Thursday, March 22, 2007

A slight change of plans...

Well, you won't see my name in the results for a bit. I went and got myself one them blood clots in my left leg. You know the things that your 85 year old grandmother has to worry about? Yup, same thing. Or as I like to call it: Mike Friedman Disease. I'm not really sure what caused it but I think it had something to do with the trauma of the Tour of Cali followed directly by 3 days of relative inactivity due to a bronchial infection combined with a genetic predisposition to such things. Shortly after the tour is when I first felt it and I just got it checked out 2 days ago (that thing was setting up camp for about 3 weeks undiagnosed). As you may or may not know, Friedman got a clot in his leg last fall, it went undiagnosed, and a month later it manifested itself as a pulmonary embolism and he nearly died. He was the sole reason I got my leg checked out and caught it before it got nasty. For that reason, I'm calling Meatball a hero who deserves all sorts of medals, town keys, and beautiful groupies and maybe a cape too. He has been an invaluable source for me of both advice and empathy. He's quite the caring fella.
I think I will be out of the racing scene for at least 3 months because of the blood thinners that I have to take. Hopefully, I will be able to train again in 2 weeks but I will know more in the next week or so.
And just to address the elephant in the room for those reading this that don't know me: I got my blood results back yesterday and my hematocrit level came back a stellar 41 (or "slightly anemic" as the medical folk like to say). That's probably the extent of the time and energy that I will spend addressing any accusations.
Redlands update: Ben pulled off a 2nd place in the prologue which may be the ideal position at this point. The remaining 7 dudes are raring to go and will be racing for the GC win. I'm just sorry I won't be there to contribute and left them 1 man short. I'm sure they'll step it up in my absence.
Okay, there's my news. Health updates will be forthcoming when I get them.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

March can be a long month

I'm in the final week of my nearly 3 month stint in this fine state of California and I have to say that it's been fun, the weather has been phenomenal, and we've done some good hard racin', but MAN I can't wait to get back to Boulder! We've got a crit this afternoon, then we head down to Redlands where Aunt Margaret and Uncle Jim will host some of the team again and we do our best to help Ben keep on his winning ways. That should prove to be quite the challenge. Then Garrett, Benno, and I will high-tail it to Boulder by van.
Ben had another stellar ride yesterday by crushing the field in a challenging 30k TT. Unfortunately, I was not feeling my oats and had a very sub-par ride on a course that suited me very well. It's disappointing because I know these opportunities are few and far between but at least we scored another NRC victory! (I use the term "we" loosely) Ben is in another league right now and I think the rest of the dudes in the peloton are a little scared of him at the moment. Tonight we try to set up Emile to a sprint victory which will be difficult with Toyota and others in full force.
I can't wait to see some fam in a couple of days and all my boulder buds soon after. To all my family and friends: give me a call, email, or blog comment if we haven't spoken recently. I'd like to reconnect following this California hiatus. Take care.

We're getting used to this sight. This is Ben after wrapping up the overall at Central Valley.

Progress report: Week 3.
Omer has joined me in the quest to look trashy (or a gentlemanly sophistication?) note: this pic has not been altered or enhanced in any way.
This is a common scene at the host family house. Hours have been spent playing the old school Gameboy Tetris in the official gaming chair. As Teddy lamented recently, "I can't sleep because I'm visualizing Tetris moves when I close my eyes" small price to pay for the glory of a high score.

Friday, March 09, 2007

1st of Many!

This just in:
BenJM notched our 1st NRC victory of the 2007 season by attacking a break of 7 riders and bringing it home solo in the Central Valley RR!!!!
It was a brutally hard RR and what was left of the pack (70 or so) finished about 30 s back from Ben. Ben picked up a 15s time bonus with the win for a little breathing room in tomorrow's TT. There were some strong TTers in the break with Ben so it should be quite the battle for GC control. I can't wait! Wish us luck - not that Ben needs any the way he's riding right now...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Livin Large in Clovis

We are in week 2 of our 3 week stint with our host family in Clovis, CA. It's pretty nice living with our giant screen t.v. and endless supply of cereal among other amenities. Everyone is still recuperating from one ailment or another. Teddy suffered his 2nd and 3rd crash of the season this past weekend but seems to be recovering well. Omer took a nasty fall in training last week but gutted out the racing and is improving everyday. And most everyone still has some kind of congestion that they are trying to clear up. Sat.'s crit was a bit disappointing with 2 of us flatting (Teddy and I) with less than 15 laps to go in the race so we didn't have as much horsepower up front as we would have liked. As a result, we ran out of leadouts and Emile was in great position with 2 laps to go but lost some places in the final 2 laps. In the road race, we had Garrett in the break with one other dude for 60 miles! They were caught with less than 10k to go and so we tried to set up Ben and Emile as best we could for the finish. Emile ended getting caught behind a crash but Ben showed his excellent form with a 4th place finish with some help from Scotty down the stretch. I was a little disappointed that I wasn't able to help in the last 5k but was happy with my contributions in the last 20k or so. My fitness seems to be fairly good at the moment as I've felt rather spry at the end of these long road races. My top end is lacking but I'll be fine tuning that in the upcoming weeks. This week is the Central Valley Classic with a hilly rr on fri., a long, flat(!) tt on sat., and a crit on sun. It should suit us so hopefully we can produce some results. Oh, and my latest trend-setting, king of style endeavor is the stash. I remember a family portrait when I was maybe 4? where my dad was sporting a killer mustachio and he says he hit a homerun in his softball game that day so I figure it must be performance enhancing in some way (much like the mullet). I've been growing it since the end of the ToC and I don't know if it will ever fill in past the "14 yr old stage" but I'll give it a shot and try to give picture updates periodically.
Progress report: Week 1.
Equipped with "the beater". Hey, it may not be impressive yet, but you have to start somewhere.

A butt shot from the car during the ToC TT. This was during the wicked fast descent. courtesy of Bob Hughes!

Getting a little extra training in on Noah's bike. You should see my sprint! photo courtesy of teddy.

This is a pic of me acing a serve vs. Benno in tennis on the Nintendo Wii. As Teddy will attest, these things are exhausting! Maybe it's the method of the future to curbing overweight youths.