This morning I finally downloaded the PT data from Saturday’s D Grade Northern Combine race at Kyneton. After smacking out between 42-45km in the first 10 km, I was dropped when the pace picked up to high 40’s going up a rise in the road. My legs were shot and little did I know then, but the start of a pinching something in my back was also brewing. So the stats proved what I was seeing (and feeling): average speed for the first 10 km was 41.6kph, average heart rate 89%, threshold power (sitting in a bunch of 20???? No way.). Sure we had a tail wind, but this was D Grade for goodness sake, and the road wasn’t that flat!
After giving up the struggle to get back on, (and being told the group would slow up any minute now – yeah right, joke of the day. Nice one Nath!!) I went into time trial mode, seeing how long it would be before E Grade caught me. It took the 3 pinkos faking it in E Grade another 12 km or so fly past me (up a nasty hill), and then another kilometre or so until the others came dribbling past, just before the E Grade turn around point – my cue to jump ship and follow suit! By this time, my left hip, leg, shoulder and tricep were giving me massive grief, and the power drive out of the left leg was pretty pathetic. Guess I shouldn’t have ridden the big chain ring for 20km. Oops. I was slowly winding back into survival mode, dealing with the pain from my back, the pain from the hills, the pain from time trialling, and the soon to be pain from the heavy headwind (and more nasty uphill) on the return leg.
It was a long 25 km back, and I stopped halfway up the major hill to stretch out my back, and to stop the pain (there’s that word again. Did I mention: pain) in hip and tricep for a few seconds. I rode a lot of the way back one handed, trying to ease out my tricep. Add the joy of a strong headwind, and it was character building to say the least. As a training ride, it was brilliant, as my race, not so. As a circuit to ride, and a Combine to ride with, I’d rate both highly, and hope to do it again. D Grade was large enough to be split into 2 groups, and the standard higher than I anticipated (I also suspect some ring-ins). Asking people how they went after the race, the stock answer was: I finished. I guess that sums it up: a smackdown course.
2 hours ago