It's over now. I don't feel like I accomplished much, but it was nice to have a few extra days off. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, so I was able to get out and do a little bit of riding.
I did my first road race on March 8th at Camp Sumatanga in Steele, Alabama. I was in the beginner's bracket (C), and it nearly kicked my ass. My goal was to keep up with the main group for the duration of the 32 mile ride. We made 3 laps along a road that was pretty hilly in some places. I almost got dropped twice, but through the encouragement of some other riders, I bridged the gap & came back. I found myself surging up hills, but then would blow up at the top, or even just before. Lesson learned here was to hold back & ride on someone's wheel. Also, I was wasting energy charging up the hills. I do think that my style is going to be more of a climber than a sprinter, though, because I don't mind the hills so much as the sprint at the end. About 400 yards from the end, the peloton took off & left me in the dust. I had nothing. It was all fun though, and it was just a training race, so it was good to get out there.
Here's the Mellow Mushroom Racing guys that came to Sumatanga. L to R - Me, Ian, Curtis, & Preston.
My second road race was in Guntersville on March 15th. It, too, was a training race. I did a whole lot better that time. I conserved my energy, but I seemed to still have enough to pull a few good times. Some folks didn't pull at all, so I was glad I was able to do that. I also stayed up front with the pack. At first when I would move to the back after pulling, I went all the way to the back. I quit doing that real quick, though, because whenever those guys would fall back, it was hell getting back. So I started to find an in somewhere in between. This put me in rotation for pulling more frequently, but it was worth it to be able to stay up front. About 300 or 400 yards from the finish, I saw the finish & got excited. So I went for it, and began sprinting. It was too early, because about 40 to 50 yards from the end, I was passed by about 5 people. I was so glad that I had improved, though, and I actually beat a few people out that had been in the peloton. As long as I keep improving & keep training, I'm happy.
Meanwhile...one day a little while ago I went to visit my grandmother. I was on the couch when I heard a noise coming from the fireplace. The cat kept going over there and pawing at the glass. Finally, I realized what was going on - there was a squirrel that was trapped inside. I guess he had been there for awhile, because he didn't move much when the cat was trying to get at him. I called a neighbor, and we forced the squirrel to run out. He ran straight to the door, and then off the back porch, flying in the air. He immediately ran up a tree, so he's ok, but it was funny nonetheless.
This weekend I spent with Laura in Birmingham. I went to one of her indoor soccer games, where I caught a funny picture when Todd went for a goal.
On Saturday, I went to watch her play a game of tennis. She's really good. I'm hoping to learn how to play from her, since she played collegiate tennis & now is a coach.