Monday, March 10, 2008

Hillsboro Road Race/Week Summary

The road race started in the city of Hillsboro and headed south 25 miles with a tailwind accross rolling terrain. At first the race organizers were going to combine our group (Category 3s) with the Masters. I wasn't to hip on this because the more people in the group the more opportunity to get gapped by someone not as fit. Ultimately, they started 1 minute ahead of the masters. I think they really wanted to catch us; and, we didn't want to give them that pleasure. So, the race started fairly hard from the gun. I was fine because I got a good warm-up.

After heading 25 miles south, the race organizers had us turn around and head back to Hillsboro (into the headwind). Once we got to Hillsboro we turn west and headed 8.5 miles up hill to Kingston. This race has changed many times over the years. My favorite was starting at the I-25 offramp, heading to the city of Hillsboro, climbing past Kingston up to Emory Pass and coming back. We haven't done this in a long time.

Based on the fact that this race ended with a climb, I knew I really would be a contender. Running is the anti-climbing excercise. If you run at all, your ability to climb on the bike is negated! So, my objective for the race was to hang tough with the group until we got to Hillsboro and climb to Kingston at my own pace.

From the get go, a small group went off the front including 2 people from our team, and another person from the "other" large team. There was another person from Nob Hill Velo. This being the situation, it was our team and the other large team's goal to block any efforts to bring the break back in and follow any new groups trying to bridge. This is actually a very good position to be in because the monkey is on the other teams without a participant in the group to bring back the break--in so doing, they're using alot of energy while we're fairly fresh.

There were a few hard surges to try to bring the break in, but nothing to serious. Half-way to the turnaround, one of team members in the break got a flat. The break was down to 3, and we had one member.

After the turnaround and into the headwind, there were times when we were gutterballing it, but not for long enought to shed anyone. I was really enjoying my ride, eating well and staying hydrated.

Just before we got back to Hillsboro we came accross our team mate who popped out of the break. The break was down to 2, and we didn't have anyone in it. This changes things!

Immediately, we went to the front and started push the tempo up to reel in the to people in the break. We dropped into Hillsboro and turned west. At this point, the pace went up dramatically. Unfortunately, I was behind a few riders that couldn't hang and I got gapped. The real challenge to road racing is being in the right place at the right time. I wasn't and got gapped. I was happy though that I made to Hillsboro with the pack. The picture below is from the climb to Kingston (taken after the race). You might notice that the roads are wet. It rained and hailed on us while we climbed, which made coming back down a bit cold.

This is the finish line (well after the race so the crowd was gone).
After the race I didn't stick around to see the result, but Ronny McD called, and I answered. I really need to stop though. It's not becoming of an IronMan to crave the Big Mac!

All in all, it was a good trip and a great way to start off the road racing season.

The Week's Training Summary:

Total hours 13
Swim: 3 hours/8200 yards
Run: 1 hour/6.5 miles
Bike: 9 hours 150 miles
This week was toned down to be ready for the race. Next week is a rest week. I'll post my race results when I find them out.

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