Saturday, August 18, 2012

Maybe not Cat 1, but at least I can race against them. Say hello to a new Cat 2.

If you've read my intro, then my goal was to be Cat 1 by this year as I'm now 36.  Lord knows I didn't try.  I had a baby boy--now 5months--and a huge uptick in work.  Both are good in their own rights.  I love my wife as she's able to stay at home with my son.  My job is what gives me the ability to give my family that type of life.  My my family and my job have taken over my ability to train as much as I WANT to--rightfully and unequivocally so.  I stress "want" as cycling is just a hobby.  Cycling is many things so let me be more specific; racing bicycles is just a hobby.  With my limited time budget, my personal wants are set aside for my needs.  However, as my wife will tell you, one of those (my) needs is to continually push myself forward.  Though I am not a Cat 1, I've put in the work and was upgraded to Cat 2 this weekend.  What that means is that I will now race against the Cat 2's, Cat 1's & the Pros...I will now be racing against the best in the area.  I didn't make the Cat 1 goal, but I did make it farther than I could have ever imagined.  I didn't do it on my own.  There is a short list of people I would like to thank:

-Tonya Cobb
-Rashaan Bahati -You inspired me and I hope to race with/against you soon. I dream to be as good as you
-Derek Kidd
-Stephen Shenal
-Zac Lake 

-David Peckinpaugh
-Robert Kendrick
-Johnny Mitchell

It goes without saying that I want to thank my wife for putting up with me and letting me do this.  Letting me be me and loving me for being me.  Until death do us part.
Derek, Stephen & Zac started it all.  I wanted to be like you guys and you are to blame for getting me started in racing--thanks? David helped with his insight and laying down a solid foundation.  I really want to thank Robert for his coaching methods.  I wouldn't have been able to do it without your fine (read:hard as hell) tutelage.  Raising my FTP is what has allowed me to get to the end of the races so that I can unleash the sprint.  Your training plan pushed me to a new high and even made me a factor in P123 races so that's just dandy.
Johnny for being the best cycling teammate I've ever had.  Your work ethic, tenacity, motivation and personality set you apart from all others.  I hated you when I raced against you and didn't know you. That all changed when I did get to know you.  As of me writing this, you're a Cat 1.  I look forward to racing against you and I know that Pro is in your future if you want it.  With your attitude, anything is in your future if you want it.

There are others of course; Paul Harrell, Lucas Erwin, Dave Rosales, Gabe Hipps, Gordon Whittaker, Jay Charles, to name a few.  All my friends: Thank you.

What's next is a focus on track for 2013. With the Giordana Velodrome opening up this year, I haven't figured out how to transfer my 23.5w/kg 5sec road power to track.  I've also found that FTP is just as critical here so I'll have to focus on that.  For 2014, I'll refocus on road as I hope to have my FTP to 4.3 to 4.5w/kg.  That's not a lot in the bicycle racing world, but with time and family that's the best I can hope for and a tangible goal to set.  Dream?  I would still love to see myself as a match sprinter in the Olympics for the US.  It's good to have dreams!

Monday, September 5, 2011

2011 cycling update

Many things have happened since my last post.  As a Cat3, I have won 1 race (my teammate, Johnny Mitchell,  controlled the race & then lead me out for a sprint finish).  Placed 2nd in another (there was 1 guy 10seconds off the front and I didn't have a teammate) and have have had several top 10 finishes.  I've begun to consistently place well, but as of today, only have 10points to go toward my Cat 2 upgrade.  As it stands now, I think my FTP is right around 4w/kg and my sprint power is still off the chain--but has come down.  I've given up some of the absolute top end to be able to finish the race and I'm happy with that.

I've met 2 of my short term goals for this year and I'm very happy with that.  There are only 2 races left for me this season so there is no way that I'll be able to get enough points to upgrade to a 2.  That's OK as it give me focus for next year.  I've gained valuable insight into racing, training and awesome friends.

My wife is pregnant and the baby is due March 13th, 2012.  With that, the cycling goals will go to the back burner.  I still plan on racing, but won't be as focused on it.  I would like to focus on sprint training when the velodrome opens up in Rock Hill next year, but I'll focus on the road until then.

Friday, April 8, 2011


I've not posted in quite some time, but will try to do so more often. Training and racing have been going extremely well--much better than anticipated. With Robert assisting me, my winter training was tougher than it's ever been. The summer training hasn't been fun, but I know I'm in a better place now (physically) than I've ever been. To top that off, I've got a strong team around me. With Johnny Mitchell being a great all rounder setting a great start to the season, it helps to HTFU on the training/racing days when things are super-tough.

With the SC Crit Championships coming up in a few weeks, I'll race hard this weekend in Asheboro & Denton then begin to taper for a strong showing in Charleston.

As for goals, they are still the same. The reality is that through strong sprinting is how I'll get the points to be able to upgrade to Cat2. My fear is that if I upgrade, I still won't have the FTP to be able to content in that category. 1st things 1st though, I'll need to get the points, then worry about racing that category when I get there.

I'm really looking forward to the Velodrome opening up in Charlotte. Also looking forward to getting some time on the track this year before it opens.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Power profile since 2008

Just curious to see what the thoughts are on my power profile. This is all the data that I have since I started racing/training in 2008. This winter & for 2011, I'm focusing on muscular endurance and Functional Threshold Power. If past history is an indicator of my future performance, then I would be lucky to get near the lower 1/4-1/3 mark of the Cat 3 bin by the end of 2011. We'll see. I think that getting myself to the 4w/kg mark is going to give me the energy/confidence that I need to turn up my sprint and get me on the podium. At the end of 2010, I was able to finish with 3 top 10's in the Cat 3 field so I'm strong enough to get there...if the race is easy enough and I race smart enough. Regardless, 2011 will be a phenomenal racing season for me--barring no injuries & good luck.

Also, I never really tested 1 min power until this year. That's way the big disparity.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A$$ handed to me...

Whew. So within the span of one week, I did my 1st P1/2/3 race at BMW, Athens (cat 3) and then Walterboro (Cat2/3) race and got my ass handed to me at each one. I think at Athens, I was just tired from having to dig so deep in the BMW race. I hoped to be recovered enough for Walterboro but I was in the red 4 minutes into that race and finally popped 17mins. in. It's very humbling, but very frustrating. I took 3th place in that race as a Cat 4 last year. As a 4, the avg pace was 24.5mph and the pace of the 2/3 race was 26.2. I tried to be as efficient as possible and stay near the front, not on it. The attacks are a lot stronger in this field and that's what finally did me in. I've got to get my threshold up, in other words riding faster with less effort. That's just going to take time.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Athens Twilight AM 3 race/TNWC

I got dropped with 5 to go. I felt like I was dying out there. I knew I had more, but I didn't know why I couldn't dig deeper. When I got home, I checked my HR (attached) and it shows that I was either tired or didn't get a good enough warm up. It's a bit of both really. I did the Tuesday Night World Championships then raced my 1st P/1/2/3 event on Thursday. I went out for a WAY too long of a tune up ride (though my power number for the tune-up interval was the most i've ever seen). It all adds up to me not being able to perform at 100% I'm going to do an easy ride tomorrow and then off the bike Mon & Tue. I hope to be able to finish Walterboro (2/3 race) with the pack if not top 10. We'll see how that goes. Up to this point, my performance has been sporadic at best. I'm still trying to get it (training/racing) right.

It's funny. Jeff Corbet thought I was sandbagging at the TNWC!! Jeff, I've posted my data from the workout to show you that I wasn't sandbagging but sucking wind. My LTHR is 176 bpm (where the line is). If I keep doing rides like that with you, I'll eventually get to the point where you and Gordo won't drop me. :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Blythewood RR

That was really, really tough. I changed my hydration nutrition strategy to try and get rid of the cramps but it didn't work. I started cramping 5 laps in and knew I wasn't going to make it. I did have 1 teammate left and he asked me to try and reel in the break. I tried the best that I could, but maybe only clawed 20s back before I popped. I collected myself and decided to ride the final two laps solo. Soon after, the pro/1/2s lapped me. On my final lap, about 1/3 of the way into it, I got picked up by a mystery rider. I think he was sent out to look for stragglers, but God bless him. He towed me to the line. Now, I had already popped, but I resigned myself to finishing the "race" or at least crossing the line. So when he picks me up, he's riding at a pace that he may have considered moderate—not me. I'm back up to threshold HR. I hand on to his wheel for dear life. We stop to pick up a pro/1/2 guy. He gets on, he's blown off. I feel better about myself, but we are getting ready to hit the 3rd, hardest hill of the course. I give it everything to stay on, but I can't and I lock up again. It's so frustrating. He slows down at the top, and we have to take it easy going back in. I think that if I had not hooked on, I would be in better shape for tomorrow's race. Granted, tomorrow is the Forrest Acres Crit and it's only 45minutes. I know that if I can stay with the pack, I can beat the pack. I also know that I have to keep pushing myself so that I can get stronger. Today's race was the hardest race I've done thus far. I think it was more due to the fact of the mystery rider forcing me to dig deeper than I knew I could. If I want to do well at RR, I have to figure out what's causing the cramps. To be honest, it could be that I've upgraded too soon—when it comes to road racing. Let's see if the same may be true for crits. I know it's not.