Race Day is less than 48 hours away. Although there have been a few races recently, none of them have been “this one.” In the grand scheme of things, I guess this isn’t that big of a race, but it’s a bit of a big deal to me. To summarize, this will be the first “legit” Pro race I’ll have ridden.
The first part of year was focused on winning a Category 2 35-39 State Championship. I accomplished that goal and the next step is moving to Cat 1 30-39. That step brings with it a longer distance of roughly 30%, much stiffer competition, and a payout based on result. I decided to skip this step and move straight into the Pro/Cat 1 division. It wasn’t my initial plan, but as you know..plans change. The last race of the State Championship series was in Warda. I decided to race the “High Noon Challenge” Pro Race on sunday. The field was stacked, almost 50 deep and my goal was top 25. About 5 minutes in, that plan changed. What followed were the coolest 80 minutes I’ve ever experienced on a bike. It’s difficult to describe the emotion I felt as fans screamed for the “Skratch guy” on a certain part of the course, as my buddies yelled encouragement through the feedzone, as my legs descended into depths of pain that I had never experienced. That fifth lap was so bittersweet. The pain in my hamstrings was a close second to the thought of finishing top 10 in my first Pro race. After crossing the line in 8th,I decided at thatpoint,I need to be racing at this level.
Round 2 of the TMBRA Fall Series heads to Tyler State Park this weekend and I’ll be racing a fairly stacked field in the Pro/Cat 1 division. To say I have mixed emotions is an understatement. Confidence is a funny, yet fickle entity in my opinion. When I’m filled with it, I feel as though I can run with the best. However, there are times when doubt creeps in and the questions run rampant. My results in the last few local races have been good, I felt i’ve ridden well in most of them. My body seems to be in good shape right now, although I’m much heavier than I would prefer. I’ve trained pretty hard. At least, I think I have. I guess the time has come for me to find out.