2011 recap and 2012 preview

I haven’t written in a while. Things have been busy. Let’s first catch you up from the Hyde Park Blast.

My next scheduled event was the MS150 in August. I ended up squeezing on of the Mainstrasse crit series in because I was having race withdrawal. I got pulled about half way through but it was fun to race on cobbles.

So, the MS150 was why I started riding again in the first place. This was my third year riding it. Last year I trimmed a full hour off of each day riding and I was looking to improve that this year. My plan was to ride hard day 1 and be social on day 2. The day started off easy and at each of my time checks I was within 15 minutes of my target. I was riding pretty much in zone 2 and low zone 3 the whole time so I felt pretty good about it. I hit mile 60 and was getting ready to ramp the pace for the last stretch. Coming around a corner, I hit a patch of gravel. I slid but managed to stay upright through the corner. Coming out I hit the cranks to regain momentum and something bad happened. I either threw the chain trying to recover, picked up a piece of gravel, or just had bad timing on a chain catch, but the entire drive train crumbled as the chain wrapped around the rear dérailleur. It ended up destroying both front and rear dérailleurs, the chain, a bunch of spokes on the rear wheel and the cables and housings. Not a cheap fix. I knew immediately that this was an end to my weekend and most likely the season since my only other scheduled event was two weeks away. Oh, well, more time for transition.

Taking advantage of the time, I decided to end my season and move into full on off-season mode. I took up running to get a little distance from the bike and refresh myself. I’ve been wanting to get into another activity that I can do when traveling or the weather isn’t conducive to road riding or just to change it up. So I started on a easy training plan to get me to running a 10k for thanksgiving. It worked out well that I had two weeks of out of town travel so I could do something that didn’t require bike transport fees 🙂

Running was great this time. I got to the point where I could run 8.5 miles pretty quickly. No real pain to speak of and I was feeling great. I was surprised as anyone that I was actually enjoying running. Getting back from travel I found out that the Cincinnati half marathon was just a couple of weeks away. Some of my buddies thought it was totally doable.

I ended up taking 8 days off because I came back from my trip with a nasty cold that knocked me out for two days. The next run I did, I managed 6 miles without a problem. The race was 3 days away and I signed up. I thought, “I can do this, make a realistic goal and stick to it”. My target was 2:15 which seemed completely reasonable.

I felt really good during the run. I maintained a pace I could sustain and ran the entire way. At mile 12 I was felling good enough that I cranked my pace up, way up. I ended up finishing in 2:09 and change. Awesome result. After I got home I noticed a pain that I wasn’t used to. I was tired all over but hills and stairs were giving me a problem. Heck, even spinning on the bike was getting painful. After two weeks I went to an orthopedist.

Turns out that I torn the meniscus in my left knee 😦 I ended up having surgery last week and am on the mend. PT is helping but sitting all day isn’t helping the swelling. I’m going to need to change up my routine.

As for 2012, I think it’s going to be a light year. Based on when I can start training again and conflicts with home life, I’m going to miss a big part of the spring race series. I’m hoping to hit the tail end. I’ll be gearing up for the mid summer crit series for sure. I may even try to run a full marathon depending on how my recovery goes.

Overall, I’m happy with my rookie race season. I catted up before my bike and health issues so when I do start racing again it will be as a cat4. I wish the season had ended on a high note but I did manage 16 races this year and a half marathon. Not bad for a guy that just started. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

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