Last year, in the California Senior Games I had won three gold medals and one silver. I missed the fourth gold by a ¼ inch, so this year my goal was to sweep all four races. It wasn’t to be. I got a really sick with a bad case of the flu two weeks prior to the games. I tried to race my way back into fitness and did two races two days prior the games. My legs felt rested but I was still coughing and hacking a lot.
The Time Trials
The first race was the 5-kilometer time trial. The organizers had set up a state-of-the-art camera caption system but no one told us what part of the road we had to finish on. Out of the first 10 starters only three of them were officially timed. The end result was people told the officials what they thought was their time. I had timed myself with my heart monitor so I was fairly accurate. I finished third with a bronze medal. However, the next day, when we did the 10-kilometer time trial and everyone was officially timed, I won with a gold medal.
Each day we also do a criterium later in the afternoon. The first day was a 40 kilometer race. I over shifted in the sprint and got third overall, but second place in my age group to win the silver. The next day, they weren’t going to let me win. I was a marked man. Coming out of the last corner was a slight uphill and a strong crosswind. They were trying to get me to lead it out, but I waited until one guy launched a savage attack and unfortunately for me, he actually got a nice gap. No one wanted to come around me so I had to close the gap, which probably cost me the gold. Witold Czulak led out his friend John Velez for the win and I ended up with another silver medal. I wasn’t a successful as last year, but all in all, I medaled in all four events.
My left knee is pretty swollen and my hip flexors feel like iron rods. I did six races in five days. I guess 140 racing miles in that time period was a little too much. Time to rest and recover for the races next weekend!