Thursday, May 31, 2007

Chris Lieto Checks In From Mt. Hood Stage # 3

WOW!  Cycling is a whole different pain than triathlon.  Todays Stage was another 90 degree day.  87 miles with five climbs that were each 30 minutes totaling over 9,000 ft.  The day started with a climb right from the gun and there were a couple of attacks and I was one of those.  It seems like I am always antsy and want to get out in front.  I went first by myself and I thought well if they let me go this is going to be a very long lonely day.  They brought me back and as soon as they did I attacked again and this time 4 guys came across to me and we rode the climb together only putting about 30 seconds into the Pelaton. 

This was the hardest out of the five times up the mountain, close to max effort.  Going over the top of the climb 3 guys attacked for the KOM, which I wanted no part in, the pain was enough with the pace we were going.  They kept going and I sat up and waited for the group.  I am glad I did because that break stayed away most of the day, and they suffered quit a bit.  Being in the pelaton the next 4 times up the climb was not much easier though.  Every time up the group got smaller and smaller.  The last time up to the finish the pace was tempo and there was 2 guys up the rode just a little way so I thought I would go off on my own again and see if I could get across or just time trial myself to the finish in front of the pelaton.  It seems I don't learn very quickly. 

I expended energy I didn't need to and should have just been patient and stayed with the pelaton to the finish.  Of course they brought me back, and I hung on.  This was very painful with the last 20 minutes of the climb in the 400 watt range with many 500 plus watt efforts along the way.  The group was down to about 24 guys and it was a straight line up the hill. Once we got close there were a couple of attacks I stuck with, but with 200 meters to go they unleashed and I couldn't jump again.  With it all stung out I finished 14 seconds down from the days winner, and I moved up to 14th in the GC less than a minute from the lead.  

Doing those kind of efforts up those climbs are like nothing you experience in a triathlon or Ironman.  In an Ironman you go to a painful place that you can deal with for a long period of time.  This is going to a place you have never been before and a place you never want to go back to. 

I am hoping that these efforts will raise my fitness in cycling and running for Ironman this year.  It is something I could never do on my own training.  Five by 30 minute climbs all out, now that is a good work out.  Of course I had to get my transition run in after.  That actually made my legs feel better.

Well, tomorrow is a little more my style with a 19 mile Time Trial with 2 good climbs in it.  It is still shorter than I am used to, but I am excited to see how I come out.  

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