So far this year I haven’t felt as strong to a degree as I did last year at this same point in the season, and part of that I blame on the harsh winter. I am not a trainer junkie and the trainer is not enjoyable to me but I try to commit to completing my workouts and sometimes that means hoping on the trainer. The other side of the equation is that I am not racing the Cat1/Expert class so all my results from last year and years prior are irrelevant for comparison which also makes gauging my fitness difficult.
Yesterday I competed in the Michaux Maximus 20 miler race which was a repeat from last year. I was hoping that this race was going to be a good gauge for improvement as I have done a lot since last year this time and would be racing on a sweet new bike. Last year I completed the race in 2hrs and 3 mins official time pulling in 3rd come in under 2 hrs and show an improvement.
I started the race yesterday feeling pretty confident and had a good start going into the single track in 2nd work any harder than I had to and conserve energy until later in the race. This worked for a little while but then before I knew it the rider behind my passed and pushed me back into the
spot. No biggie I thought as they were never too far in front of me and I was in the belief that conserving a little energy in the beginning would help me in the long run and allow me to catch as pass.
As I climbed the trail called Dead Woman’s Hollow I could see them still not too far in front of me and I was still feeling pretty good. As we entered the next trail around the halfway point called 3 mile trail I realized my mojo in the single track wasn’t where it needed to be to make good time and before I knew it I started to dabble and realized I was not going to get a good run on this trail. It was also in this trail that I realized that I must have setup the front fork with way to much air pressure as I never utilized more than about 60% of the travel on a trail that should have used it all…dammit.
So 3 Mile trail chewed me up and spit me out with less confidence than I had going into it. I was chasing the leaders with all I had and realized it would probably not be enough. After more trail and some interesting additions/changes to the course last year I entered the final climb back to the finish with the leaders nowhere in sight. I pushed and felt on the edge of cramping and finished several mins behind the leaders and roughly 15 mins slower that last years’ time and again in 3rd where down too hard to say if the course conditions had changed played an impact. Looking at some of the results it looked like all of our times
Overall I felt pretty good during the day but I think I was in better form last year. Comparing last year to this year it looks like I was faster in some places and slower in others. I guess all I can keep doing at this point is to keep up the training, keep up the riding, and enjoy the journey! Until the next one…