Sunday, September 20, 2009

Highest HR This Year

Ow! Today I raced my first cyclocross race of the year, doing it in the singlespeed class. No matter how much you train it's still a shock to the system when the gun goes off and you try to maintain a maximum effort for 45 minutes.

There were only three of us in the SS class and I was surprised when they had us go off with the 35+ Master's class. It was kind of intimidating sitting there on the line with all the fast younger guys and lined up right behind us were the 45+ Master's and then the Woman's Elite class. That meant a lot of people would be breathing down my neck. Also daunting was the fact that I was wearing number 666, I sure hoped it wasn't a bad sign.

I started in the back of the group when the whistle sounded for the start but still had to hit the brakes many times in the first few corners as riders were not able to negotiate them as easily as I could on my converted MTB. Where I could out maneuver many of them, as soon as we hit the straight sections they were gone. I did all right on the barriers, beating some riders over them and getting on the bike quicker. Check out the video from a practice session of the runup they built for this race. The steps were very tall and you sort of had to step sideways to get your feet on each step. There also wasn't much room at the top to get your feet back on the pedals before coming down the ramp.

I ended up last in my class but at least I did manage to hold off some of the geared riders. This was easily the hardest effort I have done all year and shortly into the race I recorded my highest heart rate so far. I am treating the races just as hard training rides and hopefully it will better prepare me for the Iceman race in November. I haven't done as many high intensity races as last year so I need the pain.

Yesterday while practicing I managed to bend my chainring. I would like to think it was because of my massive power but one of the chainring bolts had come out, causing the ring to become loose. When I stood to power up a hill the ring just folded over. When I got home I switched out the bottom bracket and crank to my old SS crank.

Next weekend is the 30 miles of Pain Haven, a benefit race near Midland that helps to maintain the trails in the mid-state region. I did the race last year and had fun. It's a low key event that is for a good cause.

Thanks to my team mate Shawn Schaffert for the race photos

Taking on the barriers, practicing the week before definitely helped

Up the steps of the the "Orange Crush"

And back down the ramp

What happens if you don't keep your chainring bolts tight

If you have never seen a cyclocross race here is some footage of the races today.


TP said...

Sounds like a fun day!

Congrats on enduring the SS pain! You racing Ithaca CX?

Steve Kinley said...

Thanks. No, I plan on doing the Pain Haven race the day before.