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  1. #1
    Senior Member RobRyb's Avatar
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    Bumming after my second race

    I rode in my second race yesterday, Bike Jam 2003/Race for Pulaski in Patterson Park, Baltimore, MD. It was a fairly flat, very fast course. On the second lap I was dropped at the one severe turn in the circuit and I never caught up to the peleton again. I tried working with some other guys for awhile. However, on the sixth lap a race official waved us off the course because we'd fallen too far behind.
    Now I'm really bummed. Training has been tough because the weather has been really bad. I'm not all that fast yet so a few missed or shortened training days make a huge difference.
    I rode hard all Winter, always telling myself that by mid April the weather would be great. Today is May 25th and we've had 15 days of rain this month! Most rides are in the mid 50's or less because I ride early in the morning or very late at night. Sometimes it's like early March all over again.
    Now I'm falling into a slump. There's a steady rain today, but I feel like I need to spend at least two hours on the road. I'm just having trouble finding the motivation after such a lousy performance yesterday.
    I don't know if I'm asking for advice or just unloading. I'll opt for the first choice and ask if you've had a similar experience. How did you climb back out of it?

  2. #2
    suitcase of courage VegasCyclist's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RobRyb
    I rode in my second race yesterday, Bike Jam 2003/Race for Pulaski in Patterson Park, Baltimore, MD. It was a fairly flat, very fast course. On the second lap I was dropped at the one severe turn in the circuit and I never caught up to the peleton again. I tried working with some other guys for awhile. However, on the sixth lap a race official waved us off the course because we'd fallen too far behind.
    Now I'm really bummed. Training has been tough because the weather has been really bad. I'm not all that fast yet so a few missed or shortened training days make a huge difference.
    I rode hard all Winter, always telling myself that by mid April the weather would be great. Today is May 25th and we've had 15 days of rain this month! Most rides are in the mid 50's or less because I ride early in the morning or very late at night. Sometimes it's like early March all over again.
    Now I'm falling into a slump. There's a steady rain today, but I feel like I need to spend at least two hours on the road. I'm just having trouble finding the motivation after such a lousy performance yesterday.
    I don't know if I'm asking for advice or just unloading. I'll opt for the first choice and ask if you've had a similar experience. How did you climb back out of it?
    do you have a trainer? if not I would get one, then on the rainy days at least you can still ride and not lose anything. Don't get yourself down, if you keep training and never give up you will eventually be where you want to in terms of fitness. keep trying, there will be better days
    -VegasCyclist
    "Daddy made whiskey and he made it well.... cost two dollars and it burned like hell...."
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  3. #3
    extra-t Resident's Avatar
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    I find that an extra day of recovery, or a day away from the bike can be enough to get back in the game. A friend of mine has a computrainer, and worked all winter. He DNF'ed his first two races, and probably won't race again this year.
    Taking photos of your lovely planet...

  4. #4
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    As far as getting dropped on the corner - the cycling gods might be telling you that you need to practice sprinting. Crits are loaded with fast accelerations. Start building those into your rides. I managed recently to get out front for the length of two races, feeling strong, only to be outsprinted at the ends of each. I now know I need to work on raw speed sprints, because my cruising and out-of-corner accelerations are enough to keep me into the game. And as for hills-the only hilly race I've done this year I got dropped on. So I know i need to work on hills too. Just riding a lot won't make you a better racer necessarily. It sounds like you've built a solid base. Now hone in on the things you arent' that good at. Do you have any training races around there? I did one last week and it helped me a lot because there was no pressure. Like you, I am new to racing.

    Oh, and, ride in the rain. It's fine once you get going. The weather sucks here even worse in Rhode Island.

  5. #5
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    Looks like to me you are close to overtraining. You have been training TOO HARD in the Winter. You should have been doing only strenght maintance workouts and getting your base miles. You don't do intervals.

  6. #6
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    Man... I hear ya. I had a race late in the day today, that I raced totally wrong, did crappy. I pretty much shamed myself in front of my coach who I look up to.

    I'm not going to make training suggestions to you other than you just ought to ride your bike more, and with more regularity.

    And with regards to all your crappy weather, you're not alone. Here outside of Boston, we pretty much get all of the rain you do, only it's 5-10 degrees colder on average. I raced yesterday (which went better than today, thank-god) in the rain at 50 degrees on a slippery crit course. It was a total mess, VERRRRYYY un-cool conditions. But what can you do? Ultimately, don't worry about it, because everyone in your area has to deal with the same weather - give or take - as you do. Try your best to go out and train despite the conditions on those crappy days, and you can think to yourself how some of your competition isn't, and how it's on day's like this one that you're getting a leg up on them.

    So, anyway... I got home from the race today at around dinner time. TOTALLY BUMMED - just like you. I had already ridden two hours before the race, and about 1.5 hours at the race. But at about 10:00 PM after dinner and so on, I was still angry with my poor performance. AAARRRGGGGHHHH!!

    And so how did I get feeling better? I got back on my trainer again and rode very hard for another two hours until midnight. By doing so I made myself feel as though I was taking a step in the right direction, a direction that will lead me to having the strength to doing exactly as I please in a race. Even if it was a teeny tiny step... it made me feel better.

    Man, if you want to get un-bummed, you got to overcome that mental rut that's keeping you from riding on those crappy days. The mental rut that's keeping you from being really dedicated. The dedication that's keeping you from improving more. The improvement that will keep you in the races. And the performances that will make you happier again.

    It's not quite 1:00 AM right now, so I better shower and get to bed!

    Good Luck!

    - Maurizio

  7. #7
    Senior Member RobRyb's Avatar
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    flyefisher, as a technical matter you are absolutely correct, it was a total newbie mistake. I was coming out of the corner and spinning up to 110+ RPM, but then staying there! The pack was pulling away from me and I couldn't understand until I looked at my computer. Then I'd come up a gear or two and start to gain on them. Unfortunately, I repeated this mistake for three or four laps and it really ate into my energy stores.

    Maurizio, I think you hit the mental angle of it. I realize that everyone on the East Coast is struggling. That's why I turned to the web for advice. It's tough to know when an extra hour will bring my spirits up or a day off will be the answer. I did not ride on Sunday, but I did get out yesterday (to ride in the rain). By necessity, I'm taking today off but I should be able to make up for it tomorrow. Like you said, I've got to come out of this mental rut.

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll be working through them over the next several days.

  8. #8
    I don't know. RB1-luvr's Avatar
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    you're not alone up here in the mideast. Everyone I talk to is having more than the usual depression issues because of the long winter and the reluctance of summer to start. Hang in there. It should be warm by August. [grin**
    Rast ich so rost ich. (When I rest, I rust)

  9. #9
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    I ate my previous words about riding in the rain. Yesterday in the pouring rain (as I'm sure you saw in CT), was determined to ride, so I set out geared up. Got 1 mile in and chain started skipping (since repaired at shop). Then I went home and got my beater bike. 5 miles into that ride I got a flat on the deep dish rim, for which I did not have a tube. Called my wife and waited in the rain for her to pick me up.

    WHEN WILL THIS FRIGGIN WINTER EVER END!!!!!!!!????

    CT guy - did you do the Aircraft Crit on Saturday?

  10. #10
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    I did the Aircraft Crit!

    I did the Pro-1-2. It was a freakin' mess. I had to take my glasses off because I couldn't see out of them, but then I had to keep my eyes mostly shut the rest of the race since the wheel in front of me was always kicking up road grunge. I was surprised we all stayed upright, and it ended up going ok for me. I solo bridged up to the only dangerous breakaway of the race, which had about ten riders in it, with nine laps to go. But when I got there, nobody was pulling and we got caught one or two laps later.

    In the end I was pretty well positioned for the sprint, but right before the last corner some scetchy crap went down, I touched my breaks, and I lost a bunch of positions. I finished about 12-15th. Oh well. I can be content because I felt like I raced well despite the placing.

    What race did you do? How did it go?

    - Maurizio

  11. #11
    Senior Member shaharidan's Avatar
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    well i'm not in a position to give advice on racing or training, but maybe i can say something motivational. atleast you were out there giving it your all!!!
    keep trying and keep participating, and i think your coming to the right place for advice/tips. i know it can bring you down when you don't perform up to your expectations, but atleast your out there, keep putting in the work and i'm sure you'll get there.
    No matter how fast I'm going, I'm in no hurry.
    there are no bicycles in the valley, the only bicycle you find in the valley is the bicycle you ride down there.
    Ride in the front, this space is available to anyone that wishes to take it-jjmolyet

  12. #12
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    I was in the cat 5. I was well positioned after the last turn, about 5th in line. Then I clipped out of my pedal. Got back in but had to then sprint too early to catch back up. Came in like 15th-20th (why hasn't bikereg posted those friggin results yet?). Would probably have aced it had it not been for the pedal. Who knows.

    Could have done a breakaway but had the same thing happened. No one worked. I myself was part of the lazy since I was pretty winded on the break, so I really can't complain.


    If you can place like that in pro races, you're doing real good as far as I'm concerned.

  13. #13
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    You just have to keep going out there and doing your best. My first 4 races I was dropped before the races where half over. I still kept going back and racing no matter what (even having to drive 2 hours to get to the races). I also would spin to fast and not be able to catch up to the pack. You have realized that now and you will fix the problem next time out.

    I can hang with the pack now, but usually chose to attack every few laps. It gets to boring just riding along in the pack, I like to mix it up now
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  14. #14
    MaNiC! NZLcyclist's Avatar
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    I find this sort of training does me good:

    Go hard for about 3 or 4 days, making the muscles burn everyday, and then ease off for about 2 days, then start the cycle again. Alternate weeks I put in a 70km hill ride, and the other alternate week I do a 100km ride. I make sure I eat plenty, particuarly at night and for breakfast, and get plenty of sleep. I usually back off for about 3 days before a race.

    The reason I do this is because when you make the muscles burn is because you are destroying muscle tissue as you use it, (correct me of im wrong) and then the days I ease off is when it rebuilds itself that little bit stronger each time.

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