Thursday, March 29, 2007

Del Mar Crit 2 - 15th Place

Yesterday, 3/28, was the second installment of the Del Mar Crit Series. It was 35 minutes of fast, intense racing.

Being that I was coming off a pretty rough week I wasn't expecting too much from this race. I felt pretty fresh and strong, but knew my anaerobic endurance left quite a bit to be desired.

I can't complain too much about 15th. I felt pretty dead towards the end of the race, yet still came in with a half decent result.

Amy, Helen, Carla and Carol came out to act as my cheering squad, so I had something to race for. Thanks to everyone for their support. If I get some pictures in from anyone I'll add them to this post.

Del Mar Crit2 images

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Redlands Crit Report - Mailing it In

I've been pretty busy lately, so I'm getting this one submitted a little late. Sunday morning, 3/25, I headed up to Redlands for the Redlands Classic Crit.

It's a long convoluted story, but last week I started getting worn down again and was feeling pretty sick. I skipped my team's Saturday morning crit clinic and instead slept in. Last week was a low volume week to begin with, the sickness only resulted in less training taking place. So I wasn't feeling my best or very confident in my fitness going into Sunday's race.

On the drive up I missed the turn off the 215, which ended up adding about 20 minutes to the drive, so all in all it was pretty helter skelter. We got the race about 30 minutes before the start (I normally like to arrive at least an hour before the race in order to ensure plenty of time for autograph signings, registration, bathroom stops, and warm-ups). When I arrived I raced over to the registration table to sign in and get my numbers. By the time I got back to the car it was about 15 minutes to start time. Normally I like to have a 30 minute warm up prior to a race, which means I need to get started on my rollers about 45 minutes before the scheduled start (I'll post something on warm-ups one day soon). Simply put, my warm-up was completely inadequate.

This was a category 5 only race, rather than the 4/5 combined fields you'll have at a lot of races. When coupled with the ridiculous start time, it made for a pretty small field. I think we had 40 guys at the start. When you consider that normally 10 to 15 guys don't really have the fitness or strength to hang in one of these races, you quickly realize that there were less than 20 guys to worry about.

The pace of the race was fairly slow (22 miles per hour for a good portion) with only about 5 people who were really willing to work at the front. It would have been a great race to try an attack and try leave the field in the dust. However, I just didn't have anything in the tank. Basically I just rode with the pack the whole way, had nothing for the sprint, finished a disappointing 12th and notched one more race up toward the ten that I need in order to move up to category 4.

Here are the results.

And here are some photos.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Training on Rollers

Many are aware that I bought a set of indoor rollers a few months ago. Often when I ride on them people look and wonder what the big deal is. I have to say that they're very beneficial to one's riding and fitness.

They get your balance and pedaling efficiency tuned to a level that you could never achieve on a regular road bike (a track bike maybe, but I can't really say as I've never ridden a fixed gear bike). Any sort of unevenness in one's pedaling is instantly exposed on the rollers. Until you get yourself to a point where your legs can work evenly together and you pedal in full cirles, you simply can't balance on the rollers.

The other really nice thing about the rollers is they eliminate the factors that make it really difficult to control your power output on the road. No more stop signs, traffic lights, hills, bad weather, darkness, etc. With the rollers if your workout calls for doing a bunch of intervals at 300 watts there's no excuse other than the inability of the rider for not getting them done right.

In an effort to give folks some idea of what it's like to both get going on rollers and be very good at them I thought I'd post some links to great videos I found on youtube:

Here's a guy learning to ride his rollers for the first time. This is exactly what it's like the first time out.

Here's the same guy nearly crashing.

Finally he's up and running but by now his wife has clearly lost interest.

Here's a guy who has now inspired me to kick it up a notch.

Lastly, here are some races where these guys are measuring who can put in the most revolutions.

More racing, this time crashes.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Images from Del Mar Crit Series Race 1

Here are some images from the first Del Mar Crit Series race. As you can see in the last one, there wasn't too much left of my rear tube.

Del Mar Crit1 images

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Up in Smoke - Del Mar Crit 1

This afternoon I raced in the first installment of the Del Mar Crit Series. It was a bit of an up and down race for me. I came into it feeling like I still had a bit of a lingering cold, so I wasn't feeling the strongest.

For the first third of the race I rode pretty close to the front and even got in a couple of break-aways, so I was doing pretty well.

The second third of the race was pretty tough, I was finding it hard to keep up with the pace and was barely holding on at the back of the field. Maybe I just needed a bit of time to recover from the effort of the first third.

The final third I was really starting to come on. I was back near the front, feeling pretty powerful. When the 5 laps to go call went out I was riding in the top 15 and promised myself that regardless of how painful it might get, I was going to do everything I could to stay there and win the race.

With half a lap to go I was in a perfect spot. I was in the top 10, very close to the front, and feeling more fresh than I expected to be. I went into the second to last corner pretty hard expecting to come out of it aggressively and start making a real strong run towards the last corner. While in the middle of the corner my rear wheel popped. There went my race down the drain as I coasted along on the rim (pictures to follow tomorrow morning). From there I had to walk it back to the finish.

Pretty tough to take, especially since this race was a category 4/5 combined field and I could have put some cat 4 points in the bank with a strong result. At this point all I can do is look forward to the second race two weeks from now and hope that things work out a lot better.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Over Training and Indicators

This past week I learned a valuable lesson; pay attention to your morning resting heart rate, it does indeed give you a very clear indication as to where your body is at.

Normally before I get out of bed in the morning I measure my heart rate while lying flat on my back. I then measure my heart rate while standing beside my bed. Typically my lying HR is between 42 and 45. On Thursday and Friday last week it was closer to 50, which should be a good indication that you're either getting sick and/or are over trained. At the time I wasn't too disturbed by the value and went on with my regular day.

I was actually half a day behind on my training on Thursday so I did my Wednesday endurance workout on Thursday morning, rather than Wednesday like I'd planned. I then had my anaerobic endurance ride to do Thursday night. Well, I only got about 20 minutes through the scheduled workout when I realized that I'd be best to stop as my heart rate wasn't getting as high as I would have expected (even though I was working very hard) and I was feeling incredibly fatigued.

From that moment until late Friday evening I felt absolutely spent. No energy, incredible urges for sugar, feeling sleepy while not able to sleep really well, etc. All are sure signs of over training. So I went to bed early on Thursday, took the day off (from riding) on Friday, and went to bed really early on Friday night.

Gladly by Saturday morning I was feeling pretty good and did take part in the SDBC "A" group ride. This was the first time I've ever done the "A" ride. Normally I do the "B" ride, which takes the same route as the A, but is a lot more structured and a little slower. The elite riders (category 1 and 2) in the club regularly ride the "A" ride so it's supposed to be pretty quick. Personally I didn't find it to be overwhelmingly fast and was able to ride near the front of the pack for most of it. So at this point I'm considering myself recovered.

From here on out I need to a better job of listening to my body, especially when you consider that the next 7 weeks of training are going to be really intense.


At the end of October last year I got my cholesterol checked. It wasn't too bad:

Total cholesterol - 186 (goal of less than 200)
HDL (good) cholesterol - 50 (goal of greater than 40)
Triglycerides - 70 (goal of less than 150)
LDL (bad) cholesterol - 122 (goal of less than 130 or 100 with a history of coronary disease)

Based upon my very poor family history with regard to coronary disease, my cardiologist recommended that I try taking Red Yeast Rice a couple times per day and come back in 8 weeks to get tested again.

This time out my numbers were "ideal":

Total cholesterol - 127
HDL (good) cholesterol - 62
Triglycerides - 35
LDL (bad) cholesterol - 58

I'm hopeful that these sorts of numbers will get my mom off my back with regard to my heart. Or at least I can dream!