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Masters Racing (All Disciplines) Race on the track or road or on your mountainbike in the Masters Category? Want to talk tactics, strategy and training with your peers?

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Old 03-12-12, 02:49 PM   #2626
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Sarals, I got lapped just this past Sunday. Granted, it was by a couple of pros who lapped everyone else, but my point stands. Getting lapped is nothing to be ashamed of. I was in breaks that lapped the field three times last year and I didn't feel superior to anyone.

Or was it four times. I don't remember. It doesn't mean that much to me.

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Old 03-12-12, 03:09 PM   #2627
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Here's Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/5126315

I showed up early, 10:30. My race was to go off at 12:35. I got checked in, got my number, went back to the car, pinned it on, got the bike out (my Look 566 - it climbs better and is more comfortable than the Giant) and put it on my trainer. I got set up and I spun for forty minutes to start the warm up. I discovered during the warm up that the rear wasn't shifting properly, especially on downshifts. So, I fiddled with the rear derailleur and fiddled it way out of whack. After resetting everything, I got it right, mostly right anyway (ca-lunk!!! when it downshifts - not quite there), and took the bike off the trainer. I had about 45 minutes before my event, so I decided to ride around to stay loose and scope out the other riders. While I was doing that, someone yelled to me as they passed me that I had my "number on upside down!". So, I had to fix that. After I did, I got back on the bike, did a practice climb - easy, not really pushing, I felt pretty good, and then turned around and descended the climb. When I got to the bottom, I changed to the small ring to cruise the pit area and the bike dropped the chain. Amused, I was. I got grease all over my fingers, and rode over to the porta potties and grabbed some tissue to clean it off. My event loomed, and I noticed other women were gathering in the corral, so I rode over there and chatted up a couple of the gals. I topped off with a shot of Gu right then, too. Then we moved en-mass to the start, and one of the gals I had been talking to asked me if I was going to "wear those sunglasses" - the ones I had stuck in the vent holes on the front of my helmet? Dammit! I forgot I had put them there! I took my glasses off, got them into a pocket on my jersey, and put the sunglasses on. Meanwhile, the race officials had combined the Cat 4 and 35+ Masters fields, and the 35+ gals, at least a couple of them, weren't happy about that. They wanted to know how many were 35+ and how many were Cat 4 "so we can work together (uh-huh)". (That part was easy - 35+ were 900's, cat 4 were 100's). There were only 18 of us total. I thought, oh boy, I was hoping for a larger field - less of a chance now for me to ride with someone close to my age and/or skill.

The start was up hill. Not steep, maybe 3%, but I kind of thought that the group wouldn't go out fast, and if I could hang until the first real climb, I might be okay. I was worried, too, that I wasn't warmed up enough and I needed help, shelter, until I was on form. I didn't know how long that would take, either. The whistle blew, and the field started out, and I couldn't get clipped in. Four attempts before I finally popped into that freakin' pedal! That NEVER happens. Ever! By then, the field was 50 feet out and pulling away - up hill. I thought for a moment about trying to bridge, then thought better of it, reasoning I stood a better chance, if I could hold this gap, until we started the slight descent about a half mile on. I was wrong. I tried to bridge (at 22 MPH), and the field, now 200 yards out, just steadily pulled away! I thought I'd be dropped, in fact I honestly expected to be, but not this early in the race.

I didn't get upset, I just kept going. I made it up the first climb, but wow was I ever tight. My upper body was all tension, and my breathing was anything but smooth. I was off the saddle, on the saddle, off the saddle, on the saddle. I kept telling myself to settle down - and didn't.

I started down the first descent, a fairly short maybe 4% grade. There was a hard right turn, 90 degrees, at the bottom. I wasn't sure how clean, how clear of debris, that corner was, so I slowed a bit before making the turn and held a wider line. I looked the turn over as I passed it, and saw that it was clean and I could clip the apex if I wanted to. I could carry more speed through it, too. Note to self!

Then the rollers on the return side of the loop started. There were four sets. The first was the steepest, and it came right after the hard right hand turn. I didn't have any momentum, so I had to work my way up that hill. I was tentative about going to the small ring at first because of the chain dropping episode I'd had earlier, but the bike shifted cleanly. I was still struggling, though, only having recovered just a little bit on the descent. I made it over roller number one, and coasted - coasted! - down the little saddle between it and roller number two. I made it up that one, off the saddle and smoother than the first one. The next roller was a just little better yet. It also defined the top of a hill, and there was a pretty good breeze quartering from my left front up there. "Just what I need, friggin' wind..." Nothing I could do about it.

I looked down the road to see if I could spot the field - nada. Admittedly, my vision wasn't great, because my sunglasses aren't prescription, and my distance vision needs help. That fact caused me to set up wrong for the right turn feeding the "long" descent to the start/finish area. I saw traffic cones out in front of me, but I couldn't tell until I was close to them where they were in relation to the turn. So, I went slower around that corner than I wanted to, and that held me back a bit on the descent. More notes to self...

I got a few cheers and encouragement from some folks I knew who were near the start/finish. That was nice - fruitless, but nice!

Lap two was better, a little bit, anyway. I was finally loosening up, and I was climbing a bit smoother - still poorly, but with a bit more efficiency. The turns went a lot better, and the descent was better, too. On the false flat leading to the first climb I heard some riders coming up behind me and I thought "gee, I'm being lapped already??" No, it was the men's Cat 2 group that had gone out just before my race did. They were strung out in a tight line, traveling along a good 5 MPH faster than I was. I made sure I stayed well out of their way! As I crossed the start/finish, a race official told me I had two more laps to go "unless I was lapped". I had checked my watch, and I already knew I wouldn't be able to do four laps and get to my appointment in time, so I responded "I'm only doing one more"...

I really railed the first right hander on my third lap. I carried my descent speed right through the apex of the corner, stopping pedaling only as I set up for the turn, then coming off the saddle right after the apex and giving a reasonable acceleration out of the turn. I paid for it, too, because when I hit that first roller my legs were protesting mightily about stressing them the way I did! I pushed through that and stayed off the saddle for the climb, carried two cogs higher in the back than usual to keep my cadence down and clear my legs. It sort of worked.

When I started up the fourth short roller just before the right hander to the final descent, I heard wheels behind me. I stayed way right and waved them on. It was two younger women from my race, working together and moving along nicely. One of them shouted some encouragement to me - "good work, keep it up" to which I giggled, thinking, "yeah - keep THIS futile attempt at being a racer up"! Aww, that was just being negative. Anyway, I did appreciate it.

I railed the last right hander, too, carrying good speed to the top of the descent, and then descending well. I passed the start/finish and pulled off. I heard the official say "DNF for 138" - and that hurt a little.

Anyway - that was that. There will be others.

I have to elevate from being a poor climber to being at least an okay climber. That effort started today. I knew that going into the race, and now it's been proven.
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Old 03-12-12, 03:19 PM   #2628
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And - once again - thank you, guys! Very, very much!
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Old 03-12-12, 04:05 PM   #2629
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Sara, We are all proud of you and understand what you went through last weekend. The first race has too many first time things going on. I bet most of us have made the same mistakes before. If I intentionally pinned my number on upside down my average would probably improve. At last Summer's Mid-West Masters Crit I missed clipping in on the start and the 3 laps of extra effort it took catching back on the back of the pack left me off the back after 5 laps. Please don't let the race result be a decision maker, instead use it as a motivator for the next few races. My seasonal goal in my first year of racing, at 54 yrs old, was to make it to the sprint finish with the pack in any Cat 5 race. It took about 6 races to finally stay in the field and that was the only occasion for the season. I learned what I needed to do and worked the next fall and winter to get there. My racing plan was a 3 to 4 year effort knowing the learning and fitness curve needed to nurture.
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Old 03-12-12, 04:10 PM   #2630
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Okay, I guess I wasn't finished. I need to say more about Saturday, since there were such radical swings in fortunes.

For the hill climb, I had been painting mental images of me riding away from folks up that climb. It's a climb I know, so I had good accurate imagery. My mental approach was swept away by doing stupid things in the morning, and by not warming up. The other guys rode away from me. DFL. Did it hurt me to have believed I could ride away from them? No, it did not. Did it hurt more to be DFL because I envisioned myself winning. Surprisingly... No.
AZTR, hope you don't kick your own butt too much for the DFL like I did. If so just watch the video and be healed brother!

http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/12706213/dfl-redemption
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Old 03-12-12, 04:22 PM   #2631
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AJ! Thank you!!!
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Old 03-12-12, 04:51 PM   #2632
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I can't believe someone would risk a perfectly good camera to get a shot of this:

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Old 03-12-12, 05:33 PM   #2633
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Great to have a memento!

And sounds like a typical first race... jitters... newbie stuff... you'll get the hang of it.

I love my new pedals, and almost always get clipped in on the first rev now. Except yesterday. In a crit, When it really matters. I thought I had the clip but didn't, slipped out, and had a guy yelling behind me as I clumsily got in a and going. Found out later I had a couple of grease filled gouges in my shin from the failed clip in. :/
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Old 03-12-12, 05:34 PM   #2634
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AZTR, hope you don't kick your own butt too much for the DFL like I did. If so just watch the video and be healed brother!

http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/12706213/dfl-redemption
I shall do so, oh guru of DFL!
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Old 03-12-12, 06:00 PM   #2635
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You look totally pro.

Practice clipping in. Clip in and out three times before every ride. Pretend it's a race start. Clip in hard and hit the gas. It's funny you missed. I almost never ever miss and I missed at the start of my M45+ race yesterday. You jinxed me. Thanks, man.

I don't know if I would have warmed up that much, but you know yourself better than I. Even for crits I only warm up for 20 minutes. I also like to have a gel 30 minutes before the start, not right before. Again, you know yourself.

Write this one off, practice your clip-ins under pressure and go out and get the next one. Once you clip in clean at the start of your next race you're going to relax and enjoy the ride.
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Old 03-12-12, 06:29 PM   #2636
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You look totally pro.

Practice clipping in. Clip in and out three times before every ride. Pretend it's a race start. Clip in hard and hit the gas. It's funny you missed. I almost never ever miss and I missed at the start of my M45+ race yesterday. You jinxed me. Thanks, man.

I don't know if I would have warmed up that much, but you know yourself better than I. Even for crits I only warm up for 20 minutes. I also like to have a gel 30 minutes before the start, not right before. Again, you know yourself.

Write this one off, practice your clip-ins under pressure and go out and get the next one. Once you clip in clean at the start of your next race you're going to relax and enjoy the ride.
I'm sorry I jinxed you!!! I've got it going around, I guess

I was a little too close on the gel. I also didn't shoot enough. Normally it's 20 minutes before an effort for me, but like the glasses - I forgot!

I still haven't quite figured out what and how I need to warm up. I'm so inconsistent. I know from spin class, which is pretty much a constant in many ways, I finally become efficient about 40 minutes into the class. I've also noticed it takes me longer to warm up this year than it did just last year. I really need to figure this one out.

I never miss clip-ins, either. Left turn lanes, waiting for a light, line of cars behind me, and BANG clip right in and go. But for a race? Noooooo....what is up with that????
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Old 03-12-12, 07:34 PM   #2637
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I did my hour easy spin ride today with my wife. She attended most of the indoor training sessions and is willing to give road riding a chance. She is not comfortable riding with traffic yet. She did very good clipping in and out of the pedals as well as shifting. The only issue we had is today ended up being her first night ride. I really blew it when estimating how long it would take to ride 15 miles. We both had tail lights and I had put a P7 light in my pocket "just in case".

One obsveration is a 15 mph wind is insignificant at 10.6 mph
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Old 03-12-12, 07:49 PM   #2638
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I never miss clip-ins, either. Left turn lanes, waiting for a light, line of cars behind me, and BANG clip right in and go. But for a race? Noooooo....what is up with that????
Nerves or just plain bad luck.
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Old 03-12-12, 08:54 PM   #2639
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Stop smiling Sara. This is serious sheet.

Timer ringing all day. Stuff coming.
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Old 03-12-12, 09:30 PM   #2640
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I can't believe someone would risk a perfectly good camera to get a shot of this:

Nice picture. Buy it!
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Old 03-12-12, 10:00 PM   #2641
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Nice picture. Buy it!
My thinking, too! I did!!! There will never be another like it. Ha!
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Old 03-12-12, 10:03 PM   #2642
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Stop smiling Sara. This is serious sheet.
That's not a smile, it's a grimace!!
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Old 03-12-12, 10:19 PM   #2643
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Congrats Sara.
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Old 03-13-12, 12:18 AM   #2644
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Hi Sara,

Most people have a first race experience similar to yours. Glad to hear that you did it, got your feet wet, and learned a lot.

Some, like me, still get dropped regularly in road races. Back when I started it was the opposite. I'd do fine in road races and get dropped in criteriums. Now that I am more (ahem) "muscular" hills are a problem.

The trick is to keep at it (assuming you enjoy it). One of my main reasons for racing is pushing myself to levels that I wouldn't otherwise and going faster than I could safely do on roads with traffic.

Most importantly; have fun!
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Old 03-13-12, 07:40 AM   #2645
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Tonight’s workout is 4 x 10' Z4 hill intervals. It is supposed to be clear, 65 degrees and still light at 7:30 PM when I will be done, with the last interval, before the 11 mile ride back home. Wow, riding in shorts and without a clipped on reading light to see the computer. The season is changing! January and February were big hour training months and it is quite the relief to be outside and in daylight.
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Old 03-13-12, 09:26 AM   #2646
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Hermes, Cleave - thank you!

Cleave, you nailed it. I think the way you do about this, my approach is almost identical to yours.

I woke up this morning determined to race and race. I DID enjoy it, despite the outcome. I was PO-ed at myself, obviously, thinking I could have and should have done better (not this time, I know that). I now plan to race as much of this season as my work schedule and my finances will allow.

Oh - everyone? I finally feel like I, perhaps, belong on this thread.
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Old 03-13-12, 10:57 AM   #2647
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To get me from steak knives to Cadillac... Will try them for the first time at tonight's Underground Crit, where I intend to attack the Cat1's.
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Old 03-13-12, 11:06 AM   #2648
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Oh - everyone? I finally feel like I, perhaps, belong on this thread.
You raced. You belong. The moment you pinned the number on.
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Old 03-13-12, 11:15 AM   #2649
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Shovelhd - thank you!

AzT, that's a serious looking setup! Are those the same chain rings I saw wobbling around on Bradley Wiggins' bike in the final stage of the the Paris-Nice this year?

I wanted to ask you - do you use spray on contact cement to adhere your number to your jersey?
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Old 03-13-12, 11:27 AM   #2650
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It's the power meter that matters. That's a Quarq. I have one on my race bike.
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