A week back I decided to sign up for the entire Kissena 2018 Twilight Series. These series of races take place every Wednesday nights starting at six in the afternoon. I got permission from my boss to come in at seven in the morning so I can leave by three in order to get to the track in time. Traffic can be quite diabolical on this island.
With a bit of luck, I arrived at the track much earlier than anticipated. Time was killed by walking around the park area surrounding the track and watching the Star Track program coach the young kids.
Finally at six we were allowed to get on the track, and start setting up. I warmed up for about fifteen minutes on the track. It was a hot and dry evening. The wind was blowing quite fierce across the back straight of the track. The air was so dry that my throat became a desert wasteland.
Our category five field was split up into odds and events, due to the large group of riders.
My first race was a six lap Point-a-Lap race. Each lap of the race lead rider receives 1 point. Finish earns the top 2 riders 2 and 1 points respectively. Rider with most points wins.
When the whistle blew for the start of the race, it got off to a fast start. On the back stretch against the wind is when I realized that my legs were shot from the sprint/leadout training I had done the night before with my teammates. I hung in as best as I could. On the start/finish straight, I would get a good push from the wind and I’d almost spin my gear out. On the last lap I backed off, considering I had collected zero points. The lead guys had a sizeable gap on me, so it wasn’t worth killing myself.
My second race was a three lap Tempo race. Every lap the first two riders score 2 and 1 points respectively; the final lap scores 3, 2, and 1 point. Again once the whistle blew, the race heated up. I was struggling to stay in the group. The dry throat was making it hard to swallow anything. To make matters worse, I developed the infamous Kissena Track Hack after my first event. I didn’t feel so bad as it appeared that the whole infield was hacking all night long. And to top it off, my Garmin had auto powered off and I didn’t get to record my data for the race.
In order to track these points races, I think I need to keep an abacus on my handlebars.
My third race was a four lap Scratch race. Race runs the determined number of laps; top 5 taken at the finish. In this last race, I started to come alive. I worked hard to stay on the wheels and out of the wind. With one lap to go, I was able to power up on the last lap, push through the wind on the back stretch picking off a bunch of racers, and finish in fourth place. The top three were out of range. Again, I failed to start my Garmin so no data on that race.
It seems that I definitely get better as the race or races progress. Which means that during my warmup, on the track, I will need to do some high, or max intensity bouts to prime my legs and lungs.
I’m still debating gearing in my head. I think I’m in a neutral zone. High wind makes it hard to push into it, but too easy when it’s on your back. I’m maxing out at about 130 on my cadence, and I could go up to 140 if I’m in a position where I really need to outsprint someone. It has also been suggested I drop my stem and push it out a tad, in order to get me more aero. I think I’ll look into that later in the season once I’m more comfortable on the track.
I was not expecting desert throat and track hack. Also, for now I will be continuing the sprint training the day before, since at the track I’m just learning things. Later in the season I’ll revisit that, and adjust once I feel I’m getting the hang of things and I’m becoming more competitive.