Wednesday, September 8, 2010

End of the season

Well the cycling season has ended for me. I actually did two more races than planned with the OBRA Road Race and Crit championships. All in all it was successful, but could have been better.

The good:

Dropping my weight back down into the 180’s (though I didn’t stay there long enough). This is a trend that I need to stop…and I’ve been on my way back up since the start of July and am already over 200 pounds again. Though I’m keeping an eye on it already and am working on slowly dropping back down to 190 so I don’t have to “Diet” myself down during the race season.

Winning the first “As The Raven Flies” TT series with a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finish at the race. This was the first year for the series and I hope it’s brought back. The course was a lot of fun, but very difficult for a TT and I hope it will build in participation over the next few years.

Taking 2nd in the newly located “Piece of Cake” road race. This was my first time racing in the Piece of Cake, which as it turns out is my type of race…flat with lots of cross and head winds. It was my first attempt at a break away during a road race and for the most part it paid off well.

Winning the CAT 3 OBRA TTT Championships again with an awesome team. This is the 3rd year in a row our team has won this race, each year with a different combination of riders. I’ve been part of two of them and look forward to the race again next season…whether it’s in the CAT 3’s again or in the Masters 160+ division.

Lots of great rides with the team. Almost every weekend I was participating in the weekly team rides. We completed two centuries this year with my longest ride ever being 114.02 miles back in early June. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of a “Race” attitude during many of the rides for more intensity, but at the same time, it was fun to ride with so many great riders.

The bad:

Letting my weight get beyond 220 pounds in the off season and having to yet again, work my butt off to get back down to a weight low enough to be competitive. As already mentioned, I need to get this under control now, before I’m 220+ pounds again this off season.

Not getting in enough “High” intensity work during the season. I never felt like I had a great top end at any point during the season. Part of this was due to a change in team rides from years past. This year they were more “Group ride” oriented than “Hammer/Nail” oriented. I missed the see how hard you can make a ride…rides of years past. To me, that’s an integral part of training and it was missed this season. In the past I've used the group rides to push myself against others and build that top end on the rides, without those super hard rides, I suffered a little.

Not racing enough. I only raced in 13 races this season, passing up on several early season road races due to my weight. I only competed in one crit and 4 road races during the season which was my lowest total over the past two seasons. I really want to come into next season at a weight that I can climb at which will allow me to be more competitive early in the season. I may also race a few more crits next season, at least the smaller ones, just for more experience, which I think the lack of hurt me at the OBRA Crit Championships.

What’s next:

The off season training has begun already. The days are getting short enough that riding after work outside isn’t plausible since the best I can do is a “Pressed for time” 2 hour ride now. Also, the rain seems to have moved back in sooner than past seasons…So I’m already back on my trainer. I’m hoping to get a better base built up over the next 4 months by pushing myself harder on the trainer than last season. This will allow me to hit the intervals harder and be faster for early season races. I’m also hoping to get some harder group rides going next season with the basic idea being that our group rides being harder than the races we compete in. This will help a lot with the “Top End” form we need when it comes to races, something I feel was missing this season, at least by myself and will get more members of the team ready for the intense efforts needed to stay in and place well in races.

Race more next season. My original plan was to race more MTB races this year, but I was unable to afford a new MTB so that put a major hold on that idea. I may try and race more MTB races next season…but unless I can pickup a new MTB, that won’t be in the plans. However, I do plan on racing more single day races as well as a few more Crits next year, while competing in the same TT’s that I did this year (Jack Frost, As the Raven Flies, Estacada, OBRA TTT and OBRA TT). I don’t think I’ll do any stage races next season though, unless I can get some extra cash flow over the next few months.

This is something I’d like to do…but I’m not sure how many others on my team want to do it. I’m hoping to get a very strong 40+ Road Race team together next season since we have at least 6 very strong Masters level racers. I’d like to work as a team to get as many people on the podium as possible next season. The Masters races are generally dominated by the Team Echelon guys…but I feel if we come into the race season in shape…we can give them a run for their money at any venue.

I want to work on my TT position. I’ve been working on it for a while and feel it’s still off by a little ways. I think I’m getting closer, but knowing my power numbers and seeing my times on the bike…they don’t match up. This means I have position work to do because I’m losing too much power in my current position compared to what I can put out on my road bike. I need to find that balance between power and aerodynamics which I have yet been able to do.

All in all…not really a season I can complain about. Actually having a job this year didn’t make any difference in my training and my work schedule allows training time during the season, which shouldn’t change next year. I’m looking forward to getting stronger during the off season and even some wet weather group rides with the team on my single speed…as crazy as that may sound :D