Utterly crappy day.
Picked up the 45+ win at mullica hills. Got crushed in the immediately following 35+. So it goes. Some days you bite the bear. Some days the bear bites you. Today we tied.
Should add I nearly missed the start. Had it wrong on my head. Like ten seconds close. Not pro.
Gratz, and here's another way of describing a day like that:
With messing up the lap count lap count last week, had I missed the start I'd be in a bit of a spiral. Demons exorcized.
Did a club TT last night, five miles. It was my second-ever TT. I did some stuff right and some stuff wrong; overall it was a positive learning experience.
Stuff I did right: maintained the power output I had decided on, maintained focus on what I was doing, kept the cadence I had decided on.
Stuff I did wrong: underestimated the power output I could maintain for five miles, and kept my Garmin on the workout screen that shows time but not mileage - doh! - and was therefore surprised when I saw the finish a half mile ahead. I was able to push over 100 additional watts for that last half mile, and was nowhere near whupped when I finished.
Takeaways: when you know how far the TT is, put the correct fargin' screen up on the Garmin. Push harder at the beginning to find how hard I really can push. Corona Light is an acceptable recovery beverage.
I Merckxed it, since I don't have a TT bike. Tried IABs for the first time and saw my power drop 20 watts while maintaining the same speed. I couldn't maintain that position for long due to unfamiliarity and the fact that I slid forward onto the pointy part of the saddle, but this it something I need to work on. I've got a spare saddle and zero-offset seat post... Most of the folks who beat me were on TT bikes, though most of them probably would've creamed me anyway.
Strangest part is that I enjoyed the heck out of it. Even in that relatively short time period, I was able to "get into the zone." I'm looking forward to the next one.
Dunnigan Hills RR, Yolo CA, W4
Bear with me, I still can't see very well. There's going to be typos!
My WORST performance of the season. Also, DFL. 20 rider field, knew some of them.
Got to the venue with 50 minutes to spare. Check in was no where near where I parked, so I had ride over there and get my number. Got back to the car, found myself partially blocked in (couldn't open the right side doors) so I had to move. Finally got my number pinned on, kitted up, had 30 minutes to start. No time for the trainer, so I did some hasty warmups on the road. Lined up and - sat there, for 30 minutes. Legs went totally cold. Finally started, I was front row, diddled around clipping in, now mid-pack. No prob, neutral start, moved up to fifth or sixth wheel and sat in. Went hot, still no issues, chit-chat, stayed around fourth wheel, handled a few accelerations with no issues. I was thinking it was going to be a decent race for me. Then, we got to the first feed zone, at around seven miles, and some riders attacked - in the feed zone. Okay, covered it, recovered, still sixth wheel or so. Next came some rollers, another attack, another cover, it gassed me a little bit. Was able to recover, then came the big attack on a fairly steep roller. I managed to stay mid pack until the top, when there was an acceleration, but my legs were just lead and I couldn't match it. Some riders were yelling at me to stay attached - and I couldn't.
I never did really recover from that. Rode the next 30 or so miles, in the wind, by myself. Cussing a lot. Pissed. Wondering why I was doing this. At around mile thirty, a men's race overtook me (not the first one, that's for sure), and I decided, eff it, I need a wheel. I looked back, no moto ref, so I tucked in with them (Hermes, I know that's illegal). I got a lot of, "hey, welcome, catch on, nice to see you"...and I sat in with them for about five miles, and then got concerned, and dropped back.
I had NO recovery today, although I did have my speed. I think the recovery faded because I didn't train really at all between crashing and this race. I also didn't warm up, and the little warmup I did get was negated by my sitting on the line forever. Most of all, today I just sucked. I was awful.
Now, I can't see very well because last night I had the worst dry-eye episode I've had in some time, and both eyes have scratched corneas (yes, I do have medication, and it goes in every night). I was late to the venue because I had a heck of time driving (ever gone 60 on I5? I don't recommend it!). It didn't affect me on the bike, I could see well enough to ride.
Not a good day for me.
Sara, you knew this one wasn't likely to be a big bell-ringer for you. You did it for experience, training and such. You got that, so look on it as a win. I suspect you are far better off having done it, than having not done it, as it will accelerate your return to form. I'm doing a RR on the 25th for similar training purposes. I'll of course do my best to win, just as you did, despite the incredibly low probability of any form. Look long!
When's your next race?
Thanks, AzT. You're right...I'm so mad I missed the mantra!!
I may do the Winters RR in two weeks. I'm going to hit the training as hard as I can, and if the recovery isn't back by the entry cutoff, I'll bag that race.
Hey kiddo, welcome to the land of expectations. It's a really cruel and heartless place that seems to exist solely to mess with your brain.
AzT and G can attest, the hardest thing in this sport is getting on a run then have it stop from a crash or other outside factors. And when your new-ish and haven't been through the cycle it's a bit harder. But only a bit.
Where you were you can get to again, and maybe better. But you can't WILL it. Sadly, it just doesn't work that way. With umpteen years of racing I can smoke and mirror my way through to some decent finishes, you'll learn when it's a day to just hide and hope that no break gets away. Even then you'll guess wrong sometimes. The thing that experience bring is when to pull the plug and regroup. That's probably the hardest decision; after my day yesterday I was close to calling Cleave and heading up to do Whitney for some redemption.
Ex - thank you.
Next season. I can't wait!
sarals, as your coach said, it takes a while to recover from a crash, especially when you are still a relatively new racer. Every race is a learning experience and except for those who are gifted in this sport, the only way to accelerate your progression is to race. Some will be good and some will be bad, even without setbacks such as illness or crashing.
Just getting out there is great and it sounds like you got dropped on a climb which you say is not one of your strengths. If you hadn't raced you would have trained and despite your coach ;) I still say racing is the best training (assuming it fits your training plan). :)
Oy, what a day. For a relatively low-key race, that hurt like hell. I guess I need to look at course profiles more closely. All Women, Juniors, Cat 5s, and Masters 55+/60+/65+ started together (women, kids, beginners, and old guys). Ex's friend hammered it as soon as the road tilted up on the first of two laps in the Alabama Hills. I didn't realized there was so much climbing on these loops (reason #1 to study the route elevation more closely). I started to follow, realized this climb was bigger than I thought, and then felt like I was breathing through a straw. I sat down and started watching my power figuring it was better to ride smart than to worry about women beating me. :D
Ended up in a group with a couple of old guys and a couple of beginners and we kind of worked together as one of the Cat 5 guys was pretty sketchy. Second lap I was breathing through a snorkel instead of a straw and ended up riding away from my group as we headed up Horseshoe Meadows. Started catching a group of three and by the feed zone I was almost on them, then the wheels mostly fell off the cart. I thought that most of the climb was 6% give or take. It was more like 9-10% (reason #2 ).
Despite drinking and managing to eat some Endurolytes during the race, I cramped on my inner right thigh. Can't remember cramping there before. Had to stop, drank, had some more Endurolytes and sucked down some more gel. It felt like 5 minutes but it was only two minutes (difference between my computer which stops when I stop and my official finish time). After that I couldn't produce any watts. A number of people passed me in the remaining 6 killer miles. Two women passed me in the last kilometer and they probably took a minute out of me. :(
I'm not last out of the old Masters. :) Tomorrow we climb Whitney Portal Road after doing two more of the same loops in the Alabama Hills.
BTW, about 7,500 ft of total climbing and the summit was at about 9,900 ft. Oh, and the road was in pretty mediocre shape so riding down was not fun. My buddy and I stopped a couple of time to let the brakes cool, our hands rest, and to look at some amazing views of the road and the Owens Valley. I should have packed a camera in my bag that the organizers brought to the summit.
Sarals, sorry about the sucky race.
Cleave, omg, I gotta do that race! I love the east side.
I saw a guy "win the bell lap" and finish otb today, just like I did 2 weeks ago.
I had a pack finish in today's crit. Fast corners and no course features made for a bunched up pack and I kept getting filtered to the back. Chased a move down at three to go, and wish i had let someone else do it. Bad position in the last corner, didn't really bother to sprint. should have, though, since I was 8th. My head wasn't in it today, don't know why, just didnt try very hard.
Cleave, be cautious heading down Whitney. Road is choppy and tight. Go up like a bat out of hell though ;)
Sara, coming back from a crash is difficult. The body can recover quicker than the mind. When the two are out of sync it gets tough. Welcome back. Congrats for finishing. Dig the respect, you earned it.
Cleave, sounds tough. Valygrl, I know the feeling. When the guilt sets in, you'll learn something so it's not all a waste.
Sara - Nothing to add except that DFL>DNF>DNS.
Cleave - I can't fathom doing that much climbing in a day. I think I got 866 feet in 55 miles yesterday.
vlygrl - At least you got to race! I'll be stewing in my own juices until February.
Hey Cleave, I looked at te profile and though OMG. But talk about racing for training...
Valygrl - I feel your pain. Those post-race analyses can be painful, but informative. I always have a long list of "Why did I" and "Why didn't I". Usually it's "Why did you let yourself be dropped without turning yourself inside out?"
Of all the lessons I've learned over the course of the 3 years I've been racing, what I'm learning now is the hardest. As the experienced guys have said, coming back from a setback is a huge challenge, when what you experienced prior to it was a nice, constant-improvement trajectory. I'll write more about my experience in this area later.. it's relatively cool right now, so I'm heading out to take advantage of that, and burn off last night's date-night vino. TallWife can't drink for the next few months, so I'm having to pick up the slack.
Hey, everyone, thanks! OMG, am I sore today - I have deep bruise on my right glute (I can only deduce that I banged it in the crash and those nasty roads beat it up yesterday) and my lower back is quite stiff. And, still can't see very well! Stupid me, though - I'll probably enter Winters.
Cleave - wow. My respect for you just gets higher and higher every time I read about one of your adventures. Yesterday sounded monumental. Congratulations! Don't get upset about women beating you - they beat me all the time.
Valygrl - you and I both had an off day. You know how we are, they happen. Listen to Shovel, he's dead on. You know, though - we raced, we didn't sit on our butts.
Chuck, your season is over? And thank you!
Hermes, I'm surprised you WEREN'T at Mt. Whitney!
Shovel - thanks. I am pretty humbled and even puzzled by the nice things the other women say to an about me nowadays at the races. I'm not used to that!
AzT - :)
I'm looking forward to that read!