Monday, May 24, 2010

Mooseman Recon or "I'll see you at the top"

My first race of the season is just 2 weeks away: the Mooseman Olympic distance. This weekend my team went up to Bristol, NH for the day to try out the race course. I rode the Olympic course twice to get in a nice 54 mile ride and followed that up with a painful (though not in the usual spots- shins felt ok) 30 minute run. Here's what I learned:

  • This course is awesome. Rollers immediately, followed by the "Rhythm Section" (relatively flat, but bumpy roads), then undulating newly paved highway, and finally more rollers.
  • There is one BIG hill aka "Devil Hill" but it's short, so yeah, you've gotta go in your granny gear, but it's only for a minute or two
  • Trying to find landmarks to identify hills that I'll need to downshift on was hard. OK, after the cabin with the boat in the front yard, or how about the summer camp, or maybe the boulders. Oh hell. In the end I think I'll just downshift when the hills look big.
  • I don't go fast downhill. My coach joked that I needed to put on a little more weight, but honestly, it's not the weight, it's the brakes that slow me down. I just get nervous. Repeatedly on Saturday, I'd get dropped as people sped past me on the downhill, only to catch back up on the uphill. I guess that's a good thing.
  • As the morning progressed more riders showed up which gave the course much more of a race feel with people to pass/ be passed by. I felt good going into the last 20 miles, so I pushed it and averaged 17.1 for both loops. Nice.
  • I'm now wondering about my half ironman (in 4 weeks). If the course is not truly dead flat, like Busso, and is more similar to this course, maybe I will be able to really "race" on the bike and not just hold pace. The question is how hard can I go on the bike and still finish the run.


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