Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Week in Review: April 14-April 20, 2008

Week in Review – April 14 to April 20, 2008

What a week it was too. Lots of good things happening training wise. Most of it can be refered to here.

On Saturday I went to Davidsonville to do the group ride again. The week before I had gotten blown off where the group makes the turn off of Rt-408 onto Brooks Woods Rd. I knew I had good legs last week, so there was no reason I wouldn't still have them again this week. It turned out to be true. I had good legs and this time the rest of me was good too. The ride was pretty hard, but not as hard as the week before. Most of the hammers didn't show, though we still had our hot cat 3, Ryan, and former Rite Aid pro, Pete, and riding the front keeping it real. Quite a few of our fast masters riders were there too, but since most of them were racing the next day too at Carl Dolan, we were all trying to save as many matches as possible. I know I was. As always (for now), I am still a weak link on this ride, but not the weakest for a change. The pace lines were happening where they normally do, the rests where the normally do, etc. This week I decided to be smart and stay toward the middle so I never had to show my face to the wind during the hammer sections. That worked out quite well. I had a comfortable and fast ride on most of the roads I would have been dropped. I even made it over the wall on McKendree Road. I really thought that's where it would get zapped. But I HTFU and humped it over. I'd be lying if I said I made it all the way to the store stop with the group. I got dropped on Wilson Rd at the false flat following the steeper uphill part. As we were going down the hill, I was on the back. Not wanting to get dropped going up, I shot past everyone in a wicked acceleration up the hill thinking at the top the road was flat. There's a slight curve to the right at the top of the steep section and I didn't see the false flat that I had forgotten about that goes on for about another 1/4 mile to the left turn on Friendship Rd. D'oh! Oh well, lesson learned and the store was only 2 miles away at that point. So it was not much of a defeat. Another fella, Will, was OTB on that hill. I waited for him and we rode easy to the store. Every one was there except the hammer guys. They cut the route short and headed back to the Park and Ride. After getting some water, Will and I went back the short way too while all the others went to the beach. I didn't want to waste energy climbing that big hill out of Rosehaven, so we cut the 6 miles off the beach route, but still coming up Fairhaven, Franklin-Gibson, Nutwell-Sudley, etc all the way to Rt-2 in Harwood and back to the Park and Ride. Even with just Will and myself for the last 90 minutes, we still managed a total ride average for the 52 mile short route of 19 mph. That first 25 miles to the store was quick. I felt great all day. This boded well for the race the next day, Carl Dolan in Columbia on the Gateway loop.

The race...

I haven't done a 3/4 since Battle of Manasass in 1999 and on that day I did a double. Cat 4 and Cat 3/4. Back then I was in shape and faster. I haven't had a full race season since 2000. (Back story coming soon.) But since the 40+ was being combined with the 30+ I decided to do the 4/5 instead. Then the field filled out in less than 2 hours when registration opened on BikeReg. I hate BikeReg! Anyhoo, I signed up for the 3/4. How hard could it be? Well, for me in week one of Base 3, very hard. My A races aren't until July.

There was supposed to be more than just two of us ABRT'ers racing the 3/4. But for reasons beyond my control it was just two of us. Me and another fella who just joined the team named Marc. He's from NY. He was telling me how he thought the racing here was harder than up there. I told him not to worry. Nobody gets dropped on Gateway. Not even a tub-o-goo like me. The race didn't start out very hard, but the pain was sneaking up on me as the laps went by. Up to the lap 8 crash i was hanging in quite well. It wasn't really all that sketchy of a race. The biggest problem I had was seeing where i was going. The road spray from the downpour just before the race started was brutal. My glasses were fogged and water spotted. From a mental aspect that may have contributed to my lack of pack confidence and contributed to my backward slide through the group . I think what was getting to me physically was the high pace, no thanks to the 'every other lap' primes (uphill sprints, Oy Vey!), the group trying to close down all the breaks that went up the road and the monster efforts I made to get my fat slab of beef ass up the fracking hill. Every lap it got harder and harder to maintain my place in the peloton. Since I'm still in Base mode, all of my workouts have been endurance, tempo and threshold. Very little VO2 max and Sprints. But I am losing weight. So i got that going for me.

As nice as Saturday was, race day turned into the polar opposite of a nice day. In fact it was shit. Pissing rain on and off all day. Sometimes very hard. The 30/40+ guys got the full brunt of a micro burst. My wife thought I was crazy for wanting to do this. I told here that if it didn't let up by the time my race started I wasn't going to do it. So I sat in the car and hoped beyond hope that it would stop raining. I really wanted to race. In fact I told her f'it. If it didn't stop, I was gonna race anyway. She said OK but if i wrecked I had to take myself to the E-Room. I said "fair enough, dear." Wouldn't you know it, it did stop raining. About 20 minutes before the race start. And it stayed stopped all the way up to the 1/2/3 race. Those poor saps had their race cut to 3 laps. I was already long gone by then eating Peking Duck and having a beer.

I didn't get to see what set that crash off, but my recollection of it was too many guys trying to squeeze from three lanes into two as the crash happened on the fastest part of the course going downhill just after the right turn where the merge lane disappears. The road there was still wet. I remember coming off the turn in the back of the group and up ahead of me I hear a couple shouts of "CRASH!" I did my best to pick a hole or a soft spot to land because the way my bike was responding to the wet brakes on the wet road I just knew I would be kissing the asphalt or plowing into a fallen comrade. A couple of "stoppies", some sliding around and a few butthole contractions later I managed to remain standing when my forward motion ceased. I gotta say, it was a very bizarre crash to see. I don't think I've seen anything like it in 15 years of bike racing. It reminded me of the sprint finish crash in last years Giro D'Italia. Guys were just falling down everywhere sliding on wet roads with wheels locked up. I have to give it up to my motorcycle riding skills. They may have saved my skin.

I thought my day was done, but the ref, Steve Stone, said the race was stopped and I could get back up the road to rejoin it at the top of the hill. Sure enough, when I got there everyone was there waiting. They had us riding circles at the top of the hill to keep warm while they cleaned up the crash site and got everyone to the hospital. After 20-30 minutes of circling, they called us up for the restart. The race was shorted to 4 laps to go. Every lap a prime. Great! It's gonna be a sprint race for the next 15 minutes. And damn if it wasn't. I was having trouble right from the gun. The break in the action did me no good at all. I was done. As the race came by the start finish, I was dangling off about 10 feet. I took the opportunity to drop into the 'race' parking lot as we came past start/finish. My legs were screaming, and head wasn't into it anymore. I know I should have HTFU. I probably would have made it OK, but hey, plenty more racing left this season and I'd like to not have my season screwed early like in 2006. That lap 8 crash really f'd with my head. The '06 one still does too.

All in all and all things considered, I'm quite pleased with how I did for being grossly overweight and only having 10 weeks of steady training so far this year.

My next race might be the Cat 3/4 Wilmington Crit on May 17. Hopefully it hasn't filled up yet. I should have some high end work in place by then and another 10 lbs lost.

For sure my next race is RFK and Bike Jam the last weekend in May. I think I'm signed up for the 4/5 races at both of those events.

Here is a nice graph of today's race from WKO. Note all the coasting and 350+ watt efforts.

I managed another 3 lbs this week. I was 213 this morning before the race. I've lost about 20 lbs in the last 10 weeks

FWIW-I checked my log from the 2006 40/50+ race that I did successfully and that race was a 1/2 mph slower than the 3/4. We clocked a 26.5mph avg. A couple of those prime laps averaged close to 28 mph. Sheesh!

It was a hard race. For me anyway.

I'll be doing my first MotoRef gig at Poolesville in 2 weeks followed by a couple more races as a ref or a moto ref. I'm looking forward to it. Nothing like getting paid to so something you love doing. It'll also give me a chance to blow off some more body weight with some long rides in addition to the interval training without having to worry about race tapering and what not.

Look for the man in black on the Corse Red Ducati ST4s. And stay to the right of the yellow line. I don't wanna have to get all that way with youse guys. LOL!

Numbers for the Week:


Hours: 9:40

Miles: 164


Weight at the beginning of the Week: 216

Weight at the end of the week: 213

Calories Consumed: 16,702

Calories Burned: 22,765

Net Loss/Gain: 6063

Good job! Yeah me! I rode my motorcycle about 10 hours this week also, so there is some calorie expenditures there too that I'm not accounting for and makes up the extra 1 lb loss.


5 sec: 1127 watts (carryover from 3/2)

1 min: 468 watts

5 min: 355 watts (carryover from 4/2)

20 min: 253 watts (carryover from 3/15)

Only a change in 1 minute power. My 30 second power went to 624 watts. That happened on Saturday's ride.


I tried to stay away from the beer, but...

Samuel Adams White Ale - Nice, refreshing, crisp and hoppy. Much like most of the brews that come from the BBC.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale - Same as the White ale, just a slight color difference.

I had these on tap Wednesday at the Italian Bike night GTG at the Rhodeside in Arlington, VA. Since i rode the moto there, i didn't drink but the two brew over the course of the 4 hours I was there. The place was packed downstairs. Karaoke is catching on there. I only got to do one song. But it was a good one. Gimme 3 Steps, Lynyrd Skynyrd. A real crowd pleaser. It helped that i nailed it. Normally I'm good for 3-4 songs. Maybe this week I'll get more than one song.

Tsingtso - I had it with my post race meal. It's basically Chinese Bud. Nothing special.

This coming week is no racing or officiating. I'll be doing the long rides on the weekend for sure. Maybe another 3 lbs off too.



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