Well, I thought that I was due for a new post even though I have not done a race since the Wilson Lake Fat Tire Festival. Things have not gone like I was expecting. I thought that I was going to pile on tons of miles in preparation of the DK 200. But, as we all know, plans can change quickly. To make a long story short, the first week of May I got a deep muscle bruise in my left quadriceps. It was so bad, that I could hardly walk, and could not pedal my bike. Since we were about a month from the DK, I was quite concerned, thinking that this could possible take me out of the race. This would be a HUGE disaster.
Since the bruise was SO bad, I decided that my best bet was to just get completely off of the bike to heal as quickly as possible. So, I was taken completely off of the bike for almost two weeks! In retrospect, I think that this was a blessing in disguise. As you all know, I tend to over train, and looking back, I was starting to show signs of over training. I was not really enjoying the rides, and I was always tired at work, and was having a hard time staying awake. I think that it was from doing two races that kept me on the bike for 6-7 hours, and then another race that took almost 3 hours, All within a month. On top of this I was putting in some long training rides. A hand full of them that were 6 hours in length. I was just worn out.
After two weeks off, I was feeling REALLY good! My energy was back, and I was so happy to be back on the bike. The question now was.....what about your fitness? I was concerned that I had lost enough to jeopardize my chances at the DK. I started off slow the first couple of rides. It felt like I did not have any power, and could only go for 2-3 hours. Had three of these and took a day off for family obligations. Then I came back last week, and things had seemed to turn around. For the next five days, I would have longer and stronger rides. The excitement was now returning. The remaining question was, can I go long?
After a really good week of training, I was in need of a true test to see where I really was in recovery and endurance. So, this brought me to two weeks before the DK. I had five great days in a row, so, I decided to take another day off and then see if I could still go long. I took last Saturday off for our youngest grand daughters birthday, and then I went out Sunday for a solo gravel century. I was a bit nervous, it was REALLY windy and the plan was to do the first leg of last years DK, refill the water in Cottonwood Falls, and then do the last leg of the previous years DK. This would give me a little over 100 miles. All in all it went great. Since I was solo, I promised the wife that I would take it easy. I rode within myself, and finished the day just short of the seven hour mark. When I got off of the bike I felt great! I was still feeling strong. That afternoon/evening we went around town to all of the High School Graduation party's, and I was fine. Enough so, that the next morning I got up and went for a pretty hard 50 before work. At the end I was still feeling good.
SO, the DK is still a go! Looks like the time off of the bike was a blessing in disguise. I am feeling strong, and have really good energy. Just got the cross bike back. I sent it into the shop for a day to get worked over for the race. Replaced the cassette, rings, chain and put new rubber on! It is officially a go! And since the hot topic seems to be tire selection, I am running a Bontrager XR1 29X1.9 up front, and a Bontrager XDX 29X1.75 in the back. Since I have been spoiled with full suspension, I am wanting to soften up the ride for the 200 miles. Well, check back some time after June 5, for a race report. If you are in the area, come on out to witness an awesome race. The level of competition this year is extremely high. Until next week!