Saturday, March 17, 2012

AFC Sugar Hill and a great 4th place finish

At least I am very color coordinated
I love to hate this race-lets just get that out in the open. I love it, but I get so worked up before hand that it really throws me off a bit. I have "slimmed" down to 183lbs., I guess that is as slim as I'm gettin folks. This years cast of monocogging characters was, I would say the best one so far. 31 starters and all of them fast, fast fast. Teammates Adam Driscoll, Jonathon Houghton and Blake Bricker (who I will be doing Bakers with) along with Bernie Shiao along with some fast youngins as well rounded out this years group. I think what I get so nervous about are the "unknowns", Now I dont mean that in a derogatory manner, but just the guys you dont know that could throw a wrench in your cog.

I decided to run a 32/19 on the Superfly SS, which incidentally is the first time racing it at Patapsco. I ran a 32/18 on wednesday, but it felt a bit hard on my 44 year old bod. I made a good choice. The flats were a bit hoppy, but the climbs were ever so slightly easier? It was also the first race on the Niner rigid carbon fork. 4 words Very Fast Very Stiff. Yep, the rock gardens were a bit rough, but it is super accurate. No flex at all, so on the climbs, it was beautiful, just beautiful man. The bike weighs in at 18lbs even now, but doesnt feel frail at all.

Anyway, this years goal was, as usual to shave some time from last years time. Wednesday pre-ride without a 3 mile section timed in at 2:04. Today I ended up with a 2:02:47 with the additional 3 miles! That was 8 minutes faster than last years time. So the training seems to be working. I held 2nd for 2:00:01 of the race and then it hit-the thigh burn was just too great and Jonathon Houghton passes me a mile or so from the end. I was able to stick with him, but couldnt get by. He did beat me by 2 minutes-33 seconds last year. This year only 9 seconds separated us. AAAAAHHH! I ended up 4th, which was 1 down from last years results, but this was my best race there so far. Eight minutes off and a strong finish-so I am very satisfied with my placement.

On a somewhat interesting note; my HR only got to 187 for a max, and my average was 171. My max HR is 200 so I am assuming that my training program is allowing me to be a bit more economical in regards to power output. Or I just didnt try hard enough. Normally I would hit in the high 190's and my average would be my LTHR-178. So 8 minutes faster with less effort-that's what Im talkin bout! It surely took a toll on my body, but climbing Ridge 3x's will do that.

Anyway, it was good seeing Blake and Sandie-who raced SS female and did great, both of whom are great people and riders to boot! So next year, sub 2:00?


Adam finished 1st, Jonathon 3rd and me 4th in the SS class. Chris and Auggie finished 6th and 7th in the sport class with a sprint to the finish. Pat finished 4th in the gear head division so it was a great day overall for the AFC TEAM!