This week was supposed to be the triumphant return to bike racing for my semi-worthless carcass this year.
So as I had managed to be one of the "lucky" few to get a slot in the Laramie Enduro for this year (Which seemed more like getting Hannah Montana tickets than registering for a bike race...), I then thought, "well, 111K in July, better get in some longer rides & races", so I then immediately signed up for "multi lap tour of suburban parks death march", otherwise known as the Front range 50. after having done that race 2 years ago, I really was not that hot on the mental anguish that the 5 laps down at Bear Creek Lake Park would dish out, but figured it would be "good" for me.
Been trying to get out and really ride in the last few weeks, but between the rain, snow and an endless, recurring Bronchitis episode, things were not going to plan. Seems like as you get older, it takes a bit more time than in the past to get the engine running at a decent pace. It's been more like I'm running on 4 cylinders (of a V-6) in the last couple of weeks. Even as the lung butter finally melted out, the legs still hurt, the heart rates don't come up, and I sound like an asthmatic couch potato on the slightest uphill, you know, all the things that make you feel FAST on the bike. So at almost 50 years old, I get the hint. Do NOT take several months off the bike, then expect to come back on form in a couple of weeks. Obviously need the "Base Miles/Threshold" treatment here, so have been trying that.
SO, after a novel approach to off season bike race training, consisting of not even LOOKING at a bike, much less riding one since Cross Nationals for the duration of the winter season, it seems that I am really not all that ready to RIDE 50 miles on a mountain bike, much less race one for even a few hundred yards. Even the crash course in riding every day from the Utah trip, and some reasonable attempts at riding the road bike more than I want as we continue to get precipitated on and the trails get more & more muddy seemed to not be enough to get me going at a level that would support any kind of race pace effort. Couldn't see spending the day down there riding around again and again real slow either. Pretty much leaves me with one choice. Bag it.
Best wishes to those who go (Matt...) and you all have fun. I'll be licking my wounds.