This saturday I set a personal record for the DC Randonneur's Warrenton 200km Brevet. My old PR (9hrs 45min) was set on my first 200k (back in 2003), I think it was on the same course. Last year, I posted a 10:50 and an 11:50 on the two 200k events I entered. To be fair, I rode to the start of the 11:50 event and that was a good 30 miles extra. During the 200k in January of this year, I covered the distance in 10 hours and 40 minutes. So I was quite pleased to finish in 9 hours and 16 minutes yesterday.
The pace started out very high, like the RBC tues/thur rides and I was able to hang with the first group on the road for 20 something miles, and then the second group to the first control point. I was going at roughly the same pace as Carol Bell and Chris Mento, I took a short stop at Yoder's Market and got in front of them (they also got a flat near the last control point). Unfortunately, a 30% chance of rain turned into 100% sprinkles. By Syria it was 100% rain. It stopped after Old Rag Mountain, but spritzed on and off the rest of the ride.
I am now a fan of Clif Shot Bloks Lemon-Lime, but not Black Cherry. The Black Cherry tasted like cough syrup and wasn't going down as easy as the Lemon-Lime, but they both provided good bursts of energy (similar to a gel). I think I'll try the Strawberry and the Margarita flavors next. Yum. I like Clif Bars as well, but I can't eat them during exercise for some reason.
I did have some issues.
First, it seemed like my lactate threshold was a lot lower, like in my aerobic zone. I'd be pedaling along with my heart rate in my aerobic zone and my legs would be burning like they were full of Lactic Acid. So I spent a lot of time noodling up climbs in my granny gear.
Second, when I would go slightly above my aerobic zone for a short climb, I would be panting for breath like I was climbing Alp D' Huez. I mean seriously panting like I couldn't get enough air in.
Setting a PR with these two issues, I feel that if I can figure out how to fix them, I'll be golden. If I could have climbed like I know I can climb, I would have definitely been faster. My first thought is to discontinue use of the Higher Peak Altitude Simulator to see if that's the culprit. Next weekend is the Katie Ride For Life(which is flat and fast), but the weekend after that is a DC Rand 300K and I'm guessing it'll have a ton of climbing. Then a much needed recovery week where I'll be volunteering for the DC Rand 300K.
Labels: 200 Km Brevet, Altitude Simulator, Clif Shot Bloks, Personal Record