Monday, November 30, 2009

60: SIX Days

Black Friday was the Faticus Family gathering at my parent's house for Thanksgiving.
It was good to see my brothers, my parents and the kids. My brother Craig and family are still in New England and were unable to make it down for the holiday.

So we did a web camera conference call. This was my first experience with a web cam. It was pretty cool. About half way through the call, I got my youngest brother, Bryan, to slip off camera with me.

We stripped off our clothes, except for our boxers (there were kids in the room after all). We slipped back on camera standing just behind our wives, but fully visible to my brother Craig in New England.

About a minute later, Craig burst into laughter as he realizes that Bryan and I are standing there, almost naked. "what the freaking hell!?" He yelled over the camera, as our wives now realize that we are standing there in our skivvies and everyone is laughing, even my parents...
I comment to Craig, "Oh, I'm sorry first time with the web camera, I thought you were supposed to take your clothes off..." Laughter continued...

The MABRA Series final/ MABRA Championship/Maryland/DE/DC State Championships were this weekend. States weekend. For me, State Championships are important, something I usually really get up for. I started racing cross in 1997, and over the years captured a number of state medals and perhaps one of my proudest moments on a bike, winning the "Killer B" Delaware championship in 1999.
My teammates know what regard I hold the state championships, as do they, and graciously for much of the year, the rough plan was to work for me, and see if I couldn't earn a Maryland Championship. About a week ago, I told the team, that as much as I was honored that they would consider working for me, my recent performances didn't really give me any claim to be a team leader, and that honor was probably better set for someone else. Heck, I'm not even the 5th fastest master's rider on my team...
With that, I came into today's race pretty excited as it was fairly muddy, peanut butter style, and had some really sweet running sections. Running sections are good for me. I'll also admit that when I comment that, "my runs were really good today..." That usually means that my riding was not so hot. This blog has been way too much whining lately, so let me say this, I love racing cross. I didn't race all that well today, I did have fun, the course was good, and I did score a couple points today finishing 24th.


On to next week.

the team rode really well today. We pulled off the MABRA team championship, and Took the Gold/Silver/Bronze for the Maryland 35-39. (Nice work Auer/Sven/Joe)... Breyla-la had her best ride of the year, Lenore rolled, and Harlow rolled on... Jay continues to impress as well...

Layla digs the new couch:
thanks for reading.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

059: Thanks

You know this year has been a little weird for Monkey and I.

I know that I haven't been racing as well as I would like to have in the last few weeks, and
basically I've been kinda whiny.

I also recognize that we are incredibly blessed, and have so much to be thankful for.

believe me, perspective is a good thing, as a professional amateur masters cyclocross racer sometimes it may appear that some times I lose sight of that.

believe me I do not.

so thanks for reading, and coming along on this weird trip with us.

best to you and yours, and have a wonderful thanksgiving...


Sunday, November 22, 2009

058: Mixed Bag


Saturday was pretty awful for me. Got a good start, but after a lap just felt like I couldn't keep it together. Truth is, I just didn't have it. I pulled into the pit, and said to Wes and Monkey, "my season is over, I just don't want to suffer anymore. I just can't do this like this..."

I walked over to the car. Put my bikes in the car, collecting my DNF and figured my season which started with great promise, was now over.

Now Jay and Jan had "crossmos" and I had lots of fun working in the pit with Diane, and cheering for our friends and teammates.

On the way home, I'll was wallowing in my own mire. I was totally bad. Diane was a saint listening to me complain and whine.

Saturday night, I was pretty much a lame ass.

I called Auer...

Fatmarc:" Kris, I think I'm done for the year. Ever since I got sick I have been shit man. I am racing horrible, I don't want to; can't seem to suffer right now. My head is so far up my ass, I'm just an embarrassment. I'm an embarrassment to our team, what I'm doing out there... I'm horrible"

Auer: "Listen man, we've all been where you are right now. I know you aren't riding at the level you and I and Mayhew all know you are capable of, but you know I don't want you to end your season this way..."

Fatmarc: "I have just been awful, I'm so disappointed..."

Auer: " as far as embarrassing the team, there is nothing you can do on the bike that would ever embarrass the team. I mean I could see you doing something off the bike, but it would probably be really funny, and frankly I wouldn't even care then..."

Fatmarc: " thanks man..."

Auer: " Marc, here's the deal, I just don't want your last race of 2009 to be a DNF, show up tomorrow kit up and just ride around, just finish the race, don't worry about a result. Show up, race your race, and if you tell me after that that the season is done, well, then you'll get no argument from me."

Fatmarc: "okay you have a deal buddy. But as awful as I am, It could be ugly"

Auer: "no worries, just finish. I'll see you in am."

Monkey and I were hosting Bret, Mayhew, and Steevo, which was pretty outstanding.
So we had a Fun group, lots of skateboard talk, lots of bike talk. Highlighted for me by:

1. Getting a haircut from Diane.
2. Me drinking More beers than I really needed
3. Tacos from Homegrown, outstanding
4. Followed up the four of us watching skateboard videos, with my mouth half opened in awe the entire time. (bob e. what ever you do, don't watch this clip)

Brent won a pie Saturday. It was really tasty... Thanks for sharing.

It was an awesome night.

Sunday I showed up, and was somewhat lackadaisical with my warm up, and preparation. In fact, I was proud of the heckling, and cheering we were doing. The master's 3/4 got some of our best stuff. It was awesome.

So my race was good. I kinda surprised myself. Didn't start too aggressively, moved up a few spots after the first lap, rode with Mealy for a bit, and finished up with my best ride in over a month, not just my result (14th), just the entire race. Wow, I really didn't expect that...

And so after having Mayhew say, "nice job today, way to sack up. lets talk about the this in the morning, and plan out the end of the season, I knew you had it in you buddy.."
" You had a good ride..." Auer says, " good job we'll miss you next week" And smiles at me.


Maybe I'm not totally done yet. Hope springs eternal...

thanks for reading.
thanks to gwadzilla for a couple of pictures.
thanks to Mayhew for keeping me cool.
thanks to Auer and Wes for talking me down.
thanks to Monkey for being my psychologist and hair stylist
thanks to Steevo, Mayhew and Bret for making Saturday night fun, I needed that.
thanks to my awesome teammates for the lawn darts kid's course set up and just being awesome.
thanks to Connair, Fred W, and Gary D for their wisdom, and good words.

I love cross.
See you at the races next week.

These are the cards I am dealt for the next two weeks. Gotta play it out...


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

057: talking about sheets and skateboarding

I come to bed to find that Diane is in the process of changing/washing the sheets.

Monkey: "hey babe, the comforter is still in the dryer for a few more minutes, just get under the sheet and you should be good."

Me: "really!?"

Monkey: "yeah, the sheet will keep you warm."

Me:"let me ask you a question. How many times have we had folks stay with us this cross season?"

Monkey:" Oh I don't know 4-5 weekends?"

me:" exactly, and was it cold any of those weekends?"

Monkey: "yeah, at least 3 of them..."

Me: "so how, many times did you say to our guests, "hey, here's a pile of sheets, if it gets cold in the night, just grab one?"

Monkey starts laughing.

She replies, "never, we set a pile of quilts and blankets down there..."

Me (emphatically) "exactly, the sheet doesn't do shit to keep you warm, don't sell that stuff to me. sure it makes the bed comfortable, but warmth, no fucking way..."

Laughing out loud Monkey comments, "ah, you bastard..."

I roll over across the bed, and kiss her good night.


I have not ridden a skateboard in 20 years, but is still find myself drawn to skateboard videos.

Luckily, at the clog factory there are a number of skaters who are happy to share their DVD collection with an old guy, who rides bikes, but used to skate.

Last night I watched Enjoi's Bag of Suck. Seriously, this might have been the coolest fucking thing I have ever seen in my life.

Check out at little of Jason Adam's run here.

Dudes skate so fast, so much style, and the sickest lines ever...

I just kept finding myself watching with my mouth wide open...

Tom has told me that at my core I am still a wrestler, which i have to admit I agree with, but at some extent I would argue i am still a that skater kid too.

I watch these dvd's and I think about line choice, I think cross races. Much like old skateboard contests, cross races are highly competitive, but also as much about the competition as having a good time, the culture and really enjoying the folks around. When I ride my best cross regardless of my result, I am happy. I also recognize, that I'm always working to improve my cross, and never satisfied...

Much like how I looked at my skating when I was younger, I look at my cross as a craft, an artform as much as athleteics.

Like I said this was one of the damn coolest things I ever saw in my life.

For the record, my best cross this year, was pretty good, but my best is still ahead of me...


Saturday, November 14, 2009

056: guest poster

From the land of Californication:

Dear Bibs the Michelin Man,

Today I had the pleasure of changing a flat Michelin tire 3.5 hours into a ride. I'm not blaming the tire for attracting and holding on to 3 shards of small rocks, or the wet road conditions. However, every other tire manufacturer has somehow figured out the diameter of a standard road rim by now, except your engineering department.

Trying to get the last few inches of tire back on the rim while kneeling on the side of the road with cramping legs and almost breaking off both my thumbs in the process, all I wanted to do was PUNCH YOUR F***ING PASTY INFLATED FRENCHIE FACE laughing at me from the sidewall.

Kind Regards,

Had me laughing out loud.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

055: cross practice in my garage

Hoped to get out with some friends and ride around some fields in the dark, dressed in lycra like the dorks that we are. But then just as I was leaving the clog factory, the skies started pouring. So L-Web, Jeb and I had cross practice in my garage tonight.

That Mother/Son team tag teamed me the entire time, fuckers just half wheeled me to death.
exciting video time:


That last effort hurt a little bit.
how much did that hurt Lauri, see just this much...
trainer rides sucks, but is always better with friends.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

054: Free Milk Sundays 6-7

Somewhere this summer I read a quote, "you're either getting faster, or you're getting slower, there is no status quo with fitness..."

For whatever reason that has stuck with me. Coming into the season I knew I wasn't 100% for the opening weekend but planned to continue to get stronger as the season developed. I was getting stronger each week.

The plan was coming around pretty well with my best rides of the year at Granogue and Wiss. Heck, who am I kidding Granogue might have been the best cross I ever rode of my life.
Then I got sick. I got some nasty cold or something. Couldn't kick it. I wasn't the only one, a number of the C3/DCCofD/Granogue crowd got hit, lovingly we called it the Granogue Flu.

The last two weeks have been really bad. I wasn't racing well. I couldn't make the bike go, something was just wasn't right. After last week, I pretty much made my mind up that if I couldn't make the bike go, If I couldn't do better than the past few weeks efforts, it might be time to call it a season. Clearly, I was not getting faster...

We'll call that a crisis of confidence- fatmarc style.

Last week, working closely with my coach, I got back into my routine. I raced well this weekend, 22nd at Fairhill on Saturday, and 17th Sunday at Tachinno. Not the best results in the world, and I made some tactical errors both days, but at the end of the day, I was racing, I was battling my peers, and fighting for position to the line both days. There is still fire in the heart, and my best cross of 2009 is still in front of me. Perhaps most important there is a flow to the cross season, and today, I felt back in that rhythm. This weekend wasn't my best cross, but I know one thing, today I'm getting faster.
The house guests this weekend included Hardy, Zayne, and Zach. Great to have them around. Monkey and I have been lucky to have great folks around the past few weekends.

Sunday coming home from Tacchino there was a nasty crash on 95. It added an extra hour to our drive home. We did the ole dip, duck, dodge, dive, duck on some back roads. At one point we were siting in traffic, and there was a sick long line of folks going into High's Dairy. Jan and I were like "WTF". Totally deadpan, Monkey says, "Free Milk on Sundays from 6-7"
We answer, "oh..."

Shortly there after she starts laughing. Then we all burst out in laughter. I look at her and ask, "there's no fucking free milk is there..."

This has been a good cross season for me, I expected some ups and downs. But proudly today, I accomplished one of my 6 goals for 2009. I was a winner in the sausage preme. That's right here's Jim presenting me my award from the Suitcase of Sausage.
One down, 5 to go.

Thanks to all my teammates for there support this week, and their kind words of encouragement. Thanks to CZ too.
Bad Andy put to me just before the start of my race Saturday, "you're freakin' Fatmarc, you're a badass, start acting like it."

That might have been a little strong, but damn I got the message.

I love cross. BTW our "Halloween" kits might have been a week late, but damn they are bad ass.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

053: collar

I have been dreaming a lot lately.
In my dreams I have been fighting dark shadows a lot.
Fighting, and wrestling, and battling.

It's what I imagine Valhalla must be like for Vikings, only without women and beer.
And well, Valhalla is essentially a heaven, and my dreams, my fighting has been much darker.
Not joyless, but still dark. I'm kind of a peaceful guy.
Needless to say I've not slept well for a few weeks.
It's that background that I had an incredibly joyful ride tonight. Some good friends, riding around in circles. Don't tell anyone, but I hugged Jan. He hugged me back. I'm glad to have him on the east coast. He just registered for Fairhill. Expect it to rain this weekend.

So the Van Dessel/Thule team have some pretty badass collars on their new jerseys. I'm speechless:

That was a surprise that I certainly did not expect, but made my day...

thanks for reading, see you at Fairhill and Tacchino.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

052: Nancy Kerrigan

Rough weekend on the racing front. Back to Back poor showings in New Jersey. 30th Saturday, 37 Sunday.

I am clearly not very fast right now.

Saturday started well enough, but after 3 laps I just seemed to fade a bit. I was going hard, just not fast. Then my chain dropped and as I headed to the pit, Diane wasn't expecting me. I tried to drop my bike away from her, but sure enough, it went right into her injured knee. Yeah, I just Nancy Kerriganed my wife's injured knee. By the time I got back around I saw her on the bench crying...She waived me on, so I finished up and came back to see her knee was good and swollen.
Black and blue...
Sunday was just awful, couldn't get going, and when I did kinda get it together, I really didn't have that much "it". I battled, I grumbled, I was not very happy or nice.

I gave CZ the finger. It was bad.
To say I am disappointed in my performance would be a tremendous understatement. And did I mention I took out my wife too.

thanks to my teammates, and friends who had many kind words for us this weekend.

Although my racing was poor, and I threw my bike at Diane's injured knee, we had a great group of folks at the house Saturday night:
Sweet Johnny, Meatball, Tom McKay, Bad Andy and Bad Kat.
We met some more friends for a great Thai dinner.

So to summarize:

I raced awfully.
I am not very fast right now.
I crashed my bike into my wife's hurt knee.
We had some great folks over for the weekend.
I was not very happy after my races.
I hate cross.
I love cross.
Diane's knee is still black and blue but getting better (thank goodness).

I'll try to do better next week.