Friday, September 6, 2019

DRIVEWAY 9/5

     Well, things didn't go as planned.  But I (involuntarily) did re-learn one thing: a proper warm up is essential.  And another thing: Statistics can be deceiving, especially if used deceivingly.  So this is how my evening went yesterday.
     Still one hundred degrees.  I arrived at the Driveway early, so set up a chair in the shade and drank a bottle of water.  Four-fifteen, time to warm up.  I filled up my water bottle and proceeded to ride around the parking lot for fifteen minutes until it was time to open up the track.  That time came and went, and I continued to circle around, alternating high cadence and high gear.  They never did open the course for warm ups.  I never did get my heart rate up to race speed.  Legs were good, cardio not so much.
     Due to the lessening daylight hours, the racing groups have been compressed and we now have the Cat 3 racers in our group.  Guy informed me that they usually go one mph faster.  That probably means they go 3-4 miles faster down the slope.  So off we go.  Even starting at the back I was able to move up a bit because I clipped in on first try and am in the proper gear.  Heart rate jumped in a hurry and I'm hoping not to go in the red too soon.  As we rounded the S curve and start down the slope, I hit the accelerator hard and was super pleased to be hanging in.  Too fast!  I had forgotten where the turn was!  Pook, ding-fu!!
     Now on the outside of the wide turn, having to brake slightly, watched folks pass on the inside and just like that, lost the group.  How quickly fortunes change.  I managed to catch on to Amy and Joella, fresh from high altitude fun in Colorado.  Amy and I traded off for a couple of laps, with Joella trailing slightly.  She finally caught back on.  I was third in line when the peloton came whizzing by, on the S curve.  We stayed left, but I got squeezed on a curve and lost position.  I also lost Amy and Joella who didn't have to slow down.  So now I was on my own.
     This is a fast course and the group rode hard.  So I got lapped again, and again had to slow because they again caught me on the S bend.  They hadn't dropped a lot of riders, so it was a long, strung out group taking a long time to pass.  Anyhow, I saw a dropped rider up ahead and knew we were on the same lap.  He was pretty much gassed and if we didn't get pulled off course for the last lap, I might catch him.  We didn't get pulled and on the last uphill I caught on to his wheel, stayed there for a few seconds, then accelerated away, not to finish last.
     Now for the stats.  My average cadence was 89, more or less what I've been doing.  My heart rate of 150/158 was a bit low, and my speed dropped back to 19.6mph.  But my average power increased to 180 watts.  I worked harder and went slower.  I'm blaming the inability to warm up properly and not remembering the course, causing me to get dropped too soon. I can't compare HR with my younger teammates but the power numbers are interesting.  I did an average of 180 watts which generated 19.6 mph.  Teammate #1 did 183 watts for 24.7 mph, average cadence 98; #2 did 183 watts for 25.9,  cadence 91; #3 did 208 watts for 22.3 mph (perhaps he was dropped also, thus having to push harder for his speed).  As Todd has told me many times: you go faster with less energy when inside the group.  Of course, I've known that for years, but now have the numbers to prove it.
      I need to get a proper warm up.  So far, I haven't settled on what to do, consistently, to achieve that.  I know that cadence ladders will get the HR up and I can achieve that on Great Northern.  Somehow that hasn't translated to other areas.  I may have to bring the trainer and set that up.  Stay tuned.