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Race of Rams Duathlon and The Battle at Burlingame MTB Race

Added on by Ray Insalaco.

Somehow I let the stupid part of my brain make decisions for the rest of me the weekend before last.  I had planned on doing the Battle of Burlingame 6 Hour MTB race, but I knew I also needed to work on dealing with transitions for the upcoming Half Ironman.  It just happens that there was a duathlon just down the road from me than is known as being good for first timers.  Well the duathlon had a start time of 8:30 am, and the Battle of Burlingame XC race, not the 6 hour event, had a start time of 2:30 pm, so why not do both!

Race of Rams Duathlon (First race of the day)
The race was a 1.5 mile run, 14 mile bike and then a 2 mile.  This was the first duathlon I had ever done, so I was not really sure how to approach it.  

Entering 1st Transition

I decided to go out easy on the first running leg and was a little surprised at the end when I found out I had run a 10:46.  That was a 7:11 pace and 19th fastest run, which is not something I would have ever expected.

Looking strong coming of the bike

I felt really good on the bike right from the start. so I decided I would push a little on the first lap and see how I felt at the start of the second lap.  I was picking off other riders here and there so I was pretty sure that I had a good ride going.  At the end of the first lap I was still feeling pretty good so I decided to go all in on the second lap and just buried myself.  I was pretty sure that it had been a good ride when I hit the transition and there were only 6 bikes hanging there.  The result was a 43:46.5 bike leg that was good for the 5th fastest bike leg of the day.

Got her back at the line.

I didn't want to ruin what was turning into a good race on the last run so I went for it.  The second run was an out and back that was all uphill for the out part.  Almost immediately I had three runners go by me, and at the turn around there were two people right behind me.  I managed to sort of hold them both off to the finish.  Okay one passed me and then I managed to stay with her until the last 100 meters where I passed her back.  Net result for the second run was a 14:41.3 which worked out to a 7:21 pace.

 Race of Rams bike leg data

Race of Rams bike leg data

My overall time was a 1:11:37.5.  That was good for 11th overall and 1st in my age group.

Hopefully this was the finish, because I look awful.

The Battle of Burlingame (Second race of the day)
I went out to warm up before the race and was not real impressed with the hill at the start, until I found out that the course was pancake flat.  That pretty much told me that there was nothing left in the legs and it was going to be a real long race.  I put in a good hard effort for about the first 1/2 a lap and then decided that I needed to just back off and try to finish.  On the 3rd lap someone passed me and said he was surprised I was still even out there after racing in the morning.  My only comment to that was that I didn't really think the pace I was riding at really counted as racing.  That was maybe not the most polite thing to say being that he was just catching me at that point.  After a quick laugh he more or less paced me to the finish.  My finishing time was 1:38:53 which was good for 14th.  I was a little surprised by my lap times.  I figured they would drop off really bad after the first lap.  The second lap was only 2 minutes slower than the first, and the third lap was actually 20 seconds faster than the second lap.

 Battle of Burlingame data

Battle of Burlingame data

This may have been a really good race course and I would love to try it again without the dead legs.  Maybe next year if these two events do not fall on the same day.

2013 Racing Year Reviewed …

Added on by Ray Insalaco.

My 2013 racing year can be summed up in one sentence.  It was over before it ever started.  

I had a good plan going into last year and I thought some achievable goals, but the week before my first bike race I broke a couple of ribs.  This wasn’t the first time, but it was the first time that it hurt enough to stop me from riding, training and sleeping.  While I was waiting for the ribs to heal, I decided to go see a doctor about a problem with my foot that had been bothering me off and on for about a year.  It ended up being a severe case of athlete’s foot.  He put me on oral Lamisil for 90 days.  One of the side effects, other than destroying your liver, can be fatigue.  For every hour I spent on the bike I would spend four crashed on the couch after.  It was the end of July by time I was off this stuff and another two weeks before it cleared out of my system and I could start training again. 

So what’s the first thing I did once I was training again?  Over train and end of with a pinched nerve in my neck/shoulder area that made it pretty much impossible to ride.  That took another six weeks to get straightened out.  At this point it was mid-October and the ‘cross season was in full swing and I was not even close to being in race shape.  At this point I called it a season without ever lining up for a bike race, and only one running race.

So long 2013, and I am not sad to see you go!

2011 Cyclocross Season Review

Added on by Ray Insalaco.

For the most part my plan for this season was just to get back into the swing of racing.  Over the course of the season I just happened to learn quite a bit about myself in the process.  Some of the biggest surprises had to do with training.  Mainly things that I thought would work and things that actually did work.  The following is my race by race breakdown of the season and some quick thoughts on the race.

Providence Cross Fest Day 1 (77/89) 10/8/2011
Time Back: 0:09:20

Wow!  I completely forgot how fast cross races were.  Completely not ready for this.  I was the first or second to last person not lapped.

Providence Cross Fest Day 2 (62/67) 10/9/2011
Time Back: lap

This was very much a continued learning experience.  Was not ready for back to back days racing, and was so happy when the leader caught me.  It felt like the whole race was up hill in a wet spongy field.

Mansfield Hollow Cross (42/56) 10/15/2011
Time Back: lap

I had a pretty good start here, but again found my fitness lacking.  Felt pretty quick on the lower part of the course that was fairly hard, but I had nothing on the upper part of the course that was mostly open field.  Just watched people ride away from me there.  Started to see some of the areas that I needed to work on.

Cycle-Smart International Day 2 (110/135) 11/6/2011
Time Back: 0:07:03

This was the first race where I was happy with how my day went.  Started at the back, and was able to move forward for a change.  Crashed on the last lap and bend the derailleur hanger, but still finished strong.

Baystate Cyclocross Day 1 (38/57) 11/26/2011
Time Back: 0:05:29

Started in the last row and got tangled in a crash at the start.  It was lap two before I was finally able to start moving forward.  Hooked up with John Young on lap three and worked with him for the last couple of laps.  By far the best race of the season.

Baystate Cyclocross Day 2 (30/34) 11/27/2011
Time Back: 0:06:55

I was the last row at the start.  My legs never really came around.  Guess I still was not ready for the back to back race days.  Still a good day for the most part.

NBX GP of Cross Day 1 (82/111) 12/3/2011
Time Back: 0:07:26

Started near the back and moved up really good on the start.  Had a great ride going for the first two and a half laps until a pointless crash the tweaked my front wheel.  Had to ride to the pits with the front breaks released so that the wheel would turn.  During the wheel change we found that my skewers had been stolen from my pit wheels.  Quit counting at 25 places lost during the wheel change.   Had a monster lap after the wheel change.  Adrenalin can be a wonderful thing, but I popped on the last lap.  All in all a good race.

NBX GP of Cross Day 2 (64/106) 12/4/2011
Time Back: 0:05:24

Had a good start and was rode pretty good.  This was a rather uneventful race.  Faded a little at the end.  The only negative was that Bunny Boy got me at the line.  This was probably my best race of the year.

Expo Wheelmen SalvageCross (26/51) 12/10/2011
Time Back:  

FRONT ROW START!  Had a good start, unfortunately I felt awful.  I pretty much just tried to not give up spots two fast for the first couple of laps.  Felt really good for the last lap and a half, where I picked a couple spots back up.

DAS Cross 12/11/2011
Time Back: 

I was still a little tired from the day before, and it was very cold.  More or less had a good day.  I was riding much better at the end that early in the race.

New England Regional Championships Day 2 (37/61) 12/18/2011
Time Back: 0:04:58

This was the first race of the year were I started far enough forward to be called up.  It was the last row to get called up, but it was a call up!  It was VERY cold at the start, and I had not had time to pre ride the whole course, so I started easy for the first lap.  Turned it up on lap two and started moving forward.  Felt GREAT.  Crashed pretty hard on the third lap and that took a lot of the wind out of me.  Didn't start feeling good again until the last lap.  This was the first race that I actually wanted to go another couple of laps.  Great way to end the season.