This evening I went down to Portland International Raceway, joined OBRA, and raced. Even though my main goal is ultraendurance events, speed work will be a vital component of training. I also get to work on my pack riding skills.
To quote the great Heidi Swift, I pedaled until I tasted blood. Immediately after the race I almost puked, so I guess I didn't leave too much on the track.
Final results: 22nd out of 30. I'm disappointed that I didn't do better, proud that I was at least able to hang on and not finish as a straggler.
For some reason, I could barely hang on in one specific turn (I think it was turn 5). I'm trying to analyze what happened and the only thing I can think of is that the prior turn is very sharp so perhaps I was slowing too much or I need to jump on the pedals out of the turn a bit earlier. I have Speedplay Frog pedals so clearance isn't an issue.
I probably need to work on my 'hold the line' skills too. I didn't get yelled at, most likely because there weren't a lot of people behind me, but I'm pretty sure I wandered around a bit too much at certain points in the race.
The bike performed perfectly, any problems were strictly engine-related. While I was cleaning & lubing the bike the other day in preparation for the race, I found a glass shard in the rear tire. I got out the Leatherman and pried it out. Air hissed out for a few seconds before I realized that I should probably rotate the tire so the hole is on the bottom and the sealant can do it's thing. I spun the tire around and stopped it. The air hissed out for a few seconds more, spraying latex sealant on the garage floor, but soon enough it stopped. There was sufficient pressure still in the tires so I just left it until the next day (day of race).
That morning I pumped the tire up to operating pressure. A few drops seeped out but soon stopped and the tire was good to go.
As a side note, it was interesting seeing the mix of frame materials in the cat 5 race compared to the strictly-carbon cat 1/2/3s. I saw the complete mix from carbon to steel. There were even a few riders with fenders, so I guess I took mine off unnecessarily. I didn't want to be too fredly, even though I left my helmet mirror on...
Edit 11 Apr 2011: I was just reviewing my race stats in Ascent and noticed that my average HR for the entire race was 168. My LT is somewhere between 161 and 164, so yeah, I did get my legs torn off. Looking forward to the next race!