Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summerset Shootout Report

The Iowa MTB race series has 11 races and I've already missed three. I'll be missing another while we are on vacation in Montana, so that means that I need to hit the remaining seven to have any chance at retaining my Masters title. I'll need all the points that I can get. So, even though I haven't trained for racing yet, I knew that I needed to race at Summerset this past Sunday. All I was looking for was points, a good workout would be a bonus. I had hopes of having a good race, but wasn't planning on much.

Nine of us lined up and if I was trained, it would be hard to get 5th at best with this group. No problem, I lined up at the back and figured I'd give it my best. I felt tired from all of the trail work that I did to prep this course, but I also had semi-fresh riding legs. What would happen?

As the race started, I followed the group into the single-track and had no problem holding onto the back. The speed started lifting and knowing that it was over 85 degrees, I thought I should let them go. I could still see 8th place towards the end of the lap, so I figured that I would be giving up 1 minute on the first lap. We had seven laps to ride, so maybe some of these guys would blow up.

Lap 2 had my stomach churning a little bit, so I had to back off a little. Laps 3 and 4 were a little better. Each time that I came through the finish line, my split times were within 60 seconds of each other and my heart rate was steady between 162-165avg. I was actually riding pretty good, I just didn't have any high end power (normal race pace would have the heart rate averaging closer to 175 a lap).
During these first 5 laps, I had a few of the fast Cat2 riders and singlespeeders come around me and I would use them to pace me for awhile. At the end of lap 5, I could see another Rassy's rider in front of me and figured it was 8th place. I picked up the pace to try and chase him down and 1/3 of the way through the lap, I caught him. I was surprised to see that it was Rick. I tailed him for a bit and discovered that he had blown-up. Probably went too hard and with the heat, it had beat him down. He was toughing it out for points and after a few minutes, he let me by. I pushed it hard to see if anyone else was catch-able. In the end, I couldn't find the next guy, I had let them get too far out in front.

In the end, I placed 7th, as one person had a mechanical. I think this was 4th place in the 35+ category, so it should be worth some good points. Looking back, I'm happy with how the race went. My lap times and heart rates were consistent. I think that I ended up closer in time to a few guys that I marked (compared to last year). I need to work on the upper end heart rates and get some endurance rides in. On the positive, I think that the fact that I'm 4lbs lower than last years, end of season, race weight helped. I also rode the new wheelset and tires and they definitely spun faster. I'm glad that it appears that I haven't lost too much fitness, with proper training, it might be as if I hadn't missed a beat.

Stole the photos from Nick, thanks!

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