Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Wakefield curse is finally lifted!

Hmm...If I had a patch and peg leg.

Well, it was bound to happen at some point; a podium spot at Wakefield. You can call it frustration, allusive, lack of training but I could never better myself there. I always thought it was the heat; last 3 years saw 102° temps. This year was close at 98°.  The course was also 1 mile longer than the previous offerings. Anyway, for whatever the reason, I have never managed to crack the top 5 here. My best finish was 6th place 3 years running.

Last year I finished with a 1:31 and feeling pretty bad. Training last year was pretty lame to boot. This year, though has seen huge improvements in both my physical being and mental states.  Lately, I have been a little worried about my recent physical status. Vacation, hit by a car and lacking training. HR doesnt want to elevate. So this was the race that I wanted more than any other race this year. It was my mission since january. I was going to crack the top 5 if it killed me. I chose the Superfy SS this year. I used the Ferrous in all other years. I also did something very unusual as well for my bike setup. I am 186 lbs and have been running XDX 2.1 tires. I have recently decided to give the 1.75 in the rear-no, not that rear. Needless to say, it worked surprisingly well. It hooked up over everything. Never bottomed the rim once and running 32 psi.

This years SS class saw some of the fastest monocoggers in the area-crap! Oh well, that's what training prepares you for. We started out on a very loose gravel climb to break everyone up-it didnt work. We had a pretty close group for the first 2 laps. The last lap saw most of the passing. I was in 2nd for 2 1/2 of those and managed to let my guard down and got passed 8 seconds before the line! I felt pretty good considering the accident 2 weeks ago. I managed finish very strong and with a time of 1:23:47; 8 minutes faster than last years effort with the extra overall mile and a solid 3rd spot. My average HR was an insane, but very comfortable 182 over 17.91 miles with a max of 192. I was concerned before the race that my HR wasnt going to get up where it should be. It never dipped below 172, which is 4 beats away from my lactate threshold. I was still putting out really good power at this level, so that little time off served me well. I think I could have pushed a little more, but just didnt; racing is funny that way at times.

This was the most satisfying effort so far this year; even over the other podiums and even the 1st's this year. It was also one of the closest. Any mistake could have resulted in a first for me or the 2 guys behind me; 53 second spread over 5 places.