I made the decision to take a 10 day break from racing with my return being last night at Buck. Basically, it came down to the facts that I had a lightly strained back from playing with my kids after Mankato (they won that wrestling match) and that I did something like 7 mtbk races in 30 days to start the season. It was the right decision, but comes at a cost, which is the very high end fitness.
I slipped a pedal at the start last night but recovered to get a quick gap on the field. The start hurt like more than it should have. I should have taken it easier, and starting in lap 2 Jack, Jeff (yeah, the Hall one, he is still fast and could probably win most any Midwest race he wanted if he put his mind to it) and Jesse were slipping away. I sat up a little to recover and lost some time, probably 30-40s, but before I knew it we were going into the last lap and I caught Jesse with Jeff and Jack only 15 s up on the top pavement climb. I knew that with lapped traffic we would never close it down so I just followed Jesse hoping to do a fun sprint for 3rd. Well, about 1 min from the finish, a lapped rider did a yard sale in front of me. So I stopped, let him get up, and told him it was no big deal. I cruised in softly from there.
So, the fitness is not all gone but some of the high end is, I felt stronger as the race when on. The motivation to suffer, well that is lacking for sure right now. There is never a day I don't want to ride, but many that I would rather not race. Going into Afton, it feels good not to be the favorite. I can mark Jesse, TJ, and Jack and just see how it goes.