Monday, May 25, 2009

Race Report: Overview of the Omnium

All three of us--Shannon, OK Girl, and myself--at Sunday's criterium.

So I've done a bike race.

I wasn't very good at it. I don't like not being good at things. It tends to inspire me to push myself harder and harder until I become better at them (mediocre, at the very least). That's what I've done with triathlon.

This weekend was definitely a learning experience, in a variety of ways:
  • I'm not nearly as strong on the bike as I thought I was. I might be able to hang with some of the faster women in a triathlon, but throw me in with true cyclists, and I'm no match, even in a time trial. And the cycling classes? Um, I don't think they're helping that much.
  • My training is not conducive to racing like this. I have zero endurance at threshold power, even though I've begun some threshold intervals, those are about holding intensity, not wattage, and it apparently doesn't translate. But that's okay. My main focus, at this point in the season, is being able to go the distance for Lawrence 70.3. And once I'm done with that, I can shift my focus to power and speed, try to hit my peak, and really hammer the shorter races and (we hope) the cyclo-cross races.
  • I'm much better at putting three sports together than I am at focusing on one sport exclusively. At least for now.
  • I really, really like criterium style racing. That's why I like cyclo-cross; that's why I like the ITU format; and that's why the Oak Park Crit was my favorite part of this weekend. I think that's the format where I'm most likely to excel, as well.
And there are lots of things I'm trying to keep in mind to silence the "You suck!" voices. There were only three women in the field, so there's no telling how I'd stack up against a field of, say, 30. At my second cyclo-cross race, I ended up right in the middle of the pack, and that might be where I would finish in a bigger race (instead of at the very bottom). My training has focused heavily on running this year, and I've seen my biking and swimming improving at a much slower pace than I saw last year. I haven't been training for this, and if I start, I'll probably be better able to hang with the big girls.

A little more about my training: I really felt for the first time how much difference this year has made in terms of preparation. I have always had the top end speed above everything else, even though I couldn't hold it for very long. But this year I haven't worked at all on developing that, and I can really tell. I never thought I would lose that (and I should know better), but it's not currently there. Which isn't to say it's gone forever, of course. But it won't come back until I work on it.

But I did make enough money to cover my entry fees, plus a little bit extra. And I won a little bit of gear from the prime yesterday. Small field=payouts for everyone! Whee!

So lots to work on. I'm hoping that I can do another stage race towards the end of the summer/beginning of the fall so I can see how I stack up against more women and myself.


  1. Well, there you go, Jamie.

    Run a race and you may not be as quick as a "pure" runner. Swim an OW race and you may not be as fast as a "pure" swimmer.

    The key is keeping strong and consistent in all three. And the lessons you learned this weekend are huge!

    You've done great!

  2. you have done great and for me are the living embodiment of HARD CORE.

    (*cue your head getting big* :))

    I want to follow your lead.

  3. Bike racing can be seriously fun and frustrating at the same time. Lucky you on the small field!
    Keep it up, it can be a fantastic RUSH.