Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sometimes.. the begining.. is the end.

Pescadero Race Report.

Date: 1/7/07
Course: 2.7 Laps for a total of 75 miles. 3 times up the big finish hill climb.
Category: Elite 3
Field: 70+
Teammate: Marc F. / Jeff E. – James and Josh rode in E4
Place: DNF

“Pescadero road-race.” I have heard all about it for the last three years but this year I took the plunge. I was going into this race a little flat on the fitness (I still felt a little out of whack from the get off on Memorial Day) but things were starting to look better by the end of the week. So, 75 miles at race pace, with an est. 22+ mph--with the climbs? This was going to be a punishing test, regardless of the outcome.

I hooked up with James and we got down there pretty fast. The weather looked to be clearing and warming up. Registration was quick but par for the course, massive lines for the porta potties.

Marc, Jeff and I roll around and then get lined up. Off we go and I tell myself to relax and wait for the first climb precluding the skeleton (long story). I saw a few guys I know and got to say hi here and there. It was interesting to note that a lot of MTB and CX racers were in the field.

We get to the first climb, I’m in the upper half of the group feeling ok, then we hit the second kicker climb. Ouch… No warm-up hurts. O.K. Up and over, then down a fun swoopy descent which leads onto rolling road for a while before heading towards the feed zone and up to the finish climb. On the swoopy descent my hands started to numb and I was having some neck pain. My legs felt great. However, when we finally got to the big climb I was in more pain than I wanted to be in. I started to fade backwards after half-way up and while the gradient wasn’t to bad, I struggled to keep up. I felt bad either standing or sitting. I got snapped off with 200 meters before the top. While chasing the peloton downhill, back towards Pescadero, I thought if I manage to actually catch back I am in deep trouble for round two unless something pops back into place and gives me some more watts to play with. I did manage to catch back on with two other guys from LGBRC. That was close.

Rolling though Pescadero gave me a chance to sit in and recover. I had some gel and a drink. Finally we start up the first of the kickers and I’m in a good position. I actually feel ok and end up getting up to the top in 2nd and hit the second one feeling winded but o.k. Bam, it pitches up for a short bit and I feel, crippled… is the best way to describe it. I was left to spin the 25 and watch everyone start to ride away. Aww man, this is not good, I thought to myself.
I ended up having to chase back again. Now I was really worried I might not make it. I was motivated to hang in and at least finish. This was not to be.

On the 2nd time up the finish climb, I moved up into terrific position on the inside and in the top 15-20. I felt better and managed to keep the pace quite a while longer than lap one but alas I could not match the coming accelerations and got dropped with 500 meters to go. I could do no more. Over the top I was able to turn over a big gear and chased hard. After a while a group of 4 guys caught me and we worked together chasing. Looking up the road when we hit the flatter and straighter portion, the peloton was out of sight.


I sat up and bid the guys farewell, my race was over. If I hadn’t had to go to work in the afternoon, I would have rode the last lap at my own pace for training.

I rode back to the car and waited for James to finish. Checking my HR info I had the lowest avg HR for any race (a PR for sure), especially with the avg speed at 22+ mph (T 2:44/ 2 laps). This race was a test, that despite not finishing, I can say I’m happy with. While I was worried about the distance of 75 miles, it was totally feasible. I had the proper fueling and had felt fine fitness wise. My HR drop after hard efforts was quick (a strong marker of good fitness) Despite my power shortage I managed to get in good position within the group and especially leading onto the climbs. Being able to spin like crazy is the only thing that kept me alive up to the end.

I can’t say that I'm surprised at the outcome, just disappointed. I could have done a lot more. I finally got to see this course and I liked it a lot, it’s great and fits me well. I’ll be back next year better prepared and hopefully with no issues. Coming up in a few weeks I want to do Burlingame Crit but I’m going to take a break for a few days and do some Yoga--see if I can’t get straightened out….

Big up to Marc, Jeff, James and Josh for showing up and riding strong.

Side Note: Barry Wicks ( a Cyclocross and MTB Pro) won the pro race, awesome!

2 Climbs ----Finish Hill ----2 Climbs ----Finish Hill


Blogger isaiasjob said...

Good race analysis....your a geek. I like that! Pesky is a tuff course. Didn't get a chance to do it this year as I was out of town, but next year I'm back!

Yup, 75 miles of racing! I'm gonna have to get more miles under me before I can do that competitively.

I'll be at B-game this weekend! Cya out there!


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