Ace of Base
Today, another 53 miler keeping power steadily in the tempo zone as much as possible for the middle 2 hours. I felt great for this entire ride, even with the heat of the day pressing down on me. Tempo riding, while hard to sustain for 2-3 hours, really boosts my fitness without the serious fatigue that comes from heavy-duty LT work. So there will be more of it this week, to be sure.
Bringing Home the Bacon (er, Prosciutto)
Still, it was a great race overall. There was the satisfaction of knowing you have won by virtue of being the last to start and then catching and passing everyone in your age group. It was a feeling of excitement followed by the lingering question, "So what do I do for the last 10K?"
"Try to set a new PR, dummy," was the reply. I was on-target for a new best time, so I told myself to get focused and keep pushing out that steady rhythm I seem to be good at. The end result was indeed a new personal best for the course, some cool prizes, and another win to add to the palmares.
This week will be all about pumping up the volume to bring back some base fitness, which has seen a slight decline with all the race tapers of the past 3 weeks. Since the 2-man TT is not a major goal, I should be okay going into it with some fatigue, do 3 more good workout days, then taper for the 3-day race weekend in Roanoke.
PLT on Wheat
I have decided to give all of my non-monetary prizes away to my students - we have a monthly raffle drawing. This time, I cannibalized my prize pump (which was all plastic - not as nice as the metal barreled one I already have) for the hose and valve (my pump's presta valve was getting worn, and the fittings were an exact match!). Then I installed my old parts on the prize pump and gave it to one of my kids today who is really into his bike - and who will use the schrader valve anyway, so a worn presta doesn't mean squat to him. Now I just need to figure out what to do with $25 of gift cards to a bike store that's 3 hours away from home. Maybe if I save them for 20 years, I can accumulate enough $$ to make it worth the trip...
Totally TT Training
Bryan Park Circuit RaceAn exciting Category 4 race, as Jeff, Steve and I worked the field in what I feel was the strongest and most effective display of teamwork thus far this season. Between the three of us taking turns near the front, covering breaks, and attempting to block when one of us was off the front, we really made our presence felt, especially given that there were several other larger teams that weren't as present as they could have been.
Personally, the 14th place finish was a best placing for that race, in which I have historically finished in the upper 20's, so I am quite satisfied with the improvement. Looking back over the past 4 years of mass start races here in VA, my placings this season are a significant improvement. Who knows, they may make a crit racer out of me yet...