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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Falling From Fourth

Ahh...'cross on the island is over..went out with a high and low. The course we designs for CrossVega was AWESOME. People raved about it. Low was that i went into the race sitting 4th overall in Intermediate, and after being unable to perform, plus a flat, i've probably dropped to 10th or so...nuts. Anyway, catching up on the week:

Saturday - OBB Ride

Still wasn't feeling very great, cold still lingering. Headed out on the OBB ride, planning to ride an hour and a bit. Funny group, rather small, and we had *two* flats before leaving Oak Bay!! I realized i was still feeling like crap. Fraaaack..not looking good for Sunday. I stuck with the group to Mt. Doug, then turned left on Shelbourne and cruised back home. Power deets:
 Entire workout (166 watts):
    Duration:      1:03:14 (1:11:33)
    Work:          622 kJ
    TSS:           64.1 (intensity factor 0.784)
    Norm Power:    204
    VI:            1.23
    Distance:      27.911 km
                       Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    590    166     watts
    Heart Rate:      82    180    148     bpm
    Cadence:         32    138    91     rpm
    Speed:           3.9    66    26.7     kph
Not much power, and even this was draining.

At noon headed up to Shawnigan Lake School with Jen, Roland and Katie, and met up with Norm, Chris, Dan and Ian Craib to set up the course.  Below is the 'general' map.

There was some wiggling in the whiteish bit in the middle, and the field on the lower right was my domain...and i turned it into an epic, challenging sequence, features some tight turns off the top, up a small rise, which drops into a mud pit, then back up immediately (which got quite slick) and then a short straight into 'The Flush', basically a mini whirly-whirl. Another short stretch on a trail to the three off-camber V's. The first most rode, the second was a challenge, and very few could ride the third. Then another short straight, a tab more elevation, and then a drop in an S bend corner that was also very challenging, with riders slipping out and unclipping with great frequency...the goal there was to slow riders before the chute into the woods, which was a fast downhill - it woulda been a bit nuts to have riders hit that with speed!

From there was the downhill, which became a river overnight (it was mostly dry Saturday, i swear!) That river hid many sharp rocks which caused most to flat...myself included. In the woods was a short 'singletrack' technical section, and then out onto a road section that continued downhill. From there, back to a trail which had a very technical riser/berm, and tight turn back to the main trail, that led to the stairs. Best placement for stairs, imo as well, as you were fully recovered by the time you hit them. Long set too, but i actually managed okay on them.

That continued with the uphill..up a road, then a short cross over to more wooded, rocky trails, and up and up and up...into the bottom of the rugby field, some more climbing getting ABOVE the rugby field, and then around it..ugh! Once back nearly where we started circumnavigating the field was the real mud...it just got worse each lap, real wheel-sucking stuff..haha.. A 5 meter drop and short stretch before the barriers (just two), another downhill on the road, and then back up to the lap/finish point.  From there a long uphill road to the grassy field. It was a LONG freaking course, nearly 3.5km by my estimates. Awesome to ride tho.

Sunday - CrossVega!

Ahh.. The Island Championships...double-points for the series too, and i'm flattened by a cold. I had a decent first lap, stuck with the front through the grass:

I think one person might have snuck by on the stairs:

After that it went downhill on the uphill. Several people eased by as i had no high-end to power up the climb...so sad..trailed the group around the field and then lost contact on the road..

(Thanks to Mical and Danielle for these shots!)

And basically kept moving backwards from there all race.. The grassy field allowed me to bridge up to a rider a time or two, but that was about the only momentum i could manage.. And then i flatted to boot..haha..

Other riders had good races tho, Geoff Pendral won our race, Roland pulled off another impressive 4th place finish, securing his victory of taking the entire series! (And then he raced Expert later on too, what a maniac!)

Teammate Jen had a rough race too. Battling it out with Glenowyn for a couple laps, but then flatting as well as a few mechanicals. Still, she managed to hold onto 3rd for the Open Women's field, awesome work Jen, nice job representing! =)

The event finale was pretty swell, with TONS of awesome prizes for the draws, and nearly everyone must have walked away with something. Gotta thank Vega, Green Cuisine (vegan chili and corn bread for racers!) and Pink Sugar for helping with prizing for OA. =)

It was bittersweet as well, as the series was finished...wouldn't be seeing so many faces, especially Normon and Wendy, who have done SO much work to make the series happen. Norm won the Top Organizer's award from CyclingBC this year, and rightly so! Cross on the Rock is a golden, magical event, thanks to these two!

My own pics of the Masters/Womens and Elite race, plus details on course features can be found here:


Tuesday - Training, 350w/5min Effort

Wasn't sure how i'd feel, or if i'd be able to do anything on the bike. Plan was to head out to the Observatory, do a short effort on the way, and see how that felt and go from there..

Off the top i didn't feel too great, legs a bit achy, but a few minutes in it started coming together, and by the time i was on Interurban, i felt mostly "normal"! Legs were pushing the watts they should, and felt lively. YAY! A little late, but glad to feel good.

Around Camosun i put some pressure to the pedals for a minute, and it felt fine. HR and breathing increased at a normal rate. Okay, on to the Observatory for a 350 watts and 5min test (hopefully one and the same!)

I've been curious to see how my power compared to when i started doing my 350w intervals.  My first test saw me holding 350w up to the first switchback in under 4mins, but failure at that point. Wasn't able to carry on.  Also, my 5min PB was 341w, although that was from a year ago...i never have a reason to give my all for 5mins! It's either much shorter (5-30seconds) or 20mins+. (Were i racing track, my 5mins would be much more relative..) Anyway, i had my recent benchmark of ~4mins.

Started off, felt pretty good. Held the watts with relative ease...and managed to feel this way until the steep bit before the switchback...by then was breathing fairly heavily, but far from done. Upon looking at my data, i had actually hit that point around 3'30, and had been holding 360w!

I powered as much as i could while corning the switchback and then back uphill...close to the top of the first stretch i could feel myself beginning to fade, but i wasn't going to give up.  Got out of the saddle and maintained as much as i could sustain...i was going to get myself to the buildings..... Still 20m to go, and i was DYING. Breathing so hard, legs very unhappy, i crested the section, sat down and tried to continue pedalling, and there was nothing. That was all i had....

I didn't know what i'd done, i didn't switch over to the timer, so i wasn't sure i'd even ridden 5mins. I cooled down for a minute up there, breathing heavily (a worker there commented!), and then pointed downhill, and made tracks back for home.

So turned out i HAD ridden 5mins, so there was a chance to break my previous PB...and i did, yeah! I managed to average 350w - woohoo! I'm pretty happy to be hitting a PB this late in the season, and esp. after a crappy weak of non-training and illness.. I suspect i'm capable of more, but i think this was the one timeframe i hadn't gotten a PB in this year, so nice to complete that. ;)

Here's the full session details:
Entire workout (201 watts):
    Duration:      1:31:44 (1:34:54)
    Work:          1096 kJ
    TSS:           118.2 (intensity factor 0.882)
    Norm Power:    229
    VI:            1.14
    Distance:      44.426 km
                         Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    863    201     watts
    Heart Rate:      78    190    159     bpm
    Cadence:         25    124    94     rpm
    Speed:           3.9    56.1    29.3     kph

And here's the 5mins breakdown for shits'n'giggles:
Peak 5min (350 watts):
    Duration:      5:01
    Work:          105 kJ
    TSS:           15.2 (intensity factor 1.347)
    Norm Power:    350
    VI:            1
    Distance:      1.668 km
                         Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           106    492    350     watts
    Heart Rate:      133    190    183     bpm
    Cadence:         52    99    82     rpm
    Speed:           12.5    26.9    19.9     kph
Funny to think i burned up a banana doing that. =P

I had also pinned 190bpm for the final 30 seconds..owwie.. Funny to think that in previous years i'd spend quite a bit of time in that range...much less this year, doing more TT stuff, etc.. I think if i could maintain this effort to the top, i would finish around 6'15..far from any record, but i'd be happy with that! Holding 350w for another minute+ would be quite an achievement...i was DONE at 5mins.

Coming Up

Will jump on the bike for a short ride tomorrow. Planning to head to the mainland for Saturday and Sunday which feature the final BC Cup and Provincial Championships for cyclocross, it'd be fun to see what the events over there are like.  For the Provincials, i'd have to race Elite, which will be hilarious, i'll be lapped by most of the field, but hey..heheh

After that my season is FINISHED!! December will feature less time on the bike, and more fun-oriented, including lots of trail time on the RIP9. Also, will be heading back to Crag X to climb - really, really looking forward to that!

A few quick links:
US Cyclocross Champ Ryan Trebon's Workout - Adjusted for You
Funny to see that a pro is doing pretty much the same workouts as myself! Although i was doing mine a bit harder, spending time quite a bit above my Fieldtest output, but slightly below SS for the 'under' (260w v 270w).

VeloNews: Clinchers for Cross
I'm of course a huge fan of the Mud tire (esp the original green Mud). The Wolf is also pretty solid for racing in these parts.

And more pics from Sunday:

Rita's Pics:

Jamie's pics:

Regan's CrossVega Photos

Happy Thanksgiving to the US readers!

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    Dave Shishkoff
    aka Dave Noisy
    Victoria, BC

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