Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ghosts of Races Past

It looks to me like there's a ghost gliding across this photo I took at Yankee Springs on Saturday. It might just be a smudge on my camera. I don't know.

Regardless, for someone like me who is constantly moving one step forward and two steps back, never making any real, permanent progress, there's always going to be something haunting me. This year, it's the memory of what I was at the beginning of the last race season—strong and fast (relatively speaking). Those first two races, Barry-Roubaix and Yankee Springs, were such successes for me that racing them this year, knowing how much worse I will do, is pure torment. Still, not racing them would be worse, so I'm plowing ahead.

Saturday I went out to Yankee to pre-ride the course and try to assess where I am. Surprisingly, it didn't turn out to be that bad. Knowing that I was so slow in 2008 for my first Yankee, and that I was much faster last year, I was hoping to fall somewhere in between the two, and that's exactly what happened.

I was running about 10 minutes slower than my race time last year, but I also forgot my watch, so I was going just on straight riding time from my computer, and I probably need to add at least a few minutes to it. My plan is to go back on Saturday and try to get in one more ride of it some evening next week. Last year, my times kept improving with each time I pre-rode it and even more so during the actual race, so I'm hoping that happens again.

I remember riding this course before Iceman last year and just completely struggling, barely making it to the end. I expected to feel like that on Saturday, and although I was tired and I did end up walking some of the later hills, I really felt much better than I anticipated.

There's a no-drop group going out from Yankee at 11 that Danielle is leading. Some of my team, organized by Jake, also seem to be doing a group ride of Yankee on Saturday. I haven't figured out what I'm going to do yet, but right now, I feel like just being by myself and struggling on my own with no one to witness it, so maybe I'll go out really early. At any rate, I'm eager to see what happens.


Sean said...

I will be taking my Son out at some point. We are both racing the TT and he has never seen the whole course. Do you think he will be surprised? LOL.

Good luck.

SpeedyChix said...

May see you out there Saturday. Trying to decide whether it's going to be a gravel road epic or some laps at Yankee.

Danielle Musto said...

You should come do the group ride. It's going to be fun, and there will be no pressure whatsoever! I'll show you all of the good lines :-)

Jenn said...

I absolutely love your spirit (pun not really intended). I rode in my first peleton on Sunday and got my a** kicked by a 63-year-old man (I am closer to your age). But, I didn't crash and I didn't quit. Rock what you've got!