Time is going quick these days. I have raced 5 or 6 weeks straight and lost track. I have flown across the country for 3 of the last 4 and usually arriving in Milwaukee on Monday with barely enough time to punch in by 3 at work that afternoon. That usually makes about a 20 hour day after racing twice and a 20 hour day on Friday leaving for the race.
That has left Tuesday - Thursday for unpacking and repacking and two days for training, if you want to call it that. Luckily, last weekend in Gloucester I seemed to have found my legs despite the long days at home and the horrible travel situations I have been in. Of my 3 weekends for flying, 2 of them had cancelled flights and one of them I lost my bikes. It was a rough start to the season but since Gloucester they have been getting better.
This last Saturday and Sunday I found myself in Ft. Collins, CO for round 3 and 4 of the USGP. My training during the week has not been ideal which means day #1 at the races I don't really know what to expect since I am not able to do some of my openers and workouts during the week that I would normally do to come into Saturday ready to rock. Last weekend in Gloucester it seemed to work out, this weekend in Ft. Collins it did not. I was flat, off balance on my bike and was just not able to get over 60% and in the mud/rain and that just equaled a horrible ride. It was actually my worst USGP since 2008 when I flew into Philly and made it to the race only 1 hour before the start and rode my bike to the start for a warmup, that is bad.
Well, cleaning bikes till 9pm in the hotel, driving around till 10pm doing laundry, eating a burrito, pizza and a blizzard from DQ while I contemplated quitting racing SAturday after the race somehow must have gotten me back in the groove because Sunday morning I woke up and stepped on the floor and knew I had good legs. Two laps on the course for warmup and it was confirmed - I was going to have a good day. Complete 180 from Saturday both physically and mentally. I had no tiredness from the day before and the legs were quick and strong. I also had the perfect tire set up with the FMB Sprint tires which hooked up so good on the dried out course it was amazing. I have never ridden file treads before but these were the ticket on the day and I am really fortunate cyclocrossracing.com hooked me up with a pair.
Long story short I made the lead group for one lap, got gapped when Jeremy and Trebon started attacking on lap 2 or 3. I rode solo for about 3-4 laps until Tim Johnson caught me. That was actually a good thing as he helped pace me a bit and gave me a rest. He really surged a lot and seemed like he was trying to drop me all over the place but I felt well within myself for all the accelerations and I was having no problems in the tricky sections staying with him. With 2 to go I seemed to gap him a bit on the climbs but 1/2 a lap later he was back. I led the last lap and expected a hard attack but it never really came. With maybe 500 meters left Tim passed me but couldn't drop me. We opened it up for the sprint and I didn't have a hard time coming around him. I am almost still in disbelief that one day I could be so bad and the next day have the best ride I have had on a national level in a long time, maybe ever, and it almost seemed easy.
I'll have about 3 good weeks now to get in some solid training and catch up around here a little bit before November kicks off with two weekends of traveling to Iceman and Louisville. Hopefully I can gain some fitness and get back to some consistent racing, although I'm not sure I would trade consistency for one bad day if there was also one really good day again. At least I know it's still in there.