Thursday, April 24, 2008

With the 12 hour ride back from Sea Otter, I had a lot of time to think about my race and try to identify possible reasons for my poor performance. Here is what I came up with:
1. I could have over trained. While this is a common thread in my racing, I don’t think it is applicable to this case. The weather has been sporadic so I have not been able to ride as consistently as I would like and usually do during the season.
2. Driving through the night on Thursday could have influenced my performance. I am one of those individuals who feel it is unfair that passengers get to sleep while drivers do not, so I try to stay awake as much as possible. While I failed several times through the night, I still did not get quality sleep.
3. On Tuesday (five days prior) I donated blood. Now at the time I thought this could have a small effect on Sunday. But then all the literature they give you says that your body replaces the blood in 24-48 hours with proper hydration. And I did properly hydrate. I did some additional research though (after the fact) and apparently the quantity returns—plasma—but the red blood cells take much longer. This does not seem to affect submaximal efforts but it does hinder maximal. Most studies show this up to a week afterward, but no long term studies have been conducted that I could find. Some good articles are available here and here.
4. Maybe I am just slow. I don’t feel that I am where I desired to be weight wise. This can have an obvious negative impact on fitness and climbing especially. The course had quite a few hills and was not technical. It was very fitness driven. Maren also pointed out that much of the competition was from California and they have had the luxury of being able to train in real world environments much more than I have.
On a much happier note though, Chris and I rode after work. We did the dream ride up Provo Canyon—Race course up to the road, climbed Betty’s (Frank’s bypass), descended Dry Canyon, crossed over to Dragon’s Back, and then did Bonneville South. It brings a smile to my face just thinking about it. It was wonderful! I had a perma grin coming down Dry Canyon; it is so much fun.
Mad Dog is actually sponsoring a trail building day on Saturday up Dry Canyon* 9 am – 1 pm. Everyone is invited to join us and there are several benefits.
1. It shows the BLM that we are maintaining our trails and hopefully will dissuade and provide an argument against closures
2. There will be swag raffled off.
3. ICUP racers earn points.
4. High potential for a great group ride afterwards.
*Just take 2000 North in Orem to Dry Canyon Dr. turn Left on Dry Canyon Dr. and head up til you access the dirt road, continue on that to the parking area.


Epic Adam said...

Well the BST is on Forest Service land, but you are right, being active in trail building and maintenance goes a long way in keeping those trails open. :)

KanyonKris said...

Glad you had a good ride. Since that area is my backyard, I'm always interested in the trails there. Is Betty's the newish connector trail from the dirt road up to Frank (if you keep going up you reach the 4-way with the pile of rocks)?

And what is the Dragon's back?

KC said...

Yep...we refer to that as Betty's

primetime formerly known as slyfox said...

giving blood and not sleeping days before a max effort has about the same affect as riding backwards with 1 leg. you identified your problems quite well and under estimate them.

KC said...

Dragon's Back is the down hill from the upper road (by a gate)that spits you out on the lower dirt road by the big rocks just above Canyon Glenn Park (I think that is the name).

UltraRob said...

I would guess that the blood donation would have been the biggest reason you didn't have a good race. Studies have shown that lack of sleep can affect your motivation but not your performance ability.

I can tell a huge difference for a week after donation blood. You really do need those red blood cells. I've heard you max effort can be affected for a few weeks. Donating blood is a great thing to do but I'd just do it in the off season.

KanyonKris said...

KC - Thanks for the trail clarification. Some people call the Dragon's Back, Lower Frank. All good stuff!