The Waffle House Chronicles...

Friday, May 26, 2006


I had to buy a new scanner/printer. Testing out the scanner - I would like to see this picture in your blog someday.



Anyone who can name where this photo was taken (Eric and Beth excluded) will win a frosty Big Blue (not actual size) courtesy of the Waffle House Chronicles.

Wednesday sucked. Rain, rest and lots of food. I worked my butt off not to try to not get a cold. Not much else to Wednesday really. Jess ran some errands and bought me another loaf of spicy cheese bread. It’s my new vice.

Thursday was much more eventful. It started off with some work issues. Basically I was wondering some things about my current position and my suspicions were confirmed. So I officially have no room for advancement in my job (despite believing for 4 years to the contrary) so now I have to either look elsewhere or try to move horizontally to a position that can move vertically. For now though I sit, lots of events coming up and next year will be my 5th so more vacation. Once Ironman and the wedding are done I’ll reevaluate things although the resume is ready just in case something should pop up here or elsewhere.

Anyways, Thursday was the Pacific Cycle Gun Show ride. I go outside at noon to see a bunch of co-workers but then I also see Sparky from the UW Team and some Jelly Belly guy. Stephen said it was Adam Bergman. He’s a doper…actually I am guessing he was a doper. That is another subject for another day (I have opinions and theories on why people dope, read Velo News for more doping stories today.) Anyways, once he saw me come out he must’ve got scared and he decided not to ride with us and rode off. But Sparky stayed and we started to ride and it started to rain. Someone in the group had a flat and it really poured when we waited. Then it was one of those deals. Everyone wanted to quit and not ride but no one would be the first one to quit…so we went on. It cleared up a bunch. Right before we hit Range Trail Stephen and I attacked. It worked decently and we were down to 5 people, which quickly became two, and then three when I was able to regain the top 2. We worked it hard and then Sparky and I drag raced it to Paoli and I took him! I was pretty excited as he raced at collegiate nationals. It didn’t matter much though because he doesn’t work here so he wasn’t eligible for points anyways, kind of like the Russian dude in the US championships. Anyways the pace was kept pretty moderate all the way to Seminole. I tried an attack that totally sucked (there were 5 of us at this point.) Finally Chuck went for it early and I chased him down trying to get whatever draft I could. Then Sparky went on the outside and I forced him outside but a car was coming so I didn’t want to push him to the curb. He took me by a length but I still got the Pacific points. I really love sprinting thank god points are for sprints and not for climbs and stuff. Anyways, it was a great ride and a great time, I love riding with Stephen and Chuck it is always entertaining and they both pull hard.

So all afternoon it rained and thundered and all of that. I was supposed to do an Aquathon (Swim and then Run) at Warner Park. Well I went anyways and when I got there the weather was perfect. High 60s and blue skies. J.Bro and wife (Missy or Melissa) were there which was a huge relief as I don’t know the first thing about triathlon or aquathon or such. I registered for the series and got ready. Brozek quizzed me on everything I should have brought and I had everything but body glide and a swim cap. Fortunately he brought an extra swim cap. With help from Missy I was able to get in my wetsuit and get it zipped up. J.Bro showed me how the wetsuit works and everything. We took a warm-up practice swim (maybe 300 meters) and then got ready to race. The race started at 7pm (yes, we are swimming in Lake Mendota at 7pm on May 25th) and we were off. I tried to get right in the middle (edge of) the madness. I got kicked a couple times and did a little kicking, I loved it. It took only about half way to the first buoy before I realized I went out a little hard. J.Bro passed so I stepped it up. I rounded the first buoy (I estimate it was 400m to the first, 250m to the second and 350m back in) and the second stretch was my worst. But I made it. After the second, I hammered, I used the crawl stroke all the way in. Everyone else hammered too though, I think I got passed about 6 times. I come out of the water and saw the clock was 24 something. Awesome! I get into transition and peal off my wetsuit, put on my shoes, down some Gatorade and throw on my shirt. Probably took me a couple minutes and then I was on to the run.
Three problems:
1. I had to pee…I held it
2. I didn’t tie my shoe very well and it came untied right away…I retied it
3. J.Bro hadn’t finished the run so I’d have to push it…I pushed it.

I guess everyone there must’ve been swimmers because over 5k I passed a dozen people and only got passed once. And my 5k time was like 27-29 minutes and I believe my finish time was like 56 minutes so only maybe 20 minutes behimd the winner! :) The whole way back though I was worried…no J.Bro. I was pleased to see him at the finish. I can’t even imagine what his swim was like. He said right after he passed me he had some terrible cramps. But the kayak was attending to another swimmer so he had to back stroke it for a while. He ended up surviving through the swim but that has to be every swimmer’s nightmare, cramping in the middle of the lake with no helpers in sight. Anyways, I wish him better luck next time and I seriously thank him (and Missy) for all their help and guidance.

I knocked down 12 cookies afterwards (which were small, so like 4 real cookies) and that was my supper! Got home, washed out my wetsuit and watched some house hunters with Jess. Now it is Friday morning and I am sore!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Monday I took it easy and did a nice 32 mile recovery ride. The legs felt good so it wasn’t too tough to push some good speed and keep the heart rate low. My legs weren’t wrecked from Sunday…I guess I can go at race pace for 30 minutes and still be good to go the next day. Monday evening I felt a cold starting to come on but such is life. Tuesday I was still holding off a cold. After a frustrating day at work and a short lunch ride it was time to head up to Baraboo for some more Shark ride action. The ride was a lot of fun! We hammered and then hammered some more (turns out there are some flat roads near there.) Of course after the hammerfest we hit the hills. We actually climbed on roads that went behind but to the top of two ski hills (Cascade and Devil’s Head.) We then paced in back into town for a 50 mile total. The A Class wheels were pretty sweet for cheap wheels. Some good eats and conversation later we were on the road. It’s pretty interesting to hear the philosophies of Jerry and Kelson, that’s for sure. But now I have a cold. Still nowhere near as bad as it could/should be so I am praying it stays that way. Wednesday is a rest day though…I’d like to get out for a Paoli loop if Jess is up for it but we’ll see. Thursday is the start of swimming season so that’ll be fun as well! Oh yeah I guess the lunch ride on Thursday is called the Gun Show and it is for points and blood…I hope to obtain both! Next year I hope to be in Iowa this weekend…but this year is L’Alp Bluez. I am going to get smoked…when the slopes get steep my speed goes down-disproportionately…but I am going to give it hell regardless. Oh yeah and there is already like 150 people preregistered for it, could be a 300 person race before all is said and done, insanity! One more thing…I’ve been logging some solo miles and I think Vault Soda is catching on. Vault Soda 20oz bottles have to be the #1 most littered product. #2 is the 24oz Budweiser Dale Jr Can, #3 is the 20oz Mt Dew and #4 is a medium soda cup from McDonalds. After that I couldn’t tell you although gel packets are probably up there along with Taco Bell cups. This is all based on segments of road in and directly south of Fitchburg. I wonder what Buzz Lightyear is doing right now?

Monday, May 22, 2006

I was having the race of my life…

So Sunday was the Alpine Valley Race. Not usually my best course but I had good form and was looking forward to atone for my mechanical at Iola. Saturday I went down to Alpine Valley and rode a couple laps to check it out. I had a good idea what it takes to do well, basically hammer and get into the single track as quick as you can, then settle in and make sure to hammer in all open areas. Good plan I felt. Sunday I woke up, had some Life cereal and eggo waffles. Jess and I got down there just in time to watch the Citizen racers go. We get ready and my group was going first. From the “Goooooo” I was hammering, settling into second up the hill and was in 4th in the wave and 2nd in my age entering the singletrack. I held that until the second non-singletrack climb where two guys (one in my age) passed me and I settled in behind them as they were better singletrack riders so they could teach me something. I ended up riding the whole first lap including the part I couldn’t ride in pre-ride so I was excited. At the turn of the lap I passed the person in my age group to get into 2nd. We climbed again and on the second climb some XXX rider flew by us all and caught the race leader as well and he ended up winning our age group. We were catching the guy in 2nd though when on a small uphill…snap…my chain broke. About half way through the race I broke…guh! I quickly stop got my chain ready and grabbed my master link. No avail, my chain wasn’t repairable without a chain tool…and I left mine in the car. Last time I do that! I seriously wanted to mechanical I can handle but two in a row when I was about to have the two best finishes ever? So I watched people I really wanted to beat pass me. Then I thought maybe someone random would loan me a tool so I got on my bike and rode the downhill and two creek crossings asking for chain tools. No one had one they were willing to give up. Finally I stopped again when gravity stopped me. I worked for 10 minutes on fixing it by smashing it against a rock, by prying it with bike parts, etc…but no avail. So I did what I had to do, I walked. I finished the lap and took another. I’ll learn the hard way and after two mechanicals I really needed the points. 3.5 miles of pushing a bike sucked (I was able to ride the downhills so maybe 1.5 miles of walking, 1.5 of riding and another .5 of scooting. I finally finish right before Jess and in time to see the experts go. Somehow I still beat two finishers in my age group…crazy. Again I have to dwell on the what could have been of the day as I was almost certainly going to make my first age group podium and would’ve likely been in the top 15 overall by virtue of an early and fast wave.

Fortunately I got to live vicariously through others. Brozek represented our eave in his first sport race ever getting 15th and beating a lot of people! Jess finished hard and got another 6th which should move her into 4th place (she finished a good half-hour ahead of last year despite having a cold for a week.) Joel and Shiroma took 1-2 in the singlespeed race. Jen Jones (Kelson’s better 5/6ths) one the women’s sport overall, Kelson then tried to one-up her by winning his comp age group and getting 4th overall. And Garett raced and finished despite getting ran into a tree by an “unknown Chainsmoking Expert rider.” And then to top it all off Jerry had to podium (10th) in the Elite race and win some money in a loaded Elite race with no less than 4 pros racing. And then at Wheels on Willy Hertz got 3rd. So basically a great day for everyone…except me! But that is life, I’ll get a new chain and be back at Wausau!

Kelson trying to reclaim his hardcore status...or something...

On other notes:
-Beav got a job and will be teaching in New Richmond this fall
-We lost 3 of 3 in volleyball but all games were close (I believe we scored at least 10 in each game.)
-Watched Wheels on Willy Pro 1-2 race, some dude won in a 2up breakaway…winning loads of cash, 2 premes (one which was a date with two girls at one time) and the sprint for the win, domination!
-Hard week of training this week, and a bunch of race type events coming up as well.