Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Check and Check

That's right folks... recovery is complete. Saturday was an intentional off day after 3 straight before that just to be sure. Sunday afternoon I got out for 2.5 hours and generally felt good the whole time. Actually, I have to qualify that... last week at some point I somehow screwed up my back. Fortunately it's not that sort of debilitating lower back screwed up thing that leaves you flat on the floor afraid to blink. This instead was something in the back of my ribcage. It actually feels the way I'd expect a broken rib to feel except for the fact that it's not swollen and pressure doesn't hurt. What does hurt however is standing up on a bike and pulling on the bars ala steep climbing. So Sunday I avoided standing at all costs and was fine.

Yesterday I made the decision to get back in the game by heading down to the Cyclonauts Crit at the Stafford Motor Speedway. That's right folks, we're tradin paint and turning left... ok, so there was no paint traded and we rode clockwise, but there was a left turn through the infield chicane... you get the point anyways. So the best parts about this race in terms of a comeback race were that you have this huge wide track, pretty basic turns, no hills to change the pace and only 40 starters in the 3/4. I had actually intended to race the 4's in the morning, but decided to march in the townie Memorial Day parade with my son's t-ball team. Speaking of that, coolest callup of the season goes to yesterday's race: all active duty military, military vets, police, and firemen got the callup... well deserved too.

The race went off in pretty sane fashion, but after about 1 lap the attacks started. Finally a group of 6-8 got away and probably got out to maybe 30 seconds. The loop was < 0.5 miles so it's not like they were hiding from us. A few guys thought about bridging, but none of that worked so we just chugged along. I just sort of moved around and got used to being back in a group. This race was what I expected from a 3/4 unlike the sketch fest at Sturbridge... everyone was smooth through the turns for the most part and if you weren't careful, you were very quickly alone at the back. At the half way point, some guys up front dropped the hammer and the break evaporated in no time at all. It was back together with a little under 15 to go and not a whole lot was going on. About 10-12 to go and there's this roar from near the front as a guy yells out CYCLONAUTS and suddenly those guys swarmed like freaking bees towards the front. Not everyone was willing to let them just set up a 10 man 10 lap leadout so a few flyers went off and enough other guys mixed themselves in the front that the pace stayed high, but it wasn't just the yellow and black boys driving it. I headed up front with about 7 to go and ended up taking a short pull with 4 to go to finish off the last ambitious guy out front. Problem was I got lazy after I pulled off and -boom- I'm at the back again. I had some time to move back up, but never quite got there and when the Cyclonauts boys punched it with 1/2 a lap to go, I was just hanging on. Hung in there and rolled in @st so not a big deal. One other guy from MRC was in the field, but he and I both went in with a survival mindset so we never really had any chance to try anything together. He rolled in right behind me.

All-in-all, I'll call it a victory. Early predictions had me on the trainer still so to be racing again kicks ass. It was a brisk race too so it's not like I was slacking. Almost forgot... Funny Oh Shit moment of the race came with maybe 15 to go when I look to my left and I'm riding next to Paul Curley. I was like WTF... I had no idea this guy was only a 3. I just kinda always figured he was a 1 or 2, but I guess not. It was his second race of the day and he ended up 10th I think.

Otherwise the weekend kicked ass... great weather, lots accomplished, kids had a generally good time with everything. Praying for nice weather next weekend too for Sunday's MTB race and a Monday golf outing.

Back to work... virtual Mondays are harder than real ones...

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