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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mansfield OCup #1 Post Race

Fail.

Missed all my goals.

/blogpost.

My first elite race went as follows.

The start was fast. Very fast up a hill. In the past, my expert race starts would have me sitting within the top 10, even if it was a fast start. Today, I was sitting right near the back and working harder than in my Expert starts.

I managed to hook up with a train of riders which included Logan and Jerome and proceeded to follow them as best I could. They were great pace guys, I was riding at at my race pace and was flying through singletrack faster than ever. They were just quick enough that I felt I could keep with them for the course of the race. However, I proceeded to washout on a corner, and suddenly I had lost my pace train. I then kicked it into overdrive, and attacked in an effort to bridge the gap. Without a train to follow, I felt my pace slipping. In the process I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. I never managed to bridge the gap. Another rider, Brandon fell within striking distance, and I managed to get ahead of him. I was a bit quicker on the hills, but he was much smoother on the singletrack. We went back and forth for 3 laps.. but I was struggling hard. I was redlining on the hills, and not being smooth on the singletrack. I was getting lazy and not concentrating.


Photo Cred. Derek M.

Without a pace guy, my pace began to descend and I tried to overcompensate on the hills. But I toasted my legs. At the beginning of lap 4 I could feel the teasing sensation of cramps... I had missed my water bottle on the last lap due to a miscommunication and was running on empty. I adjusted my pace to spin out my legs, but it was too late. I seized up on the last set of ups on both legs.


photo credit Derek M

I came through the lap/finish area legs fiercely cramping and called it a day. 4/5 laps.

Defeated.

I knew when I was getting into this, it would be an uphill battle and probably the most difficult thing Ive ever done. It certainly was. There is no room for error in Pro/Elite. A bad race such as this one would have put me 7th or 8th in todays Senior Expert race. Its a mild consolation knowing I would have been competitive in my old category, which would have put me in the frame of mind of upgrading otherwise.

It was also somewhat comforting to see that many of my Senior Expert racermates of 2009, the 'graduating class' if you willm were also getting their share struggles too. Misery loves company.

In full honesty, the last time I felt this shitty about a race was in 2003 when I finished 2nd last in Junior Sport at Dagmar. At the time I was 200 lbs and an aspiring racer. It was at that point that I decided I would reevaluate my goals, dig deep and see what I could do. I proceeded to drop 40lbs, change my eating habits, and the results began to happen. At the time the excess weight was the proverbial monkey on my back.

I think I have my 'new 2010 monkey'

The Albion Ocup is in two weeks. No time to make big improvements. But plenty of time to work on singletrack technique, revise my interval training, and hone some skills.

I contemplated downgrading, but on my best days, I feel I can podium in Senior Expert this year.

So.. time to dig deep and see if I can improve and find myself comfortably in Pro/Elite rather than just hanging on by virtue of 3 good upgrade point races in 2009.

Tomorrow, im gonna post the differences between each race category.

later..

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