Fight Gone Horribly Bad

Mar 29th

Three rounds of:
Wall-ball, 20 pound ball, 10 ft target (Reps)
Sumo deadlift high-pull, 75 pounds (Reps)
Box Jump, 20″ box (Reps)
Push-press, 75 pounds (Reps)
Row (Calories)

In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute.The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. On call of “rotate”, the athletes must move to next station immediately for best score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point.

Well today was my first day going to Crossfit in 23 days. Damn that’s a long time. I was excited to go back. I had some butterflies when I was on the train. Not too much has changed in my 23 day absence. The cubbies were moved to another spot in the space. That was easy to get familiar with. I also noticed that my record on the whiteboard had been erased. My 6 minutes and 25 second, 2pood hold record is gone. The only record of it now exists here on my blog.

Today’s workout was Fight Gone Bad. I was excited for it. Last time I did this workout I finished with a PR of 286 on NYE. This time I was gunning for 300. My legs were a little fatigued but I expected to be pretty fresh in my upper body. So off we went. I went in the 2nd heat after supporting my workout partner for the day, Kevin. My 1st exercise was the Row. I killed it. It was a PR for me. 29 calories in one minute. 2nd was the wall ball. I felt strong, 18 reps. 3rd, Sumo Deadlift High Pull, yeah baby 20 reps. 4th, Box Jumps, 22 reps, good. 5th, Push Press, 20 reps, bang. I smashed my 1st round with 109 reps!

I felt great, marched over to the rowing machine to get ready to start the next round. I’m gonna kill this today. Hit the row, 20 calories damn this is starting to suck. Wall ball, 15 reps. SDHP, 13 reps, ohhh man. Box Jumps, 16 reps. Push press only 15 reps. Someone please kill me. I was hurting bad. I went wayy to hard on the first round. There was no time to recover. At this point it was all about metering my efforts and trying to fight through the pain.

This time I wobbled over to the rowing machine for the 3rd round. Luke was still on it from the previous round. He was dying too and taking what seemed like forever to get off of it. I just wanted to sit down. Luke, c’mon man get up, paaleeese. I was dying inside.

Shit 10 more seconds. 3,2,1…go Row, row, row. I was grunting and moaning and doing anything to move that damn rower. At one point I said this fucking thing isnt recording calories. It took me 2.5 strokes to get 1 calorie up on the screen. I struggled at the end. I just wanted to get to 20. In the end I had to settle for 18 calories. Wall ball, goddamn. I was hurting so bad. I barely mustered 16 reps. SDHP, fuck you barbell!!!…a measly 9 reps. Box jumps. This is where I usually rest during this workout, just 12 reps. Push press, 15 reps. I’m done. I collapsed on the floor for a couple minutes. It took me a while to recover from this one. Usually I handle the metcons well. Today I got my ass whupped!!! I scored a 256. Are you fuckin kidding me? I nearly died today and I almost gave up my life for a decrease of 30 points from my previous score. That sucks. I was upset with myself. I bitched and complained for a good 10 minutes. That was a Fight Gone Horribly Bad.

Still, I had lots of fun. I’ll be back. Until then, I’ll leave you with this…


Club Race 03.28.09

Mar 28

What a nasty morning for racing. Shall we say a little Belgium in Manhattan. It was around 45 degrees and drizzling. I forgot to charge my SRM so no power file today. I wasnt feeling so great this morning. The race was a lot of up and down. Had I recorded the race I’m sure the variable index would have been rather high for a race in Central Park. There seemed to be an interest in a breakaway but it just never happened. I did my best to position myself well in the pack and moved around as I saw the need. By lap 3 my stomach was starting to feel bad. On the 3rd trip up Harlem Hill I throw up in my mouth. It totally took me by surprise. I still kept on and planned on finishing the race. I really wanted to try and stick around for the finish. On the 5th trip up Harlem Hill I was hurting and was trying hard to hold on to the group. I made a stupid mistake of being poorly positioned in the field before the hill. Knowing that I was not feeling well I should have made sure to have been in the front of the group so that I could take the hill at a slower pace. Oh well, joke’s on me. After getting dropped my stomach decided to rebel. I coughed and my stomach saw an opportunity to exorcise a few demons. I rode back to the start/finish to get my stuff to go home. Stopping was a bad idea but when I got to my bag I just wanted to rest a minute. Once we cooled down it got really cold. I didnt want to put on my jacket because I was covered in dirt, grit and horse shit. I didnt want to get the inside of my jacket filthy. Everybody looked horrible. I spent 30 mins in the shower. During the day when blowing my nose, itching my ears and rubbing my eyes I’d find more dirt and horseshit. My eyes were bloodshot all day because of all of the grime that was under my eyelids and irritating them. I spent the rest of my day relaxing, eating and cringing from my intermittent stomach cramps.

Training Camp – Day Six

Mar 23rd

Today was Mount Charleston. 25 miles of climbing up to about 8500ft elevation. Despite the fact that I suck at climbing I was excited about the challenge since back in New York the only place you’re gonna find 25 miles of climbing is on a Computrainer. Mind you despite the fact that I was excited for the ride I was a little fearful. My legs were aching from the Tabata workout that we did yesterday. To add insult to injury it was extremely windy. 30+ mph wind gusts nonstop. The wind was tossing around the vans on the drive out to the mountain. When we parked and opened up the doors, shit was blowing out everywhere and it was pretty cold. If I could read minds I’d bet that a few guys were just waiting for someone to say they weren’t going to do the ride so that they wouldn’t feel so bad opting out as well. After a good 5 minutes of bitching from some of us, Aaron snapped,”you know, you dont have to do this.”…translation – stop whining and get on your bike, you pussies.

We began our ride in a valley fighting the winds on our way up. You are on a consistent uphill grade from the very beginning. We rolled along in a rotating paceline. The group started to fall apart within the first few miles of the ride. There was no hiding from the wind. Once we reached higher elevation the road cut through tall rock formations and we were shielded from the wind. By this point I was dropped from the group. Fatigue had definitely set in. I averaged 240 watts for the 1st hour of the ride. This is definitely wattage that I would have had no problem of maintaining on a typical day. I soldiered on to approx 6000ft of elevation. Then I called it quits. After finding out what lied ahead in the hours to come I was happy that I did. I was feeling cold. It was nearly 50 degrees different from the bottom of the climb to the top. Las Vegas desert at the bottom and snow capped ski slopes at the top. The trip down was really cold. The descent was sick. It seemed like nearly an hour of bombing down hill spinning out a 53×12 at 100+ rpm. The descent just went on and on and on. The crosswinds were so hard that I feel that I was leaning my body against the wind just to keep from swerving off the road. Man was I happy once I saw the car.

Once I changed clothes, I drove up the mountain to support the others. I gave out warm clothing and refilled bottles. I stopped to help David. Further up the road I gave some gloves to Brian. I picked up Sean. He had enough. He was probably the best dressed in the group and he was shivering like a homeless man in a New York winter. A minute later I picked up Gino. He called me and said,”hurry up and come and get me, I’m fuckin hypothermic over here.” Apparently everyone passed the turn that we were supposed to make so some made this correct turn after turning around a half mile up the road.

Once we saw this road, we were delighted to have been in the car. The road was a double digit grade for miles. Danny, Brian, and Aaron were riding together. Aaron was deteriorating and was dropped from that group soon after. I jumped out of the van and ran along side him like a crazed Tour fan in the Pyrennes. I think that I ran for about 100m. Goddamn that hurt. Note to self, my body had adapted to low elevation. A sprint at 8000ft elevation sucks. I was gasping for air for a good minute after I stopped running.

We rode about a mile up the road until we found Stoffel. Stoffel is a machine. I believe that Stoffel may have some physiological defect. His body does not realize that it weighs almost 200lbs. It climbs like it weighs like 155lbs. He was up there just tapping away a solid cadence up the mountain. After checking on Stoffel we drove ahead to find Bill. After driving a few miles we didnt see Bill. We assumed that he may have turned back to the car and we just didnt see him.

I was doing 90mph down the mountain once I remember that I moved the key for the other van. I envisioned David and Bill frozen and pissed off as they were locked out of the other van. Fortunately once we got to the parking lot David had only been there for a couple of minutes. After an hour or so, most of the guys were back to the van. Nearly 2 hours passed and still no Bill.

We all theorized at what may have happened. All of us were wrong. Apparently Bill, with his navigational wisdom, was the only one who did the full ride. Brian was carrying extra clothing for everyone but didnt go as far a Bill. Bill was up at the ski slope totally underdressed, freezing cold, and waiting for his clothing to come. Well since Brian was back at the car with his clothes, Bill never made it down the mountain on his bike. He ended up getting driving back down by some drunken snowboarders. Bill was a little pissed but I’m pretty sure that he was happy to be back.

That was some good excitement for our last day of riding. Now back to the house for cleaning, packing and preparing for tomorrows flight back home.

Training Camp – Day Five

Mar 22nd

Needless to say that after yesterday’s carnage, today was a recovery day. During the morning we went out for a light spin and did another skills training clinic. It took us a while to get out to do this ride. We were contemplating a longer flat ride but some unusual weather patterns kept that from happening. There was passing rainstorms and really windy conditions. So once we found an opening between clouds off we went. Brian led a clinic on bumping and learning to be solid on the bike. We rode to a big field. There we did various drills on bumping each other at various speeds, crossing wheels, etc. This was another very valuable clinic. Many of us are experienced in these areas but it is great to have a refresher every now and then. Ego often blinds experienced athletes from going back to the basics. Its great to be a part of a group of guys that value all of the fundamentals.

Later in the day we were all doing different things around the house. We were like a bunch of restless kids holed up in the house. We were used to being out and burning energy all day. Some played pool, others watched movies, worked on their computers, etc. A few guys were teaching each other different exercises and stretches. After watching Bill and Danny doing planks, I saw this as an opportunity to put some of the guys through their first Crossfit workout. The order of the day would be Tabatas. We did 8 rounds of 20 sec on, 10 sec off each of pushups, situps and squats. Man this was a great workout. Needless to say, the squats killed me. It was interesting doing tabata squats after all of the miles that we’ve ridden over the past few days. I threw up in my mouth during the 2nd round of squats. After this workout I collapsed to the floor and made a sweat angel in the living room. My legs were like Jello for the rest of the day. We spoke about the importance of continuing strength maintenance training throughout the season. Below, check out another video from the Allen Lim forum where he talks about the Garmin boys doing work on the physioball during the Tour. For the hardcore guys, this is the post race strength workout prescribed by Crossfit Endurance:

Strength and Conditioning Recovery…

This can and should be done the day of races, after long runs, or on Sundays after interval work.

Glute Ham Developer Sit-ups (make sure you are extending knees aggressively to come up… your quads should also burn on this) 3 x 15, Glute Ham Developer hip extensions (hamstrings and butt should burn), Kettlebell/Dumbbell swings 3 x 15, Bench Press, Pull-ups All exercises with light – medium weight. 3 sets! Reps are until you feel burn in target area or prescribed amount. This is not a timed WOD.

For dinner we went to Zefferino’s in the Venetian Hotel on the strip. My teammate Gino’s family owns this restaurant. What an amazing place. We had a feast. Loads of wonderful Italian food. For starters, we had oysters, lobster, shrimp, king crab, calamari, proscuitto, bufala mozzarella. For my Entree, I had a filet of Sea Bass with lobster. This was all washed down with red wine, vodka & soda, Limoncello, and espresso. Some of the guys ordered gelato for dessert. I tried both the yogurt and hazelnut flavors…unbelievable. This was a meal fit for a king. This was the perfect end to our day.

Training Camp – Day Four

Mar 21st

Today the team went to Death Valley and Dante’s Peak. 90 miles, tons of climbing, 2.5hour drive to and from the house…my thought…fuck that. After yesterdays suffering today would be a good day to recover and rest. I could also dedicate today to getting some work done. Since I’m in Vegas I had a great opportunity to visit the CityCenter job site since I’m doing some design work there. Being that I’m primarily a crit and track racer there is only so much that today’s ride will benefit me. Today was my day for preparing dinner so  I was able to dedicate some time to making a good meal. Since were are on the SouthWest, I designed a southwestern meal. I made chicken, beef, and fish tacos with refried beans, mexican rice and coconut pudding for dessert. I also made a fresh guacamole and lots of fresh cut vegetables.

The guys didnt get back until late. It was over a 12 hour day for them. Man was I happy that I didnt go. They looked like they had been through hell. Apparantly the weather was miserable. 30+mph winds all day, plus climbing…no thanks. It was 5 hour ride. The ride cost some of the guys 4000+ calories. At my size, that ride would have cost me approx 5300 calories. Nothing good would have come out of this one for me, especially after the way I felt yesterday. Without a heavy backpack (which would have required a higher caloric expenditure) there is no way that I could have carried nearly enough food and drink to cover that calorie burn rate. The average daily caloric intake for most people is 2000-2500 calories. Good thing that I made lots of food. I expected everyone to be pretty hungry but nothing like what they really were. It was a long game of catch up. Most were still devouring food throughout the next day. A ride like that makes for a major calorie deficit that needs to be repaid.

Speaking of work capacity. Take a look at this video from an Allen Lim forum that CRCA had. He explains that the average run of the mill Tour de France rider weighing 70 kg is working 3500 calories everyday day for the 3 weeks of the tour. That equals approx 4500 calories for me.

Training Camp – Day Three

Mar 20th

This morning the group went out for some skills training. We did some work on cornering and sprinting. Brian initiated the clinic on cornering. We started with a brief discussion and followed with a small parking lot crit with some drills included. I instructed the group on sprinting. We did some off the bike movements and some verbal instruction and sample exercises to improve your sprinting. Afterwards we did some form sprinting and other drills and exercises. This took about an hour and a half. It was fun, educational and very helpful. I think that we all were able to gain some valuable knowledge from each other. Some say that teaching is the best way to learn. We are all good at some things and suck at others.

After our skills clinics we went back to the house to relax and eat in preparation for the afternoon ride to Red Rock Canyon. At 300pm we rode to Coach Greg’s house then to Red Rock Canyon. Man, it was hot. It was in the mid to high 80’s at this time in the afternoon. The ride at Red Rock Canyon was beautiful. Like the Valley of Fire lots of the rock formations were red hence the name…Red Rock Canyon. The road was a one way road. This was great because you could use the whole width of the road for climbing and descending.

Unfortunately despite the beautiful sights and great weather, Red Rock Canyon was a death march for me. I think that I was dehydrated. I was dropped very early in the ride. We made a rest stop as we entered the Canyon road. I chugged a whole bottle of water without taking a breath. I can’t pinpoint exactly where I wasnt doing a good job of hydrating. Each morning I woke up very dry with my sinuses burning. Its crazy to think that I’ve used Chapstick more often here than I have at home and its like 30 degrees there. Also the pollen count is very high here and my allergies have been terrible. Perhaps I didnt drink enough during and after our skills ride this morning. What ever the reasons are, its too late to correct them now. At this point my only aim was to stay focused on keeping my slow pace and eat and drink.

When I got back to the house I went to the bathroom and realized that it had been nearly 5 hours since I pissed last…not good. I struggled on the way back home from the ride. I was even getting dropped on the downhill sections. Aside from the various points where the team waited up for me my only hope for keeping with the group was the fact that my teammate David had like 3 flats on the way home. Later at dinner I was silent at the table. I was so beat that I didnt speak much at all.

Training Camp – Day Two

Mar 19th
I woke up way too early today. My teammate was on his phone at 5am. I’m a light sleeper, so this woke me up. I never went back to sleep. Today’s ride is called the Valley of Fire. We left the house at 9am to drive to the start. We stopped and parked in a tractor trailer rest stop. It was right off the highway. The road that the truck stop was on just went straight into a mountain range wayyyyy off in the distance. There was no other road or any sign of civilization visible.


The view of the road behind us is the roughly the same as the view in front of us. Nothing…

It seems that this area of land is most popular as a place to set off fireworks. There was burned out fireworks strewn all over the place. We rode this road for about 45mins until we hit a good 20 min descent down in to the valley. It was awesome. 40+ mph for 20 something minutes.


My teammate Brian. Check out the road snaking up through the mountains in the background.

It was clear how it became called the Valley of Fire. Everything is clay red. It is the most beautiful land of rock formations that I’ve ever seen. It was phenomenal. The sight of being in a valley that is miles wide and bordered by red mountains and rock formations in an infinite number of unique shapes. Everything is smooth. It reminds of high school science classes and the explanations of many of these formations be created by years of running water that eroded the land. The only difference is that it is a desert now and there isnt any water to be found.


Isnt this amazing…

Today was a tough day on bike parts. I snapped a chainring bolt. I have a weird click in my drivetrain and the bearings in my right pedal are dead. I noticed all of these things on a really steep climb that we had to overcome. Its hard being the fat guy.
The way back to the car was tough. Remember that long 20min descent that I raved about? Well everything that goes down must go back up. That effort on the way back was killer. But once we hit the top it was a super fast false flat for a good 11 miles back to the car. Today was a really challenging day. I averaged 235 watts for like 3 hours. My wattage would have been much higher had there not been so much descending.

Other good news…I’ve lost 12 lbs over the past month or so. Yeah baby and my power output is still the same. Woo hoo!!!