Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Seat Otter Classic Circuit Race

Zachary Hilton
Placing: 29
Monterey, CA 
Teammates:  Mike Scaglione, Mark Beckstead, Steven Aurousseau
Weather:  50 degrees avg. Foggy Entire Race, little wind 
Start Time:  9:22am
Total Time: 00:38:29
Power: 226 W avg, 834 W max, 679 W NP
Average Speed: 20.7 MPH, Top Speed 43.8 MPH (Down The Corksrew!!)
Average HR: 170 Max HR: 183
Elevation Ascent: 1260 ft

Well after competing in the Road Race yesterday I was trying some new ways to recover and be ready for today's Circuit Race on the Laguna Seca Race Track.  I have been using some Hammer Nutrition products (Race Day Boost, Premium Insurance Caps, Race Caps Supreme), compression tights, scoop of Hammer Whey in water 30 minutes before bed boosts the natural HGH while you sleep, and naps.  My goals for the race were to stay with the lead group as long as possible, and then chase them down if I get dropped.  Last year I got time cut after 4 laps.  This was going to be a 50 minute race and I wanted to leave it all on the course.

Learning from yesterdays shivering start, I decided to wear my thermal jacket from the car to the start line.  Plus I was wearing my Voler Speed Suit, and I needed to stay warm till the start.  I got in a good 1 hour on the trainer.  I put some power intervals in the warm-up, and felt ready at the start line.  I stuffed my jacket and warmers into my bag and left them near the finish.  Race started off and we were combined with the 45+4's.  This race course is worth the price of admission!  To be able to race around the track that motorcycles and cars go over 100 mph was awesome!  Each time up the first hill before the corkscrew I tried getting near the front and slowly fall back.  We were all spread out on the track in a large peloton.   The group would come flying down the corkscrew and into the flats.  We always seemed to slow up a bit as we came under the bridge and getting ready for a sharp left hand turn on our way back to the finish.  That was a position where I was able to latch back onto the group during laps 3 and 4.  After the 4th time up the hill I was beginning to loose some power, probably due to chasing the peloton down.  The peloton was still in site and I kept chasing.  I was determined to not get cut from the race and do more than 4 laps!  I came around for lap 5 and still was able to see the peloton and didn't get cut.  By now there were many riders getting dropped and I was passing them up, and keeping my own tempo.  I came around for lap 6 and wasn't told to drop out!!  I was stoked and that kept me encouraged to keep chasing.  That was my last lap, and I was able to pick off a few more riders who gave up.  

I am coming into this race with a heavy training load, and that was by design.  I felt recovered and my data seems to show I was.  I was able to hold some high watts and get my HR up. Looking at the data compared to last year made me really stoked:
I finished 2 more laps than last year before I got the time cut!  That's why you never give up!  That was a huge achievement for me.
Like in my last race report I need to focus on short power intervals.  3-5 minute hard efforts at above threshold. 

My next race is Wente Road Race April 26. 

Thanks for reading!  
Thanks to Hammer Nutrition!
Thanks to Voler!
Thanks to SJBC Race Team!
Thanks to Sea Otter Classic for another awesome race and lots of swag!  2 days worth!!!

Sea Otter Classic Road Race

Zachary Hilton
Placing: 25
Monterey, CA 
Teammates:  George Bonanto
Weather:  47 degrees avg. Foggy Entire Race, little wind at end
Start Time:  8:00am
Total Time: 02:33:00
Power: 173 W avg, 834 W max, 216 W NP
Average Speed: 17.9 MPH, Top Speed 37.1 MPH
Average HR: 166 Max HR: 174
Elevation Ascent: 4690 ft

My goals for this race are to get some good race miles in the legs.  This course is perfect for this with all the rollers, and power climbs.  The largest climb is just .5 miles and less than 3 min to climb.  I wanted to improve my time on the course and improve my efficiency of energy.  I also used this race to experiment on calorie intake.  I think I have been taking in too many calories which slows my system down.  Less is best for me.  My goal is 150 calories/hour, and then add some protein after 2 hours. 0-1 hour Hammer Heed bottle, 1-2 hour Hammer gels and water, and 2-3 hour I had half a Hammer Bar with Hammer Heed bottle.  No matter what I had to never give up on this course.  I knew that the competition was going to be fierce here.  Not a huge field, but I always had to assume that the group was right up the road.  Wente RR is in two weeks and this race is a spring board for me.

I arrived early this year to get a warm up on the trainer.  The registration opens at 7am and race starts at 8am.  It takes about 7 min to ride to start line using the perimeter road.  The problem with registering the morning of is that there is usually a line, you have to pin 2 numbers on, and it cuts it close to get a warm up in before the race starts.  I got 30 minutes on the trainer, got the bike ready, and headed over to register.  I opted at the last moment to put on some arm warmers.  The fog wasn't lifting, and I was starting to get cold.  It's a slow cold ride down to the start.  I made it down to the raceway for a 10 minute warm up, but I was having trouble keeping warm at 47 degrees, and just some arm warmers.  Once the race starts I don't need anything more, but I wish I had worn my jacket until we started.  There is plenty of room alongside the barriers to drop off gear in a bag at the start.  I will do this for next year, and I did it the following day for the circuit race.  It's easy to come pick it up later, and no one messes with it.  So now I was waiting at the start and shivering.  Sea Otter announcers start the count down,and play some loud music.  The atmosphere is awesome!  We were off for the neutral start.  I was still shivering, and we were heading down hill to the course.  I tried everything to warm up, but when we hit the first climb I began to slip back.  I knew that I wasn't going to keep up with this group, I needed a better warm up, and if I kept this pace up this early I would blow up.  I chased the group for the first lap and was around 10-15 seconds off the back the entire time, but the 2nd time up Hennekens Ranch Rd the group was gone.  No problem for me, I'm used to that this time of year.  At lap 3 I was caught by a former teammate in the 45+4 group.  Peter and I worked with each other for the rest of the race.  We continued to push each other, and never sat up to every talk much!  I got a neutral feed provided by Sea Otter in laps 2 and 4.  My food plan and energy levels were perfect.

The final hill back up to the finish is Barloy Canyon Rd.  Last year I was cramping up this hill.  No cramps when I needed to get off the saddle and push it this year.  Crossed the finish line feeling accomplished on what I wanted to get out of this race.  

I am coming into this race with a heavy training load, and that was by design.  Looking at the data compared to last year made me really stoked:

  • PR'ed the race by over 10 minutes
  • PR'ed 00:01:20 on the final climb to the finish
  • I used a lot less energy throughout the race and got a better time= more efficient 
I need to focus on short power intervals.  3-5 minute hard efforts at above threshold.  Thats in the training plan right now.

Next year I am going to take the girls down on Thursday to the expo and register early.  I feel that if I get a warm up closer to the start of the race, keep warm, and I'll be ready for the race.  Plus just the task of pinning on your number can be down at home.  I wish we all had the same number assigned to us for the season!

My next race is Sea Otter Circuit Race tomorrow.  

Thanks for reading!  
Thanks to Hammer Nutrition!
Thanks to Voler!
Thanks to SJBC Race Team!
Thanks to Sea Otter Classic for another awesome race and lots of swag!  2 days worth!!!