So tomorrow is one month since the surgery. I have been doing what I am supposed to do and maybe just maybe, pushing the envelope a bit. I am pain free on the bike, other than the self induced pain of course. No running yet and I'm OK with that for now although I could use a few miles to shed some of the chub that has crept on during the recovery process. Yesterday I rode the "Raymond Hill Loop" with a great group of OA Tri Teamates. It was 75 miles of up and down with a stiff wind in our face most of the day. We had some "newbies" with us and it was great to see them step out there on the edge and take it the next level. The RHL is no joke. It can turn you inside out if you let it. I like the ride as it is loaded with tough climbs and is a great way to build early season fitness. It's also a great training ride for those that are competing in Lake Placid in July. Anyway, everyone did well and nobody got hurt - always a good thing.
Today I headed over to Scarborough for another crack at "The Crit". I wasn't sure how it would go as my legs were fairly well trashed from the 75 mile ride yesterday. I decided to get there early and get a good hearty warm-up in. My first few warm-up laps were awful. I wasn't sure I was even going to be able to hang on to the group. BUT, after a few trips around my legs started to come into it and I started thinking I might be OK. I decided to try to conserve as much anergy throughout the first half of the race as possible and see what happened at the end. So much for that plan. Jared was there and so were Callan, Kramer and Anthony. We had a good group of guys and we figured we could work together and try to break away from the group. The guy leading the points series showed up and that meant that if we were going to go, he was going to be with us. The first few laps were pretty friendly and then somebody took off. We responded and the group pulled back together. Then the fast guy went and Kramer told me to catch him so I did. He and I rode together for a bit before he backed off and the group reeled us in. Bummer. I just burned a lot of gas with no result. This happened a few more times before the big boy said bye bye and left us in the dust. It was now a race for second place with about four laps to go. I found myself leading the pack with no one looking too interested in going ahead. I dropped my effort to about 220 watts and waited. Nothing. OK. So we rode along like that for a bit until there was one lap to go. I got to the right which seemed to work pretty well the last time and I stayed there. I was still leading, still around 220w....Hmmmmm....it's about to get real ugly real fast......half way around the backside four guys come rolling by and head into the second to last turn. I grabbed on for the ride and caught them as they came up the slight incline into the last turn. I was catching a quick breath trying to be patient when Callan shot by me. Cool, we had a couple guys in the mix. I wasn't sure where everyone else was. I held my ground until the "200m to go" sign and then it was a full out sprint to the finish. I got by Callan and almost caught the other two guys as we crossed the line. I was fourth overall. I am pretty pleased with that given the tough ride I had yesterday. I should mention that MOST of these guys ride pretty hard on Saturdays too so it was likely relative.
So the crits are a good time. Nasty pain but a great way to jack your bike fitness going into the season. I stuck around again and watched the "A" race. Those guys are flying. I think I could probably hang in there for that one but I'm pretty sure I'd get tuned up in good shape. A good goal though. I always say "there's always somebody faster". Well, this is where they hang out on Sunday mornings. I commented to the Grover's (who came to watch and cheer us on) that some people go to church on Sundays, I get all the religion I need right here in these races!
So next weekend is the Polar Bear Tri/Du and I won't be racing. I have done well at the Du for the past few years but I'll pass on it this year and hope that I am recovered soon. Best of luck to all my competitors! I'll be back next year to make you miserable again. ;).