Todd's Blog — racerness


WELL, I HAVEN'T MADE THAT MISTAKE YET

TODD BROWN racerness

WELL, I HAVEN'T MADE THAT MISTAKE YET

YOU KNOW I TRY AND SHARE EVERY MISTAKE I MAKE OR ALMOST MAKE in the hopes my friends can avoid them.  But, this one is a new one... and, well, I guess I'm glad it happened.

Todd, you're not going to believe this.

When I hear this I always take stock of the teller... sometimes I think Oh, I'm going to believe this and others the opposite.

In this case, when a cat goes by the handle of "Crazy" on the Stravas... well, I'm probably going to believe it and love it.

Especially, double-especially, when it happens after the awesome and feared TMWC!... 'cause, honestly, who can get anything useful done after that social ride?!

Anyway, what you really want to avoid is this...

Someone stoke my kit.

What?

Yeah, I always hustle into work after the ride and leave my kit to dry on the back of the car.

Hmmm... I mean that's totally normal, right?... so it's not the mistake you and I should avoid.

And someone stole it?

Yep.

That's terrible! (which it actually is, good kits ain't cheap)

So Crazy comes on down to hang out at PEDALindustries HQ and pick up some new gear.  We spend a good bit rehashing the ride I missed, the upcoming weekend rides, and other riveting news only we can lose ourselves in.

Another mistake I've learned to avoid is that of shoeing people I enjoy out of my life because I've got to grind - we all need to hangout and connect more.

Crazy heads on home, saving a bundle by picking up brand new closeout gear.

Here's the mistake you don't want to make, but probably are going to make or already have made.

Found my TMWC kit. 

Where?

At home. I raced back home to get a student a belt and forgot I had dropped them off. Tuesdays my brain is just useless after 8am!

haha... SO. IS. MINE!

Remember kids, we're stupider than we think we are after a beat down/social ride... and no matter what, how things go down in our memory are almost a lock to be different than what actually happens.

Just in case it happens to you, https://pedalindustries.com/pages/close-outs

 _____

166.4 lbs (heaviest in a year, yikes!)
0 pullups/0 pushups
7 hrs sleep
0 hour ride.

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NOT ACCORDING TO PLAN

TODD BROWN racerness

NOT ACCORDING TO PLAN

I HAD PLANNED TO WRITE THIS BIG DRAMATIC END OF THE SEASON POST ABOUT THE SEASON.  Then, I got home after a scorching Filthy 50 and melted into the couch.  I was completely drained, vowing never to do it again.

Yesterday pretty much sums up my season.  Set a giant goal, train to the point of not loving it, recover like no other, shock myself with the result, collapse in exhaustion.

24 hours later, and I feel a lot better... even starting to have fond feelings for the Filthy.

Which means if I'm really calling it a season, my collapse is going to extend for an entire week.

A week off the bike.

Do you think I'll make it?

Monday will be easy to resist - I'm pretty achey from the cramps I was fighting the last 20 miles.

Tuesday will be the last Market Ride of the year - it ends with the time change... so, I might ride.

Wednesday is pretty packed with work commitments, I should be good there.

Thursday I'm planning to surf with my brothers, which isn't really resting, but we are overdue for a board meeting.

Friday, oh Friday and it's cherished meditation/journal session... that'll be tough, maybe if I just ride really, really easy it won't count... or maybe I'll just fire up the scooter and get the journaling done.

Saturday, to try and make it impossible to ride I am thinking of camping Friday night and leaving the bikes behind.

Well, that's the plan for now.

Honestly, I'm pretty sure I'll falter... but I sure do need some rest. 

 

 


I KNOW WHO I'LL BE TOMORROW.

TODD BROWN racerness

I KNOW WHO I'LL BE TOMORROW.

TOMORROW WILL BE MY LAST RACE OF THE YEAR, and I know what I’m gonna do. 

I’ll be that racer cracking a few nervous jokes, trying to break the tension on the starting line. 

I’ll be that racer with a giant grin, cheering other riders on and high-fiving the volunteers. 

I’ll be that racer going all out, giving it all I’ve got.

I’ll be that racer covered in dust, and maybe a little blood.

I’ll be that racer fighting cramps, chewing my salt tabs.

I’ll cross the finish line, gassed.

I’m gonna have so much fun!

Who are you gonna be?

164.4 lbs 
0/0
7 hrs

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AREN'T YOU GLAD?

TODD BROWN racerness

AREN'T YOU GLAD?

I SURE WISH I WAS RIDING RIGHT NOW.  This is no way to spend an extraordinary afternoon.  It's warm.  It's is clear.  A brilliant blue sky.  But I'm here...

... and the drilling that's about to happen ain't the kind happening on the group ride I'm missing...

Open wide Todd.

A little wider.

I'd much rather have to close a widening gap in a cross wind than this.

You might feel a little pinch.

Give me screaming legs trying to keep up any day.

We're going to suction now.

No wheel sucker could be this annoying.

This temporary crown is good to go.

I'd rather DNF.

We'll see you in 2 weeks.

Not if it's a day like today.

_____

164.4 lbs 
25/0
7 hrs

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THE TRAINING TRAIN

TODD BROWN racerness

THE TRAINING TRAIN

DUE TO A COMMITMENT I HAVE TAKEN ON, MY REGULAR SHEDJULL (I love the English' English), has been interrupted.  50% of my standing Tuesday Morning World Championships are on hold.  This is messing everything up, and it's gotta get fixed.

Tuesday afternoon training has leaked into the other days of the week.

My sleep, work and training habits are erratic.

Which makes me exactly like every other wannabe athlete.

I can already feel the next step, the dreaded and oh so lame...

"I just don't have time".

Whatabunchahooey!

I still got 24 hrs a day, 168 hrs a week.  There's plenty of time to get it all done.

A I really need to do is get back on the training train... you know the schedule... commit to it.

All aboard!

_____

165.4 lbs (I know, I'm way up... part a gettin' off the train)
gym work
8 hrs

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THE ONE HOUR RULE

TODD BROWN racerness

THE ONE HOUR RULE

I HAVE A NEW RULE.  Well, it's not really new but I just realized I practice it so I might as well share it with you.  There are some great pros with this rule, as well as a potential major con.

Here's the rule:  If I can ride my bike to "the ride" within 1 hour, I'm riding.

Why?  Because by the time I load the van/car/truck, battle the traffic to get there, and unload and prep... well,  probably could have ridden there nearly as fast.  Right?  5-10 minutes to load up, 15-30 minute drive, 5-10 minutes to unload.  

Might as well ride.

I'll get there warmed up, ready to rip.

I'll save money on gas and wear and tear.

I might meet some of the posse on the way, always good.

What's the con?

Well, for example, after today's pretty heavy 4 hour MTB ride, which it took me an hour to get to...

... I still had to ride home.

_____

165.4 lbs
0/0
6 hrs

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THE MID-OCTOBER FOOLERY

TODD BROWN racerness

THE MID-OCTOBER FOOLERY

INVARIABLY EACH OCTOBER I FIND MYSELF DELUDED.  I'm just sure I'll wrap up the day's work early.  I'm positive the sun will set later than advertised.  I'm banking on the shadows to creep ever so slow.

And there I am, 20 minutes from home.

In the dark.

This particular delusion is amusing, because the consequences or riding lightless could be life-changing.  But, there's a certain adrenaline associated with it, It keeps me alert.  More alive. 

And when I make it back and open the door...
I listen...
After all these years of cheating the night successfully,
there's still a little bit of relief within the walls...
... I'm home.
And that's a buzz that never gets old.

_____

164.8 lbs
0/0
7 hrs

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DON'T COUNT THE CALORIES

TODD BROWN racerness

DON'T COUNT THE CALORIES

I'M CURED.  I'LL NEVER EAT ANOTHER DONUT.  I'm always amused at the interactions when people find out we're spending the morning riding 100k, stopping at 10 incredible donut shops along the way.

How much weight will you gain?

Why would you eat all that junk?

... questions those who do the tour know are irrelevant.  But, I'll answer them for your via my anecdotal experiences:

No weight will be gained because the appeal of sugary goodness has diminishing powers.  Plus, while 100k was the quest... I rode more like 150k (80 miles 'mericans).

You eat that junk first because we skip it all season long, you eat "all" that junk because as I mentioned my sweet tooth lies 6' under at the moment.

What other benefits are gained on such a ride?

Well, the pace is tranquil and long and we all know LSD is the way to grow capillaries, right?

We end up actually learning where the best shops are and what their specials are.  For example, someone told me South Swell was awful.  However, I found their chocolate cronut to be amazing... always ask the server for recommendations

But, the best is the people you meet along the way.  The interwebs spread the gospel of TdD and beguiled new faces.  At a minimum we enjoy the novel company, and more likely we'll ride together again.

My top 3 donuts

3.  Chocolate Cronut at South Swell, Laguna Beach

2.  Bacon In The Sun at Duck Donuts, Irvine (these are made to order)

1.  The Smoked Apple Fritter at JD Flannels, San Juan Capistrano.

6:15... and we're rolling from Kelly's Donuts

 

Keep your helmet and glasses on... that sugar is gonna build and make you unstable.

Flirt of the day

The ferry to Seaside Donuts was a nice touch... what a morning!

At this point we're buying communal donuts and just breaking off pieces.

Rob's glove covered in powdered sugar from his french toast donut at Duck.

We're down to 4

I thought Sidecar donuts would be the most expensive... but no

But no, the most expensive and the best was the $4.75 Smoked Apple Fritter created by this guy and his team.  A-Ma-Zing.

 

_____

163.4 lbs
0/0
6 hrs

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HEY MAN, CAN'T YOU READ?

TODD BROWN racerness

HEY MAN, CAN'T YOU READ?

NEW RIDERS CAN'T READ.  They get more flats, crash more, and so on.  They can't see what you and I can.

It takes time.

I've been reminded of this the past couple of months by my own experience.

As I've ridden more and more technically challenging trails on my mountain bike, I've noticed my ability to judge what the bike can and can't do improving.

Each experience gets catalogued and as I see a similar challenge approach the successful solution gets burned further into my brain.  The more this repeats the easier it gets.

Soon, I'm seeing the trail and quickly interpreting what to do.

It's easy.

Automatic.

I'm riding.

Not thinking.

I've learned to read, by riding.

PS. Tour d' Donut is this Saturday.

_____

164.2 lbs
30/60
7 hrs

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THE BIKE MAKES THE MAN

TODD BROWN racerness

THE BIKE MAKES THE MAN

YOUR BIKE DECIDES WHO YOU ARE, NOT YOU.  Oh, you think you're in charge, but you're not.  Not in a meaningful way.

Track racers don't have suspension.

MTBr's don't bring skinnys to the dirt.

Roadies have lots of gears.

Gravel... well, forget gravel for now...

The point is, your bike decides what kind of ride you're going on.

Choose your tools wisely.

PS. Tour d' Donut is this Saturday.

_____

163.6 lbs
gym work
8 hrs

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RESISTANCE IS(N'T) FUTILE

TODD BROWN racerness

RESISTANCE IS(N'T) FUTILE

THERE ARE TWO REALLY HARD ASPECTS OF A FLAT TRAINING RIDE.  

I was able to overcome them because...

Gritters shamed me when I slid over after a 2 second pull.

Edwards kept attacking and giving us something to chase.

Robot bailed at the I.D. check... I love getting more hard miles in than him.

Tonight was fast... 32 miles in 1:20.  

That's 23.6mph., and includes a lot of loliygagging. 

We were on it, when we were on it.

Which brings up the 2 big challenges I face when using this flat ride for training:

First, the overwhelming temptation to sit 15+ riders back and sightsee.  It's so nice back there.  Often tame enough to chit chat.  No wind in the face.  Just riding hard enough to hang on.

Second, the inmyface recognition that hammering for allimworth is going to get me  nowhere.  That knowledge just hallows out my soul.

But, I am who I am.

I came with a plan.

To ride fast.

No matter.

... my legs hurt, and my mind is hardened.

PS. Tour d' Donut is this Saturday.

_____

164. lbs
20/60
8 hrs

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TOUR DE DONUT 2019 - HUNKR

TODD BROWN racerness

TOUR DE DONUT 2019 - HUNKR

YES, TWO EVENTS IN ONE.  This year's Tour de Donut will be a HUNKR.  

10/12/19 - 615am

100k. route link

10 donut shops

1 ferry crossing.

No timing chips.

All fun n sugar.

We're rolling early because we don't want to get aced out of the good donuts.

615 Start at Kelly's Donuts in San Clemente... get there early, we're leaving there at 622.

With a finish 4-7 hours later at Rose Donuts & Cafe (they have "real food" too, which we might need... or not)

Only I can really guarantee is a nice pace, some good chats, and so many donuts you'll be sugar-proof for the upcoming holiday season.

Can't make the whole thing?  We'll try and post our check-ins on FB and Strava as we go.

Offiicial Gear 

https://pedalindustries.com/collections/tour-d-donut

_____

164.6 lbs
0/0
10 hrs

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WHY SO SERIOUS?

TODD BROWN racerness

WHY SO SERIOUS?

I'M NOT SURE IF IT WAS WATCHING THE WORLD'S DH at MounSainAnn (sic) as the speediest guys luged for the line, or if I's just 'maginin' dropping super steep single track... but fur-sure Ashley caught me takin' the bike fit a little too serious.

Or, was I?

I was.  

I'm weird that way.

Way too serious, way too often.

_____

163.6 lbs
0/0
6.5 hrs

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COACHING 101

TODD BROWN racerness

COACHING 101

SHOULD YOU HAVE A CYCLING COACH?  Only if you want to improve quicker, and avoid the potholes along the path to enlightenment.

How do you know a good coach from a wannabe?

Imagine a huge event, the gran fondo of a lifetime or even a national championship.  Racer X is huffing and puffing, giving all there is to give...

Wannabe coach says, Try harder.

Good coach says, Drink more.

The good coach knows you and knows you're already doing all you can do... but, can see things you can't see and can give tools and advice you can implement.

Where to find a good coach?

Good coaching can be found...

In books.

On podcasts.

By riding with the local experts.

And of course you can pay for a personal coach.  

In most cases, you get what you pay for.

Just remember Try harder! is not coaching.

______

163 lbs
20/60
7.5 hrs

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MAGIC PILLS

TODD BROWN racerness

MAGIC PILLS

SOME THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT ASPIRIN... but are relevant to your bike riding habit and by understanding them may lead to increased performance.

We'll put the obvious aside.  It's cheap to manufacture, about 2 cents a tablet, and largely indistinguishable from one brand to another.

But, did you know...

Well-known brands command a higher price?... and work better?

Give a person a choice between red tablets and white and they'll pick red every time... and get better results?

A person with a backache will pay a premium for aspirin with BackAche Relief on the packaging.  The formulation is no different... and they'll get better results?

The placebo effect is real, so how do we harness it?

Do we pay for the big brand?

Shall we hold out for the perfect paint scheme?

Do we drink the company's marketing kool-aid?

Some will say it's a waste; some, money well spent.

Whether you think it works or you think it doesn't - your right.
- Henry Ford (I took a few liberties).

So, what do you think?

______

162.6
Gym
6.5

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IT'S SO OBVIOUS

TODD BROWN racerness

IT'S SO OBVIOUS

ON THE MARKET RIDE TONIGHT, I noticed a new guy in a local team kit.  Things got heated up pretty quick and new guy put in some stinging attacks.  This is why I do the ride, to get stung.

But who was this new bee?

Time and again he hit us with blistering one minute efforts, stretching the group to a long thin line.  Eventually, I figured he was using the ride to do intervals... probs for the upcoming 'cross season.

But, I couldn't figure who he was.  Not that I know everybody, but I know a lotta guys.

... and this guy had nats stripes on his sleeve.

I shuffled through my cards of known badass locals with nats stripes.  Found a suspect.  Worked my mental photoshop, removing his muy excellente mustache and shaving off about 25 lbs...

... and it hit me...

Hey, you look just like Mike McMahon except you're a lot faster!

Yeah, I'm getting back to my old self.

It's so obvious when we're in top shape, and when we're not.  Bike racing shows no mercy, there's no hiding and there are no lucky days.

Put in the work.

______

163.6
0/0
7.5

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I HAD ONE TOO

TODD BROWN racerness

I HAD ONE TOO

TYSON FAMOUSLY CHIRPED, Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.

I had a plan today.

Then, on the second climb... after an adventurous warm up... well, a funny thing happened.

Got a shot of endorphins.

Tossed out my plan to lay low.

Dropped a few gears.

Stood up.

Cut loose.

Couldn't help it.

Felt too good.

Temps were perfect.

Pre-dawn sprinkles left hero dirt.

Scared the crap out of a trail runner.  He jumped. Fell backwards.  I felt bad... but bro, seriously, take the headphone out.   Nature sings a better song... and maybe next time you'll hear the first, second and third friendly hellos from the old diesel.  He probably had a plan, too.

I guess there was a triathlon at Chrystal Cove.  One of the things I really dig about the tri scene is the newbs who show up on 20 year old road bikes to dip their toes into the sport.  Saw more than one of those in the parking lot.  One dude had a giant medal around his neck, and a bigger smile... atop a two-wheeled relic.

The hiking population was down about 50%, 'cause sprinkles.  So was the biking population.  Better shredding for me.

2ish hours in I remembered why I was gonna lay low.  Sore throat, body fighting something.  And I had to shut 'er down.

Worth it?

Totally. 

Now... I can burn through some overdue work projects... and rest manana.

______

164.2
0/0
7.5

 


HOW MANY HOURS?

TODD BROWN racerness

HOW MANY HOURS?

IN A TWEET THIS, JOE FRIEL PASSED ALONG SOME SAGE ADVICE FROM A COLLEAGUE OF HIS:  We train 168 hours a week.

7 days X 24 hrs = 168

Right?...

There's bike time.

Eating time.

Sleeping time.

You get it.

I guess the only question is... how's the quality of our training?

Or, how's the quality of our living?

I read it after the pizza.

______

163.2
20/60
7.5

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TMWC: A vs. B

TODD BROWN racerness

TMWC:  A vs. B

WE'VE WORKED REALLY HARD TO BUILD THE BEST GROUP RIDE AROUND.  Part of building the ride is reminding riders new and old of the ground rules.  It's been a little more complicated since we split the group in two.

The B group leaves at our traditional 630am start time, from Las Flores Elementary School.

The A group leaves 5 minutes later.

The B group is a steady tempo ride with a regroup... the regroup is simple, we wait until we can't see anybody else coming.  If we see 'em, we wait.

The A group is blistering, waits for no one and has a little extra credit climb.

Classy B group riders who are feeling spunky can hit the A loop's extra credit, launching their acceleration after the Alicia intersection, and still wait at the regroup.  Launching earlier is... nasty... not waiting at regroup, not classy.

Classy B group riders keep it together until Cook's Corner, then proceed at their own pace.  Launching earlier is... nasty.

If you're feeling spunky and nasty, ride the A group.

If you're down for a nice tempo, the B's for you.

______

163.4
20/60
8.5 hrs 
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NOT TODAY

TODD BROWN racerness

NOT TODAY

I RIDE EVERY MONDAY MORNING.  An easy spin.  60-90 minutes.

But, not today.

I postponed to the afternoon.  Thought I'd get my Monday ride in at sunset.

Not today.

Today... today I'm tired.

Today... I took the day off.

Skipped the workout.

And, that's okay.

I'm tired.

Today.

______

163.6
2/60
8 hrs 
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