With the race season starting already in 5 days I again will find myself late to the party. I had signed up for the Barry Roubiax nearly 3 months ago but had to sell my entry. There are multiple reasons why I had to do it but it worked out in the end as I am still fighting off something I caught two weeks ago. I am still riding and training but I battle congestion daily along with a dry cough that tends to start around the time I go to bed. It sucks. Two weeks prior me becoming sick my kids were sick and I missed a week of training. No big deal because I had been going solid for some time, with the exception of being sick over the Holidays. But after only a week of being on the bike again I fell ill and had to take another week off. This blow came during a major transition in my training block and I had to step back and reorganize.
Now some would say go do the race anyway, it's not an A race so just go and ride. But I am not one to race unless I am fit to do so. If it was later in the season and I had more quality miles under me I would but all the travel time (this race is 2+ hours from my house) money involved and time spent away from the family is not worth it if I am not 100% ready. If it was a trail race and on this side of the state I would strongly consider it but it's a 35 mile mostly gravel road race and although fun, I'd rather spend my time at the trails. Plus my kid's have an important school function that is falling on the same day and now I don't have to worry about what time I will be back on my side of town...and that had been in the back on my mind for some time. Being a husband, father, employee and part time racer you have to keep the balance. Speaking of balance, the weather here in Michigan has been off balance for some time but has really tipped lately. It's been in the high 60's to low 70's for over a week and we still have 4 more days before it goes back down. Last week I went trail training with Bran and we did 30 miles at Island to stretch the Trainer legs out. Felt great. Then Friday I did my morning training ride outside before work. On Sunday my wife took the kids with her to her parents to get the garden ready for the season and I went out for a 50 mile road ride. Even got a slight sun burn. If all goes well I will be doing hill repeats outside tomorrow morning before work.
Riding outside this early in the season has really given me a chance to see where I stand in terms of where I want to be. My endurance seems to be spot on but I can tell I am lacking in the power department. The hills I have come across have me working a little more than I'd be liking to. Yes I have trainer data showing where I am exactly but that only gets me so far. Being on the trail and the open road tells the complete story of where you really are. However, I do have to remember it is only March and in March I am supposed to be doing intervals on the trainer. It isn't until after those intervals in mid April that I go outside and start climbing real hills on the road bike at Island and Kensington. And my form doesn't seem to come around until mid May which is about the time I find myself at my first A race of the season. But although I feel behind in my training maybe I am right where I am supposed to be. I know I just have to keep plugging away and . . .
Time will tell and come April 22nd I will know for sure where I stand as I plan to return to Yankee Springs where this all began 6 years ago. Back in 2006 Yankee Springs would be my first ever race and I haven't raced there since and i will be there for sure this year. Nback then I was told by fellow club riders to skip Beginner and go straight to Sport, given my abilities at the time. My hope was to finish mid pack and walk away with some experience. Well I finished 24th out of 27 riders in my class and walked away with loads of knowledge of what not to do before, during and after a race. But I still caught the bug and the rest has been history.
Good luck to all my friends racing this weekend. I can't wait to read all the blog updates and hear all the stories. In the mean time, I'll be chasing my carrot getting ready to start the trail season.