Yesterday, the Spring Series racing was still happening. People raced in Bethel, Connecticut for the 14th consecutive week (or something like that) and also, Battenkill. So, Central Park wasn’t as active as it could have been. I signed up for the 1/2/3. After Thursday night’s “performance”,
It was rough. The WSH bike path was nice, but once we crossed the Brooklyn Bridge and made our way into Brooklyn, it was rough. The streets were rough. The dollar cabs were rough. The constant stopping-and-starting of all the lights were rough. Yet still, we made it. Tomi, Zach and I pulled up to Floyd with an hour, 2 hours, and 1:40 respectively, in our legs. Allesandro showed up to play, as did the Lupus wunderkinder, Savory and Hoffman. Hoffman attacked from the gun. Stephan lined us up behind him, with everyone giving chase. Sitting 6th wheel, I was able to chase for about 2 minutes before being dropped back to 7th, 8th, 9th and, eventually, dropped entirely. 4 minutes with the pack, 40 minutes alone. Stephan won off the front, for what was, quite literally, the entire race.
I had adopted a new mindset: have some fast dudes kick my butt and withstand the beating as long as I could, until I got fast. I lined up in the back next to Ted, after missing my 4:30 wakeup, and kitting up in 17 minutes flat (a record?) when my phone alarmingly read 5:30. Tomi was there, and the two of them comprised the entirety of my recognition of the A field. Suddenly, we took off. Many weren’t ready, but we made do. It wasn’t long before I felt the fire in my legs, that burning sensation that tells you, “seriously? You don’t have the fitness for this. Go back to the B field.” I spun easily up Harlem Hill. Easily, until I reached the top. Spinning through the acidic buildup, I fought to stay at the top 25%. Foolishly, for even if a move had materialized, I wouldn’t have had the fitness to do anything about it. The race progressed, with us circling the park. People attacked, they were brought back. My legs burned a little more each time until finally, on the second of the three sisters, on our 4th go-around, it became too much for me to handle. I pressed the lap button on my Garmin and pulled out, mid-pack. Allan Rego went on to sprint around Tomi in the final meters where they finished 1-2. Everhard took 4th, and looked good in his new white kit. The 52 minutes of near-constant pain and minimal recovery served as a hopeful reminder of what lay ahead: nothing but improvement. I can feel the fitness coming. Now, I need only sit back and wait. Or ride my bike, as it is. Doing things the #professionallyamateur way and it’s about to get real. (Pics. from Floyd, for those of you who thought it was CP)