Sunday, April 15, 2007

Camp Today

Today at women's cycling camp we had lectures on nutrition and bike maintenance and then did short races--a sprint, a team time trial, and a circuit race. I won my first heat on the sprint but lost the second. I was in the third of four groups for the team time trial and the others decided I was the strongest racer of our group and should pull (be in front breaking the wind) the whole way. Our time for 4 miles was 14:20, while my time on the same course in an individual time trial Wed. was 13:57. On the circuit race I was able to hang onto someone who passed me toward the end of the uphill part of the second loop. I then took a turn leading and then she passed me and beat me at the last turn. It came out later that she is 64 years old. Still, we were in the middle, with seven people behind us. I didn't reset my GPS for each event, but my mile splits show two miles at 19 mph or better. People were impressed by my effort (in fact I was given the "daily gusto award")--I have enough experience racing that I'm not afraid to hurt.

My legs were already sore after yesterday. The climb up Caesar's head is 6.7 miles and 2000 feet vertical rise. It isn't horribly steep, but there is only one place where the road actually dips downhill. I took it pretty conservatively: heart rate average for the climb was at the top of zone 2 (aerobic conditioning) and my legs weren't jelly at the top. I just wanted to make it to the top without stopping, which I did. Two more people finished after me, having walked some stretches. We got a late start and only rode a total of 39 miles but it was all pretty hilly (we rode from 178 to the road up Caesar's head on back roads on either side of highway 11).

What I hope to take away from the camp is inspiration to train harder on the bike. They calculate heart rate zones in what I think is a better way, not from maximum heart rate but from maximum sustained effort (the first four mile time trial). My two key training zones were calculated to be zone 2 from 153-163 and zone 4 from 171 to 180 bpm. In the past I've tended to ride below zone 2, except up the hard hills.

SportsTracks says I burned 8,500 calories exercising last week. That isn't counting the swimming because I don't keep track of distance. However, I think the program seriously overestimates the calories burned biking (and underestimates running because I am slow but working hard).

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