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.


Kyle Jones said...

That was George Opria that you were riding with. He was in the original break of 3 that were up the road for most of the race. Like you he had cramps really bad.(this is what I heard)

"El Carne" said...

You look good in that pic though...even you got dropped!! "That's my motto, if you get dropped look good doing it."

hfang said...

LOL about the pic.. Dude.. you need to keep that jersey zipped.. or shave the chest! I guess that's what the DCVelo team does as I saw another DCVelo rider with his jersey unzipped with all that hair. I didn't notice the pimpin' shades you wore while I was out there suffering with you. I was thinking you were going to follow me up towards the front, though you were no where to be found. My teammate Chris did just that, till I started to cramp and fade backwards again. I have to say I was lucky not totally bonk or cramp up and I didn't let my head get to me so I could finish with the pack and actually finish respectably not that 20th is respectable.

RayMan AKA StingRay said...

Kyle, I thought that was George. I was working with him the last lap, but we were so dead that we couldn't even talk to each other.

Harry, I'll have to shave my chest for you.

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