Well, the first race of the season is in the books! I must admit that I could have done without a muddy race for my first race in a very very long time – but that’s bike racing!
The day went really well – some good learning points – some successes and some areas that I definitely know I can improve on for tomorrow. Exactly what I was hoping to get from this first race. As a sign of how long it has been since I’ve packed a race bag – I forgot to bring pins and a towel…
So the race – well the result is not groundbreaking: 19th. But I’ll take it. Deep deep down I was hoping for a top ten. Deep down I was aiming for a top 15. On the surface, I was aiming for a day of fun bike racing with some good take-aways.
For the first time in about three years, I had a decent start – I wasn’t last off the line and I actually sprinted! Definite checkmark in the win column. But what I discovered pretty quickly is that it is a bit hairy when you’re in the mix at the start – I hesitated and backed off – giving up some crucial spots. For a while I was sitting in tenth… Then a few girls went by me and I was sitting in the top 15.
I did have a mechanical in the second lap which was a bit frustrating – racing with a bicycle seat that is pointing straight up in the air is not fun! But luckily Marc was in the pit and I was quickly on my spare bike. There were three mud bogs – two were ridable and one was a definite slog of a run. There was also a muddy run in the woods. The course also had the standard twists and turns as well as a couple of ups and downs. A good creative course with the wet tall grass and mud being a big factor.
In the last two laps (we did five laps – in my opinion one too many laps since I was out there for a well over 40 minutes) – I gave up four spots – partly out of definite fatigue, over-gearing, some tightness in the corners, and another mechanical – this time the seat on my other bike decided to get in on the action and was suddenly pointing straight up – time for another bike change!
Big thanks to Marc who raced to a very fine 9th place in a deep and competitive field and then quickly changed and stood in the pits for me – couldn’t do this without him.
So, how am I feeling? Well, I’m happpy to have the first race done and out of the way. I was very nervous beforehand but I remembered what my friend Sheri told me last weekend – everyone is nervous. I feel okay – obviously 19th is not where I want but I have to look at the performance and not the outcome.
My take-aways are:
– goodish start need to keep going and be more aggressive
– need to contintue to turn the wheel and complete my turns
– look up at all times
– pay attention to my gearing – I don’t always need to be in the big ring
– look for places to recover – I really gassed myself in the first three laps and wasn’t able to continue to sprint out of the corners or run as well as I would have liked
– barriers went well
– little steep climbs were better than have been
– my mud riding was pretty good (thank-you Belgium!)
Mentally I had a couple of low moments but I think this is normal when you’re going hard. I can say I haven’t hurt this badly in a long time – nothing like a bike race to really put the hurt in your lungs and legs!
All in all – a good day. I got to hang out with some good friends. I’m very happy for Marc as well. The post-race clean-up was time consuming but now the bikes are sparkling clean, the clothes are washed and we’re ready for tomorrow.
Tomorrow I have a few goals:
– better gearing
– have a good start again
– recover on the course so I can go really hard when I need to
– turn better
Alright, this is a bit long – sorry I couldn’t write two posts – I’m blogging from my iPad and can’t figure out how to access some sections of my website…
Oh, and in case you didn’t see this: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/chase/5377975/story.html
And now – back to the Food Network – it is a Chopped marathon!
Thanks for posting this evening; I’m so pleased to read your (very positive) report.
Tomorrow is another opportunity. I know you’ll use it well.
Thanks Dad! The result wasn’t groundbreaking buy it sure felt awesome to be racing again! See you next weekend.
Great to be cheering you on again Vicki. I am sure you and Marc are having fun racing again. Good luck Sunday to you and Marc and if you have the line in a corner hold it and you will see you will keep your position 🙂 Don’t be shy !!!