My training log called for some block training this week (T/W/Th) of specific drills to do. Yesterday was a 35 - 40 minute race simulation after a 30 minute warm up and ending with a 30 minute cool down.
So I headed out to Lake Ahquabi and actually had my daughter drive us out there with her learner's permit. She wanted to bring her bike along, so I loaded it up. I figured she would ride some of the flatter trails around the beach area, but no - she wanted to head out on a lap with Dad. So, I throttled my speed down and we did most of the race lap - albeit at a very slow pace. She had to dismount and walk up the steep climb on the south end of the lake, but did really well on the rest of the lap. We got back to the beach house area and she saw one of our neighborhood boys out fishing and said she would go talk to him and wait for me to do my practice race lap. So off I flew and turned a 34 minute lap on the Sugar 293 (that's 3 minutes faster than my average lap time for the Mob the Quab race). Then I cooled down for 30 minutes and went to get my daughter.
Today called for some muscle endurance intervals of 4-6 minutes using a cadence of 50-60 rpms (these intervals are pretty much a substitute for weight lifting at this point of the season, but are obviously cycling specific). I went out to Lake Ahquabi again and used the hills for the brunt of the M.E. intervals. It took a full lap to work through the sequence.
Then I did my weekly race start simulation using the Mob the Quab course start from this year which has that nice opening climb from the pond up to the monument. Today's workout simulation called for 2 minutes at full race start bore (totally in the pain cave), followed by 5-6 minutes down a notch or two (still with one foot firmly planted in the pain cave) and then a good 10 - 12 minutes of race speed (can think and see straighter in this portion of the simulation) to simulate the physical demands of a typical race start. I was drooling and blowing snot rockets while begging for mercy, so I knew I was near my target zones. The weekly race start simulations are good for practicing the demands of a race start and work really well in those races that I actually can get off to a good start and enter the singletrack in a decent enough position that there is no bottleneck. However, it seems most of the time right when you finish the cross-eyed pain cave minutes you hit such a bottleneck that you nearly turn off the engine and stop dead in your tracks asking yourself "Why did I just burn all of those matches only to end up here waiting?". Ingawanis was one recent race where it worked and there was no bottleneck. It was about to work on Sunday at the Border Battle, but the guy who stopped in front of me changed all of that. This weekend at Boone has a killer opening start with the switchback climb. Regardless, following the prescribed race start simulation effort, I did 2 more M.E. intervals and cooled down for 15 - 20 minutes before heading home and replenishing my body with nourishment.
Sunday's race at Boone is a very climbing specific course and I have not ridden there yet this year. I'm trying to figure out if I could get up there tomorrow for a couple of laps, but the weather is looking a tad wet as it rained at Boone today and more is on the way. It should be nice and dry for the entire weekend, but I may not get up there prior to that. Tomorrow is a busy day anyway with a high school football scrimmage, shuttle duty for cross country practice, one child to the Doc for a physical, evening Shinedown concert at the State Fair and my wife and I trying to figure out who is doing what and when. But we'll hash that out before the morning to see who is doing what tomorrow.
My riding weight is nearing its season ending target as I've worked it down recently from the 182-183 area to the 178 area. I haven't done any upper body weights in the last few weeks which helps shed a couple of pounds. If I could ever have the discipline to drop down to 170-175 I imagine I would start to see some race result improvements - especially on climbing courses. How dedicated do I want to be? I think the power to weight ratio starts to look very promising for my height once I hit 165. I haven't weighed that since high school. Most of my opera career was in the 190 - 210 range as I was pumping iron and eating religiously. I guess there is only one way to find out, but 165 is not going to happen this year. Especially not with it being peach cobbler season. ;-) I would be surprised if 175 happened, but we shall see. Work starts next week and that means my training will be altered to fit the work schedule.
I've got about 8 more race weekend opportunities. Family duties and real life now move in the way as school and work starts. I've done 12 races this season and completed 10 of them. If I could work in all 8 more, that would be the longest season to date I have done. I did 14 races last season and 12 the year before that. For sure I want to equal the 14 total from last year and surpass it just to keep the sequential growth on the work load. I'll have to go through the list and pick and choose my priorities for the remainder of the season.