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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Racing Again (Finally)

Saturday was the Winters Road Race. 48.5 or so miles with 1990+ feet of climbing. It's flat, rollery, big hill, flat, repeat -- a 24 mi. loop. The 5s &4s did 2 loops, the 3s 3 loops, the P/1/2 4 loops.

During my warm up I identified my goal for the race (to bring honor and glory to the team as I was the only W4 racing), identified who I wanted to be ahead of, and at the very least to finish (two years ago I flatted).

I was comfortable in the pack from the start, and stuck with them, reeling in the few breaks that were attempted before the hill. When we were in the rollers before the serious climbing, where the road narrows, twists and turns, a moto neutralized us so the P/1/2s could pass. We went into single-file mode, and when I came around the corner found that a group had made a breakaway, and there was no way to catch them without killing myself.

So I hit the feed zone, grabbed a bottle from Chris, enjoyed the chalk messages & verbal shout-outs, and pressed on. I dropped more of my group on the steep parts and got pretty reckless on the downhill -- I ride these roads all the time and know them intimately. My thought was to take it faster than usual, since uphill traffic was controlled.  It was scary and thrilling to use the entire road for a change.

On the flats again I caught a couple women from my group, and the group of 4 of us worked well together, cheerleading, encouraging, taking strong pulls and keeping a steady wheel. One of my targets was in the group -- the other got off with the fast group.

Not surprisingly the rollers again separated us, and I rode about 5 miles on my own, including the feed zone and beyond and over the hill again. Screamed downhill again without holding back, emboldened by my desire to be ahead of everyone behind me.

I passed a lot of casual riders, some of whom didn't understand "on your left." So I hollered, "Don't move!" and that helped a lot to keep people in their places. One of the 3 of my previous group caught me and we worked together and she said she'd pull me for the sprint.

So suffering, speeding, feeling quad muscles trying to cramp, eating, drinking a 5-hr. energy drink, racing, we come to the 200 k sign, she does her best lead-out and I stand to sprint and voila! Legs got nothing! So I sat down and road across for I think 25th place of 50 riders. Still haven't seen official results.

I averaged over 19 mph for this ride, a PB for me. I knew I'd worked but wasn't so blown that I could ride 4 mi. for a warm-down and then attend a wedding and birthday party afterwards. Between events the compression tights and foam roller were my best friends.

I finished well ahead of my target, and 2 min. behind my other target (one of my TTT members), so I was pleased. That I finished ahead of some of the CAT 4 & 5 men was a bonus. *cheesy grin*

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