Monday, November 7, 2011


One of the great things about my Garmin is the plethora of stats it spits out. It will be another day or two before the offical times and places list is posted, but in the meantime, I'm going over the graphics and information I have available to me. This isn't a post-mortem, in that I'm quite pleased with how I performed, and if I lost a few seconds here and there, oh well.

For instance, my heart-rate chart indicates a starting rate of 108 that jumped pretty quickly to 134 and then on up to 150 at the one-mile mark. 150 is 89% of max. Most of the first mile is a slight grade (2-4%) and I kept it in the small chain ring and high cadence. After that, it was the big ring. The plan called for me "cruising" the first three miles 1) Because that is how long it takes to get me settled in; and 2) Because that is when the first significant flat and downhill come. My HR between mile one and three was at 90%+, which is unsustainable for me at this time for the whole race. So, when the downhill came, I eased back a bit and the HR dropped to 145 and I kept it between 145 and 150 until mile nine. My cadence, meanwhile, remained in the mid-80's.

I had slowly been gaining on Michael, but couldn't get that last 30-40 yards. At mile nine I sensed he was slow in an up-shift, (or is that a down-shift, in any case, going to a smaller cog), possibly taking a breather from the slight grade, upped my cadence, and being in a higher gear quickly closed the gap and passed. Naturally, my HR also increased. Now I returned to the mid-150 range, but felt I could keep it there to the end, so did not back off any.

From mile 13.7 to 15.1 it is all up, slight for awhile, then the last three-tenths is at 7.5%. My HR moved between 151 and 154, and when cadence dropped below 70 I moved back to the small chain ring and increased to above 80. This was only for a couple hundred yards, then we hit the steep downhill before the finish climb. I quickly moved back to the big ring and shifted to my lowest cog, a 12, achieving my high speed of 39.9. Cadence increased to 97, HR dropped to 145. This is where I lost a handful of seconds. With an 11 cog and 110 cadence, this section would have been much quicker.

However, never having time-trialed this distance, and with the 10% hill looming, I saved a bit for the last. The finish is four-tenths of a mile, something like 6%, 9%,9%,10%. My 145 HR went up to 161, leaving me very little oomph to stand and power to the end. I did stand for about 50 yards, then sat back down before my quads cramped. Needless to say, cadence also dropped.

After analizing the graphs, if I were to do this again I'd: 1) Go with the 11-28; 2) Train getting from a high HR to max HR so that I can hold it for about a minute; 3) Try to get another 5 rpm on my comfort level (this is harder than it sounds; I am very comfortable at 80 rpm and can't seem to get it higher). I spent 28.5 minutes at or above 90% of max HR. That's about as much as I want.

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