Tuesday, May 28, 2013

2013 Season thus far

This season has been frustrating, but I have progressed a lot. Started everything off with a good bang with my win at Rutgers, and from there became more frustrating and at times enlightening. A look at some of the memorable race weekends, what happened and what I learned.

  • Rutgers: Exciting, learned I had to improve 1 minute power but this was expected as I hadn't done any 1 minute efforts. 
  • MIT: First collegiate A-race. Made the break but worked too hard early, didn't eat enough and blew up. Learned that I should really avoid pulling as much as possible.
  • Hornby Hills: Flat rear tire. Started using Caffelatex after this. Very frustrating.
  • Bloomfield: Super windy, shelled myself trying to bridge to winning move, didn't eat enough. I really don't like windy races.
  • Check your Legs: Small group into a headwind, was pretty shelled and then attacks came. Felt good on the hills, not so great on the flat. Legs were tired from the day before.
  • Penn State: Had a very good first climb, wasn't prepared to keep going on the rolling hills sections. Stomach issues led to not eating, which led to severe glycogen depletion and sorts of screwed up things later on.
  • Hollenbeck: Group let someone roll away from the start. I should have been best of the rest but didn't hold proper position going through the last climb. Why do people swarm the front coming into  a steep finishing pitch when they don't have a strong climb?
  • Bristol RR: All was going well till I bonked really hard. This was the straw that broke the camelsback and I started looking at different nutrition options.
  • Tour de Syracuse: Ok TT, sketchtastic crit, RR was started early and they told me the wrong direction to go when I missed the start.
  • Killington: Nasty weather first circuit, mentally sucked up the RR, one of my best TT's ever but with my front brake rubbing.
There are a couple repeating issues I have: mentally losing and bonking. Bonking is an easy fix overall, and I think I've got a workable system down with some liquid nutrition and gels. I'm going to keep working on improving it, but it worked well at Killington for me. 

The mental thing is harder for me. I go into the race feeling positive, then we hit a hard part and I know everyone is going hard but I start wandering if I can go that hard for that long. If I do make it over that part will I  be able to keep up when they go hard later? Thoughts of "maybe I'm just not cut out for this" pop up. Overall pretty negative, and I end up with crappy performances. See Killington as a great example, or MIT to some extent. At Killington RR, the first climb was good, the second climb was brutal and I seriously started questioning how I would handle the finishing climb. The initial slopes of the main climb were hard and I gave in, I stopped pushing it afraid I would blow up and then dialed it back way too much. There were some other issues as well, quadrant wise I was not where I have been training (seriously considering trying to swap to a compact), but I should have had a stronger output on that climb, but I broke mentally.

I don't really have any plans for the rest of the season now, I was originally staying in upstate and doing 2 more big stage races. Financially however, it isn't really an option. I'm headed back to Texas where there is nothing but crits and TT's all summer. I'm probably going to give a 40k TT a go, take a couple weeks off and then just start building towards next season. Unfortunately this means that I will miss the mark on all of my racing goals for the season cat 2 upgrade, a top 5 at a stage race. That said I am a much stronger rider than I was in January. 20 minute power is up from about 4.1w/kg to 4.7w/kg, and I think I can do better. I'm on track to hit one of my numerical goals which is to get that number up to 5 w/kg before October, that's the good news.

I'm going to search calendars and see what I can find with climbing in it later this season and see if I can't come to some races in even better shape and get those points.