And I'm bringing the beer.
I cant wait. I love this race. The Gateway Loop in Columbia, Md is a course I know like the back of my hand. I've been training and racing on it for 15 years. I think I have one DNF here and that was due to a crash. I'm signed up for the 3/4 race in the afternoon. The 4/5 race filled to quick for me to get in. The last time I did this race was in 2006. I finished mid pack. It was my first real race after a 5 year layoff and it was the 40/50+ race to boot. Very fast. This year they combined the 40+ with the 30+. That might be more than I can handle at this stage of my training so far season. I think the 3/4 might be a better choice for me. Since I want to upgrade to Cat 3, I'd like to get a feel for it. This is the kind a race circuit where I can sit in the wheels, stay out of trouble and help a teammate with a lead out at the end. And if I'm still there at the end, maybe go all out for myself. The finish hill is not an issue as the pack literally sucks you up. All I have to do is spin a 53x19 at a high cadence and it's over. 12 times. I hope so anyway. The killer will be the end sprint up the same hill. In 2006 I went way too early after being in the top 10 at the bottom of the hill. I gave it all I had and I blew in spectacular fashion half way up the hill to the line and drifted in mid pack. I was spent. It was a wonder i made it to the line at all. I think I keeled over when I got there. It was an immensely satisfying race.
This weeks training has been good in quality even if i haven't been feeling very motivated to do it. I did some L7 work with 6x2 min intervals on Monday and 2x15 L4 threshold intervals on Tuesday. All my work was completed above the prescribed wattages. I think i need to test soon, lest I waste too much training time not going hard enough. Strange enough though, when i was doing the rides on Monday and Tuesday, I didn't feel like I was firing on all cylinders. I was sure my numbers would be low, but WKO says no. My wattages were higher than the minimums.
I think I'm just having a bad week. Yesterday i didn't feel like riding at all and I had another L7 tempo sprints workout scheduled. I didn't do it. I knew something was up when on Wednesdays active recovery ride i felt awful. My stress levels have been high all week and I have not been resting as much as I should. Maybe it was the 2 Sam Adams I drank the night before at Italian Bike Night with my other hooligan Ducati riding friends from the Ducati Monster List. I bet I was just pissed that the Rhodeside was so crowded I only got to do one song. But it was a good one though. Gimme Three Steps. I love karaoke. Dont tell anyone.
I feel good today. I weighed myself this morning and I'm down another 2 lbs to 214. About 2 lbs heavier than i was the 2006 race. The loss is a nice morale booster. I thought I was hitting a plateau. I'm still on track to make my power to weight goals. Taking the book advice about not making up missed workouts, I'll do the scheduled active recovery ride tonight, do the group ride tomorrow with some tempo and threshold efforts to open up the legs and then the race on Sunday.
I hope to do well. At the very least I hope help a teammate do well. I know i'll be drinking beer one way or another. Isn't that what it's all about anyway?