The Waffle House Chronicles...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Out of talent...

So I didn't feel great on Tuesday and I considered it an off day. I've got new asthma medication and maybe it takes a while for the body to adapt. So I was looking forward to getting back on the MTB Wednesday night. We get there and the field looked big, I wish they would do a mass start now and again (like a practice WORS race) so I can learn how to race better. Anyways I sign up 7th. 1st was Jesse Lalonde (most people would link his site here to show how cool they are that they read his site, not to say I don't but I don't know him so I am not linking his site) and I never saw him (or 3 of the other guys that started ahead.) I caught my 15 second man when the singletrack got more technical which is good because we are about equal on the MTB. I pass him and proceed to crash no more than 20 feet later. That was the last I saw of him. My bad shifting got worse too and I was pissed but not in a good I want to kick some ass way...Finally I stopped and did some barrel adjusting and for once it actually worked. But my flow was gone, I tried to ride hard as much as I could but I sure wasn't going fast. I finished like 6 minutes back. Afterward there was lots of free beer, meat and other food and some good conversation and I got home about 1-1/2 later than I thought.

Today was the Gun Show. Stephen has been gunning for me for a while and even tried the tactic of motavating everyone by saying how strong he thinks I am in an e-mail. It must've worked there was an early attack (after a couple flats by riders including Stephen) and I let it go. It was starting to get out of my comfortable range though (we were still in town) so I tried twice to bring it closer and we kept the gap about the same. Then I realized that everyone else was just watching me, they wouldn't even pull when we were 5 miles out. I tried twice to solo up but everyone seems to be getting a lot faster as I couldn't even gain a couple bike lengths. Finally in Verona I cracked. I got dropped as there was a 2 person break ahead, someone else, and 2 more people ahead and I was in the back with 2 others (there were some stragglers behind us.) We hit Whalen and I found out that the two people on me were sucking wheel. I was able to discard one but when I asked the other to pull through he said nothing and proceeded not to pull through. We hit range about 100 yards behind a group of two who were about 100 yards from the head of the field. I finally pulled us up to the second group of two and they are both good riders who like to work. Awesome. I pulled us 4 up to a guy who got dropped by Stephen, so Stephen was all alone with about 150 yards. I kept pulling and the gap was closing a bit (Stephen had been pulling himself for a long time) I kept trying to get someone/anyone to come around but nothing. Finally Holmes came around for a token 10 second pull and then he faded a bit. Great. I told them that if they want to catch him someone was going to have to help. We finally get to the finishing stretch and the gap came down pretty good but not good enough. I tell two people to get on my wheel and I sprinted (more like an acceleration than a sprint) and peeled off only for Chuck to come up maybe 10 yards short. 1 more pull by anyone at any point and I could've pulled us all back and we all would've had a chance. For once I missed Lee (who flatted) and his classic 30 second balls out pull without regards for anyone or anything. But I am guessing the mentality was "anybody but Mark." Oh well, two more to go.

The second one worked perfectly for me but I had a Stephen shadow. I went for it, legs didn't like it but we went all out, Stephen got me by a half of a bike length. To add insult to injury Stephen started to get cocky. Thank you Stephen! I was pissed, it seemed like my form just dissappeared, I haven't won any sort of sprint this week, flat, downhill or uphill after getting demoralized on Tuesday.

Sprint 3 was set-up well though. There were some not very well executed breaks (even though we had a sweet tailwind.) I decided at that point I wasn't going to stress over anyone but Stephen as I knew he wanted the sweep so much that he was willing to work a little more. He chased down a break very late and there I was in perfect postion on his wheel and no way (without being a huge bastard) that he could get me out of the draft and I waited patiently and hit him right at my perfect sprint point and took the win. Thank god that sprint is considered the "Finish Line" and you get double points so we both got 3 points on the day (1 for attending, 1 for each sprint and 2 for the finish) and I get to keep the vest. On top of that my lead didn't get any smaller (stayed the same) and I am hoping Stephen will be marked somewhat too, he certainly won't get in any more early breaks without me. Every week has gotten more difficult so all the spring slackers are finally getting some form.

I am going to have to figure something out as I was hoping for an early-mid July peak and it is looking more like I had a mid-June peak and it is fading. Or maybe my body says, "we got you the podium at Wausau like you wanted now train us for Ironman."

Aquathon tonight. J.Bro is ditching because he is smart and isn't under-estimating the Horribly Hilly Hundreds like I probably am. I hope they have cookies again after the race...I have to go pretty much from the Aquathon to Volleyball and as much as I am craving Arbys there isn't any on the route home.


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