Friday, December 5, 2014

The What Off-Season Blog


Calley and I found out that God is planning to bless us with a new addition to our family next July! She is almost 8 weeks in.  We are super excited and can't wait for this moment as we announced to our family and friends over the Thanksgiving break. Thanks to Brian Phillips, a Fresh team road racer, I have a my cycling stroller lined up ready to carry the little one around.  

Off-Season/Winter time is a good time to do something a little bit different, while still maintaining some fitness as you engage in holiday meals and cheat on your nutrition fueling, most days of the week.  With that, I also worked on a building a budget friendly mountain bike, my buddy and co-worker  at Cobb Cycling, Seth, helped me put the 29er full suspension together. It turns out I can run through trails faster than I can bike right now However, being a little slow from my fellow racers on the mtb doesn't stop me from enjoying my riding.  Check out my little jump on the higher ramp at the UT Tyler Trails.

Thanksgiving was great! I have a lot to be thankful for in my life and it would take another blog or two, to list out everything. God has blessed me with everything in life to beto be thankful for. We celebrated hard with all the traditional fixin's on both my side of the family and Calley's side, which her side included two dinners, one by Dallas and the other at her mom's, you can't beat that. There's not much need to say, like most people,  I carry a few extra pounds around this time of year. 

 My Pa, who is tough as nails in his mid 90's helped me go out and pick pecans after our hearty lunch. . He just recently gotten over a bad fall, where he banged his head on concrete, that required stitching. Pa was real helpful, though, he likes to point out all the pecans I missed right by feet. I actually enjoyed it, it's always great to spend some quality time with Pa.

After Thanksgiving, Rylan and I went to expend our turkey consumption,  we rode bikes around UT Tyler. I did bribe him with Marble Slab ice cream if he went and rode with me. It worked out well, I got a kick out of him ordering his ice cream as he went to town on ordering and eating, also, it was fun crusing around with him.

2014 Season was a bit of a somewhat roller coaster with some ups and a lot of downs, performance wise on race day. It's hard to pinpoint an exact cause of why, though. Instead of worrying about all of that, I've turned over the reigns to Jeremy Brown, from Mind Right Multisport, after watching his coaching from a distance this past year, where all I have to do is execute the training and racing. I've had a knee issue since January, this year, it's been tender and sore, but not really effecting my training/racing, not getting better or worse, however, I would like to get that better soon, so I don't have any running to do until maybe January right now.  I'm planning a short season through the first week of June, next year, and will spend the rest of the year with my new baby and Wife and go from there. I'm going into 2015, looking to bring the fun back into the sport, with high goals and an open mind.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Oilman Texas 70.3

Seeking redemption from Austin, I most certainly was. I got there Saturday about 11:00 a.m. and did my bike and run prep a little cool but not too bad. I was by myself this trip so thinking of getting into the lake without a wetsuit because I need someone to zip me up, was a little daunting. I also didn't want to bother anyone, so jumped in, I swam. Good thing it was a short swim, it wasn't too bad but I was getting cold within 10 minutes. I swam several meters passed that big orange bouy in the photo and swam back. The water was refreshing but on the chilly side. The rest of the afternoon I took a nap and rested in in the hotel. 

Race morning brought temperatures into the low 40's as everyone was making their way and getting set up into transition. I didn't know what other people were going to do but I laid out gloves and arm warmers just in case it was chilly getting out of the water. The air temperature was so cold even with wetsuits it was actually warmer to wait for the start in the water.   

Once the swim started, it was a fast dash out front then I get reeled back in, a hard right and it was game on. I didn't except the chop to be that bad, but it was. It was fun battling the waves coming at you in all sorts of angles. The Life Guards had their work cut out, as I heard several whistles being blown to rescue swimmers who didn't quite make it through.  I'm glad this was not an Ironman branded race, the swim would have been called off for being too cold and having too much chop. I had a decent swim time in 34+, considering the amount of chop their was. I had worked with Jeremy Brown from MindRight Multisport the week to get some crossover I had going on straightened out, so it was a straight swim for me this week and it's amazing how sighting was much easier. 


I had the fastest transition with an in and out from swim to bike in 49 seconds. I skipped right over my gloves and arm warmers, the sun was out by now and I didn't feel like I needed them. The whole bike regarding the temperature I was comfortable. I was really moving the first half off the bike hitting just over 24 mph average for the first hour, then we had some strong winds on the back half and my average pulling my overall average down to 22.8 mph overall but I was still passing people (left) and right, except for Philip Shama hammering it out doing the relay. He became my cycling buddy for a little while out there on the second half as we were taking legal pulls but eventually I fell off from him.

I got off to a great start on my run and controlling myself from going too fast or so I thought at the time. I had no idea Lars Finagar was in the race until I saw him way out in front of me, but unfortunately for him he was DQ'd for not wearing his helmet before the race when he was on his bike. This meant I had the "official" lead and had no idea. 

The run course was 3 loops with a couple of out and backs so it kind of easy to keep track of where you were with a few guys. There were two guys I mainly had my eyes on - Pablo Gomez in the 20 year old age group and Pat Doughtery who was in mine. Pablo was running well but I had estimated at some of the out and backs I had a 4 minute lead on him that would shrink to about a minute by the time it was over. Pat, was running well but I was holding a good lead over him for most of the race. Starting out on the run it was great to see all the people from Tyler who came down to cheer for everyone, especially Jeffrey Mayhall who took all these pictures. 

My back was really tight by mile 3-4 and I had to stop once  each lap and let my back loosen up and that seemed to help a lot, however, with about 4 miles to go my legs ran out of steam and that was that. Pat caught me with just under a mile to go and I couldn't respond to his speed. 

Due to Lars being disqualified I moved up to "officially" 2nd overall but "technically" 3rd overall. He's a great athlete and you can't just count him out when he just whooped on all of us. Pat moved up to 2nd overall and so that moved me up to 1st in the 30-34 age group. My time came out to be 4:33. 

That's a wrap on the 2014 season that had a lot of ups and downs, fun and hard training days, exciting trips and adventures. Thank you to God, for all the talent and drive that it takes and thank you for all the support to my Beautiful Wife Calley, Team Extremus, Cobb Mobb & Cobb Cycling, The Tyler Bike Club and Fresh Race Team!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Austin 70.3

My Wife, Calley and I made the trip down to Austin 70.3 and had a great time together.. We had a fanstastic little house stay with a nice guy, named Joseph. His house was absolutely spotless and comfortable. That night we relaxed by watching a Criminal Minds marathon. 

I almost had to skip this race. A couple of weeks before I was biking out to the weekly Tuesday night pain train when I got in traffic at a stop and go stand still and unclipped a little late and when I stepped on the pavement my cleat slip and my right knee went at an awkward angle. I hobbled off the road, shook it off a few minutes, and kept riding.  I was ok, somewhat, until a few days later I was teaching Rylan how to do run drills and the explosiveness of these run drills didn't go so well for my knee.  I tried to get through the next couple of days but it wasn't working out. I took 3 days off and did absolutly nothing but ice and epsom salt my knee which seemed to help a lot, by Monday it was go time again. I started my taper earlier than I had planned on but it seemed to be helping me out leading up to Austin.  

It was a long wait while each wave went off. I was super relaxed and having fun! As seen here with some of our Cobb Mobbers, Joe, Crystal, and Rachel. 

My new age division, this year, was quite big we were separated in two large waves. My swim was 33:04, not exactly fish-like. I got off too good start but must have been been crossing over way too much right arm and I kept veering left, especially at the start.   

I went off carrying my bike out of transition, it was a long run too, carrying this heavy thing due to all the stickers that were near the course. Tons of people were out on the course fixing flats, myself included. I was letting it rip out on the bike course. It featured mostly rolling hills where I could get fast doing downhill and use the momentum to carry me up and down the next one, the roads were very rough though. I was set to hit between 2:15-2:20 at half way if I kept the pace up. At mile 29 though, it became harder to pedal and eventually, flat. Well, this time instead of dropping out I changed my own tubular for the first time (Thanks Seth!). It took me longer than I thought it did with my 2:38 bike split. I found getting back on the bike and getting going again was the hardest part, the last 5-10 miles was very windy and I was struggling, honestly.  

The Run....well right from the start I started experiencing some really bad stomach issues. My legs felt fine but everytime I tried to push the effort my stomach distress increased sharply. It was a bad deal. There was lot of slow jogging and walking for me out there, not to mention it was getting hot. My Sub 11 min run splits were not going to get me the age group win today. 

The drive home was fantastic! I through up a couple of times a long the way but we got through it and made the best of it! Luckily, my Wife was with me to get us home. Thanks again to my Wife, who cheered on everyone out there all day, and also to the Tyler group that came to support everyone, the Cobb Mobb team, and Extremus. I'm thankful to God for keeping me safe out there and that I was able to recover fast from it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Spirit of Hope 5K

The 5,000 meter run brings a whole new pain level compared to that of your longer distance races. Pain, so intense and you may spill guts at any moment or suddenly can't lift your legs. That was basically my experience towards the second half of the 5k. 

Believe it or not I was actually excited to race this and nervous at the same time. I watched the Prefontaine movie with my Wife and boy, Rylan the night before as he has a cross country meet the next day also. Driving too the race I could feel the pressure running through my veins. Man, I've sure missed racing the 5k road race. 

This was the first 5K run that I've done in about 4 years or so. I didn't know for sure what I was able to do. I just knew I was fit going into it and I've been running good intervals for the half-marathon/half iron distance. I knew that Tomas, a runner from Longview just ran a 16:40 a month ago and that it was going to take a sub 16:30 to win it. 

My parents and me before I started my warmups. 

Chatting with Jimmie Jones. Believe it or not, about 15 years ago me and him would be fighting it out for whatever  place we were running for at the time.

I executed my plan just like I was planning to do. The course record for this was only 18 minutes, however Tomas, was here. Trying to run just below 18 minuteswas out of the question. It was a recovery week for me as I was in between training blocks, I didn't want to run any harder than I needed to. 

We take off and it starts out basically with three of us. This kid in blue takes out, he has nice running shoes so I figured I better get caught up to him in case he's a young speedster. Leaving the high school campus Tomas pulls ahead and I get right behind him. We hit the first mile in a cruisy 5:15. We slowed down quite a bit after the first mile.   I stay directly behind him before we turned into the residential area just after 1.5 miles in. At that point, I attacked and ran fast him around him so he wouldn't have a chance to respond and go with me. My two mile split was 5:17. I glanced behind me to see how far he was and  he was still right there, in stricking distance. I took no chances and kept pressing the pace up a false flat out of the residential area back up to main street surging the turns to keep adding distance between myself and him.  

Getting close to getting out of the residential and back on to Main street. 
 Turning onto Main Street my arms became heavy with fatigue and my turnover felt like it was slowing down. I also didn't know if I was going to be able to keep that pizza down from the night before. I came to third mile in 5:18, keeping fairly consistent splits, even though the effort had sky rocketed compared to the beginning.

On Main Street in my hometown heading back to Carthage High School you can see Tomas close behind. 

I came a way as the 2014 Spirt of Hope 5K Champion in my hometown and put my stamp on the course record of 16:29.2 at least for now distancing myself by 31 seconds on the second half of the race from Tomas. This race has the potential to be a must-do race in East Texas.

I thank God for the allowing me to compete and win! Thanks to all the wonderful sponsors and volunteers who made this race possible for it's 4th annual and my supportive Wife, Parents, the Cobb Mobb, and Extremus teams.  It's going to be a tough 3 more weeks of training but I'm excited to compete in the Austin 70.3 and the Oilman Texas Half Ironman coming up within a month.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Coleman Chevrolet Stage Race by Edge City Cycling - Racing 4 Blaise

 Last weekend I had the priveledge to race my bicycle with the Fresh Racing Team in a small town near Texarkana called Douglasville, Tx. It had one stoplight in the whole town, actually I think it might have been just a 4 way with a stop sign. This was a team effort  as we raced to raise money for Kristin Blaise. Blaise was hit by a young man in Tyler, Tx on her bicycle a few weeks ago who was paying more attention to his phone than the road. The Tyler cycling and community has been raising money for her out of pocket costs with medical bills as she works 3 jobs to support herself including a Vet Technician.

I raced in the Category 4/5 division with Matthew Ramirez and Clay Emge on our Fresh Racing Team. The first race of the day consisted of a double loop course totaling just over 60 miles.

Credit to Robert Spangle Photography
Here we are all smiles before we get ready to go. Also in the race is Whit Somerall the guy who I race a few weeks ago in Louisana. This was a hilly race featuring over 3,000 feet of climbing. The pace of this race was a lot faster than last time and 15 miles into the race Whit is off the front and Clay creeps by the pack and I roll in behind him. I know if I don't go with Clay it could be game over for the rest of us. We were able to sneak away with a considerable gap from the field with Clay, Whit  (La'Sport), Evan (RBM Matrix), and me. It was pretty much a 4 man break for us the rest of the way. We put pressure on to keep the pack from catching us. It wasn't long into the breakway where I started regretting those 5x1 mile repeats on Thursday night as I turned to Jen Voit's famous saying "Shut Up Legs".

Here we are after the first loop taking in some of the water hand outs. I was doing all I could do to keep taking pulls and not get dropped. Going up some of the hills my quads would be on fire and I thought I would crack and pop off the back of the group any minute. The last 10 miles of the loop it was straight into the headwind and our pulls were getting shorter and shorter as no one wanted to be out front. With just over a mile to go Clay attacks for the finish line Whit and Evan were able to go with him but my legs could barely turn the pedals. It didn't take long for Clay as he had another gear left to pop off Whit and Evan in the final kilometer. The last mile I was light headed and barely turning over the pedals. I was worried that the pack my catch me. It was such a relief to reach the top of the hill at the finish line - bent over the bars catching my breath and wating for my legs to stop screaming.

A few hours and a couple of burgers later was the 4.6 mile Time Trial. The legs were still quite fatigued and there seemed to be more hills in this race than the map originally showed. I was able to post a 10:06 split or a 27.8 mph average which put me at 3rd overall in the 4/5 division behind Clay and Whit and moved me up to 3rd over Evan. Our time trial times were much slower than some of the other divisions just showing how much harder we rode in the road race.  

The next day was a 50 mile road race. Clay was almost a minute over Whit and Whit was a minute over me. I had a 15 second lead on Evan. I knew there was no way I was going to make that much time up over Whit.  Our goal today was to keep the race to a pack finish and not let anybody get away. My goal specifically was to stay with Evan if he tried to attacked. There isn't too much to write about this one as we all kept everybody together. People would try to attack but nobody was strong enough to make a break. Clay and I would finish 7th and 8th in the road race maintaining our GC positions of 1st and 3rd.

Fresh Raced well this weekend!  Some of the other GC contenders in Fresh included: Virgil was 3rd in the 60+ GC, Lacey Thomas won the womens 1-4 division and Seth was 3rd in the 3/4 division.

Kristin's recovery I hear is going well. There will be a Silent Auction in Tyler on October 2nd.  Info can be found here. Currently there is over $9,000 worth of product and services to bid on (not all of it is bicycle gear).  

To also help with Kristin's recovery you can also purchase this cool shirt with just a few hours to go.

With a little over a month ago I'll be wrapping up this triathlon season with Austin 70.3 and the Oilman Texas Half Ironman back to back weekends.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Calley's 2014 Birthday

A couple of weekends ago we celebrated Calley's birthday at Pinot's Pallet. A painting party. The three of us Rylan, Calley, and me. We had a great time and the paintings turned out much better than we thought they would, including mine. The least artistic.  

Rylan, I'm 14 too cool for a picture, dude. 

My Birthday Wife and Rylan.  

Our family picture at the end of with all of our paintings. 

On Calley's actual birthday August 18th she opened her presents. 

Road ID ICE 

Her bird house that I got for her on Etsy. 

An over-sized birthday gift wrapped box. 

Onto another box for another birthday gift wrapped box. 

Hey it's a Cobb saddle.... 

 Just kidding, it's the Fly 6 tail light and camera to record your rides from behind you, ICE. 

My Birthday Wife received a few other nice things but these are the photos I wanted to share on my blog. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rocky Mount Stage Race

Fresh Cat 5 Racers before the start of the Cat 5 Road Race

 This weekend as a big weekend for some intense cycling I entered the Cat 5 Rocky Mount Stage Race to compete for the GC (Grand Contender) as the best overall rider which consisted of 3 races over the weekend of a 31 mile road race, 5 mile time trial, and a 30 minute crit race. I love riding my bike and I've been doing pretty well riding with the "Pain Train" in Tyler on Tuesday night' has given me some experience riding in a big group at a fast clip.  I rode with Matthew Ramirez over to Louisiana we had a good trip and discussed a few tactics.

We had about 30 riders total in the road race for the most part I stayed in the top 15-20 riders, probably a little further back then I should have been. I tried to keep myself nearby and protected by Fresh riders. The overall pace felt pretty slow for me the most part, but I also knew time trialing it on my own I would probably get pulled back in. At 15 miles I did  go off on my own just for a little bit after this big hill as I unintentionally got out of the pace line somehow so I went to the front had rode off. I wasn't pedaling hard and put a good size gap but saw them coming back I knew the Fresh team would be trying to slow the pace down for me but against everyone else it would be too much.  About 5 miles out from the finish somehow Me, Brian Phillips, and another guy started leaning against each other - I thought was going down. Somehow we miraculously all stayed up right and avoided a crash. I had already crashed the week of  in a training ride and didn't really want to go down (again).  Closer to 3 miles ago Darrell Allen comes by and starts rolling up to the front and I get behind him to get closer to the front to plan an attack. With a mile to go I'm thinking about going off the front but it was an uphill finish, maybe I was incompetent in my abilities. Then I saw the 1k sign and Matthew Ramirez comes by me and says "We gotta go now." I jumped on his wheel but somehow Jonathan's rear wheel got caught in my front skewer and broke his spoke. I eventually got around and rocketed off the front. I though I had won the road race at first but heard someone had got away that I didn't know about it. It would be Whit, who finished just 8 seconds up. Whit got a 10 second time bonus and I got a 6 second time bonus putting me 13 seconds behind.

4 hours and 2 hamburgers later it was time for the 5 mile Time Trial. I had no idea how much time Whit had on me at the time before the TT. The Time Trial course was mostly downhill and flat the first half then all uphill the second half. I knew he was a bigger guy so he had a better chance at putting time on me on the downhills and I had a better chance of putting time going up the hill, but I haven't been too good at climbing lately so I had to dig deep on this one. I put the hammer (feet) to the pedals and dug deep, I kept telling myself it was only 5 miles and counting down the miles. We got to the turn with all the hills for the second half and I was hurting quite bad at this point and also I was feeling (tasting) those two hamburgers I ate earlier and pretty close to hurling them up as I they tasted like throw up. I made to the top of the hill and finish line in 11:22 and 25.4 mph. I found out later in the day that I had regained the lead for the GC by 1 second, gaining 14 seconds on the time trial.

Receiving some unclear instructions about the prime. 

The 30 min Cat 5 Crit race would be the next day.  Matthew and I departed from Tyler again at 4:30 a.m. the next day (that means I started getting ready 3:40 a.m. Sunday morning and had my breakfast to go). We were one of the first ones there and got several warm up laps in to study the course so we would know all the turns. I knew what I had to do and that was to stay behind Whit and just come around for the finish...easier said that done. I even put my Shama Cycling socks on for the crit.  Matthew led us out the first lap or two before Whit put in an attack.

First couple of laps with Matthew leading the way.  

I jumped on Whit's wheel and Gerrit also on the same team as him was trying to keep me off of it. I had to fight hard to hold my position on his wheel even flicked him a little elbow when he got to close for my comfort. The first prime was merchandise and none of us knew about this prime, we all through it was for time which is what we cared about. I swung around Whit, but it was too early and he was able to pass me and he also rode away after that and opened a huge gap that I couldn't close even with some help. We all agree we wish we had known about this prime because it wasn't posted in the "race bible" (instructions). 

A few laps later the next prime was up, the real one for time. I came in second here as you see but was pretty whooped at this point and trying to hang on.

                                                                         2nd and 3rd battle for one of the primes. 

   Just before the last lap I was leading the back and then the bell rang and David and Gerrit came around me and I didn't have anything left to hold their wheel. I came 4th in the crit and second in the Cat 5 GC.


It was a triathlete sweep, 1st Whip, Second me, Third Gerrit in the Cat 5 GC.   

 This was my first ever road race, I'm not sure why it took me so long to try one other than my stubborn triathlete state of mind. Thanks to the God for keeping us safe out there especially with all the close calls from the road race. The Fresh team for helping me out and teaching me how to be a smart road racer and helping protect me and during the road race and Matthew during the crit. Also to Cobb Cycling & the Cobb Mobb team, Extremus, & X-1 Audio. Also to my supportive family my parents, Wife, and Rylan. It was a fun time and it is TBD how serious of a road racer I will become...