Saturday morning I made the hour drive to Avon, MN for the MN State Road Championships. The race was supposed to be 68 miles and start at 1:30pm, but there was an hour delay as the other races were still going on, and it turns out the race was actually 74 miles (the longest road race I've ever done). Double ouch. So I hung around for an hour in my lycra and waited. The course was pretty fun...an 18 mile loop on smooth roads with a couple decent climbs and descents. The race ended on a curvy 1km long climb. There were around 40-50 riders in the field, so I just wanted to stay out of the wind and conserve energy. On the first lap, 3 riders got away and the field let them escape. The pace for the first couple laps was consistent and not too fast. The last two laps people would try to attack, but the field would ramp up the speed a bit to bring them back each time. By the time the last lap started, we were told that the 3 leaders had over a 3min lead on us, so we knew that we were racing for 4th place. My legs still felt very good, which surprised me because of the distance. As we approached the final climb, the pace picked up, and I moved closer to the front to avoid the mayhem. When the climb started, one rider started to pull away, so I got on his wheel. We rode for about half the climb, when I looked back and saw that only one rider was with us...the rest of the pack was way off the back. The rider behind me attacked as we got close to the finish line, but me and the other guy both caught up to him and started our sprints. He nipped me at the line, so I got 2nd in the field sprint and 5th overall in the Cat 3 race, by far my best finish since I upgraded. Sweet. I was encouraged with how strong my legs felt. I wish we wouldn't have let the 3 riders get away...I could have been sprinting for the win instead. ;)
That night B&G broke in their new kitchen by preparing a glorious meal of a hunk of meat, grilled potatoes/carrots, and some corn. We then watched some Olympic action.
Sunday morning I took off for the WORS mtb race just across the MN/WI border in River Falls, WI. It was a 5 mile course...not much climbing and a few sections of really rutted doubletrack, but some fun singletrack and wooden bridges. We had to do 4 laps. I wasn't sure how I would feel after the long race the day before, but the first two laps went pretty well. I felt ok, despite not having a very good start after getting caught behind a bunch of riders on the opening climb. At the beginning of the 3rd lap, I could feel my legs start to fade. They didn't cramp or anything, just lost power. So I just went normal pace for the final two laps and didn't try to kill myself. I ended up in 6th place age group, about 4min behind the winner. Not bad, considering.
I took off for home after the race, and enjoyed some Taco John's along the way. I got home and zonked out. Weekend of racing over. Thanks to B&G for letting me crash at their place and for feeding me.
This weekend we are getting a visit from the Abraham parents. They are dropping off a crib, and I believe we have plans for putting some new doors (front entry with screen door and garage entry) in. Should be a good time!