Tales and tall stories…

Fitness

PMBC XC Series – Boddington

Yes I know its been a while as a few of you have mentioned to me, but bills need paying and bikes need to be ridden, plus the occasional sleep helps achieve all this.

Today was round 5 of the PMBC XC series, held at Boddington south east of Perth. Besides the few locals, Boddington is basically a mining (gold) town with a very small population, but until they decide to dig a bit further the mine has allowed us to keep using some of the land as an MTB course. This is currently on a year to year basis so if you get the chance to ride the trail down there, do it! cos it just might not be there for that much longer.

Anyway due to an injury earlier in the week I wasn’t going to be racing, but with the lil lady looking after those of you who struggle to stay upright I was heading down to help anyway. This provided a great opportunity to see a bit more of what goes on in the field when I’m normally racing, or as some of us like to call it, “we’re doing a timed ride”. Really who calls Sport a race, besides the few sandbaggers at the front, the rest of us just do it for fun and to beat our mates to the first beer.

The weather forecast had been a bit mixed and the trip down was not really giving any indication of what to expect. In the end we got a bit of drizzle here and there but generally ended up being a great day for riding. The rain in the buildup to the weekend had made the course nice and fast, firming down the usually loose gravel we have learnt to love here in WA.

Racing kicked of in the usual fashion with the juniors smashing out the short laps with good competition in the under 13s. Special mention to young Riley whom I think had to be pried off his bike at the end of the day. I’m pretty sure the only time he got off all day was to grab a quick hotdog. This was followed by the first wave of the “big kids” races. It was a bit of a slow start with our trainee commas-airs going through the procedures (these guys will be a valuable asset to MTB racing in WA in the coming years) but we riders were soon out on the trail and lapping it up.

It wasn’t too long into the day when we had our 1st and only casualty of the day. Lewis, one of the younger riders misjudged a trail feature and decided to get closer to nature (or maybe he was trying to find some of that Gold buried in the dirt). Thankfully our trained 1st Aid staff were on hand to help him back and get him cleaned up. He may be feeling it a bit this week, but hopefully Lewis will be back for Marinnup. For his efforts Lewis took home a $50 voucher to a long time sponsor, Bootleg Brewery.

Besides that bit of excitement the rest of the race went smoothly for most with the usual suspects placing. We must congratulate the new riders to novice, for some of them this was only there 1st or 2nd race. It’s good to see some new blood coming in and we hope they enjoy themselves. Marrinup is easier so no excuses.

Next on the agenda was the big boys of the local racing scene, with only 5 riders in the elite field today everyone, who finished, was getting a place. The 1st 2 laps were like a freight train with the field just sitting in. Lap 3 was where things changed with breaks forming and stretching riders out a bit. This was where the race was won for the top dogs & eventually taken by Robbie Rhodes.

Expert was also hotly contested, well except for the machine that is Reece Tucknott, coming of the back of a TT the day before he was on a mission to catch the elite riders. With such a huge lead it was left to the remaining riders to fight it out for secondary placings. JC was keen to make his presence felt, with fresh legs but recurring mechanicals saw his steed launched into the scrub in frustration. Not to be out done, PMBC club president, Greg Murison, who has been battling multiple flats in almost every race this year, except today, was pushed back thru the field with cable issues, but did manage to baby his ride across the line to make a finish. Another rider pleased with his efforts was Ash Genefaas, starting the day with top 8 aspirations (in a field of 8) he was happy to claim 5th.

We can’t forget the women’s field, with the new combined expert/elite field this year there is a great mix of talent here to be seen. Especially with the likes of Cat Norris mixing it at this level within her 1st year of racing. Look forward to seeing more from these ladies.

Full Results

All in all a decent day out, as always thanks to the volunteers who help make these events happen, and also the sponsors who support them and the prizes they provide.

See you all at the next race, Marrinup August 28th.


PMBC XC race 2 – Pemberton

Last weekend saw race 2 of the PMBC XC series contested down at Pemberton in WA’s beautiful South West. This was set to be a big weekend with 2 XC races on the Saturday with 20% extra points up for grabs followed by a Super D on the Sunday.

With a bit of prepacking on Thursday night it was a dash home from work on Friday to load it all into the car before heading south. The trip down was pretty boring except for the spectacular meteor that flashed across the sky half way down. A quick stop for food in Bunbury and I was soon in Pemby where I met up with Doozy and we headed to our humble accommodation for the weekend, the Pemberton Forest Stay. 1st on the list was to get the fire going so there was some warmth when we hit the hay, really should have been going and waiting for us but we won’t hold that against the rest of the crew 🙂

Saturday morning after some sort of sleep it was up and at em. The crew was ready to roll with 6 of us mounting up for the day including our new recruit Gemma, this was to be her first XC race (did she really know what she was in for??) Most of us were hoping to get in a practice lap before rego and the race, as per usual this didn’t happen. I managed to take Gemma for a quick lap of the skills loop to give her a taste for the terrain and bit of a leg warmup.

A bit of a quick opening presentation and the juniors were soon off and racing, some of these young riders are well on their way to being future champions. Soon after it was time for the 1st wave of riders to line up and head off. Mike was first off with the old fellas soon to be followed by myself in Sport Men & Gemma in Sport Women for race 1. Mounted up with 2 cameras this race I was hoping for some great footage and the spanking new seat post mounted GoPro did not disappoint. The start was not too frantic with many riders choosing to take it easy early on as part of their 2 race strategy.

We headed around the skills loop and back through the transition area before heading up the hill via a number of switchbacks and the firetrail before heading back into the singletrack. A few kms of this and we were soon at the top of the Relentless Blue Downhill course. This is a nice flowing downhill run with a number of small North Shore obstacles to liven things up. This included the much loved wooden berms were I got some good footage of the rider behind be eating dirt on the exit straight (he has informed me that although a little sore he is stoked someone got it on camera). Lap 2 was much the same but with less fuel in the legs and the inherent need to keep some reserves for race 2, and the fact I did an extra lap of the skills course at the end didn’t help.

The GoPro at work

After finishing it was time for a rest and to see how the others had fared. I caught up with Ness (the better half of my team mate at the 12hr) to see how her race had gone and in the process found poor Gemma in the ambo being attended to. I though great this is what she needs in her 1st race, an accident to spook her. Well there was a bit of blood and a nice ‘trophy’ of the incident but Gemma HTFU and was keen for race 2.

By now Cat, Ash & Doozy had headed off for their races so while we rested and waited for our 2nd race we cheered them and the other riders on. There was some tight competitions happening between the different categories which definitely kept things alive from lap to lap.

Soon enough it was time for race 2 and too much chatting and catching up on how the others went almost saw us miss the start, but we made it just in time. Race 2 incorporated some common parts of the race 1 lap but threw in the Hell Mile. As the name suggests, its not the easiest piece of trail to ride, especially for your 2nd race and with the ‘lovely’ conditions. This section would make or break some riders. I took a nice swig of HTFU and just kept on going, the only thing stopping me was a few mislocated tree roots that proved a little slippery for everyone. We soon came out of Hell Mile and hit a bit of familiar trail that would lead us to the top of Cool Runnings. Now this is a lot more enjoyable, a nice downhill run consisting of a number of dirt berms and jumps to negotiate. I swear this is the only reason we are stupid enough to ride up hills.

The first lap was spent mostly trying to find the right pace and get through to the end. Lap to was just a matter of getting to the end and not giving in. Most of this lap I spent with 2 other riders who were around my pace and we helped push each other through and have a laugh along the way. As we were nearing the end of lap 2 I passed the ambo out on course, never a good thing. They already had the rider so I didn’t know who it was. I finished of the lap and was soon to find out that it was Ness. She had come off and bashed her knee on a rock. After a quick pep talk and reassurance we would grab her bike (the most important thing) Ness was off to the hospital for a checkup. (don’t worry she was fine and made it to the presentations that night)

Race 1 Start

Mike, Gemma & myself stuck around for a few laps of the 2nd race for Cat, Ash & Doozy before heading back to camp to get in a quick shower before presentations. Soon after the rest of the gang rocked back to the house, got cleaned up and we headed in for a feed and presentations.

Presentations went alright for the crew, with Mike getting 2nd for his category, Gemma picking up a bottle of wine for competing in her 1st race and Ash claiming the Grand Prize in the raffle. All in all a great day was had. Thanks to everyone who made this event possible, I don’t need to be individual Tony has done that, but I will thank him for making this race happen. With out him and the support he gets from everyone these events wouldn’t happen for us.

Note – I didn’t see much of the Super D as I had to head back to Perth, but it sounded like it went well and the bit I saw will make it worth staying for next year.

Most photos thanks to Jose from Apogee Photography – the race gallery on the Apogee site is progressively being updated this week so check back regularily to find a photo of yourself.


Improvements Being Noticed

As the weeks have gone on the body is starting to see big improvements from all the efforts put in. I’ve now just completed my 8th week and in that time have already dropped 7kg and increased muscle mass while reducing body fat. The effects of Crossfit and a healthier diet are starting to be noticed by those around me and also myself when working out and riding. I have really noticed a marked improvement when racing as well.

This week kicked off with a decent smashing. We warmed up with a nice lil run session, 200m forward, 200m backwards, 200m forward and another 200m backwards. This was followed by the main session, 5 rounds for time of 12x Wall ball, 24x kettlebell swings and 12x ring dips or hand release pushups. With the kettlebells I started at 16kg but ended up dropping to 12kg for the last 2 rounds so I didn’t drop the damn thing on my head. I managed to knock this one over in a respectable 13:40.

Wednesday saw us take on another strength session, 20mins to find out 1 rep max for overhead squats. Warmup was 21-15-9 of overhead walking lunge (with 10kg), ring rows and 200m run (I subbed with a row). I was very impressed to make the top 5 on this WOD with 65kg.

Friday’s session, which I almost missed after getting away from work later than usual, had us completing 3 rounds of 400m run, 15x Sumo deadlift highpulls, 15x box jumps and 30x doubleunders or 75x singles for time. A nice way to end the week. I subbed the 400m run to 200m, had 43kg on the bar (as we ran out of weights) and did the 75 single skips. I finished with a time of 12:23 and then went and did a 600m row to make up for the shorter runs.

The Saturday session saw the guys doing this week’s Games WOD which was an AMRAP of 5 minutes to smash out as many squat clean and jerks as possible. The guys at 75kg and women at 50kg. Not competing in the games I did have a test of the weight to see what these guys were up against and 75kg is heavy, i struggled to even pull off 1 rep at full weight.

To see just how hard this WOD is check out the below video of The Crossfit Chamber’s head coach Chad Johnson doing the WOD. Chad completed 25 of each to get a score of 50.

To see one of the machines at the top of the ladder, check out the 2008 Games winner Jason Khalipa completing this WOD and his lead up to it.


Quickie

Just a quick post for last week as I didn’t get around to doing it when i should have.

Monday was a nice lil AMRAP session, We kicked off with a warmup of; 4 rounds of, 10x wall balls, 3x burpees and a 200m run. Then hit the 12 minute AMRAP which involved, 10x front squat, 10x box jumps and 10 chest to bar pullups. This was a bit of a gassing session but I managed 5 rounds plus 2 squats.

Wednesday was a nice long session, for time run 400m 50 x Push Ups 10 x Burpees 50 x  Air Squats Run 600m 50 x Air Squats 10 x Burpees 50 x Push Ups Run 400m. Warm up was 4 rounds of  30secs skipping and 12 wall balls. For this WOD I substituted the run for rowing and managed to finish in 14:16. This was a damn hard workout but it felt good to finish.

To finish the week we did some strength work, 20mins to find our 5 rep max of front squats. So the warm up was almost a workout in itself, 40x walking lunge, 20x pushups, 200m run, 20x walking lunges, 10 pushups and another 200m run. I pushed my way to 90kg but couldn’t pull off 5reps so had to settle for 5 @ 85kg.

Saturday saw week 2 of the Crossfit Games open qualifiers with the crew pulling some good results, well done to all.


PMBC XC Series – Race 1

Today kicked off the XC season here in WA with race 1 of the PMBC XC series down at Langford Park, Jarrahdale.

It was not going to be a good day for me. It started with me finding a flat front tyre before I even left the house. Needless to say the rest fo the day followed suit.

I was feeling good and pumped for today’s race. We lined up at the start line and were soon off and racing, with me sitting in nicely near the front 10 or so riders. The trail was flowing nicely and was looking good and I felt set for a PB. These plans were shattered about 2.86km in when I went OTB (over the bars). Still not sure what caused it or how it happened, even after watchign the helmetcam. But 1 minute i’m going along nicely and the next I’m Superman. Offs don’t really bother me its a part of racing, but when you get up and find the front wheel looking a bit odd, now thats annoying. My race was now over and it had barely begun. The slow walk/roll back to the start was not the greatest either, especially when i was almost at the furtherest point out. Anyway the rest of the day was quite good. the race went nicely, the pea gravel claimed many victims and I started putting together some video for a promo (keep an eye out). Dismal start to the season and now the bike is out of action tile repairs are completed.

Check out the video of the short part of the race I did til the crash. If you have any ideas on WTF happened let me know, cos i’m stumped.

http://contour.com/stories/pmbc-xc-rnd-1-2011/embed?map=true


De Ja VU

And another busy week at The Chamber passes us by.

Monday saw an old favourite come out to play but with a bit of a twist. Fran was on the menu but with a bit of extra punch. We kicked off warming up with a bit of a Tabata, alternating between air squats & push ups. Then Phat Fran hit us; 12-9-6 Thruster & 30-24-18 Pull Ups. Just a bit harder than a normal Fran. I managed a nice 8:30 with 40kg on the bar and a purple band for the pull ups.

Wednesday was a bit of weightlifting and volume training, less intense but not always easier. Warmup was 10x 20m heel to bum sprints and 6x alternate high knee slaps. This was a good warmup to the deadlift. We were out to find our 5rep max. I started from 100kg and built up in 10kg increments to 120kg. Here I stepped it down to an extra 5kg but only managed to get 2 out of the gate before caving. 120kg was not bad considering my single rep is about 140kg. For the 10mins of volume training I went with something a little different and attempted a hand stand hold. Not the most eliquent with legs going everywhere so i ahd to do it slightly modified. Def a good upper body workout this 1.

Due to some scoring issues with the Crossfit games week 1 was up for a redo. This was good as it gave me a chance to give it a try and the athletes competing a chance to better their 1st result. If you remember from last weeks post the games WOD was AMRAP – 10mins of 30 double unders and 15x power snatch at 35kg. quick warmup of a 600m run and some snatch practice saw us into it. Scaling was a given on this 1 for me, i can barely do 1 double under to save my life let alone 30, so the option was to do 90 normal skips. On the weight I went with 25kg. The 1st round went pretty smoothly but as we progressed things caught up and you could feel the hurt. In the end I got 4 complete rounds + 90 skips + 13 snatches. Most of the athletes were able to better there results with Head coach chad reaching his goal 6+ rounds.

To check out the top athletes in Crossfit, watch Rich Froning Jnr smash the week 1 WOD.



Week 1 of Crossfit Games Open

It was going to be a big week from the beginning with everyone ramping up for the Crossfit games. Whether it was competing or just the anticipation of what the athletes faced, there was a definate buzz in the air.

We started the week with 1 of the hardest WODs I’d done, 5 rounds for time of; 10x Thrusters, 10x Burpees and a 200m run. Warm up was 21-15-9 of pushpress, air squat & pushups. This on its own was a workout let alone the main event to follow. I kicked off my first round quite comfortably with 30kg on the bar but by the 3rd I was knackered. The last 2 were a huge struggle and I completed the final feeling light headed and ready to spew, all the signs of a big effort and a time of 15:18.

Wednesday was a Hero WOD“Griff”. For time run 800m forward, 400m backwards, 800m forward and finish with another 400m backwards (very entertaining for passing motorists). We warmed up with a bit of Snatch practice as this was 1 of the movments needed for the 1st Open games WOD. Then we hit Griff… Not a big fan of running and my ongoing shin issues I was going to do a row combination, but at the last minute I went bugger it and thought I’d try the run. In the end this was a great decision, I completed the WOD full RxD, 15:06 and with no shin issues. The longest run I had done in a long time and definately 1 of the hardest. It was a great feeling to have completed my first RxD WOD and for it to be a running WOD. Needless to say I was pretty chuffed with my efforts.

To end the working week another tough WOD was ahead of us, this was a WOD from the 2008 Crossfit Games, for time, 5 rounds of 5x deadlifts followed by everyones favourite 10x burpees. No rest for the wicked here. Starting witha  gentle warmup of 10x 20m sprints and at the end of every 2nd sprint we had to do 5 air squats and 5 pushups. I hit the deadlifts with 100kg and was somewhat regretting this by round 4, but managed to finished with a respectable 7:42 after almost not making it backup off the ground after the last set of burpees. Finishing the night with a 5min squat hold, we were all glad to be done.

Saturday saw a number of The Crossfit Chamber athletes competing in the 1st Games Open WOD. There was a good crowd turnout to support and cheer them on for a very challenging seesion. Posted earlier in the week, the WOD consisted of, AMRAP in 10mins of 30 Double Unders & 15x Power snatches (35KG). There were guesses as to how well each could do and their goal, but only time would tell. As I missed this I don’t have all the results but below are a few pics of the athletes in action. And for more details checkout out the Crossfit Games Open page, and see just what is in store for those competing as well as results form around the world.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.