Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mt Diablo Hill Climb Time Trial 2010

Photo from Diablo Scott and his magnificent blog

It's now official: I am slow.
This isn't exactly news, but it the first time it's been 100% official, complete with numbers and statistics, officially timed and UCI certified.
My start time was 9:26. I know that because I wrote it in sharpie on my leg because I just couldn't keep it in my head.
I competed in the 55+ group. My single-day race license had me as 16 years old, but that got sorted out at the the registration table. As I pined my number on I saw zillion dollar bikes on wind trainers, ridden by the amazingly thin. I just rode around a bit to warm up.

The start was an official platform, just like the one ones at the races you see on TV. That itself was intimidating. I was worried I'd slip just walking up the ramp. There was a holder, and I was worried I'd fall over, or somehow screw up. I'd read that I should be careful not to start in too big a gear, so I didn't.

And BOOM, I started.
My plan was to start relatively easy and ramp up as I went along, saving a lot for the last third. But I was too too excited. I was at 95% of my max heart rate in seconds. I passed my first rider in about 3 minutes. Unfortunately it wasn't a racer, just a rather heavy cyclist out for a ride. Oh well. I was passed by some rocket lad at about mile one. Many others passed me before I finished. I lost count.

I was trying to keep my heart rate at 92-93%. Any more and I'd have died before I finished. I did have bursts of 95-96 and dropped down to the high 80's just for a moment when I lost concentration.
I saw Diablo Scott making photos, and, when I saw a small car-flattened snake I thought I should photograph it for him for his road kill report. But I had no camera, and it was, after all, a race.

Eventually it all ended about 6 miles later, right by the ranger house. It's now hours later and my chest still hurts from breathing so hard. I know I'm slow, but I can't believe how fast some people blow past me. It's just amazing.

I'm waiting for the results to be posted on the web so I can see if anyone was slower than me. When I looked at the sheets they had taped up, I didn't see anyone who was.
On the up side, I had thought I'd hit 50 minutes. I think my official time was 42-something, so I beat my estimate. And I didn't die, or screw up any one else in their attempt.
Still, it would be swell to be just a hair less slow — to maybe break 40 or something.

I guess there's always next year...

The results are up. I was not last. There were five mens finishers slower than me. Sure, three were juniors. And I was last in my group. But I'll take what I can get.


  1. i threw up going across the finish line, got a 31.41 and not happy at all, could have beat 30 if prepared properly and I had my good rims on but I broke one two weeks ago on the house of pain ride around here = (

  2. Curtis,

    I saw you heading up to the ramp. I tried to say "hi", but I think you were too focused. I was way nervous on the ramp thing as well, but it was over before I knew it. Good on you for getting out there!

  3. good job, Curtis! lots of lessons learned if you decide to do it again. warm-up for a TT is crucial. as is pacing, but typically you don't want to look at your HR during a race (so it's not a great pacing tool). your HR will be elevated just because you're racing (not to mention the heat today).

    so, the real question is: was it fun and will you do it again?

  4. LL: I'm thinking I need to beat 40, so yeah, depending on life and all, next year!

  5. you know, there are lots of other racers out there -- you don't have to wait a whole year.

  6. whoops! meant to say other races.

  7. gpelpel9:26 PM

    Very funny report. How can you keep going in the red zone for so long... and not die?
    Great job though, and pretty good time. Don't forget that most don't dare show up for this kind of event, me being the first. If all 55+ men were competing today you would be in the top 1%.

  8. Love the heart rate graph.
    Anaerobic for over 40 minutes deserves a banana split or something.

  9. Love it. I started at 7am to make sure I didn't get passed by any 10-year olds.

    That's a pretty awesome photo!

  10. Nice job, Curtis, and really good to see you out there competing. Now you have a new personal best. And your write up made me LOL. Good work all around.

  11. Anonymous8:53 PM

    Hey all. This was my 2nd year competing in the race. 36min last year, 34 min this year. Not sure if that was due to tailwind or what, but better is better. I haven't been training much this year due to the blah weather. Thought you might like to see my HR graph -- I gave 110% and was on the edge of ralphing at the finish line, but didn't :). Average HR=188:

  12. Way to go Curtis, I am still working up the courage to do Mt. Diablo.


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