Training Summary 3.9 – 3.22

I have two weeks of training recaps to catch up on for y’all!

3.9 – 3.15

Monday: Base ride 1 hour 40 minutes.

Tuesday: Race openers 1 hour 30 minutes bike. 

Wednesday: Easy ride 1 hour.

Thursday: Pre-race ride 1 hour.

Friday: TT race! + warmup and cool down

Saturday: Road Race + warmup and cool down

Sunday: Circuit Race + warmup and cool down

3.16 – 3.22 

Monday: Day off! My first day off in 3 weeks, it was much needed after a long weekend. 

Tuesday: Base ride 2 hours. 

Wednesday: Easy ride 1 hour. I had hill repeats and a longer ride on the schedule for today but was still feeling pretty exhausted and a bit under the weather so opted for an easier ride. 

Thursday: Easy ride 1 hour. Took another easy day just to make sure I wasn’t fighting anything. 

Friday: Pre-race ride 1 hour. 

Saturday: Chuck Pontius Road Race. A hilly 27 mile course, I got 2nd! 

Sunday: Chuck Pontius Criterium. 1st out of CAT4 women and 4th in the 3/4’s. 


 

The past two weeks have been all about getting me to the weekend races rested and healthy. Which means not much else during the week. I have one more week like this with a big stage race this Friday – Sunday. 

I love racing but I also love hours on the bike so I will be excited to start to build my volume again. For now though all my focus is on San Dimas Stage Race! 

Happy Monday!


 

Healthy Regards,

Hayley

 

How was your weekend? Any fun training or racing?

What is next on your racing calendar?

 

 

 

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Day #3 of the Tucson Bicycle Classic

I am so happy you are all enjoying these recaps of my race this past weekend at The Tucson Bicycle Classic! 

So lets just get straight into the third day. 

(If you missed the first two, check them out here: one, two

Day 3, Circuit Race: 

After sitting in the leaders position all weekend I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous going into Sunday. The second place girl was only 5 seconds behind me, and the third place girl was only 10 seconds away. 

The podium could easily be mixed up on this last day. 

The circuit race consisted of a 5 mile loop that we completed 5 times for a total of 25 miles. It was hilly and windy. 

In this race there were also some time bonuses up for grabs. 

What the heck does that mean?!

  • The third lap was a “sprint lap”. This means that whoever crosses the finish line after this lap in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd gets a “time bonus” (time taken away from their overall time) of 3 seconds, 2 seconds and 1 second. 
  • There is also time bonuses for the finish. 1st, 2nd and 3rd get time bonuses of 10 seconds, 6 seconds and 4 seconds. 

With the time bonuses the chase for those final podium spots was on.  

After hearing about the circuit race course from racers who had done it previously  and knowing my competitors I figured the race would come down to a  field sprint (everyone stays in a pack until the end and then sprints to the finish). With a difficult course and lots of wind it would be hard for anyone to attack and stay away.

That being said my natural instinct is to push the pace of the peloton by riding in front, go with attacks in fear of them getting away or initiate attacks myself. For a one day race these may all be fine but sitting in first place on the last day of a race I knew I needed to play it smart and do none of the above. 

My plan was simply to do as little work as possible. Let attacks go and trust that they would come back (this was the hardest!). And for both the sprint lap and the finish make sure I was in the top 3. 

I am so happy to say I trusted myself on this one and raced the smartest bike race of my life (haha ok I have only been at this for 2 months but it was the smartest race in those 2 months)!

  • I stayed mid-pack and let others work in the front. This allowed me to stay out of the wind and pretty much soft pedal for most of the race as everyone in front or around me was working harder than I was. 
  • I let attacks go! Like I mentioned above this was really hard for me. Partly ego I am sure. But just as I had figured, the peloton caught up to any attacks within a few minutes. 
  • I started to move up going into the sprint lap and the finish. 
  • I let someone pull me into the finish until the last possible moment and then sprinted for the time bonuses.

I ended up getting 2nd in the sprint lap and 2nd at the finish. Which was just good enough to finish the weekend in yellow and at the top of the podium.  11053151_10155338165760154_2159607870938579317_n-1 10995566_817133541667106_5552021956566586350_n

I got to keep the yellow jersey I had worn all weekend and I was given another one for the overall win! The extra one made a perfect souvenir for my Mom. I even won some money! Always a nice bonus, right?

Overall the weekend was a huge success. Not only did I accomplish my goal but I learned a whole lot about bike racing in the process. I am having so much fun in this new sport and have some big goals are a brewin’.

Stay tuned (:

 

Healthy Regards,

Hayley 

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Day #2 of the Tucson Bicycle Classic

Happy Thursday!

I hope your week is going well. As I mentioned yesterday, I was exhausted the first few days this week, started to feel a bit better yesterday and today I feel like a new woman! Good things come to those who rest, right??

I started recapping my weekend at the Tucson Bicycle Classic yesterday. So if you missed day one you can check it out here

Ready to hear about day number 2?! 

Day #2, Road Race: 

The second day was a mentally challenging day for me. But lets first start at the beginning. 

My race had a fairly early start time of 7am. I got to the race site around 5:30, checked in and picked up my leaders jersey!  photo

I warmed up, got everything I needed together and headed to the start line. 

The road race for my category consisted of 2, 20.5 mile loops for 41 total miles. The course had some good rolling hills, a big descent and a slight climb to the finish. In the middle of the desert, wind also became a factor. 

For my non cyclists friends: If you have ever seen a road race (think Tour De France) the group usually rides in a big pack or peloton. Sometimes a rider will attack and try to create a break. Other riders may go with the attack or sit back. The peloton is often more powerful and moving faster than a single or few riders in the break as there are more riders who will take turns pulling. Sometimes breaks are successful and the few riders will ride alone to the finish but often the peloton ends up catching back up to the break. So how the race goes is greatly determined by what other riders do. Road races are like a big game of chess, there is a lot of strategy involved.

I’ve only done two other road racers before this past weekend. In the first race an attack was made right before a BIG climb and I was completely shocked, out of my element and had no time to react. In the second race an attack was made as we crested a climb before a big downhill, luckily this time I was ready for it. I went with the attack and a group of about 8 of us stayed away. This race I knew I wanted to initiate an attack and see what I could do to stay away. 

The group stayed together through the first lap. About a mile into the second lap there is a slightly technical turn. The road narrows and takes you over railroad tracks right before a steep climb. I knew that if I was going to make my attack this would be the best place to do so. I headed towards the front of the pack and right before the railroad tracks I shifted, came out of my saddle and gave my best all out effort for about 30 seconds. I settled down just a bit into a LT effort for a few minutes until I noticed that 5 riders had followed my lead and weren’t far behind me. Although I had did not get completely away I was happy I split up the group and knew the ones that followed would be ready to work in order to not let the pack catch back up. I later learned however that my attack split the field up completely! After that there was no peloton. So I would say that it was pretty successful! 

Our group of 6 worked in a pace line and pushed the pace for that second lap. As we turned into the last climb that led into the finish two of the girls broke off in front. I hesitated. 

I have thought about this hesitation over and over again. For that second I thought, “this finish is longer than it looks, they won’t stay away” but they kept getting further away. I tried to bridge the gap but at that point the hesitation had been too long. For the next 1000m I worked on my own, there were 3 riders behind me and the two in front. At 800m to go I looked behind and knew nobody was going to catch me, I looked ahead though and wasn’t sure I could bridge the gap anymore. 

I am not sure if I gave up or if I had nothing left to give but I accepted that I was going to ride into the finish in 3rd place.

I knew the girls that finished ahead of me were in the top 5 after the time trial. I couldn’t figure out how far ahead they had finished in front of me however and was afraid that it could have been enough time to bump me out of my #1 GC (overall) spot. 

The worst part was that the results would not be posted at the race site. We had to wait until late in the afternoon when the results were posted online to see how the day affected the overall standings. I was a ball of nerves all day. I couldn’t stop thinking that maybe if I had just dug a little bit deeper would I have finished better? 

Around 4pm the results were posted.  Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 4.41.02 PM

I was SO relieved to still see my name at the top. With only 5 secs however I would need to race smart on Sunday. 

Check back tomorrow for the final race day recap, how I held onto my leaders jersey and even gained an extra one to take home! 

 

 Healthy Regards,

Hayley


 

Have you raced lately? How did it go?

Have you ever made a “mistake” in a race and replayed that moment a million times in your head wondering if you could have done something different?

 

 

 

 

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Tucson Bicycle Classic Recap Pt. 1

Hi, friends! Long time no talk!

I was traveling through the weekend and since then I have just been exhausted.

Luckily I am starting to come back to life. 

My weekend at the Tucson Bicycle Classic was amazing.

I set a goal to win the overall and I did it!

11053151_10155338165760154_2159607870938579317_n-1

After a 12 month racing hiatus it feels good to be testing my limits and chasing podiums again.

Lets recap the weekend shall we?

Since it is a 3 day race and a lot to talk about I decided to recap each stage on its own over the next 3 days. 

Day 1, Time Trial:

The race started on Friday with a 3.2 mile time trial. Short but painful! The course had some steep hills that were sure to put every rider in the pain cave. 

I was really nervous going into Friday.

Funny side story: I rode the course a few times on Thursday and felt terrible. The hills felt impossible and I would lose momentum on every one. I tried not to freak out too much knowing I would get that boost of energy that comes while racing but I was still pretty nervous. As we were cleaning up our bikes on Friday morning I went to crank my pedals and my back wheel was basically stuck! The brake and been rubbing on the wheel so much so that it was near impossible to spin. I instantly felt some relief as this is probably why I felt so terrible on Thursday. 

I fixed up my bike and headed to the race site.

After checking in I got on the trainer for a solid warm up. With such a short and strong effort ahead I knew I needed to get a good warm up in. For me this consists of about 10 minutes of easy spinning, a 5-10 minute build, a few 1-2 minute race pace efforts with full recovery and then a few all out sprints. 

A headed to the start line ready to roll. 

For a time trial it is just you against the clock. Racers are sent off individually every 30 seconds so it’s up to you to pace yourself while pushing your limits. Luckily this is exactly what the bike leg in a triathlon is like so I feel pretty confident in my ability to settle in, stay focused and get comfortable with the inevitable pain. 

I caught a girl who went off 30 seconds ahead of me within the first few minutes. Feeling good I kept cranking. Knowing the course really helped as I was able to coerce myself to push up and over a hill knowing that a downhill was coming. Going into the last climb I caught the girl who went off a minute before me. Exhausted, this was just what I needed to push me through the finish. 

I was completely breathless at the finish and knew I gave everything I had that day. Unfortunately with this kind of race you are in the dark with how your performance measured up to your competitors until the results are posted. 

I cooled down and reminded myself that whatever the results said, I did what I could.  tbcTTresults

Luckily the results reflected my effort! I was happy with the result but knew I there was still work to be done. 

 Recap of Day #2 coming tomorrow!

 

Healthy Regards,

Hayley

 

How do you usually feel the days leading into a race? Nervous? Scared? Sick? I get nervous but with bike racing it has not been at all like it was for triathlons where I would feel sick and be extremely irritable (sorry, Dad!) for at least the full week prior. 

 

 

 

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