Wednesday, April 15, 2009

App State

An alternative title for this post was going to be "Slacking makes you Slow".

Didn't ride at all last week, rode my commuter to go food shopping Friday and just felt really weak - almost like I was riding with a flat tire.

Saturday was the RR - flat and windy, with a 3 mile climb in two parts, then a 1.5 mile descent or so, then flat again. I got blown out the back of the lead group with 300 meters to go before the summit of the climb on lap 1, which flat out should not have happened. I was close to getting back on on the descent, but couldn't get around two riders from Duke who clearly had never ridden down a mountain before: all over the road, taking unpredictable lines, etc. After that I was just done - I had no gas. The rider from GW who won VT's RR went by with a VT guy with him. I kept on for a few miles but eventually got blown off the back of that group too. That DEFINITELY should not have happened.

On the second lap a couple riders from VT and one from American caught up with me. I stuck with that group to the climb, when it splintered. Somehow I made it up the climb a second time and stayed away from the final chase group to secure 10th place.

As I rolled back by the finish line I pulled up next to Walker and Sam and the first thing Walker says to me is, "Dude, you look pale." I was feeling pretty terrible, so I skipped the TT later that day and went back to sleep in my car.

On Sunday I was determined to redeem myself in the Crit, but alas, it was not to be. The race was held in a shopping center parking lot laid out with lots and lots of cones. Almost dead flat with one techincal, really sharp and narrow chicane.

The pace stayed retardedly easy for most of the race - the riders in contention for overall points were content to just sit in and let it end in a field sprint. As a result the group stayed bunched up and people did a lot of stupid things (like cutting a corner and clipping a lightpost)

One lesson learned is the one time I got on the front and drilled the pace for a few minutes, the group got strung waaaay out, and it was clear some people were hurting. As soon as I pulled off the front, the pace slowed back down and the group bunched back up. BORRRRING! As predicted, the race ended in a massive field sprint. My positioning on the bell lap was horrible, so I didn't place.

In the future I plan to try to keep the pace higher in crits and throw in some accelerations to thin down the field.

So why did my performance suck so hard this weekend? Most indicators point to sleep deprivation - I got to bed early Monday and Tuesday nights and feel much better already. Also, not riding all week really hurt my top end aerobic power, which I am now trying to desparately fix before Wake Forest this weekend.

Tuesday night I managed to get out for anout 45 minutes as the sun set. I intended to do hill repeats on Centennial Parkway, but my abdominal muscles cramped up hard both times I tried it. Even so, I could tell I'm still less than 100%. Even without hill repeats, I managed to keep the effort level pretty high during the workout. I'm desparately hoping that a hard workout Wed, and then a moderate taper will bring back the edge I want to have this weekend. We shall see.

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