It was a great event, and happily for my family, at least one of us rode well, with Son of Rouleur doing pretty well in the Li'l Belgians 6&7 year-old class.
Me? Not so much. Very flat courses and I just don't get along that well. It seems I'm a VO2 sort of athlete. A course with little rises and hills like Charm City really hurts me, but it also gives me recovery time. A really rolling course does exactly the same, only moreso. A stone flat course? It's nothing but grinding along for me. I sucked pretty bad today, even as other people like Sol (Nice race!) were kicking ass and moving up.
Rather than get tired, blow up and wuss out, I decided to rock the Powertap today, in the hopes it would keep my effort steady and chastise me for easing up.
What did my race look like? Well... like this:
Avg. Power: 267
Normalized Power: 289 (threshold is 335)
I'm not sure that IF is quite right - I figured this ride would be an NP buster and my legs are wicked sore, and my stomach churning with post-race acid. This was an easy ride, according to my Powertap. And maybe it was, maybe I pussed out something fierce. But it doesn't feel that way, perceived exertion was 9/10ths, with the only easing up coming in a few turns I couldn't rail, and on the last lap (for me) when I'd been lapped by a group of 3-4 leaders. Even then I stepped it up when the next little group passed, and was actually a bit dizzy when I crossed the line at [unspecified -1 position] place.
I don't get it. Other than the need to keep pushing, and in fact start pushing harder on my diet. That part I get. But as for work ratio... OMG, was that race hard. Why does the PT show it was no harder than a 3x15 low threshold (steady state) interval workout? My legs sure don't feel like I just had an easy workout...
Enough about me, and enough whining. There was a lot of good stuff going on at the race. Good barbecue, great playground for the kids (and a moonbounce), terrific sponsorship from Franklin's Brewpub and Arrow bikes, and Route 1 Velo did a great job putting it together, and squeezing every bit of remotely interesting terrain into the race course. It's a classy event and if you didn't make it this year, you should mark it down for next year. Some of the Coppis had great days, and it was great seeing dozens of my crossy friends on a nice hot day, with clear skies and lots of hard racing going down. Though the racing is disappointing for most of us, the fun we have with friends and the cool scene keep us coming back.
[Update: And just when I'm feeling a little down, Scott The Surprisingly Competetive Stagiare Elite Master sends along this video of today's SuperPrestige race, with special instructions to check out what Stybar does at around 10:45.
That is sick, sick, sick. Brought a smile to my face. I know maybe two or three guys who are actual good racers, who could also do a tailwhip at that speed on an MTB. I am pretty sure I don't know anybody who could do that on a CX bike, much less while riding away from the field at the top race going down today anywhere in the world.
Thanks for passing along, Scott. It gave me miles of smiles. And now that I think about it JeanBean and everybody else who was cheering and who chatted me up later did too.
Time to register for the Tacchino Ciclocross if you haven't, folks. Some of the popular fields are starting to get a bit full, and you're looking at being a loooong ways back at the start if you don't get after it soon. Did I mention there will be sausage there? There will be, and the vendor will have some, and you can win some for a mid-pack prime. Funk music, spectator pavilions, sponsorship by Duvel/Ommegang (with Hennepin and Duvel Green at the pavilion) and a moon bounce for the kids. Get after it!