The warm days of late spring have arrived with a sprinkling of the familiar hot and humid summer weather typical of the East coast; like it or not. I like it. By now, the drawn-out winter that that seemed to crawl slowly from its cold icy depths towards better days are long forgotten as we all look forward to mid-season bike racing on the road. With that, I thought now would be a good time to reflect on how the season has gone so far.
I started the season and my training back in January. My goals for the season were:
- Win a race
- Upgrade out of Cat 5
- Podium the Tour of Battenkill
- Top 10 in NJ Gran Fondo Challenge
My crash and injury back in March in Arizona have forced me to make some adjustments. However, things are looking up.
I won a race. The first race of the season. The Pro Pedal's Power Series race #1. Check. I've only raced 3 races out of the required 10 mass start races to qualify for an upgrade out of Cat 5 to Cat 4. I haven't filled my calendar with all the races I'll need but there is a good amount of time left for me to complete this. I missed Battenkill. Next year then. In place of Battenkill I'm doing the Tour of the Catskills July 31-Aug 2. I plan on racing Cat 5 unless I'm upgraded by then. I don't think that will happen but as with racing, anything can happen. My goal here is to podium. Yea, ambitious ain't I? Finally, the NJ Gran Fondo in September. I placed 14th in the challenge last year. I want to better that and make top 10.
Last weeks Bob Riccio Memorial Tour de Pitman where I placed 3rd in the Cat 4/5 race is a strong indicator that my fitness is getting back up to the level where I want and need it to be for the season. I know I could've won that race. I was in good position going into the last turn. Around 5th. I got caught behind a rider in the last turn that put his brakes on. The outside of that final turn was fast and clean on every lap except the last one. After grabbing some brakes and getting through that turn, I accelerated to Mach 5 and managed to make up a bunch of places and snag 3rd at the line. Ah, that's racing.
The crash and injury in March really put an 8 week dent into any serious training for me. I'm happy that the numbers and feeling in the legs are now back where I can really start to push myself harder and suffer. That's what it's all about. Suffering. Bike racing is about suffering. The more you can suffer and endure, the faster you will be than everyone else. So, more suffering on tap and 3 down and 7 to go...