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The Lake

Today I raced my first cyclocross race of this season, the TBGP Het Meer race in Vancouver, WA.  I made a day of it by riding out there, doing the race, and then riding home again.  It was a cool, overcast day and perfect for cross (unless you like mud).

The race consisted of lots of straight, fast sections, followed by some twisty, fast sections, followed by a mean sand trap on a lake beach.  The drop into the sand trap caught a lot of people off guard, resulting in some spectacular crashes.  I managed to avoid them:

hetmeer1_sm
I'm on the left avoiding the unlucky fellow who is now going the wrong way.

Once I got into the groove, I was able to ride the sand without any trouble.  

I've been having trouble focusing lately, but CX racing is a good place to put life out of your mind for an hour and just concentrate on what you are doing.  This is what I look like when I concentrate:

hetmeer3_sm
Notice the tongue (and the cute girl with the dog).

Despite all the craziness, I had a great race, ending in 5th place.  I was able to start off within myself and finish strong, picking off one-by-one the riders ahead who had started too fast.  I didn't have my Quarq on for this race, but I did record my speed and HR data.   The graph shows a nice, steady cardiac drift.  This is an example of good pacing.  The red line is HR, with the dashed horizontal at my LT HR – 178bpm.  Check it out:

Het Meer HR
red – HR
blue – speed

Despite a relatively open course, I was able to start easy, settle in right at my LT, and then push it up a bit in the last laps.  This served me well and garnered me one of my best ever CX results – in the season's first race!




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