2018 Race Report #6: Delaware Senior Olympics Time Trials

My seventh and eight races of 2018 were part of the Delaware Senior Olympics. The course was unique: the Dover International Speedway, a NASCAR race track. This banked concrete oval is exactly one mile (1.6 KM) in length. The banking on the straightaways was 9 degrees, while the corners were 24 degrees. Fortunately, we raced on the flat asphalt apron at the bottom of the banked course and through pit road.

The weather was brisk and increasingly windy. Temperature before the 10 KM (6.2 miles) race was 57 degrees, humidity was 51 percent, and the wind was from the west-northwest at 12 mph. Temperature before the 5 KM (3.1 miles) race rose to 61 degrees, humidity was 42 percent, and the wind was from the west-southwest at 15 mph.

The biggest handicap for me was going to be the wind, especially since it would be a strong headwind along pit road. I had no trouble increasing my heart rate to just above lactate threshold, roughly 136 BPM (105% of my functional threshold of 132 BPM). My cadence target was 88-92 RPM. My power target was 205-215 watts.

In the first race, six laps of the 1 KM oval, my time was 0:16:21 (22.80 mph average) for third place. The winning time was 0:15:42 (23.74 mph average). My top speed was 26.8 miles per hour (with a wind assist on the back stretch). Average cadence was 90 RPM; maximum cadence was 112 RPM. Average heart rate was 138 BPM; maximum heart rate was 143 BPM. Average power was 222 watts; maximum power was 454 watts.

Race replay: Delaware Senior Olympics 10 KM Time Trial

In the second race, three laps of the 1 KM oval, my chain slipped off my big chainring as I was accelerating away from the startline. It took me 1:37 to reset it, which doomed any podium finish. My official time was 0:09:32 (19.55 mph average) for eighth place. The winning time was 0:07:28 (24.96 mph average). However, subtracting the time spent resetting my chain, my estimated finishing time should have been 0:07:55 (23.54 mph average) for third place, one second faster than the official third place finisher. My top speed was slightly slower at 26.5 mph. Average cadence was 90 RPM; maximum cadence was 108 RPM. Average heart rate was 138 BPM; maximum heart rate was 148 BPM. Average power was 215 watts; maximum power was 464 watts.

Race replay: Delaware Senior Olympics 5 KM Time Trial

My 2018 race season is done. I will spend a couple of weeks riding leisurely before starting off-season workouts in early November. Next season, I am planning on doubling the number of races, including another attempt at a national championship podium finish, as I will be racing at the “young end” of the next older age-group.