Monday, April 11, 2011
SENIOR GAMES, SAN ANTONIO, 2011
This spring has been the pits as far as training. The fact that I don't let a good vacation go to waste exacerbates the situation. Yes, I cycled in California and cycled in Georgia and South Carolina, but that wasn't hard-core training. Back at home, the wind has been relentless. So, with that caveat, we move on to this week-end's competition. San Antonio's Research Park is a great venue. It has a 2.5 mile loop with two hills, great asphalt, no traffic. It always has wind, and this year was no exception, about 25mph out of the SE. Saturday afternoon starts with a 10km time-trial followed by a 20km road race. Sunday morning is a 5km time-trial and a 40km road race. I wasn't happy to see Bill Corty, as I knew he was much faster than I, as is Peter Leikisch but he has moved on to the 70-74 age group. In a time-trial, the more you can go all-out, the better you will place. It also helps to have a tt bike and be able to assume a good aero position in order to hide from the wind as much as possible. I have the bike and position. I can also say that for this race I had an average heart rate in the 93% range. 13 out of 17 minutes were in Zone 5. You can't get much better than that, and the result was second place behind Corty. In the hour and a half between races, I changed wheels on my bikes, since the tt Zipp wheels are much better than my Rolfs. In doing so, I somehow assumed an incorrect position and suddenly developed sciatica over my left hip. It wouldn't go away. That was all I needed to decided that discression was the better part of valor, and packed up and went home. Sunday morning, I had a difficult time getting up and down but no problem on the bike. The short tt went well, once again coming in second behind Bill. Stats for this race are typical of my 5k: average heart rate in the 80% range and only 26 seconds in Zone 5. I just can't get properly warmed up. The 40k race, 10 laps, went well. Bill tried to go solo but the wind was too much for him and after 5 laps he dropped back into our pack. I felt pretty good and on each lap would stand and pedal up one of the hills in order to keep my hamstrings ready for the big sprint I knew would come at the end. I had my finishing tactics all worked out. On the 9th lap, when I stood to pedal, my quads grumbled a bit, so I quickly sat down. A mile later we came to the beginning of the last lap and suddenly my left hamstring seized up. Not just a cramp, it flat froze, causing me to utter a loud expletive, unclip the leg and come to a stop. I'd like to say a few seconds massage released it, but it took several minutes before I could even put enough weight on it to lift my right leg over the saddle. Game over. I'm now home for two months, no trips, and ready to put some serious training it (right after I get a massage and can move my leg, which is still complaining).