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Monday, July 18, 2011

Making tough training fun

It's hard to do. But what else is there, just suffer and moan about the whole thing ? Where is the fun and inspiration in that?
I choose to suffer, recover and blog about it. You may not care, but it sure makes me feel better to write down the experience and reference back to it at a later date.

But first real quick : My son ( the youngest and biological) is a great kid. Very respectful, has learned his manners well. And when asked to do so, can accomplish whatever he is tasked with. This sounds great, but there is a price to pay with that. If he is not asked, he is content with just kicking back. I'm am not a big fan of this, at any age. SHOCKED aren't you ! I knew you would be. With that said he turned 11 this past June. He has been involved in and even excelled at some of the following over the past 8 years. Ice hockey, baseball, BMX, skateboarding,dirt bikes,snowboarding,swimming,surfing,basketball. Typically he is good, to very good. He is super coordinated, agile and lean. He has a natural athleticism in him. However nothing has ever stuck.
This was the summer I told him he needed to really find something. Whatever it was I didn't care, he just needed to choose it, stick with it and have some passion for it.
He chose PaKua discipline of Karate.
Long of the short, he has taken this all on his own over the last 6 weeks. Attending hour long classes sometimes 3 days a week. This week there Grand Master is visiting from Brazil. Normally it would be to soon for a belt evaluation. But the 2 studio instructors that have worked with him most asked if they could have him evaluated anyways. They would waive the normal fee, but just show up.
I had to have the sit down conversation with him, that all though he has been asked to participate, and I am very proud of his advancement. The likely hood of him receiving any type of progression at this point would be pretty unlikely. But that his teachers were very pleased with his progress and wanted him to demonstrate in front of the Grand Master since he only comes out once a year.
There was 7 under teen kids testing for evaluations from grey belt down.I was absolutely shocked that even in the rotation, where he had to demo against a much higher belt, he never lost focus, and remembered everything without hesitation.
Long of the short, after the 50 minute evaluation they awarded him 2 yellow stripes to his white belt. He was super proud, and with his instructors did it on his own. I really hope and pray this sticks for him.
I am super proud of him too.

On to other things.
Saturday's ride was set to be epic either way and or either ride. I had originally chose the "A" ride for the extra miles. But then when looking at the "B" ride sheet I saw that everyone was going to get the main climbs, be it A or B. Since I ride in to the start point and had a wedding to be at come 1:30, I chose to ride the "B"  route. 12 miles less by the slip and 1.2 miles less climbing. Adam A,K.A. Junior showed up ! I was impressed, good job Patrick for coaxing him.

The 1st climb is Newport Coast and is no joke. 1.8 miles to crest and goes above 8 % a good deal of the way. However something I had never done was put out there. Just before the last little kicker you make a right on Vista ridge. This adds 1.2 miles at the very least same % if not steeper at times. To make things worse more interesting, you make another left and climb another mile at about 6 % with one 50 meter section that tables a bit. Just enough to let the blood change directions in your legs, with a heads up that they are going to burn again real quick.
By nature I am more of a pursuit rider or sprinter. On the flats I can ride with a very strong tempo and hold my own in allot of situations. On steep climbs, I generally get through them. Hate them. And then love that I did them.
Today was different though I took off in a steady tempo and never let off. I was quite proud of my climbing and was no where near the last person up. I even found myself riding tempo for a couple of guys to help them up and through the pain. My only regret was not stopping at the perfect bending vista point just near the top and taking a photo.
I'm going to do this climb again soon and I will definitely take the shot. It will be hell to restart at this point but the picture that over looks the coastline will be worth it.
Making the turn to head downhill was a welcome sight. And because I felt so damn good I got in the drops and just hammered. We had a solid 2-3 mile decent and I had a few of the guy's jump on and hang on. They had to be shitting at 43 mph I know I was. That may have been my hairiest decent to date. My front brakes almost became none existent and I think that without professional constant tuning of my bike, that I should never push that envelope to that level anytime soon.
The normal "B" ride group skipped that little detour and we all meet back at the bottom of the decent. We still had a minor climb up the back of Turtle ridge to get to the rest point. At this time the climb seemed like a roller in comparison (it's not). From there we would split up. I asked Adam if he was riding  A or B and not be persuaded by my decision to do the shorter ride. He opted for "B" and we pushed on. I was quite impressed by the kids climbing skills. Although he is built like a Schleck, I have never got to see him do anything but flat riding. And really up until last Tuesday I had not been very impressed. But he has since gained some confidence and this too is epic.
When finished out some more minor ups and downs. Made our way through another 2-3 cities and back into Newport. I took these shots as we sat waiting to regroup.
This shot is overlooking a small section of the Newport back bay.     
This is a few of the guys waiting.
And from there it is just about pacing back. We are only about 15 or so miles from the HB Pier. Good times. I did allot of work up front for the "B" ride, as it should be. In the 'A" I definitely choose my pulls in the "B" I feel a bit more obligated these day's.
All said and done I got in just under 66 miles and made it to said wedding on time. Thankfully it was a casual California wedding. I was able to wear shorts.
Here's a question ? How many people out of the 100 or so there noticed the shaved legs and wondered WTF ? LOL !
On the other hand, how many people saw my calves and said WTF ? Again LOL !
 Sunday was kick back and some minor house items.
Morning ride today was a 24.26 miles loop in 1h 17m recovery at a good pace with noooooooo wind at all.

take care and thinks for lingering.

GO VOEKLER !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Train Hard,train smart, be active.


  1. Wow, great ride! Hills are definitely my biggest weakness, and I'm not climbing anything like what you are. It was so frustrating in that last race to fly past people on flats and downhills only to have them end up passing me again on the uphills. Oh, well, the hills aren't going away and neither am I, so eventually I'll get better.

    Oh, BTW, those pedals you gave me are finally getting ready to be put to use. I can only imagine how many falls lie ahead of me. :)

  2. Kate- that's awesome. Climbing is natural for some, and some of us really have to push and work at it. I have found it is a whole new level of mind games. As far as the pedals, good on you. NO FALLS PLEASE !

  3. I'm really a strong advocate for casual wear at weddings, but my pleas usually fall on deaf ears.

  4. That sounds like a great ride. I hear ya on the hills. That is not my forte. I prefer to get in the aerobars and just hammer til my legs fall off!

  5. Jealous of the routes you get to choose between. I need a lot of hill work but the best I can find around here is about a half-mile at 10% with some neighboring 8% quarter-milers .... nothing too long. The only time I get to climb anything bigger is in a remote event.

    My oldest took the same path as your son in many respects including a go at Tae Kwon Do which lasted a year. He stuck with it till it became obvious he'd have to put in work outside of class to advance any further. Triathlon is the only thing he willingly works at.

  6. Just had to come back and tell you...24 miles and NO FALLS! Oh, I love it! I can't wait to get a set on my mountain bike, too. It was so much easier than I'd built it up to be in my head. Anyway, thanks again! :)