Well I went to my first road race yesterday. It was a 34 mile mile coarse for cat C. This was actually my second race. My first was a crit but I got pulled on that one. Anyway the race started in Hillsboro, NM with about 40-50 Cat C racers (estimating) going south for about 12 miles then coming back to hillsboro, NM and up a big hill finishing in Lake View.
First impressions were kind of good. I felt good riding with the pack. I was almost dead last in the pack at first. I started to get really frustrated while riding in the back because all the riders would all push thier brakes then cause a chain reation then they would immediately speed up. It was frustrating because I felt it was wasting a lot of my energy. I then slowly tried to work myself up the the top ten. I realized this pack was way too tight to even try that. When I got the chance of having an opening I took it. Slowly but surely I moved up one bike length at a time. By the time I realized it I was about 15 bikes behind the leader.
The pelaton then began to take a arrow shape by then starting with the point in the front. I'm thinking to myself I need to get up in the top 5-10. I then broke to the left and moved up, then I realized I had made a mistake. I'm in no slipsteam and I'm stuck here and no one is letting me in. I slowly dropped back and finally got in about 12th position. By then I got comfortable and before I knew it the big U turn came up. I was pretty nervous about it. I sped up quickly to get a good turn. I did, yay! Noone crashed! I was relived and I saw the top 10 sprint ahead and I immediately took the chance to catch up and I did.
By now the lead pack was waaayy ahead of the other racers as I looked back and saw a second pelaton about 100 yards back! I was soooo happy that I was with the lead pack. I felt good. My legs were good. So I stayed with the pack till about the 23 mile mark then we all came down a hill a big hill. I was feeling good I saw we all were going pretty slow down that hill. I had this feeling come over me and I just wanted to pedal. I took a chance and booked it down the left side slowly and gradually picking up the pace. As I was hitting about 35-36 mph passing the pack I hear them all yell, "BREAK AWAY BREAK AWAY!!!!". I was like #@*#! So I tried I managed to get about 100 yards past them, but slowly but surely they caught up. Boy was that another mistake. I hit about 190 BPM and my legs are burning now. It didn't make any sense. I was going 35 mph and still managed to hit 27mph sustained up a hill and they still caught up. I was looking at the average speed up hills before and it wasn't 27mph it was about 18-19mph. Somehow they all worked together and caught up. I was demoralized. As they cought up a few guys were saying, "Nice one" and "You scared the whole pack man". That kinda made me feel better. Then they started to pick up the pace a little more now or my legs just started to feel fatigue.
I then felt this feeling come over me and I fell behind!!!! NO!!!! I see the pack slowly drifting away! It was like I was stranded in a strong ocean current and being swapt away from shore! Another guy fell off the pack too. So we rode together for about another 3 miles back to Hillsboro and started climbing "the hill" The hill wasn't too bad, but I felt tired, really tired. I still saw the pack about 150 yards in front but there was no way I could catch up to them now. It was just all me climbing up the hill as I passed the other guy that fell back too. I managed to finish for a first timer. I don't know exactly what place I finished in, but I know it was the top 20 for sure. When the race was over I reset my garmin and saw my Max HR was 198! WOW no wonder I was tired after that breakaway! Lesson learned. DONT GET A BIG EGO! LOL