Monday, September 17, 2007


What better way to close out the road season than to actually be able to finish a race! Saturday was the MABRA District Senior RR champs put on by All American out in Poolesville. This was the first time doing this race and wasn't sure how I would fare having not really raced since June and only lasting 2 laps at a race in early August.

The past six weeks I've been on a self prescribed program of nothing but active recovery/endurance pace riding with some tempo, and the last three I've been in physical therapy all in an effort to try and get my left leg/hip healthy. If you ever need PT, I highly recommend Life Fitness Physical Therapy. Dan, a college buddy of mine, has worked for them since graduating PT school running their Dundalk office and when I mentioned my issues to him back in June, he recommended Matt at their EC office. Armed with a script from Dr. Collins, meaning hopefully my insurance would cover it, I made my way there. Even though they didn't take my insurance, they only charged me a $25 co-pay and whatever my insurance would pay for out of network coverage, pretty cool. Anyway, PT has included a lot of stretching, some strengthening of the hip muscles and a technique called ASTYM to help break-up scar tissue in my hamstring and promote proper healing of the muscle fibers where I've been having problems.

Needless to say it has definitely worked so far. I can typically ride pain free now for almost 2 - 2 1/2 hrs at endurance pace but wasn't sure how it would hold up under race conditions so I tried it out Thursday night on the mountain bike pushing a 32 x 15 around Avalon for 2hrs on the SS with Mike C and it felt pretty good. So now about the race, a few bullet points will sum it up more concisely:
  • Warming up I didn't feel to confident based on the watts required to ride the course in the strong wind
  • First lap the pack seemed to be working well together (for once) with good rotating at the front, I found myself there for a pull then of course one guy pulls through then pulls off when no one else pulled through leaving me on the front again
  • Decided to stretch the legs on a short climb and realized I put 100m on the pack with an AABC rider on my wheel but decided it was way too early to try anything
  • Sat on the front the next few laps trying to get in a strong break, several times one would form on the road past the start/finish where the wind was breaking the race up but nothing organized so I decided to sit in the pack for a few laps and save some gas for what I figured would come down to a sprint finish
  • A 2 or 3 man break finally gets a minute or two but then swells to 10min when we're neutralized for the 1/2/3 field,we never see them again
  • The pack sprint is a mess and some guy next to me has his Zipp front wheel explode with about 500m to go causing me to hesitate and loose the wheel in front so I just sat up and rolled across
  • Rode almost pain free the entire race, hamstring started to tighten up a few times but nothing serious and I was able to spin with power with both legs, I was sooooo happy
The leg is obviously getting better, but unfortunately not in time for Charm City so I'll enjoy watching everyone break out the long sleeve skin suites for the first 'cross race in 80 degree weather and take some photos.

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