Opted Out

As I expected, I didn't line up for the first race of the year. I just wasn't comfortable with the way I was recovering from the death bug, so I sat it out.
I usually do the first race of the season, traditionally a Moose Run time trial. It's usually my first indication of how much my off-season preparation is going to translate into early season results. It's by no means scientific, as a lot of things can skew the results.
Last year was a warm spring, and the snow was long gone, the temperatures mild, and the roads were clear. We'd all been on the road for weeks by the time the first race happened, so everyone was at a higher level than normally is the case in April. I pulled off a personal best for the course, despite being in mid-training burnout. The rest of the season was less stellar, with a podium at the Spring Stage Race and a Tour of Fairbanks crit win being the only other highlights.
The rest of the season was marked by wrecks and motivational problems. Even when I lined up, I usually had a big ol' case of 'meh'. I'd tell myself a given race wasn't worth it (are any of them?), my goals were later in the season, or I wasn't suited for the course... any excuse to justify my lack of winning drive. Instead of competing, I was participating, but in road racing not everyone gets a trophy.
Moose Run wasn't much of a bellwether for me last year.
Instead of racing, I got out for my second ride on the road this year. The first was a loop around base, to see how I responded. So far, so good. I rode out to the race and watched everyone do the "race of suck", and truly wished I was in any sort of condition to join them. Instead, I rode easy and enjoyed the sensations that come with not being locked to a stationary trainer in a garage. You know, the little things.

By the time the next Moose Run rolls around, hopefully I'll feel confident enough in my physical state that I'll line up. Maybe I'll shoot for a new PR. Hopefully I won't line up with a sense of resignation.
It's time to find some sort of killer instinct... or as close as an old fat guy in lycra can muster.


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