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My attempt at cyclocross , and the journey to the next race

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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

My attempt at cyclocross , and the journey to the next race

Old 10-05-15, 04:53 AM
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My attempt at cyclocross , and the journey to the next race

I decided to have my try at cross racing this weekend, and it ended miserably. It rained for a good two days here so the track was nice and muddy. After two practice laps I was winded and got called up to the start line with no time to rest. Quickly ended in the back of the pack (to be fair, I was placed in the last starting row due to registration number) and got dropped by the second hill. Luckily I didn't actually fall during the race but did have a tumble during practice.

All in all I did had to run up three hills, one steep run-up with the bike hoisted onto my shoulder, and two barriers. After the barriers I couldn't even pedal. Jumped into the pits and tapped out, with another 20 minutes left in the race (race was 35 minutes long). I was the only Clyde there from what it seemed like and felt like a looser but kept reminding myself that I knew something like this is posible.

I've rode street events no problem, and can bust out a metric century with ease, but this really put me in my place as to where I stand on a physical fitness level. Just to note, I never threw up while riding, but yesterday is the closest I've ever been.

So I've decided to make this thread cause I need the support of people that understand what it's like to be a Clyde/Athena. I've fallen off the wagon after dropping down to 280 last winter. I'm sitting pretty at 303 right now. There is another race on November 1st, and perfectly so it's at a brewery in Pennsylvania. I'll be placing progress here throughout the month. The goal is to drop ten lbs and to be able to complete a race in the men's cat5 class. I will also post the gopro video of the race from yesterday once I get a chance to edit it

https://youtu.be/Udn6XquA3ns

Last edited by Lunchbox1987; 10-10-15 at 10:19 AM. Reason: Added video
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Old 10-05-15, 05:01 AM
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Congrats on your first race...sounds like a cool experience even if you didn't get the result you wanted. Look at this way - you've now done one more cyclocross race than most others on this forum.
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Old 10-05-15, 05:22 AM
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Great job! You have to start somewhere and the back of the pack is still in the pack.

My my heaviest was only around 225 on average but at the time I felt massive. I heard about juicing and a plant based diet, bought a $100 juicer and dropped 40lbs inside of two months. I didn't fast, I just drank lots of green juice and beet juice (way better than it sounds) and tried to eat clean. Never felt better. Didn't starve. Changed my whole outlook for the better.

i reckon you didn't post looking for dietary advice but I thought I'd share my experience anyway. I never would have thought that something so simple could have such dramatic results. I've maintained that loss for 4 years now, hovering at about 183. My love for a good ale or three is making it hard to lose that extra 15 or so.

Anyway, best of luck to you. Better to come in last than not even try!
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Old 10-05-15, 11:58 AM
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Congratulations. I race cyclocross too. Great race report and looking forward to some pictures or video.

Keep practicing and racing. The fun is just beginning and endless.


Regards.
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Old 10-05-15, 01:04 PM
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From late summer until the end of CX season I live for CX. Welcome to the sport! I've had races where I finished last. Hey it happens. CX is fun, go as hard as you can, you really are just racing yourself most of the time unless you are top 3 in the field. If it helps think of it this way; I was lapped yesterday by the leader when he had a lead of about 30 seconds. Most of the race he was all alone on the course, when he was not he was dealing with lap traffic. The difference between him and I other than weight and age is he is a whole lot faster. Train for it. Pace yourself but be exhausted at the end. If you fall down, and you will, likely you will be able to get back up and finish the race. IMHO it take real courage to pin on a number and line up. Kudos for doing it!
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Old 10-05-15, 02:15 PM
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Good stuff Lunchbox1987!!!

I love MTBing and the Road and have always had an itch to give Cyclocross a try! It is awesome you had the guts (ha ha ha Clyde joke) to do it!

Did you do the Copper River event in south jersey?
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Old 10-05-15, 05:27 PM
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Way to go, Lunchbox! It takes some balls to dive into something like that, and it will only get better on subsequent races. I'd love to see the video when it's ready.
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Old 10-05-15, 09:00 PM
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you win. Congrats on pinning a number and finding a new limit to break through--
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Old 10-05-15, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by BigDB67
Good stuff Lunchbox1987!!!


Did you do the Copper River event in south jersey?
No, I did the caffeinated cross in Mullica Hill. First time out ever

Originally Posted by Supermau
i reckon you didn't post looking for dietary advice but I thought I'd share my experience anyway. I never would have thought that something so simple could have such dramatic results. I've maintained that loss for 4 years now, hovering at about 183. My love for a good ale or three is making it hard to lose that extra 15 or so
Any advice is good advice. I've changed my dietary plan these past few weeks to simple small meal plans but maybe Ill give that a try for a month and see how it works out

As for everyone else, thank you for the support. Im actually surprised how much support those guys over on the mtb sites gave me, considering the other half (roadies) usually give me crap(never hear the end of it when I show up with my "massive" 35c tires). I'm trying to plan out some sadel time throughout the month along with my gym routine, which now I'm thinking about leaving the treadmill, elliptical, and free weights behind and just jumping onto the spin cycles and pedaling as hard as I can for 45 minutes. Video will eventually come, but here is a picture I clearly screen shot off the photographers website

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Old 10-06-15, 10:03 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVjOH7WeEKk -- most impressive indeed. Those stairs be nastay!
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Old 10-06-15, 05:07 PM
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Love these action shots. Every cross racers knows the next best thing to racing cross is surfing the internet couple days later for epic race pics.
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Old 10-07-15, 04:50 AM
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[MENTION=26641]superdex[/MENTION] yeah those stairs sucked. They were steps cut into the side of the hill. The ones at the bottom weren't so bad but I know towards the top I felt myself sinking into them.

Here is another rolling action shot I took of myself commuting yesterday. For those waiting for the video just sit tight. Working a full time job, being an adjunct at night, and being a student kinda kills all hopes of having free time.

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Old 10-07-15, 05:38 AM
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Lunchbox1987, where in PA is the November 1, race. I would love to come see one.
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Old 10-07-15, 07:26 AM
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Damnit, accidentally deleted the last post trying to edit

[MENTION=419139]NYSteve[/MENTION] the on in pa is in Adamstown at the brewery. I'm not going there, instead I'll be at bubble cross in west milford, nj that day.

I wanted to say if you come, bring a cow bell
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Old 10-10-15, 10:20 AM
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Link for the video added. I'm at work so let me know if it works. Sped it up 2x to help shorten it
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Old 10-10-15, 10:42 AM
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Great job riding in that race. Something I've wanted to do but don't have the guts.
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Old 10-11-15, 08:09 AM
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Nice video. Looked like a super fun course with a mix of surfaces to race on. You staged well at the start line, got off to a great start, and hung on to the main group for quite a while. Great job for a first race. It looked exactly like my first CX race by the way.

So .... what are you doing skill-wise to prep for your next race? Working on cornering, or barriers, or shouldering the bike for run ups, or how to find the best race line with traction, or ???? Plenty of videos out there to watch and then go out to a local park with nice soft grass to practice.

I'm headed off in a few minutes to this weekends CX race. At 205 lbs and >50 y.o. I am solidly in the C group (equivalent to Cat 5). Today's course has a brutal run up. Only the young local pro was able to ride up it last year. Was pretty amazing. The rest of us weekend warriers scrambled up with bike on shoulders.

ALMOST FORGOT ... the most fun skill for a CX racer to master is the art of taking a handup! It's a lot harder than it looks and you never know what you'll get. Water, beer, Fireball, or other treats https://vimeo.com/108745916

Last edited by 1242Vintage; 10-11-15 at 05:20 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-12-15, 05:00 AM
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[MENTION=180326]1242Vintage[/MENTION] I haven't done much cycling specific yet. I've changed my gym routine to cardiovascular -3x a week, treadmill twice with 1.5 upgrade for 30 minutes, cycle once a week steep rollers at level 15 (I have no idea what that is, just going off the machine) for 30 minutes. Then resistance training with legs-back concentration one day and then core-arm concentration the next, each for about 35 minutes.

As far as cycling specific, I need to work on my mount/dismount. This next race I plan on riding out until the end, barfing or not. Maybe I'll get to experience a hand up this next race. But so far the best thing I've heard about cx is that you don't train to win, but you train to not suck as much the next race.

Also weight update, 299lbs as of this morning
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Old 10-12-15, 12:35 PM
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Just bought a cross bike. Let me know if you want to meet up somewhere to do some cross training! I am in South Jersey, going to try to make Marty Cross!
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Old 10-12-15, 12:38 PM
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Way to go. Friends keep trying to talk me in to racing with them. I think their motives are selfish as they want a older fat guy to throw in so they don't place last any more.

Good for you. Keep it up and before long you will be on the podium
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Old 10-12-15, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by BigDB67
Just bought a cross bike. Let me know if you want to meet up somewhere to do some cross training! I am in South Jersey, going to try to make Marty Cross!
What did you end up getting? I was under the impression you were going to use the mtb you had. I don't nowant about marty cross but I know you can't go to bubble. I'll check the schedule when I get home tonight and hit you up. Are you far from 6 mile run?
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Old 10-13-15, 03:07 AM
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Congrats on your race! Believe me - CX racing and training will get you in-shape - FAST. I dropped over 35lbs from August to November just training and doing weekend races. Like you - I was probably the only clyde in some races. The trick with CX racing is doing high-intensity intervals 2 - 3 times per week. A great one is going from a dead stop and blasting as hard as you can for 30 seconds (simulating the start of a race) and then holding a hard pace for 10 minutes. do three sets. It works better on a trainer. Also - 2 minute HARD off-road sprints (6 sets) - as well as some distance riding once per week. You should do these now for 2 - 3 weeks leading up to your race - then take off a few days prior. During the race - just pace yourself - the biggest issue with the races is burning all your matches on the first lap. Go slow and pick off a few guys here and there. Remember, you are not in it for a podium spot but to have fun and get in shape. the high intensity work will melt the lbs away. good luck!!
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Old 10-13-15, 07:13 AM
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[MENTION=155627]ambro[/MENTION] I'll have to give it a shot but the only thing is its hard to find time to actually get on the saddle and ride. Im doing the gym spin cycles and trying to keep my heart rate above 155 for as long as I can. For the cardio I try to hold out my heart rate as long as possible, keeping a steady 155-165 for about 15-20 minutes. Ill try to match your recommendations as best as I can. On a side note, loving this colder weather. Makes my one day a week bike commute so much better.
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Old 10-26-15, 08:28 AM
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You still on for your November 1 race? Am hoping the answer is yes.
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Old 10-27-15, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by 1242Vintage
You still on for your November 1 race? Am hoping the answer is yes.
Yes, if everything goes as planned I will be at the November 1st race
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