It was a great weekend for racing and riding. The weather cleared overnight on Friday and by Saturday morning the sun was shining and the temperature was perfect for running. After working a graveyard shift i wasn't quite sure how I would feel to be running a race but heck - why not try.
The Tortoise and the Hare race held in Colorado Springs is a favorite of mine. It is a 5K race that is a little different. Each runner is given a handicap time that is calculated from their age, height, weight, and sex. The clock is started at minus 15 minutes and as each handicap comes up the runner leaves. This gives the slowest runner by handicap the chance to lead the race. The object of the race is for the "Hares" to catch and pass the "Tortoises". Sounds fun eh!
I found that I did run a little slower after working the night before. My 5K time was 24.15. Not quite as fast as the 22:00 that I ran last month, but not too bad. I have not been doing much speed work anyway - guess I need to start adding that in also. All in all it was a great race with lot's of fun.
Sunday was even better. I met up with the Pueblo Cycling Group for a ride East of town. The route was an out and back 38 miles. It was rolling hills with great roads. There was little traffic and the weather was perfect. In total there was about 50 riders of various abilities. I was not familiar with the route so I made a few mistakes off the bat.
After meeting up with a friend of mine we joined the group and headed out. The pace was relaxed at first. My friend jump out all of a sudden and took the lead. After a half mile we caught up to him right before a long hill. I pulled up ahead of him thinking he would follow and led up the hill. Half way up I looked back and found that I was by myself about 1/4 mile ahead of the main pack. I pulled up and waited to rejoin the group. As the group came by me I fell to the back of the pack and joined in. However the back of the pack was going much slower than the front and as the front topped the hill they started sprinting down. I pushed passed the slower riders and got to the top finding the lead pack already down the hill and working together. As much as I tried to close the gap on my own, I was unable to keep up.
I continued with a steady pace on my own until a small pack of 5 riders joined up with me. I jumped in and we worked together well up to the turn around. My friend finally joined up with us and we worked our way back. The pack worked well together for most of the ride back but between me and another rider we were pushing too hard and finally dropped everyone else. Together we continued to work together all the way back to the finish. Our average speed on the way back was around 24 mph. This ride was the best so far this year. I was using my race bike- Quintana Roo Kilo and he did well with no problems.
I hope to get back out there in the next few weeks and do that same course again. I would like to stay up with the lead pack next time though. The weather appears to be pretty good for training this week - leading up to my birthday this weekend. For now - CIAO