Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Much Needed Rest Week

It was so clear to me at Jiminy that I was in need of rest. I probably shouldn't have been racing. Well, I don't know if I'd call what I did "racing." It was more like lethargic self-preservation. Earlier in the week, all I could think about was riding aggressively and attacking the hill hard at the end of the first lap to try and instigate a break. But Wednesday I had a hard workout that I didn't recover well from, so by Friday I couldn't even do my sprint workout. (And yes, I've been doing sprint workouts on Friday, I'm still in base training, not race mode yet.) So by the time I got to the race Saturday, my legs felt so heavy and my resting pulse was pretty elevated, so I was unsure if I should even be there. With my whole team there, I would have been more aggressive, since if I didn't finish well, it wouldn't have mattered if I had teammates feeling good that day. It's a hard time of the year! I'm just finishing my second base cycle, have done no vomax-type interval workouts yet, but of course I want to finish well every weekend. Should I have just attacked and tried to instigate more "racing" in our race Sunday, or did I do the right thing by sitting in and hedging my bets for the finish? I don't know.
Well, I was second after KL up the climb after the first lap, but unless my perception fails me, I don't think we were climbing very hard at all. At least it didn't feel hard to me. Nobody even attacked except KL gave a good surge at the top. But the second time up (our finish) things felt different to me. The climbing didn't feel hard or fast, but my legs were very heavy. I was in good position coming up through the feed zone, probably 5th or 6th wheel, and still, it didn't feel like we were riding that fast. I even believed I could win. Then came the final sprint, and I was yelling at my legs, "go! go! now!! SPRINT!!! HARD!!!!" and well, that just seemed to get no response from my waist down. I just had nothing in the legs. So, 10th for me as I watched the winners so close in front of me but oh so far away and I just rolled over the line. In my last moments before the finish, I did think, "You have to pass her to get a mug, get there, get there!!" But even desire for the coveted mug elicited no response from my legs. Honestly, I was tired and I don't think my heart was in it. The "racing" was less than inspired that day, and when I felt I had no real legs to attack or make something happen, I got disheartened and just rolled around with everyone else, all the way to the line.

Sunday I had a great ride with my teammate Tami. We went out with no real aganda planned, and ended up heading out to the hills in Harvard to enjoy the countryside and the gorgeous blossing apple trees. 4.5 hours of riding without looking at my heart rate monitor felt great. Just out for the pure enjoyment of being on two wheels in the fresh spring air.

So it's rest week. I have two concerts and lots of private lesson students and a music boosters meeting and MCAS practice tests to score and.... so much for rest. I rode to school today - what awesome weather! I'm really looking forward to this weekend. After Sterling, I'm off to to NY to race Bear Mtn! I love that course. Looking forward to it! I hope to bring my legs this time. :)
Packing list:

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Sturbridge RR

Sorry this has taken me so long to post, life's been a bit hectic. Here we go...
In retrospect, I shouldn't have raced Saturday. I had a crazy week with ups and downs. Medical testing on Tuesday meant 36 hours without food (don't worry - just a check up - and the results turned out very positive!) then Tuesady, Wednesday, Thurs, Fri, and Saturday nights I had rehearsals and performances for the musical 42nd Street, in which I performed on FOUR instruments. Yes, four: flute, clarinet, soprano and alto saxes. It was lots of fun, especially because I played beside some of my former students who are awesome girls getting ready to graduate and head off to college. :) I really wanted to get a picture at the last performance to post on my blog, but when I went to take the pic, I discovered I had left the memory card at home!! Oh, I hate when I do that. So, I'm left with a Kodak moment in my mind and none to share. (Sorry, Dad, I know you hate those Kodak references, since you've worked for Polaroid for as long as I've been alive.) Anyways, so crazy me, in the midst of all this and working, I did not miss a workout on the bike. Even while in calorie defecit from the fasting for medical testing. Ok, I didn't complete all my sprints that day, the anesthesia still had me a little loopy, so I went easy and just did some jumps and spinners. But I rode. Friday night I had only 6 hours of sleep, then I headed off to the race with my awesome temamate Susanne for a 10:15 am start in Sturbridge.

It was only my third race this year, but so far all three times lining up at the start has seemed so surreal. Like I'm on Mars. I feel like I hardly know anybody! There are so many new faces, new kits, new bikes. There's a lot of new blood in the pack. This is a great thing, except when some of these new riders are very strong but wild on a bike. There were some super sketchy bike handling maneuvers during this race. I was truly frightened a couple of times. One girl LITERALLY went across the entire field from the right to the left side on a decent (when we were spaced a little more liberally) without even looking over her shoulder! The majority of the pack was left hitting our brakes while dropping our jaws in astonishment. The same girl locked it up in the 270-degree right hand turn and almost took herself out, and she also took me out of contention in the final sprint with a crazy swerving and slowing up move in the final 150 meters. I was left with no choice but to let up on the pedals and veer to the side, almost crashing and taking out others behind me, like one of my favorite girls, Marianne, who had quite a lot to say after that fiasco. Look, if it's not common sense to hold a reasonably straight line when you're accelerating to 30+ mph on bikes with bodies all around you and nothing separating the skin on your ass from the asphalt except a thin layer of stretchy fabric then you could do us all a favor and at least READ the USCF rulebook, which spells it out for you! Grr.
Under "General Racing Rules" page 35, articles 106 & 107:
1O6. No rider may make an abrupt motion so as to
interfere with the forward progress of another rider, either
intentionally or by accident [relegation or disqualification;
possible 20 days suspension if a crash results].
1O7. Dangerous Rider. Any rider who appears to present a
danger to the other competitors may be disqualified by the
Chief Referee, either before or during a race.
This is from section 4 of the rulebook, which refers to stage racing, but same concept:
4H8 Sprints
(a) Failure to maintain line during a sprint or other
First offense: $35 fine and relegated to
back of group
Second offense: $70 fine, relegated to back of
group, and 1 minute
Third offense: $140 fine and
(b) Extremely dangerous behavior in a sprint
$140 fine and disqualification

I finally just looked at the results for that race... turns out her teammate won! Ha! What do you bet she was trying to BLOCK me in the final sprint, since I had outsprinted said teammate for the win last weekend, and I was in good position to win again!?!?! Yes, you've made me mad. Intentionally threatening my safety and that of all the women around me over the finish of the Sturbridge RR? Really sad.
Like I said, lots of new blood this year....

(more to post on Sunday's race, coming soon)