Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Vance Creek Road Race

hmmm not so great at the end....
Was up in the front playing the Cancellara wanna be with Mike. Got up the hill 1st and lead the field down the valley for the 2nd out of 3 laps. Felt great, popped a GU in on the flat farm side and got up in front for the 2nd assent. Felt ok, lead the field again, Mike was somewhere behind when I heard a bid carbon/aluminum crashing noise and voices complain from pain...I eased the pace immediately wondering where Mike was. 5 seconds later I see him come in someone's wheel lead by about 4 or 5 guys. I tried to pick up that small breakaway last man's wheel but I couldn't. Didn't have it anymore. Lost it all in the "wonder who crashed" thing where I eased the tempo, and must have gotten out of my rhythm. I tried to connect at the top of the hill but I was seeing my heart rate going above 170 which so far in the season I can't sustain for too long.
I must say in retrospect that I feel like I "gave up" on beleiving I could make the connection, especially knowing that the downhill was coming up. I let it go...stupid of me.
Which made me find myself alone for most of the last lap, pulling some guy (nice guy) from another team who was in total survival mode.
I crossed the finish line about 3 minutes behind the leaders.
Mike took 7th on the line.

I also think I ate too much of that extra bar before the race started as I was 180 which was probably the perfect place to be at.

Next race will tell.....

Monday, March 29, 2010

Independence Valley Race - Or Hell for Thierry

Start was to be at 11:30am in Rochester WA. South of Olympia, North of Centralia. About 2 hours drive from the house.
Gina and Julien were part of the trip, thank you again!

Race started late, because of major crashed in the previous category field and ambulance after ambulance were rushing to the scene.

Finally it was time to move with a rolling start and soon enough we started a small climb which made me move to the top of the field and attempt an early solo breakaway as Mike wasn't participating in that race.
I felt good going up the about 1 mile hill. The field re-grouped with me on the other side as we were on a fast 40mph downhill.
A little group detached from the main field and I started to feel my typical low sugar sensations and decided to hang back and not chase the little brakeaway.

I was now in a chase group trying to reel the breakaway back and found myself doing a ton of work in the front which cost me to use most of the carbs I had left in me despite eating all of my food I had in my pockets while making sure I would keep a little for the 2nd lap.

Basically after I crossed the first lap out of two, once we started climbing again the big hill, I was done. No energy, no will, nothing.

So I was now on a solo ride, trying to enjoy the scenery and not die from a hypo in the middle of nowhere.

I finished 37th, not dead last ;-)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ravensdale Race - Better :-)

A much better glucose start for this 30 miles race with some rolling hills.
Start was at 9:30am and my loyal supporting group Gina and Julien were of the party.

I started this race with a glucose level at 180. Much better than the previous day at 123.

Pretty much was in the front the entire time pulling with Mike and a few other guys. We even started and tried a little breakaway but knew we wouldn't last too long alone like that.

It was a little frustrating for me as I didn't know at all the profile, way of this course. So I never really knew when to save myself for a later sprint or not.

To my not so happy surprise at the last mile I understood that the finish was going to include a short up hill battle. I managed to stay in the front and at the 400-300 meter from the finish was positioned with all the leaders in the front as well as Mike.

I didn't know for sure when to try and jump for a sprint finish and found myself a little isolated behind a rider that wasn't going to try a sprint. After going arround him I already had lost about 12 rides in front and was now trying for a top 10 finish. I managed to pass 1 guy and finished 11th as I watched Mike finish in 3rd position.

Great job Mike. And to Lauren who won her CAT5-4 women division!

Good day for the Woodinville Bike Shop!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mason Lake #3 race

For this last installment of the Mason Lake series, I was trying to get ready to beat my 2nd last spot finish, by trying to get my diabetes in check to the best of my capabilities in preparation.
Weather forecast was rain and cold...great!
Gina was going to be part of the support as well as my son Julien and even Zoe Gina's little poodle. Off we were to Mason at 6am again.
Got to the starting line all registered with my previous race number and ready to go. 9:35am and about 1/2 mile in you could hear the rear pacing car horn sound as we now were "racing".
First lap was hard and windy, and Mike wanted to make a statement by pulling hard in the front early on. I helped as much as I could and we started to see some fading out in the back. Second lap was a little more casual and I didn't have too much trouble staying in the group, safe from crashes and novice riders mistakes, but as we crossed the finish line for the last lap and heard the bell ring, I was stuck on the right side of the road behind a 3 layer riders and I could see Mike in the front starting to move up with 3 other races.
For about 5 miles I was trying to get myself off my isolation as no one was letting me come out. I finally managed to move to the front and saw myself striging the entire field head wind behind me. I thought, well that's not good for me to bring the entire peletton back to Mike, so I started to slow down and moved a side hoping that others would take the lead and that I could rest a little bit and keep my energy for the finish. But I quickly realized that they all stayed behind me, so I pretty much had to hit the brakes to make a point they needed to pass me.
Once passed, I quickly fond a compfortable spot in the main field, no too far from the front and instructed the riders to pick up the pace if they wanted any chances of catching up the break away.
It was a strange feeling for me as I was happy for Mike to be now way in the front with the 3 other riders, as we had now lost sight of them, but at the same time I wanted to be at his side to help out.
Finally the pace picked up and before long we could see the now 3 man breakaway in the distance. We then caught up with Mike and only 2 guys as the 4th one kept on going. I started to pick up the pace in the front to try to close the gap with mister #1 and quickly we could see him as he was fading away on the rollers.
But too little too late, we now knew we couldn't catch him as the 1k flag was in our sight.
It was now a bunch race for 2nd. I was positioned in the front with a "Mellow Johny" guy and needed to catch my breath if I was hopping to have anything left for a sprint. I moved to the center of the road, on the yellow line and waited for the last turn, 400m to go. The pace picked up, saw a couple guys move up in a sprinting pace and saw a guy about 2 bikes behind me and to my right take a spill that ended up pretty serious as the ambulance was called in.
As soon as the 200m flag was passed, I took to the left of the road and put it out all that was left of power in my legs to finish 6th. 5th from the pack.
My heart rate was through the roof as I felt I had to work much harder for this race, because of the wind and the few times I was in the front of the field.
Good lesson of tactics, I should have been more carefull when Mike took off with the 3 other guys and be part of that break as I think we could have had 2 Woodinville Bicycle jerseys in the top 5.
Next time...
Blood sugar on the finish line was 293, Julien was happy and proud to see me, so was Gina. Treated for the high, drank more Gatorade and off we checked the official results. 6th place, 4th overall for the Mason Lake series even with one race missing. Oh well.

Thank to Mike for keeping me safe in the front and hurting me with those breakaways.

Thanks for Julien and Gina for the support. Love you guys.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mason Lake #2 race

After going and watching Mike Rabas race on the 1st installment of the Mason Lake classic on Sunday March 7th, he persuaded me to give it a try. So I geared up for the second race at Mason on March 14th.
Gina was very helpful in making sure I had started my previous day and evening with a good diet to sustain the upcoming early morning effort.
We headed out at around 5:30am for a 2 hours drive to Mason Lake WA.
We had to show up early enough in order for me to set enough time aside for regestring, purchasing the race license and race number for the day.
I was so nervous as I heard so many racers crashed on the previous week, one even sustained a head injury with an amputated finger!
The lowest of the official category racers is CAT 5. We were to start at 9:35am for a 36 miles, 3 laps around Mason Lake.
Before that, I tested my blood glucose at 8:45 to find myself to be a little low for a hard effort that was about to start. I think I tested at 99. Gina instructed me to drop my basal and set it at 20% of normal usage.
Mike and I went off for a little warm up short ride where I popped a banana in my mouth and a 28gr carbs bar. Drank some Gatorade and went to the start line.
9:38 rolling start, I was so stressed out! But quickly felt at "home" as if on a regular Wednesday evening ride with the Woodinville Bike shop crew. And having Mike at my side was very comforting.
Mike started a small breakaway which I supported and before the 1st lap we were off in the front in an attempt break off the main field.
We succeeded but no one else were willing to join us in the effort so we decided to draw back and re-join the main field before we would get too tired for an escape we wouldn't have been able to sustain for 2 more laps.
Second lap was easy enough and no real attack came from the main field but we could hear a lot of crashes starting to happen behind us from riders probably now getting tired and loosing their focus.
As we crossed the line for the last lap, we could hear the bell ring and soon after the pace picked up, almost as anticipation from the main field to get this race over with.
After the smooth portion, Mike started to move up in the front and string the main field apart as I was keeping my eye on a Cucina Fresca racer since I thought he looked strong enough to make a good finish. Soon enough the 1k sign appeared and Mike was now a little ahead of me, about 5 bike length to my right in the middle of the road, and I was still pacing that Cucina Fresca guy on the yellow line dividing the road as we are not allowed to cross it until the 200m to finish flag.
Then came the last turn and ahead you could see the flag, with now about 400 to 300 m to go. I was still in the Cucina Fresca's wheel and a little before the 200 m flag realized that we had a little gap behind me on the next group of riders. I took that opportunity to cut behind Mike's group of 5 going from the far left of the road to the far right, and started my sprint hoping Mike would be able to catch my wheel and follow.
at about 100 m from the finish line, I started to fade and could feel another racer come in the far left of the road, were he ended up beating me with about 2-3 bike lenght.
Oh well, I find my self lucky I didn't crash, that my ride was pretty safe and I didn't cause anyone trouble. i was also happy to know that Mike made it to the finish safelly.
Looking back, I think I should have taken the wheel of Mike's group for another 100 m and only then jump to the right and start my sprint to the finish as I don't think I would have faded at the end giving then perhaps no chance for other to catch up.
Immediately after the finish I came back to the line to meet Gina, Lauren and Mike to check my glucose levels.
I wanted to vomit as I wasn't feeling good at all from the effort, and tested with a whopping 323
I treated and felt immediately better, probably not from the insulin but from the adrenaline wearing off and being able to breath again.
For the rest of the day, other than to 323 correction, I set my basal back to 100% and ate the following with NO bolus at all what so ever:
Banana, 24gr carbs protein bar, Gatorade, strawberry/banana protein shake, turkey whole wheat sandwich.
I never went high again, but was hovering around the 100 for the rest of the day, AMAZING

Monday, March 8, 2010

Chilly Hilly 2010

Started at 6am from my house in Redmond, rode to the Woodinville bike shop to pick up Mike, Lauren. Marcus and Chris joined us for the ride to the Seattle ferry.
My glucose was in the 130 when I left the house, not as high as I would have wanted for a 90 miles ride with cat 5-4 and 3 racers....
Made it to the ferry and tested on the low side at 90, tried to eat and drink as much as I could during the ferry ride.
Started the ride on Brainbridge island in good form, but after the half point, found my legs to have no power and my stomach to feel bloated and painful. I didn't think to check my glucose too much as I didn't feel low, and certainly didn't feel hungry at all.
Finished the ride back at the ferry dock about 20 minutes behind Mike.
Was able to feed again while on the ferry, felt great pulling Marcus all the way back to Woodinville but felt a big low getting close to my house. I walked up to my kitchen at 45.

Moral of the day? even when not hungry and feeling like shit, TEST. If TEST = "LOW" THEN FEED. It is simple, but trust me, easier said than done...

Will do better next time.