Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Reflection on Killington as a whole... and what went wrong on Stage 2

Overall, I'm fairly dissapointed with how Killington went. I went there thinking I had the shape to compete for the overall, looking back now I still think I did. I just screwed up. There are bright spots though.

The first stage is literally a blur in my mind. I have happily removed it from my memory as it is close to the coldest I have been on the bike. I didn't die or get hypothermia and that is a success.

The second stage is where everything went wrong, but first the things that didn't go wrong: 1)I finally got my nutrition right 2) I positioned myself well for most of the race and avoided crashes. Now the things that did: 1)I let the difficulty of the first climb get into my head and started thinking negatively about how I would fare 2) The climb was steeper than I had trained for, with my gearing standing up was essentially a requirement for extended periods and I have trained for mostly seated climbing.

For a physicality of why generating power was hard for me: I hadn't trained for this "Quadrant" of riding. Most of my threshold work and climbing work is done around 90rpm, I like going hard seated and at this cadence. I was in my smallest gear and standing at 78rpm with a 40t front chainring and a 28t rear cog. For steep grades like this, I should both train more specifically for their demands AND select gearing that allows me to run my 'optimal' range for force/velocity. I'm trying to trade my standard for a compact in order to make this a possibility. In reality for a climber who a prefers a high cadence, a compact is probably the best option anyways.

From the mental standpoint, this is something that has been going on for a long time, but has been better this year. Knowing where my fitness is going into the races with the power meter is an advantage, but for this race I let myself think that perhaps the guys were faster than me and I simply couldn't keep up. In hindsight... I know I was capable of more even at the low cadence than I did. It is a continuing battle for me of recognizing when I'm thinking negatively and trying to counteract it, or isolate it. I get to a point where I believe that I'm just not meant for it when I'm down in the race. I'm sure other people get there as well, I just need to learn to deal with it better.

Stage 3 went pretty well. I'm definitely frustrated about my front wheel fiasco though. The brake was certainly rubbing for the entire ride. I was in a rush getting out of the car and warming up and the front wheel simply was not installed properly. How much time did I lose to that brake? Either way my TT is improving, perhaps with a proper TT bike I would even be close to competitive? Hard to say cause I don't know how fast my effort would have had me go without that silly brake.