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Blue Hills classic race report

Old 05-05-08, 09:23 AM
unaangalia nini?
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Location: Arlington MA
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Bikes: Jamis Quest (Ultegra components,Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels and Reynods Ouzo Pro Fork), Gary Fisher Tassajara

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Blue Hills classic race report

Cliff Notes (brief, almost as brief as my actual race)

I hang with the pack easily until the first hill (6 miles in) then got dropped like a bad habit. Tried chasing but then gave up and DNF when I realized it was pointless

Long version

It was cold and rainy, and threatening thunderstorms. I got there with enough time to get my number, put my bike on the trainer and do a 15-20 minute warm up. I was racing in the CAT 5's which had a field limit of either 50 or 75 but it appeared that due to the weather quite a few people did not show up. I would estimate we were at most 30-40 people.

The race starts and I move to the middle to the back of the pack. I have no real problem keeping up and take the corners easily (though its possible that due to the rain people were being extra careful). At one point the cyclist next to me almost got taken out by someone moving laterally to avoid a pothole (but he essentially did a mini front wheel hop to avoid his front wheel getting swiped by the other cyclists rear wheel). At the second turn there is a really bad section of road and almost everyone goes left. I go right because I'd ridden the course the day before and I knew there was a 1 foot ribbon of relatively smooth pavement on the right. I end up moving a few spots forward because I'm feeling more comfortable (though I am working harder than the people around me as far as I can tell). Third turn and slight descent and I'm still in the pack. We then hit the long gradual hill and I slowly and inexorably get tailed off the back. I go into my red-zone and just cannot latch onto the back of the pack. I make it to the top of the hill probably 20 - 40 meters (to add insult to injury, I dropped my bottle when in the red zone and had to stop, dismount, ran back and grab it but this is irrelevant, I had been dropped decisively). I make it to the top and start chasing. At the next corner, when I cannot see the group (meaning that they must be at least 50 meters ahead of me, I throw in the towel and head to the car. At that point I was already knackered. I change into dry clothes and then watch the race (and the sky's open up, luckily I have a beach umbrella in my car that I use).

So lessons learned

1: I am still not in shape. Even in the group I was realizing that it seemed every one else was working slightly easier than I was. I also had problems when after a turn the group surged and I had to chase for a couple of seconds to catch on to the back and then worked my way forward.

2. Weight, weight, weight. Dragging my 179lb up hills is hard. I weighed 162 lbs last year and hills seemed much easier.

So I guess I am on step 3 of PCad's hierarchy of pain and suffering (the one that says "show up, get dropped/shelled, show up"). I can also look at the bright side and say unlike my first race, in this one I hang with the group for a while rather than getting dropped right at the beginning.

So, I may do another race in about 5 weeks, in the meantime I see intervals, hill-repeats and wise eating in my future. I know my body and I know I can safely drop about 7 - 10 lbs before then.
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