Monday, October 21, 2013

Start of Winter....

            At the time of writing this (which was over a week ago) I’m about to do a podcast, and I thought I would get some writing done in the spare time beforehand. This week was by far the best week I’ve had in ages. I got to do a cardio workout every day since Monday. I’m probably gonna go for a run later today as well, racking up the volume. Honestly each day that I do something consecutively makes a huge difference. I’m sort of in a base training stage at the moment, but my fitness is such that I’m pushing higher HR zones than most people would for base. I’m not really worried about that though. The heart rates for a given effort are bound to go down if I am hitting those efforts consistently. The thing that people always warn about for is getting burned out. At the current level I’m nowhere near that. We’ll see in a few weeks for sure of course, but right now I’m happy keeping myself in a daily routine.
            It’s recently got quite cold out, so I need to figure out my winter gear situation. I was hopeful that I would have at least through the end of October without having to worry about any sort of winter clothing. That’s not happening. I forgot just how quickly it got cold here in Colorado. Anyway, I’m looking at my options right now. I was planning on getting a groupset sometime in the next month, but I think that may end up being delayed until December or so. I’ll ask for some stuff for my birthday and Christmas, as clothing isn’t insanely expensive (at least as far as bike stuff is concerned.) I’ll lay out a list of my top items. This whole wishlist thing is kind of new to me. For the first time in several years I don’t feel as if I’m really being a financial burden on my family. Having a job and going to community college have brought down my cost substantially. Adding to the fact that my parents have been employed for a while, and it just doesn’t seem like I’m a problem anymore. I’m sure my parents won’t be happy with my expense plans, but I’m being much more conservative with it than I would like. I’ve only made one big purchase with a couple small ones.

Cost is relative though. If I deny myself 800 dollars of flippant spending over the course of a few months, usually in the form of food, then I would have enough for a new mountain bike. That’s on the more distant horizon though. I do miss riding mountain trails though. I’ve learned that I am a really good rider technically, so doing those sorts of rides will be challenging in a different way.

My winter gear is pretty lacking. I have one pair of winter tights and one good winter top. My gloves aren’t made for riding, but ski gloves will do in a pinch on really cold days. I have one pair of arm warmers. I’m planning on buying winter gloves, leg warmers, arm warmers, and shoe covers from OU this year. After all if I have another kit I will be less likely to wear the ones that are torn. I don’t like putting those through the wash, as I’m afraid the rips are going to get bigger. Another option is spending a lot of time on my trainer. I’m not excited about the concept, but it sounds like a good option twice a week or something. Two days a week running, two on the trainer, and two swimming indoors will give me one day a week to brave the elements on the bike. That is doable with minimal winter clothing. My issue is going to be adjusting my schedule when it snows, which it is certain to do. There is already some snow on the mountains, which tells me we’ll likely get some snow by the end of the month (we ended up getting some in mid-October.) I suppose this is what I get for not busting my ass since the beginning of the summer. Oh well, I feel good about the outlook on things. I actually have the money coming in to be able to afford these things. It’s kind of stupid to think that I waited until I was out of high school to get a job. I’ve made like 3,000 dollars in the last couple of months, and would be stoked if that rate continued. 12,000 in a year would cover an immense amount of things on my ‘to buy’ list. I might just wait until next summer on any major purchases. I do want to go for the groupset though. I need to understand the deconstruction and construction of a bike better.

I’m sad that I’ve not been more consistent with this blog, but I haven’t had much to write. Things are looking up for me with cycling, despite the fact that my beloved canyon roads are closed thanks to an insane flood. I have some training data to work with thanks to my GPS. I should be putting in some analysis here. I’m definitely a data geek, so working with this sort of thing is my strong suit. Hopefully I’ll be able to write something that people like. As for now I need to get back to my long project of the Born to Run/Run and You’ll Only Die Tired write-up that I’m doing. I know quite a few internet people who would be very interested in that, but are too lazy to read both.  

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Long Expected Update

Sorry for not posting in forever. I haven’t really had anything to write about. The triathlon was okay, but not spectacular. I may write a post about it just to keep it archived here. I have started to improve my running a lot, but haven’t spent much time at all on the bike. I just got a Garmin 510 though, so I will be geeking out about that, and likely spending many hours a week riding just so I can look at all the data it gives.

I am actually glad I spent so much time away from the bike. I appreciate riding a lot more than I did at the end of last season. Even though I wasn’t in the greatest shape I still was a bit sick of riding. Luckily I have been active enough to maintain a reasonable level of fitness. The main benefit I have received from this time off is I have been ridden of all of the guilt that I had. It was stupid, but hard to deny. I was having a tough time in engineering (surprise I am no longer doing engineering,) and I would feel guilty every time I would work out. It was a stupid feeling that shouldn’t have bothered me, but it did. I suppose the root problem was I was unable to man up and tell my parents I didn’t want to do engineering. That conversation was perhaps the most uncomfortable I have ever had. That actually gives me a good idea for a parody post…. Anyway, I am feeling much better about what working out means to me. I am more willing to sacrifice time on the internet or tv for working out instead of work time as well. Having a lot of structure in my life tends to make me much more productive. I just hope I don’t feel too stretched over the next 14 weeks of class. It shouldn’t be that bad, but 3 online classes is a lot of time on the computer.

Now working out feels more like a small part of what I do, even when I am doing a large volume. Over the next several weeks I am going to put some real solid “pre-base” kind of riding in. I don’t really have the time to just push zone 1 or 2, and for the first few weeks here I don’t think that I would be able to keep it that low with the terrain of Colorado. My average HR zone for my first ride with an HR monitor was zone 5. That’s average. For an hour. I feel pretty confident that my pain threshold is quite good. If I use this data to plan my workouts better I should be able to improve a ton. By the way my max heart rate was 198. I was pushing to make it hit 200 on that hill, but I just wasn’t able to go that far. Too bad, as I know that I have hit 200 several times before.

Running has gone from something that I would probably have to stop after a mile to easily running three. If I double that, then I am well on my way to having the run portion of an Olympic triathlon covered. A couple hours of scouring the internet should give me a good idea of how much running I need to do for an Olympic distance. I’ll see how my garmin holds up for collecting running data. If it is incredibly erratic then I may have to cave in and blow some money on a garmin watch several months from now. I have too many cycling expenses on the horizon to worry about at the moment. At least now I have a job where I can work toward paying for those things. It’s odd. I have spent my entire life having next to no money, and now that I have a small amount I have no desire to save a lot of money. In the short term I don’t consider that a bad thing, but long term it does need to change. After I am eventually done with school money should be a much simpler thing.

The elephant in the room is still swimming, but I feel as if I have a pretty good plan at tackling that. That’s not something I have to worry about for a couple of months though, so for now I am good. My plan is to take some time in the middle of winter when I feel it is too cold to ride (I’ll still do like 2 sessions a week on the trainer) and I’ll swim around 4 times a week. That should be enough to get me to be comfortable and build some proper form. Some weeks I’ll probably do more than 4 sessions, but I don’t want to over push swimming. 

Good to see that the blog got a bunch of views in the time that I was away from it. I'll be a lot more regular now. I still don't know exactly what I want to do for documenting training, but I have a few ideas. I don't have any races on the horizon, but next year if my bike fitness is good enough I should be doing several amateur races. Yet again I apologize for not having any content, but this summer has been one of the most trying ones of my life. I have had a great time, but things have changed, and a lot of my spare time is gone. At least I feel motivated now.  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Baylor Race Report: Conference Championships

Us presenting sponsor and former teammate Anthony Sequera with a signed jersey. Anthony is the owner and all around awesome guy behind 2Quik Carbon Technology.

Well, time for the final race report of the 2013 collegiate season. The championship is double points, so lots of people show up. We got into Waco after dark, but we still saw a bunch of news crews just off the interstate. They were there because of the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. They had three little ribbons that we could purchase and wear either on our bike or jersey to help out the victim fund.

It went off like most races. I have not spent much time on the bike or working out outside of races, so I fell off early. I hate that I have lost form in season. I've now learned my lesson, but I feel like I should have noticed what was happening much earlier. Anyway, I rode for a few miles working with some guys I didn’t know. I caught up to my friend who rides for Texas. I stayed with them until I just couldn’t hold it anymore. The course started to speed up toward the end. I went to a corner where a lot of people were crashed. They shouted, “Stay to the inside!” I wish that I had gone all the way to the inside of the corner. I skidded and almost held it. I fell going very slowly. It ripped my jersey, re-bruised my hip and knee, scratched my Oakleys, and took a bit of shoulder skin. It was really slow though, so it didn’t hurt too bad. I was more angry than anything else. I rode the rest of the way back and got the wound cleaned up. I sulked throughout the TT, but didn’t let anyone notice. I’m pretty much disappointed on all fronts at the moment. I need to sew up my torn jerseys and do some riding by myself. There is a therapeutic quality to riding alone. It helps me keep things in perspective.

I was watching the TT from the finish line with some of the OU riders that couldn’t ride for this race and the MSU coach. OU had a pretty impressive performance in the time trial for every division that we had a team in including Men’s B. I’ll talk about the team performance after mine for the other races, but needless to say I am quite pleased with how OU Cycling is developing.

That night we had a lot of beer and cheap Italian food. It was the first BYOB restaurant that I had ever been to. It is silly for places that serve food to not at least have 3.2 beer. I had some New Belgium Trippel, which is 7.8% ABV. I was a bit more gregarious and talkative than usual as a result. The pasta was fantastic. I am very happy that OSU has a food critic on their team to suggest restaurants. 
Delicious. One of the better meals I have had at a race.

The crit race was a race that I actually had a goal for. I said if there was a prime called within the first few laps and I was still with the group I would go for it. After the first lap they called it. I was pumped. I tried to move from the back of the race to the front. I noticed my teammate was at the front pushing the pace up considerably. I couldn’t get to the front at all. I burnt myself out trying to move up. I desperately wanted to provide this one thing to my team. At least we got some prime points from the other two OU riders. I rode for a few more laps before being pulled. Not the best weekend I have had. I understand much about what I need to do to maintain fitness through a season though. I will build back up and possibly do a few races down the stretch here; at least once I know that I can succeed in them. I don’t need to pay for non-collegiate races if I am going to do really poorly in them.

Now to talk about the fun stuff. OU Cycling has come a long way since I have joined the team in late 2010. This is the first year where I have felt the team was truly a team. This Saturday we will have our end of the year party. It will be a celebration of a very successful year for this club. I hope that next year the team improves even more. There is a lot of work that needs to be done though. The SCCCC has a bunch of schools in Texas, a few in Louisiana, two in Oklahoma, and one in Arkansas. Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas placed first in the conference. This comes as no surprise. They have scholarships for bike racers, a coach that works with each individual rider, and consistently place in the top at Collegiate Road Nationals. I wish them the best of luck this weekend in Ogden, and I will be looking forward to the results. Second place went to the University of Texas. They are an established program that is sponsored by one of the most famous bike shops owned by undoubtedly the most famous(or infamous if you view him that way) cyclist from the United States. In case you don’t know that is Lance Armstrong with Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop. They have a lot of racers, so they always do pretty well in the team standings. They have a few racers in every single division.

Now to the third place recipients. I am proud to say that this year the University of Oklahoma was able to win this honor. Just four short years ago the team was non-existent. This year we did better than practically the entire conference with a much smaller budget than most of them. Getting on the podium this year is a big step for our team and our state. I would also like to commend Oklahoma State University on getting 4th place. They were in a similar position last year as we were two years ago. The more our state can do to be impressive the more I see cycling being a part of life here. There are a ton of great areas to train here with a decent talent pool.
A massive photo with the top 3 teams in the SCCCC. Congrats to MSU, UT, and OU!

I should mention that our team would be much lower without all of the points gained by our women's squad. I feel like a strong female recruiting class next year could be what puts us up into the second place spot. I hope that the ladies of OU Cycling can make a stronger presence in the conference and be competitive in the upper divisions. 

I would like to thank all of the sponsors of OU Cycling for the 2013 season. Without all of them it would have been impossible. Our school decreased our budget, and we are thankful for every dollar from the local community. They have helped us immensely. Here they are in no particular order.

AGIO Technology
405 Bicycles
2Quick Carbon Technology
Champion System
Andrew Stevens Photography
Hard Edge Screenprint & Embroidery
Buchanan Bicycles
Peak Nutrition
Keep It Local OK
Skinsations Tattoo & Piercing
Fast Lanes Car Wash
Oklahoma Sports & Orthopedics Institute

I am grateful for every moment with OU Cycling this year. Next year if I am back I will be sure to train much smarter. We have a definite chance at getting second place next year and possibly sending a rider or two to Nationals. The future looks great for OU Cycling, and I couldn’t be happier for the success that they have seen. As an ending note to this post I will be back with a season recap soon-ish. I will talk about my ideas for the future of OU Cycling and mention the names of all of the OU 2013 riders with notable accomplishments. 

Ride safe and train hard. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Texas State San Marcos Race Report

I don't have any good race pics, so here is me eating a banana on the trainer a few months ago.

So this was a fun weekend, but terrible racing for me. I haven’t been able to keep up my mid-week rides, which led to a decline in fitness. We left a bit later on Friday April 12th than I would have liked, but still early enough in the day for it to be a pleasant drive. We got to San Marcos and hung out at the coffee shop where registration was being held for a while. We had a few beers. One of my teammates got a bit more drunk than the rest of us, and he started talking about ideas of how to improve the team. Most were pretty good. I am able to provide perspective on these things since I have been with the team substantially longer even though I am a mediocre racer. Anyway, we went to our host’s house. I got a couch, which was great.

The next morning we headed out for the race delirious as usual. Leaving early in the morning for a race just isn’t fun. The race started off at a slower pace than the K-State race, but it wasn’t exactly relaxed. I dropped off the back pretty quickly, and then sat in with a couple of dropped riders. Then I started to feel a bit woozy, and I drifted into another rider’s wheel. I went down, but thankfully the other guy didn’t. I had a few scrapes and my bike was mostly fine. The hoods are scratched up and I had to replace the bar tape (the new tape is ripped now as well, but that’s another story.)

A teammate also crashed. She was taken to the hospital, and taken care of. I did the much cheaper option of pouring a bit of water on my wounds and hoping I wouldn’t get infected. I got sick later that week, but I am totally fine now. I didn’t do either the time trial or the crit that weekend. It was a really disappointing weekend even though my team did really well. I had fun, because even though I crashed I was still hanging out with some pretty fun people. Oh well.

Sorry about being so late on this in case anyone is a regular reader. I’ve just had a disappointing couple of weeks. I have another race report which I will write up soon for the conference championships that happened last weekend, and then it’s on to some general training stuff. I am going to be training for a triathlon and a 10k(The Bolder Boulder.) I was going to do a half marathon, and still might, but my little sister is worried that she won’t be able to go that distance yet. That’s cool I guess. More on that later. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Kansas State Wildcat Gran Prix

I headed North from my state for a race for the first time ever. The team went to my grandma’s house on Friday night, which was pretty fun. A whole bunch of us stayed in the basement there. It was kind of strange. I have spent a couple weeks total in that basement at different points, and this was the first time that we have had a lot of people. Everyone joked around for a while. It got a bit late, and I had to steer them in the direction of sleeping a bit. We got there soon enough. When I woke up my stomach felt terrible. I couldn’t eat a thing that morning, which was bad news. I hate when my body is uncooperative. I had a half a glass of milk, and I felt like throwing up.

I got to the race and the conditions were great. It was 75 and sunny, albeit rather windy. We went down the initial stretch going about 30 average. If that tells you anything about how windy it was, then you should know that once that section was over it was going to be tough going. We hit the first turn, and I was having a tough time staying with the pack. I slowly dropped off, and I got stuck out in the wind with only a couple of riders. I wasn’t concerned about catching the group, so I had a few pleasant conversations with people. It was nice talking to riders from different states. I talked with a guy from KU who lives in Colorado as well. He and I really got along, which was great. I talked with a guy from Iowa, and asked him if he knew anyone on his powerlifting team. He didn’t, but it was worth a shot.

The hills were tougher than I thought they would be. After Arkansas I was glad that there wasn’t any of that 22% madness, but it was still enough to make me hurt. The road race finish was uphill into the wind. I gave it the beans at the end, and hit the biggest vomit risk for the day in the following minutes. My parents and I talked for a bit(as the race was even closer to them this time) and then they left as we decided what we wanted to do for dinner. We chose Olive Garden, which is normally avoided by the team, and as we got there I saw they had a Smashburger and a Noodles & Company right behind the Olive Garden. I have never been so disappointed in our team’s decisions. If we go back to K-State next year for a race I am forcing everyone to go to Noodles. They don’t have them in OK or TX, so our guys never end up eating there. Most haven’t even heard of it. They still have no idea what they missed. Next time though….

We need the more obscure sports from each university to have a training center. I would appreciate a club sports only budget, so big schools like OU don’t have to scrounge for equipment. To be honest the funding for these sorts of sports shouldn’t be in the hands of individual students. If a student has equipment they would like to use, then great, but it would be cool if they didn’t have to rely on themselves. The problem is some sports have a huge budget that gets blown on either dumb stuff or produces mediocre results. I am grateful that our football program makes money and pays for our graduate students, but out of a 43 million dollar budget, you’d think they could spare a few thousand so we don’t have to have riders sleep on the floor.

I don’t want to get into a huge diatribe about that though. On to the crit!

Sunday morning we were all really tired. The breakfast at the hotel was mediocre. It paled in comparison to the breakfast my grandma had made the day before. We rushed to get all of our stuff outside of the hotel, and headed down to campus. There was a big hill in the middle of the crit. I have found a big weakness of mine, and I know what I am going to do over the summer. Lots of hills at a paced effort twice a week should be enough for me to avoid getting dropped on scenarios like this. I hate this sort of course because I end up catching the people on the downhill and corners. We had a neutral lap, and everything was cool. Then we were off. Two KU riders attacked at the very beginning, and I made the mistake of thinking the peloton wouldn’t immediately gobble them back up with or without my help. So I went off the front into the wind to chase them down. Then we turned onto the hill, and I fell back. I stayed with everyone for the first half of the next lap, then I spent much of the race latching on to various wheels of other dropped off riders. I eventually found myself toward the end of the race just surviving. I saw that I was on the last lap with a couple of riders in my vicinity. I put all of the rest of my efforts into that lap. The great thing about crit courses is you know just how much effort a lap is going to take because you have done it so many times. This was a 30 minute + 3 lap crit, so it took about 39 minutes. This is 10 minutes longer than the crits I am used to, but to be honest I didn’t feel any kind of difference. I was still dropped because of a hill. I am beating myself up about it a lot, but I want to change it. If I don’t talk about it I won’t do anything about it, and that is a problem. As I hit the hill I put myself into a steady gear and pedaled at a pretty intense pace. After I hit the crest I shifted into my big chainring, put it into a tough gear, stood up, and put my weight into the pedals. I gained speed, and I set myself up for a sprint. Even though I was well off the back I like being “that guy” that sprints for the line. Even though I was exhausted I still pulled out a 32 mph sprint. Not my greatest, but that hill took most of what I had out of me. At least I didn’t get last in either race.

There was a crash each day that had one of my teammates in it. The first day he screwed up his wheels, and the second day he fractured his wrist. He’s out for the rest of the race season. Only two weeks left in collegiate for us, so that means he is definitely out for them. He will possibly do a couple other races in the summer. I’m gonna go crazy on the bike these next two weeks. I’ll give myself a little siesta leading up to finals, and then it’s on to some triathlon and half marathon training. It has been a really long time since I have been in the pool, and I am looking forward to eliminating my mediocrity at swimming. 

On a more team related note, we had a first place finish in the Men's D road race, the Men's C road race, and the Men's C crit. We will probably have multiple riders podium for the season, and our team is on track to handily get third in the conference. We may even chase down some of the points that the second place school has on us. Only two more weekends to go, and I am really impressed with how the team has done. I look forward to the next race and conference championships with a great fervor now. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Race Report 3: My Legs Are Killing Me

The infamous route.
So last weekend I went to Arkansas. I have waited a bit typing this up because I had a pretty bad weekend there. Climbing is certainly not my specialty, and a combination of factors led to me being rather unsuccessful in the race. The course was the same as the Hell's Kitchen Road Race, and that means that we had to do a climb that was pretty unforgiving. It topped out at 22% for a short stretch, and I was in agony there.

Back to the beginning...

We drove up to Fayetteville on Friday night staying at a teammate's grandmother's house. The next morning it was a bit wet out. We got to the race course, and quickly put everything on. I hate running late for things. Within the first second or so an LSU rider crashed at the start line. It was good for a quick laugh. We had a fairly boring first few miles. Some conversations with people, etc. Then it started to rain. It rained a bunch. I was pretty miserable not just because of the rain, but also because we started to hit harder hills. I was getting dropped off of the back, and settling into my own pace. As we went up the toughest parts of Hell's Kitchen I was losing it. It just hurt. There is an intense sense of relief when you get up to the top of those sorts of climbs. You don't worry about what it's going to be like when you hit the next hill, you're just thankful this one is over with. Well, each subsequent hill I was hurting on.

The descent was pretty fun. I was apparently the only rider that had good visibility. I was wearing my PowerBar hat that I received in the seventh grade from my geography teacher, who just happened to be a retired pro. I also had my Oakley sunglasses, which didn't fog up unlike everyone else's glasses. I topped out at 42, which based on how wet it was and how much the rain hurt at those speeds wasn't too shabby. I struggled through the last 8 miles of the race having exhausted myself on the climb. I did better than 20 percent of the riders, which is low, but it was on a course that I am certainly not built for.
I have had this hat since I was 13.

On to the Time Trial. I didn't want to do it. I told my team I was hurting, and they did the typical thing of "unless it's serious..." So I went with them. We had to ride 8 miles to the TT along the course. All of the teams were out there riding at the same time. During this ride there were a few "What happens on race weekend stays on race weekend" moments. I won't get into details, but it was pretty funny.

I took the first pull for my team. I basically said I was going to burn myself out on one pull, then they could go. I knew that I wasn't going to make it very far, but I pushed myself. The start was at the bottom of a short but difficult hill. I powered up it, and stayed at the front of the group letting everyone else recover. I was already pushing myself pretty hard at this point, but I stuck with it for the rest of the first mile. I was broken at that point, and waved them on. I pedaled the rest of the way counting down each tenth of a mile. When it was over I was really tired.

We ate at a place called Mellow Mushroom. They had some pretty good pizza and beer. I was glad to be in a state that had decent laws regarding beer for once. They could actually keep a decent number of craft beers on tap. No offense to the major beers, but I need something stronger after a race.

The next morning we had the crit, and I did poorly. I'm actually pretty mad at myself for this one. I didn't DNF, but most people would have in my situation. I got lapped, and finished so far behind everyone it hurt. Half of the course was downhill, and through several turns. These were not a problem for me, and in fact I would gain ground on this section. Half of the riders were from Arkansas, and as physically fit as they are, they still don't know how to go around corners. I got accordion-ed in the corners and tired on the hill of the course. I just hope things aren't so bad this weekend at Kansas State.
Here is me feeling dejected after being ejected from the group.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Race Report 2: Electric Boogaloo. OU Land Ronde

Gratuitous uniform pic of me before the TTT

I just finished my second weekend of racing this year. We hosted the race this time. I have to say that I am incredibly pleased with how I did. I probably won’t be moving up to C’s this year, but I’ll end up toward the top of D’s. We had just about everybody from the team race this weekend. One guy is injured, and another is too out of shape to race just yet. They’ll do some of the later races. Now to get into the meat of it….
Saturday morning we headed out to Stanley Draper Lake. The temperature was in the mid-fifties, and it had been drizzling. I was a bit late with my buddy because he slept in, and he was my only feasible transportation to the race. Luckily this didn’t seem to be too bad. It was pretty miserable out there; too cold to wear just shorts while standing still yet too warm to wear base layer for the race. We set off on a route that I was quite familiar with. We made our way past the first turn letting everyone know that they should slow way down for it. The section we rode then was filled with potholes. It was much worse than I remember last year. On the bright side we got up the hills, and I wasn’t even pushing that hard. There was a rider from UNT that got dropped on one of the first few hills; poor guy. He finished a sizeable chunk behind everyone. Kudos to him for finishing the race mostly by himself.
The next turn put us out of the hills and into the wind. The pack stayed pretty tight at a 21-22 mph pace. It felt a bit slow to me, which is a bit strange. I’m normally pushing pretty hard at that pace on that section even with a number of teammates. I’ll just assume it was a larger group causing a more effective shield from the wind. The whole first lap was really wet. I was coated in red dirt by the end of it. As we turned North we brought the pace up to about 28-30 mph. This continued for the last 3 miles or so on the first lap. I became pretty exhausted by this, so I dropped off. I put in several efforts to catch them, but after the first mile of the second lap it was clear I should let them go.
I pushed through the hills to the best of my abilities. I slowed down on more than I would like on them though. I think I’m going to add some intense sustained efforts followed by some climbing to get better at this. I am not so great at hills, but this could help mitigate my weakness. After one of the fast downhill sections in this area of the course I saw 3 of my teammates on the side of the road. One of them was face-down on the pavement. The other two were clearly okay. The teammate that was down has crashed in all 3 road races this year. He couldn’t recall the month, so they took him to the hospital. He had to get his lip sewn up, but was otherwise fine. His bike frame cracked though.
On the second to last hill I was getting caught by two riders, and I heard one of them go down. He and the guy with him never caught me up, but both were uninjured. At the end of the hills I caught on to an Arkansas rider. I talked with him for a bit and asked him if he wanted to work against the wind. He agreed, and we pushed a rotation for the majority of the second lap. When we were closing in on the finish I told him good ride, and rode next to him for a bit having a chat. When the conversation lulled I took off and opened up a gap. I had about 30 meters or so on him at most. As we approached the finish there was a rider from West Texas that had a wheel change and was picking his pace back up. I pushed to catch him, and sprinted for the line. I held off the Arkansas rider and passed the West Texas rider with about 20 feet to go. Great road race.

The time trial was uneventful for the most part. Still wet, and miserable. It rained really really hard with about 15 minutes before the TT started. I was paired up with the teammate that drove me. We had another D squad with 4 guys who we pretty much put together to give a better chance of winning. I stayed with my teammate who was definitely stronger for that. On the way down we got caught by the Arkansas squad behind us, but on the way back we caught them. Poor planning I guess.
This was the beginning of the TTT. I am in the back.

Dinner was good. Beer was had.

The crit was the next morning. We were even colder. This time I put on my thick winter layer underneath the uniform. I had one warm-up lap. We took off pushing about 25 with the wind and 21 into the wind. I stayed in the top 10, but never pushed to the front. I stayed in this position through half of the crit. With 5 laps to go, the pace increased. I couldn't quite hold with the front guys, but I was still in the mix.
I am on the left, the OU rider to the right of me got second, and the OU rider on the right side of the pic got first. All riders pictured are either OU or Arkansas. Our schools dominated the worst division at this race!

I was gaining on opponents all through the last lap, and I went through the final turn perfectly. I sprinted for the line, and passed a couple of people right before the finish. It felt great. If I can focus on maintaining intensity I feel as if I will be able to reach the end of these races with the podium in sight. 
Here I am passing all three other riders just before the finish. Looks like I beat the West Texas rider to the finish twice. The final guy that I beat is a UNT rider that is just behind me from the photographer's angle. 

Until next time, I'm gonna take a big nap now.