more than just another bike blog

Monday, June 14, 2004

Wine Country Criterium Race Report -- June 13th, 2004

A New Toy is a Dangerous Thing………or how I fried my legs for the Wine Country Criterium

So, my lovely PowerTap arrived finally. I’d ordered it in February when I decided to hire Giana as my personal coach. I figured that since so many potential clients were inquiring about training with power, and I didn’t really know enough to train them, it would be a great opportunity to learn while being coached. But apparently PowerTap was having some quality issues, so they didn’t ship, and didn’t ship, and didn’t ship.

Then, one day this big old UPS box appeared on my patio (thank you, UPS man, for putting almost $1,000 worth of bike stuff on my open patio).

So, Josh installed my new PowerTap on Tuesday. It’s just a super-fangled bike computer, really, although it uses a special hub to measure power output. Dang! That hub is heavy. But, I digress.

So, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, I went out and climbed some hills. And rode hard. Since a PowerTap measures power, it’s much more interesting to play with it when you’re riding hard, so I threw my program out the window (with Giana’s blessing) and climbed everything between here and Los Altos. It was actually good for me, because I’ve been feeling really down and frustrated about some stuff and not motivated to ride, so I just went out and pounded out my emotions.

Fast forward to Saturday – Guys Got Skills. Those of you who’ve experienced our clinics know the routine. Lecture, demonstrate, lecture, ride hard, lecture, you get the picture. So, even though I only rode a total of two hours yesterday, my legs were fried. I laid in bed last night feeling the crap in my quads and hamstrings. And a touch of sunburn. And a bit of fever. I remember thinking at one point I should just call Holly because there would be no way I would be able to race today.

4:30am – alarm went off and I forgot how cruddy I’d felt. Sat in the car for too long (did anyone else know that Holly drives like a grandma on Sunday?). And then somehow we were just a bit too casual in Santa Rosa this morning so we did an abbreviated version of the warm-up. Oops.

Rolling up to the line, I was actually really excited, but discouraged that Velo Girls didn’t have a more dominant team presence. This was one of the few races I’ve done with good representation from so many teams, and with the combined CAT3, CAT4, and 35+ fields, there were some very experienced racers out there. Of course, with just Holly, Cayce, Jeanine, and me, I wasn’t feeling as unstoppable as we had in past weeks, but we were going to give it a go and try to get some redemption for yesterday’s race.

We rolled up to the line after most of the other racers, so we plunked the team down on the far left by the judge’s stand in the front line. Janice (“oh yeah, go”) Goodrich was the CR, so I was anticipating an anticlimactic start. It wasn’t until then that I realized she wasn’t going to be able to get off the road and being on the far left, I might just roll over her pretty red manicured toes (I kid you not). So, with a bit further distance to go to get to turn one (right-hand turn), I jumped at the start, missed Janice’s toes, and found myself mid-pack going into turn one. “Okay, I’m good with this.”

As you know from Miss Holly’s race report, I was actually feeling confident enough that I planned to start our lead-out. Me. Yep. Well, after about five laps or so, there was a prime. That strung the pack out a bit, but I was still in contact. But when the effort amped up, I felt my quads and hamstrings burning. Almost cramping, but not really. Just stiff, tired, burning, ouch.

Coming into turn three, I was right behind Jeanine when she and a NorCal Velo racer jigged and then jagged right in front of me. This caused both of them to slow just a bit, which trickled down to me and others behind them. Pop! Off the back yet again within the next lap, although I tried my darndest to get back on.

Interesting note about technical crits. The course was great. We actually rode around it early in the morning and I watched an earlier race from every single corner. There were two corners that really funneled down, so the pack was in an almost constant state of stringiness (ie strung out), which made it challenging to advance position unless you were really smart about when and where to do it. It also made riding at the back of the pack even harder than it is in industrial crits.

So, I’m out there time trailing once again. Since this was a somewhat technical crit, I decided just to keep riding and work on some super-fun cornering and what-not. About ten minutes later, the nice ref on the motorcycle rolls up to me and tells me the pack is approaching. I decide not to make the mistake I made last time I got lapped (in Santa Rosa as well) and I was going to make sure to jump back into the pack. Go Lorri! So, I make sure I’m on the outside or the inside, the pack approaches, I play it cool and let the first couple of women go by and then just ease my way back into the pack. I half expected someone who doesn’t know the rules to yell at me, but no one did. “Hi, I’m back!!!” There’s Holly, there’s Cayce, there’s Jeanine. Okay, maybe I can recover and still help with a lead-out. But by that time, I’m too darn tuckered from my solo effort, and I only last two laps with the pack before popping off the back again.

Crap! Fifteen minutes to go. Each time I pass the start/finish, I smile at Janice (chief ref.) and secretly hope she’ll pull me. Of course, I would never admit this, but my legs were on fire. My quads and hamstrings were just completely fatigued from all my climbing and then the stop/go hard from the clinic. With about 5 laps to go, I look back and see the pack approaching again around turn 6 (just as I’m passing the start/finish). Janice smiles, runs her finger across her neck, and I yelp aloud. Whew! I’m finished. I roll around inside the course and then cheer everyone on at the end of the race.

Was a little concerned about Cayce and Holly. With two to go, they were together at the back of the pack. With one to go, they’d moved up about halfway. On the final lap, I see a glimmer of pink coming around turn six, but it looks like whoever it is is just too far back. Little did I know that Holly has one damn long sprint. She was just getting wound up as she crossed the line, passing other racers the entire time.

Interesting note on placement:

Holly’s number was 8 – she finished 8th overall (6th in the CAT3/4 race)
Cayce’s number was 14 – she finished 14th overall
Jeanine’s number was 19 – she finished 19th overall
My number was 13 – guess it wasn’t my lucky day……..

Oh, and a couple of other thoughts that don’t fit anywhere else:

The master women are very smooth and verbal in a good way. I enjoy racing with them.

That woman in the white jersey on the trek (she was at ICCC as well) is a total dipshit and I seem to get sucked in behind her too much. There should be a rule that squirrelly riders aren’t allowed to be strong enough to ride mid-pack, because they screw everybody else up.

Thank you to Jeanine for having the Moxie (with a capital M) to come join our merry little crew this morning. She hasn’t raced since Sea Otter and she rocked today!!!

Oh, and for those of you who might enjoy the geekiness of it, here’s my PowerTap data. I don’t think it’s completely calibrated right, but it’s definitely interesting to watch and I can already see how training in power zones is much more effective than training in HR zones.

So, this is Wine Country Crit. The gray line is torque, the yellow is power, the blue is speed, the red is heart rate, and the green is cadence. I’ve smoothed it to 25% so I can see the trends instead of every little blip. No real analysis here, but it’s interesting to notice at about 10 minutes when I started falling off, I made one last good effort to stay on and then was out time trailing until about 20 minutes at which point, I caught up with the pack again and pushed again to stay with them. Funny how my cadence is much slower when I’m in the pack. I’ve noticed this before. It’s way too low (80s) because I push a bigger gear than I should because I think it makes me more stable in my corners (wrong). I was pushing a super-high cadence while I was alone today (averaging about 110) probably because my legs were fried and I couldn’t push a harder gear. Every time I tried to slow my cadence, I found myself spinning up again. When my cadence decreases a bit, I actually produce more power, but I just couldn’t sustain it today. My HR settled in right at threshold (high zone 4) for the entire time I was out there alone. Of course, for the first ten minutes when I was in the pack, it was about 25bpms lower.

Max Power – 576 watts
Average Power -- 142 watts
Max Torque – 316 in-pounds
Average Torque – 49 in-pounds
Max Speed – 27.2mph
Average Speed – 19.1mph
Max Cadence – 203rpm (I think this is wrong)
Average Cadence – 97rpm
Max HR – 171bpm (zone 5b)
Average HR – 148bpm (high zone 3)
Distance – 11.35 miles
Energy – 303 kilojoules (direct translation to calories)
Time – 35:38
Average Power/HR -- .96
Average Power/Weight – 1.87


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