Gun Show!

Yesterday was the gun show. If you don't remember - and you probably don't - the gun show is our Thursday lunch ride. It's a 22 mile route with 3 sprints. We roll out at noon and pick up the guys from Saris. The roll out is neutral until we get out of the residential neighborhoods and then it's on. The gun show started a few weeks ago, but this was the first one I've done this year.

All of my training this year has been steady state riding, so I don't really have a sprint so I thought I wouldn't have much chance to win the sprints. So I figured I would have a little fun and spend the whole time driving up the pace making guys work when they didn't want to.

I stayed in the pack for the first mile or so on the first sprint, but then I felt like doing some work so I went to the front and pulled hard for a while. I was hoping to get Mark set up to win the sprint, but he got boxed in by some of the Saris guys and couldn't make his move. As soon as everyone took off for the sprint, I sat up and rode easy the rest of the way figuring I would start pulling again as soon as the sprint was over....you know, keep the pace up and don't let anyone rest. We regroup after the sprints, and we had to wait a while for someone so everyone got a pretty good rest, but I took off right away anyway. I pulled for a good part of the second sprint before the group passed me and battled it out.

I didn't plan on doing that much pulling on the third sprint because I was getting tired, but when everyone regrouped the pace was pretty slow and for some reason I just didn't want to give everyone a break so I took off and opened a bit of a gap. The group quickly caught me and - probably to get even with me for me driving the pace up when everyone wanted to catch their breath - they let me pull most of the way. It was hard work, but I actually enjoyed it. It was good threshold work which is good for time trials.

Before the sprint line on the third sprint, there are two hills, a left turn and then it's a gradual downhill and very, very fast (and fun). The route is different this year, and I forgot there were 2 hills. I thought there was one so when the pace didn't seem that fast on the first hill, I attacked thinking I could open a gap and maybe hold it to the sprint line since it was all downhill. Imagine my surprise when I saw the second hill. My legs were already burning, and of course the group was more prepared for the second hill than I was so they attacked that one and I struggled to hang on. I hit the downhill pretty hard - about 33 mph - but was nowhere near the sprint.

But it was a fun ride, and I got in some good, hard work. I probably won't ride the gun show next week. I have the Beloit Duathlon next Saturday, and that was my first multi-sport event ever (last year) so I really want to go back and do well. I struggled quite a bit last year because I went out way too hard on the bike and my average heart rate was 97% of my max (for 30 minutes! ouch) and I thought I was going to die on the second run. I had to walk for a little while to let my heart rate come down. I think I'll play it a little smarter this year.

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