Mar 30, 2009

Official Upgrade

I spent 14 hours on the road over the weekend traveling to Blaine, Minnesota for a USA Cycling Class "B" officials seminar. The course was held at the National Sports Complex which is also the home of the NSC Velodrome.

Having never been to a velodrome this was a special treat. Its a hard thing to photograph and capture the true feel. Even video doesn't do it justice - you just can't grasp how banked the corners are. I walked around it and standing on the banks is like standing on the steepest roof or slope you can imagine. It gave me a whole new insight into riding track.

So did the classwork. I had read the rule book numerous times but without talking about the nuances of track racing with experienced track folks, it was hard to put in perspective. And, being responsible for a working knowledge of it gave me a good reason to get familiar with track.

The course was taught by International Commissaire Bruce Brasaemle a veteran of various aspects of officiating. The course is quite compressed, with a ton of information given in a short amount of time. Bruce did a fine job of keeping the course on track and getting the information out.

The test was interesting. I wasn't fond of the way the questions were written but it made me think and that was the point. I didn't do as well as I would have liked but I passed comfortably and got to head home. I was one of the two highest scores, even passing the track portion of the test.

My new license should arrive soon with the "B" upgrade noted. I am hoping that I can score some officiating jobs around the region, if not the nation, and get some more experience and opportunities for travel. There is talk of a possible to trip to either Downer's Grove (Chicago) or the Nature Valley Grand Prix (back in Minneapolis), but we'll see. I am hoping to get a gig or two back in Blaine for some track races as well.

Minneapolis is a nice place, but still resembles Nebraska quite a bit. After a couple days I was ready to come home. I like to travel but with out my lovely bride or some close friends or family it just just isn't as much fun.

Mar 27, 2009

The Great White North

Finally done with a marathon session of spin classes. A double on Sunday, two Monday, and one every day since. It was supposed to be a rest week but I managed to keep my exertion levels mellow.

Off to the Great White North today - Blaine MN specifically. I am going to a USAC Class B officials seminar at the National Sports Complex. That is where the velodrome is and I am anxious to lay eyes on it.

The seminar should be interesting and the test somewhat brutal. But, I am looking forward to the possibility of working some bigger races outside Nebraska.

I will be on the road most of the day so tweet me if you like - jon_downey

Sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone provided by Alltel

Mar 16, 2009

Latest Mix

General workout, actually did this last while working on LT intervals.

01) Aerosmith - Sweet Emotion 05:03
02) The Bravery - Believe 03:46
03) The Caesars - Jerk It Out 03:18
04) Garbage - Push it 04:02
05) Buckcherry - Rescue Me 03:13
06) Foo Fighters - I'll Stick Around 03:52
07) Flyleaf - Breathe Today 02:55
08) Rise Against - Re-Education (Through Labor) 03:42
09) Amberlin - The Feel Good Drag 03:28
10) Thousand Foot Krutch - Falls Apart 03:36
11) Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker - You Wreck Me Baby 03:22
12) U2 - Its A Beautiful Day 04:05

Mar 15, 2009

Full week of spinning

It looks like the spin bike and I will become very close this week. Five classes plus a double class on Sunday.

Been reading Jennifer Sage's blog at She says that there should always be a profile for a class, instead of just winging it. Might be some repeat profiles if that is the case.

2008 vs 2009

On Saturday I did nearly the exact same ride as I did the same time in 2008. Its a loop south of Ames, IA. Actually the 2009 ride wasabout 15 miles longer than the 2008 route. Same weather, same wind.

I purposely didn't monitor my speed the entire route, focusing on cadence and heart rate the entire time and keeping both in a predetermined range.

When I returned, I compared results: Same average HR, with an average speed 2 MPH higher than last year! Wahoo!

Pleased, very pleased.

Mar 11, 2009

Respecting the Process

Slowly, very slowly, learning to apply the phrase "Respect the Process" to my training. And actually do it.

This week is threshold work. Not 4-5 threshold workouts like I would have attempted in the past, but a measured approach.

Monday - recovery from a long ride Sunday and the previous week's endurance/climbing work.
Tuesday - Cruise intervals.
Today- recovery.

I feel surprisingly good, and ready to tackle another day of cruise intervals tomorrow.

Mar 5, 2009

A Spin Class Rookie

This post came to my attention about a newbie at a spin class. Hillarious.