22 November 2009

2009 November 22, CCCX #5, Manzanita Park

CTL: 117
TSB: 11
The knee I hurt a few years ago while running started bothering me right away after I ran down the hill at yesterday's cross race, it turns out I am in a lot of luck because today's cross race course is one hundred percent rideable by mortals such as myself, there's one short steep, rooted hill that is doable if one has momentum so I will not have to subject myself to much running today. A bit of elevation change for a cross race but it's a long gentle slope up and down, up and down so laps will be long.

Decent size field for CCCX, I still get in back because the hill will sort things out. I see Surf City winner Josh and Justin ahead of me and work up to their wheels, which turns out to be seventh. Kind of surprise myself and am able to hang on to Justin's wheel, Josh leaves us behind on the grass section before the hill. The second time up the hill I have to bridge up to Justin and almost blow and spend a little too long on his wheel, should have tried passing earlier, but waited until he got a feed on the downhill and slowed a bit and passed just to avoid braking on the downhill, then I took one of the downhill hairpins too fast and crashed, and got back up and chased back on.

Was getting close enough to think about passing him back on the last lap when I crashed again at almost the same spot, doh. Left myself less than half a lap to catch back up so just tried to lay it all out there and caught one rider who passed me when I crashed and falling a bike length short of passing Justin at the line.

I must be much weaker at running/remounting/dismounting than everyone else, cause this and the first Surf City race with only one dismount are the only races I've been really competitive at this year. Need to work on those weaknesses more or just do the races with the minimum amount of running...

cccx5c from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Decent normalized power for once in a cross race, still about 20% short of what I can do on an equivalent length climb.

T: 32:50
C: 86
S: 21.8
H: 183
Pavg: 198
Pnorm: 242


21 November 2009

2009 November 21 - Cow Palace Cross

TSS: 5.4
CTL: 117
Finally come into a race a little rested, mostly because yesterday it was windy and the roads were wet.

Interesting course, finally get to ride in some local mud this season, little BMX style bumps seemed unnecessary outdoors. First lap there was a big traffic jam at the top of the descent so I just ran it but my knee was complaining about the one little stint of downhill running for the rest of the weekend.

Never really felt like I was racing after spending so much time on the first lap waiting for traffic to clear up on the descent, had trouble going hard for an extended period except while running up the stairs and riding the finish hill.

On subsequent laps I had a bit of trouble with the descent because I had gotten used to mounting and not clipping in and one really wanted to be clipped in with both feet on the descent, but at least managed to not crash. Went with 25 PSI in the rear which was great for traction, just felt like I flatted every lap, will go higher tomorrow.

Cleaned up a bit around the house and found ye old heart rate strap for the PowerTap so heart rate data for this race. Let's one measure something of what one is doing off the bike. Managed to go harder today than last race, though it didn't feel that hard, mostly due to the normalized power algorithm weighting 30+ second efforts so a few of those will pump up the normalized power.

T: 40:44
C: 81
H: 181
S: 15.8
Pavg: 139
Pnorm: 190

17 November 2009

2009 November 14 Pilarcitos BASPS Cyclocross Sierra Point, 35+B

Took a couple easy days prior to this race but still kind of negative on TSB from a long Wednesday ride. May try to shift into just moderate length days every day instead of a couple of super long days per week.

Short course on one large suburban block on the waterfront in Brisbane. A little bit of elevation gain thanks to creative of a few domes of earth about seven or eight feet high.

Did the 35+ B's this time because not really having fun in the back with a field size of 140 last race in the C's. Smaller field on a tight course, just made it easier for me to move backwards! Today I felt like I went out hard for half a lap and faded for the next 6.5 laps. Left a lot of room for improvement in a couple of corners, sometimes got too content to follow wheels instead of passing, also, noticed a lot of people accelerate much faster than me on the remount, stuff to work on for the next race.

The camera mount on the helmet has a little too much play, probably need to use the adhesive backing to keep it in one place - the motion makes this video carsickness inducing -

On the plus side, went a little harder than I did at the last cross race.
T: 38:01
S: 20.0
C: 86
Pavg: 160
Pnorm: 180


06 November 2009

2009 November 1, Surf City #3, Watsonville C

CTL: 110
TSB: 7
guestimated numbers due to no data yesterday

I was so sore and stiff from Saturday's crash I would not have raced on Sunday had I not already preregistered. On the other hand some days you feel like crud but have an amazing day on the bike so who knows what's going to happen.

The course was changed up on Sunday, a little more running and technical with the short hill having a shorter, downhill off camber entry today and the short, steep ride/run up leading into it. Didn't feel better after a couple of laps scouting the course but it looked like fun and I was already here.

No call up today but managed to get in pretty much the same position on the start line. Justin from Godspeed crashed really hard on the little hill and was sprawled across the bottom - kind of disconcerting to say the least. Briefly considered stopping to check him out but then he moved his legs and said something so I kept going. Lost contact with the lead riders at that point, but would have happened anyways without the accident.

I did remember the video camera and it worked for the first half of the race:

First half of 2009 Surf City #3 Watsonville Cyclocross C race November 1 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

The second half of the race I faded back, just unable to keep up the pace.

Thought I went hard the whole time, but it just felt really hard to me, or maybe the unmeasured part that was running was a lot harder on me than the cycling part, because I can do the Pnorm below for all day, not just 40 minutes.



04 November 2009

2009 October 31, Surf City #2, Watsonville, C Race

TSB: 6
CTL: 112

Every once in a while waiting at the starting line of a race, one can hear the pfssst sound of a deflating inner tube. Today it was my turn with Mike our race starter telling us we had one minute to go. Resigned myself to trying to convince the registration folks to let me change my race category to B when Mike Valencia and Steve DeLong both offered me a wheel. Since Matthew might need his rear spare during the race, I accepted Steve's wheel. We got the wheel changed in less than a minute and the C field graciously let me back into the start grid where I was on the second row. The winner of the Soquel race, Steve, and someone else took off through the finish area when I remembered I had a bike set up for nine speed with a ten speed rear wheel. I could only get it to stay in the 12, the middle one - 18?, and the 25. What seemed to work best for me with a flattish course with one set of barriers and some wide open straightaways was the 44/12. Managed to stay close to the front set of riders until I took a right hander on the hardpack through the horse stalls a little too fast and hit the ground really hard.

Most of the damage was to me and I was able to hop back on the bike and try to catch back up. It was sort of like racing on a single speed, but I would have chosen a smaller gear for a single speed race! Could not keep up the accelerations after a lap and managed a mid pack finish. Post race my legs were extremely sore from the big gear grinding and the crash.

A fun race in spite of the equipment trouble and crash.

No data since I wasn't using a Powertap rear, and no video because I didn't carry the camera, forgot to charge the batteries.