Five freaking seconds.

Well, technically it was 5.2 seconds, but that’s all that separated me from finishing the Mount Diablo Challenge in under one hour and ten minutes. That was my most ambitious goal I thought remotely realistic, so I’m not disappointed at all with my results. I dropped about two minutes and forty seconds off my finishing time from last week, so I’ve got to be pretty pleased with that. Also, it gives me a perfect goal for starting my training for next year.

The overall results are now up at doitsports.com. I had the 433rd fastest time of the 976 official finish times (which feels better than it sounds), was mysteriously classified as being from Fresno instead of Oakland, was 191st in my age group (the largest age group by far is men 40-49), and finished in 1:10:05.2 with an average speed of 9.25 mph.

I was pretty sure I was going to be a little over 1:10 when I looked down at my bike computer while climbing the final steep pitch with about 50 meters to go. While the ride today finished up on the less steep road to the summit (the normally one-way downhill route), it’s still well over a 10% gradient. Even though I had to ride around several people who were going so slow on the final climb I thought they might fall over, while also riding by a guy near the finish line who appeared to have stopped to throw up, I couldn’t have made up the five seconds even if I were the only rider on that slope. I gave it all I had at the end.

Once again, the exertion required to climb the last bit to the summit left me thinking of other things (such as trying not to cough up my pancreas) besides looking down to see the time when I crossed the finish and stopping the timer on my bike computer. So, the riding time that got recorded was again a little longer than my actual race time. My cadence and average heart rate were pretty consistent with last week’s training ride, but this time I rode bigger gears at the same cadence during the less steep parts of the ride.

  • 1:10:40 riding time
  • avg heart rate 167 bpm
  • max heart rate 181 bpm
  • 1100 kcal
  • 10.9 miles
  • avg speed 9.3 mph
  • max speed 23.3 mph
  • avg cadence 74
  • max cadence 111

Three people actually rode unicycles to the top. While the wheels on their unicycles were pretty big, that’s still totally amazing. I couldn’t ride a unicycle up my driveway.