The Waffle House Chronicles...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Horribly Hilly Hundreds!

Today I was signed up for the Horribly Hilly Hundreds. It is a 124 mile ride that goes up and down all the largest hills in southwest Wisconsin for a total elevation gain of around 11,000 feet. Compile that with 86-88 degree temps and 20mph winds and I was in for quite a treat. My goal? To finish!

Last night after I got my new super-pro haircut Garett and I went to pick up our packets. We also feasted on spaghetti. I opted for the second helping and everyone was amazed by the amount of food I could put away...Everyone but me of course! :) After I got home I wasn't feeling too good though, full, still kind of sick and also sore from the Aquathon.

I got roughly 6 hours of wake every 45 minutes to piss because I was so hydrated sleep and then got up. Brozek was supposed to pick me up at 5:20ish but was kind of late. I guess he had some early morning blogging to do! :) Certainly he wasn't late because he had to coax 2 girls to awake and tote us around at dawn, the day after Missy's birthday! Happy Birthday Missy! We get to Blue Mounds about 20 after 6 and get our timing chip. Mine barely fit around my ankle. Anyways in what is normal for any event I line up right in front. at 7:07am we were off.

Team Schwinn dominated. J.Bro finally realized that leading events can be fun, even if you know you won't finish at the front. We single-handedly rolled the field 7 miles down to the first big climb of the day. That was the last time I would see the front. The first climb is tough (Mounds Trail.) Anyways, I got in with some fast riders and we got to the first rest stop averaging right around 20mph. I forgo the rest stop though to keep my flow and get in with an even faster group! It helped alot as we were riding well together but half way through stage 2 (they call each time between the rest stop a stage) we split in about 3 groups, me being in the back of the 3 but still pretty far up the road. We got to the second rest stop right when I ran out of liquid, good timing! I had a banana with peanut butter (at almost every stop) and grabbed some gels and water and Heed and get going pretty much by myself. I am rolling along minding my own business when a pack comes at me. They told me to turn around as we missed a sign so we back tracked about a 1/2 mile (1 mile round trip) and got back on course. We had a 15 person pack now and we worked well together on the relatively easy stage 3. There were a couple scorchers at the end of the stage though that split us up. We get to rest area 3 and there is Garett. How did he get ahead of me? He said they must've missed a turn and his computer had 10 less miles than mine. Bummer. Early in stage 4 though I was feeling really good and pushing the pace. We split in two groups and this time I was in the front one. It was the last time I saw Garett too. Stage 4 was rough though and pretty soon I was riding with one other guy and then after about 10 miles of working together he said he couldn't take it anymore and quit the event. By now we were at mile 80 and although I still felt good it was getting boring. It wasn't boring for long as I was riding and all of a sudden out of a ditch a rottweiler lunged at me. He smacked right into my chain stay moving my bike maybe 6 inches. He scared me and himself and the owner yelled. The whole thing took like 2 seconds and I was just happy to keep the bike upright. Shortly after that I again see a pack coming towards me. Wrong way, some idiot misdirected the signs. Guh! We ended up picking up about 20 people in this 2 mile round trip regroup. We then had a huge pack which was nice and it carried me almost to the end of stage 4. I get to the last rest stop and load up more food and drinks. Many people half-assed this rest stop and I got caught without a group. For the rest of the ride I was without group with the exception of about 1 mile on Lake Farm road. Anyways I think 4 or 5 of the toughest climbs come in the final stage. Pinnacle almost killed me, my right hammy was cramping and I kept rotating between in and out of the saddle just to be easy on it. Lake farm was long and just kept getting steeper. Guh! By the top I was dying. Then the climb into Barneveld was long, steep and had no shade. Then coming out of Barneveld I thought I was on the Time Trial course for the race back, but then a random left turn added a couple miles and some rollers. On the plus side a car honked at me and it was Jess! :) She snapped some photos (which I'll try to post later) and really motivated me those last 8 miles. Then we get to the bottom of Blue Mounds trail. This was it. I put it in my 39X23 and cranked. My speed varied from 4.3-6.1 the whole way up and I passed a few people. I then got into the park and I unleashed my secret weapon. I did the whole race until that point without shifting into my 26T in the rear. I saved it for that last climb and it sure did feel nice. I got up gracefully and cleanly! 7:53 something for 127 (124 + 3 random other) miles. My stats:

Distance: 127.14 miles
Total time: 7:53:something
Ride time: 7:37:17
Climbing: 10,400 feet
Calories burned: 8470
Avg Heart Rate: 157BPM
Max Heart Rate: 188BPM
Avg Speed (riding): 16.7mph
Max speed: 51.7MPH

Notable events: Brozek and I suited him well. A rumor going around that Greg LeMond was there and me remembering passing a guy on a carbon LeMond prototype bike. The Rottweiler. Getting called a fag by someone who I presume to be a hick. Bananas with Peanut Butter...mmmm. Free Culvers custard at the finish line. Seeing M.Bro and prodigy taking photos. Seeing Jess when I was feeling down and tired. Brent and Nagle were to do the 100K event, no word on how they did... Update: Greg LeMond was there!

I didn't see Brozek after the race so I assumed he finished. Although Garett cut 10 miles off the course, he then added 6 round trip when he missed a turn (that was probably missing a sign) and ended up in the town of Arena so he hit 120.

Overall it was an awesome and I hope once in a lifetime experience! Two roads were missing signs (rumors that locals stole them because they hate the event) and one that was directed the wrong way caused 3 extra miles and two glances to the map. I think it could be better marshalled and the corners could be swept somewhat. The course seemed alot easier than I thought until the last stage which was much more difficult that I thought. I figured my legs would tire out between miles 75-80 but I remember distinctly my legs crapping out at mile 98. Century took 5:33 (ride time) meaning the last 27 miles took me 2:04 (ride time.)

Update again: Wow I did really good! 26th place overall in 7:52:27. 15.8mph with stops. Not too shabby!

Product reviews-
Coppertone Sunblock Spray-on Sport SPF 30, A+ One coat lasted all day with minimal burning or annoyingness.

Hammer Products- D I had three of their products today. Their Heed drink sucks. It tastes awful and I am not sure it helped much. Hammer Gel does work but again it tastes terrible. I've never had a hammer gel flavor I've enjoyed, Chocolate and raspberry are decent, Orange and Vanilla are terrible! The little caps were kind of fun but I still cramped somewhat.

Friday, June 16, 2006

So I can add a web-based photo but not an upload so I am guessing I used too much upload space. Any ideas on how to knock some upload space down?

BTW- This has got to be one of the greatest feelings. Arm's raised a couple seconds ahead of the sprinters. A solo break that worked by just enough!

Happy Birthday Riz!!!
Update: I switched up some archive so now I think I can upload pics. If there is one of me on snow above then I think I kicked the problem in the butt!

I’m Bo Jackson beeotch!!!

In the last 24 hours I’ve rode my bike hard, swam and run in the Aquathon, played 3 games of volleyball and an hour of basketball. My coach thinks that is stupid…I’ll probably agree. Needless to say I need to schedule some rest time soon to recharge and call my doctor for some help with some lingering lung congestion. Just trying to figure out when to rest, we’ll see how I feel after the HHH.

Good luck to everyone going to Kewaunee. I’ll miss racing and being there but such is life.

Anyways, I did the Aquathon last night. It went really well. I think I swam about 500m before the start to get warmed up. From the siren and the beach run I entered the water about 3rd which didn’t last long. One thing I can’t get used to is the swim start and my breathing and the shock of working hard in cold water was taking a toll on me. It took me about 200m to feel comfortable and then I couldn’t be stopped. I swam straight and fast doing 800m of straight crawl stroke without a break. I was pretty proud. I exit the water after about 2/3 of the field but the clock read 18:29 or something so I was stoked, that was fast! I transition slowly but faster than last week and I think I hit the run course around 20 minutes. I love the running part of the Aquathon, so many rabbits so little distance. It takes me about .3 miles or so to get in my flow and then I start passing. I passed a good dozen people and was feeling good. I get to about ½ mile to go and two guys absolutely fly by me. The first one I kept pace with but when the second guy passed us, the first guy ran with him and I got dropped. But I was well ahead of this random girl I wanted to beat. I came in at 45:13 so my run was just a hair over 25 minutes. A couple handfuls of mini cookies later I had to leave to get home for volleyball. Not sure what place I got yet but I am guessing my placing was similar to last week which is awesome for me since all the people there are likely just getting into their peak triathlon form.

I got home and chilled for a half hour and then off to volleyball. We played well against a team that was pretty equal to us. We only took 1 of 3 but I think we made a lot of strides towards playing good team volleyball.

HHH on Saturday morning. Guh! Garett and I are heading over this evening to get signed in and eating some spaghetti.

Update: This morning I got up early and I just needed to play basketball. I went at about 75% and shot a lot of outside shots and played pretty decent.

No one’s found the Aquabug yet!

I can’t get photos to post on my blog from any computer anymore. Anyone have any ideas why

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Out of talent...

So I didn't feel great on Tuesday and I considered it an off day. I've got new asthma medication and maybe it takes a while for the body to adapt. So I was looking forward to getting back on the MTB Wednesday night. We get there and the field looked big, I wish they would do a mass start now and again (like a practice WORS race) so I can learn how to race better. Anyways I sign up 7th. 1st was Jesse Lalonde (most people would link his site here to show how cool they are that they read his site, not to say I don't but I don't know him so I am not linking his site) and I never saw him (or 3 of the other guys that started ahead.) I caught my 15 second man when the singletrack got more technical which is good because we are about equal on the MTB. I pass him and proceed to crash no more than 20 feet later. That was the last I saw of him. My bad shifting got worse too and I was pissed but not in a good I want to kick some ass way...Finally I stopped and did some barrel adjusting and for once it actually worked. But my flow was gone, I tried to ride hard as much as I could but I sure wasn't going fast. I finished like 6 minutes back. Afterward there was lots of free beer, meat and other food and some good conversation and I got home about 1-1/2 later than I thought.

Today was the Gun Show. Stephen has been gunning for me for a while and even tried the tactic of motavating everyone by saying how strong he thinks I am in an e-mail. It must've worked there was an early attack (after a couple flats by riders including Stephen) and I let it go. It was starting to get out of my comfortable range though (we were still in town) so I tried twice to bring it closer and we kept the gap about the same. Then I realized that everyone else was just watching me, they wouldn't even pull when we were 5 miles out. I tried twice to solo up but everyone seems to be getting a lot faster as I couldn't even gain a couple bike lengths. Finally in Verona I cracked. I got dropped as there was a 2 person break ahead, someone else, and 2 more people ahead and I was in the back with 2 others (there were some stragglers behind us.) We hit Whalen and I found out that the two people on me were sucking wheel. I was able to discard one but when I asked the other to pull through he said nothing and proceeded not to pull through. We hit range about 100 yards behind a group of two who were about 100 yards from the head of the field. I finally pulled us up to the second group of two and they are both good riders who like to work. Awesome. I pulled us 4 up to a guy who got dropped by Stephen, so Stephen was all alone with about 150 yards. I kept pulling and the gap was closing a bit (Stephen had been pulling himself for a long time) I kept trying to get someone/anyone to come around but nothing. Finally Holmes came around for a token 10 second pull and then he faded a bit. Great. I told them that if they want to catch him someone was going to have to help. We finally get to the finishing stretch and the gap came down pretty good but not good enough. I tell two people to get on my wheel and I sprinted (more like an acceleration than a sprint) and peeled off only for Chuck to come up maybe 10 yards short. 1 more pull by anyone at any point and I could've pulled us all back and we all would've had a chance. For once I missed Lee (who flatted) and his classic 30 second balls out pull without regards for anyone or anything. But I am guessing the mentality was "anybody but Mark." Oh well, two more to go.

The second one worked perfectly for me but I had a Stephen shadow. I went for it, legs didn't like it but we went all out, Stephen got me by a half of a bike length. To add insult to injury Stephen started to get cocky. Thank you Stephen! I was pissed, it seemed like my form just dissappeared, I haven't won any sort of sprint this week, flat, downhill or uphill after getting demoralized on Tuesday.

Sprint 3 was set-up well though. There were some not very well executed breaks (even though we had a sweet tailwind.) I decided at that point I wasn't going to stress over anyone but Stephen as I knew he wanted the sweep so much that he was willing to work a little more. He chased down a break very late and there I was in perfect postion on his wheel and no way (without being a huge bastard) that he could get me out of the draft and I waited patiently and hit him right at my perfect sprint point and took the win. Thank god that sprint is considered the "Finish Line" and you get double points so we both got 3 points on the day (1 for attending, 1 for each sprint and 2 for the finish) and I get to keep the vest. On top of that my lead didn't get any smaller (stayed the same) and I am hoping Stephen will be marked somewhat too, he certainly won't get in any more early breaks without me. Every week has gotten more difficult so all the spring slackers are finally getting some form.

I am going to have to figure something out as I was hoping for an early-mid July peak and it is looking more like I had a mid-June peak and it is fading. Or maybe my body says, "we got you the podium at Wausau like you wanted now train us for Ironman."

Aquathon tonight. J.Bro is ditching because he is smart and isn't under-estimating the Horribly Hilly Hundreds like I probably am. I hope they have cookies again after the race...I have to go pretty much from the Aquathon to Volleyball and as much as I am craving Arbys there isn't any on the route home.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tuesday was kind of blah! All I could manage was a quick 15 mile ride on Monday at lunch (and basketball in the AM.) I got up Tuesday and didn’t feel very spectacular. I was kind of tired which to me was kind of odd. I wanted to ride at lunch to stretch the legs but I felt I needed some relax time so I went home. I watched two episodes of a show on MTV called Parental Control. It was probably the worst made show ever…it was hilarious in one of those pathetic sort of ways but I would so watch it again. Anyways, I got home and got ready to go to Baraboo. I still felt off so I brought some extra water and drank as much as I could up there. We got on the bike and I felt pretty decent. We went through Devil’s Lake State Park and Jerry and Ryan attacked and all I could do is watch. After that I was getting pretty warmed up but for some reason my sprint didn’t feel as fast as normal so I was kind of frustrated. Looking back though the sprints were longer than normal and Jerry would start everything early forcing a hard chase and then a sprint and my legs just couldn’t hold it. We went through Merrimac and then up the back side of Cascade Mountain and I still couldn’t get the speed I wanted. After that we (Ryan, Jerry and I) split because Jerry is an ass and wanted more climbing. We did some random climb towards Devil’s Head, then went to Devil’s Head and climbed up to the towers (almost 700 feet.) At this point I was more just going to try and get up and speed wasn’t an issue. I actually felt good on that last climb but once we descended and I aero tucked my legs turned to stone (not to self, limit aero tucks towards the last half of the HHH) and I just hung on the best I could back to Baraboo (it was dark at this point as well.) We got back to the house at 9:10…58 miles, almost 4000 feet of elevation and 3:15 of riding time. Oh well, there were brats, chips & salsa and fresh fruit waiting for us which was awesome! I so want to bring something to help out but I have no idea what since they are all into nice homemade stuff and homemade to me is like Hamburger Helper. I guess I’ll have to bring some wine one of these days. Anyways, we didn’t leave until 10:20 and I wasn’t home until 11:15 and in bed by 11:45.

The highlight of my day was when I got home and opened the garage. The stack of 18 stone plates was down to 4 as Jess almost finished off the rest of the patio all by herself. On top of that she cooked dinner for herself and reinstalled the lattice under the deck so the dogs wouldn’t go under. Not sure what the reason for her huge productivity output last night but it sure was appreciated! Ugh, Wednesday sure won’t be kind to me!!! It’s early and I am tired…blah!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Forecast- Saturday, June 17th- High of 92 (which is the current record high) and low of 71. Humid with Isolated thunder storms, breezy
Itinerary- Saturday June 17th- 124.2 miles of hill climbing hell, 10,700 feet of climbing

I’ve been considering for days skipping the Horribly Hilly Hundreds to instead do the Kewaunee race. This was compounded with even more pressure not to do it when I found out there is a WCA crit at research park on Saturday. But I am banking on having better form next year even for crit and road racing and the HHH is great training for the Ironman and will show me the kind of pain I will have to endure on Sept 10th. So come 7am on Saturday I plan on being right in front for the start and come 4-5pm I plan to be pretty far in the rear for Horribly Hilly. Oh yeah, and the Kewaunee race usually kind of sucks and is 3-1/2 hours each way…

Forecast for tonight is thunderstorms…which means only one thing! Riding in Baraboo! We’ve either had rain or the threat of rain every Tuesday for 5 straight weeks now.

Tomorrow is some Blackhawk TT action, Hawaiian style. I don’t have any Hawaiian shirts or anything though so I’ll probably be pretty lame! If only I would’ve buried that pig…

Looking forward to the Aquathon and volleyball on Thursday! Yes, I can do both, for once the late game comes at a good time! I don’t think I can better my time from the last Aquathon (I won’t have J.Bro pushing me) but I am hoping to lower my swim time at least. That is if I can find someone to zip up my wetsuit!

Monday, June 12, 2006

How could one day be so busy? Here were the things I was asked to do on Saturday:
-Go to Shiroma’s wedding
-Race state roads
-Race Kettles 12 hour race
-Go to the blessing ceremony for our god-daughter
-Go to Black River Falls for my grandma’s birthday
-Go to the Brewers game

Naturally (no offense to Shiroma, I wish I could’ve been there) we went to the blessing ceremony and had a great time! Isadora was beautiful in her dress and all of MJ and Andy’s friends and family are really awesome! Plus MJ’s brother brought his bulldog (Chubs) and he was hilarious! I started the day off with a couple hours of basketball and then some errands. We then went to the Farmer’s Market and then to get some Gelato. We rested for a bit and went to the blessing. After the blessing which ran pretty late we chilled at home.

Sunday was a pretty lazy day. I woke up and wanted to ride. But I was too lazy…that and the 25mph winds and 46 degree temps. Funny, three months ago that weather was balmy! So I instead read the paper. I also watched a movie called Surviving Christmas. I vaguely remember a preview around Christmas time but overlooked it. Wish I wouldn’t have…it was one of the funniest movies I’ve seen lately and I loved it! It will probably become a Christmas tradition! After that, I told Jess that I had nothing to do that day so lets pick something and do it. I was hoping for something fun (mini golf or the zoo and Taco Bell would’ve been nice.) “Let’s build a patio so the dogs stop bringing in mud.” Uh, ok, I guess. Well I envisioned a 4X6 patio, Jess envisioned a 6X8. So we went to Menards. We bought tiles. 16”X16” tiles, 30 of them, 42lbs a piece…and 500lbs of sand. Now creating a patio isn’t easy. And our ground was far from level. We dug out the space and made it as level as possible (not really level at all) and then started installing tiles. It took us about 10 minutes per tile to level them out (after 2 hours of prep work) but we did pretty good. Then after about 8 tiles it started to suck, and leveling wasn’t easy. We finally got 12 tiles in before calling it quits. But I think we started on the more difficult side so hopefully it will be easier. Needless to say my back is sore today. After that we watched the end of Nascar and went to Chilis with her parents. Jess was cashed so I flipped on another Shotime movie, this one called The Perfect Man. I kind of liked that one too.

Oh yeah, I forgot Friday. We went right after work and watched Cars. That movie rocks and I highly recommend it. It was probably my third favorite Pixar movie behind the Toy Story duo and easily is a top 15 or so movie ever. I actually want to see it again!

Congrats to Shiroma who got married on Saturday! Jill rocks and I am sure you will have a great life together!

Last but not least, here’s a shout-out to the blog voyeurs out there! If you are reading this hit me with a reply so I know you are out there!