Posted by: Travis | January 4, 2010

Race Report: San Bruno Hill Climb (San Bruno, CA, 1/1/2010)

Suffering on San Bruno

Me saying that i’m not a climber may be the understatement of the year, but i’ll say it anyway: i’m not a climber. Not only was i blessed with the Dubose-Man sprinters build (read: stocky), but i’m from Houston, where the steepest and longest hills are freeway overpasses. So yeah, a 20 minute minute climb isn’t really my thing. That being said, the San Bruno Hill Climb on New Years Day is the traditional first race of the NorCal calendar, and since i skipped it last year (see previous sentence as to why), i decided it would be fun to give it a shot this year.

New Years Eve was pretty mellow for us: dinner of roasted acorn squash stuffed with tortellini cooked at home, watch a netflix movie from the couch, have a glass of prosecco ready at midnight, get a kiss, be in bed by 12:30.

Friday morning we woke up, packed upt the car and headed up to San Bruno (just south of San Francisco). Somehow i managed to lose my stationary trainer in the last few weeks, and the rollers i got for Christmas are waiting on some replacement parts, so for a warm up i did a few repeats of a near by hill. For a hill climb (especially one that is only 20-25 minutes), you don’t just want to be warmed up at the start, you want to be smoking hot. After 15 minutes of warm up i was cool at best, but then again, i was just here for fun. We got lined up and they sent us off in 30 second waves. There were maybe 30 of us in the cat4 race. When the whistle blew we hit the gas, doing 550 Watts (i averaged around 260 watts for the whole climb). After about 400 meters i was out the back, on my own. After starting so hard i took a few minutes easier than i thought i could average up the climb to recover, then i slowly ratcheted up to what i thought i could hold, and then a little beyond that.

According to the power data i did the climb in about 23:40. Once the group was shattered, it was really difficult to tell who was in your class, so i have no idea how i placed, but i’m fairly sure i was closer to the back than the front. I think i could have a gone a little bit harder (i had enough left in the tank to sprint as soon as i saw the finish line about 50 yards out), but this was my first time doing this climb, so i was unfamiliar with it and how to dose my effort accordingly. Like i said before, i’m not a climber, i knew a win wasn’t in the cards here, and i was just here for fun, so we can call it a success.

I later got home to find that i had set a new 20 minute power record (indicative of my threshold power, ie what i can hold for an hour), which shows that my improved training this winter compared to last winter is working. That i am already going faster at the beginning of this season than i was at the end of last season, especially since it’s been mostly base work with just a little high intensity stuff, is promising.

After the race we went to see ‘The Blind Side’, which was surprisingly good, and spent the rest of the day running errands and hanging out.

Good stuff. Happy New Year everyone.

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