Thursday, August 12, 2010

Know When to Fold 'Em: Hellyer Wed. night Track racing 8/11/2010

I think that my Summer track flurry of racing and digging and scrapping is DONE. Last night I felt pretty wiped in the warmup. With a lack of racers there were only two fields again this week. The 1-2-3-4 points race started off okay and I even went on a flyer on the first lap and held off enough people to score a single point but it was all asthmatic and backwards from there. I came off the track after not being able to get back on the field (even after taking a lap) and told Rick I wanted to jump into the 4/5 race since I was just not up to it tonight. So that meant back to back races but hanging in the 4/5 scratch race was easy enough even though I was just plodding along.

The miss-in-out was forgettable as I pretty much just pulled myself on the first lap after getting taken uptrack by a squirrel looking for a nut...

In the last points race I just kept the pace hot and took all my frustration out on my legs with no regard to the points. As a result there were only four of us left for the last two sprints. The final sprint is the only one I went for and it was too close on the line to tell who got it. No matter anyway.

I was pretty frustrated and finally just realized it's time to call it good. I thought maybe I could keep racing through August and get my final couple of upgrade points but between work cutting off my training and just generally being done with this fitness cycle I'll call it good. I'll likely get back on the track in September for Larry Nolan's scratch/points races and maybe do Friday night racing too if it's going well but after a little break from hard riding I'll probably be working mostly on...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lost (Last) Weekend: Masters Track District Championship, Aug 7 + 8, 2010

Of the six events possible I was planning on participating in four. The sprints were not on my agenda, the 3K pursuit was a biggie, the 1K time trial was big, I failed to cat up to a 3 so I couldn't do the points race, there were loose plans to do the team sprint, and we had a solid-ish foursome for the team pursuit. But that's not exactly how it panned out.

3K pursuit: I'll take pity on the two people who might read this and explain that a pursuit is where two riders start on opposite ends of the track and race a set distance (3 km for my event). It's kind of cool cuz the two riders either match each other or you can see one surge and then fade as they race. Look it up on youtube. What sucks in the pursuit is when one rider is so much stronger than the opponent that they actually catch up to them and pass them. Yeah, that's what happened to me... I knew I didn't exactly jump up to speed well (stupidly messed with my handlebar/aero bars that morning without trying out the launch) yet was way too far into lactate burn after the second lap, despite intentionally holding back. After that it was just seven more laps of thinking too much and hurting too much and generally riding a piss poor time trial. In the end I rode something like a 4:18 which was dead fucking last and not even close to the rest of my age group (TEN seconds to the next place and TWENTY THREE seconds off the winner's time - sheesh how humiliating).

I left the track in a pretty dark mood.

Next day...

1K TT: The good thing about this event is that it doesn't really give a mental-case like me enough time to get into their own head and mess themselves up. It's basically: launch, sit down, get aero, then max out your leg speed until either your head explodes off your shoulders or you cross the finish line. I felt like I had a strong first lap getting up over 32 mph by the end. On the second lap I held about a 31 mph pace but then on the last lap I was really struggling and my speed fell under 30 mph when I hit the windy backstretch. And then it was over. I drifted up the bank, then back down and off the track completely spent. At least I knew I threw absolutely everything I had into the effort. But in the end, it was a repeat of the 3K. In my age group there were only about 2 seconds separating the leaders and then there was me another six seconds back (with a 1:22 I think?). I know I shouldn't hold myself up to guys like Michael Hernandez, John Licatesi and John Cheetham but, damn, I wanted to at least be competitive. Too bad, thanks for coming, the exit is thataway...

Between Steve Jones having left to the hospital (to accompany a teammate of his who managed to have a pretty nasty fall during the warmups) and my having lost ALL ambition to compete, I found John L. and Dave Muminski to let them know I was out of the team events. It turned out they didn't seem to be up for it either but I haven't seen results yet so maybe they found someone and rode anyway.

After putting my bike in the truck and changing back to regular-folk clothes I watched all the points races and especially enjoyed heckling my age group during their race. But, dammit, it really sucked watching the points race. Since June I have been working toward getting my Cat. 3 just so I could do that race and to come close but fail and then have such a let down in the time trials, it would have been fun to dive into the points race even if I would have been barely hanging on.

Oh well. The real bummer is that between working and racing all weekend I really didn't have any time at home. Kris understood that it was a big goal for the year and that the work stuff is out of my control but I'd definitely like to have thelost weekend back...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wednesday Night Track Hellyer Aug 5, 2010

Freshly discouraged from my July assault on catting up to a track 3 I hit the banks on Wednesday night with the only goal being to fire up the engine and prime the fire for the weekend's masters districts. Part of the problem was the lack of B races toward the end of the month leaving me out of the points on the omniums. But no excuses! Just gotta get faster/smarter/more gooderer.

Points 3x6: Went for the second sprint by leading out the bell lap, got swarmed on the backstretch, then got pushed off the sprinters lane onto the apron and spent the rest of the race angry and following wheels and not recovering well as a deep lung burn set in. Wow. Major lung fire! Not good. Track hack for the rest of the night big time. Guy who pushed me off the track came over after the race to apologize. I was still pissed so I bit my lip but we made up later on.

Scratch 15 laps(?): Follow follow hack hack follow. Finish. Hack hack hack.

Miss-n-out: Dear goodness as if I didn't suck at this enough I got confused about the start. First rider pulled... again. And hack hack hack.

Points 6x7 (42 laps): Followed wheels easily enough. Pace was high but not enough that regroups didn't happen after the sprint. Only scored third on one sprint. Really just played the role of firing up the pace after each sprint (which always makes the guys sprinting oh so happy with you especially when you aren't in the hunt yourself. Hehe <--asshole points for me!).

So, blech. Track hack continued way into the evening and on Thursday morning there was plenty of lung butter to expel. Then I've been kind of headachy and sinusy for the rest of the week. We'll see how that disturbs my districts. Saturday will be the 3Km pursuit. Sunday is the 1K TT and team sprint and team pursuit. I'm on the schedule to do the pursuit against a rider in a lower age bracket so I'm not sure how that works. I guess they just take your time and compare it against the other times in your age bracket. Whatever. It's been kind of tough trying to not feel guilty about racing this weekend with all that Kris has had on her plate with my working extra hours lately. She's been awesome about it, though, understanding that I really only had three races with big red circles around them this year. Now if only I felt like I was up to a good ride this weekend. dammit.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tuesday and Wednesday Hellyer: July 27 + 28, 2010

Tuesday night I was a bit sluggish and the legs weren't quite there. I snagged points in the points race and figured I was on the bubble for omnium points but the results were botched and no one wants to fix them so I'm not sure where I finished. It's not important anyway.

Wednesday was tough too with lots of problems breathing all night. I scored some points in both points races but not enough apparently. The scratch race was what it was and the miss-n-out was my typical failure to get out of the sprinting the devil from behind stuff and I was off with six guys still in the race. During the last points race there was a crash when the lead guy in the sprinter's lane decided to go up track at the 200 meter line. I was just coming off his wheel for the sprint and had to go up track too. As did the guy behind me. The fourth guy in line got his wheel swept and went down. He was okay, luckily. But it sucks when someone crashes cuz someone does a bonehead move like that.

I went to the track yesterday to work on team pursuit transitions and starts with one of my partners for the district championship next weekend. After that I did a 1K and two 3K efforts. Ouch! It's hard to time trial for such short distances when I have sooo many road time trials under my belt. The mentality is roughly the same but the effort is WAY higher and painful. I tried to time myself so I have some benchmark times. But they are pretty far off from being competitive. Oh well. Better to be there in the fight than wishing I was there.