alright, its been a while. typing is really painful though. posting on this blog thing is tough. or maybe i am just lazy. i keep meaning to get some photos posted, but of course i haven't.
since the last post, its been more of the same. trainer time at work, mtbing in the snow and ice a little, but the weather has been slow to break. its NOT south dakota by any measure, but it has been a tough winter to get the base in.
however, i have managed to get from base to build in a matter of 10 weeks. and with a couple of days of some intensity mixed in the last week and a half, i felt i was furthur along than previous winters, when it comes to preperation for first race of the year. which just happened to be this weekend. originally on my schedule was a mtb race on sunday march 2nd. the'heartland mtb series' race opener was set for landahl park in blue springs, mo. but with our crazy weather and winter here in kansas cty, i think everybody had a good idea a week or two out that it wasn't going to happen. so early season schedules can't be set in stone when you race in the midwest. it will only lead to more frustration. you gotta be flexible and willing to race different disciplines to progress in your fitness, or you are just spinnin' your wheels.
the winter plan laid out after cx was to focus on the mtb racing thru the spring and into early summer until the life altering arrival of my kid comes. but, like i said, plans must me tentatively laid out to accept some shifting and schedule changes, and that is what the weather has brought us. so, with this crazy weather here, i have always been hesitant about setting hard concrete goals for the mountain bike and for spring racing as well.
however, with the change of focus(i am thinking half of my 6 sceduled mtb races will get canceled/postponed to later in summer due to wet conditions) comes on old quandery i have not really dealt with the last couple of years. do i/should i make the effort to go after the points to 'cat up' on the road from a '4' to a '3'???
the last couple of years my focus in the spring has been the mountain bike and hit a crit or road race when my shedule allows. which meens 2 or 3 races with the road bike into august and prior to the 'tour of kc'.this about all i have gotten in the last couple of years. and that doesn't lead to many chances to gather upgrade points.other than 2 or 3 'tues nite training races' a month or the wednesday nit 'hill' ride on the road, i haven't entered a lot of official road races the last couple of years with the focus shifting to the mtb, which really seems to help my cyclocross skills.
the decision has been easy for a couple of years........i am not a world beater, so i am not going to win a ton of crits or rr's so i need to enter more races to gather the points needed to upgrade.....i am stuck in the middle as far as the talent thing goes...... i am neither a sprinter or a climber and i dont really even time trial worth a shit(hell, i have been beaten by a 13 year old and a woman). i think the only reason i dont take anymore heat from friends about the kid and the woman beating me is i generally kick the 'shit' out of those same friends on a 'cx' or a mountain bike. i am a cat 3 in cyclocross but that is a whole different animal.
so anyway...................i have realized i want to upgrade to a 3 on the road becuz there are a bunch of 3's on the new team i am on and i really want to race with these guys. so...............how do i get the points to upgrade?? first> i decide i want to......second> make it a goal/priority..........third>for it to be a goal you have to write it down or voice it to somebody.................this third thing i have done. i starting telling teammates midweek when the mtb race was cancelled.
so, its official. i am now chasing upgrade points. i am COMMITTED.
the weekend went like this: saturdays racing wazs part of the 'spring fling series" that takes place just west of lawrence, ks at clinton state park. critirium racing to me, is fun but nerveracking, especially in a 4's race. its scetchy as hell and usually you cant race for 45 minuteswithout having a couple of wrecks. this scenerio plays out due to sub 24 year olds and newly ugraded cat 4 racers. i just cussed out 1 kid on saturday, so it was a good day in that regard. cant quite figure out why someone is diving into corners and cutting people out of their line midway thru a race. GO TO THE FRONT if the pace is not fast enough or stay to the outside in turns ir you want to go faster. oh well.............
saturdays race is a 'points' race. meaning the promoter is to cheap to award cash or prizes for prims or pay out deep into a 50-60 man field, so the promoter just creates a 'series of races over a month or two and gives shitty prizes at the end of the series and stroaks everyones ego by saying you did really well in my series', 'here is some herbal remedy and a gift card to the local holistic dork store for $2o'. 'thanks for racin'!.
so for the 4's race. ther are 2 mid race sprint prims for points for 4 places, points go 4-3-2-1 from 1st thru 4th. thru 20 minutes of racing and feeling the group of 60 or so racers out, the bell for the sprint prim rang. i was up in the top 15 going into the 2nd and 3rd corner. coming into the 4th and final corner i moved up to about 10th not sure if i had the legs to contest the sprint but just wanting to stay in contact with thes guys in case a few happened to try and sneak away. so sure enough, out of the 4th corner guys start to stand and wind it up, i proceed to stand and..............and...................and.................umm.............it suddenly ocurred to me that i may not get a 'frickin' point at all today. my legs seem to have no snap, just that same low torque diesel gear that is left over from cyclocross. WOW, that was a shocker. didnt really contest anything and nobody got off the front. i guess i will slowly add some sprint training intervals over the next couple of weeks.
the course was a 4 corner(soft and fast corners) 3/4 of a mile loop with the wind gusting at upwards of 35mph. the wind in itself made it difficult, nevermind my lack of snap in the legs to mix it up in a sprint. i must have gotten smarter at some time over the next twenty minutes. or 40 minutes of racing must've taken a toll on some guys legs, cuz the next point prim sprint went much better. again, i worked my way up to 10th wheel before turn 3 and a couple of more positions into turn 4, from there i had the wheel of a big strong wind block and just hopped from wheel to wheel until the last 100 meters where i proceeded to pass 2 more guys and nick another at the line by no more then an inch and somehow got 4th and won a single point. from there we were staring at an even hour of racing by the time the 'bell' rang for the last lap and you could actually see all the guys that got spit off cuz they were watching the finish from the corner of turn 4. with two guys off the front and another getting swallowed by the thirty or so of us left, we were sprinting for 3rd with the top 8 places getting points. wheel hopping again i managed to get 5th in the group which meant 7th and 2 more points. a total of 3 points put me 9th on the day. i started with bigger ideas but considering the first point sprint and no sprint work coming into this weekend, it could've been a lot worse. no upgrade points, but still a successful day for a 'non-sprinter'.
day 2 march 3rd race was located at perry lake state park which lies between topeka and lawrence, ks. this 5 mile circuit race was going to be dictated by 35mph wind and a really good finishing climb. race went like i expected it would. the few guys that would go to the front and work only did so at 'tempo' or a little above. most everybody was just trying not to get blown over or into the next guy and conserve as much energy as possible until the 3/4 ,mile 10% average grade hill to the start/finish area. being a 'nonclimber', this conserving energy and doing as little work as possible was me. hey, i figured i raced yesterday, let's let some of these squirrelly little guys burn up some matches before we get to that last lap and maybe i can get them up that last hill. the most exciting part of the race for me was starting lap 4 after the climb, 3 of the guys i had marked were off the front bombing towards the dam at 38-40mph trying to get away. about 20-30 meters in front of me were a couple of guys trying to get up to this 3 man break. i felt that this was a decisive moment in the race and i was going to have to do some 'bridge' work to get some points at the end of the day. it was a dangerous 3some up the road. the two guys i worked up to didnt' seem to want to put it in a bigger gear and get to them...........so i left em'. and made the committment to get to that front 3. which was now a gap of 100meters or so with that damn 30mph cross wind. it was a 1/2 mile and a couple of my 'matches' burned to get to them, and as i get in contact with that last wheel, i hear someone from behind say 'good job taylor'. 'FRICK", I turn around and realize that i had just pulled 8-10 lazy #$%*suckers up to this group. oh well, a few more latch back on with a lull in the tempo when we turn back to the head wind. i realize here, that of the 30 or so that started, ther might be 20-22 left, and its going to be a dragg race up the hill to the finish line with the ringing of the bell for the last lap. my lone teammate jason killed himself at the base of the finishing climb and kept a couple of guys close as we passed 2 or 3 with a 1/4 mile to go in the climb and i finsihed 5th with jason a bike lenth or so back for 6th. not bad for a nonclimber or nonsprinter. this 5th place actually got me 2 upgrade points as well, but i just missed out on winning my entry fee back. i have somehow gained 4 lbs since the last cx race 2 months ago. so maybe i'll be climbing even better in a month or two with the shedding of a few lbs.
my hands er my two fingers hurt, that's all ive got. i will update sooner next time. same races and same time next weekend. more chances for upgrade points.
i better hurry and get as many as i can before ted starts racing in a couple of weeks.
Steve Tilford Eulogy
11 months ago