Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cyclocross Eve … Eve

A week has passed since I announced the successful conclusion of my job search, and while I haven’t gone back to work yet—my first day will be next Monday—I have been busy with a lot of job-related activities. I’m going to work in Brookfield, but I’m going to work for a Michigan-based company with no local human resources department. All of the pre-employment paperwork was done via fax, email, or the company’s website, and drug screening was done at a local lab with which the company has a contract. (USADA, if you’re reading this, I did not return a “non-negative analytical finding.” And who talks like that anyway?)

Time spent on pre-employment chores hasn’t come close to the time I would have spent on hunting for work, and last week I got back to high-volume training with a 13.5-hour, 216-mile block that ended on Sunday. I took a rest day on Monday and then was more-or-less forced into another one by rain on Tuesday. Conditions at Royal Oaks Park were unsuitable for cyclocross practice, so I called it off. I didn’t want to damage the grounds and my relationship with the city’s Parks, Recreation & Forestry staff. Monday and Tuesday were my first consecutive rest days since May 29-30.

I got back in the saddle yesterday with a fast 50 miles on the road. Today I did 32 more. I plan to do something fairly easy tomorrow, including a final shakedown of the cyclocross bike to make sure it’s in top condition for the opening weekend of the WCA cyclocross season. I have pre-registered for Manitowoc on Saturday and Sheboygan on Sunday. We’ll see how I like being a Cat 3. The later start time and the longer race duration should suit me, but I don’t expect podium spots or upgrade points. And, well, the USA Cycling race predictor doesn’t think much of my chances either:

I actually may be more fit right now than I was at the beginning of the 2014 season, but the level of competition is so much higher. Being a mid-pack Cat 3 would be a good accomplishment and probably the best I can expect for a while. Maybe I’ll reach the podium again in 2019 when I move up to the next age group!

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