all Living it. Yeah. The 15 yr olds are beating up on me bad. Ouch. This was our spring camp - 5 days of training with lotta climbing over in the Shenandoah valley. We were staying at an incredible lodge - the Hensley Hollow lodge and yes it was up a hollow..... about 6 mile up. The last 1 mile was gravel and the very last 1/4 mile was rough gravel and STEEP. I am guessing 12% ++. The last 6 miles of trekking to the house after a hard training day was indeed an adventure. Amazing location - only bad part (can be good part) was no cell signal and no internet (hence work other than training did not get done). I snuck out to a cafe once - had about an hour. God knows what emails I was sending back coz I was so time pinched...

Pics are: style/flash is ALL that matters these days (B-Rad top pic); varying forms of TT start position (Brad Kendall middle pic and Andrew Brookes below him); pre TT start chilling (Steven K, Brad K, Nate W); Shenandoah 09 group pic (Avery Wilson, Brad Kendall, Pierre Pelletier, Susan Hefler, Nate Wilson, Steven Kendall, David Brookes, Andrew Brookes) . The week was awesome - kinda epic to start with some cold temps - we rode Tuesday in snow all day - flurries in the air and insane winds. Monday we got acquainted with the roads west of Shenandoah mtns and had I think 7!!!! flats. Yeah I know crazy. No idea why we flatted that much. Brought back Jeff Cup memories....Next day we did a loop over to Harrisonburg - had the hammers do 2 x 10' in cross winds from Kansas - strong. 3 hrs out and 1hr back felt like. Very nice roads again. Wednesday we did climbing - 2 x up Rt 33 west> east and a 7 mi TT climb up 33 east > west. Took Nate about 28' and I told him to ask Rick Norton what kinda time he did back in the day. Starting at the bridge directly West of Rt 810 - I know that is a fast time. I am getting Nate Wilson and Blair Berbert ready for the Gila - we have 2 weeks left. Blair is out there beating up on Skyline now as Nate is over racing @ Morgantown. Discipline and commitment. What it takes. I always thought to myself - C's and D's were okay in training. Commitment, consistency, dedication, and discipline. If you have these - and then follow about 100 more details - you can nail it. This bike race thing.

We did 3 big climbs on Wednesday. Plus of course the climb back to the house. Thursday was the mama of them all - I sent Nate, Pierre, Steven K (15 yr old for anyone I hear whining), and Jake Tremblay (won Tyson's last weekend cat 3 race) out on an adventure. 110 miles later/bit under 6 hrs - Nate comes climbing up the driveway and didn't say anything to me for the first few moments he arrived. I knew it was one of those days. Steven K had a laugh on those cheeks as he hauled himself around that last corner of the driveway. Incredible. The rest of us did about 90 miles - all of us finishing with the Rt 33 climb/ Swift Run Gap. Andrew B was cracked at the bottom - made it up in a nasty headwind. That nite we ate and didn't stop - the Oreo's sure tasted good - double stuffed. Friday I took the athletes down to Rt 810 - we did a perfect 20km TT - I remember doing that TT yrs ago with Matt DeCanio. He was about Nate's age at the time. Yeah I been riding that bike a long time. I still love climbing - most of all. Something about the rhythm.
It was an incredible time. Nate is ready for Gila - this I know. I don't think there are many National kids out there - he cannot handle. One beautiful person on a bike. I am proud of him, he was one of my first clients - and the work I have done with him is some of the best. I would like to see him on JV's squad and believe this can happen.
Of COURSE we ended camp with only one way - Splunkers!!! we missed you Steven Black, Zack, and Russ. The only reason we ride SkyMass is so we can eat at Splunkers. Why else would we do anything as insane as ride 85 hard miles??? Come on....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Getting pumped for Jeff Cup!!

So it has once again been ages since I last blogged..... thing is - when I work even 6 hrs at the computer screen, I am almost blind - so doing any more work besides the real WORK I do on a computer - no eyes left. And now with power - I am reading files day and nite, weekends to weekdays. HR and power and next I want blood lactate info too. I am trying to upload a video unsuccessfully - the one Tom Kendall gave me of Steven Kendall winning in NC (cat 3 RR) and Brad Kendall/Mike Fawell sprinting it out for the win - also in the NC RR (cat 4) .... where is Mimi when I need her. I thought this would be very inspirational for viewing - to kick off the D20 scene down in Charlottesville. I don't want to put another pic of my dog Dallas coz people start saying weird stuff. Maybe this would get the Char pumped though. I sure hope Char and Dallas get along. Some side notes: I took care of Charlie alot - Evan Fader's dog -tried to kidnap the Char at any given moment. I have wanted a dog forever. (Where my life changed I am not sure - I had been accepted at vet school (animal doctor) and into UVA for full scholarship in chemistry at the same time. I spent my whole life prepping to be a vet, so for some reason choose UVA and chemistry?? Going to school for free was good, for sure. Started in chemistry, wondered into internal medicine, finished with ex physiology. Finally finished 2nd time round in grad school at 34 and the day I defended left for CO - for bike racing. So getting a dog never happened). So, in caring for the Char Bear - I got used to having a dog. When Char was no longer here - I decided I was getting a dog. I was going to change my lifestyle enough - to get a dog. WOW. Cycling/racing a bike - what it does to a life - I think I can write many books on this topic. The hell with it I am putting another pic of my dog. I am a dog lover. Okay so my dog has a big head. So what?? Better to eat poodles with. He has lost a total of 5 lbs!!! in the last 5 weeks. He is on the sleep and zone 2 training build. He does love to sleep. I wanted to bring him to Jeff Cup - but think best leave him home. I don't want him run over by crazy cyclists. Truth is I cannot watch the now 95 lb down from 100 lb beast and be a successful feed zone gumbie at the same time.

This is the first time I will not be racing the Jeff Cup in I don't know how many years. I decided that I do want to race again, but not until I can "race". I have been trying to balance about 10 FT jobs with some consistent training and it hasn't happened in the last 9 yrs. So - if I gonna make time to train - for real - I have to arrange my life somewhat different. I am working on this - hey I got a dog and he is still alive - so things are looking up. :-). For future, I have decided I am spending most all my time in where in started - rider development/coaching/the physiology of training. I am still 100% commited to the team I started - but much more focus on athlete development, promoting the sport, and local racing. I am restructuring almost all of HPC - with the biggest focus being on the coaching element.

So while no Jeff Cup "race" for me, I have a crew of beastly athletes ready to fire. I am excited! Main thing I am telling all my cat 4's is one thing - stay UP-right in that insane field size. The 1,2,3's - well they will be duking it out team wise. The masters riders - it will be interesting to see what shakes out. I have heard alot of talk about/in the masters category. The juniors - well of course I know they gonna kick butt coz they have the best coach! Women - cat 4 field is big as always, and I will be rooting for a few in the women's 1,2,3 race. Go Chris Kelley in the 35+ field! I will not be able to talk post race - though I know many find it annoying to be cheered on. I likely will not be able to be quiet. I have athletes' racing in most every field - how COOL! Good luck, legs and lungs -to my gang.

I love this race - of course I used to train on these roads daily - way back when. Charlottesville is a gorgeous place. I lived there for 15 yrs and it is paradise. I sure did find some amazing roads out in Luray this past week. Lot of climbing - lotta good 4-6 % grades. Good SE work. Even though I am alot slower than yrs past - I love climbing. The challenge.

I am sending Nate and Avery the videos of the Kendalls - maybe theycan get them up on their blog. They my 2 tech guides.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Importance of Recovery

As a coach - I often go over the top with my athletes about the importance of recovery. So I thought a picture, often times worth a 1000 words, may help detail
this crucial training parameter. Thus this pic of my dog Dallas - in full out recovery mode.
Notice the legs fully stretched out to insure
proper lactic acid removal and highest rate of buffering.
Now the fact that he takes up my entire bed (meaning I can recover on the dog bed) is besides the point. Man do I love this pooch. I have wanted a dog forever. I took care of Charlie alot - Evan Fader' dog, and having to give him back - when I had to - just was too hard on me. I had to have a dog. My dog. Actually our dog - Pierre loves him also. I wasn't really expecting to get a 100+ pooch - I wanted someone to run with and mtn bike with. Well - you don't always get what you want but often get what you need. Right? I love him. And he does run - just not too much at any give time. He has done 2 x 7 mile walks back to back. I estimate his % bodyfat to be about 4% - pretty damn lean and almost peak form. He isn't yet sure if he likes my bikes - but one step at a time.
I think the next post I will term Calories in Calories out. I have some good ideas for this one. In photo form explanation.......

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What a way for a coach to start the season..... just have a look at the faces of determination. Mike Fawell (HPC) and Brad Kendall (NCVC). Wow. his photo is amazing coz they are full throttle - and where that finish line??
I love it. Working with athletes is an incredible job. I am one of the people that wakes up and loves my job. I am grateful everyday I ended up here - and not as a FT chemist in a dark lab. Where I started. Not that this isn't good also - Carolyn Wilson saved lives working in a lab. I hope I save heart attacks. My problem is I could never stay off my bike. My grad adviser told me (not once but twice) I had to pic school or the bike. The day I defended I left for CO - Boulder.
I had to post this pic - it is great! Tom Kendall has a video he is going to send me of this finish - will post here as soon as her gets it to me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

places without internet or dogs in my family

There are many places I go - where a cell signal and internet service don't exist. I like these places. But I don't get any work done.... This past week was kinda a whirlwind. I was on my way down to farmsit for my sister - she lives on 60 acres in Penhook. It is amazing. I can see ALL the stars sitting on the huge deck she has that wraps around the house. It is like Chris Kelley's awesome place - heaven. I am strongly thinking of living there on day. On my way down Rt 29S, wen my sis calls and lets me know my Dad is in the hospital, had a heart attack. May need open heart surgery the next day. Well, life changes real fast. I was planning to have peace and quiet and get ALOT of work done (having to trek the 20 miles into town to work in a cafe is small price to pay for peace and quiet and stars). That nite my sis and I got no sleep - my brother was with mt Dad in the hospital. Next day we got the call Dad was checking out (we all know who I take after) - his blood thinner and stents were 100% functional and he wanted out. So .. Amy (my sister) went on her trip a day late (Cozumel - which she said is a great cheap place to go but don't ride bikes). So I was on the farm - she has 4 horses and 4 dogs. I think to make a fantastic cyclocross race course there one day. She has all these horse trails and big logs in place already (she fox hunts). (Amy is in the pic with Poppy).
I was there for 4 days. Had to go into town 3 of the days to work - but David and Susie in the Daily Grind help the tea and coffee flowing while I worked away writing training plans. Big month for training plans - Feb and March last big build mos and very critical time. Seems like every month is critical any more - no real down time even as an amateur, except for October. I did get to ride a few days - the terrain in that area is Incredible - yes am planning a training camp there. Climbing EVERY where. If I coach you - you ARE going to climb. Regardless of your discipline. I also had my Computrainer with me so was able to stay on my training plan - which Nate Wilson is helping me with. Look out 40+.
Sis came home - I left to get Dad in Raleigh (my bro's house) - and off to Supply, NC - which is right above SC border. All those "miles" I wanted to get in, with the 70 degree temps down south - were done mainly in my car. Man - Marc Stern told me I would not get to play as much when I had my own biz and he was right. Damnit. My Dad lives off the coastline - in Supply/Holden Beach. Walks at the beach were very nice. I am not a beach person though - and realized, as I am thinking of where to buy some land, what I need. I will aways need mountains. Even when I no longer ride a bike - walking up mountains is a real challenge I always want in front of me. It makes me feel alive, when I feel my heart beating strongly in my chest. I like feeling my body working - what attracted me to sports in the first place. The human machine. It is and always will be fascinating to me.
Hung with my Dad, taught him as much as I could about exercise. I have no idea how I ended up running my first marathon when I was 15 - my Mom smoked and died of lung cancer and my Dad worked 80 hrs/week to feed 5 kids. I just knew exercise from the time I remember. Feeling alive and seeing what my body was capable of. This is still was I have great passion for, but now working with others. As a chemist I worked structure/function relationships - and worked in peptide chemistry making venoms....rattlesnack and bee venom. But I loved the body - human physiology. So now in my field - structure/function - but of athletes and the body. I love it. My Dad is in the pic with his dog - Beast. I know the name is insane. NO idea why he called her this.
Took off from Dad's Sunday AM - back to Raleigh - to get my own dog - Dallas - he is pictured above (I don't know how to space out the pics yet). Yes he is 103 lbs!!!!!! My gosh - have to show Lee Sigelman this one (I talked alot with Lee about about the "athletic" dog I was going to own one go mtn biking with/etc). Dallas walks uphill like Evan Fader. You have to see it to believe it. I mean look at the size of this dude. His bed is as big as mine. I LOVE him!
Got Dallas - and next on this road trip was off to the WolfPack races - to see the HPC boys and my juniors/Brad Kendall kick some NC ass. The reports from the RR the daybefore were amazing: in the cat 2 race - Nate was up the road and in the break, caught right at the line; cat 3 race Steven Kendall junior handled and won off the front; and the cat 4 race - HPC's Mike Fawell sprinted it out in a video finish with Brad Kendall. I coach both of these boys. Yes - Coach Hefler had a great first start to the season. And NO these boys will not be fried in June. Against some beliefs. All about pacing and most of all - about doing one thing - THE WORK. Man my boys sure gave me a Valentine's Day present(s). Thanks guys!!!!
So Pierre, me, and Dallas off to the race on Sunday - the crit. It turned out to be another stellar day. Nate's team (Kelley) rode a sensational team race and got podium (Ryan..sorry don't know Ryan's last name). But the 3 of them - Nate, Curtis W, and Ryan - way to control a race. Very nicely done. Nate brought the monster Ben King back with 3 laps to go - man it looked OUCH from where I was watching, and Ryan got the job done. In the cat 3 race - SKendall won the field sprint for 2nd overall (they had one guy off the front who stayed clear) - but the pace never slowed down - looked like about 2/3 the field were shelled). Brad K and my 2 HPC boys Chris McMillan/Mike Fawell were duking it in the cat 4 race - Chris came up with a podium 3rd place.
WOW! Well done athletes.
In the car for the last part of the trip - and I had about enough room for one butt cheek - in the back seat with Dallas who had ALL the back seat. Dropped Nate off - back in Reston, VA.

I am super behind in all my work. Shoulda never started this blog coz here I am working here. Okay now to real work.
It was a great week - thinking how much my soul needs the farm life again, and wanna spend lot more time with Dad. He is 82. My athletes inspire me above most anything. So I want to find a way to work in the soil/have a HUGE basil farm and sell my own pesto/maybe even start a winery and train my athletes for high performance.