I havent been able to get down to Greenbelt, MD for the super fun wednesday night training series yet this year, so yesterday was my season debut. Did the "A" race, which is populated by racers from Categories 1, 2, and 3 (heavy on the 1s and 2s, kinda light on the 3s). The course is in a park, is around 1.4 miles/lap, and is basically a hill repeat workout - up a hill across the start/finish, down back side of hill, repeat 19 times.
Got there late due to traffic, rushed to get to the start line on time, no warmup to speak of ... so the only sensible thing to do was go with the 1st attack, right? Wrong, but that's where I found myself, 3 of us were up the road lead by a local Cat 1, followed by a guy I didnt know, and me. The guy I didnt know blew up and then its local Cat 1 and me, mostly local Cat 1 dragging me around. We werent away long, maybe a mile, but this early move just crushed me. When we got swallowed up, I spent the rest of the race under huge pressure and just hanging onto wheels to stay in the top 10 to 15 positions. The race was a series of attack after attack after attack - very hard.
Just as I was feeling warmed up and maybe recovred from earlier efforts, the "A" race passed the "B" (Cat 4/5), then what was a tepid pace, picked up again and I was back to my huffing and puffing and wheel sucking (out of necessity). Finish is up a hill, on the last lap, I gave a team mate who was going well a tap, pulled him to the top 5 and promptly blew up about 300 M from the line. Team mate finished 6th, not bad, but I hadnt the legs to get him any closer to the line than I did. I rolled across to finish somewhere behind the bunch sprint.
Great workout. I was above LTHR the entire race, which covered just under 27 miles in an hour.