12 Hours of Ithaca Races Report

What a fun race. Finally a course that didn’t kill my overweight body with climbs. I actually made my goal of 18 laps and actually had enough time to get one more lap in. However my body didn’t have one more lap in it. I did a number of things much better that I did at the 12 Hours of Addison Oaks. 1. Nutrition. This time I used Clif Shot Gels and Blocks and Power bars. 2. Chamois Butter. Enough said 🙂 3. Had 2 CO2 cartridges on hand. The mistakes: 1. All of the Gels had caffeine which was fine during the race, but when I tried to sleep after, it was next to impossible. 2. Overinflated tires. – Brought the pressure down to 45 psi at about hour 6 which made the very bumpy trail much more comfortable.

There were a number of significant events. I took about a 1 inch thorn through the rear tire about a quarter of a mile into the first lap. Instead of changing it there, I pushed back to my pit area to change the flat in the comfort of my pit. Later I stopped and gave a CO2 shot to a guy who’s name I didn’t catch after he took a thorn in his front tire. Then I stopped for Jody who had forgotten her camelbak which had her spare tube in it. I gave her my spare tube and helped her change it out. I finished the lap before she did, but as I passed her team’s pit the next time, she had told her team and they were cheering for me. In fact they continued to cheer for me every time I rode by. Well worth the price of a tube. Things went well through the 9th hour until another thorn found my rear tire. Two flats and I still made my goal. It was a fun race and I am very glad I did.

A Milestone

Today is the 2nd time in my working life that I am experiencing a last day with an employer and voluntarily changing jobs. Almost 11 years ago was the last time I did this. I have actually had 4 different employers in the last 11 years, although when the employers change, I stayed in the same job. This time I am changing employers and jobs at the same time. It is actually kind of scary. I am going into my new job with a little bit of fear of if I am going to be able to do the job well. I think that is a good thing. I am definitely in need of a challenge. So technically, I will be unemployed this weekend as today is my last day with my current employer and my new job starts Monday. I will be racing in a 12 hour Mountain Bike race tomorrow so I won’t have to think about it and I won’t have time to worry.

Time to start a new path in life.

Are You A Great Resource? | nakedpastor

I came across this in my morning reading, and it really hit home with me. Are You A Great Resource? | nakedpastor. I always enjoy reading the nakedpastor but I really think he nailed what we in the church have to be careful about. That is seeing people as simply resources to enable the attainment of some goal.

When people look at me and see a man with a variety of gifts, talents, abilities, interests and hobbies (let’s say), I reject it immediately when they look at me as a resource, as a potential, as a pool for something greater, as a means to some end. This is a false and destructive way to look at me as a person.

This is why I like volunteering in our vacation bible school program. I specifically volunteer for the preschool program even though my only daughter is long past the preschool area. I my be seen as a resource to the people running the program, but I am not a resource to the kids.

I want to talk about the kids in my crew this year and what I see in them. A. is my daughter’s best friend’s little sister. A. is painfully shy around adults but has kind of warmed up to me as she has seen me with my daughter and her sister. This is her second year in my crew and this year the growth in her is amazing. Even the difference from the first day to the third day is amazing. The first day she wanted to go home about an hour before program ended. This is fine because we do an evening VBS that ends at 9:00 and A.’s bedtime is 8:30, so it makes sense she would crash when she did. However, last night she mentioned that she wanted to go home, then realized that there was still fun to be had so she kept going and even said as she was leaving that “I made it the whole night”.

M. is the talker. He is the oldest age we have in the preschool program and will be starting Kindergarden in the fall. He is the kid who not only pays attention, but appears to pay attention as well. Those of you who work with preschooler’s know what I mean by that. Many preschoolers don’t look like they are paying attention, but they will answer any question you ask them about what was covered. M. would be seen by most adults as the “good” kid. He is polite and obedient. I only know M. from VBS because his family attends the church my church partners with for VBS. However M. has attended VBS for a few years now and has gone from only doing things with his mom to a very independent child.

L. is the Doer. Like M., L. is independent and will talk, but L. prefers to do. He is high energy and I don’t mean that in as a euphemism for “this kid is so wild he is driving me crazy.” L. really grabs on to the doing part of VBS like the Games and the Crafts. He does have enough self control to sit through a video and listen to a bible story. L. also attends the partner church so I have only seen him in VBS. L. and M. are friends and they stick together which make them easy to care for in my part as a crew leader.

Last but not least is K. K is the youngest in my crew and in his first VBS. He is a boy through and through. He is very physical and full of energy (in a good way). K.’s family attends the same small group as my family but I have not had much interaction with K. prior to VBS. K. has warmed right up to me and seems to enjoy the time in VBS. He is one of those kids who looks like he isn’t paying attention but when you ask him a question, he is right there with the answer.

My point after a very long tangent is that these kids don’t see me as a resource. They see me (I hope) as someone who loves them in a Godly way. In a way that makes them feel safe. This is how I feel around them. It is God pouring out his love in abundance through these children. I am not a resource to these children, I am simply me. And these kids are not people I simply have to return to their parents unharmed. My prayer is that I can return some small fraction of God’s love that I get from them.

Sister Toldjah » On this day in history …

I haven’t done a serious political post in a long time, but this reminder got me to thinking… Sister Toldjah » On this day in history …

Should we hide, cower and appease the enemies of Freedom? It appears the Democrats think so. They are so serious about it that they will have a pajama party in the Capitol Building to prove it. The best answer to this I have found is a better definition of sacrifice.

Now lets take a look at the words of Ronald Reagan and as you are reading this ask yourself if Ronald Reagan would have cots rolled into the Capitol Building to show our enemies how serious we are about surrender?

“As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it; we will not surrender for it, now or ever.

Our forbearance should never be misunderstood. Our reluctance for conflict should not be misjudged as a failure of will. When action is required to preserve our national security, we will act. We will maintain sufficient strength to prevail if need be, knowing that if we do so we have the best chance of never having to use that strength.

Above all, we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors.” — Ronald Reagan – Inaugural Address – 1/20/1981

Race Preparations – 12 Hours of Ithaca

I will be racing this Saturday (7/21) in the 12 Hours of Ithaca Mountain Bike Race. I am very excited about this race in particular because of the course. This course has a difference in elevation from the lowest point to the highest of about 50 feet. At least according to the GPS maps from someone who has raced there before.

Start Elevation (ft): 787
Finish Elevation (ft): 781
Min. Elevation (ft): 770
Max. Elevation (ft): 823

Since climbing is the most difficult aspect of cycling for me, this course will definitely be appreciated. The race course is about a 2 hour drive from home and the race starts at noon, so it should be pretty easy to get there on time.

This is a strange week for me however. I am volunteering at my church vacation bible school (VBS) program. I am working with preschoolers (3 to 5) year olds. I really enjoy this time because I can cut loose and just be a big kid with them. It is truly amazing to see a small child who you would think would be terrified of a 6′ 2″ 240 pound man, treat me like a jungle gym. It is a great chance to show a child that it is not necessary to be afraid of everyone who isn’t their parent. God’s love comes in many ways and I like to take the opportunity to show these children some of the love God has given me. VBS runs from 6 to 9 every night this week and I work from 7 to 4, which leaves little time for training. I will either have to ride outside first thing in the morning or inside after VBS.

I just got new shoes to replace the ones that were destroyed in the Stony Creek Marathon race. I also decided to order new shorts and jersey for this race. I ordered bib shorts as an experiment. The shape of my Clydesdale body causes regular shorts to roll down over the course of a ride. This allows the chamois to move and sometimes end up in awkward places. I am hoping the Bib shorts will prevent that. Hopefully the shorts will arrive before the race. I still have to prepare the food I will use for the race. The last 12 hour race, I alternated between Fig Newtons and Power Bars and I had no food related issues or cramping. The difference between this race and Addison Oaks will be significantly less climbing and much quicker laps. My strategy for Ithaca is to try to do 2 laps at a time. I will be using a new Camelbak (the Lobo) which should keep me supplied with water for 3 hours at a time. If all goes well, I will try to stop every 3 hours to resupply water. This means I will have to carry 3 hours worth of food with me and find a good place on course to eat. I hate to publish a goal since I have not ridden this course, but based on last year’s results and and the GPS view, I am going to set my goal at 18 laps which would be right around 90 miles.

Stony Creek Marathon Race Report

I raced yesterday in the Stony Creek Marathon. I finished 8th in my class in a time of 4:13 for approximately 40 miles. I was generally pleased with my performance, although I did lose my legs on the fourth lap and ended up walking all the significant climbs. I probably should have raced Beginner and been finished after the third lap.

I did have one unusual mechanical failure. About halfway through the first lap, my left cleat pulled out of my shoe. The cleat stayed in the pedal and I was able to make the cleat sort of fit back in the shoe for another lap. Then on an uphill switchback I must have twisted the cleat just right and popped the cleat out of the pedal. So there I was stuck riding the last 2 and a half laps precariously balancing on the left pedal that had no platform. This made the more technical sections even more difficult.

I also had a small pause in the third lap in a technical section. There was an uphill log crossing that was immediately followed by a log parallel to the trail for erosion control. The downhill side was a rather steep slope and when I finished walking over the log, I look down the slope and saw a bike with rider still attached. So I stopped to make sure the rider was ok. She didn’t seem too sure at first, so I went down to her and by the time I got there she had extracted herself from the bike. She wasn’t sure if she was ok, so I brought her bike up to the trail so she could verify she was ok. Once she walked it off, she was fine, and proceeded to put 15 minutes on me. UPDATE: I am the “nice man” in this story.

Here is my gps data for the race.