Oklahoma State Road Race Championship

I went down to Oklahoma City for the Road Race State Championship this weekend.

On race day, I woke up with a BG of 64. I ate a bowl of raisin bran and got my gear ready to go. After I got checked in at the race course, my BG was 183. I set my basal back only a little (-25%) since it was a morning race and I knew I would be more insulin resistant throughout the race (typically riding at that intensity I might set my basal to -50 or -60%). Went for a warm-up ride for a few miles to check out the wind situation and make sure my bike was in working order with my race wheels on it.

Got back after the warmup and BG was 167. Perfect! Right where I wanted to be prior to the race. That was about 30 minutes before the start, and we started gathering into our race groups near the starting line.

We got underway and everything seemed to be going well. The pace was somewhat slow--only a few of us wanted to pull through so just as a good rotation would get going, it would fall apart. About 15 minutes into the race, I pulled through and settled into a steady pace. I looked over my shoulder and no one had followed (again, a lot of folks that wanted to be at/near the front but didn't want to do any work). I took the opportunity to eat my Stinger Waffle (21g carbs), and then decreased my pace until the group caught back up.

The first two loops around the course were pretty uneventful. A few guys went out in small groups (either solo or only 2 in the group). Nothing would really stick. There was one group of two--one of the 360 Sports guys and someone else--who managed to sit out front for most of a loop. We brought them back to the group on the back side of the third loop.

At one point on the back side of the course as I was sitting midpack in the gutter, there was quite a bit of commotion in the upper middle of the group (a couple of guys trying to occupy the same space I think?), and all the noise indicated a wreck in the making. I bunny-hopped into the grass to avoid any road rash (there was a slight curb), but as quick as the commotion had risen, it died down (without any wreck). So I bunny-hopped back onto the road, and on we went.

The final loop guys finally started pushing a little. Three or four jumped right after the first turn. After they were caught I was sitting about 7-8 wheel. I jumped and hollered to them as I went out so that they would follow. We strung the pack out some, rotating through 7 or 8 of us and had a good speed going into the south headwind. On the back side of the lake, once people had a tailwind, everyone wanted to increase their speed and get to the front. I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention and suddenly realized when I looked behind me that I was on the back. There were only 3 guys behind me. Not sure how that happened! The yellow line was completely packed with no room for moving up, so I switched sides and got into the gutter of the road--surprisingly no one wanted to ride in it! So I was able to move back all the way to the front without any extra effort in about 30 seconds.

We rounded the last real corner (about 2 miles or do out) and I was sitting 3rd wheel. Through the next few rollers I managed to stay top 5 and as we headed into the bottom of the hill with the 1k to go sign, I made a move on the outside to get back in front. I led the charge up the hill and all the way through the 500 meters-to-go I was in the lead. I knew the group would be making a surge soon as we neared the 200-to-go marker, but I imagined I would have some kick left to give to jump on a wheel until just before the line. Well that didn't happen. I got swallowed up as we climbed the hill with 200 to go, and I didn't have anything left to give. All I could do was try to minimize the damages of people passing me. Crossed the line 29th today. I had fun, but of course would rather have more to show (money and/or much needed points!) for my efforts on the course today.

BG after the race was 84. Awesome numbers so I know my power was there (or as much as it could have been), but the other guys just had more kick than me today.

I managed to keep the rubber on the road and I had a good race with great glucose numbers, so despite missing even a top 10 finish, I was happy with my efforts today.

Now time to switch gears to focus on my last remaining tri for the year before I dive full force into cyclocross!

Awesome , good read and more learning for me ...thanks :)

congrats on the great effort

I don't always think of racing as such a strategic sport. Some sports, you just go out and give it a maximal effort. But you really make it seem more about what is going on in your head.

It seems as though even if you do almost everything right, events can collude against you. Tomorrow will be another day and another chance to excel.

Sounds like a good weekend. Good luck in your upcoming tri.

Thanks all!
Yes Brian it's definitely a strategic sport. I'm only a cat 4, but when you get up into the cat 3 or even the pro/1/2 races there is a LOT of team strategy that adds to the complexity of the race, in addition to any one particular person just being in really good form.
But, that's part of racing--learning how to best handle each and every situation as you encounter it.
And yes, tomorrow is another day and another chance to excel! I like that part best :)

Ready for some dumb questions, Bradford? I'm assuming 3rd wheel is 3rd bike back as opposed to second in line (2 wheels each)? And when you 'jump on a wheel', I'm guessing that's when you stand up and pump or at least get off yer duff and power pedal?

Racing bikes is a complicated and highly psychological game. You're expected to keep track of the other riders as well as the track's many bumps 'n hollows. I'd be wondering if someone would disqualify me for that little bunny hop off the track or using the gutter of the road to get ahead. I've only watched the races so I don't know anything about why some people get disqualified and some don't. And the whole bit about everyone taking turns to lead the charge or ride the wake... so much strategy, so little time. And those are the riders who don't have a complicated illness to deal with in the first place!
You might have crossed the finish line 29th but your BG numbers were winners and your fans here are proud of you for taking on the task and working your little buns off to finish the race upright and healthy.
The only part I wonder about from your synopsis is that period "on the backside" when you weren't paying "a whole lot of attention". Dyathink that lapse had anything to do with your BG by that time? Concentration is a big factor in my life when my numbers are screwy, so I just wondered if there was something (else) you could do mid-race to ensure your undivided attention for the entire race. I sorta blame that lapse as the factor that caused you to expend a chunk of energy that you really could have used at the end. I know when I can't concentrate, I just lay down for a nap but I'm guessing that's not likely the recommended procedure during an Oklahoma State Road Race Championship ;-)
I know! Get a rear-view mirror on your handlebar or helmet so you can tell when you're riding solo! I have those little mirrors everywhere - even on my stationary bicycle.... well ya never know when someone's gonna sneak up on you in their stationary bus!
Well done, Bradford. Thanks for the news.

ha! Yes sorry bikette sometimes I forget where I'm writing this info and I use all the "common" lingo that I use with cycling friends.

"3rd wheel" would be sitting in 3rd position from the front (Lead, 2nd wheel, and then 3rd wheel, for example).

"Jumping on a wheel" means that someone from behind you is coming by and when you "jump on their wheel" you get directly behind them and go with them. It's more efficient to ride behind someone (more aerodynamic so less work needed to go same speed b/c they're breaking the wind for you). If you miss jumping on someone's wheel it can be hard to catch up sometimes.

I appreciate the "fan support" too! I mean, I ride bikes because it's fun, it's challenging, and it helps me stay healthy in the long run. Having other people like you take the time to cheer me on (even if just through cyberspace) is definitely awesome and is a big motivation as well. You all rock!

Regarding the part where I wasn't really paying a lot of attention, I think I just was getting a little fatigued with the race. I've done more criterium races this year (think fast 'nascar' style bike races on a short course with a few corners where you do lots of laps), and those are much quicker paced and keep me mentally engaged. Since this race didn't ever have anyone establish a true breakaway and was filled with a lot of folks who were just out riding (rather than racing and trying to push the pace), I think I just kind of zoned out a bit. Not so much a BG issue (at least I don't think it was a BG issue). I think going on longer training rides (getting used to being in the saddle for more hours) could maybe help me focus better on race day? Not sure exactly.

Anyway thanks again for the support and the cheers!