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Mullin Double Race Report

Well aren't you lucky today?  You get TWO race reports for the price of one.  What?  You didn't pay for the first one?  I guess it is going to take me a while to race professionally with that kind of pay.

Ride and Glide Skiers vs. Cyclists Cycling Time Trial

The Ride and Glide club is a year round group that rides bikes in the summer and skis in the winter.  I guess that was pretty self explanatory from the name.  My personal opinion is that in general they have a bunch of major studs on the bike and a more recreational focus on skiing.

That said, they hold a series of bike time trials on the rural roads of Washington County during the summer and have one skiing time trail the week before the Birkie.  The last cycling time trial of the summer they designate as a skier versus cyclist TT and encourage participation by people to do it and the skiing one and try to identify a best of both.

I've done the cycling TT twice before and have done the skiing one three times I think.  I definitely identify as a skier, not a cyclist.  The first time I tried the TT I showed up with my shiny new Trek 1.1 road bike, toe clips and running shoes, and a misguided expectation that I was pretty fit and could do pretty well.  On that night I managed 20.2 mph over the 13.3 mile course in 39:49.  Here is a portion of what I wrote in my training log.

A year later I showed up again, this time with clipless pedals, a bit more cycling under my belt, and a renewed misguided expectation that I was a better cyclist.  I went faster, but not much.  20.9 mph for 38:36.

That was two years ago.  This time I didn't decide to do the race until about noon the day of.  I've been riding quite a bit (for me anyhow).  In fact, I'm only 300 miles short of my biggest year and it isn't even the end of August yet.  My road bike has been stolen... I mean I'm letting Starr use my road bike indefinitely.  I've been riding my Warbird and loving every minute of it.  Sadly, I don't think it quite compares to the TT super bikes, disc wheels, skin suits, and aerohelmets that are all over at the time trial.

Even so, repeating my past mistakes I headed in with my 35mm MSO's on my Stans Ironcross rims, pushing the limit with them at 55 psi thinking I had a good shot at setting a new PR.  No illusions of keeping up with the real studs on the super bikes.

I got a reasonable warm-up in making a couple of stops to play with my seat height and setback to account for using my clip-on aerobars.  My start slot was about 2/3 of the way back in the field with 2 people starting every 30 seconds.  You self seed in a way by telling them what your expected speed is.  That way they can start you with someone you clearly aren't going to draft.  I started with someone fully aero'd out.  He complimented me on my "knobby tires".

Anyway, a 10 second warning followed by a countdown from 5 seconds and it is off to the races.  To my credit, full aero guy didn't shoot away into the distance and disappear, nor did the aero dudes behind me blow past me 1 minute in.  In fact, other than the initial separation, my starting partner was probably less than 30 seconds ahead of me through mile 3.  I also didn't get passed until about 8:30 minutes in.

All the way through the halfway point I was feeling pretty good and had been reeling a number of folks ahead of me in.  I was of course passed by a few of the disc wheeled aero dudes, but I didn't feel like I was standing still.

I think I lost a little mental focus over the next couple of miles.  It really gets rolly in there and I'll be honest, it was starting to hurt.  There is a nice downhill after the right hand 90 and I think I opted to drink and recover just a tad too much rather than keeping the pressure on and that lack of focus lingered.

A little comparison shows that this was the case.  Up until the half way point I was considerably ahead of past results, but that delta started shrinking in the second half.  I was able to really lay it on in the last mile or so to finish strong.

End of the day, I set a PR by a full mile per hour despite riding on my Warbird with gravel tires.  It would be interesting to see how things would go with a more aero getup, but I'm not interested enough to want to pursue that kind of spending any time soon.  Overall I was happy with a good hard effort for the evening and seeing a solid improvement independent of gear.  Final time of 36:56 and a 21.8 mph average speed.

Sasquatch Dash #5

Moving on to your bonus content, here is my first hand account of Sasquatch Dash #5.

My start time was 18:36, so once things got rolling I actually had a chance to do a short warm-up run.  I usually do not get a warm-up in before the Sasquatch Dash as we are waiting inside getting people checked-in and explaining the course.  6 minutes isn't much of a warm-up, but it got the blood pumping a little and I got to stretch just a touch.

Warm-up loop
Based on my spreadsheet magic I was starting about 20 seconds behind Steve Clark (who's predictions are these anyhow, this can't be right) and was one to several minute ahead of Tammi, Alex, and Greg.  Unlike last year where I took off down Hamilton and couldn't see a soul, this time Steve was just up the road from me.

We started fast enough.  Things felt fast but in control all along Hamilton.  I don't think I put any ground into Steve.  As we headed up Wert though the gap started shrinking until I was right behind him as we hit the trail intersection.  This seemed a little concerning.

Perfectly flat course profile.
Heading up to the first turn around Steve pulled just a little ahead again.  Checking splits against those coming back I was gaining at what seemed like a reasonable rate to catch them around the finish.  Tammi was coming fast behind though and I figured she might catch me before we left Wert.

I've always considered myself a reasonable descender.  The more technical the better.  This isn't particularly technical though.  Steve is a monster going downhill.  He opened a nice gap on the way back to the pond.

The pattern was repeated on the next two out and backs.  I pulled Steve in on the uphill and he broke away on the downhill.  Splits continued to converge on those in front of me and Tammi closing behind.

As we turned around at the last gate I figured Tammi was within about 10 seconds of me and Steve about that ahead of me.  Steve took off down the hill and I tried to let it go as best I could to keep up and not be passed myself.  I never looked back after this so I'm not sure where I pulled away, but Tammi never caught up and I apparently managed to put in some time.

As we hit Hamilton again I passed Starr and scared her half to death by patting her shoulder.  Sorry dear!  Steve was holding pace about 10 seconds up on me.  I could also see Cory up the road but it seemed like a stretch to pull him in.  It is really hard to judge at this point because you are near the end and really feeling it so you can't tell how much the other person is hurting off in the distance.

HR shows that it didn't feel any easier off the trails and hills.  Solid closing paces though.
I ran strong the length of Hamilton.  I pulled Steve back just a few seconds and managed to catch Cory just as we got onto the bike trail.  I wanted to be sure Steve took a hard left up into the overlook so I shouted at him to turn left.  He said afterwards I scared him that I had that much breath left to shout and he charged up the hill to finish about 8 seconds ahead of me.

I'm pretty pleased with my race execution.  I was able to run fast, and push hard at the end.  96% of max HR doing a pace that would almost get me a sub 20 minute 5k after climbing up and down Wert is a sign of pretty good fitness.

Mullin's What's Next

A few things on the short term agenda and then some serious meat to the fall.

Wednesday September 3rd I'm doing the Vakava roller skiing time trials.  The Vakava race team is a bunch of elite citizen racers that train year round.  I've managed to score an invite to their summer time trails the last few years and it is a real eye opener trying to go fast on roller skis.  Talk about a pain cave.  Two 5k TTs in one night.

Sasquatch Dash #6, 25k Finale.   You should all know about this one.

Gravel Conspiracy

Birkie Trail Marathon - I'm NOT doing the full marathon.  I'm apparently going to be there though so I'm going to do something.  Half marathon?  Relay?  Would need to line up a team for that option.

Gandy Dancer Half Marathon - "a" race.  My "A" race is the Birkie, but this will be my little a race of the "off season".  My half marathon PR is really soft so I should hit that easily and then we'll see if I can't hit some other nice round numbers.

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