Training so far hasn't been consistent to say the least, had an awesome January, February I fell off a little bit, March wasn't great either, but April things started coming around as I got to a few group rides, races started up and was getting good mileage each week, and now we are into May and things are going well.
First race for me was Sylvan Island MTB race in April, always a great way to start the season, this year I will be competing in the new Comp Class in the IMBCS Series basically in between Cat 2 and Cat 1, and the same people I was battling with last year for the overall in the series also stepped up to this class, and with that they have upped their training. So this year they decided to do a parade lap which was about a mile long to add some longer double track sections and try and break up the pack more before heading into the singletrack to prevent a bottleneck. Well from what I was told beforehand we would not be doing that as our classes were small enough that we wouldn't need that, apparently the USCF Ref didn't get that message and sent us out to do the lap, so the tape was moved at the finish line area but not in the woods, I was in 2nd place at the time and the tape was across so I yelled out to the guy in front to just go under it, and a course marshall held the tape up so the rest of the field could get under it, so now I am in 1st place leading the way though the lap, and we come back down by where the start line was to see all the Cat 1 guys standing there and they stopped us saying we weren't supposed to do that and we would be restarting, crap my HR was up and I was ready, but now I had to stop and stand around again. On the restart I was bumped into the 2nd row somehow and even though I got clipped in right away I didn't get a great start and was 3rd going into the woods. First lap I felt like I was doing awesome, till I couldn't reel in the guys in front and could hear guys coming from behind, so I just did my best to hold my position. I would lose a few spots before that lap was over, and was doing my best to keep up the pace I had set. The problem with Sylvan is that they only have so much room to build trails so it is tight singletrack with many turns with short sections in between so you are flying into every corner and pushing to get out of them as fast as possible, well after a couple laps of that it takes it's toll on you and I was really starting to lose some major time on each lap. By the last lap I was toast and every corner I just wanted to stop and get off the bike and walk out of the woods, but knew I had to just keep going, was helpful that there are a ton of spectators out there cheering and that keeps you going. I came across the line in 14th place in the Comp Class, not bad for the first race of the year, but farther down then I was hoping. Pictures are here http://angysnoop.smugmug.com/
Next race was the Decorah MTB TT going into this race I knew there would be a lot of climbing which I did my best to train for by hitting some hills around here, but still nothing can prepare you for this race. The weather was less then desirable for this time of year, when we arrived it was 37 with a wind chill of 32, I didn't pack for that kind of temps, I did have arm and leg warmers, but just my summer long finger gloves. I did pre-register which gives you the option of choosing your start time when you check in, and since it rained the day before I wanted a later time to let it dry out a little more, and was able to get 40th spot. I got a little warm-up in and rolled up a few minutes before I was to go, and knew who my guys right before and right after me were, and with 1 minute intervals you can kind of judge how you are doing out in the woods if you can see them. I started off up the road towards the entrance of the singletrack and dove into the woods to start climbing, this year was dryer then last year and that was nice being able to climb everything and not have to get off and run, I started catching a few of the slower riders not too far into the woods, so we climb almost to the top of the hillside, and then switchback down towards the bottom to only climb again, and repeat a few times, except this year they had a cruel idea of sending us basically all they way down to the start line to climb all the way back up as a sustained climb that would take somewhere in the 3-4 minute range, then drop down the backside of the hill and hit yet another 3+ minute climb, then bomb back down to the flat section of the course next to the river. For only being 6.1 miles long there was just over 1100 feet of climbing, took me 42:15 which was good enough for an 11th place overall and 3rd in my age group which the overall placing was awesome for me and I was pleased with that. Here is a video I took with our Go Pro handlebar cam http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGeZr1XsQtg
After that I did Snake Alley Crit which I will do a separate write-up on that later.