Sea Otter Classic 2013 Stage 1 Crit

I think the lead up to this race wins the “worst preparation ever in my life” award. I’ve never had such a bad day of travel combined with lack of sleep the day before a race, so I guess I’m content that I made the lead group of 40 (I was 24th) in the crit this morning, despite the field being a bit tamer than the last two California stage races I’ve done.

Back up to yesterday: I woke up way too early at 7:00 or 7:30. It was so long ago that I can’t even remember. I rolled out of bed directly into my kit, which I’d fashioned  with coat hangers, tape, and some cardboard the night before in such a manner that I could literally roll into it. I’m also literally being sarcastic. Or am I? Yes. Groggily throwing a leg over my TT bike, which was set up on the trainer outside on the porch, I cursed the blizzard for the last time. This would be the last of three trainer days in a row. I’d be off in sunny California before sunset.

I quickly packed my TT bike after my one-hour session at a solid 172 watts. The road bike had already been packed in a cardboard Frankenbox the night before, which I’m pretty proud of. Then, without showering mind you because I was in a big rush, I bundled up in winter clothes now wet with sweat and boarded my fixie to work for a few hours. The snow was coming down heavy now.

My work day had to be cut way short since my original ride plans to the airport fell through due to the snow storm, but luckily Tim Srenaski gave me a lift to the airport since he was headed to Sea Otter too and we had earlier planned on carpooling from San Francisco to Monterey (where the race is). Perfect solution. We got to the airport and I waited for 8 hours since my flight was delayed.

Long and super boring story short, I got to my Motel 6 room in Salinas at 3:40, put  my bike together with very heavy eyes (somehow it didn’t fall apart today) and was asleep by 4:30 (5:30 my time). This is AM of course. I slept in until 6:30 because the Stage One crit began at 9AM. Crits should never start this early. I ate two bagels and a cup of coffee.

My legs actually felt good today but my body and mind were so tired to the core that I felt ridiculously terrible. I went with attacks for the first 30 minutes then decided to mainly just sit in as close to the front as I could and not crash. I was actually having trouble taking the corners since my balance was so bad from lack of sleep. The course was pretty cool and fairly technical with a couple swooping 180 degree corners and a small hill, so I wish I’d felt good enough to do some real attacking and position-fighting. Also, while my average power was pretty average, my normalized power was 381. Surprisingly high.

Screen shot 2013-04-18 at 3.49.49 PM

Look how wide my mouth is while the guy in front of me, Mike Olheiser if this is when I think it was, is nose breathing! Jeeze I must suck. Photo from Cyclingnews.

After the race David Benkowski and I took a lap and a bit of the road race course, stacking up the ride time to 3.5 hrs. Still gotta get in the time when I have the time. It was sunny and warm and felt good. After that I attempted to regain my $150 race fee by raiding the huge expo for its freebies. I didn’t even come close. Some of those vendors are pretty cheap with what they’re willing to hand out. While Hammer was giving away gels, GU was selling them just 31 meters away! “Can you believe that?” uttered a perplexed Private Benjamin Buford Blue.

I still made off with a decent-sized hoard, plus I stopped off at our hydration sponsor, Osmo Nutrition, and introduced myself to Lisa. She gave me a whole new bottle of the PreLoad mix, which is exactly what I just ran out of and needed to order more of. The PreLoad is a powder of super secret specialized salts in huge concentrations with a little sugar; it’s designed to increase blood plasma levels, aiding in cooling and increasing stroke volume. I think it works perfectly and I’m not just saying that because they’re a sponsor.

Check out the SCIENCE behind the madness:

Holy shit I just figured out how to embed videos!!!!

My day got even better when I was shopping at the grocery store after the race and a women ended up inviting me over to dinner on Saturday night. She cooks for a bunch of the racers (up to a couple hundred) at the camp ground every year. It’s going to be a pasta feed. We’ve really gotta carb up because Sunday’s race is whopping 90 minutes! WOW!

Tomorrow is the road race and Saturday is the time trial. My goal here is to podium on a stage and/or get a top 5 on GC, though I bet I’ll wind up something extremely mediocre like 27th. Better get some sleep.

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