I know it looks like I'm sitting in a wheel chair, but really I'm just resting between races. After a little more than a month since my last race, I needed all the rest I could steal... believe me.
It was great to get back out on the oval and "get my suffer on". With all that has been going on here for the past several weeks, it has been very hard for me to justify leaving the office to go race when things have been so hectic. Since things are now less frantic, I felt a bit better getting back out and racing. Besides, it's all part of my Global Domination strategy anyway.
The racing actually went far better than I expected since my legs felt like crap. I rode at lunch to stay loose and I wasn't exactly impressed with how I felt. Traffic getting to the track was horrendous so I just barely made it to the track with enough time to get registered and suited up and get a few minutes of warm-up. Driving in Southern California really stinks... but I got there in time to get into the skinsuit and get a few laps of track time before they lined us up for the first race.
40-lap Motorpaced event. Normally I stay in for about 20 laps before I pull out. This event just gets too nervous for me with all of the various levels of riders in the field. We've had a few crashes in the event this year, so I feel pretty justified in my fears. However, I got a good slot near the very end of the line and was able to ride a steady tempo finally, without the constant yo-yo-ing we normally have in the field. Instead of pulling out, I stayed in until the final and the guy in front of me had the last pull on the motor before it pulled off the track, so I had great positioning and ended up slightly boxed in at the finish and might have been able to improve on my fourth in the final sprint if I could have gotten out and up track. For the record, Andy Sparks of the US National team is really damned fast...
So... after that quad burner I was totally blown for our 10-lap Tempo race. I got to the front in the first lap and just missed the points... same for the second lap... and third lap. Then I got a killer of a stomach cramp in my right side and it was making me cross-eyed. It hurt so bad I pulled out before the end of the 4th lap. I rolled down to the warm-up track on the infield and just tried to massage it out and ride. It hurt like... like... like a really bad stomach cramp I guess.
After all the other categories did their racing, complete with a spectacular two-person crash in one race, we rolled to the line for another 45-lap Points race. If you've read my blog before, you already know how much I hate this race. Normally, in a 45 lap event, I'll hang out for about 15-20 before I get so bored I head for the stands and a beer with my people. For some reason, I had good enough legs to last about 27-28 laps before finally giving up. On top of that, I managed to score points on two of the point sprint laps. Better still, I managed to stay with the lead group, although I had to chase back on solo 3 times. I was most proud that I managed to not get lapped like I normally do.
Where the heck did the legs come from? I thought I was going to get clobbered and I rode better than I have all season... with little training and no racing in the past 4-5 weeks. I was a bit astounded frankly. Obviously, I hope this continues for the remainder of this new session of races (final series of the year ends in September).
We'll see where the legs go next week. They were completely shot today though... there were a couple of moments I thought I might have to get off my bike and walk.