Every one in a while, I feel like I am doing something right in this bike race game. I will admit that year after year, I have done the same thing: start hard putting some miles in early October, and keep pushing hard until I burn out.
This season, between getting sick and some snow, I have ended up building more of a base and not pushing hard through the winter. I have been smarter this year by looking ahead much futher than April or May, hoping to avoid the summer burnout I always seem to have.
This morning, I had the best road ride I have had in years. Pushed hard for over three hours until I decided to back off a bit, ate and drank smartly out on the ride, and had an average speed that I would have been proud of in the late spring, not in February. The additional base combined with some trainer time has done me well. Next Saturday, I get to test myself against some strong regional racers in Leesburgh, VA and I am looking forward to it. It will not be my first expert race as I had that experience last Fall, but it will be my first geared expert bike race and I am looking forward to it. I know I still have a lot of work to do, a lot of weight to lose, and a lot of things to learn, but I am ready for the challenge.