Saturday, March 31, 2007

Demoralized by the Canal

Once again, I get to the race site (5 miles from the house) 2 hours before my start time and I still don't get in a good warmup. I did set up the trainer next to Joe and he was jammin' some club tunes out of the Honda.
As far as the team did, Skinny Steve got a 6th, Joe 11th and just out of the points (16th) was Chris K. and his phat new Orbea TT bike. Chris G ( Mr. white shorts) had a top 20 and Brownie and I were top 25. In the 4s, Speedy Mike L got a 4th place and Shawn was happy to just beat Amos. Mitch scored a top 15.
I rode with the HR monitor today. After the 1st quarter mile I look down and my HR is 205! My "max" is 180. I sprinted out of the gate at 28 and finally settled down. Going out into the minimal headwind I managed to keep 21/22 thinking that I could shoot up to 25 on the way back. That didn't happen. My legs felt dead today. My legs couldn't push it. I'd get up to 24 and tried to maintain.
I finished with a 32:03 and a 22nd (out of 50).
I'm not sure if my new wheel cover helped - but it looked cool. Also, I need to work on my positioning. I may be too bunched up in the torso which may be effecting my breathing. Also, I just read an article by tri hottie Jessi Stensland ( on having a flat back. I'll start tweaking my position for the next TT (PLT #1 in June).
Tomorrow is the Townebank Crit at Langley Speedway. I liked that race last year but there were only 25 in the field. The 5 race was at 48 when online registration closed. That could get a little hairy but it's a wide track. Hopefully there will be less carnage than the Snowball Crit earlier in the season.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Birthday Weekend

It wasn't exactly my birthday yet (it's Tuesday the 27th), but I had a pretty good weekend.
Saturday started with the usual Saturday morning ride and with the nice weather and the season just kicking off, it was to be a hammerfest. I decided to take the Team Issue out after just upgrading the drivetrain to DA. Everything shifted fine but within the first few miles up to the meet up spot, I noticed a stiff link in my chain. I had a few minutes while until the group got there and tried to wiggle it side to side and up and down to loosen the link. Didn't help. I rode 3/4 of the hammerfest with the annoying click, click, click and ghost shifting. I used this excuse to suck everyone's wheel and sit in the back so they would have to listen to it. Somewhere around 25-30 miles in the ride, it worked itself loose and no more clicking or ghost shifting. Finally, I was able to get off the back and help out with some pulls. Unfortunately at this time, the lead group is now hitting 25-26 consistently and people are falling off the back. I managed to hang on until the end of Shileleigh.
Saturday afternoon was the seafood fest. Crab legs (3.99 at Harris Teeter), shrimp, scallops, clams and beer. Family and friends came over to help me celebrate in low key fashion. I scored on a gift certificate from AAB too. Bonus. (Now I know how Mr. B knew it was my 40th when I dropped off the doughnuts at the shop)
Sunday morning I headed out to the Dismal Swamp Trail to preride next week's time trial. When I left the house there was no wind but as I got down to the trail it picked up out of the north at about 10-15. The ride down (started my time at mp2) was eerily similar to last week's Dismal Dash. I averaged about 24/25 and hit 31 at the slight downhill and open space a mile before the turnaround. The ride back was exactly like last week. I attempted to keep 20 but was difficult in the section where there was no wind protection. I ended up doing 12 miles in 32:30 and averaged 22.1. I expect next week's winners will be sub 30.
Sunday afternoon I picked up another bike. Ok, it wasn't exactly for me and is technically a tricycle. That little girl has got her daddy wrapped around her little finger. We'll start working on her base miles up and down the driveway as the weather warms up and as she gets use to the pedals.
I'm taking off the next couple of days and expect to get some base miles/recovery ride in Monday.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

1st Race of Truth

A Time Trial or TT (aka The Race of Truth). The truth caught up to me around the 50 minute mark or around mile 18.
After a short tour of downtown Suffolk and asking the locals how to get to the White Marsh Rd ("ya go dan dis road here and hang a riiight at the Feather 'n Fin"), I finally made it at the race start around 710a to help setup.
Even with getting there almost 3 HOURS BEFORE my start time, I ran out of time. I barely got 10 minutes on the trainer. I spent more time in the port-o-john lines than I did on the trainer. I didn't worry about it too much because I knew we had a nice tailwind so I could get my legs loose on the way down.
My start time was 9:54 and within the first 4 miles I pass the rider ahead of me and the next mile I pass the rider 2 minutes infront of me. I was taking it somewhat easy at an average of 25. I'm thinking I must be doing pretty good until JB passes me around mile 8 and he's clicking by. I get a little more motivated and pick it up a bit.
I get to the turnaround and had to unclip to get around the hairpin turn (I later went down to help out at the turnaround and noticed the dozens of skid marks). I give a wave to Pete and take a drink. (I piddled around for a few seconds and those few seconds cost me 2 places.)
The easy 20km that I just completed turned into hell. Time to face the truth time. I'm in the big ring mashing. I drop to the small ring and start spinning. The winds were all over the place and I could barely keep a line. I remained in my aerobars but got out of the saddle for a few sprints to give my back a rest. It was at that time that I realized I forgot my motrin this morning as my lower back started to feel it a bit. Around mile 16 another rider passed me. This gave me more incentive to stop spinning and pick up the pace. For the next 2 miles I keep him within 50 yards determined not to let him go. Then "The Truth" hits. I see a slight uphill (more of an incline) but with the straight headwind. I'm in my 39 and 17 or 18 just spinning to get up and over. That's when I realized I'm not in 40km TT shape.
From mile 18-23 it was all hurt. When I realized I was towards the end I put it back in the big ring and gave it all.
I ended up with 1:17:06 and 37 out of 51 (5 seconds seperated me and the 35th place). Steven finished 3rd with a 1:06 (winner had a 1:02). Joe, Henderson, Brown, Mr B and Chris all were top 25.
The next TT is the canal which is only a 12 mile loop and on my training route. The next 40km (PT #1 - #3) begin in June. We'll see how the Truth is told at that race.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

1st Race of the Season - Snowball Crit #2

It was a nice day for racing with temps in the 50s and sunny. Some windy conditions but the course was protected by trees and buildings.
I felt good warming up. I had a cold 3 days prior to the race and didn't know how my conditioning would be.
As far as the race went, my teammates got a 1st, 2nd and a 5th (out of a field of 45) and another 4 teammates finishing within the pack. I, unfortunately, got pulled with 3 laps left because I had got caught up in a wreck on the previous lap and lost the wheel of the peloton and could not bridge. I managed to stay upright but one of my teammates went down pretty hard. He's ok but has a nasty strawberry on his butt.
The race started rather quickly and those that were not in shape soon found out. Racers were dropping and soon were being lapped which made it dicey sometimes because we had to fit thru one lane of traffic for about 75 yards. I stayed in the middle to back of the pack. I kept trying to get up towards the front 3rd but found it hard to pass on this course. There were 3 crashes and all were in front of me. 2 wheel rubs (solo) and a skid out that took 2 riders down - I almost made the 3rd rider but managed to find a 2' hole between Rob's bike and the curb.
Overall I am disappointed that I didn't finish with the pack because I was feeling good that day. I learned my lesson by saving energy.

Lessons Learned: Stay in the front 3rd of the pack.