Last two weeks of racing have been fun, with better “sensations” in the legs. Gloucester was beautiful (see photos) even though I rolled a tubular on Day 2, ran to the pit DFL, and then had to bury myself to pass two guys before being lapped by the leaders. So, at least I wasn’t the very last person in the 35+ 1/2/3 race. Day 1, lousy starting spot at the back of the grid, worked hard, finished mid-pack. Good times. Plus, the family came up and caught the action on Day 2. The girls had a great time, as evidenced in the picture above. Hard to argue with some good family time. This is Hailey’s second time at Gloucester, and she is only two year’s old!
This last weekend, ventured to Canton for a very fast course. Also a lot of fun. Lined up in the 35+ 1/2/3/4, got a horrendous start, but moved up and finished strongly, beating the guys that were in my pack with a very hard last lap. This is the first time I am able to make up time on the corners. Nice feeling. Next weekend I am in for the MRC Wrentham Race. Unfortunately, my daughters have a Halloween party from 10:00 to 12:00. Amelia has been talking about it for the last month. That means the only race I can do is the 1/2/3 race. I can’t imagine the front of it being much faster than the 1/2/3 35+. But, the back of it sure will. Hoping not to get decimated for 60 minutes.
Steven Wright and I were able to take 1st (me) and 3rd (Little Stevie) at the Ashland Off-road duathlon, known as the Mud, Sweat and Gears. It’s an nice little race that I just found out about on Thursday. Given the closest cross race was about 1 1/2 hours away, it was a pretty easy decision to travel 1/2 hour to Ashland. I didn’t know much about the course, but figured it shouldn’t be too hard given it is a FIRM race and not a mountain bike race. All I had to go with was the cross bike, with my newly glued rear tubular. So, it would be a nice test to see if the tubular worked.
After a quick pre-ride of the course and a warm-up jog, Steve and I lined up on the front row. I was able to get the hole shot for the 1.8m run. Another guy pulled in front of me, and he was going pretty good, so I just sat in second. After going the wrong way once (thanks to Steve for calling me back). Made my way back to the course and to transition in second.
The bike course was basically the same as the run course. Some pavement, some double and single track, roots and rocks. Nothing too crazy. One big hill that was not rideable on the cross bike because of steepness, so a shoulder sling run. The new chain was working well, and the tubular holding. I was able to stay close to the front, finishing third off the bike behind Steve and another guy from Team Psycho (who was railing the downhills on his full suspension carbon mountain bike). Into T2 in third, trying to get my Sidis off without having to undo the buckle.
Steve was hooked up with the leader, and I was chasing. I was able to close down before a mile into the 1.8 mile loop. Once I caught them, I went by. Leader kept with me on the uphill, but I lost him on the downhill and flats. Cruised into victory in 46 minutes and change by about 20 seconds. I won a sweatshirt and some Hammer gel. NICE!!! First duathlon ends with a win, and people were talking about the two MRC guys who did the race on cross bikes. Onto Gloucester!!!
These were the words spoken to me by my daughter Amelia when I returned home with mud all over my face. The reason, honey, is that daddy spent 45 minutes riding around in the mud at Quad Cyclocross race. It was a roaring good time with a lot of rain over the preceeding days, and of course day of. Such a difference from last year when it was hot and fast. Now it was cool and slow. I got my typical lousy start, which has been pissing me off. I was able to work my way through the field fairly quickly, though, although the efforts were leg-sapping. The course became technical due to the mud, and it was hard to power through certain sections because the mud would just catch your wheels. Tire selection became very important, as did power output. Go too hard and you’ll spin your wheels (literally). Not go hard enough and you are a loser.
I was able to keep the front of the group in sight, but had a few problems with shifting and then my chain slipping off going over the barriers. I hope to have solved that problem with a new chain. The other one was pretty stretched. All those efforts to catch up only to lose time with stupid stuff took its toll. I was able to keep things together better than the previous weeks, however. I was going nose to nose with a guy from HUP United, and was able to pass him when he bobbled a couple of corners. On the positive side, I was able to get 7th place. On the negative side, I got 7th place. Should be doing better, but still don’t have that gear. I have read that it can take 2 months to fully recover from an Ironman and be race ready. We’ll have to see, because right now is just over 2 months, and in fact the legs are feeling better. No ‘official’ races this weekend, but next weekend is Gloucester. I am going to get destroyed in the 1/2/3 35+. But, hopefully racing faster will make me race faster.