March 23, 1996
In late 1995 I'd set my sights on running a marathon the next year, which, would've been my third, although only one was in competition. There were a series of warm-up races for it, and on December 16th, 1995, I ran a 20 kilometer run in Virginia Beach, the first of the 'warm-up' races. It was my first run of over 10 kilometers since March, 1992. I had a good finish, somewhere in the top 10-20%, in the 80-90 minute range, but nowhere near my best. What I remember most about that race was that it was about 50 degrees, and just before the start, the sky opened up and rained on us hard. We were lining up in the open for the start, so there was nowhere to take shelter, and we got hammered. We just stood there and took it, like victims of some cruel prank, and then, feeling as if we'd gone for a swim in our race clothes, rain somewhat subsiding, we began a 12.4 mile run. Somewhere along the way, with Dad's life slowly ebbing away, and my marriage doing the same, life stresses caused me to drop the marathon plan. However, the cycling continued at a slow pace.

On March 23rd, I raced a time trial in northern Williamsburg, Virginia. Miimii thought this was a cool picture. My hair is looking a little better.

I am the sunshine of my life!!!>>>
I did this race twice, the Caroline County time trial. It was a rolling 10 mile ride just north of Williamsburg. I took first place, and on this later race, I was sixth. The prizes weren't much...a few cookies. It was a win, but hardly worth remembering.
Michael is riding his heart out for a plate of chocolate chip cookies>>>
I'd been honing my position on the bicycle all year to squeeze more speed out by riding with a lower, more aerodynamic position (the right picture is from early 1995). I tried and tried to get Miimii to take some side shots of me riding in races, but she always got it wrong, or refused to shoot anything. So I had to resort to these kind of pictures using the timer on my camera to set it up, and then run over and jump on the bicycle, pedaling as far as I could. Not only did this show me where I could improve, it helped me decide which clothing options just didn't look cool on a bicycle.
The 1996 year started pretty well. I was setting best times on all of my training and race courses, despite my fear of turning 30 and being old.
Here at M.T. technologies we prepare the athlete for the humiliation of competition>>>
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March 23, 1996