Saturday, January 12, 2008

Upgrades and Spring Training

USCF License Upgrade
This week I petitioned for an upgrade from Cat 4 to Cat 3 and received it, in six minutes. The NEBRA coordinator must have been at her computer when I emailed my request.

When I started road racing a few years ago, I completed 10 qualifying races as a Cat 5 before I upgraded to Cat 4 in 2006. But once I upgraded, I jumped right into Masters 35+ racing (winning first race!), not really having any interest in climbing the category ladder. You don't earn upgrade points in Masters races. Last year I did all 40+ or 45+ races. But I'm racing against some seriously strong mofo's with Cat 1&2 licenses. They just happen to be older seriously strong mofo's. Masters 35+/45+ races are much more challenging to podium than the Cat 4/5 races I did as a Cat 5. The upgrades coordinator does have some discretion in granting upgrades. In my case, several podium finishes in big races was enough.

So why bother with a Cat 3 upgrade? I don't plan to do any Cat 3 races. Too much young testosterone flowing in those races. I will continue to race Masters categories. However, I wouldn't mind giving US Road Masters Nationals a shot. I read or somebody told me that nationals is open only to Cat 3 and higher. The 2007 website doesn't appear to be up anymore, and I don't think 2008 has been announced yet. A secondary reason for Cat 3 upgrade is I may want to try a local Pro/1/2/3 race sometime. Probably just once for the experience. I have quite a few Cat 3 teammates, and they may pressure me to support the team there. We'll see.

Spring Training in January
Now that we lost most of our snow and temps continue to remain mild, I did a long, hard NorEast club ride today. Seven of us started from UNH in Durham, headed west, and proceeded to hit hill after hill after hill. Much of the terrain was new to me. I did not know where we were most of the time, but a few of the hills we hit were Meetinghouse, Mt Delight, Pembrook, Willow, and Harriman. There were numerous other steep, short punchy hills. We stayed together very well as a group, all having similar fitness and training objectives for the ride.

The last couple weeks were fairly intensive for me with hard rides and 3hr hammerski sessions. I perceived earlier this week I was on verge of overtraining. Volume was only 10-12hrs per week, but the skiing really jacks up the average intensity of that volume. So I backed down the last three days, doing nothing on Friday. Monday was a rest day too. I felt pretty fresh going into today's ride, and it was a good thing. I would have suffered miserably otherwise. Most rode in to UNH from other places. Rich and I were only two to start and finish at UNH. We logged 82.1 miles with 4:42hrs riding time.

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