Wednesday's racing finished up at 10pm under the lights so a Twitter update was all I could muster after going out for dinner and arriving home close to midnight. After rain through most of the day, the track finally dried enough to start racing at 3pm and programing continued through until the end of the evening. The last few races under the lights were great to watch, with some aggressive racing in the Junior women's scratch race. I also raced my first full distance pursuit effort on Wednesday evening around 6:30. With a little bit of wind on the track, I ran a 48,14 gear (90) and posted a very respectable time.
Out of the electronic start gate, I pushed through the very corner very well and completed the first three 250 metre laps in 21.6, 16.6,17.1 which put me well ahead of my planned start of 22.5, 18.0, 18.0 etc. I felt okay so I just tapered it back a bit until I started to hit 17.9's. To best explain the ideal perceived excursion for the 16 lap effort, I'll break it down into 4lap segments. After the first four laps, the legs are supposed to feel as if they have done nothing. In the second segment, it gets difficult. The third, you must embrace the pain as the vision gets blurry. While the final four laps come down to extracting every last once of power your legs have to offer. After I passed my heat-match (rider who starts 125 metres ahead on the opposing side of the 250 metre loop) on lap 8, I looked at the lap board for the first time. 7 laps to go. I can do that! On six the vision started to get blurry. Every time over the start finish line, Jeremy would yell out my splits so I could gauge my effort. I dropped one lap to 18.4 but most of my laps were consistently 17.7-18.2 (very close to my 18.0 target). With four laps to go it got real blurry and with two to go, I felt my fast start catch up to me. I felt as though I was accelerating but I my split only improved to 17.9's. I held on for a finish time of 4.52, taking the lead at that point in the competition. A highlight was definitely my consistency; my kilometre break down was very close (Kilometre 2: 1.12.7, km3: 1:12.5, km4: 1.12.8) although it would have been better to start slower and finish faster. Ultimately, my time didn't hold onto a podium position as both riders in the final heat finished with 4.50's and Zach's fast 4.45 took the jersey.
It was a good effort for my very first full distance race and both Jeremy and Richard were happy. I really wanted to hang on for a podium spot but I felt good about my gear selection and my effort so hopefully I can clean up my start and my position on the track (riding the black line) for a faster time in Friday's Omnium (The omnium is a six event competition including a Flying 250 metre [1 lap], a 40km Points Race, a 4km Pursuit, a 15km Scratch Race and a 1km pursuit [called a kilo]).
The hardest part of the 4km pursuit is almost the two to five minutes following the effort. Slipping off the track onto the apron, the legs flood with lactic acid and by the time Jeremy extended his hand to stop me 2 laps after my finish, I was only just able to mumble. Getting off the bike a few minutes later, after he wheeled me into the pit area, was a feat all in itself. Once the incessant drooling and spitting start, it doesn't stop. You know the feeling like you just vomited, or are about to - well try that for ten minutes! But a face wash and a little bit of coke makes for a much easier hop back onto the bike for a cool down on the rollers.
On Thursday, with a team pursuit planned for the morning and a points race in the evening, I made sure I spun it out for a while. I learned back at SAIT (Southern Alberta Institution of Technology) in 2005 while VO2 max testing with my alpine skiing teammates that after a prolonged lactate effort (like a pursuit), the body produces lactate for an additional 13 minutes! So if you get on the rollers for a 10 minute cool down, you will still be producing lactate for another 3 minutes which doesn't make your recovery for the next day's events any easier. Trust me.
The track dried fast but the skies just kept dishing it out
Scott, Trevor, Jake, Jamie and Kyle hanging out in the tunnel
Erik, Trevor and Eddy
Scott Mulder wins the Junior Keirin under the lights