So, as I prepare for my remaining four races, I was reflecting on the season at large. The specific goals I initially set for myself were not 'met' per se, but I am still happy. Racing against some of the best racers in the country over 35 years old and making the race with them is not only an honor but a rush.
Lots changed this year in terms of how I raced and how I prepared for the season. After 10 years of 'crossing, you STILL learn things about yourself and the game. Amazing. Having Taro in my corner helped immeasurably to provide me another lens into what my strengths, but more importantly, my weaknesses are. Training "less" in terms of volume but very focused on quality training ranging between 6-10 hours a week through power metering also was new to me this year and paid dividends. Way more important than being a watt-weenie though was resting. I never rested before! I would going inexplicably hard week after week in seasons past until December where I would feel like a shell of a person. I felt totally different this year and the suffering was different. I felt really fresh at CO States as an example. Overall, I felt lighter on the bike, quicker in terms of leg speed, my running game was infinitely better with running training 3 x per week on average and I could feel exactly what I needed to tune each race as my body was saying things to me and I was taught to listen to it. All this in contrast to season's past being cross eyed each race praying I come across the line in a good place and looking forward to the last race of the season by mid November. This year I felt more in control and had motivation for more and more (generally speaking! Read some of my earlier race report rants and you may disagree).
What I was not in control of though was my shit luck! Ha! Tires, tires and more tires were my nemesis this year. Rolled Dugasts, failed Challenges....it never seemed to end and each race it seemed was a Ground Hog day of feeling really good and confident, pushing the pace initially, tire implosion of some variant...then play catch up the rest of the race.
My team mate Chris V captured this all on film in Gunnison and demonstrates what is a fantastic encapsulation of the shite.
The race begins with me feeling on fire. I want to hurt guys early on.
I create the split I want with a team mate. Sweet.
I start to hear noises in my rear wheel and at the end of this clip, I drop my head to see whatup.
More of the same per above. I am looking down and trying to figure out WTF is going on. I then roll RIGHT BY the pits and past my spare bike. Smart, man. Smart.
Voila. I am gone. Wheel implosion about 10 seconds before you see Karl, Chris and Ward come through the barriers.
I'm back! But who's bike am I on?
I drop of that bike and CV and Brady Kappius help me with a change to my back up Rock Lobster. The chase from last place is on.
Catch one...move on...catch another...move on. The pick off game is in effect.
And so it went like that for many races for me this season. I'm definitely not crying a river here but would love to have seen how I could have done without so much drama! Fun as hell though and the guys I get to race with every weekend are filled with za class.
I got some revenge in the Opens later that day with a good start...
And a consistent job through out the day after putting it all out playing catch up earlier in the 35 Opens....
So there we go. Wish me luck for no more drama in these last four races but rather technically clean races with rubber stuck firmly to carbon.
Thanks Chris for sending me the vids!