this past weekend marked a conversion from one season to the next!
On the multisport front; one of my favorite races took place, Lobsterman Int. Distance. This is a home course race for me, the bike passes within 3/4 mile of my house and I ride those roads daily. The swim was FRIGID this year with a big drop off over the last few weeks. Temp was near 58F with a nice chop to make it even more challenging.
I really screwed up on the navigation as I made the first turn I got a bit off course (ok..a lot off course) as the next buoy was HUNDREDS of meters down and I was sighting off the wrong buoy. I was redirected by a nice kayak'er but the damage was done! I should have swam with Thomas and Aaron but instead was 90-120sec back...ouch.
A quick T1 and I was out...my only goal was to PUSH on the bike. the first few minutes my RPE was off and I was hurting...this could be ugly. I settled down, got my legs under me, then started to lay down a hard tempo. My goal was to ride 10-15min steady, then 10min HARD. To treat it as a bit of an "openers" workout. At the ~16 mile mark I caught the lead group. I settled for ~5min to recoup then surged hard on the climb up Pleasant Hill...the elastic was snapped. I rode a hard tempo to T2.
A quick dismount and I was into transition. run shoes on, helmet off and out I went. Second was still not into the transition yet. I ran hard for ~150 meters...then DROPPED OUT. Yep, I pulled the plug...in the lead of a race. Wow that was difficult. My plan was to do some work pre-Suckerbrook and that is it. I had to explain myself about 30 times but I had made my decision.
After hanging for a bit @ the park I headed home to get ready to CONVERT.
Sunday 9/20. Cross season starts.
Suckerbrook Cross, New Hampshire. Elite Masters 35+. It's on.
SBC is the unofficial start to the NE cross season. A good little race in Auburn NH with a fun, not too tech course.
I arrived early to shake down the new rides and get 3-4 laps on the course. I had made a decision to run my clincher rear Power Tap wheel to get some "data" along w/a normal tubular Dugast front set up. PSI was ~35 front and rear.
Front row start and I nailed the whistle timing and then proceeded to slip the pedal a bit...doh! I hit the first turn in about 10th place behind my teammate Big Al. Into the second 2x90 degree turns Sam Morse tried to make an outside pass only to fall right into Al and take them both down...I was lucky and the seas parted and I darted through only losing a bit of momentum.
The first 2-3 laps were steady/hard as we established the break of ~8 guys. A solid group with most willing to do work. About then John Bold and Kevin Hines rolled off the front and pulled a TTT to drop us all. At about the 25min mark on the downhill into the woods I felt a hard hit on a root and worried of a pinch flat. about 15 seconds later I felt the rear rim bottom out again and knew it was losing air! shit! I made it through the sand trap and out to the paved start/finish straight. back onto the tricky lefthander onto the gravel I was all over the place and barely made it to the pit. of course with out a pit person I was left to find then drag my spare bike out and re-start the chase...down about 20 seconds. I tried valiantly for next 15-20 minutes to get back but couldn't get closer than about 7 seconds from that group. With Mike Rowell and John Meerse coming from behind, I put in a hard last 2 laps to maintain 7th place and earn some $$!
so the summary goes : NEVER race cross on clinchers, I had good legs and I had bad luck...glad it wasn't a VERGE series race.
Next up, Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2009 VERGE New England Cyclocross Series in Vermont...watch for the reports!
(and pics I hope!)