Monday, June 16, 2014

Mary's Peak Hill Climb

This was my first year racing the Mary's Peak Hill Climb. It's part of the Oregon TT Cup series and I already missed a race, so I wanted to give this race a shot this year. I knew it was going to be tough, but I've been losing weight and thought it would give me a good overall idea of where my fitness is at.

Leading up to this race I had 5 hard weeks in a row and was due a rest week, so I took 3 full days off during the week with one short easy ride and one day of intervals. I was pretty rested heading into the race, but may have lost a little "Punch" with multiple days off the bike. I also cramped up, just as I do in all long ITT's ... so nothing new there.

The climb is 12 miles long and covers around 3500 feet of climbing. The roads are in pretty good shape and the conditions were good, though a little cold at the top with temps around 50 degrees.

Weight wise ... I'm lower than I've ever raced at hovering around 180 pounds (16 pounds lighter than last year),  though I still have another 10-15 pounds that could come off with some structured eating and discipline.

The start of the race is flat for about 100 meters then goes up! The first two miles of the course are not too bad, really good roads, some switchbacks and overall pretty fast. Then you make the turn onto Mary's Peak and it kicks up some ... into grades that I tend to struggle at, over 6% with sections around 13%. This carried on for the next 2 miles or so.

Once you hit the top of the steeper part of the course, there is a nice downhill where speeds in the mid 40's is easily achievable. Just as I was cresting the climb a car pulled out in front of me from the side of the road making me go slower through this section than I wanted. I'm guessing I lost around 10 seconds overall through this section.

Once out of that, the road kicked up again with a few dips here and there ending at a nice park on the top of Mary's Peak.

In the end I finished with a time of 59:38 .. so sub hour ... but it was slower than I wanted with a little lower power output than I wanted.

Average Power: 340 watts
Watts per/kg: 4.15

Going into the race I was hoping for my power to be closer to 350-355 watts which would have made a difference as I ended up just over 1 minute off the winner of my category who turned in a time of 58:25.

All in all a good race, but I can tell I need to work on longer duration power to keep things from dropping off at the end of a longer ITT.

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