Imagine this, I’m in a cargo van with two bikes, three sets of wheels, a wind trainer, clothes, cooler, Mufasa’s bed, a 90lb dog, briefcase and my lap top so there isn’t much room. We made it through the night and got up at 6:30am. I took Mufasa for his walk then went to the gym to foam roll and stretch for a half an hour.
We were still getting gusts of wind of 45-50mph as we headed out to the course. It was only 51 degrees too. I hate wind. I would rather have hills, cold or even rain.
Got my number; it was 333 which is my friend Kim’s lucky number. Too bad she wasn’t racing…..I warmed up for 1:15:00 and did my three leg-openers. Basically, most of the tissues in our bodies have elastic properties. It takes a bit to get the lungs, arteries and veins to stretch, so each opener is progressively harder. On the first effort, my heart rate will only go to about 144 bpm but it feels like 170. The second opener is at about 155 bpm and the third is over 164. This way, everything stretches out and then you spin to flush the lactate out of your legs.
It was a 4.1 one mile time trial; well actually a hill climb. It was rollers with a 7.8% kicker at the end. I’m in the start house and with 15 seconds to go I look down at my chain and it’s about to fall off! How does this stuff happen? I go to fix it and as the official says “ten seconds” the guy holding me intercedes to help and basically causes it to drop off. Great…. As the official says “5, 4,3,2,1 go” I get the chain back on and attempt to get clipped back in. I lost a few seconds but not too bad. The course was ridiculously windy. In one spot I thought I was going to get blown over. I had started my stop watch before I got my chain on and stopped after the finish line. I had a time of 9:59. However, when I went to view the official time results they had me at 10:24…..It didn’t matter anyway. Even at 9:59 I was like40th place. I ended up 53rd out of 60 something. Pitiful… It supposed to be really cold and maybe rain tomorrow. Yikes!
Hopefully the road race will go better tomorrow…
Its 47 degrees and pouring rain. The winds have calmed a bit, but not the best conditions to start a 73 mile road race.
The pace was fairly tough up the first hill, but I was in the front so I didn’t come unhooked. For about an hour and a half, the rain just kept coming down as we raced through the undulating hills. There was no flat ground. At the turn-around we were hit with a vicious crosswind. If you weren’t drafting a wheel in front of you, you’d probably get dropped. We passed the right turn to the finish but had to keep going to add the additional 35 miles to make up the entire distance. The pack had whittled down to about 25 riders. I was still there. At an hour and thirty seven minutes I got dropped on a long uphill; but I wasn’t too far off. It was now about 40 degrees. Another racer came from behind and we started to work together. We just couldn’t get there. The pack in front was moving to quick. I felt okay at the turn-around, but then I started to bonk really bad. Another racer came from behind and helped me onto his wheel. I was able to stay with him as we caught another racer. The three of us worked together, but I was starting to get dizzy and eventually was holding them back. They went off without me and now it was just survival. I could barely keep my eyes open as it started to hail! Great. I just focused on turning the pedals but I couldn’t feel my fingers any longer. Two small packs of racers from my race passed me. I hadn’t realized how far ahead we had been. I was a zombie. Luckily, a racer came up from behind and asked me if I was okay. I said “Do you have any food?” He said he had a GU. I asked if he needed it and he said “I’m okay.” The GU revitalized me for a while and finally the sun came out. I could see he couldn’t use his fingers either. We both were shifting with the palms of our hands. After about six or eight miles, the GU ran out and I was starting to get really dizzy again. The kid who had given me the GU went on and I tried to stay awake and kept it together to make it to the finish. I stopped two feet over the line and asked if anyone had any food. An official handed me a chicken sandwich which I could barely hold. He also gave me a Hansen’s soda but I couldn’t open it. Finally, I opened it with my teeth and then headed out for another four miles to my van. When I got there, I couldn’t unsnap my helmet. I had to slide it off my head. I didn’t have the dexterity to turn the key in my van. My whole body was shivering. I got the van going with my palms and then started to disrobe. I couldn’t get the zippers down on my booties so I just left them on. Eventually, I was able to push the zippers down far enough to slip my cleats off. I then lied down on my stretch mat and covered up with all my blankets shivering for the next twenty minutes. I went from the lead pack to last place. I haven’t sufferd like that in a long time. What was I thinking?
I awoke to rain again. I took a walk down to the start finish and voila, there were snow caps on all the mountains. There was a slight wind but the rain had stopped. Luckily for me, my race wasn’t until 10:55. I got packed up and drove my van from the campsite to the start/finish. It was turning out to be a beautiful day. I immediately starting drinking Cytomax. I must have drunk three water bottles before I even got my gear on to warm-up. I tried to do some leg-openers but I just didn’t have the energy. I figured I would take my chances.
The crit was .7 of a mile. It had a chicane to the left and then right, a slight uphill climb to a right turn to another chicane, back down the hill to slight S-turn into a long sweeping (Nascar style) right turn. Most of the course was lined with fences which had metal bases that stuck out into the course. In spite of the day before, the race was fast. We were doing laps in 1:40. I got close to the front a bunch of times but never made to the first position. My legs didn’t have that snap. With three to go I was in the top 15 and a big crash happened on my left. Whew….. missed that one. The good thing was it eliminated everyone on that side and everyone behind it. I kept fighting for position and just didn’t have the speed. Some guy’s tire blew out in the last corner which sounded like a gunshot! I sprinted past a few guys and finished with the same time as the leaders. I can’t wait to take a shower. I haven’t had one in three days!