I referred to this ensemble as my "Criterium Barbie" outfit, although the pink shoe covers are apparently the same color as my legs.I ended up doing a road race at Ceraland Park in Columbus, IN on Saturday. I didn't mention this before the fact, because it was kind of a last minute decision. I had been considering doing this race since my first road race a few weeks ago, but I delayed the decision because, prior to the cancellation/uncancellation of the DINO Spring Tune-up, it would have had me racing three weekends in a row. Also, I kind of figured that whatever workout that Jason scheduled for me that day would be more beneficial than and hour at puke effort.
Indeed, when I got this month's schedule, I had a three hour moderate intensity road ride on Saturday and a two and a half hour mountain bike ride scheduled for Sunday. Sticking to that plan probably would have been better preparation for my immediate goals, but in all honesty, I wanted to race and was ready to cave with only minimal peer pressure. So when the minimal peer pressure was applied last week in the form of, "Are you racing at Ceraland this weekend?", I easily caved. However, I stubbornly stuck the to the idea that I was going to get my hours in, puke effort be damned.
I tossed around several plans about how to do this, and drafted my "peers" in Columbus to try and help me find a post-race road route, but as the weekend neared, it became apparent that there was no way a mountain bike ride was going to happen on Sunday, due to all-day rain. So I talked Adam into bringing the mountain bikes so we could stop at Brown County on the way home.
Well, enough with the big picture (or really myopic picture?) for a moment. There is a supposed to be a race report buried in here somewhere. I will start off by saying the weather was slightly better than the last race. I'm not sure if Saturday was the official warmest day of the year, but it was definitely the first time one could comfortably wear short sleeves at 10 a.m.
There were about 12 girls ranging from Cat. 1 to first-timers, but we were on the circuit with a large "citizen's class" field, as well. It was decided before the race that the men and women shouldn't work together, which became a point of contention post-race, and the women started about thirty seconds back.
The field strung out on the first straightaway, but when the rubber band contacted about a half a lap in, most of the women had grouped into a 1/2 pack and a chase pack. I started well and was actually second wheel in the chase pack for a lap or two, until I got anxious and decided to take a pull. However, I pulled too hard, split the pack, and when I pulled off, I found myself unable to stay on the back. I just don't have the patience for road racing yet; I get very anxious sitting on some one's wheel. The good news is that there was zero feeling sorry for myself this time and I rode as hard as I could for the entire race by myself. I managed to pass another dropped girl from the original group near the end, so I pulled off a sweet "not last" place finish.
Perhaps next time I will have a bit more skill and patience to stay with the group, although I'm not really sure when next time will be. I might do the Bloomington Crit, but that isn't until July, and I can change mind about 50 more times before then.
The rest of the weekend was tough and tiring to say the least. We did stop at Brown County on the way home, but I only ended up riding about an hour and a half. I had this crazy idea about getting in three hours and some serious "big girl panty" time that would further prepare my legs for riding tired near the end of the Lumberjack. However, Adam did not want to stay that long, and I started feeling bad about my constant agenda-pushing during my ride. I began to doubt the efficacy of riding much longer on legs that would barely move, since it was my own crazy idea and not coach-prescribed torture, so I turned in early.
Yesterday I woke up feeling the worst I can remember after a race or training day. I was pouring rain all day and it was quite a chore just to get myself out on the bike. Since I no longer had a relevant plan for the day, I went out and "just rode" for a couple of hours. It was another day where simply turning the pedals was all that I could manage.
I finished out the week just shy of 11 hours, but with a lot of intensity thrown in. I have a 14 hour week on tap for this week, but I plan going at it a little easier than the last. I officially have new power zones in which to work, so I'm going to be good and stay within my ranges, rather than trying to be a hero on my intervals this week. It would be kind of cool to actually have something left for my Sunday ride for once.