Monday, July 27, 2009

Proof: Rim Nordic #2 Race Report

like i said in my last post... my training is working and sunday was some proof. i think my training has a lot to do with it but also my revamped diet.

i had solid week of training (and some gnarly things going on at work) leading up to the race. i hit the swami's ride on both tuesday and thursday and then took friday and saturday pretty mellow. on saturday morning i headed out to lake hodges for a mellow ride and did some exploring. i rode a lot of stuff i have not ridden before and was pretty stoked with how my legs felt.

views from lake hodges.

sunday morning i headed up early to running springs to meet up with ryan and sarah. i think i had my new favorite pre-race meal on the way up: gluten free waffles (mesa sunrise are my favorite) with an banana, Nuttzo, and agave nectar. solid clean fuel... and no wheat or gluten.

ryan had not ridden (and it was his first race since moving up to cat 1) up there so we registered and then rode a lap of the course. I also picked up my "VIP" number plate. the folks are Rim Nordic know how to do things right.

the lap was a little shorter (7.5 miles as opposed to 8 miles) than the first race but still played out the same... plenty of steep climbing and a lot the loose, techinical descending. they claim that this is the hardest XC race course in southern californina and i have to agree.

my race started at 11:50 so 45 minutes before ryan and I started warming up. the legs were still feeling good so i was ready to race. i got on the start line to see the usual fast dudes that i have been racing all year. it was small field but everybody was fast... and all have beaten me at some point this year... and some a lot more than others! i personally think it's harder to race when the field is small. there's no place to hide! once you get dropped and the leaders are off the front it's usually game over...

on the start line the race director was giving us the pre-race briefing and told me I looked like the one of the Schleck brothers and told the other riders to watch out for me. this got me stoked, and eased the tension... i love the shcleck brothers. definitely my favorite riders in the tour.

when the gun went off i made sure not to get dropped and was sitting 3rd wheel as we hit the single track, right behind my teammate Griffith (who won the first race, kicks my ass regularly, and just killed it up at the big bear shootout 2 weeks ago), with Marco Arocha from Team Sho-Air leading us up the initial climb. i was happy just sitting in with these guys.

we were rolling but they both got away from a bit on the first descent. i just lost focus. lame. as i came around the 90 degree corner at the bottom of the first descent I saw that griffith had taken a spill and Marco was getting away. i started hammering and closed the gap to marco and sat on his wheel. griffith was back up and riding but still a ways back from us. this is where some team tactics came in! i was feeling really good and could have went around marco on the climb but I didn't want to pull a "Contador" and leave my teammate behind. so i just sat on marco's wheel, recovering, and waiting for griffith to get back to us. by the time we got to the fire road griffith was back and I was feeling good. that's when i went around and moved into first place and put the hammer down!

i got away on the fireroad climb and got a good gap. i was building my lead but then took a little spill on the switchback descent. soon enough griffith caught and passed me. this didn't bother me... it's all about the team and us taking 1st and second if possible. it also helped my descending because i just stayed on this wheel and his good lines. at the end of the descent we hit the last fireroad climb of the first lap together. it was time to work together. i sat on his wheel for a bit and then went around and he got on mine.

i was in the lead when we went through start/finish/feed zone and was totally expecting us to stay together. when we hit the single track climb and i put in another hard effort and to my surprise i was riding away from him. by the time i got to through all the single track climbing i was all alone and continued to hammer up the fireroad. this time I nailed the descents and was riding well.

i started the third lap, grabbed a fresh bottle from sarah (thanks sarah! you killed it!), and was feeling great. i just kept riding hard... and scared. i knew if i lost focus the fast guys behind me would quickly close the gap. fortunately I was able to hold on the for the win.

the podium: me in first, griffith in second (not in photo), and marco in third. Team Celo Pacific taking 1st & 2nd again!

the race was really hard but i couldn't believe how good i felt at the finish. last race i was blown but this time i felt like i had the juice to hammer another lap if needed.
the race:
22.5 miles, 3700+ ft of climbing
max HR: 194 bpm
avg HR: 176 BPM

i feel like everything is falling into place right now... the training, the daily nutrition, the race nutrition. it's just all working right now.

celebrating at home after the race!

ryan put in a solid effort and took 3rd in Cat 1 25-29... getting some good point for the Celo Pacific team and earning some beers!

beth's friend heather stayed with us for the weekend and both them raced in the Solana Beach Triathlon on Sunday. they both had great races taking 2nd in their AG's. check beth's blog for her RR.

that's it! another week for training on tap and the we have actually have a weekend with no racing or travel. my sister is coming down and it's going to be nice to have a whole weekend to hang out at home and hopefully hit beach.

oh yeah... one last thing. a couple of weeks i headed down into the garage to head out on an early morning ride and found this on my mountain bike:

yep... beth put her school photo on my stem! it's awesome and of course it's still there.


GZ said...

Funny on the photo on the stem!

Glad to hear that training, the diet - it is playing off and that you are seeing results! Your HRs blow me away!

Ryan Denner said...

dude, trader joes sells dairy and gluten free pancakes, and they taste just like the real thing. give them a shot!

Stephanie said...

I am starting to like Beth more than you. That is hilarious. Really glad you are marrying her. :)

FatDad said...

Glad to see the nutrition plan is working out. killin it!

Terrish B said...

RIGHT ON!!! Great race and Congrats!! Glad to hear that everything is working smoothly for you :-) That is one sweet picture on your bike!!!

Luke said...

congrats on the win bro! i think you've got more of a pelezotti thing going on...polka dots baby!

Ryan Weeger said...

peoples legs are going to be falling off at the sight of up dissapearing up the first hill at bonelli in two months. you owned it this weekend!

Slater Fletcher said...

go Schleck!

Sarah said...

Yeah Schleck!!! Dude that is just phenomenal. There is nothing better than feeling like it's all falling into place and you feel so damn good in the race.

Solid stuff and SO happy for you.

Charisa said...

Congrats - awesome race. I think Beth's pic helped you win :)