Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stone Soup (or how a little here and a little there wins a BAR)

So, how's this for weird. I sign into the team forum last night and discover that someone is congratulating me for "winning". Odd, being that I haven't raced in several weeks and haven't come close to a good result since the end of the road/track season back in August. Click on the topic and find out that I apparently won the overall Cat 3 BAR (best all-around rider) for the state of Oregon. I knew I was high up on the list... last I heard I was fourth because of the good results at the track and the podium from the OBRA crit. The three guys above me were all upgraded to Cat 2 and standing still, but they had a pretty good lead on me. Apparently what pushed me over was two 'cross races I raced where the B field had only a dozen give or take people in it. BAR points go to the top 15, so even though I finished second to last and last respectively, I scored some points and got myself onto the cyclocross BAR, pushing me to the top of the list on the overall BAR.

It's kind of fun knowing I won something. At the same time, it is a reminder of how close I was this year to breaking through. I was riding well, but apart from a few races, I wasn't getting results. One key moment this year was when I rode away solo from the field one rainy night at PIR. It was a small field and in the cat 3/4 group, but still, I absolutely demolished them; finished over two minutes up after breaking away in the first lap. Up to that point, I had felt good on the bike, and was riding well, but no results were forthcoming. I had high hopes for the Banana Belts; I couldn't finish off the sprints. I was getting absolutely taken to school by the cat 1/2s in the PIR 1/2/3 field. That was the first and only win in a road race this season.

Some things I did right this year. I got stronger. Much stronger. I can win races on a breakaway now; something that just wasn't part of my arsenal last year. The things I did wrong were numerous. I had a hard time finishing off sprints on the road. On many occasions I couldn't get to where I needed to be to contest the sprint, and when I did get good position, I held my guns until it was so late there was no use shooting them; the race was already over.

I never peaked, just kinda keep getting slowly stronger as the year progressed. Basically I raced my way into shape. Old school, I guess. And hills are still mynemesis. I couldn't lose weight.

And now it's back to the grindstone. Two weeks ago, I started training for the 2011 season. Rollers mostly; a solo or group ride on the weekend. And dieting. It seems to be working. It'll take a while for the pattern to become established, but it seems I am losing about a pound a week. There is hope I can hit my goal weight of 170lbs in time for the season start. I opened the throttle a bit in the PV ride over the weekend; haven't gone completely soft over the last couple months. Felt good.

Here's to the new year!