Monday, June 9, 2008

State Senior Crit and PLT 1: Just Watching

Yeah, the race entries and results would show that I raced this weekend but it ended up more of being a spectator this weekend at the Senior State Crit and PLT TT.

Senior State Crit
Another great race put on by TriPower. The temps were in the high 90s at race time. The good thing about the heat is that it doesn't take long to warmup.
We roll at the start and my front tire is almost flat - I call out to a teammate, Fishsticks, and he brings me a spare. (Must have been all those trips over the gravel parking lot to hit the porto-johns pre-race). I just sit up in the very back and fortunately, we just took a warmup lap around the first lap and with no hard turns, my tire doesn't roll. I get a free lap and tire change.
It must have been the heat but this was the slowest race I've been in at the Sportsplex. It was sub 24 avg. (This is typically a very fast course with Tuesday nite's hammer practice crits avg 26-27). I found myself up and down the pack. Pulled a lap or two, albeit at 22, and worked some at front but mostly stayed in middle to back of the pack. Watched attacks by Kyle, from Evolution Cycling who traveled down from D20, who got off the front early and often thru the race. Watched a few sketchy turns, squiggly lines and some folks riding on the grass. Watched the inevitable attacks by Fat Frog's Percy. He's fun to watch since he's good for a half-dozen attacks in a race. And watched Dinsey get off the front with an Evolution rider with about 7 laps to go. I thought it was going to stick but they were eventually caught with 1 to go. And then watched Robert from Kitty Hawk Cycling take the win.
Overall, I just paid my entry fee and watched a race from a good seat in the house. Finished 20th (of 41).

Photo by Kevin Dillard. More photos of the race can be found on

PLT #1
Last year I watched my times get faster with each of the PLT TTs. I guess this year will be no different as I set this year's time almost 2 mins slower than my PR on this course.
At the first 3 miles out, I watch this idiot driver pulling a boat pass an oncoming cyclist on his way back and squeezing me off the road.
I watched as my minute man, Kitty Hawk's Robert, pass me before my favorite pitstop on training rides - the G.R.I.T.S store (yes, that's right, it's Girls Raised in the South) - I love livin' in Chesapeake.
A few miles later as I sat up to stretch the back, I watched (heard) my 2 minute man yell at me to basically "HTFU", suck it up and stay down in my aero as he blew by me. Couldn't get the jersey to identify him but thanks for that kick in the butt to keep me going.

Congratulations to Jacob (Fiorucci/Cycor) for taking the 4s at 49 and change. Also props out to Tripower Cook for setting a new course record for the women (54:15).

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Chain Love

If you're a gear and bike addict like me and browse thru the cycling catalogs and online classifieds, then you'll be happy to see a new site launched by Steep and Cheap that is specifically for cycling and to fuel your addiction.

If you're not familiar with Steep and Cheap, it's an online portal where they place outdoor gear on their site one item at a time. When they sell it all, they place another item on the site. I've picked up some good deals, for example, some Reef flip flops (with the all important bottle opener on the sole) for about $12 (retail - $35). I've seen Timbuk 2 bags for about $40 (1/2 off retail). It tends to favor snow and winter gear (Burton, Marmot, Northface) but you can see the occassional warm weather gear for us not-so-cold regions.

And so you don't miss a deal, you can sign-up for daily deals via email or even get that RSS feed.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Day of 3 Part 1 and Part 2

Day of 3 Part 1: Swim + Bike + Run
Raced the Breezy Point Sprint Triathlon on Sunday and finished my first ever tri. If you recall, my first attempt at a tri ended up being a swim only event for me.
Got there early enough to setup transition area, get my chip, socialize, reset up my transition, socialize more, get the wetsuit on and warmup.
My age group started in the 2nd wave behind the Elite group so we had open water ahead of us without having bottlenecks at the bouys. I drifted towards the back as we were about to start because I knew this was not my strong leg and didn't want to get extra kicks/jabs/elbows in the chaotic start. In hindsight, I should have stuck with the main pack and stayed with the draft as much as possilbe. Lesson learned.
I took this swim too casually. After 1000 meters, I didn't feel like I worked too hard but I must have. Got out of the water and it felt like I had dead legs. I had a hard time running thru transition. Peeled of the wetsuit and the hammy started to cramp. Crap, this is going to be a long day if I get a cramp now. Hobbled to the mount area and got on the bike. Swim time = 22:06 (25/40 in AG), T2 time = 3:20 (horrible).
Bike leg was fun blowing by others. These guys were my AG and 10 years younger with some "elites" in the mix. Alot of headwind made for slower times but I maintained an aero position except the times I drank and the sharp corners. I kept targeting riders in front to pick off and that kept my mind off the cramps. I went thru 1.5 bottles in a 12 mile ride just to re-hydrate. Bike time = 33:37/22.1 avg (2nd in AG, 13th Overall), T2 time = 1:21 (not as horrible but still needs improvement).
Threw on the racing flats and hat and hit the tarmac. Boom! Someone turned up the heat by 20 degrees. Luckily I took water as soon as the run began and drank one and tossed one over the head. Ahh, it was ice cold too - thanks Coastal Racing. The legs were still in the cycling mode for the first mile. The first mile saw a few guys I zipped by on the bike overtake me on the run. I finally got my stride at 2 miles and picked up the final 1.1 mile at race pace managing to pass a few. The final sprint into the headwind was hard but the cheering made it easier to take it up a gear. Run time = 25:28 (17/40).
Overall - 1:25:58 and 16th in the AG.

Day of 3 Part 2: Zoe's 3rd Birthday Party
Rushed home after the race to bring the family down to mom's timeshare at the oceanfront to celebrate my daughter's Birthday. (Thanks for letting daddy race on your birthday.)
Chocolate cake and icing was my recovery meal.