After being on the program for almost a year and having a little bit of race experience now, I know what to do in the days before a race that works for me. So today were short intensity efforts and a total ride of just over an hour. Tomorrow will be a check ride with only a couple of 15 second sprints in the morning and then try to avoid honey do's for the rest of the day.
Lawn mower intervals, followed by mole whacking. Little critters have invaded.
As Maxwell Smart used to say: "missed it by that much". A brief texting conversation with Bill had us linking up for a ride in the park. My prediction was rain by 6:00 so we better get going. So at 4:15 we headed out. A bet involving beverages was made as to whether we would get wet just to keep it interesting. Easy spin to loosen tired sore legs and some conversation about all things. A couple of drops but no rain. At 5:30 we are sitting at the traffic light at Lafayette and Blue Gray when a lady says,"you better git inside quickly, there's a tornado warning". I replied "on our way". We pedaled through the light and were about halfway up the rise to the cemetary when the skies opened. A quick "talk to you later" and Bill split off for home and I sprinted for the barn. Completely soaked and in debt one adult beverage I arrived home. Next time we start at 4:00!
Back in the saddle, back in the park, back to work. Yep, on the TT bike working the tired legs, trying to coax a couple more big efforts out of them. To keep things different I went to shorter efforts: 5min at tempo followed by 5 min at LT followed by 5 min at tempo then 5 min rest, then repeat. I certainly felt the effort during and after the work. A couple of goal races looming so let's see if I can maintain form for three more weeks..
Another sweltering hot and windy PLT TT. Although my time was not what I would have liked, the effort was more along the lines of my expectations. It was good enough for second in the 50's and third in the 40-50's, but still significantly slower than my goal. One last chance to finally have that break through day next week. Congrats to Bill, who has become a time trialer, with a little coaching from his friends. Now if he would only HTFU.
Lawn intervals today. Pushed the beast for an hour and a half. Today is TT bike prep and spin.
KOM in the park with Jack and Bill and a quick shout to Greg. The legs felt like wood but I could not let Jack and Bill have all of the fun. The ultra high end stuff is harder for me and it takes a bit longer to recover. Still it does allow for sneak attacks from way off the back!
Easy E spin on TT bike around town. Stopped in to see Dre' and my disc wheel hub is dead. It will have to go back to Saris. But not until after August 2nd and the last TT of the summer. Until then I will try to install a back up computer so that I will have at least time speed and cadence to work with. KOM Wednesday
I fully intended to ignore the bikes and crawl into a hole of self pity, but, after watching old man Tom Watson choke away the British Open and a young Pistolaire ride away from Lance on the Verbier, Bill convinced me to go for a fun ride through south Stafford County. I expected an E ride but what we had was tempo to high tempo up and over rollers through some beautiful countryside. I felt strong. An unexpected feeling after such disappointment the day before. Upon the return home I registered for the next two TT's and am making plans for the age graded crit on my birthday. Ain't nothin' but a number.
July 18 TNP TT
After 24 hours the bile from this race still tastes sour in my mouth. But first let me say I would not have even been in the TT if Dre' had not worked his usual magic the Friday evening before. Doing a check ride Friday, I found my disc wheel not shifting and again not sending any info to the cpu. Dre' was able to replace a cable to resolve the shifting, but the hub was dead. Another old school TT with nothing to tell me how I was going. I had hoped to better my time from last year since I had stopped and turned around but still managed second. But instead I added over a minute and fell into fourth place. I can't begin to say how utterly disappointed I am in my performance. The bright spots are that Bill, Jordan and Greg all rode very well and BikeWorks Racing is recognized and respected by the other teams. Deep cleansing breath and on to the PLT.
3x5 sprint intervals, followed by 1.5 hrs behind the push mower = tired. I actually enjoy the sprint intervals for some reason. It probably means I am not working hard enough, but frak it. I am going to take it easy for the next couple of days in preparation for the Saturday TT. Let's hope for dry roads.
No time to race, so it was into the Park for 2x10 tempo and 2x15 LT on the TT bike. The second LT I lost focus due to traffic of all kinds. Walkers, runners other bikes and cars were all over the place making it hard to keep at LT. I also did an experiment, I blasted up one of the rollers to see what an over LT effort would do to the remainder of the ride. As I experienced with Bill in the Hammerfest, it had a very negative effect on my ability to stay at higher numbers later into the interval. Lesson learned, for my style, I need to keep the efforts within a range so that the entire ride will be at a higher more consistent power level.
"Could of done one of two things, flip or fly, did neither one, hung him up." After watching Jeff get taken down in the midst of a full on sprint, it was a little disturbing to toe the line for the start. (More on Jeff later.) But I did and off we went. Outnumbered by four different teams I could employ one of two strategies. 1, chase anything that had the main teams, or 2, let the teams chase and hope it came down to a bunch sprint. This time, and because it was not a VA BAR race, I went with the chase and attack mode. I managed to get into three ill fated breaks and chased down another four or five. Following the last break, I was coming back into the pack when I experienced something for the first time. I was actively blocked from reintegrating with the pack. This resulted in being shuffled towards the rear and being only about five riders from the tail. That is, of course, when Clif Bar, Clean Currents, Latitude and Artemis punched the burners. The two guys in front of me let a gap open so I was trying to jump back around. That's where the headwind combined with the last pitch of the hill left me twenty yards off the back with 5 out of the 13 laps to go. I was not going to let go so I went into full TT mode. I held the gap at first and even made up some ground downwind, but each headwind section saw the gap spread ever so slightly. I could not make it back to the pack. As I chased, however, I watched as a number of riders got spit off the back and pulled off the course instead of continuing the fight. The big teams used there numbers to rip the legs off the group and have their sprinters in the final, using their riders like booster rockets. I kept at my work and trailed the pack in knowing that I had in impact on the race at least briefly. For what it's worth, a couple of guys did come up to me afterwards and say good job. The good news is I feel some form growing for the next several weeks. Now as to Jeff/Ironman. He is one tough hombre. The first question he asked when I got to him was, "how are my wheels?" Last report was that he has several broken ribs and is pretty bruised, but an amazingly low amount of road rash for a crash at that speed. The right drop on his handlebar was completely broken off. My last contact was that they were going to do another x-ray of his spine to make sure that his back pain was not something broken. Keep him in your thoughts.
Easy spin with a few sprints thrown in to open the legs before race day. Then up on the roof to oversee a fix to a leaking window. Jack probably thought I was nuts being up there in my kit. It will be interesting riding against riders I have not seen before and a couple known by reputation.
2x20 high tempo low LT intervals in the back side of the Park. During these intervals I experimented with cadences going up and over the rollers in anticipation of the TNP TT. I know what worked in the past and this practice confirmed for me the method I will use for the TT. Off topic, my daughter is in today's local paper balancing a lacrosse stick on her nose. Think I can balance a bike?
An EASY spin on the TT bike became very difficult when an over fed woman on a hybrid passed me and giggled as she did so. My pavlovian reaction was to hit the burners. Instead I just nudged up the speed to come along side and say "Beautiful day for some sightseeing!". The sweaty, red faced woman could not respond, so I said, "Even a better day for exercise, enjoy." At which point I braked and turned around to leave her alone in her suffereing. Another victory was to get the anti- social guy who rides every day to wave back at me. It took three waves and a "hey" with a smile, but he finaly responded on the last crossing. Cheers to all.
On the TT bike for some tempo work. At first thought I was still fatigued from Sunday, but the rust fell off and I was able to "git er done" and felt even better by the end. My ribs remain sore but the shoulder/back condition seems to be clearing. Back on the TT bike today for some easy spinning.
Witness the firepower of this fully operational BikeWorks Racing Team. After years of two or three guys being fit and ready to ride today was near the culmination of hard work and fun packaged together. All ten of Fredericksburg BWR powered up and riding strong. Team tactics and the "let's see if I can rip your legs off" efforts were just the cure for training burnout. Thanks to all for a good time. Now if I can just get Jose' unglued from my rear wheel so I can clean and drain my bike.
Easy fun ride with Bill, Ben and Scott. Good to "Discover" Jose on the road as well. Not sure if ribs and back/shoulder will hold up to the BWR assault coming up.
The legs are getting better, but the time frame for pain still is hovering around 1 hour. Although I pushed much heavier gears and did more climbing. Looking forward to riding with people this weekend.