Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Massasoit Lung Opener race report

(edit: I wrote this a while ago, and it sat waiting for an image of my ride home for about a month. downloaded about two months worth of crap off the garmin last night, so this post finally gets published. pretend it's April 21st...)

What went right.

I got a good start. At the last two races, I had too much left in the tank at the finish, and felt great during the last lap. I figured the best way to maximize last-lap-pain was to start super fast. So I did, I was 5th or 6th wheel going into the woods. A few miles later I was still going strong, following Timmy D and Foley, playing the part of caboose of the 29er Crew train.

My man Rob f'n Stine decided not to race since he was doing Singlespeed-A-Palooza the next day. He offered to hand me bottles. Since the feed zone was flat and paved, high speed hand ups gave me a definite advantage. Rob Stine is the man.

What went wrong.

I need a new bike. While I was playing the part of the caboose early on in the race, at one point I dropped my chain on an uphill. I came to a swearing stop, managed to get the chain back on, then managed to remount, and get pedaling again. I tried to put the hammer down and catch back on, but was suffering from the lack of coordination that comes with panicked, anaerobic efforts. 10 seconds later I was taking a trip over the bars. A few minutes later, with the train way up the trail, I settled into a more reasonable pace. I went to take a drink and found I had no bottle. 9 mile lap, temps in the 80s, I hadn't taken a drink yet, and I'm at least 5 miles from the feed zone. Danger.

The next 1.5b laps were spent trying to get Ezra Mullen off my wheel. On the second lap I managed to find, and finish, the bottle I lost on the first lap. With my hydration strategy back on track, and a pro feeder handing me bottles, I was able to attack through the feedzone going into the last lap. I got a little gap on Ezra, and kept my foot on the gas to cross the finish line 1:55 ahead of him.

What was learned.

I'm really fast at the end of races, I should try harder in the first 66%.

...and my drivetrain is defunct.

Result.

7 of 14. Best result of the year, second best ever. I'm not getting too worked up though, Singlespeed-A-Palooza was the next day, take the top 4 from there, put them in front of me where they have been all year, and I'm back to my usual 10-14 range. (faster than last year).

Bonus.

At Hopbrook, I put 1:56 on Chris Hamlin in the last 25% of the race.
At Winding Trails I put 1:57 on Matt Green in the last 40% of the race.
At Massasoit I put 1:55 on Ezra Mullen in the last 33% of the race.

I've been finishing too strong. Leaving too much in the tank. How much? Well, as a little test, I decided to bike home from Massasoit as a way of running the tank dry, just to see how much I had left in it.

Not sure if it was the increased traffic, stop signs, and red lights that began around Braintree, or if it was an impending bonk; but I seemed to have about an hour and a half of hard riding left in the tank.

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