Sunday, March 20, 2011

Slammer Road Race

The Boise Slammer Road Race is historically one of the races that always brings out soe of southwest Idaho's worst Springtime weather, this year was to be no exception. I awoke to sustained winds of 25-30mph with gusts of 35-40mph. Add in a daytime high projected to be only 45deg, and you have a tough race ahead of you.

The wind was blowing so hard that they decided to cancel the Juniors portion of the race. For us women in the field, we were to be combined with the Men's Masters C to minimize the number of groups and support vehicles needed for this race.

As we prepared to go to the start line, the local women's racing team decided to pull out of the race before even starting due to the wind. Likely some politics going on there since they knew that if they didn't even come to the line then I wouldn't be able to get any upgrade points. This is one of the things l like the least about road racing.

If you look closely you can see the lean on my bike from the wind, I'm the one in all black.

Anyways, there were only 5 of us females that were brave enough to go to the starting line to brave out the conditions. I knew that with the winds there was little chance of any kind of break out sticking for very long so I had to play the game and ride at a leasurely Masters C pace since I couldn't fine anyone willing to hammer with me, not even any of the guys even though I wasn't scored with them. One of the drawbacks of being in shape at the beginning of the season, I guess. This is just another workout for me, I wasn't looking for a leasure ride south of town, I wanted something at race pace.

Well, I played their game and sat in, chatted, talked about families, swapped war stories and felt like I was going to have to start taking Metamucil if I kept riding in this pack. Not that there aren't some good riders in this group, they were just playing team politics and apparently thought they were there for the parade ride, not a race.

Typical of me, I mixed it up a little with a couple of short intervals thrown in for fun, when we weren't getting hammered with the wind in our faces, and then let them work to reel me back in when we turned into the wind. One of the funniest things, one of the guys riding in the pack was actually the coach for most of the guys and he kept coaching them in the pack telling them not to work with me and to block me out, don't let her pass I was some kind of major competition that was going to take the Yellow jersey away from them. Whatever!

One the last hill before the finish, I played right into a trap and got blocked right into the gravel which then let the two front guys take off to the finish as I worked to maintain control. I eventually ran out of road and couldn't get caught back up with them before the finish line and took 3rd overall in the pack, 1st if you want to count the couple of females that made it to the end but a big fat 0 for upgrade points. Oh well, so goes Idaho road racing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

TRI Nite 101 - Gear Guide

The first of the clinics that I facilitate each year is always the Tri Nite 101 – Gear Guide where I cover all the gear needed for beginning triathletes with some of the new gear out for the year for the seasoned athletes. This is always coordinated by George’s Cycles Fairview store and John, the store Manager, invites all of his vendors to participate. There were over 30 people that joined us this year for this free clinic and I'm sure everyone walked away with at least one new thing they had learned.

 This year, Trek was the only bike company that jumped at the opportunity and we were lucky to have Dex come talk about their state-of-the-art Speed Concept series of TT bikes and the technology that goes into designing and making each bike as well as what design features to look for when choosing your next TT bike and why.

 Brian from T3 Active Recovery Products came from the bed company to talk about the bed, materials and how it aids in recovery and Peter from VESPA to explain the sciences behind their products that promote and enhance physical recovery after intense training and during endurance racing. His information about high fat low carb diet actually aligns very closely with what I’ve done for years. I actually have a good friend that has been using the VESPA CV-25 for his Ultra-marathons and has worked out really well for him. I might look into it a little more.

I took the last couple of minutes to cover the other gear you would need to race, not just the obvious, but also some of the often forgot items like electrical tape, safety pins, suit juice, etc. Of course I had to pack all of this into my new TYR Convoy transition backpack. I picked this up last year at the end of the season when they launched and absolutely love it. The transition backpack I had before wasn’t designed very well, the shoulder straps ripped out after little use and it just wasn’t very practical for traveling. The TYR Convoy is on a real backpack frame and intelligently designed with compartments for each discipline, a helmet compartment that fits my aero helmet and a special mesh bag for my wet wetsuit with a carabineer to attach it to the outside of the bag so you don’t get everything wet inside. SMART design and even though I’ve only had it for a couple of months and not taken it to a race yet, I absolutely love it.

My New Trek Speed Concept

CHECK IT OUT!! Trek has signed on to be my bike sponsor again for this year and here's the ROCKET they sent me to ride this season. I can't wait to ride it! Hurry Joe, get it put together. I'll be back in an hour to take it for a ride ;)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Jason Broome Memorial TT

True to the George's Spring Series road races, Idaho springtime weather was going to usher in some cool temps and plenty of wind. I'm still sporting the Trek TTX that I did so well on last year but have been making a lot of tweaks on the fit, trying for a more agressive fit, trying to find a new saddle and just trying to find the spot where I get the most amount of power while staying efficient. Looking at this picture after the race, I still need to make some adjustments.

I wasn't walking into this at the same fitness level I was at last year because I'm not racing IM St. George, however I was still hoping for the best.

Notice the lack of racing kit...I've opted not to race with the local women's cycling team to avoid all of the politics. I'm rolling on borrowed wheelset looking for deeper dish wheels than what I rode on all last year.

Racing in southwestern Idaho would not be complete without at least a little bit of wind, good old Mother Nature was kind enough to deliver today with her version of a tail wind to push you out and then a wicked head wind as you try to come back...15-20mph wind with gusts 25-30mph have a tendency to suck it out of you.

The plan was to negative split the back half on this out and back course but I ended up going out too hard and my asthma kicked in on the way back so I "sucked" it up coming back in. I still made up the stagger on a couple of riders in front of me [no they weren't Juniors] but it was only good enough for 3rd Overall Female. Not a bad start for the year, I guess.