Monday, February 25, 2008

Jack Frost

I think this race was called Jack Frost because it's usually cold, rainy and miserable. Instead we got another glorious out-of-character day for February in Oregon. I didn't even wear arm warmers. I didn't exactly follow my plan, either.

Here's what actually happened:
Saturday: Bail out on the team ride because my cold decided to get worse. Instead I rode about an hour at a nice leisurely pace on my own. I made the important discovery that sneezing while in aerobars is a bad idea, so I invested in some decongestant for the race day. I also bought new tires. They feel very good.

Sunday: Wake up plenty early enough, pack things up, get a quick massage and stretch from my pit crew (she's my hero) and then get on the road to Vancouver Lake Park. A few miles onto the interstate and traffic comes to a halt. Turns out there was an accident ahead. Thanks to this accident it took almost an hour instead of 30 minutes. During the sitting in traffic I am getting progressively more stressed and nervous. Not exactly my favorite way to warm up.

We finally arrived and I got myself ready to ride. I warmed up for all of 10 minutes, which is not nearly enough. When I got to the start line they had already been calling me and I only had a minute before my start time. I downed some water, got ready to go and then the holder grabbed my bike so I could get clipped in. They gave me a 5 second countdown, I began to roll forward, with no idea which gear I was in, and felt a hand pushing me by the butt so I could get some momentum and didn't topple over (that was standard procedure, not special treatment). After about a mile of the 12.6 mile course I felt warmed up and my legs were spinning much more smoothly. So I sped up. I managed to pass 2 people before the turn around at the halfway-ish point. I passed another pretty soon afterward. Then I spent the rest of the race staring at the back of an Ironclad girl that just would not be caught no matter how much I tried to slow her down with my psychic powers. There was a sign at 1km to go. I sped up there, but still couldn't catch her.

Once my ride was over we just packed up and went home, the results were not going to be posted for a while anyway. On the way a milkshake helped keep me from passing out due to lack of energy and excess of phlegm. Did I mention there was much phlegm-spitting along the road during the TT? I'm sure you wanted to know that. Anyway, the unofficial results are in and I managed 10th of 24. My overall time was 34:44:04, about 2:44 slower than first place. There was no way I could have taken that much off my time, even if I had been thoroughly warmed up and phlegm-free. So I guess I'll just have to get faster and more confident. I can do that. But right now I'm just going to try to recover from both the TT and the cold. I'll think about Banana Belt tomorrow.

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