Monday, June 07, 2004

Washington State Omnium Stage Race Championships

Whew, that title is a mouthful. I'll get right to the highlights.

Stage 1 - Individual Time Trial

The course was a 9 mile out and and back layout along a relatively flat road with some rolling hills. I decided to use the time trial as a chance to test my lactate threshold. This number is a great tool for structuring your training and I hadn't tested it in a long time. I simply took my average heart rate over the time trial, which turned out to be 172.

Unfortunately, I didn't place very well. 26 out of 30 if memory serves. Not sure what happened. This time trial was 3 miles longer than the one at Enumclaw. Maybe my conditioning isn't good enough.

Stage 2 - Criterium

Later in the day was a 30 minute criterium on the streets of downtown Wenatchee. The course was a 1 kilometer square with a small climb.

The small climb, not surprisingly, killed me. This crit went much worse than any other one I've raced. Not long after the start my mouth went dry and my legs were exhausted. I think the time trial took too much out of me and I probably didn't drink enough during the day. I figured I would fall off the pace, but not as quickly as I did. I definitely did not prepare correctly for this event.

Stage 3 - Road Race

Coming in to Sunday I was pretty disappointed. I was really hoping to have done better, but as usual I applied the whole "I'm new to this" rationale and felt better.

I knew the road race was going to be very hilly, so I decided to forget about trying to stay with the group and just ride my own race. I've been working on my pedaling and climbing form. Combined with my lactate threshold number from the day before I decided I would work within my physical limits and try to keep good form throughout the climbs. This meant resisting standing and hammering on the pedals when the pack did and not following along with every acceleration.

As the race got underway you could tell everyone knew what was ahead. The pace was quite light and nobody was really racing. To our left sat the mountains and everyone knew that once we turned left the field would slowly be torn apart.

Once we turned into the hills we were faced with 2 laps of a hill profile that looked like this (my race did the short loop):

I stuck to my plan and as we made our way up the hill it seemed to be working. I was pushing hard, but keeping myself under control and starting passing people. I could hear the labored breathing of people as I passed. Some had clearly pushed themselves too far. I also watched people's form deteriorate. Their entire upper bodies would bob and they continue to grind away on the pedals. Many of these people I never saw again.

Now, I'm not going to say I had some miraculous comeback. I learned a lot about myself and how I perform. I haven't seen the final results yet so I'm not sure how I did overall. I'll post this as soon as the information is available.


Coming soon.. having some issues... check back later today.


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