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.
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6 months ago