I have been going, on and off, to the weekly Wednesday Night World Championship race series since it started this year. It has been my main source of training this year as I have struggled to find time to ride I figure if I just race like a bat out of hell every few Wednesday nights it will work. Running up to the 24 hour race back in May I raced almost every Wednesday night. Then my Achilles tendon started to flare up and with all of the big races I had planned this summer I did not want to further injure myself so I stopped going. I race in the Sport category and usually I get passed, towards the end of the race, by the expert/pro racers that use Wednesday night as a training race. I have only finished one race this summer in which I did not get passed by the faster expert racers. I flatted out in one race convincing me to "go tubeless" and typically come in mid pack in the Sports. Well this week I raced FLAT OUT and gave it everything I had. I had swapped my Black Sheep over from a front suspension geared mountain bike that I used in all of my long endurance races to it's fully rigid singlespeed configuration.
Now Wick, of Stiff Wick Productions, the master-mind behind the WNWC races puts on a fun race at a place that can tend to offer the same boring terrain all of the time. Wick mixes up and changes the course, to include direction, area of the park, and terrain features, every week. Sometimes it is a fast some what flat fast course other times it can be long and hilly. Each race typically lasts about an hour long, ranges from 5 to 9 laps, and varies in distance between 8 to 12 miles long. I typically run in the RED from the get go averaging about 170 to 180 beats per minute and maxing out my heart rate in the high 190's or so. I really need to be able to race at this same intensity, but with my heart rate staying down in "zone 2" or about 146 to 157 bpm.
I am telling you all of this because last Wednesday night on THE hottest day of the year, 97 deg F in Seattle in record setting!!, I actually was able to out last and out race all of the other Sport class racers to win my category!!! This was a first for me and I truly felt like I was redlining the entire time I averaged 180 bpm maxed at 193 bpm rode 10 miles in 50 minutes! I did get passed by the experts on my second to last lap but it as a flat fast rough course and I knew they would catch me. What made the race "win" even sweeter was the fact I was racing on my singlespeed!! The race series does not count for anything and is just for "fun" but it has been fun to watch my progress and rejuvenate my interest in mountain bike racing all over again.
If the weather is nice out, not cold or rainy, I like to invite Christie and Abigael along to watch and play in the dirt outside for a change. The race regularly snakes through the "spectator" area / parking area. This allows the family and spectators to catch a glimpse of the racers and give Abigael a chance to say "Go Daddy Go!!" as I ride through huffing and puffing.
Over the next year I plan to put so more focus on my training and actually do some! I just recently had a full Metabolic Test done at Real Rehab PT. This will give me a good base line to gauge my fitness as I work on my fitness over the next year. The test measured my max heart rate 186 bpm, max power output in watts (425 watts after 13 minutes which I held for about 3.5 minutes!!), set up my 5 heart rate zones, my VO2 Max 54 ml/kg/min, my fat/carb kcal usage and most importantly my lactic acid threshold heart rate 177 bpm. I am meeting with Erik Moen, Corpore Sano, in a few weeks to setup a training/coaching plan, incorporating this info, that I can use to get my butt back in shape since my leg injury and to accomplish/smash my goals for 2008!! I plan to, no I WILL, finish the CCP100 next year if that is the only thing I do in 2008!!
I also found out that I DO have a small tear in the Labrum cartilage in my right shoulder, also know as a SLAP tear, that is what has been causing me pain. SLAP is short for Superior Labrum from Anterior to Posterior. The tear is small in the 12 o'clock position in the Labrum cartilage. I should be able to rehab it through PT but, surgery is an option down the road... I have also been given a prescription for some massage therapy, SWEET!!