Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

Here is an article from the Military Times about my little brother Mikah and his Marine buddies in Afghanistan:

No running water, but Reilly's got a sweet gym


Cpl. Mikah Rust, right, gives his shoulders a workout Tuesday with a makeshift barbell at Combat Outpost Reilly, Afghanistan. Lance Cpl. Joseph Roncolato looks on.

COMBAT OUTPOST REILLY, Afghanistan — There’s nothing like a combat zone gymnasium to make you feel like a doughy, wimpy scrub.

At least that’s the experience I had after checking out the gym here today. I’m a gym rat myself and a veteran of Washington, D.C.’s summer softball leagues, but with the air temperature soaring well above 100 degrees, I was surprised to see Lance Cpl. Joseph Roncolato and Cpl. Mikah Rust, both assigned to Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, pumping iron as though they were in the air-conditioning at their neighborhood Gold’s Gym.

The gym is a sight to behold. A combination of boards, pipes, pulleys, chains, duct tape and sand bags, it allows Marines to work out pretty much every major muscle group. There’s enough room for about 10 people to exercise at one time, far better than the gyms I saw at Camp Hanson and Combat Outpost Yazzie. Bench press? The Marines at Reilly have built a flat bench and an incline bench out of wood, and use a heavy pipe wrapped in chains as a barbell.

Tricep extensions? The Marines built a pulley system that can be adjusted by adding or subtracting sand bags. Bicep curls?  There are a variety of ammo cans packed with dirt and a mysterious set of 40-pound dumbbells, which Roncolato and Rust guessed someone received in the mail. In short, it’s a pretty nice setup – especially when you consider Reilly doesn’t have running water or an indoor chow hall.

As for the temperature, well, it looks like the Marines aren’t fans of working out in the heat, either. “It could be cooler, but we’re used to it, I guess,” said Rust, his drenched T-shirt stuck to his skin. “We actually had that conversation not that long ago,” Roncolato said. “Why are we out here working out at noon?”

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cycling In and Around Santa Fe, NM

Great Santa Fe and Albuquerque, NM rides this week
If you visit Santa Fe, NM these are the ride websites I have found useful:
NMORS New Mexico Off-Road Series
NMES New Mexico Endurance Series
NMCycling New Mexico Cycling 
SFRoadRiders Santa Fe Road Riders
Dale Ball Trail Map signs are posted at every intersection, you cannot get lost on the North and Central sections, South is a little more vague (and steeper).

Through these sites and knowing MTB group rides start ~5:30pm (Dale Ball parking lot at Hyde Park Road/ski hill road) I found a lot to do this week

Tuesday I joined the Los Nativos for a Dale Ball MTB ride

Cars provide shelter from the wind

Wednesday I explored the Albuquerque Foothills MTB Trails for the first time then attended the Ride of Silence

~100 riders attended and Channel 7 covered the ride on the 10o'clock news.
Leaders, police escort in front

 An over the shoulder shot of part of the group

 Two of the bike police escorts

Thursday Tim and Matt from BTI took me on a hammer ride which included the Windsor Trail

 Chamisa, Windsor, Bear Wallow, Borrego, Windsor, Jaun 
(but they call Jaun Sidewinder?) I am still lost on Windsor west of Chamisa

 Matt and Tim. Back to the cars before dark, nice after work ride.

Saturday I did Cochiti 45 which was Loop 1 of the Cochiti 100 
3 people did the entire 100mi, 9 did 85mi, most of us did the 45mi. Results here.

Cochiti course, we parked down by the water at Dixon's Apple Farm (middle right). Picture stolen from the NMES website, see more pictures of the course here.

Sunday was the Galisteo road race put on by the New Mexico Spokettes Racing Team.  I raced the W1/2/3 50-mile race, there were ~ 10 of us. Because of the wind and flat roads no break got away, the race ended with a group sprint finish, I placed 3rd.

 I love checks!  Thanks!
(pictures stolen from the site)

Todd arrived at the race (just returning from work trip to Alabama) just minutes after our finish. So cool to see him, then we both attended the Pedal Queens Pot Luck. Since we hadn't planned to attend, my pot luck items included food I had in the van, a bottle of FRS concentate (which people always like), a pineapple and $10 for the beer fund. So we were not the best guests, but had a great afternoon. Thanks Pedal Queens and the Pedal Queen's guys!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Roller Coaster Week

Currently in Santa Fe, NM

This week started out poorly with Mojo, our 14 year old lab, having to be rushed to the vet then having to put him down (more below). But Thursday I had a great ride with local BTI guys including Tim and decided last minute on Friday to head up to the Triple Crown #2 race in Nathrop, CO (between Buena Vista and Salida) where I had a fun weekend.

I arrived to cold rain, snow, sleet and mud Friday night and thought that this trip was a big mistake. I slept in the van, the weather cleared up, I raced the Flash in Super D Saturday and in XC Sunday with perfect conditions. 

The overall results of the Triple Crown are your XC result and either ST or SuperD. The SuperD was really a mostly flat all-out time trial effort. I was super stoked to finish 3rd. Good write up and pics here:

"Super D" time trial results

Triple Crown #2 Venue

The XC race was going well till I crashed hard and had to work on my bike for a bit. We almost never need the tools we carry, but I was glad to have them Sunday. I got going again, but was pretty beaten up and thought about quitting.  Sonya was really encouraging as I struggled up a hill trying to get back in a groove.

XC trail

Overall top 10, XC result decides a tie
(XC left column, then ST, SuperD, best of ST or SuperD, total score, overall result)

More about Mojo:

Mojo and Jake as puppies almost 14 years ago here in Santa Fe.

Mojo on the way home from vet trip #1

This was my Facebook post on May 8th:


Krista Park Scary day. Mojo, our 14yr old lab, has been having breathing issues, noisy breathing, coughing, shortness of breath, etc. Today he had a severe attack and could not breath at all. I didn't think he would last long enough to get to the vet, he was dead weight when I put him in the car. Luckily I was at Todd's Mom's and just blocks from a vet. 


We got him there in time, he was stabilized, able to breath oxygen through a tube and given meds. Turns out he has some level of Laryngeal Paralysis ( and this will happen again, it was probably triggered by the pollen in the air. He is now breathing on his own (see pic) and as long as nothing triggers it he is fine...


Todd is returning from a work trip tonight. Since we don't want Mojo to suffer again when the LP is triggered we will put him down tomorrow.

Monday, May 3, 2010

New kit (again)

Ordering custom kits for one is always a trick. Most companies have high minimums and high prices.  I started at the other end...  The first company I started with is new to the Lycra world, turns out that wasn't going to work. Company number two was great to work with, but when I got the samples it was obvious shorts were going to be an issue and the kits were not that high tech. Well, I guess you get what you pay for.  
I am now working with Primal and am really impressed; they really have the custom design/ordering system down and their communication and attention to detail is amazing.  If you have a team or club that wants custom kits, check them out. Tell them I sent you and maybe I'll get a better deal next year! First off I was sent all kinds of samples, I asked for women's race cut smalls and ended up getting the full range of sizes in race and sport cut as well as a return postage label.  Turns out I really liked the XS long sleeve women's sport cut and the men's shorts; glad they sent me more than I asked for.  The women's race cut jerseys are awesome and I ended up ordering the men's short with women's chamois since I like the ~9.5" inseam. 
Last weekend:

I held a beginner skills clinic in Santa Fe, NM for the Pedal Queens. FRS supplied a concentrate bottle for each person!  Power Bar sent goodies as well. We had a good time despite the cool weather.

This weekend: 
I had planned to race the La Tierra Torture race since it was 15 minutes from where I am staying. I did my warmup in 32 degree weather then said never mind...

 Maybe I won't race.