Monday, September 17, 2007

Mt Tam Hill Climb

That wasn't much fun.

Excuses first:1) I changed my gearing to a 12-27
2) I forgot to put that gearing on my bike (don't let 2 kids help with work on the bike, they distract)
3) I weight 175lbs
4) I'm not a climber

It wasn't that bad either. I figured how hard could 12.5 miles be? Apparently pretty hard when it's a race. I did a nice 50 min warm-up, climbing 500 ft - which is when I noticed that I wasn't in my 27. My legs felt terrible - until I realized why they felt so bad. Luckily there were not any 16% grades on the climb - but I think I saw 12 or 14% (I rode the course with a Garmin 305 Edge computer)towards the top.

The team plan was to hammer 4.5 miles to the foot of the climb. "At what pace" I asked. "28-31mph" Hunter said. "S*&^(#)%)(#$" I thought - remembering that it's easier on a TT bike with a disc wheel going downhill.

After the warm-up I went back to the car to dump my knee warmers, grab some water and toss my jacket. I looked down at my watch - 9:18:30. 90 seconds to get from the car to the race start - easy. I got to the race start and it was packed - I rode up about halfway through the field, looked to my right to ask 'is this the cat 1-3 field' and before I go 'is this...' out - they fired the gun. Whoopsy. I hit reset on my computer and put it in the 53x15. True enough - we were doing 28.5mph within 20 seconds.

The pace lasted this long until we hit the foot of the climb. I've ridden up Mt Tam about 4 times before - but never on this side. It's actually steeper on the other side but there are a bunch of downhills and flat sections. Not on this course. I think it was 8% or higher every time I looked at the grade on my Garmin. I felt good - riding at 174-177 but couldn't push ahead because I simply couldn't turn over the gears any faster. I ended up settling in with a group of guys - one who mentioned that he was "glad he had his 29 on today". The climb was consistent the whole time - never too steep but never any relief. My goal was to NOT be last - so I was happy with how things were going as we continued up. I tried to bridge a few groups and made it through two attempts but failing 2 others when I got caught by a steeper section.

Here's a picture of yours truly.

We got to the top in a pseudo pack and I settled in at my own pace - finishing just behind a group I rode most of the way up with. Not great - but not bad for where I am in my training and with my fitness. I finished a slow 51:34. If you consider that per lb you give 2 secs per mile and I'm about 15-20 over, I gave up 2 sec x 15lbs = 30 secs per mile x 8.5 miles of climbing = 4:15. So next year I should easily be able to topple 46 I think.

Now if I could only find some inspiration to swim and run. Any ideas?

My birthday is in 8 days.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So you look like you are screaming in pain in your photos but not half bad looking!! Man with that math can you come do my homework?? Oh and inspiration to swim and run? Remember you have to be fast then ME!!