Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Perry RR #3

Okay, I am about a week late on this one, but that's life.

Headed back to Perry # 3 for some redemption on my first Cat 4 RR... Ended up mid pack after the climb started kicking my butt. However, I did learn a ton that race. Being somewhat of a MTB convert (G-Wiz please forgive me!) I have virtually everything to learn about road racing.
Add All pics are Rogers. Thanks!! Very rare moment when I am sitting down on a climb.
The combination of being on Saint Patrick's day added with 30+ degrees and raining thinned out the field considerably. I still recognized some folks that I knew had decent legs already.

As soon as we headed out for the first lap of seven, it started raining. This did not really play much of a factor other than being cold and folks taking the corners pretty gingerly.

I thought this race started quite a bit faster than the last and my HR started to creep up pretty high from the start. I learned to attempt to keep out of the wind and conserve as much energy as possible. Which meant to be on the left side of the group on top of the bridge and the right coming back.
This is on the climb, lap 5ish.
Notice I can't climb in my saddle.  I simply hate climbing that way, although most guys are;
I think its from riding my MTB single speed for a long time. 

Come KOM time I wanted nothing to do with it and just kept a steady tempo to the top. I just don't have the legs yet to put too many digs in and still have legs left for the last lap.

Its been too long for me to remember all the details of the race other than come last lap people were pretty motivated. The corners I think helped me out, I wasn't as timid going though them and was able to keep on the group without too much effort.

I do remember however I felt great for the last 1/3rd of the race. In fact, I felt way better than the first 2/3rd of it. Good enough to remember it anyway...

Onto the last climb to the finish, after 6 laps and a previous race, you have gotten pretty familiar with it. Out of the saddle to start and then sit back down when it levels off and back out to finish it off when it pitches back up. Hit the last 100 yards with the remainder of the leaders (about 4-8 of us) and started to pass folks who where blowing up. Last 25 yards and I am sitting third, legs about numb from the effort. I thought I had 3rd in the bag when John Williams came by me and took it from me by less than a wheels length. Another lesson learned for sure!!

It took me literally an hour after the race to quit shivering from being so cold! I love it, what a blast this is!!



Monday, March 4, 2013

Perry Circuit Race #1

Its official!!! My season has begun!!

And by my results the real work has officially begun as well..

I had intentions of hitting up Spring Fling on Saturday and Perry on Sunday, but a full day with my baby boy all to myself was too much to pass up. So I headed out to do the Cat 4 race at Perry Lake KS on Sunday. 

I recently upgraded to Cat 4 this winter after only one official road race under by belt which was the Tour of Lawrence as a Cat 5. Ironically these races resembled each other with a good climb each lap. Let me tell you, finishing up a race on a hill is way different mid season than first race of the year. 

Being my first "real" race I kept my ambitions at bay and just see what happens. Lining up I notice a good handful of dudes I recognize from CX but other than that it is a completely new scene to me. 

First lap I just got into the groove of riding in a group. At first I did not like being in the middle all that much, until sucking all the wind on the outside made me learn to get real comfortable in the middle of the pack real quick. I am sure its just because were still 4's but the group was a flippen accordion the entire time, speeding up then slowing down.
I think this was the final climb of the day. I was barley hanging on. 
I was able to stay with the group the entire race up till the final climb which exposed my lack of form real quick. You had to stay on the group because at the top of the hill (finish line of the circuit) it immediately went down hill and I was afraid that a group would get away and being left behind. 

After the downhill it ran across the Perry Lake Dam where the group would eventually slow down. Throughout the race a couple guys would try and make a break but I don't think anyone got further than 20 seconds up the road. 

Third lap was the KOM lap and even climbing like crap I toyed with the idea of giving it a shot. Well, until we actually hit the hill and I was already 30 yards back and that completely scrapped that idea. 

Last lap I somehow ended up in front by the end of the Dam and decided on a whim to put in a dig after the last corner onto some smooth roads. Took a Cycle City guy with me and he said we had a gap but I don't have the legs to hold anything right now and after 1/2 mile everyone had chased us down already. Perhaps burning a match that close to the finish was not the best idea, but hey, I was climbing like crap. Might as well hurt some legs to have some fun. 

I tried to stay in good position at the finish. The final climb had an initial steep section then it leveled out for a long time until it pitched back up at the finish line. I was in good position at the start but hit a wall about the middle of the climb and when It pitched up at the ended I fell off like a meteor to the back of the group. Bummer... 
Another pic on the climb
All in all, it was a blast. The race as actually kind of boring as far as action goes, but it was still fun. I am used to being all by myself for hours once I have been dropped by the Cat 1 MTB dudes. 

Besides the obvious of gaining form I did learn some things. 
1. Get better at staying out of the wind 
2. Don't chase down a group that is going to slow down anyway. I burned to many matches chasing down the group only to catch them and then the group slowed down anyway. 
3. Take in more calories. For some reason I thought the race was only going to be like 40 min.