James Pearl Thinks Blogging is Dead

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
@jShort - yeah, you're right. I just need to keep at it. A day later I can look back and see what went wrong with this race (other than showing up). Basically, it was the fact I allowed my bike to get dirty, which is clearly the first and most egregious violation here. It's not so much about running or fast walking or whatever - I see that now. It's that the people who got off the bike sooner ended up on the other side of the muck with dirty shoes and a cleaner bike. If I had done that, it would have likely been faster through the mess and gotten there with a slightly cleaner bike. I felt good on the lap when I had properly warmed up and was riding with a clean (ish) bike. I'll take that and use it.

I'll also need to get the backup bike ready for prime time. If I'm going to do this right, it's time to do it right. I can warm-up with that bike on the trainer if I so desire, or swap out a slick as-needed. Whatever, but a proper 2-bike setup with someone in the pit would have been a huge difference in this race. I know it's only a small race in a small state but again, if I am going to Nats why would I not do this the right way?

@Robin - we never made it. I punched the HOME button on Apple Maps and it took us back another way, bringing us to 78 one exit east of the Busy Bee exit. While I did grow up in Bloomsbury, that realm of the world is a little vague in spots. I knew the main connectors, like Bloomsbury to Frenchtown/Milford, or Bloomsbury to Flemington via Pittstown. But the ones that cross sideways were never anything I knew. I looked it up, Brew 362. I don't know the significance of 362, but the Internet does tell me that Flavia Maxima was possibly born in that year. I mean, if I am making coffee, I am aiming for the Maxima in Flavia. Or something. [insert shrug emoji of choice here].

I need to make this a destination now. Google says 31 miles by bike. Not impossible but it's a haul. Maybe I'll make it a point to find my way out there one day again soon and I'll let you know how it goes.

After Saturday, I pretty much couldn't get the idea out of my head that I needed to race again to erase the memory of Saturday ASAP. Here is the list of races I was thinking I should do:

1. Every possible race between now and December 14th.

I've since come off that, and think this is a dumb idea. I did register for Bubble, which is remarkable in that it is a kid's weekend. Talked to D this morning about Northampton, which is in Massachusetts the weekend after Bubble. Since it's a road trip we'd do the double if we go up. The week before Bubble is HPCX, which I will likely do Saturday, if not both. I am undecided on the Sunday race and that may depend how I feel Saturday. I've had mixed results up there - sometimes I do well on the course, other times not as well. We shall see. Weather and other life-options will surely play some role too.

I admit I had been trying to figure out how to do Kutztown this Saturday to get back on the playing field ASAP, but that urge is gone. I was also going to scrap this coming rest week, because I don't feel like last week was that difficult. But @seanrunnette talked me off the ledge and I'm going to revert to this week being restful again. Yesterday was an off day and today was an hour of moderate Zwift. The rain is back, which is a joy. I watched another Black Mirror episode, White Bear. Wow, what a totally f'ed up storyline this one is. Goddamn. This show is darker than black.

The rest of this week in biking will be either moderate rides or moderate-volume rides. Nothing interval-based until later in the week. I'll do another 2 easy days, Tue/Wed, then we'll see how I feel on Thursday. I'll look to get back into the Zwift race mix in the Thu/Fri/Sat/Sun ballpark. I also intend to make time to podcast again if Sean can swing it. I would also like to try and get some more volume in 1 of those 4 days, maybe even a 3-hour ride just to top off the tank in there. We'll see how the week goes. Sunday I'm going to see the Jets play the Vikings.

I also need to start dialing it in for Nationals in some way. Sean sent me this article today:
https://www.cxmagazine.com/training...2018-december-cyclocross-nationals-louisville

Ok so how about that? Here is what I take from this:

1. I need to keep driving at the 90-120 second efforts because it sounds like that sort of climb is a real possibility there
2. Like it or not, I need to get a little comfortable with the concept of running. I hate running. Just wanted to make that clear.
3. It may not be a bad idea to throw in a little extra volume on the Threshold & Tempo days just to burn calories.
4. Just because we are almost within that 8 week window, it's about time to start doing microbursts routinely

@vanseggern1 - roger that. Thanks for hanging in there. See @MadisonDan for motivational posters.

I think @Santapez may be confusing "fondly" with "memorable". Personally, I don't want every 3rd ice cream to taste like stale cactus so the other ones are good.
 

Santapez

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
At the race, were people doing bike swaps for clean bikes? Obviously I wasn't there, but a pit bike and someone in the pit washing the bike in-between laps seems like it could be a huge help.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
@Santapez - I only saw 1 person actively pitting when I was in that area of the course. It was one of the guys in the 123 race. It may have been the guy who won, which would make sense. But I don't know. I'm not sure why this is, because if there is a race to pit for, this was it. I had D's bike in the pit and all I could think of was, "I'm not getting her bike as destroyed as this one is." I said before the race that if I made 3 laps I would grab her bike and finish the race with it. But as mentioned earlier, my soul had been scraped out of me, beaten, run over by a rhino driving a road roller, and tossed into the Delaware.

I alluded to work a few weeks ago and made some mention of things changing. I know this blog and my work are pretty much separate but since my boss was at the wedding I didn't want to say it before then. But it looks like the end of next week will be the end for him. He's leaving to take some time off to regain his sanity, then going elsewhere to look for something that fits better with what he needs out of life. I absolutely cannot blame him and I do not see myself staying at this Borg for too much longer. I have a retention bonus waiting for me in March 2019. But I'll be honest, if I have to absorb his load plus what I have, I'll never make the new year. I will probably reach out to an old acquaintance in November just to see what he's got going on. But this run is likely going to end sooner than later. Anything is possible, but being realistic, 2019 will probably be a year of change for me.

I dumped all the beer out of the downstairs fridge yesterday. It felt kind of refreshing to do that. Don't worry, it was all old and crappy.

Tomorrow is Utah's birthday, which for many of you will be today when you read it. So let me get ahead of this and say happy birthday to @UtahJoe. I have nothing else to add to this paragraph. Just that you're older now. Welcome to being older. Can you still touch your toes?

Today was day 3 of easy/moderate riding. Once again I hopped on Zwift and did the Mango Chutney Jungle in Watopia. I'm not making this week a pure rest week, per se. What I mean is that when I combined a bunch of inputs, I felt it was better for me to ride moderately than totally easy. Moderate is this 150-200w realm, as opposed to the ~100w area I had been doing. Both yesterday and today were around 160 average, which is a good pace to just ride and not go too hard. I did read some Friel material which suggests rest weeks don't need to be 100% easy rides for a week. Goal is basically to feel refreshed. Today I woke up after 7.75 hours of sleep, so I'm still working on it. But I feel pretty refreshed today.

Watched Black Mirror: The Waldo Moment on the ride today. This one was a tad lighter, as in, not dark-as-fudge like they usually are. Entertaining enough. Still waiting for the total ringers. Wikipedia says this was the end of season 2 but Netflix has 1 more to close out the season, which I'll do on the ride tomorrow, closing out the 4 day restful stretch before I dive back into work.

Saw @Kirt today, who stopped by to get the beer that @jmanic passed to me Saturday. Thankfully for him, I did not dump that out.

Spent the day on & off cleaning the cx bike head to toe, which means tearing it totally apart and pulling every blade of grass out of every nook & cranny I can find. It is remarkable how bad it was. Almost done, just need to clean up the front wheel and put the chain back on & lube it up and make sure it all shifts and whatnot. The bike is nice and simple, pretty resilient. Unfortunately the carbon rims appear to be delaminating. Anyway, it's easy to take apart and reassemble. This is good, being that it's probably not the last time I'm going to need to do this. Next will be D's bike, which looks much better than mine did. After that I'll get the backup cross bike ready for action, which means putting the tubulars back on and removing the silly ad hoc bottle cages from it. I have them zip tied on currently.

We're approaching all-in. In a week from now I will probably confirm it.

On that note, I have figured out where my Tuesday workouts will (maybe) be for the next few weeks. I'm going back to East Country Park where the old Horseshoe races used to be. There is a back field that has a hill which may be in the 90-120 second realm, and it also has a short punchy hill that will serve as a great runup. So my plan is to do that 90-120s climb, then pilot the bike to the hill as quickly as I can, then run that pig, and try to remount as efficiently as possible. One big takeaway from Hippo was that after the slogging jog/walk up the hill, remounting was brutally difficult. The idea of jumping on the bike was ludicrous. After reading about the course preview for nats, this is going to be necessary. I know I said I wasn't going to do this. But I need to take out an insurance policy on my Kentucky trip. Being as prepared as I can be is exactly that. I may make some sort of circuit out of this and do some laps and invite @seanrunnette. But it's also in a well-traveled area so I need to use my best judgement.

As much as I know rest is good for me, I am itching to get back at it. I am enjoying the training & racing (caveat here) and look forward to another 8+ weeks of this.

Paging @taylor185 - you've been quiet.
 

taylor185

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Paging @taylor185 - you've been quiet.
i'm hear. thanks for paging me. regressed in my recovery over the weekend and was in hiding. crazy, crazy pain that kept me up for a few nights. went back to doc, nothing serious...guess just part of recovery process and probably did too much including a few harder efforts in zwiftland. nuts that a little finger can have such an impact on your life. also, realizing big difference between broken bone and joint reconstruction. the later is a significant undertaking.

Hippo looked like fun (the event, not your results). Our intention was to stop by and see the mtbnj crew but we left montclair too late on Saturday as we headed to Pennington to see the in-laws.
 

taylor185

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
2. Like it or not, I need to get a little comfortable with the concept of running. I hate running. Just wanted to make that clear.
in my short cross career, it's become evident that this is really, really important. coming from a running and tri background, i've latched onto @Delish 's guidance of using running and transitions on and off the bike as a way to grab time and save energy. in just about every race so far (9 in total so take my comments with a grain of salt) i've used running as a way to pick up spots --- congestion around barriers, muddy/wet stretches (this year's whirlybird & nittany). I'm routinely that guy who is continuing to sprint another 15-20 feet while everyone else is rushing to jump on their bikes.

channeling my tri background, i'd regularly practice transitions off the bike into the run. would be something as simple as a short 15 minute run after a bike ride a few times a week. to me, the cross equivalent are drills each week where you are on and off your bike, practicing the dismount/remount but also getting your body used to transition to running. it's an odd concept to run after riding but your body will quickly adapt... your first few strides post bike will quickly move to immediate speed vs immediate awkwardness.
 

UtahJoe

Team Workhorse
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Thanks for the birthday shot out, I can touch my toes now, I could not touch them or see them until i was like 30 or so lol.

Anyway....I think that was the first race where I showed up, saw what an absolute disaster the course was, then decided to not ride my bike thru it.....AND be totally happy with my decision. I mean ok, if it was SSAP, I would destroy the bike and not think twice about it, but im not doing it for a cross race.

Also...DONT hose down your bike after a race like that. Leave the mud on it...Go home, blast off as much as you can with the compressor...Then wash it, then RIGHT after blow dry it making sure to get the water out of wherever it might "collect". Then oil your chain, etc.
 

jShort

El gran perdedor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
i've used running as a way to pick up spots --- congestion around barriers, muddy/wet stretches (this year's whirlybird & nittany). I'm routinely that guy who is continuing to sprint another 15-20 feet while everyone else is rushing to jump on their bikes.
Also a surprisingly effective technique in MTB racing. People clog up at the first rock and if you're not out front, you're stuck. Unless you get off and run around every one. KVSP is a good place for this
 

jShort

El gran perdedor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Here is the big concern that I had running through my head the last 2 laps, and I still have as I sit here. What if I do this whole season and get to Louisville and nationals are like this? I don't mean bad weather. That happens and Lucky had a fair share of mud. This course, plus the weather, was beyond awful for me.
I wanted to respond to this but forgot.

I get this. I did this. This happened to me. Two. Years. In. A. Row.

Twice I treked down to West Virginia for nats after working all year with that as the end all be all goal.

The first year was just bad luck with Lyme's. But this year, I'm still not really sure why I did so bad. Hell, the next week I pulled a top 5 in Vermont in a pretty stacked field only a minute + behind Roger who won the national championship the week before. Go figure.

I was pretty fucking pissed about the whole thing but when I look back (hold on...cliche time), it's totally about the journey and not the destination.

I had a bunch of great races and refuse to let nats define my season.

Louisville should just be the cherry on top of your comeback season. You'll be in better a better place no matter what the Louisville result just because you did the work leading up to it.