Welcome to July. Yikes. It feels like I've been going, going, going since the start of the year without much of a break. And in a way, I have been - from the Super Half Marathon (yes, I play runner sometimes too...) to 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest, there's been a lot of stuff going on. Not as much racing as in prior years, but the few races have all been very big events - in length, size and stress. The training has been hard and I've had fewer social and fun rides then I'd like. I was ready for the nice long recovery period after Enchanted Forest. That meant skipping one of the biggest races to hit Colorado Springs in a number of years, but it was worth it. It's impossible to keep pushing as hard as I've been going without burning out or getting injured.
And now it's July. Two weeks of goofing off and a week of getting back into riding and such leads us to here. The third Ascent race and the start of the second season for me. One big race completed and half the series is finished. Time to focus on the final three races in the series - all in July. It's going to be a busy month, but a fun month. Three fun races and all within a 20 minute drive of my house. I'm ready to ride hard, try to mix it up with the guys if possible and blow up trying if I can't. Getting faster means taking some of those chances. One of these days, it will stick - and then I have to ride harder!
Back to Palmer Park tomorrow for the more technical course. It's easy to lose focus on the rocks and end up in the bushes. I've done it a few times in Palmer Park for sure. There's no resting - it's game on from the whistle. I haven't had a super successful Ascent race in Palmer Park, with several nasty crashes over the years. Maybe tomorrow will be different and I'll both keep the rubber side down and hold whatever pace I start with. I feel ready to race - not necessary spunky but ready to go. Mentaly, I'm there, wanting to take the risks I need to develop as a racer. 6:15 tomorrow - the suffering begins!