After last night's ride at Steele Creek, it is confirmed. My fitness is ass right now. I felt fine on the numerous climbs, some really steep, that are scattered about at Steele Creek but I could tell before the ride was done, my endurance has taken a hit from my absence on the bike. This weekend is gonna hurt but in Duckman fashion, I say damn the suffering and pedal on good people!
I have decided however to skip the last big race on my schedule - the SM100, in favor of an early start on Cyclocross season which kicks off Oct 11. I will spend September just riding locally, hooking up on some of the roadie rides that I always miss because I am racing and building my ability to ride WFO for 45 minutes. Cyclocross is at opposite ends of the pain spectrum from endurance racing. Endurance racing is all about a low level of suffering that lasts all day (and sometimes all night). Cross on the other hand is all about massive quantities of snot pouring, slobbering, choking, on the edge of puking wide f'n open efforts that seem to last all day long. You are on the rivet from the beginning to the end and there's no place to run or hide.
In short, it's a total blast!