Wednesday, September 12, 2007

That was actually fun

I couldn't take it anymore. I had to get on a start line. I couldn't wait until Sunday at Sucker Brook. I had to know today. How are the legs?

I went to the MRC training race tonight in Wrentham, MA. The Minuteman Road Club put on a great show. Fantastic organization, got right off at 5:30 and a very cool format. It is the same course as the race last December. There are two distinct loops with a dirt road running down the midddle. The left side has a fun section of 180 degree corners, 8 or 9 of them followed by a set of planks and then into the woods onto a fast dirt road. The road climbs up a short, gently grade, then a right to stay on the road, and eventually back onto the main dirt road. This loop is about 3 minutes. The right side is the pain side. It is laid out on the side of a hill and you do a series of zig zags across heading down, then a left into a set of planks at the bottom of the hill, which effectively makes it a run up. Then a 180 back down, 180 back up 180 back down, and then an easy left and all the way back up again, but further up than the other two climbs. Sweeping right as you head back down into a hard left, then easy right and down to the bottom. Then a long flat grind back to the main dirt road again. This loop is about 4-5 minutes.

The format is very cool. We did 4 races. The first race we tackled the shorter, more fun, left loop 4 times. I started at the back of the 40+ rider strong group because I wanted to work on making my way through traffic. Adam Myerson and Mark McCormack had the same idea apparently. Funny seeing you here. By the end of the first lap, I was with Steve Morse from Bikeman and we could see Tom Carr just ahead of us. We were somewhere in the top 10. Things didn't change much from there. A good 12 minute effort or so.

The second race was the longer right loop for 3 laps. I flatted on the first lap and ran over to the start/finish area where there were some tubes provided by the MRC and Landry's guys (THANKS!). I changed it quick and jumped in as Tom C was coming around for the start of his third lap. I rode his wheel and then put in a big effort on the zig zag climbs to get some intensity in. Unfortunately only 5 minutes of effort on that one.

For the third and fourth races, we did the whole lap two times each. The third race was good fun. We did the left side first and I hooked up with my pal Brant Hornberger from NCC and we stayed together the whole race with Tom C one place ahead of us. But we just couldn't close the gap. Brant and I ended up somewhere between 7th and 10th I think. Not sure exactly. It was a good 13 or 14 minutes of effort. By the 4th heat, I was getting pretty cooked, but I wanted to see what I had left in me. At the beginning of lap 1, I was riding in 4th through the fun loop. Then the McCormack/Myerson freight train went by at mach freakin' ten. So I think I was in 7th or 8th on the first lap. Brant and another fella caught me on the second lap just as we were getting onto the right loop and they were gracious enough to throttle back a touch to help me stay on. But they got away from me on the long, drag race climb near the end of the lap. Another good 14 minutes of work.

OK, now I am fully pumped for Sunday. I raced my S&S bike tonight with my Muds. It will be fun jumping on my race bike, which weighs about 3 pounds less and has the brandy-new FMB tubulars, on Sunday. Should feel fast.

Easy day tomorrow. Will do some skills training with the good doctor, Matt, Kenny and some of the other locals. They will go hard. I will point and laugh.