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While there are lots of local races throughout the season, there is only one “in my back yard”.  So naturally, I like to do either the MTB race, or the Road race.  I did both one year, and well…let”™s not go there.  Since I took the entire year off my normal MTB schedule, and our Road Team won last year”™s team category, it seemed like the right thing to do, even though it was the longest, “experienced” race route of the group.

If you”™ve read my previous 2 blogs however, you”™ll recall that I am training for the “unrace” - the Dirty Dozen where just finishing will be counted as something I didn”™t think possible - thus this new training focus.  So the race wouldn”™t be consistent with this plan, except for one thing.  I am on a mission to raise my Threshold to give me more cieling and expand my VO2 in the process - thereby raising the two biggest limiters of power, and climbing hills that average 18% and higher will be ALL ABOUT power.

From that perspective, I guess I accomplished my objectives, but I”™m just not sure getting all of the required time in Zone 5 (the real work that has to be done to raise ones Threshold) in the first hour of riding was actually the best way to go about it.  What WAS I thinking!?!

I will say this, the thrill of riding in the front with my Team Captain, Chris and “the big boys” for the first 15 minutes was worth the remaining suffering that ensued.  For those 15 minutes I was pacelining at 25 to 28 mph, on a road that I normally do 18 to 21 by myself.  I even pulled for a short while with Chris telling me to pick up the pace.  So it was a little “fantasy” racing for those brief moments… ah, it was so good… and then reality set in.

If you look at my heart rate graph, you”™ll see it was in those early minutes that hit 177 BPM, which is 5 beats above the highest number I have ever seen since I started wearing a HR monitor about 8 years ago.  I started training with my normal, deconditioned threshold of 150, and raised it last week to 155 as I saw it creeping through my first month of training.  I will take a New Leaf test tomorrow to confirm exactly where it is, and set my zones for the remaining 9 weeks or so of training.  Anyway… I digress.

When I saw how much above Threshold I was riding, and knowing that our biggest climb was coming up in a few miles, I decided I better save what matches were left in my book to make sure I could finish.  The rest of my ride and thought process is listed in the graphic.  I finished with a personal best of 16.6 mph average over the 37 miles.  But clearly my PB is not good enough to even hang with the slowest riders in that group.

That brings me to a great lead in for my next post… riding to win, riding to compete, riding to finish… what”™s the point.  Stay tuned.

Originally posted 2011-01-25 13:05:22.


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