Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tour de Merde, Stages 2—6

It's raining in Portland, oh yeah, oh yeah...

Or thus would begin any jazzy ballad devoted to the Northwest's muddiest (if it can't be the grungiest) city. Stage Two of the Tour de Merde was a 40k affair, starting at the shop (see left) and winding through Forest Park on the famous Leif Erickson trail. It was muddy, cold, rainy, and wonderful. You can see the result in the picture. As usual, my body warmed up and then cooled drastically, leaving my hands burning in pain.

Stage Three was the Washington State Cyclocross Championships, and I was one of only six entrants, so I got my best starting spot of the year. All that was for naught, though, as my technical skills let me down and I couldn't stay with the guys killing it off the front. I just haven't found that top 10% of my engine that triathlon season has taken away. But I've got a few weeks until Nationals, and several races. I'm gluing my first set of 'cross tubulars, and I think those will make quite a bit of difference.

Stage Four was a rest day, since I had to work at Open House. Boo!

Stage Five was a quiet recovery ride, flushing out Open House.

Stage Six, from last night, can be viewed here. This workout hurt. It's a cycling field test and it requires two all-out eight minute efforts. I went out a bit hard in the first one and faded, and the second one was better. I averaged 434 watts for the first test and 403 for the second. Those values, interpreted by my coach, should give me my threshold zones for the next month. I'm hoping to re-test after Nationals (think: final day Time Trial) and see some improvement.

Apologies for the delay in posting—life has, as always, intruded.

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