JHOLLNAGEL

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5 Days to Race Day

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Well since my Triathlon was cancelled by the promoters, I now have no excuses for my race results on Sunday July 5th. I am entering into my first race ever as a cyclist. This is a WisSport sponsored race so yes I will be intimidated by the pro-racers and top end category racers as well.

I have no idea what to expect. I know not to position myself up front with the pro's but I also think I should not position myself in the very back. I hate to lose the effect of a good peloton. I will try to position myself in the middle of the pack and I hope to stick with them until the end. The course has some challenging hills and I'm not a billy goat and since I 'm carrying about 220 lbs I'm sure I'm in the plus 50 lbs among my other competitors.

I'm embarking on my second season of cycling so I have no goals or training schedule again this year. I'm using this 2 lap 20 mile circuit and 42+ plus miles from start to finish along with the Race the Lake (90 mile race looping around Lake Winnebago in August) as my measuring points for my 3rd year of cycling. I'm using these results as to figure out a training schedule and off-season regimen as well. For speed testing our local cycling club does time trials each month. I will be using these results to focus where I am at in my speed work.

So in a way, the anticipation to Sunday is gut wrenching .... I'm excited yet nervous as all heck!! Do other cyclist who compete at this level go through want I am experiencing? If so, I can see and understand why a lot of cyclist do not compete. I hope that these feelings do not keep me from racing or should I say attempt at racing the following year!!! ;-) Yet again, may be it these feeling that drive people to want to compete??? May be the ones who continue to compete know how to control these feelings fom becoming too overwhelming? Another topic for a blog?

Thanks,

Jim

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • WESSCANDO
    For training information the cycling section of active.com website is a good start. They often write articles about how to improve different aspects of the sport.
    4164 days ago
  • WONGERCHI
    Your reaction is totally normal mate. First RR is a tough one. Some tips:

    1) Pre-ride the course if you can. Pick a normal ride day and drive (or ride) up to the course. It's 20 miles, so I'd do one lap easy, one lap at tempo (kinda hard) pace. Figure out what gears to use on the hills. If you can't, drive it at least.

    2) Get there earlier than you think. It's better to kill time then be in a panic. Normal race routine and WU.

    3) You want to be in the first third, at all times. Get to the start line early so that you can line up toward the front. Generally RRs around here go off slower than crits, so position isn't as critical.

    4) Hills - get to the front before the hills start so that you can drift back through the pack. I do this all the time. If I time it OK I'll get over the hill at the back of the pack and use the descent to catch back on. If you're at the back on a hill, you're dropped.

    5) You should be used to pack riding so this may not be relevant, but look around before you make a move. Check who is behind and to the side before you think about doing something. Don't be squirrely otherwise you're likely to take out some folk.

    6) Enjoy yourself! Relax in the bunch, watch for the surges up the hill and towards the end. But most definitely, have fun.

    Let us know how it went!
    4165 days ago
  • NIKNAKPATTYMAC
    I think you hit on it with your last couple statements. My brother was an elite cyclist for years. I'll ask him and get back to you. But, I'd think they all go through exactly what you are going through but they do the mind work and meditations to envision the race and to calm themselves so they don't waste energy letting the stress and anxiety get to them. When my husband used to race horses the horses knew it was race day and some of them would "wash-out" as the trainer said. Those horses didn't usually race well and weren't race horses very long--maybe one race or one season.

    Do the mental work to keep from washing out, Jim. I'm excited to hear how you do. I wish you had registered as a clydesdale--just because it's such an awesome category name....no other reason. LOL.....take care, breathe, be careful in the peloton, and focus for safety. WooHoo!! You go Jim!!! emoticon
    4165 days ago
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