Sunday, July 29, 2012

NC.Com Crits #11, 12: Exhausted

Most weekends are good weekends, and for that I am grateful. This one was definitely a good one, and as I’m sitting here I am not sure exactly what has made it feel like such a good weekend. It was probably a combination of everything—fun, rest, work, training, relaxation, sunshine, rain, and more.

Friday I went to Percy Warner Park to hike the red 4.5-mile trail. My legs felt so good and I really wanted to run it, but I had to remember that I was racing the next day and couldn’t run it all. Instead, I ran the downhills and most of the flat sections (what little there are). As a result, I finished in the fastest time it’s ever taken me: 1:02! Usually it takes me 1:30, though last time Anna and I finished in 1:20. This was so much faster than normally comparatively!

1:02:25, 4.5 miles, 13:52/mile pace (4.3 mph), 143 bpm (170 max), 2164’ ascent, 2183’ descent

Then I walked (slowly—16:45) another mile because I had some time to kill before meeting Kat at Edwin Warner Park for our 5-mile walk through that park. I’d only been in the park once or twice and she knows it well, so she showed me a bunch of the paved paths and where some of them connect to paths from Percy Warner. Those parks together allow for some high mileage without a lot of back-tracking.

1:23:45, 5.0 miles, 16:45/mile pace (3.6 mph), 110 bpm (137 max), 2876’ ascent, 2932’ descent

Then, of course, I spent some time watching the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Pretty impressive! I enjoyed the show and am excited for the cycling events, the track and field races, gymnastics, and more.

Saturday we had some races downtown. Val, Cath, and Shelly raced the Cat 4 women’s race with 17 other Cat 4s—it was great to see so many women out there racing. They finished as the top 3 women (in that order), and Valerie won the overall Saturday series for Cat 4 women. I watched more of this race than last week’s race but still was watching Madison so I didn’t see everything.

Shelly, Catherine, and Valerie post race

I had a few hours between their race and my first one, but that time seems to pass so quickly and before I knew it I was on the line with 32 men for the Men’s Cat 3/4 race. As I did Wednesday and last Saturday, I was racing this race to get the experience of racing with a bigger, faster field, and this race did not disappoint. My goal today was to score some omnium points—the top 15 are scored, so I had to get top 15. I also wanted to stay closer to the front than last week so that I could actually see what was happening. I was definitely closer to the front all race. Every once in a while people would come up on both sides of me and I’d get pushed back farther than I wanted, but at the next available opportunity I’d move up.

Midway through the race (minute 21 according to my HR data, and the race was 40 minutes), there were 4 men off the front in a break. They weren't too far ahead, maybe 10 seconds, but they weren't getting closer or farther away. No one in the pack was trying to bridge up to them or bring them back, so I decided to attack. I thought if I could bridge up, I’d be in a 5-man break and possible get top 5. If I couldn't bridge up, I’d get caught by the field and just stay with them. I stayed away by myself for about a lap and then 2 guys bridged up to me. However, we didn't really work together (I was tired, one had 2 teammates in the break, and the other either was tired or didn't want to work), so we got caught by the field within another lap. I jumped back in where I had been and stayed there, finishing 14th and scoring 2 omnium points. Woohoo! This was an exhausting race, and I worked hard. Yet I had to toe the line for the next 40-minute race 10 minutes after the first race ended. Yikes.

Crit 1 stats: 16.18 miles, 39:11, 24.8 mph (33.1 max), 180 bpm (195 max), 511’ ascent, 475’ descent

The women’s race started out pretty rough for me, and I lasted only 10 minutes with the 11-woman field. I then rode by myself for at least 10 minutes, maybe 20, and then rode the final minutes with the leaders (who by then had lapped me). When the 3 leaders lapped me, I got behind the girl who was last and just stayed with them. I didn't have to do any work, but I also pretty much wasn’t in the race any more—I couldn’t sprint against them, and my only chance at not being in the worst position overall was if they would catch/lap the rest of the field. One of the leaders did, but the two I finished behind didn't, so I ended up being scored 8/11 (not my actual position, but it’s about how I felt and it’s where I was scored, so so be it).

Crit 2 stats: 14.21 miles, 39:16, 21.6 mph (32.2 max), 174 bpm (190 max), 516’ ascent, 528’ descent

I didn’t have much time between getting home and having to go to church, but since I miss so many weekends while traveling, I wouldn’t miss being able to fellowship when I am home. After church, however, I went home and chilled.

Sunday morning I got up and took a short walk and my legs were exhausted! Just that little walk reminded me quickly that yesterday’s race had been hard. But there was no rest for the weary today as Val, Anna, Parri, Shelly, Lee, and I met at 10 for a little ride. We frequently do this ride, but thankfully today we took it a little slower than normal and all stayed together; plus it was windy, and it felt like we had a headwind the entire route. Then it was off to the pool for a BEAUTIFUL afternoon of relaxing and reading Runner’s World and the newspaper. I still had a few chores to do when I got home (like cleaning my bike and changing my cleats, since during today’s ride my cleat actually came out of the pedal because it was so broken/chipped), but at least I did get to relax somewhat, and it wasn’t too hot to just sit in the sun/clouds and rest.

Ride: 32.66 miles, 1:45:42, 18.5 mph (32.1 max), 142 bpm (178 max), 1651’ ascent, 1648’ descent

What is most interesting to me, after looking at and comparing the HR data from the two races and then having gotten on my bike since then, is that I am so tired from the men’s race and I can feel that specifically. The men’s races have been pretty smooth; that is, there is not a lot of sketchy riding around the corners and it is pretty easy to hold your line and know that the others will be holding there line—I don’t have to be worried that someone is going to ride over into me. But, because there are so many people, there are a few surges and there is a lot of I guess what feels like “catching up” to everyone else. I did have to try to catch up or move up a few times, but when I was in the group I could pretty much not work too hard. My HR stayed elevated the entire race, as opposed to the women’s race where it was up and down and up and down the entire race. But today while we were riding, any little reaction I had to make to try to catch someone or stay on pace with Parri up a hill or even just stand up, I could feel that tiredness and those muscles that I’d worked so hard yesterday in the men’s race. I don’t necessarily like that tired feeling, but it is a good sign of a hard job well done.

7-21-12 Crit 1 stats: 16.85 miles, 38:41, 26.1 mph (31.9 max), 183 bpm
7-25-12 Crit 1 stats: 7.94 miles, 20:11, 23.2 mph, 181 bpm
7-25-12 Crit 2 stats: 10.72 miles, 28:09, 22.9 mph, 187 bpm
7-28-12 Crit 1 stats: 16.18 miles, 39:11, 24.8 mph, 180 bpm
7-28-12 Crit 2 stats: 14.21 miles, 39:16, 21.6 mph, 174 bpm

Women's Crit Stats
7-28-12 Stats: 39:16, 14.21 miles, 21.6 mph, 174 bpm, 8th of 11
7-25-12 Stats: 28:09, 10.72 miles, 22.9 mph, 187 bpm, 2nd of 11
7-21-12 Stats: 37:58, 14.24 miles, 22.5 mph, 178 bpm, 3rd of 11
7-18-12 Stats: 30:04, 11.29 miles, 22.5 mph, 179 bpm; 5th of 15
6-20-12 Stats: 30:06, 11.21 miles, 22.3 mph, 185 bpm; 6th of 16 (no post)
6-16-12 Stats: 40:18, 15.36 miles, 22.9 mph, 186 bpm; 1st of 14
6-13-12 Stats: 29:40, 11.37 miles, 23.0 mph, 187 bpm; 4th of 23
5-30-12 Stats: don't have them; 3rd of 21
5-23-12 Stats:  31:08, 11.63 miles, 22.4 mph (31.1 max); 3rd of 12

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