I didn’t want to repeat the poor week of training after Santa Ynez that I had following Sea Otter, and was all set to run on Monday but decided to take it as a rest day. My typical week looks a lot like this:
SUNDAY – Race. MONDAY – Run. TUESDAY – Road ride with hill climbing. WEDNESDAY – Run (but my legs are usually pretty beat up and I often take it as a rest day). THURSDAY – Mountain bike ride. FRIDAY – Massage. SATURDAY – Easy Mountain Biking if there’s a race on Sunday or something harder if there is not.
I’ve got some issues with this now that I’m actually giving it some thought because races are almost always on Sunday, the first day of my training week. I’ll have to check to see what the more experienced racers are doing; they may suggest I switch my week around so that the week of training leads up to the race on the last day or they may tell me I’m wasting my time thinking about training when I should be actually training . . . or something in between.
So, I rested last Monday and went about the rest of the week business as usual. Well, not exactly, I switched my Thursday mountain bike ride for a mountain bike race. Dave and I headed out to Glendora Thursday afternoon, after recalculating and a pit stop at the library, we barely made it with enough time to register and stage. Dave told me during the drive
“We can use the first lap as the warm-up.”
When we staged there were about 50 people there. It was a well organized event, the venue was good and the course was well marked. Stevo Herrera of The Cyclery Bike Shop in La Mirada was the MC of the evening and did an excellent job getting all the racers in the correct spot at staging and we were off.
I was in a wave with only 5 riders, the second wave to start, I believe. 3 guys were in the Cat 2 Men 30-39, the others were whippersnappers. Ahead of us were the crazy single speeders, experts, and one pro.
We started across the park and out toward the street on a narrow trail that featured a chain link fence on one side, and sporadic protruding trees on the other, nothing dangerous really. It was actually kind of fun. We turned right at the sidewalk then another quick right for the first climb, which went up about 300 feet in 3/4 of a mile at around 8% grade. With no warmup, I was in the red within the first mile of the race. One of the guys took off and I thought I had a good chance of catching him in the next two laps after I warmed up.
Nacho, from Fullerton Bikes, was the other guy in my race and I was behind him on the climb. When we hit the top there was a fun downhill single track and Nacho got a good gap. It was a very serpentine descent and I thought I could catch him on the next climb. When I hit the bottom neither guy was visible, but as I got near the top of the next climb, I could see both of them ahead of me. We climbed into the next single track and I got in before Nacho. He hadn’t pre-ridden the course so I had a bit of an advantage. As we descended I could hear him behind me. I offered to let him through but he said no thanks.
Right near the end of the lap there was a quick bump that required a little power or momentum; when I saw it, I shifted quickly and just then I heard Nacho exclaim
I thought it caught him on the wrong gear but found out later that he hit something on the ground. It was enough to give me a gap and I went around again trying to catch the next guy. I could see him on the climb and as much as I tried, I couldn’t close the gap. I went around by myself, passing a few of the single speeders who started ahead of me. When I finished the second lap I saw that Dave, who had started a minute after I did, was closing in on me with another guy on his wheel. I went through the park and out to the next climb. I looked back and saw Dave not too far behind; he had dropped the other guy and I yelled out
“Is that guy behind you in your race?”
He answered but I couldn’t make it out so I slowed down
“Get on my wheel then you’re on your own at the single track.”
He looked like he was giving it everything to get up and when he caught me I hammered up the hill. One of the single speeders had come with him and I pulled them both up then let them both through at the single track. No one else had passed me, which meant Dave was going to win his race. My guy was long gone and all I had to do was make sure that I didn’t get caught by the next guy in my race. I caught Dave on the next climb and stayed on his wheel down the final descent to the finish.
Dave won his Cat 2 Men 50-59 and I was 2nd in the Cat 2 Men 30-39.
We stopped by to see Chris Bautista after the race and had a beer with him, then a hamburger, protein style at In-N-Out before heading home. It was good training, although I would have preferred 4 laps to make it a 12 mile race instead of the 9 miles in 3 laps that we did. I’ll probably go back there and race in the required 4 of 5 races for the series, but not before racing in my first crit of the year on Sunday at the Dana Point Grand Prix.
That’ll be my next race report.