It's been an odd season for me. As a lot of you already know, I got married in April. I also moved and got a Real Job, and I had a couple of difficult classes in the winter. While a lot of this stuff is really positive, I've been struggling a bit on the track and I've been to exactly zero of the BuDu Racing races.
On the other hand, I've actually done some (gasp) intervals and I have a Book.
I did the Padden Mountain Pedal about a week and a half ago. I was a little nervous about this because I haven't been riding my mountain bike as much as in some years, and I wasn't really sure if my fitness was where it was at the same time last year. But it's a course I know well and it's now, quite literally, down the street from me. So I went.
It was even more sparsely attended than last year, which is a real bummer. I really like the race course behind Lake Padden - there are real climbs and descents, so while it's not the huge loop of, say, White River, it definitely feels like mountain biking.
One of the things I've learned from starting to use more gadgetry in my cycling is that if I think I'm pacing myself, I'm really just selling myself short. So I hit the climbs as hard as I could all four times, and finished four laps in a 1:35 - par for me, so at least I'm not slower. All of three people showed up for Sport Men 19-34, and I beat one of them. Podium for me. While I did have positive splits over the course of the race, my last lap was maybe two minutes longer than my first - so a less than 10% slide from beginning to end. Compared to my lap times when I think I'm racing smart, much faster. To hell with racing smart!
This is a great course, so I hope to see more of you out there next year! While there are some races that I don't really care about coming or going, the Padden Mountain Pedal has been going on for over twenty years and it would be a real shame for it to fail.