Spent a long hard week on the bike, but it ended well despite the agony in my legs and in my head (pine pollen is in the air and wreaking havoc on my sinuses).
It all started Tuesday, after a nor’easter blew through Sunday and Monday. I did a short run Tuesday morning with Ellie. That evening, I got out of work early, fought the traffic and made the Tuesday night death ride in Great Bridge. It was deadly. GeneR whipped the pace up to 27-28 about 5 miles in, I pulled through and kept that pace, but as I dropped back we turned into a headwind and I just couldn’t stay on the tail. I almost reconnected, but the pace popped up again and I was gone. Sat up and waited for a slower group so I wouldn’t get lost and still managed to average almost 23mph for the ride.
I rested Wednesday, then went out Thursday for about 25 miles in the morning. My legs still hurt.
On Saturday, I went to the Tripower ride at the Beach. I was feeling good again finally. I contested a couple of the sprints, made several hard efforts and rolled up about 42 miles, doing two of the loops. But I worked too hard.
I raced the Casey Crit at Todd Stadium in Newport News late in the day with fellow Cat 5s JB and John. First time I flew Tripower colors. (I’m behind JB in the photo – thanks D-Bo for the photo and the jersey) The temps jumped to near 80, the pine pollen count soared and my lungs and legs hurt. The race started fast and started breaking up quickly. I saw Stephen go, I knew I should go with him, but it just wasn’t in my legs. That ended up being the winning move too. He took out the sprint from some guy in this Cippolini-esqe zebra skinsuit. There’s just no organization in the Cat 5 field. I kept trying to pull through and encourage a chase, but it seemed like only a handful of guys were working, including John. JB was dropped. We were all hurting. I had cotton mouth the whole race what with the heat we had yet to experience this year. Still John and I stayed near the front of the field.
On the bell lap, I was in third wheel going into the second to last turn. A group started to move on the outside and I thought I was about to get boxed out, but suddenly I heard the unmistakable sound of bikes and bodies colliding with asphalt behind me. With the crash I jumped. I passed one and got passed by another in the sprint, despite not feeling all that strong and wound up with 7th overall, 3rd in the field sprint. I softpedaled back around to check on the downed riders. Two were down, one badly. Somebody took him to the hospital for X-rays. I hope he’s OK.
Overall, Tripower raced very well. After the race, Danbo took K-Dog, Crazy, JB and I on a tour of the mountain bike trails at Riverside Park around Lake Maury. It was a great cool down, spin-out for the legs. The trails rolled nicely with some tough, rooty sections. No better way to end the day.