After a week I wanted to forget for reasons that are beyond blog worthy, I used a bit of Jedi magic on Susanne and told her, “…this is not the Industrial Park you were looking for…” and off to SNOWCONE CRIT #3 we rolled. SLACR great and IRONMAN Brother Marty should be impressed by my use of The Force . . .
However, my legs were just not under me. I know what most of you are thinking… that rare and often seen image of my rather thin sticks trying to support an overzealous attitude (trash talking mouth) is well understood and known. The significant counter balance of ego and mouth favors me falling to the ground while causing much laughter from my friends and teammates. But I am digressing . . .
Dr-Coach-$-Bill or Pyramid Training Systems (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Pyramid-Training-Systems-Coaching-Services/174835679228599 or email@example.com) had a full week of prep on the books as a good coach should. However, I drifted to the Darkside of The Force as I recovered from a weekend of family and friends in Chicago. This remains an effort that I must routinely repeat but it also brings public math. Over 40, there is a 4-to-1 ratio for putting on a serious “hang” . . .
Four days of non-stop will take a minimum of 16 days to recover. I was at about 4 . . .
I then added to my training deficit with a few late nights having to pay da (TAX)Man. I got no more than one light 1+30 spin and some YOGA HELL in during the week. Far from a bike(ROCK)star training program. I had fallen off the training wagon and was having problems getting up. Where’s that “Life Alert” when you need one . . .
But determined to race I was. Judgment and rational thought is most certainly in short demand within my brain. Besides, I needed redemption from the effort two weeks ago in which the roads were covered in pieces of crushed TURTLE shell . . .
Up early, fed, and out the door I went for the 2+ hour drive to Richmond. Grabbed more food on the way and arrived with time to spare . . .
I started my warm up a full hour before my race with my Evolution Cycling Club p/b Long & Foster Brother and US Coast Guard great, Brian Meadowcroft at my side. We cranked through our routines and discussed a possible strategy while listening to DISTURBED and ROB ZOOMBIE . . .
With redemption on my less-than-stable-mind (I will not blame the music), I told B that my goal was to not loose contact with the main group and if I was in it near the end I would roll up to the front and burry myself. Ah, how great are plans? One day I will make a plan w/ my team and violently execute it to perfection. That day will come, it will come. Yet, this day it was not to be . . .
At the line I noticed the course was reversed from the wind tunnel race simulation of SNOWCONE CRIT #1. We were afforded a practice lap and the change of direction was awesome. This was going to be a fast race and I was ready . . .
At the word go we shot out the gate. I was determined to take turns at full speed on solid lines…words shared with me from my speedy Latin Brother and Teammate Luis Infante. It was working!!! My confidence was back. The bike(ROCK)star quest was back on track. Forget about my week, I was here to race and it was on. My legs were keeping up w/ my mouth . . .
I was in the upper third of the pack as cats were shot off the back in droves. My lungs were intact, my legs where responding (because my mouth was silent gasping for air). I executed Happy TURTLE dances on the pedals during the long straight aways. I was not going to lose contact with this group. I was going to finish with the pack. YES!!!
And then it happened to me . . .
Moving up to a clear line through turn 2 my right calf became a knot. My left hip followed. I tried to shake it off but failed. My matchsticks snapped in an intense spasm of pain. I couldn’t “fake it to make it” and dropped out of the main field. I spun a few times through the pain clinching my teeth. I hoped it would fade and a chase group would roll up behind me. It did not happen and I pulled myself from the race.
Limping to the side lines I cheered on B as he dropped the hammer and the field to bridge up to an NCVC guy with two laps to go. Although the pack caught him, he finished the day with a 6th place finish . . . AWESOME!!!
Well, that plan did not come together and my Jedi magic was not as strong as I though it was. Who needs a plan anyway?
After congratulating B, I immediately began to shake off the race (helped by a Paulaner Hefe-Weizen on tap in Williamsburg) and look toward Sunday’s SNOWBALL CRIT#2 in Chesapeake.
We had great WX (weather) on Saturday but Sunday was wet and rainy. Being perhaps my last race of the season, I had to roll. I also wanted this one even more given my dismal effort on Saturday.
Gave myself plenty of time to get to the race and warm up. However the WX was causing havoc on the roads and three accidents w/in 7 miles of the race delayed my arrival and cut into my warm-up routine. Got about 30 min in and went to the line with a slight mist in the air and standing water being swept out of the turns. This was going to be oh sooooooooooooooooooooooooo much fun!!!
Recalling my 1st CRIT in 2009 I lowered the pressure a bit on my tires and told myself that I can corner with skill and power. The self-talk list from my Teammate Hans “da HAMMER” Schenk was in full TURBO TURTLE mode . . .
The pace out the gate was fast but not furious. The flat course favored guys with tree trunk-legs and I found a few big boys to ride behind. I stayed close and noticed which ones cornered better and began following their wheels . . .
About 10 min into the race, two guys in front of me stood their bikes up in turn 2. Two others hit the ground right in front of me. I avoid the crash but a cat in front of me slammed on his breaks and I begin to slide out in the turn . . .
Somehow I was able to keep the bike up (that was luck rather than skill) but the effort caused a gap on the group into a section of headwind that was gusting up to 30 mph. At this point it was TURTLE vs about 8 sets of tree trunks. The matchsticks could not complete in mass, density, or pure power. I began to curse Isaac Newton and physics (and math too) as the kats rolled away. I hoped to catch a straggler or two . . . NOPE! These boys were on it and I was out . . .
These cats had really turned on the gas as within 10 min, the lead group of 4 lapped me. WOW!!! They were moving so fast I swear the road was starting to dry in their wake. The turbulence from the passing almost knocked me off my rig . . .
I tried to jump on and get me some of that. However they rode me off their wheel like I was not even present for duty. Hey! I was pedaling as hard as my twigs could make motion. Sometime later a second group of 3 came by and I hung for a few laps but they too rejected my desire to belong . . . I was sooooooooooooooooooo lonely.
With about 10 laps to go, Brian lapped me and I hung out with him for a few laps but the Force was strong with this Coast Guard Warrior and off he went on his own.
The bell lap was welcomed and no sooner than we finished, the heavens opened and a serious downpour began. It held off just long enough and now my reason season is complete and wash the broken TURTLE shell pieces down a gutter and out to sea through the bay . . .
Well, I will do my best to train while deployed to Theater and perhaps I’ll try a little CycloCross (dressing) in the Fall if I am back in Country. The lack of spirits in Theater will keep the Darkside of The Force at bay and I should return ready to do battle and one day declare victory over mind and body (and a pack of riders thinking they would catch me after I attacked) . . .
I will never give up this quest . . . bike(ROCK)star status will come!!!