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  1. #1376
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Hi All,

    Been "decompressing" a bit after getting back from nationals. I rode (hard to call it training) after getting home and managed to get caught in a huge downpour on my (a week ago) Saturday club ride. Fortunately I switched to my rain bike before leaving because I heard thunder in the distance and thought that it might rain. Boy did it ever.

    Did the California Bicycle Racing (CBR) State Criterium Championships on Sunday and after my debacle at nationals my racing confidence wasn't very high. I was actually around 5th wheel during the Masters 50+ race when I WATCHED the winning break ride off the front. A lap later I was leading a fruitless chase. I also raced Masters 40+ which was faster but I managed to stay in until the last lap when I got caught behind someone who gapped the guy in front of me. I finished the lap surprisingly close to the back of the field.

    After that I didn't ride until yesterday (Thursday). I did a moderate but short workout on my TT bike with a somewhat modified position that I am "testing" at an 8 mile, hilly TT this coming Sunday. The modification is to get my bike bike closer to be legal for next year's nationals. Next week I'll start going to the velodrome again for some structured workouts hoping to kind of level out my fitness for the rest of the year.

    One other thing to mention is the resurrection of the Mt Baldy Hill Climb on Sunday, Sep 25th (http://www.backontrackproductions.com/baldy.htm). It's about 12 miles and about 4,500 feet of climbing. The last part of the climb from Baldy Village to the ski area parking lot is the same climb that Chris and Levi used to cement Chris' win at the Tour of California. I hope that I can retain enough fitness and not gain any weight over the next week. This race used to be a bit later in the year as the finale of the (now defunct) SoCal Hill Climb Series. Back when I was a 130 lb, 20-something year-old, Cat 3 racer, I could do the climb in a 42 X 23. Now I hope I won't tip over with a 39 X 26.

    Glad to hear that everyone is doing okay (assuming the hole in AJ's knee is better) and I hope to see Hermes and Velo Diva at the velodrome in a couple of weeks. I'll be working the official's video camera on Thursday evening. As far as Red's TT performances go, now I have to worry about another woman who can TT faster than me.
    Thanks.
    Cleave
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  2. #1377
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Cleave, We are looking forward to seeing you next week. We will be in LA from September 21st to October 1st. I have been living and eating like a Buddhist monk and training like a rabid dog.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  3. #1378
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    After reading what you guys and gals have been putting in over the last couple of weeks, I really felt like I was a slacker (seriously). The crash was an excuse, almost (I know it wasn't, but that's me). So, today I rode with two B level riders, a 45 mile loop around the Santa Clara Valley. I asked them to keep their pace up, not wait for me, make me take pulls, and keep after me to keep it up. I did! I averaged 16 MPH over the distance, and I worked myself hard. I had some things to prove to myself, and some things to test, as well as find out. I'm satisfied!

    Hermes and Cleave - have a good weekend next week!!

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  4. #1379
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Just back from New Orleans... Jonesing to be back on the bike, and will do a training crit tomorrow evening as prep for Saturday's DC Ranch Criterium.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  5. #1380
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleave View Post
    Hi All,



    Glad to hear that everyone is doing okay (assuming the hole in AJ's knee is better) and I hope to see Hermes and Velo Diva at the velodrome in a couple of weeks. I'll be working the official's video camera on Thursday evening. As far as Red's TT performances go, now I have to worry about another woman who can TT faster than me.
    Hehe. Seriously, I find that hard to believe, as you've raced for years, and you race frequently. I'm only in my 5th year, and I don't race nearly as often as you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    Great job RR. I have yet to learn how to ignore the negative and self-limiting thoughts as well as the "what the hell are you doing to yourself for" thoughts.
    It's taken 4 years to get control of those thoughts. I used to believe them and although I tried riding harder, once the thoughts were in my head, my race was done.

    Acknowledging that you have those thoughts and refusing to let them dominate your consciousness will do much to allowing yourself to get closer to your potential. That, and living like a monk and training like a rabid dog, a la Hermes.
    When my feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh, *****, she's awake!"

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  6. #1381
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Very Zen approach to the thoughts, RR, and I'll have to try it. As of now, when I start thinking negative thoughts, my power can drop dramatically. And of course when I realize that is happening, the thoughts get worse!
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  7. #1382
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    I've known for a while that my head has probably more to do with my performance than my fitness does. I'm just beginning to understand how to put a positive spin on an upcoming event - be it a ride, be it a run, whatever. What I don't control, yet, is consistency, EXCEPT when I feel like I'm NOT going to do well! I never disappoint myself, then. Crappy outlook, isn't it? Well - I'm working on it..."Ummmmmmmm...Sara, you'll do well in the swim Sunday....your legs won't lock up when you come out of the water....ummmmmm". Or something like that! Seriously, I have confidence troubles, but I suppose that comes with experience - right? RR, you and Hermes are all over that, and Velo Diva is the queen of it. You not only believe you can do it, you KNOW it. I have yet to get there.
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  8. #1383
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    Very Zen approach to the thoughts, RR, and I'll have to try it. As of now, when I start thinking negative thoughts, my power can drop dramatically. And of course when I realize that is happening, the thoughts get worse!
    I don't train with power but I'd see the HR and cadence drop when I let those thoughts dominate. This year I'd see a brief drop and when I got my thoughts right again I'd be right back on target.

    I hold that you can have negative and positive thoughts in your brain at the same time. The ones you choose to focus on determine your results. Really, cycling is 50% physical and 90% mental.

    Quote Originally Posted by sarals View Post
    I've known for a while that my head has probably more to do with my performance than my fitness does. I'm just beginning to understand how to put a positive spin on an upcoming event - be it a ride, be it a run, whatever. What I don't control, yet, is consistency, EXCEPT when I feel like I'm NOT going to do well! I never disappoint myself, then. Crappy outlook, isn't it? Well - I'm working on it..."Ummmmmmmm...Sara, you'll do well in the swim Sunday....your legs won't lock up when you come out of the water....ummmmmm". Or something like that! Seriously, I have confidence troubles, but I suppose that comes with experience - right? RR, you and Hermes are all over that, and Velo Diva is the queen of it. You not only believe you can do it, you KNOW it. I have yet to get there.
    We know it because we refuse to believe otherwise. There are those limiting thoughts that we all have -- and if you choose to accept them as your reality then they are. If you recognize that those thoughts are there but do not let them dominate you consciousness and your reality you'll have a huge area on which to perform. That can be intimidating, that unlimited place to perform, yet we all have it, we all want it, and how we respond when we allow ourselves to respond to it speaks to our character -- and that's as mutable as aluminum foil.
    When my feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh, *****, she's awake!"

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  9. #1384
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    I believe I left my Zen in the parking lot at Sunday's TT. Next time I'll make sure I have it when rolling over to the start line.

    I did however take a 2nd place finish in the Tuesday Training B Race last night. The races have been shortened to compensate for the lack of day light and it ended up being a very hard 68 minute race that was more like a crit. The pack of 25 starters was blown apart on the first lap and I raced with 8 or 9 riders at the front. Several times during the race 3 or 4 guys would get off the front and I made some very hard efforts to pull the group back up. There were a few young Tri guys in our pack who kept the pace high by attacking and holding the front while they hammered believing we would all get dropped. The organizer kept throwing out primes that also dictated the break attempts. I never really got it going on the sprint and could only follow the winner to the line, but we had a nice gap on the field since everyone knows that Tri guys provide nice long lead-outís. End of the day totals amounted to $22 for my "racing retirement party fund", some very hard 30 -45 second intervals with no chance for recovery and a 297 watt normalized power.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  10. #1385
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    I did a Tuesday night training race as well - a crit - and rode B. They split things into two groups a few weeks ago when the crowd got up around 100 riders. I planned to stay up front and react to everything I could, as I felt that would give me the lay of the land best, and give me the best tune up for Sat's USAC crit. So I did that, and definitely chased a couple of breaks that had no chance, once when a guy suckered some of us by saying something like "there they go; better get 'em" Then of course he held back, LOL. But it became clear he was setting up for the finish with a buddy, so I stayed close, and when he called for his buddy and punched it with a bit over 1 to go, I was the one on his wheel. We dropped his buddy and everyone else. But then he either blew up, packed it in, or was faking the whole thing, because he sat up as we went up the hill starting the last lap. I didn't react to that with enough oomph, and let a few riders swarm past. I finished 6 of 30 something, all by myself, with the 5 ahead well ahead, and nobody close to threatening from behind.

    No tri guy lead outs, AJ, but a couple of guys did do a ton of the pulling. I wasn't one of them! The one true pro in attendance rode both B's and A's, giving tips in the B race, but he was doing that back in the pack, so I didn't get the benefit of it. Dude is freaky fast, as he showed in the A race.

    Oh, and Sara and RR, one of the 5 that swarmed me was a woman, who did a masterful job of conserving energy for the finish. She then raced A's, so I'm considering her a ringer. :-)

    I love crit's. Nothing like having to sort out your competitors, determine tactics and race smart, all while maintaining a grueling pace and keeping the rubber side down.
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  11. #1386
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Interesting article related to physiology and how mental attitude can up your performance beyond your 'best':

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/he....html?_r=1&hpw
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  12. #1387
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Great race report AZT you are getting stronger and better at racing. It wasn't long ago when your reports detailed when you got dropped. When you can race and think strategy at the same time is when the fun begins and the pain is masked.

    My time at the front was limited to "post-prime" when I would follow up the sprinters then pull the group right through the guys who just did the hard effort. Iíll do that so they hold off on their sprints due to the attack threat enabling me to contest primes when I want. Two $ of my winnings was a result of that tactic.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  13. #1388
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    When you can race and think strategy at the same time is when the fun begins and the pain is masked.
    Then, when it ends, you can crawl away somewhere private and hack up the leftover pieces of your lungs.

    My time at the front was limited to "post-prime" when I would follow up the sprinters then pull the group right through the guys who just did the hard effort. Iíll do that so they hold off on their sprints due to the attack threat enabling me to contest primes when I want. Two $ of my winnings was a result of that tactic.
    The organizers must love you. They do primes to get people attacking, but you have them afraid to do anything but suck wheel.

    One of the many areas I need to work on is maintaining a closer draft through the turns. I'm stuck in Cat5 mode, where you know everyone is going to slow down, so you leave a little room for that to happen without having to brake. With the better riders, I find myself having to expend too much to stay attached coming out of the turn, because I'm allowing too much space in front of my wheel. So, rather than suffering from the accordion, I'm causing it to happen behind me.

    I'm also working to understand just how hard I can push - what sort of lean I can do - without clipping a pedal. Lots of people coast when they could pedal through, and I'd also like to actually practice clipping a pedal, so I can learn to recover from it. Haven't quite figured out how to do that while preserving my skin.

    I've done some checking, and it looks like there are some fast guys in the M50+ race Saturday. Pre-race plan is to stick with a Cat3 guy from one of the strong teams and see what he does. I'm starting to have a glimmer of a clue when it comes to evaluating people: knowing who will fade, who I think can't handle the surges/attacks. We all give off little hints of our tendencies, and what we can and can't do.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  14. #1389
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Great reads, guys! I can hear the wheels on the pavement...wow.

    RR, yes. However, when I let myself get into the negative cycle - either before a run or ride, or even during - it's really hard to break it. That's my inexperience showing. I have much to learn. Being an athlete is a much more complex endeavor than I ever thought it would be. It's truly a challenge, on all levels - and I so enjoy it! The more I dig, the more I uncover, and the more I see, the more there is to understand.
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  15. #1390
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    Interesting article related to physiology and how mental attitude can up your performance beyond your 'best':

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/he....html?_r=1&hpw
    I wonder if there have been any studies done on the impact of such "beyond your best" efforts on recovery? Does recovery occur in the normal time frame, or is it different?
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
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  16. #1391
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    I am a beginning racer but am a high level violinist. I am struck by the parallels between the disciplines. I am more convinced than ever that being a musician is just another athletic endeavor. So much is in the mind. Training on the bike is a sheer joy because there are so many obvious issues, but I am sure that as my technique gets more refined, it will become more abstract. This group is an incredible inspiration and I follow each of you with interest. I am learning so much. Thanks to all of you.

  17. #1392
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    AZT, when I do the A races there is hardly any braking into the turns and always a sprint OTS coming out then settle back to pace. The guys in the back have to really hit it to close the gap back up. In the B races the guys pedal closer to the turn then brake and coast through the turn and then ramp it back up, usually, in the saddle and the whole group stays together. Looking at my power data last night in our B race I produced 0 watts 8% of the time. In an A race a month ago I produced 0 watts 24% of the time.

    Next race when warming up try this. Go into the turn hot, don't touch the brake and look ahead to where you want the bike to finish the turn at, then when starting the turn push your weight down on the inside hand. The bike should feel like it is on a track and just goes there.

    I've had my share of pedal strikes and you don't want one if you can avoid it. If you are riding the turn hot you can get back on the power as soon as the bike comes back up. Most of my strikes are starting to pedal too soon while the bike is leaning. Hard strikes can cause you to crash and will also freak out the other guys in the pack causing them to not trust you.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  18. #1393
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Welcome Iprice1023! Please feel comfortable to post your race and training experiances.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  19. #1394
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips, AJ, and I've been working on just what you described, with the "not braking" being one of the keys. From when I first started riding, I realized I had a habit of braking a bit before any turn, whether I needed it or not. An ingrained "brake before the turn, then accelerate out of it" learned in cars and on motorcycles. I've gradually been kicking that habit, going from touching the lever without really braking to finally making myself just leave it the hell alone. I wasn't braking last night; just slowing a bit during the approach, and realizing I really hadn't needed to. Towards the end, I was finally smoothing it out.

    I was trying to stay in the saddle accelerating out of the turns, because my OTS position isn't that aero yet, and I was able to keep up without standing. The one time I should have stood up to crank it, and didn't, was the climb of the final lap. That's the one moment I wish I could do over. I felt so cooked, I just kind of lost it and had a mental and physical lapse. I got it back, but too late.

    I've also been working on the inside hand weight to get the bike tracking. I'm not always smooth, and generally am not looking far enough ahead, as I'm still overly concerned with that wheel just in front of me. It helps if I deliberately go deeper into the turn (when possible), as there is a real tendency to start the turn early, which forces you further outside after the apex. It sucks when someone cuts the corner early, can't hold it, and comes pushing into the line coming out of the turn. I don't want to be "that guy". It sure feels great when you nail a corner just right.

    Thanks again - so much to learn.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  20. #1395
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    165 pounds this AM. Rolling down I 5 to LA for track Natz I had some great workouts this week. I will be at HDC starting tomorrow for team pursuit practice. The elite Natz are broadcast on the Internet so you can watch the races live.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  21. #1396
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Hermes - Please let us know which events you and the Diva are in, and when they are... starts the 28th, right?
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  22. #1397
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lprice1023 View Post
    I am a beginning racer but am a high level violinist. I am struck by the parallels between the disciplines. I am more convinced than ever that being a musician is just another athletic endeavor. So much is in the mind. Training on the bike is a sheer joy because there are so many obvious issues, but I am sure that as my technique gets more refined, it will become more abstract. This group is an incredible inspiration and I follow each of you with interest. I am learning so much. Thanks to all of you.
    Thank you for those kind words, and welcome! That is quite a point you made, about the parallels. I'm just beginning to see how complex this is, myself. It's not all about "grunt", but there is good deal of finesse and mental preparation (practice, practice, practice) involved - like any high level discipline!
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  23. #1398
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    165 pounds this AM. Rolling down I 5 to LA for track Natz I had some great workouts this week. I will be at HDC starting tomorrow for team pursuit practice. The elite Natz are broadcast on the Internet so you can watch the races live.
    Where on the net, Hermes?
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  24. #1399
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    Thank you Sarals and and AJ for your warm words of welcome. I have been training with power for almost a year and riding regularly for an additional six months or so. I raced a bit in my early years but was never serious. However somehow the combination of modern training technology and the wonderful feeling I get from progressive fitness has triggered my enthusiasm for serious training and I am planing to begin working with a coach in the near future. Somehow racing is like performing music. It is the ultimate test of one's preparation and discipline as well as being the goal for which we work. My FTP for 20 minutes is still below 200 but not far. I appreciate that you are willing to embrace a real beginner to this very advanced group.

  25. #1400
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lprice1023 View Post
    Thank you Sarals and and AJ for your warm words of welcome. I have been training with power for almost a year and riding regularly for an additional six months or so. I raced a bit in my early years but was never serious. However somehow the combination of modern training technology and the wonderful feeling I get from progressive fitness has triggered my enthusiasm for serious training and I am planing to begin working with a coach in the near future. Somehow racing is like performing music. It is the ultimate test of one's preparation and discipline as well as being the goal for which we work. My FTP for 20 minutes is still below 200 but not far. I appreciate that you are willing to embrace a real beginner to this very advanced group.
    Sounds like you are taking a very reasoned approach and are off to a great start. What sort of racing have you been doing and are you planning?

    By the way, there are a number of current or ex musicians hanging around here. Some of us less accomplished than others: not so accomplished trombonist here.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

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