I believe I have provided myself adequate transition time between my 2010 season and the 2011 season. But a short recap might be appropriate if you are new to my blog. So let’s just cover from September until today.
September 25-26 Everest Challenge 2 Day USCF stage race. 29,000 feet of climbing
October 2-3 Furnace Creek 508 — 508 mile 35,000 feet of climbing
Rest (one 50 mile 5,000 feet gain ride)
October 30 Saturday Fall Death Valley Double Century– 200 miles 9,000 feet of gain- Unofficially placing 3rd time of 11:39
October 31 Sunday Dante’s View – 25 mile climb and 5,600 feet of gain.
I ended my season with about 1000 miles — 84,000 feet climbing of race intensity — quality effort.
I then took a rest day (Monday), a massage day (Tuesday) and started my 2011 training season on Wednesday November 3rd. The next three graphs are from Wednesday, Thursday and Friday training rides. My legs felt really stiff but as the week wore on I felt better and better.
The pace was harder than the usual Wednesday pace. I could hear everyone complaining that pace was too fast. I found that comforting because I thought I was the one struggling but so was everyone else. It is considered an endurance ride bookended by two harder rides on Tuesday and Thursday. I did my best to stay on and only got dropped on one hill. I was sitting second wheel behind the rider setting the faster than normal pace. I then maintained the same tempo when it was my turn to set the pace on Bake (an uphill section). I got dropped on Glenn Ranch. I recovered and closed the gap on the downhill towards the bike path. I rejoined the group as we climbed Santiago Canyon. I also helped two other riders stay in the pack when they were getting gapped. That always makes me feel stronger mentally. I forget about my pain and help them and I actually ride better. I was surprised that my legs reacted as well as they did considering I had done a 200 miler and a hard 25 mile climb just days prior.
THURSDAY COFFEE CREW
The Coffee Crew rides are designed to be faster more race pace. Being November I expected a slower mellower pace. However, it was still pretty fast. I was in the group just fine until we climbed Ridgeline. I was holding over 400 watts to stay on and got dropped on the false flat before the second pitch up. I rejoined the group struggled on Newport Coast (from Bonita Canyon) and got dropped there. My legs were still feeling heavy. I should be ok by next week and get dropped for the right reasons. In other words, WHEN I get dropped I’ll know it’s from “just not having what it takes” as opposed to sore and heavy legs.
The Friday ride is a mix of mellow, endurance, tempo and race simulation. It is very similar to the Saturday Food Park ride. It’s mellow through the Back Bay, Endurance on the surface streets, then Tempo through Tesla and Church Hill, Tempo through Laguna Canyon and then race simulation from Laguna (main beach) to Newport Coast for a sprint at Newport Coast and PCH. I felt fine and followed all the right wheels throughout the ride. I made only one “mistake”. On the final set-up for the sprint I was 5th wheel behind a bigger rider. My mistake was not 5th wheel but the rider I was behind. Just seconds before the sprint began he popped and that left a gap between me and third wheel. It is very hard to close that gap at 30 mph in such a short time to get in the rider’s draft, recover and go again when the sprint actually takes place. Now being an Ultra Cyclist I didn’t expect to fair well in the sprint but I wanted to give it my best. One thing I remember from my 2008 season (when I was doing Crits) — I have a very good sense for pace changes, what wheels to follow and where to line up in the train– but I don’t have the sprint power in my legs. It may be I just need to work on power production this off-season and I might perform better in sprints. We all know I have plenty of endurance base right? :p By the way, this is off-season for these guys during the season I wouldn’t be able to hang on AT ALL.
This weekend I am resting. Saturday and Sunday I am spending time with my son. Monday is almost always a rest day as well. I begin training again on Tuesday with a short spin and a massage. Then back at it on Wednesday.
I might try a USCF stage race this year. I feel I get better during consecutive days of training. Of racing consecutive days would be totally different but I’d like to try it. Every year I go through this phase where I don’t know what I will focus my racing on in the following season. So for now the big picture is doubles, climbing centuries and riding faster and faster centuries. I reserve the right to opt for one more 508 (no one has ever finished 6 consecutive SOLOS) I’m right at 69 kgs.
One goal this winter is to get to a steady weight of 68 kilos. I would like to start the season (Jan 200km) at just slightly under 68 kg. Let’s see how things develop this year.
All for now …please refer your cycling friends to my blog.
Thank you for reading my blog!
Hey Eric, are you going to do a full report on Furnace Creek like in previous years
Sorry George, had a brain fart moment, the “Epic” threw me.
Only excuse, did 200k’s yesterday on the bike, then played touch football so was a bit jaded