With a few inches of overnight snow and temperatures plunging, I was thankful to be signed up with Blue Sky Velo to ride on the velodrome at Boulder Indoor Cycling. There were eight of us riding this morning. I was the only female in the group, but I honestly don’t think I held anyone back today.
I had hoped to race at the velodrome last night but due to a bad storm last weekend, the “First Friday” pro-races got postponed until last night with the intent to run both the amateur races and the “First Friday” races back to back. The schedule they ended up with left no time to warm-up o the track. I saw that as a big problem for me and my tendency to pull lower leg muscles. I struggled with the decision of whether or not to race right up until race time. In the end, I decided against it and although I REALLY wish I could have been out on the track with everyone, I know I made the right call (for me!).
Turns out, Paul M from Blue Sky Velo did race — said he “got my a** handed to me”, but I could tell that he had fun and will back for more in March. I hope to be there with him for those races. This morning, Paul M brought me one of his older long-sleeve Blue Sky Velo team jerseys to borrow until I can get one of my own. Such a sweetheart! I did a quick-change in the track infield that reminded me of the days when I used to change into my soccer clothes in the parking lot before games! Hopefully, I didn’t offend anyone.
The workout was intense today – lots of tempo riding and a several drills that were up-tempo with sprints involved. We did the ‘take-a-lap’ drill, and the ‘half-lap’ drill which is a variation on that theme. The team splits in two and ride so that they are 1/2 lap apart. We did our drill in the sprinter’s lane as the full ‘take-a-lap-drill’ is generally done at the blue line with the sprinter dropping down into the sprinter’s lane to catch the tail. In the ‘half-lap’ drill, riders sprint off the front of their pace line and catch the tail of the other pace line. Sounds like it should be easier, right? That’s what Doug (club Prez) would have me believe with his encouraging words to me — “Oh, common, it won’t be that bad. You only have to sprint 1/2 lap instead of a full lap”. I bought it for a moment — OK, you’re saying that this is going to be easier, implying that we’re only doing half the work. Well, as I rode around in my pace line during this drill, I quickly realized how gullible I was. In fact, I think you end up working harder. Think about it — with the full lap drill, the entire team stays together. You only sprint every 8 riders instead of every 4 riders so your recovery time is reduced significantly. Then, there’s the little bit about everyone riding in the sprinter’s lane. The person who goes off the front gets no distance advantage as they go around the velodrome, nor an initial boost of speed since they are not dropping down to that lane from the blue line — and, let me tell you, it is much more difficult to pull away and catch the tail of the other team as a result. My conclusion — the ‘half-lap’ drill is not easier as Doug would have me believe!
The data from the track was uploaded when I got home, and although it doesn’t seem to correlate exactly with what I saw on the computer that is track side, my fastest lap today was listed as 9.501 in lap 118. My max speed (instantaneous or for a lap?) was 47.363 km (29.430). Although this is still fast, it is not my best time. Went 388 laps today — that’s enough to make a rider DIZZY!
Next week, the team is having a “Try the Velodrome” session which I will miss as Beth and I are heading up to Estes Park with Finnegan & Fergus for a long, relaxing weekend away from everything. I’ll bring my camera, my snow shoes and my lap top with plans to let y’all in on this cross-training adventure.