Deja Vu. 3rd in age group, 8th overall - exactly the same results as last year except I didn't win a jetboil in the raffle!
This year's race prep was virtually non-existent. I had decent training leading up to the Inferno this winter on the trainer and I planned on making up for lost time post-Inferno by stacking up some rides in April. The problem was that ski season just wouldn't quit - I spent most of my free time in the mountains - Presidentials to Alaska - skiing as much as possible. Sure my fitness was excellent but that only gets you so far when you don't do any specific training. I'm fine with that, I'll take skiing over bike racing and I had to adjust my expectations for this race.
The Crank the Kanc is a 21.2 mile time trial race up the Kancamagus Highway, starting in Conway and ending at the Last lookout before the top of the Pass. Last year I exceeded my expectations riding around 1:08:30. Riding blind I somehow was able to grind out the climb much harder than I did this year where I relied heavily on my computer.
I broke the race down into the 16 mile 'flat' section and the roughly 5 mile climb. The goal was to average >22mph on the flats and >13mph on the climb. I also paid attention to my watts now that I have a power meter. This was similar to using your HR as guidance but generally more accurate. The problem was that I hadn't tested my FTP in well over a year so I just went with 357 and hope that stuck.
The first half of the race went as planned. I was right on pace with my splits from the previous year and my watts were good ~340. The section had taken a lot out of me though and as I started the climb my speed was dropping well below 13mph. This is where I lost my minute from the previous year. My cadence was slower and I was just grinding it out. It's hard to tell if my time was slower because of conditions, fitness, effort, drive or what. At the finish I recovered quickly and drove back down to the base of the Kanc. This would have been a good year to ride down since the weather was perfect but I had arranged to run with Jim Johnson down at the Albany town forest.
I got skunked at the awards raffle but did bring home another coffee mug to match the one I got last year. We'll see if I motivate to do this race again next year. It would have been more interesting provided I had put in the training so I can't see myself signing up for it without wanting to improve my PR. Biking still remains a mystery to me and I hope to have a breakthrough in the near future!