Apr 10 2009
Time for what is turning into monthly updates. I hope to return to a more regular posting frequency soon. Tax season is almost over and I’m just getting settled into a reasonable training routine. And honestly, there only so many posts you can put up over the winter/early season about cycling that don’t say
2.5 hours on trainer in L2/Endurance
3 x 30′ x 5′ in L3/Tempo.
Not unlike those workouts, it gets a little stale after a while. It’s not that I didn’t need it though. I ended last year in what felt like a spectacular flame-out. After reviewing my training workouts for last year, I quickly realized that around August and September I tried heaping a ton of threshold and VO2 work on…nothing. I did token base work but nothing that a 38 year old (relatively) novice cyclist should try to load 12+ weeks of high intensity intervals and racing on.
Looking back, I believe I technically peaked at the Larch Mt Hillclimb in early August with an average power of 375w for 1:10. Everything went to shit after that and I never got that close to that number for extended periods of time the rest of the year.
This year I’ve started earlier and much, much slower and more gradual. If I want to make it to early December in one piece, this is how it has to be. I still feel new at this.
3+ months into this year, I still don’t feel fast but very, very fit. It was after another solid 3 week block of tempo work that I went out for the first test: Hornings.
Hornings is notoriously a mud bog. Spring rains + clay = mud. That’s just the way it goes around here. But the weather turned silly-good at the tail end of the week. Maybe there’s hope.
For the Cat 1’s, it was 4 – 5 mile laps. I tried this race last year with disastrous results. This year, however, felt different. I was ready with a new full suspension ride and ridiculously aggressive tires – Mullet style…business up front (20 year old Panaracer Dart), party out back (new Conti 26×1.5″ CrossCountry). Good times.
At the start, I wanted to keep in mind that I’d done zero high intensity training thus far this year. Nada. Getting into a pissing match on the first lap trying to hold position or pass people wouldn’t be good. I want to ride the full race.
So off we go…and straight up the entrance road for the longest stretch of both smooth trail and climbing for the day. My first lap mantra? Be cool.
Up we went for about 5 min. to the top where we started a quick downhill through the woods and…disc golf course? It had a bit of a cross course feel to it; lots of quick, sharp turns and short up and downs. Active riding. We came out of the woods to a climb through the parking lot, the figure 8 crossover and up some more the the back stretch to where the bad mud was last year. It was surprisingly dry(er). Ridable by some, but not all.
Blast through the river crossing, by (but not through) the start area to a new section of loose singletrack up the side of a hill. I tried riding it once and gave up. It was faster and took less energy to run it. Plus it felt good to get off the bike. Continue snaking through the trees on singletrack for another 5 minutes, back to the start and up the hill again.
So that’s your 5 mile loop. You were either going up hard or down fast. There wasn’t any in between. Kind of relentless actually, but in a good way. It took my body one lap to get revved up and used to going anaerobic up the little hills. After that I settled in and felt like I got faster each lap. I missed getting lapped by Carl Decker with maybe 20 yards to spare. This earned me another 35 minute lap. Yay.
Decker screamed through the 4 laps in about 1:45 or so – 25 minute laps. I finished around 2:20 – 35 minute laps – and 6th out of 11 Cat 1/35-45’s. I had David Diviney in view for some of that last stretch of singletrack but I just didn’t have another match to burn to try and catch up. Still – not getting lapped by Carl Decker on a fast course and getting within striking range of someone as fast as Diviney is pretty good.
So I’ve got an off week this week then it’s time to start bringing threshold work in. For races, Bear Springs is at the end of the month. I’ll skip Spring Thaw and probably Musdlinger. Pickets is a possibility. TOE 50 is almost a lock. I’m not sure about anything after that with the exception of Tabor and PIR STXC. I’m still a little road race-phobic primarily because of the lousy condition my road bike is in. New Giant next year.
In the meantime, I will continue to slog through my taxes…right up to the deadline. I hate taxes. I don’t mind paying them – I mean, shit has to get paid for – I just hate doing them.