Anyone that knows me or has read this blog for very long knows that I hate racing in the rain.
So, given the ABSOLUTE DELUGE that happened yesterday, I rainchecked my first race of 2011 - literally and figuratively.
But I did take my bike outside on Saturday - first time it's been outdoors since Thanksgiving, 2010. Saturday was the Bethel Sweep Day - an annual event where we help SDC sweep and prepare the track for the first race. I didn't know what to expect, with rain threatening in the morning. But new teammate JP met me at the house, we loaded up our bikes, and drove over.
It was a testament to how well JP and I hit it off (or - at least as likely - how distracted I get when I'm talking so much) that I actually missed the exit off the Parkway. But we had an even more scenic detour up Rt. 53 and when we got to Francis J. Clark industrial park, even though I was entering it from the wrong direction, it still brought back a flood of memories. Not to sound corny, but my eyes got just a little moist as I turned off the main road and onto the track - "It's finally here! Racing Season 2011 - and Spring is just around the corner!"
Unlike last year, we had fewer people and more work to do. And the ice was CRAZY. For more details about our fun Sweep Day 2011 (and, BION, it WAS fun) click here. After our work was done and we'd consumed some fantastic pizza (courtesy Frank Navone of Navone Studios), we kitted up and went for some laps around the track. The weather cleared up nicely and we put in over 17 miles of 'round & 'round before we packed it in.
It was really weird to actually have to balance my bike rather than have it held rigid in the trainer. But they don't say "it's just like riding a bike" for nothing - I was able to balance just fine. And I could even respond to the not-surprising friskiness of teammates Lance and Paul. I was glad to discover that my training must be working - I'm just as fast as last year. But for NOTABLY shorter periods of time. Hopefully, endurance will come as I put more miles in.
Speaking of miles . . . I've finally updated my mileage totals on the left side of the page (which hadn't been updated since Nov. 26!) As you can see, I've put in almost 640 miles since January 1. All but the last 17 on the trainer. Based on previous years, I'll need to put in another good 400 miles before I feel good and ready to race for real. Last year, since I was targeting the Bethel Series for the team, I started my training a month early - 12/1/09 - and got all my miles in just as the series started. But this year, Bethel will be part of my training rather than the first main goal.
So that's why, despite being really psyched to kick off my 2011 racing season, I decided to bow out yesterday. There'll be plenty of opportunities to race this year - no sense getting all gritty and cold right out of the gate.
BTW, the forecast for this Sunday's race is MUCH better - hope to seeya there!
Longtime readers know that we have three great cats. My training partner - Rainy - had a seizure last night that kept us at the animal hospital for a bit. She seems to be doing ok now thankfully, but we still have a lot of tests we have to go through to figure out what happened. So if you could keep her in your thoughts and prayers, I'd appreciate it. Thanks