Last week was a bit stressful. MU started classes again and I'm signed up to TA a cancer biology class (fitting right?) and am also taking 2 advanced immunology courses for my PhD. One is super hard, like reading 6-10 papers per week hard. The other is pretty easy and a lot of review.
I had really wanted to race the 6hr team category at Binder lake 6hr race, but various arrangements with 3 different partners all got messed up for various reasons. So, a few years ago I did this race and managed 2nd in the solo category on my SS, so I figured I was in better shape and wouldn't have a problem on gears.
First lap, I was riding with the top 5-6 guys, all of whom were riding on teams. I was still breathing out of my nose and RPE was probably around a 5 or 6, so I thought I'd be all good with a plan to slow down lap 2 and then keep it steady for the following 10 laps. I had looked at Winkler's times from a few years ago when he got 11 laps solo and I even had the necessary splits written down on a note card taped to my top tube.
Lap 2 was interesting. I was cruising at a nice endurance pace, knowing that there were no solo riders in front on me. I had my plan and I think it was a good one. I was eating, drinking, and having a great time. Not to imply that having a good time changed, but half-way through the lap I got passed by the local legend Sam Moore, who was both solo and flat-out hauling. Like XC pace hauling. I decided to follow him and soon realized that we weren't slowing down anytime soon. By lap 4, we were definitely on an 11lap pace. But man was I hurting, not even half-way into the race! My legs weren't the problem at all. Instead, the simple problem of riding my road and CX a ton more than my mountain bike this summer laid the foundation for seriously sore lower back, triceps, shoulders, and neck. Lap 5 I slowed way down, but the pain in those areas didn't feel any better. I ate and drank but no improvement. It started to really suck. I started thinking about the next few weeks and cross and simply decided to pull the plug at the end of lap 5.
I have no major regrets at all.
It was good to see my mountain bike friends again. I miss my buddies on team seagal and genuinely feel like I'm part of the best team around. Even though the Hub and Team Seagal are closely related, sibling teams and I love them both, my heart is always riding in a Seagal kit even when I line up wearing only the socks.
I think my plan for cross will be to ride for the Hub when I have teamates in the race and in my Seagal kit when I don't. My best buddy designed new kits for Seagal and I have to say the templates are the best looking kits around. We haven't ordered yet, but hopefully by the time CX season in in full swing!
Only 11 days til cross! The plan is for 3 hard days and the rest off or easy. I can't wait!