My 2008 season retrospective

It's still a bit early for my 2008 season retrospective, since I'm still racing the "Low-Key Hillclimbs" series which ends on Thanksgiving Day, but heck...

This is the time of year to look back at my 2008 goals I set last fall, and assess what I learned from it all. Let's revisit them:

Training goals:
  • Raise my FTP (my 1-hour max power) from 265W to 276W (estimated as I don't have a PM).
  • Break the 19-minute barrier on Old La Honda Road.
Race goals:
  • Win my first Cat 3 criterium.
  • Win Coyote Creek Circuit Race and Watsonville Criterium.
  • Win my first Expert cross-country race.
  • Enter my first dirt short-track race, at Sea Otter Classic, and don't get pulled.
  • Finish top-10 in any road race.
  • Provide invaluable service to my teammates in other races, helping them to win!
Let's look at each one:

Raise my FTP to 276W: Coach Mark sez I was probably putting out around 272W when I did my Soda Springs Road test ride on March 5th. If I use Tim Clark's power calculator, and enter the following data, that power results (152 lb, 30.5 lb, 272W, 5.45 miles, 8.5%, 2415 feet, -9 headwind, defaults for the rest). Since I bettered that time by 30 seconds on August 9th in spite of weighing 1 pound more, that would mean my FTP would now be 276W! So, this looks promising (assuming the conditions were otherwise identical), but until I get an actual power meter it's still just an estimate.

Break 19 minutes on Old La Honda Road: My best time is still 19:50, in spite of trying again on August 7th. Oh well; I may just have had a bad day. I will try this climb again soon though, so there's still time!

Win my first Cat 3 criterium: Didn't happen! I flatted out in 4 races (Santa Cruz, Cat's Hill, Giro di San Francisco, San Ardo), collided/flatted in 1, and crashed in 1, so that didn't help in the least. I did get a few top-10 and top-5 finishes though (see my USCF ranking).

Win Coyote Creek Circuit Race and Watsonville Criterium: These ended with the above collision/flatting, and getting dropped, respectively!!!

Win my first Expert cross-country race: I only raced one cross-country this year, and got 3rd. I meant to race on dirt a bunch more, but that was all I did.

Enter my first dirt short-track race: I went to Disneyland instead. Maybe next year? I'm not certain these would suit me after all (no recovery time), so maybe not.

Finish top-10 in any road race: I really thought this would be hard, as I usually get dropped in these, but this is the one goal I exceeded: I actually got 1st at the Panoche Valley Road Race! But man, it was hard, very hard.

Provide invaluable service to my teammates: Uh, that didn't really happen either. In the one race I really tried to help in, it turned out everybody else was trying to help me! Oops.

So, my 2008 season was a bit of a mixed bag, as I expected it would be, but I'm actually pretty happy about how things went for me (other than that crash and those flats). I've intentionally emphasized my long-term training goals this year, and will continue to do so well into 2009. So to have any good results at all, and many more glimmers of hope, is pretty cool!

Next I will set my 2009 season goals. The knowledge I've gained in 2008 will help me set good ones. It's fun too!