Log Splitter Challenge was a race. It was a clever 28 mile point to point course that went from North Higgins Lake to Hanson Hills, well marked, and someone even took the time to rake leaves off the wooded sections of single track. It looked like a race, I mean, there were number plates and it was timed. The problem is it had a fun, relaxed atmosphere, only one category, and free beer at the finish line. It was more like a very well organized group ride. I had fun but did poorly.
There was no official starting grid but rather three signs in the starting area that said “Fast”, “Medium”, and “Slow”. Everyone knew where they fell in the pecking order and apparently lined up accordingly because I was neither passed nor passed others more often than when the race is categorized by age and ability.
Looking at the riders and making a conscious decision where to line up at the start made me really consider what kind of racer I was. I down loaded my HRM data Friday and, just like my previous data dump, saw I only averaged 4 hours a week on the bike. I know I must ride at least 8 hours a week to be competitive. I haven’t taken training seriously for the last few years. I was embarrassed as I took my humble place in the group and quietly committed myself to kind of train.
But training takes time and motivation. My motivation comes and goes. And I have serious time management issues. I took Em to see the new Harry Potter movie Friday morning at 3:30 AM, dropped her off at home afterwards, and went straight to work. Friday night I drove up to Grayling after the kids were situated and only got a few hours of sleep before the race Saturday morning.
When I am hyper tired, things have a way of seeming more profound. In between Higgins Lake and Hanson Hills was a straight, flat stretch of paved road. I looked at the long line of riders in front of me and tried to quantify where I would be if I were more dedicated. If I lost those last 5 stubborn pounds, I might be up the road another 100 yards. If I rode 8 hours a week, maybe I would be up a quarter mile. If I lost weight, rode more, made an effort to do hard group rides, and followed some type of training plan, perhaps I would be up a mile. No matter how far up I envisioned myself, there would still be a long line of riders in front of me. Fast is so relative.
I am going to put my guilt on hold tonight and ride at Brighton just for fun.