Wednesday, June 30, 2010

DNF Post Mortem -- Attack / Counterattack

Disclaimer... the term "racing career" is used loosely and intended for illustrative purposes in the discussion below.  References to Drummroll's "attack" are also to be used loosely and intended for illustrative purposes.  

So Drummroll notches up, if his memory serves him correctly, the 2nd DNF of his "racing career" that was purely due to -- shall we say -- his inability to hang in there physically and mentally (not the result of a crash or mechanical).    Now mind you that this alleged "racing career" spans a fair cross-section (CX pun intended) of all sorts of cycling, a batch of running events and triathlons in all shapes and sizes. 

Coming from a triathlon sort of background, there simply was no giving up, you just needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other -- even if it meant walking at times.  A flashback to IM Florida sees Drummroll with a pretty darn respectable swim (1:06 for 2.4 miles), a decent bike where he even held back (112 mi in 5:18) and then the run ... can you say vomitarrhea -- a 5:31 marathon.   Drummroll was so messed up he was delerious and staggering part way through the run and was scared he'd get pulled.  After sitting at an aid station for 20-30 minutes painfully watching others run and shufle by, he decided he was really hungry and grabbed a small vanilla Oreo type cookie from the aid station and washed it down with a coke.  Mmmmm, he ate a couple more, another coke and wow, ....."I'm alive".  It was weird -- in a manner of ten minutes or less, he got a running and put in his fastest 10K split of the day for the last 1/4 or so of the marathon.

So enough about the good 'ol days (sorry, IM is a long event, hence a long story) .... so Drummroll hits the Corning Cat 4 race at Watkins Glen this past weekend and on lap 2 puts in a modest attack on a small rise and drew out a few guys and the pack closed in and it all settled in.   A few corners later on the same lap, Drummroll put in a hard attack on a sweeping downhill followed by another rise.   The pack chased hard and caught him part way up the rise except they didn't settle in this time -- they kept on going ... hard.   Drumroll, now in sag climb mode, suddenly realizes he's sagged right off the back of the pack.  A full lap of chasing hard only saw the disappear further up the road.  Drummroll cashed it in to return to the car to bask in the stench of a DNF.

So the lesson learned, after some discussion with NegaCoach Wayne and others was that yes, the first attack was a proper move.  A counter attack was also a proper move .. except Drummroll should not counter attack his own original attack. 

So there you have it cycling fans, dorksters, hipsters, wannabe's, afficianados and all around know it alls, it all boils down to this .. Drummrolls racing guidance 101:

(1) Counter attacking an attack = good move
(2) Counter attacking your own attack = bad move

1 comment:

Skinny Phil said...

It's worth mentioning that you hung on easily in the 2nd 3/4 race which was significantly faster based on a couple of the lap times and avg MPH. I guess that further confirms the point about counter attacking yourself (unless you're Spartacus).