Saturday, May 19, 2007

Race day #1

So today was my first bike race of the year. It was a 48 mile race with a good climb about 21 miles into each of the 24 mile loops. I basically wanted to hang with the group (and make it to the climb the first time) and give it a go to get fitness, without expectations of doing well at all. This was a training race for me. After 13 miles we'd avg'd almost 24 mph. Pace was fast, I was hurting (HR was high), and I was also yoyo'ing off the back of the group of about 60 riders. We'd already dropped a few guys, so I knew I wouldn't be dead last. I took advantage of descents to close the gap to the group a few times, but I was hurting. We hit the big hill the first time and the race blew apart. I passed several guys on the climb, and never saw them again. It was tough. I hung with one other rider for a few miles after the climb, trying to catch a few others ahead of us. I just couldn't hold the pace and ended up riding solo for 20 miles or so (there was no one behind me or I'd have waited for them). I about died on the climb the second time because I was trying to ride hard the whole race and get stronger in this crummy situation. I caught one rider after the climb (he claimed he crashed into a car) and out sprinted him to the line (for an overall low place, but whatever). In the sprint, my calves and thighs both cramped up bad. Oh well. Some of my teammate finished in the top 10, so that is good. The race was tough, but it was good for my bike fitness and handling skills in a group. I may have finished near the end (not sure what place yet), but I'll be stronger for racing. I had gone about 24 miles before I got dropped by the lone guy I rode with and had avg'd 23mph at that point. I ended up averaging 21 mph at the end, so I didn't ride too slow while on my 20 mile solo ride. I was zonked at times, but hammered it whenever I could.

Tomorrow is a criterium on a 1.0 mile loop in the parking lot at LP field, which is the stadium where the TN Titans play football. I've raced this course several times before and hope to not get pulled too quick. The pace will be very fast (25+) for the first couple laps (which is about all out sprints for a few miles) and I hope to hang on. They very well may pull riders out of the race that get lapped, hence I hope I make it more then 15 min:) Bec will be there to get some picts of me suffering. More to come after the torture of Sunday morning.

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