Sunday, October 27, 2013

2013 MFG #5 Marymoor Park - Cyclocross Race

Waking at 6am on a dark, cold and wet morning for a race that promises maximum exertion and oh yeah PAIN! is not something one would immediately jump to as a fun Sunday morning activity.  But for some reason the appeal of pushing your body to the limit whilst riding over bone jarring ground, plowing threw mud and doing your level best to stay up right appeals to a lot of like minded people.  Call us mad and I could not blame you because after 3 races I still don't know why I like the sport but I do. 

I found this week hard, the course was both technical and fast with sections that had more pot holes than ground (making me wish I had a gum shield in) and other sections you could put the hammer down through.  One of the most interesting sections was riding across a steep banking that required either a high or low line.  The course claimed it's fair share of crashes today with a fellow crew member having to abandon (we never like to see that happen).

The problem with riding at your threshold is that it makes thinking pretty hard to do and the result as happened to me today can be finding yourself on the ground when you least expect it.

But that said I was pleased with the ride.   I had a good start close to the front of the pack but the power to stay there is still under development.  It is great to be able to race and feel the strength coming back and as I promised my life coach I am riding for myself and enjoying the experience at the limit of my ability (ok I still look at my position and want to improve - who doesn't, don't tell her I said that). 

Hats or should I say helmets off to all the riders out today giving their all and pushing themselves to the limits on a Wet Seattle morning.

My Race (Pictures Taken by my wife and Support Team of 1) :)
She Rocks
Matthew Out on The Course
(Result will be publish here)

I even had a little left for a final Sprint

Mud, what Mud!! 

Photo's of Later Races:  There was a definite Halloween Theme going on or the fashion in cycle clothing is taking an interesting turn.

Mr Crampy Crew hitting the course hard

The person responsible for getting me into this mess :) (you know who you are)
Oh and Thank You

I mentioned some suspect outfits and here are a few of them
Oh yes he is wearing a helmet - Honest

There is just something fundamentally wrong about this picture :)
I will never look at fairies in the same light again
Yup that is ET in the basket

The last MFG race is in 2 weeks time so next week I think I might go for a mountain bike ride.  Hope you enjoyed the Pics and until next time POWER UP.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Training and Recovery

During the race last Sunday I felt my back complain.  Now to be fair on my training ride last Thursday I felt a pull in my back as I climbed Squak Mountain.  It felt good to climb but that evening my back was a little unhappy.  I used "Foundation Training" to help recover for the race on Sunday.

At the start of the race last Sunday my back was irritated but by the end of the race it was well and truly complaining.  Mostly due to the jumping on and off of the bike to cross the board in cyclocross.

I started recovery immediately with decompression breathing and Foundation Training using it everyday and building on it with the following.

Monday:         Sore and movement had to be considered and planned.
Tuesday:         Active recovery on the Indoor Trainer (Sore but manageable)
Wednesday:   Active recovery in the morning and Endurance Zone 60 mins  (Low grade sensation)
Thursday:      Sufferfest "Extra Shoot" race simulation (Back held up with no pain)
Friday:           Active recovery on Indoor Trainer (Back controlled)
(Today):         Lead first "Foundation Training" group class and ready to race tomorrow.

Before I learnt "Foundation Training" I would have allowed my back to have gotten worse from the ride on Thursday and recovery could have taken weeks or even months.  I love the fact that I have the tools to recover in a week.  I don't plan on testing the theory too often but it worked flawlessly this week.

Oh and the Launch of my Foundation Training Class this morning was great fun.  It is always cool when you can train a spectrum of great individuals from just getting back into exercise and recovering from injury to a 24 hour pro cyclist and have something to offer them all.

The words below say it all :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Training and Cycling Focused Week

With my first Cyclocross Race last Sunday and a week of vacation on hand it has been a bike focused week that's for sure.  After equipping my training room with a Wahoo Kickr and researching training software.  I settled on TrainerRoads and Sufferfest as TrainerRoads has integration with both the Kickr and the Sufferfest video's.  Unfortunately my plan to test the Kickr with TrainerRoads has been delayed by the lack of an Ant+ dongle for my PC (now on order).   To kick my training program off I used the Sufferfest Rubber Glove DVD to figure out my Heart Rate and Power FTP (Functional Threshold Power).  With my training zones in hand on Friday I got out for a training ride, 2.5 hours and 2000+ FT of climbing which according to my Garmin is a new personal road record this year.  I think I have exceeded that mountain biking but I did not have the Garmin to track the ride - oh well.

I cannot tell you how good it feels to be moving into a training plan from worrying about my back and other injuries.  Foundation Training has given me the confidence to read my body and to take action when issues arise.  Oh and I am also providing Sarah with her next challenge, how to fuel me as an athlete - stay tuned for updates.

On the Foundation Training front, I am very excited to announce that I have secured a location and will be giving my first group class next Saturday at 9am with classes planned for both Saturday and Thursday going forward.  I am working on a Foundation Training specific blog and Facebook page.

I closed out the week with my 2nd Cyclocross Race of the season.  A completely different course than last week and significantly faster.  My ride on Friday left my back sore and I paid careful attention to it during the race.  The race aggravated it further as I knew it would but I am really pleased that it did not hold me back much and I am confident of a quick recovery.  Decompression breathing always helps.

In preparation for the race which was 34 mins long Sarah prepared a meal of Steak, Sweet potato, Mushroom and Onions the night before and she also made Almond and Apple muffins (small).  For Breakfast she made Egg and Veg muffins (small) one of which accompanied a banana with Almond butter, hemp seed, cinnamon and shredded coconut with left over sweet potato, onion and mushroom with a tiny bit of Steak.  I felt fueled but not heavy when we left the house.  I hydrated with good old fashion water, no gels or other added rocket fuel.  After the race Sarah had prepared an organic protein drink and about 30 minutes later a Almond muffin and an Egg Muffin.

I raced in the cat 4 35+ group this week and ended up starting right at the back.  I had a lot of ground to make up so I was glade to be racing myself for the most part, well and anyone in front of me that I could get around :).  Throughout the race I monitored my heart rate and was very happy with my second performance.   Here are some shots of the race taken by my wonderful race crew (of one) Sarah.

Here I am sporting a new Jersey.  I was informed that I blended in this week whilst last week I stood out in my red top.  

I really do not like running over these things, but hey its all part of the game :) 

Placing will be published tomorrow.  I was well off the lead pace but pleased with my overall performance.  I pulled the leaders back into view which I did not expect to do.
(Result Update:  35+ Cat 4 Placed 38th)

 Warm cloths and a great Organic protein drink post race, just what is needed for fast recovery

The faithful steed, who would guess just a few weeks ago this was my commuter bike.  No broken parts this week.  BTW below is the condition of my rear deralliur after last weeks race.  Trust me it should not look like that :)

I hope you had a great week and here's to a great week to come.  Power Up and Max Life Out.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

2013 September/October Catchup

Wow has it been that long since my last post.   So much has happened in the last couple of months so let me try to catch you up.  In the mean time I hope you have been doing a good job of powering up and maxing out your life.

I have to be honest and say that seeing the last warm days of summer pass by is always a sad time of the year for me.  Put simply I love the warm weather and the freedom it provides.  I don't know about you but I just feel more active and inspired.  This year the onset of fall hit me pretty hard, I had no real reason to feel down with everything going well, but there is sometimes no accounting for the game the mind plays.  It was a struggle to stay positive and combined with a few bad nights it was all I could do to employ the methods I have learnt to stay focused on the good things in life.  Well I am pleased to say I got my mojo together and weathered the seasonal change.

Foundation Training:  In September I book myself up to become a "Foundation Training" Instructor with the goal of learning more for myself and helping others.  At the same time the "Round the Rock" race organizers contacted me to find out if I was available to do photography.  Talk about conflicted, I had been looking forward to the race but it feel right in the middle of my training.  I decided to go to the training and I did not feel to bad has I had not made a commitment to photography thinking they had it covered following earlier conversations.   It was the right call the Round The Rock team found a photographer and the Foundation Training was simply amazing.  I learnt so much and got to hang out with some great people.  Now I am in the process of sharing it with others 1:1 and building a group training program.   If you are interested in learning more send me a mail and ask to join my Foundation Training Facebook page.

Paddle Boarding:  It might have been the last few weeks of the summer but I made sure to get out on the water a few times.  The hinging I learnt in Foundation Training totally changed my paddling style and gave me more power, endurance and confidence on the water.  It was great.  Oh and the girls, got to come out with me as well, although I suspect they did not think it was as awesome as I did, but I put that down to the first few rides which I am sure will get better with more practice.


Hemel Board Company:  I have been having a lot of fun helping the team at Hemel get ready for next year.  We have been reviewing our board design and strategy for the last couple of months and exciting things are afoot.

Coaching:  In the last couple of months as my strength as improved and I have re kindled my passion for cycling I explored my feelings towards racing.  It turns out that whilst I enjoy competition I fear being judged and how others view me.  Most importantly how I view myself thinking I am not worthy if I don't do well.  Talk about a limiting belief and now that I am aware of it I am taking actions to treat racing differently.

A certified Health Coach in the Family:  My wonderful wife completed her training and certified as a holistic health coach.  She the got herself her first clients and I could not be more proud of her.

Braces off:  I finally had the braces on my teeth removed.  It has been a rocky road with a fair amount of discomfort but the good news is they are no more.  It is strange seeing my new smile and I am still getting used to the new bite.


Cycling:  The Foundation Training has helped me focus on continuing to strengthen my back and to modify my riding style.  Giving me confidence to pursue my goal of road racing next year.  I joined the Mr Crampy Crew (local bike shop) and started weekend mountain bike rides and week day suffer fest training sessions.  Oh and I picked up my new stallion, well after a short return to the shop he is now home again and named blue.

Blue with his proud owner - What a Ride

Grand Ridge

Tiger Mountain

2000 FT of climbing taking 49 minutes - Lungs felt like they would explode.  But what a view and Oh boy what a decent :)


Changing Jobs:  After 3 years in my current role I am also changing jobs and this weekend marks the start of a vacation between the two roles.  It was flattering to have been approached by both Amazon and Google, but in the end I decided to stay with my current group and change roles to try something a little different.   I have worked as both an Individual Contributor and a Manager on and off throughout my career, enjoying the different demands each time.  This time I decided to change from the managerial role I have held for the last 2 years to a principle Individual Contributor.  At least until my wonderful wife starts to bring in the bacon and I can spend more time building a training and fitness business or just having fun.  Until then wish me luck.

That about brings us up to date, see I told you a lot had happened in the last month and a half.  But I cannot close out without telling you that after 20+ years I participated in a bike race a lot earlier than planned.  Thanks to some encouragement from a local bike shop employee.  It was a Cyclocross Race, something I have never done before.  I am told that todays course was the worst they had seen and I have to say it was a grind.  That said I was pleased with how I thought about the race before hand and my performance.  I have a long way to go in terms of getting race fit but it is a great start.  


Starting out 

 First Climb - 3 more to go
 Did I mention the mud - OMG a lot of Mud

 That climb again - Did I mention the Pain
Your supposed to run over these - Try telling my legs that! 

 Crossing the line on foot after my rear wheel jammed - cost me a couple of places for sure
Tried to smile but face would not cooperate 

That is not were the gear is supposed to be.  Mud meets metal - Mud wins 

Would you believe this is was my commuter bike.  I have been using it to ride to work with fenders on and slick tires.  Even with an injury I could feel its excitement at doing what it was built to do. 

Everything went well right up until the home straight, as I turned in, I changed gear readying a sprint only to have my rear wheel lock up completely.  My rear changer had completely flipped and locked up in my rear wheel.  I have to run/walk home, not the finish I had hoped for but it made it memorable :)
Placed 58th of approve 90 riders and 9 minutes of the winning pace in the open cat 4/5 race.  That will do for a my first race, now I have some work to do.

Until next time remember, Power Up and Maxlifeout :).