Nov 21 2008
After a week of milling it over, I’ve got one more race left in me for 2008. I was seriously on the fence about throwing in the towel for USGP – tired, banged up, cut up, and a very uncomfortable feeling that I wasn’t having fun. I don’t want to say that I was dreading racing at USGP but for the first few days after Hillsboro, I certainly wasn’t looking forward to it. To me, that’s a pretty good warning sign right there.
However, by Thursday I began to feel a little snap in my legs just on the ride to and from work and I gave some objective thought towards the rest of the year. I’ve wanted to race through USGP since the spring when I set plans and goals in motion. So I’ll compromise with myself here and do one of them. I’m certain I have one good race left in me.
So back to the plan…this week, whether I was racing or not, was an off week and I’ve tried to rest as efficiently as I can. Next week is a busy week anyway. I’ll try to sneak a few hard rides in there just to stay sharp. Then the following week will be mostly easy with a few bursts here and there. That should just about do it. The USGP races are mercifully shorter (45 min).
Odds are that the race will fill up, or at least come close to it. If the rule about start order holds, there’s the top 8 or so from the USGP (if they’re all there), then the top 8 locals (most likely), and then the rest of us based on registration order. Last I checked, I was 50th. Who knows where that’ll put me - 6-8 rows from the front? If I can start around 50th (give or take) and move up in the 20 to 30s, I’ll be very happy with that. I’m sure there will be some ringers coming in from out of town; Bay area, the barrier-skipping Seattleites, and I’m sure some from Colorado on west. On the other hand, with the elimination of the B/35+ group, some will be moving up.
What does that mean?…who the hell knows, and at this point, who cares. I have enough issues of my own to deal with during a race (e.g. staying upright), without worrying about placement or what other rider to keep in check. There’s enough people from the Crusade series registered for me to get a strong sense of where I am in the overall picture. If I keep in sight a few familiar faces (or asses for that matter) I’ll do just fine.
Basically, I just want to have a solid race, start to finish. Something to get me thinking about next year already. I felt I haven’t had one this year with the exception of Barton, and my finish there was great (14th). I’m still trying to go over in my head what was different about that race than the others but I haven’t been able to put my finger on it yet. Each of the other races, some part of the big picture didn’t seem 100%; be it mechanical, skills, fitness, or just having my head in the right spot. I need to turn this around.
Over the next weeks, I hope to summarize the season and other related thoughts that have been milling around since early October. It has been an eye-opening experience moving up through the levels over the past 4 years to reach the A’s. Without question, no upgrade between levels has been harder than this one.