Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pontiac Lake TT

I raced the Pontiac Lake TT on Saturday. It was actually the first time I've done the TT. When I first started racing mountain bikes, I was too intimidated to race at Pontiac Lake at all. Once I felt comfortable enough to race out there, it seemed like I was always hurt in the Spring or had just barely started training. Anyway, things fell into place this year and I raced.

I rode my bike to and from the race, since I live so close to the trail (about a 20 minute ride). Really not a big deal, but it seemed kind of hardcore. It was also a nice warmup.

The race itself was a bit strange for me. I got off to a good start and pushed pretty hard for a while before I settled in. From the technical riding standpoint, the race went really well. I was confident and relaxed; I didn't make any major bobbles. My fitness seemed really off though, it seemed like I couldn't quite do what I wanted. My seated pedaling didn't feel very strong, and I was uncomfortable standing and pedaling. My legs felt pretty tight by the end.

I did make a few mistakes though. One was that I didn't take in enough calories in the first part of the race. As a result, I bonked with about 15-20 minutes to go... not fun. It was also warmer than I expected, and I was really wishing I'd worn a short sleeve jersey instead of a long sleeved one. The bonking definitely influenced my time; the jersey probably didn't too much.

In the end I was a little disappointed with my lap times. Yes, the trail was a little muddy in spots, but it really wasn't too bad and it shouldn't have slowed me down much.

It's taken a little while, but I've come up with a good list of things to work on to improve my performance for my next race. My next race is in 3 weeks and is one of my favorites, the Brighton Stage Race!

Friday, April 22, 2011


Wow, it's been a busy few weeks. We took a nice trip to Georgia for a week. I brought my 'cross bike and rode 4 days. I kept the knee-warmers on for all but one ride, but it was nice to be out riding in the warmth. The highlight was a ride through the mountains near Dahlonega.

I'm definitely not used to climbing for so long. The first big climb took me about 45 minutes, with a little relief partway up. The second one was steeper, but shorter, and took about half an hour. The descent back down was stupid fun though... I feel bad for people that don't ride (or do something else) that is so much fun.

Unfortunately, work has been full-throttle since I've been back and shows no signs of slowing, thus, the lack of blogging.

I have more-or-less kept up with my training, despite the workload. I got out for a ride at Pontiac Lake last Sunday. It was my first trail ride of the season. It ended up being colder and windier than I expected, and it snowed on me a few times. I was pleasantly surprised that I rode well though. For whatever reason (more/better strength training, skills practice), my bike handling was surprisingly good, for me. It seems that my "default" position is stronger and more balanced, and everything just works better from this position. The bike corners better, lands more softly from drops, you name it. I noticed that any little bobbles I had happened when I was out of position and/or sitting too heavily on the saddle.

I rode at Pontiac Lake again last night with some Rhinos. A couple of the fast(er) guys dropped me quickly, but I kept pushing hard. My fitness seems to be a mixed bag so far this year. I feel strong, and I seem to be able to recover from hard efforts (climbs) pretty quickly, but my steady (seated) power doesn't seem so good. Maybe just not enough miles in the legs yet...

My plan is to race the PLRA TT tomorrow. It will be interesting, I still haven't ridden two laps in a row yet this year.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Relaxed Week

I had originally scheduled this week off in my training plan. Even though I've missed so much training time due to my illnesses, I decided to keep this week as off. Sick time is not equivalent to resting time! For the most part, all I did this week was stretch and massage with the foam roller and tennis ball.

Yesterday morning, I took both kids out for a ride in the trailer (one at a time). Cora only lasted about 5 minutes before she was ready to go home. It was Nathan's first ride, and he did great, he was mostly quiet and just looked around. After about 15-20 minutes, I decided not to push my luck and we went home. Maybe there is some potential for some longer rides with him? I'll be back to training this week,

I'm hoping to get a decent amount of riding in, but we'll see...