Saturday, March 19, 2011

AFC Sugar Hill and a tough 3rd some of you (I'm sure I can count the number on one finger) know, I have implemented a new weapon to my arsenal this year. No, not a new ride nor is it any type of gear at all. No, my new weapon is...A DISCIPLINED TRAINING PROGRAM! So what you say? I agree. I have logged 1200 miles since the first of the year. Now for some (Roger-still amazes me how much he put in last month) that's not a whole lot, for me that constituted well over half of what I rode last year.

I have had a week of intervals to get me ready for 4000 ft of climbing on the SS.  I chose to ride my Ferrous with a 32/18 set up, probably should have gone with a 19 or even a 20, but whatever. I think the Superfly would have been a better choice and 5 pounds less weight, but I like my Ferrous, so that's what I rode. We went off at 1:00 and as usual fast and furious-AARRRGHH! A water bar climb awaits you right from the start. The course is full of undulating hills and quite a few of really steep, rock riddled climbs. I settled in around 4th for a bit and moved into 1st about 4 miles in. I was feeling good, but not great. I knew this was going to be tough. I started off way to quick and was starting to pay during the 2nd lap. Doug Pepelko, who is a very strong rider was on my wheel  the whole time. I knew it was a matter of time before I had to give up the spot. We must have really tore the field apart, because there was no one, I mean no one, well except Jonathan Houghton, who is another really strong rider passed me.

To be honest, I had limited supplies going into the 3rd lap. Weird thing was my lung capacity was great, like I was just cruising-but my thighs were like lead weights. More core work is needed I believe. Plus 2 "real" mountain bike rides since the beginning of the year was not helpful either. I had 1400 ft of elevation to contend with too. I was riding on pure pride at this point and lucky for me I was strong enough to finish 3rd with quite a big gap from the number 4 guy, who happened to be Dave Kelnberger from last years Crew. Last year I finished 7th in the SS class, but had a much stronger finish than this year. My Garmin crapped out half way through, so no accurate data to speak, but I finished with a 2:10, so 43:33 lap times were still pretty quick.

I didnt finish as strong as I would have liked, but was strong enough to finish 3rd in the SS class and podium for the Crew! Garmin data-borrowed my friend Chris'-who was also racing SS and just substituted my info since my Garmin crapped out after a lap and a half.