Monday, March 28, 2011

First three 2011 "results"

In the month of March, I pregistered for four races, started and finished three and out of all of them, I have the least to say about the best result. It seems the old saying, "You learn from your mistakes" holds true in road racing too!

Long Run 4/5'ss - I started feeling bad Friday morning and ended up loosing about six pounds in 24 hours without working out. No one wants details, but I decided to stay in bed longer on Saturday and reevaluate closer to the 3/4 race.

Long Run 3/4's - See race preparation above in the 4/5's. I asked a few people if it'd be dumb to try it and some said, "Sit it out and rest." while most responded with, "Don't expect much, but if you've pregistered - why not see what happens?" So I ate what I could and mixed a bottle of Infinit, suited up, and got on the trainer. With so few matches to burn, I skimped on the warm up and still went to the line far from fresh. The race started, my legs turned the pedals, and I was comfortable in the front 10 or so. A couple solo flyers tried to be heroic (or something) but got realed in within a lap or so. The wind was awful, but emphasized how important it was to manage position going into certain parts of the course. Three laps in, we started getting lap cards showing a total of ten - hey, I'm still in the front! Four laps in - I'm still not feeling it, but I'm holding wheels, pulling through a little and might still have a sprint if I can just make it to the end without working too much. Wrong! 5.5 laps in and my body simply said, "NO!" And that was basically it - I had no calories left to burn, so I sat up and rolled in with the third group. What was learned? - Racing sick is no better than it was last fall. Even sick, I can hang with the 3/4 field. Race management is as important as fitness.

4/5 Off the front with Rob Harris, SIW
Lexington 4/5's - Unmotivated - probably would have turned the alarm off and gone back to bed had it not been my birthday and I not preregistered. Upon arrival, I checked in, rode a lap, and set up on the trainer. It was cold, but not freezing and the sun was out at least! Warm up was good, but mentally I still wasn't motivated. I got to the start line early and took a place in the front row and set the pace up the first hill. Not fast, but I guess fast enough as no one wanted to come around. I sat up on the descent and found a place to sit in for a bit and then the race got a bit boring. So I attacked, Rob Harris came with me and we stayed away for a lap and a half maybe? We got out to about 25 seconds and got stuck and that was that. From there I bridged to about 1/3 of the breaks and spent more time on the front than I should have. Then with one to go, made the worst mistake of the day. I moved all the way to second wheel and with half a lap to go, Rob took one last hard pull (for a team mate, not me) and I got stuck out in the wind with about 800m to go. Now what!??? I half ass started a sprint, tried to jump back in but got swarmed and I pretty much sat down and pouted about it crossing in 32nd. Lessons learned - It's dumb to chase breaks in a 4/5 race without a team. Spend no more time on the front than you have to if you have any kind of sprint what-so-ever. Manage your position going into the last lap!! Have a plan in the case that you're too far forward near the end. Don't freakin' sit down once you start a sprint, even if there's nothing left!

Just missing third in the 3/4 sprint.
 Lexington 3/4's - Basically, I learned from the first race of the day and sat in a lot, took a couple short pulls and only went in two breaks near the end of the race that I saw happening right in front of me - no solo bridging or attacking of my own. With half a lap, I was in about 10th and followed Ian Baker along the inside of the last turn dropped a few gears and stood up. I never really got a draft in the sprint as the McDonalds guys had come up the outside, but finished fourth. It's strange that there's less to say about a better result - but basically a lot of light bulbs came on after the 4/5 race - things that I had heard, I now truly believe. Hopefully they'll help the rest of the season!

Random note - Average power for the 3/4 race was 30 watts LOWER than for the 4/5 race and 2.5 mph FASTER. Go figure...

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