America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

16 July 2006

Fall River Criterium:: DNFFFFFFFFFFFF!

Serves me right for being so aggressive during the first five laps. I had never raced here before, but everyone I spoke to before the start was falling over themselves telling me how tough of a course it was. (Who needs to hear that shit?) We didn't get to do any warm-up laps, my first time around was in a race.. The course is a mile long with a hill after the 2nd corner, which continues after the 3rd corner, cresting at the 4th and final corner. Should have suited me perfectly- I am very good at powering over small inclines. So what the hell happened?

A break of 10 or 12 guys got clear by lap 3 and I knew I either needed to be in it, or pull it back. Having no legs to do a solo bridge, I accelerated up the hill and through the start/finish, finding two other riders in tow- we had a small gap. They were either cooked from the effort or lazy, I don't know. What they did do is finally accellerate and leave me behind, ALMOST making it to the tail of the break, and then fading back (I laughed my ass off). So the break is still up the road by about 15 seconds and gathering steam...

We have Rick Kotch in the break, my team mate who last week won the 30+ Attleboro Criterium. These 12+ guys are going to sprint for six places?? Either this break was going to fracture a couple more times before the end, or it was going to be absorbed and some new blood was going to break clear later.

All this stuff going through my mind after just five laps.. I am red-lining it with a HR in the 180s, it's 90+ degrees out. I can't seem to get back down under 170 bpm... So at turn two I go to the front and put the after-burners on. I can see the break isn't working well, some of the guys are looking spent. I lead the field through turn two into the hill, then into turn three up the rest of it I get out of the saddle and sprint to the top. Behind me people are gagging on their own puke -I like to think so anyway :) As I round the 4th corner, we are about 40 meters from catching the break. No one comes around me to help, at which point I yelled at everyone: "COME ON! They're sitting up!!!!!"

Finally someone with fresh legs pulls through and says "Good job", which was nice to hear and made the sting in my legs seem worth it. By the 1st corner at the bottom of the hill, the field was all back together, with me at the back, in the nose bleed section, trying to calm my heart down from the mid 180's. The next two laps saw me hanging on for dear life as fresh new attacks were launched from the field.

Did I mention how damned hot it was? As I left the house this morning, I had this weird feeling. Shutting the door behind me, I almost went back inside to kiss my son goodbye again... "I could die today", I thought to myself. The heat was hard to deal with. The race started at 11:00, the sun was just about vertical, bearing down on us at every part of the course, no shade whatsoever. After eight laps, with 12 laps left to race, I threw in the towel. It just didn't seem worth it...

I had trouble recovering from the few good efforts I put in. The heat was definitely a factor, but I think my heart just wasn't into it. Doing a criterium for the first time can either go great or terrible. An unfamiliar venue can sometimes spook you. So I'm feeling a little bit of self-hate and a little bit like a failure for not grinding out those last 12 laps, but it'll pass. Thanks for reading.


solobreak said...

Hey Murat -

I finally made it over here to check out your blog. Nice race reports.

Reading your last week's about low HR at Wells. Could be overtraining, but you might just be tired. What's the difference? Fatigue is normal, but you bounce back quickly. Overtraining is when you go way too far with it.

Remember, your body does not get stronger during training. Training just works you over and makes you weak and tired. It is during your recovery when you get stronger, because your body rebuilds itself stronger after the training, aka the overcompensation effect.

So your 300 mile week with 4 races may have just been a good build. If you then cut your mileage in half for a week, and took a few rest days, your body would rebuild itself stronger and faster than before.

Fall River probably was not a good indicator. Not only was it hot, but this was one of the first really hot days all year, so you haven't had time to get used to it.

I go with 3 weeks high volume/high intensity training/racing followed by 1 week of reduced training/rest in most of my cycles. I used to do 4 or 5 week builds but now I'm too old and 2-3 weeks seems to work better.

Murat Altinbasak said...

So you're Dave Foley? (Didn't see your name on your blog) Thanks for stopping by and for the free advice. Fall River was a huge disappointment. I thought about it some more today- the decision to go was made the morning of the race. It wasn't an event that was on my calendar. I think when such impulse decisions are made, especially for a new venue, I go in with an "I'll try it" attitude rather than an "I'll do my best" attitude. Maybe I'm just rationalizing my mental breakdown of lap 6. Sometimes it's just a matter of wanting it badly enough, which of course determines how badly we're willing to suffer. Next year will be different, because I really liked that course. My biggest mistake was dispensing too much effort too soon. It should have been in metered doses. This all-or-nothing crap is costing me results... You're absolutely right about rest... Taking rest IS training. I tend to beat myself up for skipping a day or two on the bike, as if hard-earned form is slipping away from me..

solobreak said...

Yup, that's me, but I prefer semi-anonymity. You have to get rest. 300 mile weeks are a lot for someone with a job. It's been a long time since I did that.

Sleep is one of the best indicators of overtraining. Riding at night is tough, as if you go hard, then you can't calm down quickly enough to go to sleep. That's one thing, but when you start waking up with your heart racing, or just not sleeping at all, it's time to back off.

You won't lose fitness by resting, nor riding REALLY easy on your easy days. Most of our races aren't that long, so it's not about being a beast, just having the right effort in you at crunch time.

What races do you have planned for the next month?

Murat Altinbasak said...

Before being hit by a car, I had the Cyclonauts RR in my sights among others, but mainly I wanted to do the Chris Thater Crit in Binghampton. I have some unfinished business there...