Tonight, I rushed out the door of Masi Global Domination HQ so that I could make it to the Fiesta Island training crit series. I raced the first one of the year about 3 weeks ago, at the start of Daylight Savings and managed to cling to the back of the front group for the entire 45 minutes. I left for Taiwan the following morning, so tonight was my first chance to get to another of the races. This is after 2 weeks of no riding and bad diet while in Taiwan and only a little riding since returning. So while I was gone getting fat, most of the riders tonight were here getting fit and fast!
The first lap was at a slightly "gentleman's pace"... but then things got fast, in a hurry. The weather tonight was cool, cloudy and pretty windy along the western, bay side of the course. I'm glad I was riding the prototype low profile Ritchey WCS Zeta wheels (a full review later) instead of my Spinergy Stealth PBO wheels with 50mm tall rims! My legs felt tired, but not terrible. I rode for an hour, almost, at lunch today to test the new wheels and get the shifting dialed back in since the new wheels changed the chainline a little bit- as did using a Shimano cassette with the SRAM Rival group.
For the first few laps, I was able to sit in and spin reasonably comfortably... reasonably. Then the pace began to pick up and the group got strung out more single file- which really just meant I was farther from the front and had fewer places in the group to hide from the wind. My legs never felt all that bad, really, but I felt tired- again, I think I might've gone a little too hard on my lunch ride.
As we rounded the wind-side of the course and back toward the front of the course, a big acceleration came at the front and the group strung way out again and I momentarily lost contact with the group when the rider in front of me decided to call it a night. I dug deep and ploughed into the wind to try to reach the tail of the moving group, but I got a massive cramp in my right side as I was making a little bit of progress. I tried to sit up a little and stretch it out, but it was not going away... but the group sure was. So, after 30 of the 45 minutes of the race, I threw in the towel and rode one last long lap to stretch the cramp out. The funny thing is that I rode around until the cramp was gone and finished the lap moving pretty quickly, solo, in the wind... go figure.
All in all, even though I was pretty disappointed to not finish this time, I was happy that my only issue was the cramp and that the legs felt strong enough to be in the race. Once the cramp was gone, the legs still felt strong enough to ride that last lap with good speed. So I am still making progress, or at least gaining it back after my trip to Taiwan. Hopefully this means I can keep the progress up as I get ready for a week in Minneapolis (5/18-5/22) shooting pictures for the next catalog. Would be nice to not be in total crap shape when I go there with my bike/s. Would be fun to try and hop into a track race while I am there.
Tonight, after the race and before my dinner (grilled salmon and a big salad), I weighed in at 206.6lbs. Not my goal of 205... but much closer than the 211lbs I weighed when I got back from Taiwan.
It's good to be back on the bike and not feeling too much like a fish with gloves on.