Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pontiac Lake TT

I finally got my first USAC Expert (Cat 1) mountain bike race under my belt, and I have mixed emotions about my results. So here is the cliff notes version of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Leading up the the race, I was just finishing up 3 weeks of Build 1 and I trained all through the week to make sure I would get in 8.0 hrs of training for the race. So Going in I was a little tired. But come race day, I was feeling good and the warm-up went well also. I lined up and went off. I stuck with the guy that went off with me up until the first big climb. I caught a log with my pedal and almost rolled down the hill backwards. And for the rest of the 2 laps I felt like I had no power on the climbs or pushing the big gears on the flats. After I finished, I checked my results. 48 min first lap, and a 49 min 2nd lap. I was expecting to be somewhere between 44-47 mins. So I was a little disappointed. I finished 16th out of around 20 riders. But my day was not over. I jumped in the Expert Single Speed class for 1 more race. I was really feeling it right out the gate, but overall I felt the same as the last race. No power, but my heart rate or breathing never spiked. I was able to make it through the entire course and finish. Another 49 min lap. And this time I got 15th! What a day.

The good of the day -- My lap times were very consistent, even though they were slow. My HR and breathing remained under control and I felt like I could have done and few more "slow" laps. So I know the endurance side of my training is on track. But I should not be surprised, I have just started working on the anaerobic intervals, and power intervals, for my training so I hope to do better at Bloomer in a few weeks. This is a much needed rest week for myself and I have taken full advantage thus far. I start Build 2 next week and one of my old Jedi Masters have made contact with me once again and has been helping me put together a workout plan to get me through build 2. So stay tuned.

BTW, kudos goes out to Brian Crook for taking top 5 in his first USAC Expert race. Way to go! I hope to join you soon.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

FRCC #3 -- "Trying to be Billy Bad-ass"

Yesterday was the last FRCC Spring Fling training road race, so now it is time to move onto Mountain Bike racing. The race went well again, in terms of training. And the results were OK too. Brain Crook and I were the only Sandbaggers to make it out again, and we had the same plans -- go like hell and see what happens. This last race had the largest field size of the 3 and was by far the most talented C-race we have competed in thus far. There were 25 folks in the class, and the race came down to a bunch sprint of about 14 or so racers.

So this is how it went. A large group assembled early in the race, and stayed that way for the entire race. There were no attacks, but the overall speed did remain high for the entire race. So on the last lap, I was sitting in the front. We got to the last climb with about 3/4 of a mile to go, and I decided to attack. I thought to myself, either I am going to blow the field apart, or blow up at the line, And hey this is training right? So lets see how my anaerobic threshold is coming along. As I pulled away, I was topping speeds of 28 and 29 MPH! I had a good gap too. As I turned one of the last few corners, I hit the 20 MPH head wind. With my legs already burning with lactic acid, and my heart rate pegged, my speed slowed to 23 MPH. Then it happened. One, then two racers passed me. I kicked it up a notch, then tried to stand for the sprint -- but could not, my legs were screaming with pain!!!! I hit my limit and finished 7th. Not bad, I found out what my limits were to help focus on further training, and still finished top 10 in a field of 25. Brain, was a little smarter. He stayed near the front of the pack and attacked in the sprint and finished 4th. Way to go Brian!

I guess that is what I get for trying to be Billy Bad-ass!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Build 1

I am now into my 1st build week and what a way to kick it off with 9.0 hrs of training! I have to be on the bike everyday unless I find the time to knock out a few couple of hour long rides. But I have to say, this training plan is going great and I am right on track! With last week being my rest week and also, doing the FRCC #2 road race, it was the perfect time to test my fitness and figure out what direction I would be heading into Build 1. I found that my endurance is on track, my speed skill has improved. Next steps, I am ready to start building my muscular endurance, and climbing (force/power). In doing so, I plan on hitting the trail a lot more since the weather has been clearing up, Continue long road rides, and fill the rest of my riding in by sitting on the trainer. I have 3 Spinerval DVD's that I will be either introducing or continue using during this time.

Mental Toughness
Bending Crank Arms
Have Mercy

These should get me where I need to be for Build 2! When I can't get out and ride, I will also continue to use my "Aero Base III " DVD and my CTS "Climbing" DVD as needed. And if the weather is really crappy I have a few more DVD tricks up my sleeve so we will see....

I have been keeping my weight down, but I thought I would be a lighter at this point. I am 184 lbs. But overall my legs and upper body are a lot stronger than they were over the past 2 years since losing 50 lbs. So I figured my weight is the same, but my percentage of body fat is lower. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. All I know is I feel great and am ready to start rocking out some Expert Mountain Bike Races!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

FRCC Spring Fling #2

Well, this has been my much needed rest week for Base 3, and I have grown accustom to the 2nd shift hours and actually got 6 hrs of sleep before the race. So with that, it was time for race #2 of the Flying Rhino's Spring Fling Series. And I actually performed at a level I feel I should have. No, I am not a 100% yet, but I can say I am on track with my training schedule. And today was nothing more than a test of my fitness. Or otherwise -- a training day. But I did have good results.

Over the past week, I have either picked up a nagging cold, or have allergies. Sore throat, stuffy nose -- All out miserable. But there was racing to be done. The plan for today was to do the C- race only since we do not carry a USAC road licence to compete in the B-race, and then let loose. Right from the beginning of the race, Brain and I help blow the field apart and put a huge gap into the race in the first lap. There was a OSU rider that eventually won that we rode with, but it was obvious that he would be the strong man of the day. So we found 2 other guys and paced each other throughout the rest of the race. The pace remained high. Somewhere around 20 mph for the entire 30 mins. My heart rate was around 181-186 for most of the race. The 20+ mph head wind out of the North did not help matters either, but it did add to the training aspect of the race. Overall, today's race felt more like a 30 min TT than a road race. With 2 laps to go, Brian and I were still leading and pacing the front guys other than the leader. We tried to make a small attach on the last climb but the other 2 guys held their own. We came up upon the last 1/4 mile. One of the guys made a move and pulled ahead. I tried to bridge the gap but could not real in the last 25 yrds. Then Brian, and the other guy that we were pace lining with all were in a dead heat sprint for 3rd place. At the line with probably less than 1 inch of tire to decide, I got 3rd, Brain got 4th, and 5th went to the other guy. FUN FUN FUN! The race officials actually had to review the finish line video tape to see what position we came in. SWEEEEEET!

The good news is, I am on track with my fitness. I feel 100% better than the last race, and we got a good solid loop in at Pontiac Lake after the race. What a great weekend.
Thanks Curt for letting me steal your pictures again!