I usually use the first few races of the year to really get my ass kicked. Over the years, I've found this lets me know what I have to work on. This year is no different. Pretty much everything needs help. I got thumped at the opening mtb race. There I would have to say that I really didn't have the right tools for the job. At Tyson's the tools I didn't have fell in the department of a bit of a back problem, but that said, I didn't feel like I was going to be lapping the field that day. Then came the Morgantown RR. This race was a nice rolling course for the first 20 miles and then it sucked from there. It was pretty much one bitching hill after another. I'm about 5lbs overweight from last year when I was really about 10lbs overweight where I need to be before I start climbing well. I really have to just say no to chinese which is an absolute addiction for me. I wonder if they put something in the food that causes that. Maybe the chinese buffets are just like the tobacco industry. Dammit, where's my lawyer? Oops, back to my races. I probably wouldn't have set the world on fire, but I do know I hand grenaded on the first hill mainly due to the work I did being the jerk on the front of the pack that was actively working to goof things up. Unfortunately, we had a mixed field and there was one of the women up in the little group off the front. That prompted Patty Buerkle to be chasing fairly hard. In hindsight, I should've rolled up to her and asked if she realized what the second half of the course was like. It might've saved her race as she had a bit of trouble dealing with Betsy Shogren's climbing prowess. Once we made the turn to begin the return part of the course, I could feel that I was really going to have some trouble if the pace kept up like it was going. It did and I wound up getting spit out the back when the climbing began to get steep. I tried rolling it back to a group, but ultimately was unsuccessful. At that point, I called it a day and declared it a training ride. So I did come up with a definite game plan on what I have to do now. Try to limit the crap food I'm eating, get more miles in get on with the racing. I'll be doing my first oval race in Pittsburgh on Wednesday so I'll go there to see how much I can hammer before I completely blow up. If I can splinter the field when I do that, I'll know I'm getting where I need to be. If I blow up and people roll past me with that 'WTF was that about, Jay' look on their faces, I'll know I've got a lot more work to do.
I did at least determine what wheels I have in stock for racing work well for me and which are training ones. The new Ventos are just a bit heavy and slow reacting so I will keep those as the ones for training. Maybe I should've taken the time to put some of the new tires on the Zipps.