Each year, after the last N.U.E. race (aka 100 mile racing series), I make a good resolution that I will train specifically for Iceman. However, I allow myself a break of about a week and here lies my demise. After this period of simply riding for fun, all my motivation to get prepared vanished. The days were going by and when finally I snapped out of it and was ready to train I got a bad cold. That completely derailed my late training effort. At some point, my wife asked me if doing no exercises was my new super secret training strategy…
After a very nice call up to the line, I thought I could manage a better start than my previous attempts. I soon realized that even for me it was a sub-par performance as I entered the double track around the 35th place. In fact, in a desperate attempt to get in some training, I worked out harder until the day before the race. I over estimated my recovery capabilities resulting in an immediate soreness in my legs.
I had no other choice than settling down into a large group of approximately 20 riders. As usual, there was the typical traffic jam when such a large group enters the single track… we were losing quite a bit of time to the lead group. However, the speed of this group as slow as it was at times was still barely manageable for me.
At some point, I thought that if I could cross the finish in the top 5 of that group, I will be satisfied. At each flat and open section, I braced myself for the hard effort. 3 or 4 times our group of 20 split and each time I found myself in the last position. Fortunately, each time the group reformed and we arrived to a more hilly terrain. Despite the lack of training, there was still some strength in my climbing legs. The next time the group split, I was in the 1st group.
With 3k to go, it was down to only three of us and with 2k I made a final move and distanced myself. The cheering fans was the only thing that kept me going. It was great to get so much cheering even 7 minutes after the winner arrived.
I am satisfied to arrive in first place of our original group of 20. Of course, I know that with proper preparation I can easily improve on my 24th place. Count me in for next year.
My ride can be found on strava.com