I find myself sitting on the tarmac at Austin Bergstrom international airport, I am a mix of nerves and excitement. I’m on my way to Monterey California, home of the legendary Laguna Seca raceway and venue for the annual Sea Otter bike fest. It’s one of Americas largest cycling events with over 10,000 people expected to attend over the 4 day event.
That's the exciting part. Now for the nerves:
I will be racing the Cat 1 35-39 MTB race on Sunday. It's been 5 years since I was in what I would consider to be “good” race shape. That was when we welcomed our oldest child Nora into the world, and I entered a new chapter of my cycling life:
Let's jump back two weeks ago. It's a Wednesday, my busiest day of the week. It went a little something like this…
5:00- alarm goes off, I assemble myself to prepare for the onslaught. Armed with my daily dose of caffeine I wake the kids. My wife travels a lot for work so today I'm flying solo. After the usual routine of food, teeth, clothes, hair, we are ready to roll. (Just for an extra bonus today I have to take the dog to the vet for his annual checkup. I hoist all of his 85lbs up into the truck because bulldogs don't jump.)
7:00- we are on our way.
7:15- Drop the kids off at daycare, and head to the vet.
8:00- the dog gets his checkup and shots. I load his heavy butt back in the truck and run him home.
9:00- arrive at work for a busy day at StemCaps world HQ
5:00- off to daycare to get the kids.
5:30- we arrive at the soccer fields for Nora's practice. The coach can't make it tonight, so I am filling in. I attempt to impart my wisdom gained through 20 years of soccer playing to my unimpressed audience who are more interested in kicking the ball into the mud under the walk bridge.
6:15- practice is done. We’re off to stop #2- my local Church where I help mentor the local youth. We cram some snacks into our faces on the drive over. Nora and Ryan go to the kids program and I go hang out with 40+ teenagers.
8:00= and it’s finally time to eat. I collect the kids and we head to the nearest fastest supplier of sustenance. Dairy Queen. I attempt to order the healthiest items I can find on the drive-thru menu, but I'm at Dairy Queen so cheeseburgers and fries it is. At least I managed to replace the sodas with water.
8:30- and we are home. Bath time. Teeth and hair again, pajamas, bedtime stories and the kids are down.
9:00- finally a moment to pause. I browse the Facebook, gram, email, eBay procrastinating cause I know what I still have to do.
9:30- time to move. It's the animals’ turn. Feed the cat, dog, chickens and get the eggs from the coop. Give the dog his new medication. Put on a load of laundry.
10:00- now it's time to train. I head out to the shed, grab my trainer and my bike. Set it up in the house (wife is away, remember?) and get kitted up. I grab the iPad and search for something stimulating to help me through. Ronde Van Flanderin? That will work. I finally find one not in Dutch and get it ready to go.
10:30= trainer and bike are set up, entertainment is cued, and I just want to go to sleep. Reluctantly I swing my leg over my bike because Sea Otter is 2 weeks away and my fitness is a long way from where I hoped it would be. After an unenthusiastic warm up I commence my first set of efforts prescribed to me by local legend, Brant Speed, coach at Pedal Hard Training Center.
11:45- and I'm done. Not a bad session actually, legs and lungs managed to fight through the workout with surprising resilience. Unfortunately, now I am anything but sleepy. I grab a post-workout snack and lazily roll around on my foam roller for a bit. I Shower and at 12:15 I head for bed knowing that in 4 hours and 45 minutes I will begin my Thursday. At least Thursday is race day in Austin, and that’s something to look forward to!