I keep having this nightmare where I'm in the P/1/2/3 race at Jeff Cup. It's horrifying. But seriously, the most daunting challenge of racing in the real races is the length. A lot of races will double or so in length for me next year.
Luckily, there are ever more opportunities to race in Cat 3 fields. Hopefully there are those of us who either have no interest in becoming 2s and are looking to throw it down for team mates (or have a go for ourselves - this ban on race radios is having a nice effect on allowing more breaks to stick) or who just have big brass ones and want to see a lively race. I saw several 3 races last year (esp the Tour of WashCo crit) where this was absolutely the scene. That looked like big fun.
But a lot of the time you race 1/2/3, and as much as I don't mind starring on "You Got Dropped" for the right reason, I don't want to hold on by my fingernails for 2 laps and then hit the showers. I feel responsible to be ready for these events.
To this end, I've dressed up the training plan a bit. Generally, it'll be a lot of strength work during the week and length work on the weekends. Last year I'd lost so much strength that I was forced to develop a really nice spin which is super but I'd like to be able to spin like that 2 gears deeper. There's also the need for core strength and stuff so I don't start falling apart 60 miles into some of these suckers.
The "long" part will encompass rides like yesterday. 85 or so miles to Sugarloaf in the rain with a friend. Nasty headwinds coming in sure made it feel plenty long. I wore bibs with a worn out chamois which was unfortunate. But with us being only two, the training value in terms of length was grand. Not much time away from the front, you know? In fact I was on the front a whole lot. The real story is how much ass said friend will be kicking next year. As we turned onto Macarthur from Persimmon Tree I asked her if shed ever gone that long before. Not even close. But you wouldn't have known that. Ass kicker.
Looks like a nice day.