Monday, April 20, 2009

SynFit ReCap: 35+ and Cat3

I pre-registered for the Cat 3 and since I wasn't going to be able to do Dolan on Sunday, I decided to also do the Masters 35+.


Not much to talk about since I really didn't do anything of note, other than to sit on the back and stay out of trouble. At some point in the race, I was able to move up and try to do some work. I went pretty hard on the back side and tried to work with GeorgeO, but when he needed me to pull through, I wasn't really feeling it and no one else was pulling through, so I just soft peddled. Towards the end of the race, I was in sitting on Nima's wheel and JoeJ was on my wheel. I heard Joe say "don't loose his wheel, he'll pull you to the front". Well, I should have listened to Joe, but Nima was skirting through some tight places and I wasn't willing to follow him. Race was smooth, fast but not super gut busting fast.

I had plenty of time after the 35+ to repin my Cat3 # on and take a few slow laps. My legs were feeling OK, but the first lap was fast and I could definitely feel them. The overall race pace was a bit slower than the 35+, too many riders were slowing up through the turns causing a small yo-yo effect and there was a definite slow up once past the start finish line, where everyone would start fanning out across the entire course. A couple times later in the race, I tried to move up at this section carrying a lot of speed but would be cut off as riders fanned out. Not sure how many laps were left when I moved up on the back side, and drilled it once I got to the front. I only remember hearing the rider behind me say something to the effect "sit up, I'm not getting any draft". Might not be the correct words since I could barely hear him, but it sounded something like that. Looking at some of the race photos it might have been Cliff from BikeDr. (yeah, there's a bit of a size difference between us). I pushed hard for maybe a lap or two, and then Kyle Jones (ABRT) blasted past on my left with Mike May in tow. I tried to jump on Mike's wheel, but my legs were pretty spent and I really didn't have much left. I pulled over and let the pack go by. I was just able to stay on the back without popping. I tried moving up the last lap, but just didn't have a lot of power left.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

From the back at Jeff Cup

Photo Courtesy of Jim Wilson

Brian Barnes and I were in the 35+, 125 rider field, 6 laps, 60 miles. This was going to be my longest road race.
Unfortunately, I was starting dead last. The first lap wasn’t too hard, but my HR was up pretty high which seems to happen when I’m not really warmed up . In the second lap a huge gap split the field and at first I was working with 2 others to bridge back up, but this one dude kept “sprinting” when it was his turn to pull through, not a real help when we were trying to work together. We were joined by about 8-10 more riders and this mini-group worked super hard for about half a lap to catch back to the front pack. F’ that really hurt. Probably the hardest I’ve ever had to work in a race. The rest of the race I just kept having to jump as folks faded off the back. I tried moving up but just couldn’t get anywhere near the front. I was spending way too much energy jumping around riders. Up until the 5th lap, my legs were feeling really good.
Going through the feed zone at the start of the 5th lap, I made a rookie mistake. I slowed up way too much to grab a bottle from Steve Anderson. By the time I got going, I had let a pretty big gap form since the front of the pack was really accelerating. Putting in a huge effort over the next minute, I was finally able to latch back onto the pack, but just before the right hander into the climb. This might have been the start of my downfall. After the big effort, the climb really hurt, and I was just able to stay in contact with back of the pack as more riders were popping.
On the 5th lap (second to last lap), I could feel my legs starting to cramp, especially when I stood up. Harry Fang, NCVC, came to the back to say hello, although he did say he was pretty hurting. (note: for someone that doesn't train a lot, he sure is strong. I'd hate to see what how strong he could get if he trained more.)
On the last lap, after making the right hand turn into the first climb, I let too much gap form coming out of the turn and tried to get back on the tail end, but my legs were really cramping up and my HR was through the roof. I just didn’t have any more power to accelerate so I just sat up and watched the pack pull away up the climb. I worked with an Evolution rider the rest of the way back but he was hurting more then I was and I think I wound up dropping him a couple miles from the finish. Not sure what happened to him, I just never looked back. When you’re tired, have no power and riding solo, that last 1KM sure took a long time to finish. And, damn it was slightly uphill, which you’d never know riding in the pack.
All in all, this was a really fun race.
Time to start picking up the intensity during the week.