more than just another bike blog

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

A whirlwind week (again)

Okay, here it is Tuesday again and I'm just getting around to blogging last week. Good thing I still keep my training journal.

Wednesday, April 21st -- Today I planned another pre-ride of the Wente Road Race course. I decided to try my carbon wheels to see how they behaved with the wind. Since they're lighter and my 25 cassette is on them, I wanted to be able to race them.

Well, I think there were 30mph winds today. Even though the carbon wheels are super-deep-dish-aero, they were pretty blowy, so after the first lap I switched back to my other wheels to see how they responded in the wind. As we're riding out, I continue hearing this clickity-click and finally isolate it in the bottom bracket. Quick inspection and I notice the cranks are loose. Call Leslie to see if I would cause damage if I continued to ride them and he told me how to fix the problem. Rode back to the car -- didn't fix the problem so I ended my ride.

Turns out it was loose BB cups.

Ride Stats: 1:47:32 -- 24 miles (cleared computer and lost stats) -- AVG HR = 140 -- MAX HR = 164 -- Ride felt much harder than the week before so I'm probably not completely recovered from Sea Otter weekend.

Thursday, April 22nd -- Not a good day. Feeling very anxious and stressed. Didn't ride (sorry).

Friday, April 23rd -- 30 minutes easy around town then short hilly ride with new saddle, new shoes. Always a challenge duplicating saddle & cleat position, but since the new saddle has the same profile as my old one it was pretty darn easy. Did a great spin up Ralston, Provident, Bunker Hill, Polhemus to test out climbing legs & new shoes. Feeling excellent and strong and ready for tomorrow!

Ride Stats: 1:35:52 -- 19.8 miles -- 12.4mph avg -- 37.1 max

Saturday, April 24th -- Wente Road Race -- Okay, why do I question my own knowledge? There was an email thread on the race team group about leg cramps. Now, I've never, ever had a leg cramp. I've never even been truly dehydrated. But, I let this conversation and the impending heat make me nervous and drank 5 bottles of accelerade (pre- and during the race), popped a few Enervitine tablets, chugged my morning dose of pedialyte, and basically almost killed myself with hypernatremia. Of course, I didn't know what was going on at the time. Oh well. Long story short, after some research, I learned that if you OD on electrolytes, your body starts sucking all the water out of your muscles to try and correct the imbalance and it causes dehydration. I stopped sweating at some point early in the race, my skin turned purple, and I got chilled and goose-bumpy, and I was pretty stupid. I probably shouldn't have finished the race, but I'm a tough ass.

The race was hard. Road races have been frustrating for me because I get dropped on the first climb and then seem to be out in no-man's land for the entire race. I can never seem to find anyone to work with even though when I finish, I learn that there are lots of riders behind me. So, for Wente, I decided I was going to tough it out and push my hardest and try to stay with some other riders on that first killer climb.

Finished the climb up Carroll and there were three riders pacelining just ahead of me. Try as I might, I couldn't catch them. One of them pulled over to the side of the road and I could tell she'd dropped her chain (and didn't know how to put it back on). By the time I reached her (2 minutes later) she was just getting back on the bike. I noticed she hadn't spun her pedals and the chain was positioned to fall off again, so I slowed and told her to spin her pedals. She did and then caught up to me. I suggested we ride together and she rode next to me. This was her first race and she had no idea about pacelining so I tried to explain to her and also mentioned that I was a good descender even though I'm not a strong climber. On the next climb, she pulled away from me. As I came down the next descent (a pretty sharp right-hand turn over a bridge), there she was laying on her back in the middle of the road, unconscious, with blood gurgling out of her mouth and nose. There were two riders there with her so I rode off to tell the course marshalls so they could send an ambulance.

From there I pretty much tt'd the last 20+ miles. I'd get passed by little groups of juniors on the climbs, then fly past them on the descents. I know lots of the juniors so it was fun saying "hi" but I sure wished I had someone to work with.

At the last 5 miles or so, I caught Laurie McFarlane from Velo Bella. We pacelined a bit and decided to finish together. She was really struggling up Carroll and I talked her through it but pulled ahead on the final stretch.

Waited at the top because I knew Jackie, Marja, and Tracey were still on the course. When Jackie arrived, we decided to ride back to the start together. On the way down Carroll, we saw Marja walking up to the finish. Her left leg was cramped and her left foot was numb. Turned around and walked with Marja (me, Tracey, and Jackie) and then got her back on her bike for the last stretch up the hill so she could ride over the finish line. Lots of comments about how beautiful it was to see the three of us helping our teammate to the line. Felt good that I could help Marja finish her very first race.

Race Stats (including warm-up and cool down) -- 4:04:52 -- 58.14 miles -- 14.2mph avg (race only) -- 40.5mph max (race only) -- oh, and before we started the trainer warm-up, Norma, Dawn, and I rode out on the road for a bit to get our climbing legs moving. Very good choice.

Sunday, April 25th -- Wente Crit -- Body feels destroyed from dehydration. Not sure I could race but started the warm-up. Warming up on the trainer wasn't doing it for me so I got off and rode a bit. This didn't seem to do it for me either. My legs felt fine (muscularly) but my body felt like hell.

Rolled to the line not sure I would race. Perez tells me to start (sound familiar?). Got a good start and was in the first third of the pack rolling through turn 1. Mouth completely dry (like sandpaper), but I didn't take a drink because I was afraid I would fall off the pack if I did. In retrospect, I realize that I was doing fine physically and just need to work on the mental piece. Tried to move up into the front twice (as part of my assigned tactic), but chose a stupid way to do it (on the left into the wind) and was so exhausted each time that I just got swarmed again. Need to find a way to get "into" the pack once I move up, not just hanging out in the wind. Anyways, the race felt good, my skills are good, my lines are good, I'm very alert. Now I just need to work on my balls. Yes, this is only my third crit. Next time I'll have the balls.

Hung with the pack the entire race and actually had a sprint at the end. Unfortunately, I was at the back of the pack coming into the final turn so I had a lot of ground to make up, but I picked a good line (the one no one else was taking) and pushed and passed about half the pack before the line (and I don't remember anyone passing me). That's good, because I've always felt I was a sprinter. At the end of Land Park (my first crit), I didn't even try to sprint and just watched the pack pass me. Progress.

Race stats (including warm-up and cool-down) -- 1:55:42 -- 23 mile -- race average: 22.3mph -- race max -- 29.1mph (not quite a winning sprint speed, but getting there). Didn't start HR monitor before the race (again, afraid if I lost focus for 5 seconds I'd fall off the pack).

Post-race. Body is dead. Drinking a ton of water all day but not peeing. Everytime I eat my stomach seizes into HUGE cramps. This is a typical symptom of post-dehydration. But happy and this is a good race experience to carry me through for a while.


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