Originally I was planning on racing a crit in RI, but the weather for the area looked iffy in the beginning of the week and I discovered the Castelli Cycling Series that is in Brooklyn, NY, which would be less distance to travel with the only obstacle being the time. The race is scheduled to start at 6:30am which means I would need to leave my house by 4:30am at the latest to get there in time to pick up my numbers, get my gear ready and do a warmup. I’m not particularly a morning person, but I get up at 5-5:15am each day for work, so waking up 1 hour earlier shouldn’t be an issue. As I always I would do my pre-race/ride prep the night before with everything packed by the door and my breakfast food items laid out the night before.
It was a busy week for us dealing with furniture removals and deliveries and I almost didn’t make the cut off for the online registration. I thought registration ended at 5pm on Thursday so when I looked at my watch and saw it was past 7pm my heart sank and I thought I missed the deadline. To my surprise, either I mis-remembered the deadline or it was extended but I had until midnight to register which I promptly did. Things seemed to be going well at this point and I was relieved that I wasn’t going to miss out on a race weekend.
Friday was a quiet day at work and I was excited about the race on Saturday. I was telling some of my co-workers about it; we have some casual cyclists and others that just like to hear about my cycling endeavors – or at least they seem to. In any case, I left work at 3pm with my evening planned. I wanted to get home, do a quick spin on Zwift to loosen up the legs, get my bike set up for the race, pack my gear, eat at 6pm, get to bed around 8pm and then wake up at 4am. That was until my wife called me shortly after 3pm and said we had no power in the house.
I get home shortly before 4pm and we still have no power. This puts a slight damper on things but I do my best to stick to my plan. I pack my gear, get my bike set up, but with no power I can’t spin on the KICKR so I leave it on the trainer. Power is expected to be back at 6pm so I’ll spin after that and then put it by the front door. The biggest issue we were facing is with no power we cannot cook dinner so we head out to Whole Foods hoping I can find something close to the chicken and rice we were planning on. I ended up settling on some fluffy fish and white rice. While we were there we received noticed that the power had come back on so we headed home with our dinners.
Now by the time we get home, eat and clean up it’s about 8pm. I quickly hop on the trainer, do one lap around Zwift for about 20 minutes and call it good. Bike comes off the trainer, back wheel goes on, I do a quick equipment check and put it by the front door with the rest of my gear. I take a quick shower, I prepare my bottles of Skratch for pre/race/post so all I need to do is add water in the morning. And for those of you who are counting they consisted of: 1 bottle of Sport mix to sip on the ride to the race (along with my coffee!), 1 bottle for Sport mix for race & 1 bottle of Sport Recovery for after the race. I also threw in a bag of Sport Energy chews for during the race just in case, and 2 Anytime Energy bars; one for the ride down in case I was still hungry and one for the ride home to go with my recovery drink. Keep in mind it is a short race, and I may not need all those bottles or bars depending on how the race goes and how hard I work, but I’d rather have them then not. I then got my breakfast all ready… since I would only have about 2-2.5hrs before the race, and it’s not a long race, I went with Natures Path instant oatmeal which I would top off with some maple syrup – and then supplement with a Skratch Anytime bar if needed.
With all that out of the way, I sit down and fart around with my Garmin for a bit, get my Virb camera set up on the bike and then watch a little TV. My 8pm bedtime went right out the window and by the time I rolled in the bedroom it was closer to 10pm. Here is where I made my biggest mistake, I forgot to set my alarm clock! I normally have a pretty good internal clock and wake up 9 times out of 10 before my alarm goes off. I remember getting up once in the middle of the night and noticing that it was 2:45 and saying to myself “oh good, 1 more hour of sleep”. Unfortunately that 1 hour turned into 2 and I woke up at 5am!
This seriously put me behind the 8 ball. Registration pickup closes at 6:20 and Google says it’s going to take 1:15 to get there. You do the math, I need to get moving! I quickly make my coffee, oatmeal and get dressed. I typically wear my kit minus the jersey to the event starts. I just throw on sweats over it and then put jersey on at even after I pin my numbers on. It saves time and I don’t need to worry about forgetting something like a sock. Even with my planning I still don’t get out of the house and on the road until 5:20. My timing would be perfect if I woke up on time but now I’m seriously behind and Waze says will not arrive until 6:35am. UGH! I’m not about to give up however and know that those times can change and with it being so early I could potentially shave a lot of time off.
To make a long story short, I didn’t make it. I got to the park at 6:29 and then had to drive around for a parking spot. I came all this way I figured I might as well watch some of the race. It looked well organized, lots of racers and a very professional set up. I didn’t stay for too long but I did see a couple of laps and wished I was in the mix.
So needless to say I’m a bit disappointed, mostly in myself for making such a silly mistake. I had everything already, was going to make a video on the race and all that went out the window. It just seemed to start on Friday afternoon when we lost power that making it to the race wasn’t going to be easy. At least I didn’t just give up and roll back into bed and I know better for next time.
Now I think I will punish myself by climbing Alpe d’Huez…errr… Alpe du Zwift…