Sunday, June 6, 2010

If some pain is good, more is better....

Ok so I literally decide just a scant few hours before the start of the 2010 Tennessee State Criterium Championships held today in Johnson City, TN to pin on a number and have a go. Nevermind the fact that I haven't raced a crit in a year, nevermind the fact that I haven't raced a bicycle period since January at the TN State Cyclocross Championships. I am not known for good decision making.
I got interested when I went with my little sis to a 5k race she was running in yesterday and then we drove to Carver's Gap on Roan Mtn to see the finish of the Roan Groan. I have been not that interested in racing at all this year and have been riding my bike just to be riding my bike. The fitness I have comes from a pile of fairly easy endurance miles with some tempo along the way but very little intensity. So I do the smart thing: I register for Cat 4 and Masters 30/40+ thus guaranteeing myself 80 minutes of redline, on the rivet effort. That is provided I could hang with the group and not get pulled (by being lapped).

Cat 4 was first so I rode around downtown JC for about 40 minutes before the start to warm up. I lined up with somewhat decent expectations of finishing in the group. Sitting on the line I looked around and saw about 60 Cat 4's and got a little nervous. I hate crashing and I hate crashing more because somebody causes me to crash. With a field that big, a crash was almost assured. We started and I tried to go to the front but the pace was kind of slow and everyone bunched up there. Ther was bumping and pushing in the corners for the first few laps and I wasn't interested in doing what it would have took to stay up there and out of trouble. I drifted to the back of the pack and stayed there for the most of the race. A nasty headwind on the front stretch really slowed me down when I lost touch with the pack and with 9 laps to go, I got pulled.. Crap!

The Master's race was an hour away and I barely had enough time to re-pin my numbers and eat a Cliff bar. I lined up after taking a look at the revised course (a section was removed from the earlier races because of cars parked on the course). I really liked the new section. It had a few left turns and was narrow and technical and very spectator friendly. On the starting line, I noticed I was waaaay out of my league with quite a few Cat 1 and 2 racers there but I didn't care. To ride faster you have to ride with people faster than you. The start came and the first lap was brutal, about 30mph. I was worried that I wouldn't be around for 2 laps if that kept up but the pace slowed to about 25-26mph and I was able to hang on for a little while anyway.
I lost touch with the pack and hooked up with a smaller group of about 5 and we tried our best but the end was swift and inevitable. We got pulled after 15 minutes into the race....meh.

My goals for the race(s) were to A: have fun, B: not crash, C: finish in the top 20. I made good on A and B and even C in the Masters but missed it in Cat 4. I was 16th out of 20 in the Masters and 39th out of 54 in Cat 4. Not bad for not training any for a race like this...

1 comment:

Ms. said...

Know that my heart, mind and soul, was there with you. I love you.