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Chainbiter 9.0 Cyclocross - CycleOther

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Farmington, Connecticut
United States
45F / 7C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = 42/46
Age Group = 45+
Age Group Rank = 21/21
Pre-race routine:

A strong nor'easter / hurricane was blowing off shore. The race is inland enough so that the morning races missed it. It was only wind when I left the house for the hour drive to Winding Trails. I got a great parking spot by getting there early. Waited out the reg line, got my number (my childhood area code!), put the bike together, rubbed down with icy hot.
Event warmup:

Same course as previous years, maybe a little faster as they took a short hill out of the back section. The drop in was a bit less scary this year as well. I swear this is the fastest course on the New England circuit; at least those which I'd raced.
  • 00m
  • 15 kms
  • 0.00 km/hr

I was hanging around in lap 1 and actually racing in a small group. By lap 3, a personal time trial off the back. I don't know what happens, I think I'm just too timid in sections and over compensate losing time. A 3 second fumble on 5 spots in a course means losing 15 seconds in a lap and 1:15 over a full race. Add up that plus I'm simply not as strong as most of the whippets who race cross and I'm set up to place poorly. Oh well, I still really love killing myself out there.
What would you do differently?:

Be less chicken s#!t and go for it.
Post race
Warm down:

I went looking for results; none were posted. I decided I'd leave early and loaded up the car. I was on the way out when my friend Tracey pulled in for the 11:00 women's race. She had bagged out the night before, but decided to come. I stayed for her race, she did well.
Results at:

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

This is my last race for a while. 2 days later, I had my Achillies surgery and am starting my 1 year lay-off from racing. The doc says he'll continuously evaluate it and may let me back sooner, just that I should expect the repaired heel to be weaker for quite some time, but it will eventually come back.

Last updated: 2007-11-12 12:00 AM
00:00:00 | 15 kms | 0.00 km/hr
Age Group: 21/21
Overall: 42/46
Performance: Below average
179, 186, 182. In other words: Clinically dead if you believe the 220-age formula.
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: A great course for cyclocross; one of my favorites. Starts off with about 1km on pavement, a quick 180 onto a gravel road leading to a sand pit. Then, quick traverses bring you to a LONG climb which fries you. At the end of the climb, a STEEP drop into the soccer fields. Back up near the picnic pavillions where the barriers are placed, down again to the ballfields and drop into the perimeter of the tennis courts. After the perfect run-up, you go back across the fields and through the "sand-box". Some brief pavement sections and you complete a lap. 3km per lap, we did 5 laps.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Below average
Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2007-11-12 6:22 PM

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Checkin' out the podium girls
Subject: Chainbiter 9.0 Cyclocross

2007-11-12 7:56 PM
in reply to: #1049939

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Subject: RE: Chainbiter 9.0 Cyclocross

Nice race...hey from one who has crashed badly being a little conservative is okay!

Hope your recovery is faster than expected! I know you'll miss your bikes

I'm going to try cyclecross next fall after IMLP....maybe I'll see you around at one of the races.  

2007-11-12 8:17 PM
in reply to: #1049939

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2007-11-13 9:11 AM
in reply to: #1049939

Checkin' out the podium girls
Subject: RE: Chainbiter 9.0 Cyclocross
One thing about cyclocross which I love so much is the intensity. The whistle goes, a group flys off the front and you've got to stay up there. In a 40 minute race, you don't have the luxury of hanging and waiting for a chance. You've got to take every chance on every lap in every section. You must not "rest" or "recovery" because you'll certainly get dropped by someone who's on the gas at that exact point. No group working together mentality like road racing. I think it improves your mental tougness for time trialing / triathlon racing because you learn, mentally, how to live in the pain cave and make the best of it.
2007-11-13 9:20 AM
in reply to: #1049939

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2007-11-13 11:47 AM
in reply to: #1049939

Subject: RE: Chainbiter 9.0 Cyclocross
Just curious what other triathletes think about the value of cyclocross as part of tri-training, or put another way the potential costs versus the benefits.

First, the costs. One cost is the loss of long rides and big bike training weekends in the fall. Fall is a great time to do long rides, and racing cramps that to some extent. Another cost is the potential for crashes. Having just crashed out hard from a cross race, I am literally painfully aware of the potential for crashes. Crashes also risk reductions in training volume in the fall.

The benefits? First, whether swimming, biking or running, doing any race with purists of that event can raise your sites. For example, I am a pretty good triathlon swimmer, but I am a pretty lousy Masters swimmer. So doing Master swim meets makes the realize I can improve alot in swimming. Second, because cyclocross is an anaerobic, aggressive race, it is good psychological training for shorter tris. Third, it teaches good bike handling skills.

In light of a hard crash on Sunday, that took me out of a race after just 500 meters, I am not so sure the benefits are worth it. I don't know if missing a coupe long rides and risking injury is worth it. I can set my sights higher, race more aggressively, and learn bike handling outside of cross.

But maybe I am just spooked, so I would love to hear other people's thoughs.

Regardless, congrats to all those who are giving it a go. It isn't easy leaving the comfy confines of triathlon to slog along at the back of the field in cross races. So bravo to those who do!

Dr. G

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