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I’ve been doing some stuff I haven’t done in quite a while.  Not Earth shattering things, just little things, things I’ve not thought of doing or have don’t do anymore.

One is walking barefoot.  I had meaning to walk barefoot more.  When I was a kid, I pretty much never wore shoes in the summer.  Sometimes when we were going somewhere I needed shoes, it took me a long time just finding them.

Anyway, I quit going barefoot when I started racing bikes seriously.  I didn’t want to cut up my feet so I couldn’t compete.  Now I think I need to reconnect to the ground some.  I read somewhere that Sven Tuft runs barefoot on trails during the season.  That in itself was enough to give me the go ahead to do it.

So, yesterday, walking Tucker at the Park, I took off my shoes and did the whole walk barefoot. It wasn’t as foreign as it was to Richard Gere in the park scene of Pretty Woman, but it was a challenge.  The park is riddled with mole trails, so the ground is pretty lumpy.  It is going to take a couple weeks before I can walk comfortable I think.

I also went swimming.  After Rich from BMC left, I went for another hour ride, since it was so hot out and I’m trying to get used to the heat.  Then the Walberg’s, Bill and I went swimming at the Topeka Country Club.  I used to swim there when I was a kid.

The pool has been rebuilt since the last time I swam there, but some of it is the same.  When I was there, they have two diving boards, a 1 meter, then a 3 meter.  They took the higher dive down, probably because of legal concerns, which sucks.  I haven’t tried to dive in a real long time.

When I was a kid I could do a front and back flip by the time I was 4 or 5.  I wasn’t the prettiest diver, but could manage to do the maneuvers.   Yesterday, I did a couple flips.  I finally did a few front 1 1/2’s.  It wasn’t pretty, but I could in head first without belly flopping.  It is weird thinking I was doing the same flips 50 years later from the same diving board.

I started taking antibiotics yesterday.  I had a root canal done a week ago and was trying to avoid them.  But as my dentist says, the mouth isn’t the cleanest place in the world.  I’ve only take 3 know and it already feels better.  We’ll see how I feel riding now.  Usually antibiotics destroy me, but I’m going to stay cautiously optimistic.    I know that isn’t going to change it, but I can’t be worrying about it now.

I registered for the Elite National Road Race next Friday in Louisville.  The criterium was closed.  Shit.  I was put on a waitlist.  One I can’t seem to find anywhere on the USAC website.  Seems like there is a better way for registration than a first come first serve deal for Nationals.  I don’t really see why the field limit is 100 riders either.  At Joe Martin or Northstar, etc. the criteriums at those stage races are way, way more.  Seems like a more reasonable number would be 150. Last time I checked, I was ranked in the top 10 in the country in Cat 1 criterium rankings.  But it seems, the USAC website is down this morning.  Pretty bad day for that since it is the last day you can register for Nationals.  Seems to me there should be some qualification guidelines instead of just the first guys to register.  The professional criterium allows all professionals, but any elite riders on a USAC registered elite team.  Crazy random rules.

Trudi is at the Swiss National Road Championships today, then she is flying back from France tomorrow.  Her ticket is to Louisville, since she was supposed to work the Nationals next week with the BMC development team.  That isn’t happening since nearly all the American guys on the team aren’t going.  But, she still gets 12 days back here in the US, so she is taking the flight.

Okay, we’re riding gravel today at 11.  It is supposed to be steamy hot.  Not so crazy hot, lower 90’s, but super humid.  I can’t say I am getting used to it yet.  Maybe I’ll feel better today.

Bill, Catherine and Rich after the ride yesterday.

Bill, Catherine and Rich after the ride yesterday.

No many people swimming last night. Diving boards way back.

No many people swimming last night. Diving boards way back.

We had dinner at the Walberg's last night. It was nice sitting outside, although a bit hot.

We had dinner at the Walberg’s last night. It was nice sitting outside, although a bit hot.

Tucker likes their backyard. It is pretty expansive.

Tucker likes their backyard. It is pretty expansive.

My feet are a little white from no sun. That is going to change.

My feet are a little white from no sun. That is going to change.

Program from today's Swiss National Road Championships.

Program from today’s Swiss National Road Championships.

Tucker doesn't like the heat much yet either.

Tucker doesn’t like the heat much yet either.



Huge Crash

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I never saw this last week when the Northstar Gran Prix was going on.  This was on the Cannon Falls day. Man, I’m not sure I’ve ever been involved in anything like this.  Look how many pairs of sunglasses are laying on the road.  Plus, where is that guy’s rear wheel.  Man, bad day.

Floyd is Selling Pot

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I saw this article at Cyclingnews saying that Floyd Landis is going into the edible cannabis business in Colorado soon.

I don’t really have much to say about it other than it is news.  His company is called Floyd’s of Leadville.  They are doing a product  launch on Thursday June 30 at Club Vinyl in Denver.

If I wasn’t going to Louisville, I would drive over and say hi to Floyd. I haven’t seen the guy for a while and would love to catch up.  Man, do things change.


Sports Hall of Fame Induction

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Last night was the induction ceremony for the Shawnee County/Topeka Sports Hall of Fame.  I’m not sure the process that selected me, but it was a honor being picked.  The two other inductees, Clardy Vinson and Judy Dyer were genuine people.  Guys we could just hang out with. Both Olympians and both super nice.  It was a pleasure getting to know them just a bit.

The ceremony was held in a ballroom at the downtown Ramada Inn.  It was sponsored by Capitol Federal Bank and a slew of other local businesses.  I was surprised how many people were there and  how well it was run.  I’m not sure why that was.  I guess I expected a lower key deal.

Anyway, I had my own table set up in the front.  Keith and Catherine Walberg were there, along with my brother Kris, plus Bill.   There was a dinner first, then the awards ceremonies.  Along with the Hall of Fame inductions, there were awards for the best student athletes from Shawnee County.

Man, were some of those kids talented.  Not just talented, but smart.  I don’t think I heard a grade point average less than 3.5 and some of them had something like 4.4.  I’m not sure how you even get to 4.4, but more than a handful hand grade points over 4.

Judy was inducted first.  She gave a very inspirational speech.  She moved from Topeka after high school and lives in Houston now.  There was no organized running when she grew up, so she did it pretty much on her own.  She ran the hurdles in the 1968 Olympic Games.

Clardy was last, me sandwiched in the middle.  Clardy was a running coach when I was in high school.  He told me that he asked me to go out for cross country, but I don’t remember that.  Clardy went to K-State and was a two time All-American.  He was part of the distance medley relay that set a world record at the Drake Relays.  He went on to be principal of Topeka High. Pretty good resume.

Catherine introduced me.  She was awesome.  It was a little embarrassing listening to someone publicly say your achievements, but that is my problem.

I kept my acceptance speech short.  Mostly about how lucky I am to happen upon the sport of cycling.  And that the sport has given me insight to how the rest of the world works, somewhat, and gives me a sense of empathy that I most likely wouldn’t have without it.

Anyway, it was a relief when it was over.  I’m not too big on public speaking.  It was a little easier because I didn’t know that many people in the audience.

It is always a privilege being honored by your peers.   It was sort of strange being selected by a committee of people from Topeka, that aren’t involved in cycling at all.  When I took that into consideration, it was a bigger deal than I initially thought.  All in all, it was a really fun night, pretty special.  Here’s a link the local news did last night.

The gave me one of these and the 2nd one is going to hang in the Topeka Public Library for a year, then go to Topeka High.

They gave me one of these and the 2nd one is going to hang in the Topeka Public Library for a year, then go to Topeka High.

Judy, Clardy and me.

Judy, Clardy and me.

Catherine introducing me.

Catherine introducing me.

The layout in the program. I'm not sure why they put a picture of Tom Danielson flipping off Kalan, but I dig it.

The layout in the program. I’m not sure why they put that picture of Tom Danielson flipping off Kalan, but I love it.

Kind of Destroyed by Heat

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Yesterday was a record high for June 22 in Topeka.  The actual temperature got to 103 at around 3 pm.  I was 75% done with riding at that point.  Actually, I was 100% done with riding by then, but I still had 15 miles to get home.

I stuck to my plan and rode on gravel the 30 something miles over to Lawrence.  My Garmin was usually hovering right around 100 early, but on the way back it was 104 or so.  It seems to be pretty close to spot on, even in the direct sunlight.

I thought I was doing pretty well most of the ride.  It was pretty windy, like around 25 mph, but I wasn’t trying to set any speed records.  And I wasn’t.  I got to Lawrence on just one large bottle, drank a couple more, plus a 32 oz Gatorade, bought a pickle in a bag, and headed back.

Coming back was the problem.  I was pretty good the first half, then sort of started falling apart. Anytime I tried to climb off my seat, I was completely gassed.  My heart rate was pegged the whole time.

That is what is weird.  The heart rate.  I don’t understand why my heart rate was so high, when I was producing no power.  I guess it is that my body is using a ton of energy producing sweat or pumping blood to the skin, so it doesn’t have any exact volume to pump blood to my leg muscles.

Whatever the reason, it was demoralizing.  I looked at Strava, and there is a segment coming back into Topeka.  We ride it all the time.  I have the KOM at something like nearly 30 miles per hour for nearly 5 miles.  8:40 is the time, 350 watt average.  And that had to have ridden with a group, drafting some.

Yesterday I rode the same stretch in over 17 minutes.  15 mph average at 142 watts.  So that is over 200 watts less.  The weird thing is my heart rate is about the same.  Over 160 bpm the whole time.  And I was feeling way worse.

142 watts is nothing.  Like hardly pedalling.  It felt like I was going pretty hard.

Anyway, I got back and only had a few minutes to head over to a radio interview across town.  I counted and I had drunk 8 big bottles on the ride and was nearly 10 pounds light.  It is impossible to consume enough liquid at those temperatures.   I sort of had a stomach ache the rest of the night.

I couldn’t get to sleep last night, so I got up and ate 1/2 a watermelon at 2 am.  Tucker didn’t know what was going on.   Plus I drank all the juice out of a pickle jar.  That only lasted until about 6 am, because that is when my left hamstring cramped.  I hate that.  Nothing like waking up with a muscle seized.

Anyway, this whole subject interests me.  The whole sweating/heat subject is pretty complex I think.

I was talking to my dentist from Winona and he told me that he sweats a ton.  And that his whole life, his sweat burns his eyes badly.  Like even an hour after exercising, his eyes could still be burning from the effects of his sweat.  Then about 5 weeks ago, something changed and his sweat doesn’t burn his eyes at all.  He says that he didn’t change his diet at all and can’t pinpoint anything that he is doing differently.  He thinks his kidneys have just readjusted their calibration or something, and his sweat isn’t so salty.

I’m thinking not.  I’m thinking he has changed something, but doesn’t realize it.  I’m guessing this is going to be short-lived and that it will eventually get back to “normal”.

Anyway, summer has just started, so I’m sure I’ll have a lot more observations later.  It is interesting to me, as I age, I have to tweak the formula over and over, trying to figure out what works.  Keeps me on my toes I guess.

It was pretty hot the whole ride.

It was pretty hot the whole ride.

Mid ride refreshments.

Mid ride refreshments.

Lots of wheat harvesting going on. Guess the combines are air conditioned.

Lots of wheat harvesting going on. Guess the combines are air conditioned.  This guy must of needed a lot of straw.

Tucker is happy being back with some cats.

Tucker is happy being back with some cats.

Hall of Fame Hot

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I’ve been back in Topeka for a day now and it is really hot.  Like so hot that my local guys are talking about not doing the normal Wednesday evening ride.  I just looked and it is supposed to be over 100 at 6 pm.  Add the humidity from a thunderstorm a couple days ago and it is really ugly.

I probably would have just stayed up North, maybe went to TOAD or Lutsen 99er, but I’m getting inducted into the Topeka/Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday night.  Two other Topeka High graduates, Clardy Vinson and Judy Dryer are getting inducted too.  Sort of can’t miss that.   Here is a link to a local article the Topeka paper did yesterday.  It talks about me delivering newspapers to buy my first racing bicycle.

I hate not going back up to Lutsen, really.  But the induction thing is supposed to be past 10 and then it is probably close to 12 + hours to get to Lutsen.  It really just didn’t make sense.

For the Hall of Fame induction, I have to give a short, 5-7 minute speech, which I haven’t really even thought about yet.  Today I’m doing a 30 minute radio deal with a local radio station.   I have not done a radio thing in years. Should be fun.  If you want to listen live, you can click here, then click the listen live to the WIBW 580 radio link to the right.   The show is at 4:30 pm CST.

Today I’m starting my heat acclimation training.  Maybe a little too late, since it is already hot and it is nearly July.  I hate worrying about racing in the heat, so I need to do as much as possible to ease my mind.  I’m heading out super slowly for 4 hours, or so, at the heat of the day. Well, it might not actually be the heat of the day since that seems to be closer to 5 or 6pm than noon-ish.  But when the sun is more direct, it feels hotter.  I hope I don’t melt.

Alright, it is pretty windy already.  Supposed to be blowing over 20 mph all day.  I’ve always wondered it there is an opposite effect of wind chill when the temperatures are over your body temperature.  Something maybe like wind warmth or such.  It seems like if air hotter than your body temperatures is blowing over you, then the opposite of wind chill would occur and you’d be getting hotter, quicker.  Think?  I just looked it up.  Guess it is true.

This could have been me, but I was riding a Schwinn Colligate and had baskets on the back too.

This could have been me, but I was riding a Schwinn Collegiate and had baskets on the back too.  I doubt I have a picture of myself delivering papers.  We didn’t have a camera back then.  Crazy.

Pretty hot this afternoon.

Pretty hot this afternoon.

Tucker lays between the seats while I'm driving. Sometimes he just stares at me. I wonder what he's thinking?

Tucker lays between the seats while I’m driving. Sometimes he just stares at me. I wonder what he’s thinking?