This is Just the Beginning
Hmm, if one wants comments, just show a little flesh, it seems.
The night before the race...
May 3rd, Sunday
I woke at 5:10 a.m., dressed, and went to the "complimentary breakfast", which was supposed to be ready by 6:00 a.m. It wasn't, so I got some coffee and went back to my room where I had some Clif bars stashed. I ate one, and headed to the course, about 22 miles away (I should have looked more closely at the map). I decided to change from the 60+ race to the 55+ race because, even though it would have been shorter and easier, with a pretty much guaranteed top three finish, ...it would have been shorter and easier. So I went for longer and harder. I know, it's not the easy way, but it's the cowboy way. There was not one rider in the 55+ field that wasn't formidable. All the chaff had been weeded out. I went into this for specific training goals, as it's the District Road Championships that really matter for me this year. So instead of riding conservatively, I took chances. The field broke up some on the 2nd climb and I was in the following group behind the winning breakaway. I took hard pulls and made some trial runs at going solo. When we hit the hill the last time, I took off at the bottom. Although I built up a lead, it was only a 5% grade at worst, and even less at times, so a group could still benefit from drafting. I got caught at the top with about 0.7 miles to go. I still had enough juice to take third in our little field sprint, though, and finished 11th overall. Not great, but not bad, either, given that I just wanted to get my neck stretched.
Kenny Fuller was the only other 60+ guy who dropped down, and I'm not in his league yet. I overheard him saying that, yeah, he's still training 400 miles a week. WTF? I'm at about 260-270 miles a week. To put this in perspective (I've said this before, but if you're coming in now and haven't been reading since January, this will save you some time), I quit training in 1989 and just rode. I quit riding in late 2002 after being shot while out riding. I started riding outdoors again in March of 2007. I started training in August of 2008, and took the first ride over 50miles that month. October, November, and December were off season months. I began training again in January. I think there's room for improvement yet, which is heartening, since I'm not doing so bad at all right now.
And on another positive note, I had the chance to meet Paul Springer, Leo Longo, and Richard Pollock. Great ride, Richard!
Race Miles: 44
Total Miles: 50
Place in 55+ field: 11th