Well, I just downloaded the Garmin and some interesting things are revealed. My ride on Monday which averaged 19.7 for the 25 miles had an average heart rate of 149, but I only busted 160 on the heart rate monitor twice and both times it went to right about 170. In other words a tempo ride but not quite hard enough to be a tempo ride. Now compare that with the race this past Saturday in which I averaged a heart rate of 167 and had 7 elevations of around 180, I think I need to work on top end. The sad thing is I really did not feel like I was hurting in the race, I felt great! Considering it's rare when I have been riding by myself to go deep, I think to have averaged 167 is pretty damn good and it may also explain that why once I was blocked in I could not cover the gap at the end.
So, although I want to win this Saturday, thinking about the races I have scheduled in May, I am going to do intervals today, take tomorrow off in Germany and then do about 5 sprints on Friday to wake up the legs. Sunday's race will be all about surviving and trying to stay in with the lead group as there is a bunch of climbing involved to include one 5 miler towards the end.
Thanks for the feedback guys, I do know I learned who is strong last weekend, so I know who to mark this weekend which should help, so rather than worrying about everyone, I know which wheel to follow. This should greatly relieve the pressure of trying to monitor everyone. The race is not until 2:40 on Saturday which sucks since I'll have all morning to deal with the adrenaline. I may race next Saturday as well and if anyone wants to bring a spare mountain bike with them, I could be convinced to do Farmington as well. The interesting thing about the bikes is that on the road, I corner very well and typically yell at people to quit braking yet fall off a mountain bike all the time. Food for thought.