The "excuses" started first thing Saturday morning as I huffed my gear in trips over to our pit area. "I haven't trained so far this winter…I'm just happy to be riding my bike." That means he'd only gotten 20 hours the last 2 weeks, right?
I decided really late in the game to hit up the 12 Hours of Temecula, and it showed. I didn't change my weekly training at all.
If you want to know how the race went, let me break it down: I was chatting way back at the start and didn't even know the race had started! No joke. When the people right in front of me started taking off I realized I should've been paying more attention!
I passed a few people on the parade lap, and felt like I was holding back while racing. HR was high on lap one, cause it always is. I cleaned everything (except for the log jam short steep following the pits - only time I didn't make it all day) and was stoked on that, and on lap 2 I settled in to my endurance pace for day. Wound up spending 2 hours in Z2, and over an hour each in Z1 and Z3. Yeah, out of 5:45 ride time I only had about 45 mins anywhere near threshold.
Around lap 4 I was coming up with excuses in my head. I started making stupid mistakes on lap 5 and I realized the more I kept riding the worse off I was making it for myself for my Tuesday drills set, my Thursday tempo day, and my big day for this coming Saturday.
Coach had warned me on going out and racing this one too hard and we spent a lot of time talking about it all week. I'm mid-base, and only have so many matches to burn. I could've gone the distance, but would've had very little matches left over. I had already scheduled for this coming Saturday a really big ride. I'm going after one of my annual goals for the year and the longer I rode on Saturday, the less prepared and ready I'd be for that. Was it worth it to blow an annual goal? Nah. I pulled the plug after 6. I was disappointed in myself a bit, but I knew I had other things on my plate.
When I woke up Sunday morning and spent over an hour cleaning house I knew I'd made the right decision. I can't clean house and look forward to a ride the day after a 12 hour effort.
We got to the trailhead a little after ten on Sunday morning to head out for some recovery. I wanted more time than I got, but put in some harder efforts trying to stay on Luke's wheel throughout.
I was stoked to be on the Epic again and can't wait to really hit the races on this bike.
I finally got to try out my new Sworks shoes as well. They are comfy. Luke was asking about the Crankbrothers socks. The best thing I can say about the shoe/sock combo is I totally forgot about my feet entirely. My feet were warm, comfy, and I didn't notice a thing. They must be a perfect combo!
The first bit was fairly easy paced recovery stuff.
Luke showed us a trail we hadn't been on before that was a blast. I'm looking forward to the time change so we can get in some solid time on the dirt out here in March/April. Nothing technical and no real climbs, but it's a lot of high speed fun singletrack/doubletrack.
We turned around before the neighborhood, and as soon as I took off my saddle slammed nose up. I stopped and moved it back to level. Then I sat down and jammed nose down. Then I scooted and it went nose up. Ugh.
I pedaled out of the saddle for about 1.5-2 miles back to the car. I couldn't sit on the teeter totter saddle without difficulty.
Luckily Luke had his tool box, so Justin tightened up the seat post clamp and we went back out. I led off this time, wanting to go fast.
I hadn't been having a stellar time on the bike. The legs felt good with little to no soreness what-so-ever.
The thing about the Epic is that you can't go cruise and have a great ride on it. I hammered off and stayed out in front for awhile and this bike just likes to scoot. If you're out for a hammer fest this bike will leave you grinning ear to ear.
Luke and I switched off and on leading out chasing each other and having short recoveries. Justin finally decided to do a recovery ride instead of hammer, but he was never far behind.
I had SO.MUCH.FUN. We got near the end and were totally hammering. The Epic accelerates like its got rocket boosters. It moves out. The power transfer goes straight to the pedals and it just books.
I was grinning and having a total blast going along the rolling trails at speed.
Note to self - this isn't a Sunday cruiser. Ride it like you stole it or leave it at home!
The Dos is going to continue to be my high mileage bike, but I hope to save up for some parts and re-paint it and turn it into a SS for next winter. I'm actually way too excited about that for it still being January of this winter.
FWIW, I loved the Dos out at Vail on Saturday. That bike and I have ridden the trails out there soo much in the past 9 months or so. 8 laps in June, 10 in November, 6 this past weekend, and countless Thursday nights. The Dos rails the trails like it was built there, and we know every nook and cranny. I know how it responds, I know how to position myself for the steeps, and where I can hit the rocks and drops. We go together like peas and carrots.
Some day I'll feel that way on the Epic, but for now I'm just enjoying pushing my limits while riding it.
I hope to have a good report after next Saturday's goal attempt. It is a good goal, IMO, because I'm not at all sure I can meet it. I'm going to do my best. I know that playing it smart this past weekend at least didn't hurt my chances.
Besides, it's hard to miss out on a great event that is well-run, well-organized, and well-attended!
Parting thought: it's great to finally have jeans that fit again.