I should've gone to bed earlier. Up @ 5 am, to eat, pack cooler and car, etc. Pulled out of my space @ 6:11 and into the parking lot @ 6:21. It was wonderfully cool and a nice breeze off of the river. I almost wished I'd worn long pants and sleeves, almost. I couldn't setup the tent solo, so when the t-shirt vendor arrived we helped each other out.
Kelly's race was @ 8:00 am, the 30-34 AG. What a race it was! There's something about cheering and screaming at a sporting event early in the morning that gets the blood flowing. I was so impressed with her demeanor throughout the race. She pulled two laps early on and hung in the rest of the race, working with another woman. In the final straight-away the sprint was on and Kelly kicked it up a notch and crossed the line third. This was so cool to see a team mate finish 3rd and podium. Way to rock it, K2!
I took the next hour and a half and relaxed across two camp chairs and continued to hydrate and ate a bagel with almond butter. @ 11:30 I started getting ready, kitted up and took off to warm up. I decided not to use the trainer after all and just do my prescribed warmup by riding Utica Pike. It was a good warmup - high cadence and steady states were good and my legs felt great.
There were 16 in my AG. Still small, but nice sized field. All are seasoned racers. We come out of the second turn and everyone is all bunched tight. A girl bumps my left side and I hold my line, but she then moves left and takes out another racer. The pace picked up and I matched each big effort and attack. We come around the back side on lap 4 I think and are all bunched up again. This chick tells me to get my handle bar out of her hip, that this isn't a contact sport. Hmmm, I beg to differ. Anyway, my heart rate is staying @ 170 and I'm working and hanging in mid pack. But on lap 7 (30 lap race) there's and attack, she's pulled back but another immediate attack and then a third. Not sure about my legs, but my cardio just can't take that yet. I got gapped. I tried so hard to bridge, but instead watched 3 others pass me by. So there was a Kenda girl and me left. We talked through and agreed we wanted to finish and would work together to make it there. I was a little frustrated because she stayed in her 23 cog the entire time and just spun. I would get us up to 22mph and then she'd drop us back to 18. I tried to take advantage and rest and finally just relaxed and realized we weren't going to get any closer and I just didn't have it to do on my own.
I have to say that having so many people cheer my name as I went around and around was like nothing else.I am very rich to have so many friends that care so much about me. I almost felt guilty or at least bad for the others who had no one on the sidelines to cheer their names.
This was a great week of racing and spectating and supporting team mates. I learned a lot this week. If you have a flat, take a wheel off then maybe the wheel truck will stop during a road race. If I'm going to do TTs, I need to do TTs and more steady state intervals. Train, train, train. If I'm going to do crits, I need to do crits. Today has seen some post race blues, but they won't last long.
Cyclocross is approaching. It's quite a lot like a crit on grass with obstacles. I need high intensity, short duration workouts.
I wish I still had my friend coaching/mentoring me. I'm ready to play. Get the mtn bike soon. That should help me with skilz and muscle building.