Type 1 Cycling

Type 1 Cycling

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Israel National Masters Championships 2013

The weekend was the open championships for masters level cyclists.  I had set my sights on this event since March and I was really looking forward to competing on this level.  The winner in each category would receive a national masters jersey and entry to the upcoming Maccabi games.  I knew I wasn't going to be getting a podium.  I had raced exactly once, fortunately on exactly the same course.  The difference in the championship race was it was an extra 2 laps (30Km) more than 100Km in all.  I have ridden this distance before but perhaps not enough and not under race conditions. My goal was just do better than last time.  Last time I was only able to stay with the peloton for 1 lap, this time if not for the whole race at least for more than before.

more pictures here
My wife left me a message to see in the morning before the race.

sunrise at the start

The evening before Alon and I had our pasta dinner together.  This time he cooked and I brought desert.  Techina cup cakes with chocolate ganache and smoked salt, made by my wife.  We talked about the race and about what I am up to with TeamBG, ate plenty of pasta and drank lots of water.  I went home and got my stuff ready for the next day.  Water bottles filled, sandwiches made, chain oiled, bag packed with shoes, helmet, energy gels and everything else that I needed.

Alon brought coffee for the team

Making his coffee run so every can start the day right

The following morning my alarm goes off at around 415am.  I jump out of bed and start to get read.  I check my blood sugar.  It was a little high (not surprising after all that pasta the night before), see below for specific details.  I took some insulin and started eating my sandwiches.  I ate two on the drive as I wanted to store as much energy as possible for the long race.We arrived nice and early at the car park, got ready and went to meet the rest of the team at the water tent.  Alon Yotam and I started our warm up.  We had a few runs at the finishing hill and made our way back to the tent.  Carmi wished us all good luck and we all made our way to our respective start lines.  Alon, Yotam, Omer and I lined up together close to the front as the four representatives of X-Team in the 30-40 category.  I check my blood sugar a final time, at 312 mg/dl it was a lot higher than I would have liked but I had no choice.

Last minute tactics

getting the water tent ready

The starting beeps came and we were off.  The pace was around 35kmph and after the nervousness of the peloton died down a bit I started to relax.  My heart rate was higher than I would have liked but not sky high like the last time I raced.  As the race went on I felt comfortable moving around peloton, its not so easy and you have to fight for position.  Thankfully everyone was alert and there were no incidents, though one or two close calls, another reason to stay up near the front.  After a lap and half I was feeling really happy with myself, I had not been dropped from the group.  Time for some food, I reached for my preopened cliff bar.  First mistake of the race.  I took a big bite and I realised there was only a bit more left.  So I stuffed it in my mouth.  Ooops too much.  My mouth was really full.  I was finding it hard to breathe and I had so much in there I that I couldn't chew or swallow.  It took me me far to long to get down and sent my heart rate sky high, right gels from now on.

lining up on the start

Carmi setting off
Alon saw that I was doing ok and asked me to keep and eye on one of the danger men, Ariel.  He was easy to watch, the only one in an FC Barcelona cycling jersey.  I stuck to his wheel and watched for his moves as best I could.  I was able to take water on the go without getting dropped from the peloton.  Everything was great until it wasn't.  At the end of the 4 or 7 laps some guys made a break for it and the group sped up going up the steepest part of the towards the finish line.  I just couldn't hold on, after 60Km at race speed I was done.  I just couldn't hold the pace.  Yotam, one of my team mates, was having the same difficulty.  We rode together for a lap and a half unable to catch the peloton until I made my second mistake.  I had picked up Yotam's bottle the last time round the water tent.  I hit a bump and the bottle fell out.  I felt guilty as I was riding with the guy at the time and turned round to get it.  As I turned round I saw the Masters Pro peloton baring down on my like a freight train.  I decided to forget about the bottle and get moving again.  By this time Yotam was well ahead of me and by the end of the penultimate lap I was almost spent.  I finished up the race coming in 24th out of 30 around 20 minutes behind the leaders.

And we're off.
finishing a lap in the peloton
Yotam and I distanced from the pack

Alon in the break

Alon coming across the finish line

Finishing strong
Alon came second from a break.  Vered came second in the 30+ women, Avi came second in the 60+ men, and Orit came second in the 50+ women.  Ilan made the top ten in the 40+.  Most inspiring of all was Henry who at 80 years old was able to represent our team.  At the presentation he was presented with the winners Jersey for the 80+ category.  Carmi helped him up to the podium and he spoke a few words, thanking us all for being his extended family.
30 - 40 winners podium

All in all I had a good race.  I held the peloton for longer than last time, I collected water without getting dropped, and for the first half of the race I was riding really comfortably in with the front runners.  Next year I will be racing the the full season and hopefully after a busy off season I hope to smash it.

Post race festivities

Blood sugars and food as best as I can remember it.
2222 - 230
0428 - 215 4u insulin 80g sandwiches coffee
0615 - 257 2u insulin
0650 - 306
0703 - 312
cliff bar after 1.5 laps
gel at 2.5 laps
gel at 4 laps
gel at 5.5 laps
1028 - 43  this was a bad test, my hands were a little wet with sweat so messed up the reading
1028 - 198
1044 - 202 bowl of pasta and half a bottle of beer. no insulin
1122 - 252
1235 - 215
1331 - 204
1604 - 190 various food 7u insulin
1704 - 207
2102 - 266 schnitzel and mash potato 6u insulin
2348 - 191
0034 - 259
0747 - 142

Over all not a major success blood sugar wise.  I am conservative though because for such a long race where I have no opportunity to test along the way I do not want risk going low or running out of energy.  Should have had more insulin the night before with the pasta and more first thing in the morning, maybe 7u.  That way the insulin is mostly gone from my system midway through the race which will allow my body to break down glycogen and fat better.  When I first started and I was not getting feeding and insulin correct at all after a long ride I could be as high as 400, here finishing at around 200 wasn't so bad.  I was hesitant to give myself too much insulin in the afternoon as I was worried that the after burn would send me very low.

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