Getting better all the time
I didn't trouble the scorers but I felt much stronger on Saturday
Those young guns in B grade better watch out. I may be 30 years older than them and they may be showing me a clean pair of cleats at the moment but I can feel my strength and endurance coming back and I reckon (hope) I'll be giving them a run for their money before too long.
For the first time in a long time I raced pain free on Saturday. A succession of crashes had left me sore from the hip down and at some point I've strained a quad but on Saturday the only problem I had was keeping my heart and lungs inside my chest at the pointy end of the races.
The scratch race was OK. I was stuck on the front with two to go and decided to swing up but in retrospect I should have stayed there dropped the speed to my comfort level then tried to turn the race into a short sprint on the last lap. By swinging off I lost control of the race, the pace was outside my comfort level and when the bell went it was all I could muster just to hang on for half a lap more before sitting up, completely blown.I tried my hardest in the handicap, working with Ben Schofield for as long as I could but again I couldn't go the distance. An excuse of sorts was that i found my back wheel punctured just before the start and it was a mad scramble to get Nathan's spare wheel on. Thanks Nath!
I thought I would be able to give the motorpace a red hot go but I knew I was in trouble early on. The pace seemed very high very early. Still, I had a bigger gear for this one (90" versus 88 for the other two) and was hanging in there. Then with three or four laps to go it all unravelled. I was sitting third wheel entering the back straight into the wind. Without warning Adin, arguably the strongest the B grader, peeled off early from second wheel. So suddenly I was exposed to the wind and had to put in a huge effort to bridge to Tyler who was behind the guerney. I had barely finished the bridge when Tyler finishes his turn and I have to work hard again to reach the motorbike. I complete my turn and peel off to the back but I'm blown and can't hold on. I'm fairly sure had Adin not peeled off when he did i would have been there in the final lap. I'm also pretty certain I wouldn't have figured in the finish but that's the way it goes.
Not counting Carl, who shouldn't have raced, I finished last at every start and yet I'm happy with the way things are going. The emphasis on my training will soon change from speed and sprint to strength and endurance. I know I've got a decent sprint and good top speed. Now I just need to have the stamina to use those attributes at the end of a race.
Next week is a dilemma. Match sprints on Sunday preceded by club racing on Saturday. I'd like to keep the legs fresh for Sunday but I will do the right thing and support the club by racing Saturday as well. I don't know if the legs and lungs can handle both.
Watch this space