Saturday, April 28, 2012

Race Ready

It’s finally almost time to race! This year I have been extra antsy to get out there, step up to the line and race already! (ask me that next Sunday when I’m crawling up The Beast in St. Croix) Cyclocross Nationals seem like forever ago, lots of training days have come and gone, and it’s finally time to put it all the work to the test. Usually I can find even a 5k or 10k to jump into, a little duathlon or something to work out the kinks, but it never worked out with my schedule. In fact, I SO wanted to race that on the Thursday afternoon before NOLA 70.3 Adam and I were seriously discussing signing up, flying or driving down last minute! Neither of us was in a physical state to do well (can we say a bit cooked), but the idea of racing and heading south to some warmer weather was soooooo tempting. That would have been big bucks for a fancy duathlon brick workout. As it turns out it sounds like we made the right choice to stay home and not spend the $$. I did end up getting a little racing in at Leland Kermesse….
a local road race through flat windy farm roads, with several gravel sections. This was my first road race. I have 2 crits, tons of cyclocross races, and even more TT’s as part of a triathlon under my bike racing experience belt. I know there must be some strategy to racing on the road, but I don’t know it! I was looking for a hard bike effort at the end of some hard training weeks to top off my fitness for St. Croix. I thought the race was fairly uneventful…..cyclocross is way more fun. I went to the front right away and didn’t mind taking some long pulls. I was feeling decent but not full of awesomeness. There weren’t many girls willing to move to the front and if they did it was short lived. Hmm that must be how to race the road! But there were a few of us who took turns pulling. After the first gravel section, I tried to move up in a break away when my cleat came unclipped. I must not have been all the way clipped in that whole time thanks to my toe booties (yea I wimped and wore them). So I lost contact with the lead group of about 4, but re grouped with a group off the back. At the start of the 2nd lap this group became 3. I decided I was just going to ride hard for the 2nd lap, if someone wanted to join in then great. I didn’t go all the way to Leland IL to ride in wind and gravel just to ride like I could at home. I pulled the majority of the second lap. My motivation was I could see a few riders that had fallen off …. getting closer. The joy of the wide open prairie. We were gaining and I wanted to catch them. I gritted my teeth put my head down and just rode. When we hit gravel I rode harder. I liked riding the gravel and my smooth Challenge Tires were awesome. I liked the gravel sections and here we picked up a straggler. By the final stretch before the turn to the finish we caught a pack of about 4 which made for a lovely sprint finish. I had nothing to SPRINT with after all that work and finished 10th. I felt stronger on the 2nd lap than the first, and could have done more. I got my race in and …..a big boost in power. Thank you Leland. Besides some solid efforts going into the the taper week, … being Race Ready to me also means: ~Making sure the race wheels are spiffy and fast ~Trying out race day shoes in some race specific efforts KSWISS QT2 are making the trip to St. Croix
~A massage, a big one, to work out the many tight knots that have found their way into my muscles ~Packing tri gear and beach party clothes ~Trying to find a Hot Yoga class with a class time that actually is convenient for someone who works…..I need to feel the sweat ~Resting…. Some.
Finally…. I have had the fun experience of being part of a couple photo shoots. One with my Tri Mom friends for a VERY fun project/book we’ve been working on. I have kept quiet about it, but it has actually just finished being professionally edited and will HOPEFULLY be published.(fingers crossed) It was a fun to see my tri mom friends I hadn’t seen in awhile. We all have kids of varying ages now, but we all used to train with each other in training …kid free. The second photo shoot was with friend and fellow BH rider who is a photographer and trying to expand his portfolio. He took some really cool shots at fun angles and has done some sweet editing. Thanks Matt Dula!


GoBigGreen said...

Woohoo, YES we are gonna have some fun out there arent we???! Lets both do it up in honor of the midwest. See you soon!

Damie said...

you are in shape! feeling stronger the second lap is a good thing. Don't let Julia get you in trouble over there. You two have fun!!! I am jealous!!!!