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Old 03-11-14, 11:35 PM   #576
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Worrying about climbing well unless you're a really good climber to begin with is like buying a 364 color crayon box when you're colorblind. You work on things to compliment your best trait, then minimize your weaknesses so they can't be used easily against you, then focus on races that suit you best and do the other ones for training or fun.

You've made great strides in a very short time; the folks that have been at this for too long to count will tell you that it's years before you sort of figure things out, and before they can often point to a big margin of improvement. Increments build on increments.
I know I'm never, ever, going to be a climber. Fixing my climbing is a matter, I think, of improving it enough, along with some clever tactics, to get up a roller set or short climb and not loose a lot of ground or get dropped. In my perfect world, all road races would be like El Dorado Park, and be no longer than 20 miles.

And I had help - you! Without it, I would have gone nowhere but backwards.
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Old 03-12-14, 01:21 AM   #577
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That's why he's my coach!
didn't know that. you're in excellent hands!
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Old 03-12-14, 08:37 AM   #578
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didn't know that. you're in excellent hands!
Teton, thank you! I know that, and I am proud to say so.
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Old 03-12-14, 11:10 AM   #579
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<snip>You work on things to compliment your best trait, then minimize your weaknesses so they can't be used easily against you<snip>
Reading this made me correlate it to business, where you are constantly evaluating how/where to invest limited resources. While it is sometimes necessary to invest to improve a weak area, resources are generally better spent where you are alreading being successful.
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Old 03-12-14, 12:52 PM   #580
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Reading this made me correlate it to business, where you are constantly evaluating how/where to invest limited resources. While it is sometimes necessary to invest to improve a weak area, resources are generally better spent where you are alreading being successful.
Good point, AzT.
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Old 03-20-14, 11:19 PM   #581
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I've finished beating myself up over being stupid the last couple of weeks. Two days of enjoyment on the bike went a long way towards putting a stop to that. It's amazing that it's taken me this long to learn the obvious - age matters.
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Old 03-23-14, 02:13 PM   #582
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A long, amazing ride with some very strong women yesterday. We had a two time Nationals champ, who I rode against last year in the Menlo Park crit, and we had a ten time National champ visiting from the east coast (both of whom are older than I am), a coach and NCNCA Women's Committee long time member, my team mate, a group of ladies from the club side of C&W, and a group of ladies from a now-defunct team. We rode from San Rafael, in the North Bay, over to Point Reyes and back - 62 miles - with around 4000 feet of climbing. Pretty darned good pace - 15MPH for the whole route, so the horsepower was not spared! The coach lady got on the front when we turned onto Highway One at Marshall/Tomales Bay and put the hammer down. The ten time champ was second wheel, the two time champ was third wheel, and those three gals put on a demonstration of grace, power, and efficiency. I was there until we got to a "bump" about eight miles into that stretch, and I allowed a gap to form. Oh, well, it wasn't a race, and we regrouped at the famous Bovine Bakery where we ate stuff bad for us, drank coffee, and just laughed! We then did the remainder twenty miles back to San Rafael. I was feeling it by then, and allowed myself to drift back on the last climb. On the descent, though, holy hell, I threaded my way through and caught the wheel of the two time champ. We then reformed the peloton and rode into San Rafael.

After the ride, I spoke with both of the gals who were my age peers. That talk was enlightening and encouraging. I took away from it the need to be patient, because it's a slow process, and do NOT give up. The really cool thing was the similarities between those of us on the ride who race. There is something just a little different about us, and we share it. The other ladies certainly have the physical chops, the ability, but they don't feel a need to test themselves in a competition the way we "crazy lady racers" do.

All in all, the ride was so cathartic. I have allowed myself to get swept up and away by racing this season, creating false hopes and expectations, and then crashing emotionally when they don't pan out. I drifted my mindset away from what my coach expected of me. I know that, and now I understand it. I also know that I am a "sophomore racer", and this is probably the hardest season I'll experience. I'll get though it, thank you very much.
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Old 03-23-14, 07:17 PM   #583
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You didn't drift away from your coach's expectations. You changed yours. You moved away from your coaches considered opinion on what was possible and the best way to achieve those goals to try to meet your new expectations.


Your coach has no expectations, he has a goal to reach for you, and a process to get there for you. In the end you drive the car and set the destination. Tell me you want to go to New York on Thursday and I do my best to get you there and take pleasure in seeing you arrive in one piece and enjoying the trip.


Tell me you want to drive from New York to Paris and I'll try to waterproof the car and figure out a way to get you gas but I'm also going to tell you you'll probably sink.
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Old 03-23-14, 07:21 PM   #584
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You did say something about sinking! I hate water, too.
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Old 03-23-14, 07:28 PM   #585
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Better said is "I drifted my game plan away from what my coach and I had agreed on." Which is correct. You also tried to keep me pointed in the right direction, pointing out the hazards of going in a direction where failure was going to be often. You did say you'd change the plan to help me in that drive to Paris, though. I'm glad I agreed that the idea was not the path to any sort of success.
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Old 04-24-14, 09:33 AM   #586
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Great Thread.....
Lots of good people here....
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Old 04-24-14, 09:40 AM   #587
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Great Thread.....
Lots of good people here....
Yes, there are! Thank you!
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Old 04-28-14, 01:29 PM   #588
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Time trials. Race of truth. Yesterday was the Tempus Fugit Spring ITT. It's part of the Red Kite Series, with is multi-disciplinary. The RD for these races is a great guy, understands the sport, and is very approachable. Anyway, yesterday's race. I could not attend, I was working. I wish I could have, because many of my friends in racing and some ladies I admire greatly were there. MEA, as you know, attended, and she was absolutely marvelous. She won two separate races, and she was consistent, had close to the same time in both. In the Cat 4 race, a girlfriend of mine came in second to her, but not that close, more than 30 seconds. And Trish is a heckuva rider, a great time trialer and great climber. There was only one other woman in the M 60+ with MEA, and I was interested to see that her time was close to what I did last August over the same course. If I'd been there, I would have podiumed, and who knows, maybe second to MEA? However, at my current level of expertise, I would have been within MINUTES of MEA, not seconds.

Climbing and Time Trialing, as Ex has told me (and as I have learned) are much the same thing. I am determined to get better at both, and the cool part is that if I improve one, the other should improve.

I'm working, working to get better at this. I'm in the building phase of training right now, the first of my A races are just two weeks away. My head is full of ideas, things I've learned, but am not proficient at. I don't really know how to pace for a time trial or a climb. I hit the bottom of the first climb too hard, as well as positioning myself poorly in the pack. I go out too hard on the first leg of a time trial. I am aware of these two factors, and if I can keep them in front of me, I'll act on them. Maybe not entirely correctly, but I'll get better. I am not good at reading RPE, but I'm getting better. I rely too much on the "instrumentation" rather than listening to my body.

So, what is the good stuff, the improvements? My breathing, up until recently, has been woefully inefficient. I've learned, and am in the process of reinforcing, how to breathe. My cadence, up until earlier this year, was a stomping, torque dependent, energy and leg wasting 72 RPM - it's now over 85 RPM. I used to surge terribly, and I still do to a degree, but I'm smoother than I was in January.

I'm coming to the conclusion that because I have so much to learn, collate, improve and repair, that this season is really one of learning. Success will be measured in how much I do learn and how much I do improve.

Time trials and climbing, my worst subjects, expose my weaknesses. This season is one of "repair and education". I will improve and fix these two Achilles Heels, and next year will be better.
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Old 04-30-14, 07:50 AM   #589
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I did better in the intervals yesterday than I expected to. My heart rate was above LTHR for the duration of each, which was a test for me. I've been thinking a lot about dwelling in the pain cave recently, as in my reluctance to do it. I have come to believe I pull the plug too early on some of my harder efforts. Even though I was tired yesterday, I made up my mind to "go there and stay there" and when my legs really gave up, then I'd know the truth. They never did. Good stuff.
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Old 04-30-14, 08:35 AM   #590
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well done sara. living in the pain cave is on my list of things i have to work on, too.
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Old 04-30-14, 01:01 PM   #591
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well done sara. living in the pain cave is on my list of things i have to work on, too.
Thank you, Valygrl!

From what I read from you, you already do a fabulous job with willingness to suffer. I guess there is always more, isn't there?
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Old 05-06-14, 09:13 AM   #592
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sara, are you racing the dash for cash on the 31st?
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Old 05-06-14, 12:24 PM   #593
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sara, are you racing the dash for cash on the 31st?
No...I don't know about it....I'll look into it. Are you racing it?
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Old 05-06-14, 03:33 PM   #594
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I'm going to be out there... slightly considering it.
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Old 05-06-14, 05:16 PM   #595
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Bring home some cash, ladies.
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Old 05-06-14, 10:27 PM   #596
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I'm going to be out there... slightly considering it.
Cool!!

Shovel, that's what a boyfriend is for.
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Old 05-06-14, 10:35 PM   #597
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Valygrl, this one? In Dublin? Right in the heart of C&W country? Looks tempting! I have a recording gig scheduled that night, but the performer is apt to back out. If he does, that race is darned tempting!
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Old 05-06-14, 11:00 PM   #598
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Valygrl, this one? In Dublin? Right in the heart of C&W country? Looks tempting! I have a recording gig scheduled that night, but the performer is apt to back out. If he does, that race is darned tempting!
Yes, that one. I have to wait and see what happens the next few weeks <edit to remove jinx> you NorCal ladies really don't get much in the way of category selection.

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Cool!!

Shovel, that's what a boyfriend is for.
I don't think my husband would like that very much.
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Old 05-07-14, 09:24 AM   #599
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My ex spouse/speece could care less!

You're right, we don't have a lot to choose from when it comes to categories. I'd have to race the E4, but it's early enough in the day that I could do that and get home in plenty of time for that night's gig (two hour drive to Dublin, each way).

I'll wait to hear what you're going to do. Hope to see you!
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Old 05-07-14, 01:13 PM   #600
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Cash would be good especially if you are using a certain stem...
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