I've been riding a lot since the Stottlemeyer 30. When I finished school, I hadn't lined up a job. So I went for a bunch of rides. I had a suspension-related freakout - I seem to have those every two years or so - and fixed it. I've been increasing the volume of my long ride, with my longest for the year being 4.7 hours, split between some riding with teammates and some riding on my own. In general, I'm feeling really strong.
I got a new job recently and had to find out my blood type. Weird, but whatever - I'm not going to tell my new boss how to run her business. I did that last Monday, the 18th, by donating a pint of blood. That may not have been very intelligent... I'd already planned last week to be a rest week, leading up to Sunday's race and to break up my build toward the Capitol Forest 50, so I only rode my commutes - about an hour a day - and didn't have a great idea of how I was feeling.
On Sunday morning, I felt pretty strong. I remembered getting tangled up in traffic during lap 1 in previous races at Padden, so I decided to be a little more competitive at the start, and try to avoid that. It's a Lemans start, which I think is just the organizers trying to make cyclists look silly. It works. I did that part okay, had a bit of a competence issue with my pedal that drifted me to mid-pack, and then discovered that actually, everyone's pace during the rollout was too high for me. So I drifted back more, and started to feel a little sick, and headachy, and my legs didn't feel good at all. D'oh! By the top of the climb, I felt really rotten. Luckily, it's way steep and I ran out of gears, so I only had one way to go, and only one way to do it, or I might have been even slower relative to my class.
I decided to keep out of trouble and finish the race.
By the time I was over the hump on lap 2, I was actually feeling pretty good. So I kicked myself a little for dogging it on the descent in lap 1, and started riding more like I meant it, and generally having more fun with the course. It's a really fun route.
I finished 9th out of 15 finishers. That's a little better than when I did that race in '09, and a lot better than last year. I'm not sure what that means, exactly, but it does fit with my observation that I'm better when races are shorter. I think maybe I'd have felt better racing if I'd warmed up better, but there's this thing about wishes and horses - a lot of my teammates were there, and I was having way too much fun saying "hi" to people. I also did better on the climbs - I still wasn't cleaning the two steps that interrupt the descent, but I cleaned the main climb on three laps. I did find myself wishing for an even lower granny gear.
I recently learned about strava.com, and that my Droid phone has a GPS...
That's including my "warmup," such as it was.
My best race this season has been the Stottlemeyer 30. Hopefully that means good things for Capitol Forest.