That's what I was today. My first real race (UMD President's crit, see Dr. Pete's anxiety thread).
My first training race as a Cat 5 I felt great and finished top 1/3rd. This was totally different.
First I almost got taken out in the first turn by some dude who careened across the entire turn and almost leveled 10 guys. It was the sketchiest move I have ever seen in any race or group ride.
Then my head was just out of it and I was off the back from the very start. Never in the race. It was a really windy course and there was no pack and nowhere to hide. It was like a cyclocross race -- most everyone was riding by themselves or in groups of 2 or 3.
I finished 28 of 34. Oh, and I got lapped by the lead riders TWICE.
Really a bummer because it is clear to me that I am not competitive yet, even in Cat 5s. I guess I have some work to do.