My 5000 calorie day

I’ll make this as brief as possible.

I went to Arizona for a bike race. 3 stages. Time trial (race against the clock), road race (like its says, open road) and a criterium (racing around a street block).

Stage 1:
Its raining but I am feeling good. 110 guys in the field and we are sent up the road in 30 second intervals. I do get somewhat of a proper warm-up and I kinda know this course. I did the race last year and got MURDERED. I start too strong, realize and back of a bit, but I think it was too late, I had already dug too deep. I push against the wind going 21mph at times. On the turn around point I pick up some steam and the crosswind helps a lot. Speeds are back up to 28-30mph. I finish the race pretty gassed. Average heart rate for the 35 minute effort was 181 bpm. 1200 calories in 35 minutes….I am a bit oozy after the effort. I clocked the 52nd fastest time. Yeah, I know, got slaughtered on this one. Fastest time was a 30:12 against mine 34:39. So I am already 4 minute back. BTW, this is a stage race, so the position you end up is the sum of your cumulative time in all 3 stages.

Stage 2:
Road race, 75 miles, slight hill in it, not a climbers hill AT ALL. Last year with the tailwind we were going up that thing at around 34mph…i know…insane. This year the wind was not so bad. We have 4.5 laps on the course. First time up the hill went OK. Average HR was around 178bpm… 21-23 mph. Second lap comes around and this one has a time bonus..fawk…guys fly up the hill.

I try to hang on to it for as long as I could but I got gapped and after the group crests they hit it hard. Me and a group of stragglers start working together and chase for a good 8 miles. Mother fucker…..just in time to hit the hill again. I get about 10 minutes of rest and up we go again. Big crash going up, I get gapped again. Now we have 25 or so guys behind me, so I do not have to work as hard, in fact I did nothing! Let them pull me up.

Third time up the climb was much mellower but there are more crashes in the field. People flying of the pavement and getting t-boned. A nightmare. I saw this guy get hit square in the ribs by another bike going about 40mph. Thats gotta hurt. The kid that hit the guy on the floor took a huge tumble. I think he might have done a full flip before landing.

Last lap comes up and I am in serious trouble. I get dropped from the group once again but now I am cramping like there is no tomorrow. 3 hours of racing and all I am drinking is water. BIG MISTAKE!!!!!!! I manage to pedal it out even though both my legs are stiff as boards. I contemplate in dropping out by fear of actually doing damage to my muscle. A couple of tears run down my face, but I keep going. With half a lap to go I drink all the water I have, eat some more cliff blocks ad I pray for them to help me out.

Before the climb I decide to attack. Nothing serious as I was already half useless. I do it 2-3 more times before absolutely cracking myself. I still have a good 2 miles before the finish. I hang with the group for maybe 1.25 miles ad then they drop me, AGAIN!!!!!!! I make it up the hill and I use traffic to block the wind. By doing that I actually gained on the guys ahead of me that also got dropped, but I never caught them. I roll through the finish line 1:55 behind the winner. Not bad considering that last year I came in 28 minutes behind and by myself. Oh well…still another 2 minutes I concede.

Stage 3
Criterium. A race around a block, usually on shitty ass pavement, dot bots, cracks, holes, painted lines to take you down, curbs to jump on and all kinds of shit that can get you into trouble. 55 minutes and the plan is to win the race. My legs feel like baby legs..I can even make the bike go fast. Race starts and off we go. BRUTAL. The pace is very, very high and I fall to the back. I stay there for the entire race. I tried making up ground in the turns but the course is so sketchy that I just saw no reward for risking so much.

I have this imminent feeling that a huge wreck is about to happen. I keep going and I cannot help ANY of my teammates. My heart rate is very low (166 bpm), but my legs are maxed out. We hit some corners at 35mph and in the bunch that is some scary shit. 100 idiots going into a turn at that speed can only mean disaster.

Well, nothing happened. I finished the race well back. I was very dissappointed at my crit performance which is usually my forte. My legs were not there, not after yesterdays effort.

So here are the results:
TT: 52nd - 1200 calories
RR: 60th - 5004 calories
CR: 50th - 1560 calories

I had a limp leg for about 3 days. So bad that I could not come up the stairs. So I did damage the muscle but not enough to keep me out of the race this coming race ;-) This will be better.

Till next time,

JH

PS: The guy in the green on the back, with the fat ass is ME


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