July is finally over but I still feel chained to work like Prometheus to the Caucasus Mountains and like the eagle that would come each day to eat away at his liver so is the gnawing feeling of my fitness fading away. Enter busy season, the time when the various agencies and departments of the federal government try to unload all of your hard earned tax dollars in the span of about 6 weeks in a frenzied "use it or lose it" spending spree. Quite honestly, this is the first year the government is taking a good hard look at how they spend your tax dollars. Unlike years past the new administration has brought a greater sense of scrutiny and accountability to how your money is being spent but it doesn't make busy season any easier. Actually, it will probably be worse than years prior since everyone seems to be waiting until the last minute to unleash so all of the orders and requests for quotes will come in at once.
On the home front Maddy is still crazy. She can count to 10, although she seems to leave out 7 and 8. She's also getting better at stringing words together and making sentences. She says "I dropped it" or I throwed it" a lot, especially at the dinner table. Last week she ran down the hallway yelling "I'm running" and proceeded to throw herself onto the large dog pillow which she has claimed as her reading seat. I guess Boulder doesn't get a new pillow. Speaking of Boulder, he's finally done with the antibiotic from his MRSA infection. I'm sure he so happy as that medicince must have tasted like ass because he would well up a mouth full of slobber to wash it down with try and spit it out if I could force him to swallow.
in bigger news, Gina and I are trying to figure out if it's time to move. We were already a bit tight on space in this house but now we're packed in like sardines with all of our stuff and with Maddy getting new toys and clothes almost weekly (thanks Nanny) and saving things for the Deuce not knowing if we need girl's clothes or not, we are out of room. Frederick is looking better and better, just need my FIOS, I can't go back to Comcast. I would be nice to be out away from HoCo and the Choose Civility idiots, definitely have some free daycare being closer to my parents, not to mention access to much better riding, both road and mountain. Maybe I would get my mtb together if I lived near the Shed.
With work last month I think I rode only 6 or 7 times, I lost count at one point the days between rides. I think the longest break was 2 weeks. I didn't even take that much time off when my sinus infections were at their worst. At the last minute I decided to register for the Tour of Lancaster this past weekend, basically this was the old Tour of Christiana just with a new crit course on the grounds of the New Holland tractor factory. My earlier training efforts of the week left me feeling like I hadn't lost all of my fitness, well, better than expected for having not ridden most of July. Saturday's road race was a familiar one with one tough climb coming at about the hallway point of a 10mi loop. Of course, we were late leaving and got caught in beltway traffic due to a car-b-que so I get to the race late and get no warm up in. The race starts off and we were almost falling over we were going so slow. Some kid rolls off the front early not even trying then as I pull through I gap the field just soft pedaling. Around a few turns I look back and don't see the pack. A few more turns I look back and see a guy bridging up to me. I remembered him from the Millersville RR at the end of June, he and I were off the front at the end of lap one on the climb to the S/F, when I motioned to have him pull through his response was "I'm trying, you gotta slow up a bit". We caught the kid in front of us and started drilling it. We passed the turn to what was the climb, apparently they changed the course this year. When we did make it to the new climb, disaster struck. Not even as steep as the old climb, my climbing legs were just not there. I looked back and saw Tom Draffen from WWVC and Lance Anderson from Bike Rack coming so I jumped on their wheels. Both are strong riders so I figured that was added firepower but I was sure we would get caught as the pack was just seconds behind so as we crested the climb I waited for the inevitable. After going back to the pack to take a breather a few more guys bridged up, looking at my power profile I basically did a threshold effort for the first 20 minutes with no warmup. At one point they were not more than 10-15s in front of us but next thing we knew they put two minutes into the field in the last 4mi of the first lap. Not that I would have made it to the end, but it just sucks to start a break and not be able to stay in it. Who would have thought a first lap break would actually succeed, hadn't all year. With only two other guys we pulled in vein with the field content to do nothing and about half way through the second lap I had this awful wave of nausea come over me and I was done, end of threshold effort #2. I had to pull off before I passed out while still on the bike, I guess I wasn't as ready to race in the heat and humidity as I thought.
Saturday night we all went out for some ice cream at Oregon Dairy. This is a nice little Amish run grocery store in Lancaster and they have an ice cream shop on the side with a playground and some deer all next to the dairy with cows. Maddy had a blast, she's not much for ice cream yet, unlike her mother. She was more interested in the playground. She loves the slide and climbing on things. We started out on the small one but then she went for the big spiral slide.
Unfortunately she took the hard was off the end of spiral slide and face planted in the mulch. She took it like a champ and didn't cry. Good thing because Gina was in tears from laughing before she even hit the ground.Sunday morning I woke up around 6:30 to the sound of pouring rain. Weather forecast called for afternoon thunderstorms which was going to make for a sketchy crit but I guess the storms came early. I had a 9:08 start time so I rolled out leaving Maddy and Gina to sleep. As soon as I got to the race it went from raining to pouring buckets. It did manage to clear up for the hour it took me to warmup and race the 10mi TT before the rain came harder than it had all morning. The fire station started blaring an alarm that I thought for sure was a tornado warming. My TT time was horrible so there was no way I was getting back in the GC without points from the road race.
After drying out from the TT and getting some coffee and food I rode the 10 miles out to the crit course in New Holland. I didn't do the crit here last year but on paper it looked technical. The course was fast and very technical with turns coming every couple hundred meters and some very tight turns before the s/f. Overall a really fast, fun course that required you to be at the front to keep from having to work to hard as the back from the accordion effect. My legs finally came around and stayed on the front, Lance showed up and was putting the hammer down but nothing was getting away. I was really looking for a split to form but it kept coming back as no one was willing to work. Finally, a group countered after Lance took a hard pull and half the field was gassed and sat up. The group contained my prediction for the GC, this kid Filip. I told Tom Draffen that was the move but he seemed to think he had a lock the GC so I went to the front and pulled it back to within a couple of seconds but Tom nor anyone else pulled through to close the gap and it went back out and stayed away to the end. Filip ended up nipping Tom by 1 point, oh well, I warned him and tried to help him. In the field sprint I was on Tom's wheel when some Spinner's guy got tangled with Greg Faber from NCVC and they both went down, Greg landing hard on his head and getting pretty banged up. Ended up finishing 12th in the crit.
Marking Filip, 19 year old kid who has now won this race twice, that I know of. He won the crit and took the overall in the process. I remember when he was 15 doing this race. Damn I'm getting old. A few more random shots.