Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday Shootout 2

I went to bed feeling a bit worn out and hoped a good nights sleep would do some miracles. At 3.45 am two loud beeps signalled that a text message was received and since I was now awake I might as well check it out. It turned out to be a dear friend, so the Trans Atlantic conversations went on for a while. When the alarm sounded, at 5.55 am, I felt like I had just closed my eyes...
Seeing the beautiful starry sky outside while putting on my cycling kit seemed a bit surreal.
After coffee and oatmeal I felt more human and took off with litterally all my cycling clothes on!
On the warm up I met with Jimmi Riccitello and had some advice on swim training here in Tucson as well as discussing drafting rules in Ironman races. Jimmi is the head referee at The Ironman Corporation and is a strong believer in enforcing the draft rules to make races more fair for the stronger cyclists/everybody.
Jimmi´s only training at the moment is the weekly Saturday Shootout and he´s riding it smart.
I definitely didn´t...
I started out a bit further to the front and slowly made my way up through the field, that was actually moving at a relatively slow pace. 2 miles before the bridge I wanted to move up to Jimmi, but as I surged, the front guys slowed drastically and suddenly I found myself 100m ahead of the front, I palce I had absolutely no interest in being in! Fortunately there was another guy further up the road so it didn´t look like a failed break away, but more a poor try at closing a gap. Anyway, I was a bit toasted when we hit the bridge and got dropped immediately when the front guys upped the speed – didn´t even have energy to cheer on Skiles when he went flying by. The second group never really cooperated and when we hit Duvall Mining Rd, the front guys had already finished their pee break and we didn´t catched them till halfway down Continental.
My second mistake was turning to PowerCrank mode at the pee break at the approach to Madera Canyon.
I had some problems disengaging the locking collar and was left with a nice gap to close. Skiles waited for me as I struggled to adapt to the new pattern of motion. The 21 miles to the turnaround ascends 800 m up in the air and I really focused on being smooth, but my hip flexors were tender from the first revolution.
I rode to the base with ????? and just before the Coronado sign I ended up with Curtis Gunn at the front, knowing that the shit would soon hit the fan. I needed to peel off some clothes, get back to fixed cranks and short break, cause my heart rate was going above 160 and that means heavy fuel comsumption –so I basically turned of at the nearest parking lot and wished the boys a happy hurt.
I teamed up with a local triathlete to the water fountain, where I slipped on the ice, filling my waterbottle.
At the turnaround, the group stood waiting and started the descent the moment we arrived.
Going back to the store on Sahurita I sat next to ?????? from Slipstream/USA U23 that I talked to a week ago, a real friendly. Over here cycling is a much more shared experience across the levels, in contrast to Denmark, where you would have a hard time finding A, B and C riders training together without knowing each other. Another good old face in the crowd was Phil Zajicek, who´s now riding for Healthnet. He´s getting ready for Tour of California in about four weeks from now, so he´s putting in some serious mileage and intensity to get race ready. His father waited for him, on a scooter, at the store on Nogales/Sahurita and they went motorpacing out East on Sahurita.
I had oatmeal for breakfast and a pre mixed CHO bottle, a Cliff bar and two gels for the ride: 6.30hrs/195km/1550 vertical meters-roughly a mile.
I wonder how this fuel efficiency compares to a petrol fueled car???

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