Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cary Du Classic (long course)

S - 19,500 yards
B - 147.1 miles
R - 49.6 miles
Time - 18.74 hours

This week was pretty normal from Monday-Friday although I did miss one trainer workout in the middle of the week which was a bummer.  The best thing about this week was the it was the last week with short daylight.  The time to ride is upon us and I could literally not be more excited.  I want to love my bike again!

Nothing like riding a wave of excitement into a race! ~3 hours of training the day before and ~4.5 hours of training the day after is like a delicious oreo sandwich of hard work.  Due to working until close on Friday night (~8pm) I wouldn't have had time to head up that night, nor had I solicited a place to stay from anyone in the area.  So Saturday morning bright and early I rolled out to make the drive up to Cary for the race (~2.5 hours).

Picked up my packet, sticker'ed up my bike and helmet, did a brief warm up and headed to the start line.

Run 5mi - 28:25/28:25 (2nd)

5:23, 5:44, 5:48, 5:51, 6:04 (start out fast, hold, then slow down...perfect!)

While lined up on the front I took a brief stock of those around me to see if anyone looked fast...the answer is always yes.  I didn't know any names on the participant list but since the short course and long course were starting at the same time there was a good chance the run would be very fast.

At the start, two young guys took it out very hard.  I settled into pace relatively quickly and pretty much just maintained throughout the 5 miles.  About a mile in I noticed one guy had just settled right on my heels and the two of us were about 50 yards behind the two leaders with another fast-looking guy a bit further back from us.  Mile 2 was fast again and at the second turnaround (one lap of the run course had two turnarounds) I had caught up the very young guy (at the end of a long uphill) and myself and my buddy had all gained on the lead.  By the end of the first loop the lead guy was only 15 yards or so in front of our trio but he split off to do the short course was well as the young guy that had slowed dramatically.

Myself and my right-behind-me-buddy continued on at our pace until just before the first turnaround when I heard him pull off his arm warmers and he surged past me very quickly.  I had no interest in dropping my pace that much as I was pretty comfortable (plus, I guessed that of the two of us I was the stronger rider) so I let him do his thing. The second loop of the run ended uneventfully and I ran into transition.

T1 - :36

The one think I was a little nervous about was installing the Kask Bambino on my head.  It is an extremely close fitting helmet with a large visor so the opening isn't that huge for my noggin.  Luckily, with the practice I had done the night before (yes, seriously), it went on smoothly and I had no problems grabbing my bike and heading for the mount line.

Bike 31mi - 1:17:20/1:18:21 (1st)

Rolling out on the bike it was pretty crowded because there were many short-coursers also departing for their cycling journey.  After a minute or two I could see the guy who had hopped on his bike ahead of me and it looked as though I was closing ground relatively quickly.  He had a red car with its flashers on leading him so I was excited to see the race had a lead car.  I passed him and assumed the lead but the lead car stayed with him for pretty much the rest of the race...awkward.  The course was rolling and eventually the long course split off from the short course.  At a couple of points the volunteers were no where near ready for my arrival.  It's not as though I expect a red carpet or anything (well, actually...I kinda do) but at least stand up and direct me when you see me.  I had seen no one behind me for a while and at one point turned right at a T intersection where the volunteer and cop were chatting (I had a stop sign) after seeing no traffic on my left but I was annoyed that the cop was getting paid double-time (or time and a half, but it's a lot) to do a crap job of direction traffic so I yelled at him the question "Are you planning to direct traffic at anytime" as I made the right turn.  A little antagonistic but I figure he deserved it.  For the most part the police are completely and utterly awesome.  This one just put me at a risk and I felt as though I didn't have to be.

The only other annoyance I experienced was approaching a turn at a large intersection the volunteer was on the right side of the road, sitting down waving her flag and the cop was on the left side of the road and had yet to enter into any traffic negotiations.  I saw an arrow on the ground pointing right so, hoping it was the right course marking, turned right onto a giant road.  Highway 64 at this point is 2 massive lanes and a massive shoulder with a massive median and another set of lanes on the other side.  It's a big road.  In my head I was thinking there is NO way this is the right route.  I must have messed up.  All while thinking this I was plowing along at 25mph before after 1/2 mile or so I stood up out of my pedals to look behind me and see if anyone had turned.  I looked ahead...I looked back again.  Nobody.  I looked ahead, I looked back again, nobody. Finally I decided to come to a complete stop and wait to see which way the next cyclist went.  At the same time I dismounted to peel a piece of tape off my rear wheel that had been flapping and hitting my brake calipers.  I saw someone coming so assumed I was going the right way and set off again in earnest.  The lead car "caught me" but then once I forged ahead dropped back to stay with second place.  I was at a loss as to what he was doing.

Anyway, I eventually got back in with the short coursers and nothing happened leading into the finish line.  I hadn't seen anyone threatening behind me for quite some time so as I hopped off the bike I assumed my lead was strong.

T2 - ?

Put bike away, take off helmet, put on shoes, run out with sunglasses in hand.

Run 5mi - 29:42/30:14 (1st)

5:57, 5:55, 5:56, 5:56, 6:14 (yea maybe I did let up a bit...)

Let's just say the first 1/2 mile was "rough" and be done with it.  It had been quite a long time since I'd run hard off a hard bike off a hard run.  Florida doesn't really count because what I did off the bike certainly can't be called running...

Anyway, a lead biker emerged after a bit and I continued on steadily to the first turnaround and while passing mile 1 saw my first chaser and another minute or so later the second chaser.  I was a good ways ahead but didn't let it go to my head...and continued on with my semi-torrid pacemaking.

The first loop was completed uneventfully  and I was holding mile paces *relatively* easily.  Despite the rolling course my mile splits were remarkably consistent; I was honestly surprised.  On the second loop at the turnarounds I noticed my chasers had not gained on me so I knew that I was going to win (which is always a pleasant and relieving feeling...).  I crossed the finish line in first place in a pretty fast time and immediately put my hands on a cold Mountain Dew.

2:17:01 - 1st, full results click

You'll notice I have two different times on the splits in this report, I do that because for whatever reason the official results are quite different than my own split times.  If they were close I wouldn't care but there is enough discrepancy for me to want to report both.  Given the lack of a T2 I'm guessing that somehow the time in T2 was applied to the bike and the run, although I don't think I spent a minute or more in T2.  I also think my T1 was a little bit longer but I really have no idea as I didn't use "multisport mode" on the 910xt.

I was happy with this race and was very happy to win.  I didn't really want to say anything but I'd have been upset if I didn't even though I didn't feel particularly "fast" leading into the race.

All in all, given that  I was in full training mode (the week was completely normal but I missed one ride mid-week and with the race Saturday my overall volume for that day was much lower) so am pleased with being able to go "fast" while "tired."  Can't be anything but pleased with a 1-1 races to wins record for 2013!!

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