With a 10-mile virtual ride in the basement yesterday afternoon, I have now ridden more miles than any other year. Added bonus? It’s still October. The key was a strong offseason, which was mostly made possible by a combination of regular morning meetings coupled with a nice trainer, and no major interruptions (sickness, injury, family stuff, etc.). The ultimate goal is to hit 5000 for the year. Sounds like a lot, but I have friends who are already past that, but baby steps… There’s 67 days (including today) left in the year and I’ve got 1086 miles to ride = 16.2 miles per day. I’ve only averaged 13.1 for the year, but the difference between 13 and 16 is negligible so I’m pretty confident I’ve got this.
I was hoping to go for a run today and also announce that I’d run more miles than last year (199), but my knee is a bit tight, I have a pair of races out of town this weekend, and I know better. Besides, I have 67 days to run 3 miles. I won’t get that given my run rate of the past month, but I’m pretty sure I can fit it in.
If you’re looking to track your mileage, there’s a few tools of the trade. I’m a huge data geek and love competition so I’ve found Strava pushing data to Veloviewer to be for me. If you’re not looking to virtually compete, Mapmyride and Mapmyrun are what I tell people.
Where do I go from 5000 miles assuming I get it? 100 miles a week (5200)? 15 miles a day (5475)? 6000? 20 miles a day (7300)? 7500? 10,000? On my side this coming offseason and year is Zwift and my fancy new trainer, which makes indoor riding (beat the weather and save time) far more palatable and worthwhile thanks to the electronically adjustable resistance and power meter. I’m thinking I’ll just get into a rhythm and see what happens; 5000 this year wasn’t a goal I kind of fell into, and after years of this stuff I think that’s the healthiest way to approach things.
Well, at least for now. The second in as many months – thank goodness for frequent flier miles. This one was for Geordie, the world’s biggest hater of marriage. He met this girl named Sam in recent times and she made him see the light. Really happy for them/that. The trip served as a good excuse to see the family too; stayed with the my bro-in-law and crew and got to know my two year old nephew quite a bit better since he was born right when we moved. He likes growling, watching this video, Elmo, and “Pinkalicious.”
The wedding was short, sweet, and coooollllld. Brrr! Fortunately Geordie is a party planning extraordinaire and got a photo booth. There are some group photos that have already been seen on Facebook, but this one has escaped public view… until now. Surprisingly, I think only one of the people in this is drunk.
As short and sweet as the trip was, always great to get home. No travel on the horizon – back to bike racing, the fireplace, drizzle, cats, and Heather 🙂
Following race #1, I was a man on a mission. Nobody was going to slow me down except for myself. In reality, I had no control of any of this, but it was my mindset and I was gonna stick to it. Following a quick pre-ride (liked the course – had a nice, long, easy grinder of a climb that suited my ability), I started in 24th, had a good start, picked off a few folks, into the velodrome the first time, and then the clusterfuck happened. Someone forgot to move some cones for our race and people ended up all over the place – turning around, skipping entire sections, and some not missing a beat. Ultimately, the race was nullified.
Being one of the last to turn around, I was one of the first back on course. That put me in roughly 10th place, which I’d hold solidly for another couple of laps until I happened. Going through a muddy and steep off-camber section, I went down and dropped my chain. Unable to remount on the hill, I lost all momentum, which had been useful in shooting riders back up the long and slow climb following it. I dropped a good 15 spots here. The rest of the race went pretty uneventfully and I pulled in relatively unscathed (Heather was in attendance and pleased with this fact) in 21st place.
I’m happy. The name of the game is to make no mistakes. I’m clearly in 10th or so shape, I just need to stay out of trouble. Considering this was my second weekend on the CX bike this season, that’ll come. I’m away for next weekend’s race and then there’s a weekend off in preparation for the Halloween doubleheader in Bend so no racing for a few weeks. I’ve got a few bumps, cuts and bruises to take care of and the few weeks to train up a bit more are welcome; still not feeling like I’m back to road season shape, but getting there.
Disclaimer: I’m about to be a whiney bitch. If you don’t have a tolerance for that sort of thing, quit reading. I wouldn’t blame you, but I need to vent and this is my best outlet.
Today began the first race of the Cross Crusade season. Crusade is the preeminent cyclocross series in the US. It’s a very big deal and I’ve been working my ass off to be ready for it after a solid road season, some mediocre time between, and a ramp up to get back into shape recently.
I race in the C class. I also raced C in mountain bike short track and won the last race I did, which led to me moving to B. Presumably, the folks in these classes are nearly identical so I’m capable of placing high this cyclocross season and was hoping to bump my category here as well.
As the fields for this are massive, there’s a thing called a “call-up,” which if you’ve been racing well in a preselected few races (I did a single one and got 10th) and did well last year (I was placing 15th or better once I pled for a call-up [more on that later]), you get to start near the front. As expected, I didn’t make the call-up list but contacted the race organizer since it’s entirely at their discretion to award these. Note: If you don’t start at the front and you’re not sandbagging your classing, you’re not going to finish at the front. I pled my case to the organizer (strong road season, was on the podium for 2 of the 3 short track races I did [similar racing to cross]), but no dice. Not a big deal; I was looking for special treatment and didn’t get it. C’est la vie. What that meant is I’d need to get some points in this first pair of races… Sounds a lot like last year…
I couldn’t get points last year because I started mid-pack for the first two races and couldn’t pick off the 30+ people required to get there. This led to me having to chase the entire season. Before driving three hours to Bend for a doubleheader weekend in the middle of the series, I pled to the organizer to grant me a call-up, he did, and top 15 placings were the flavor of the end of my season (was 3rd in the last race before a mechanical).
As luck would have it, today my random number was called to be first after the call-ups. Great! Points to be had! The starter gave us the “go” and before I even move my season unfolds before my eyes. Some guy (who had a call-up) on a single-speed botched the start (I don’t know how you do that with a single gear), caused a pile-up that tangled me and a friend with him, and there went that great starting position. Hard to say where I finally ended up starting, but it had to be way down there. I had a good race and picked people (including folks with call-ups) off the entire way to finish in 24th (points go to 15?). Comparing lap times on Strava, I should have finished between 10th and 12th had the race not began the way it did. No points for my best opportunity all season to get them. Tomorrow they reverse the order of the random numbers so I’ll start absolutely dead last. Chance for points? Zero (today I probably passed about 40 people, but tomorrow would have to be 90). Following the second race, call-ups are based on the series points, which I’ll have none of so every subsequent race will come to the crapshoot of where I start. Because of one guy goofing his start (who will continue to get to start at the front), this season is looking like a pile of crap. I’m not sure I’ll even bother racing tomorrow because as much as I enjoy racing, waking up early and spending $25 to practice my passing is not particularly enjoyable.
UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE!!! They’ve announced the call-up lists for Sunday and (if they did this last year I don’t recall it/wouldn’t have been called up anyway because I was one of the unfortunate souls [more on that]) they’re doing it based on placing today and going 35 deep. My prayers/whining have been answered. Those unfortunate souls, though, the people who might be fast but started at the back today and didn’t get into the top 35, they might be in for a cruddy season.