Missed the opener the weekend before and with the nice weather predicted, I informed my dear wife well in advance that I was not going to miss it this time.. Still, I always entertain the possibility that waking up or being properly rested might be a challenge.. as was the case this morning. I slept in fits and starts from about 5:00 am until 8:30, when I finally got up. Where I live, you can't reach Wells Ave on time unless you hit the road by 9:00. No coffee left in the house and skipping the raisin bran meant that I did not have the pleasure of my daily morning elimination. Yeah, since turning 40 I find it okay to talk about my plumbing. When it's working smoothly I'm happy.. Anyway.. sorry. I had 30 minutes to get going. Two Eggo waffles with butter and Aunt Jemima Lite Syrup, one english muffin toasted with butter and slathered with honey, one multivitamin, one paper sack with all my clothing and bottles and gear piled into it like sedimentary rock. I made it there with plenty of time to spare- the Bs were just rolling off when I parked.
My form has been feeling a little bit short circuited this week. Chris Hinds Crit- 90 minutes of torture- took more out of me than I realized at the time. I dug very deep to be in there, and my lack of performance in the 35+ race which followed tells us the same thing. Sunday I took an easy bike path ride with my son- like 15 miles. That's a lot for a 7 year old- but he loves it. Mon and Tues I rested. I felt horribly tired. Wed and Thurs I went out and did some long rides, mostly in zone 3 but a lot of 2 and 4 in there between the climbs and the descents. Friday I wanted to do an easy spin but no time.. Saturday I eeked out a 2 hour ride which was relatively easy-going and just what I needed to shake out the cobwebs. Would I feel like total poo at Wells Ave? I wasn't feeling so sure. Sensations in the legs had not been encouraging at all this week..
Meeting up with my team was a relief. We had a shit year in 2010.. not to mean our results were horrible but rather that our morale was very low. This year is going to be a lot better. We lined up and couldn't begin racing because there were not enough marshals to monitor and direct traffic. Finally we got a late start but the course was down one marshal. Lots of traffic, OMG! We had to slow down damn near every other lap for cars which were parking, turning, stopping in front of us. It's a relief no one was hurt.
So on to the racing. Nothing got away. Before the start we decided that our best scenario is always going to be a field sprint, and we had two opportunities to show our colors: at the 1/2 way prime and at the ending. Long story short. On the 20th lap there's a 2 place cash prime and there were 3 guys with a 5-10 second gap. Matt, Kyle and I moved to the front with 1/2 lap to go. The field opened up on the right allowing me to go full gas with Matt and Kyle on my wheel. We went out of the saddle before the curve even begins and I buried myself long enough to reach the break and give Matt and Kyle an armchair ride to the finish. We were 1-2 in the 1/2 way prime. I was smoked for a couple of laps and retreated to the back of the field to recover..
20 laps later we executed it a bit differently. I was caught up in some traffic while I tried to hang on to the coattails of my teammates, but the last lap was neutralized due to traffic and so we had to do another lap. This time, all kinds of tired legs crowded the last lap and made it hard to find the space needed to change lanes and go. I made sure to plan my moves through the other sprinters and by carefully maneuvering through the dead legs I got clear and almost finished 3rd behind my two teammates.. but the finish line came too soon. I needed another 10 meters.. But hey I'll take 4th- there's no shame in that. Matt won and Kyle was 2nd. We took all but $5 of the cash payouts and divided it up between us, as it should be.
Next week is Rick Newhouse and maybe this time I will skip the Pro race to focus on the 35+. I'm getting too old to be doubling up on race day. I'd rather have one great result than have two mediocre ones..
Thanks for reading.