Monday, April 12, 2010

Race and recover

 Its funny how no matter how long you've been racing you still get nervous before a race.  I find myself constantly checking my watch to make sure I get to the start on time, and from that constant checking comes constant verification of my pre-race schedule of warm-up, nutrition, clothing and bike prep. 
Anyway, the Knobscorcher always has a good turnout and the PRO field ended up with about 25 guys all intent on being first into the single track after a short gravel road climb.  I got a reasonable start and pulled a bit of a maneuver to get into said single track in a respectable position but paid for it on the first longer grinding climb.  Knowing that there were still 2 hours of racing to do I eased off a bit and rode within myself and was not too proud to use my 27t front ring instead of grinding away in the 40t.  This paid off towards the end of the race because I could stay on the skinny climbers' wheels then dig deep towards the top and use my size and technical skills to drop said climbers on the rooted out descents.  After all was said and done, I ended up 8th which, if I'm not mistaken, is my best result in a regional PRO race.  Nice!
Today's plan was to get up, clean bikes then take a recovery ride out to Caesar's Head just across the border into South Carolina.  I say recovery ride, but even if the hills are longer and not as steep they're still hills.  Regardless, it was an easier day, unlike what we have planned for the rest of the week so it was welcome.  I can already see the color returning to my legs after a long winter of leg warmers and tights, so this week of 80s and sun will be very much appreciated.  Oh yeah, and there is no shortage of sweet riding around.  The pic is about half way up the SC side of the climb to Caesar's.  At least I'm not the only one with pasty white legs.

So anyway, I probably ought to get ready to eat or something.


-the Mexler

Saturday, April 10, 2010

....and Resume

I uncharacteristically started my 2010 racing season on the road, but since I bailed on the Chickasaw Classic (100% glad I did, BTW) such is life.  I'd never done a proper cat 1/2 road race, just a couple of crits here and there, until I picked up an Ohio Valley Spring Series race last weekend.  I was a little disappointed with my result only because I have to relearn this whole nutrition thing when it comes to a 3 hour road race and having less of a calorie deficit is key.  Alas, I failed at my attempt and got dropped on the climb on the 5th of 7 laps due to, uh, upset stomach.  Anyway, I still finished the race and almost bridged back up on L6 but just couldn't close.  Regardless, I got in a great 3 hour race effort at a much higher effort that I would have been able to do otherwise, and then I did some hard MTB efforts on Sunday to test my efforts after recovery. 
As a result of some no-go planning that fell through for work trips out to Arizona (and the resulting mini-training camp that would have followed), I was able to plan on attending my team's full on training camp in North Carolina.  So here I am.  To start things off, we're all racing the Knobscorcher at Tsali so I'll kick off my MTB racing season against some heavy hitters on a climb heavy course, so I should definitely get a good result.  I do have to say I feel like this year I've been able to ride better technically and push myself more into corners so who knows, maybe I will actually get a good result.  In any event, I'll give it the ole college try regardless.

OK, I'm out.

-the Mexler