Monday, April 27, 2015

Weather's Gonna Break and Hell's Gonna Fly.

This weekend, we went completely insane and did three races in 2 days. The craziest part about it, was the weather conditions on Saturday. The first race I did was a 26 mile road bike race. It was about 40 degrees,which was chilly, but not awful, the winds were gusting at 25 mph, which was careening dangerously close to awful, but the driving rain in our faces, chilling us to the bone, dropkicked us way past awful.

I wasn't sure how to dress for the conditions. I decided to wear my Fasterkatts - cycling boots. Even with shoe covers, I knew my feet would be too cold. I also wore tights, a Merino Wool long sleeve undershirt with my thermal team jacket and Winter gloves. At the last minute, I decided to wear John's plastic rain jacket. If it had even been 5-10 degrees warmer, the rain jacket would have been unbearably hot, but it was the only thing that kept me from getting hypothermic like many of the other racers. Thanks, John!

Photo courtesy of Steve Hanson.
This is the only road race in our area that has a masters women's category. Which is awesome. Sadly, I was the only woman who signed up for this category. Sigh. The good thing about that, was that all I had to do is finish the race and I would win my category. Sounds easy, right? Well, in those weather conditions, it was a bit of a challenge.

I still haven't spent much time training on my bike this year and that was so evident in the race. I really wanted to stay with the pack of women at least until the first half of the first lap, which was where we had the crazy head wind. I made it up until the first steep hill, that then turns and is still a less steep climb. About halfway up that steepest part of the hill, I got dropped like I was hot. Which wasn't so hot.

I rode the rest of the lap, as well as the second full lap by myself, with no one to draft off of in those insane winds. At one point, when I still had about 2 miles of head winds and rain pelting my face left, before I turned into a tailwind, I did question my sanity for the millionth time and reminded myself that not only was I doing this, I PAID to do it. Hey, I've never claimed to be particularly smart...

The pay-off for riding in Amish/Mennonite country. Thanks again for the photo, Mark Consadine.
I did finish the race and found out that many of my teammates were suffering from the bone chilling cold. I had to help one of my teammates take off his helmet, his fingers were so frozen. I think I gained about 5 lbs of water weight. My boots were so full of rain, that I had to dump the excess in the toilet when I was done racing.

Strangest of all, was that John was so cold, he said he didn't think he wanted to come back for the Time Trial in the afternoon. John is one of the heartiest people I've ever met and he is addicted to racing. If he is too cold to race, you know it's a big deal. We went home and I heated up soup and warmed up some brie and got some bread out, while John soaked in a hot tub. After we ate and took a quick 20 minute nap/rest, we headed back to do the Time Trial.

It was a good thing we did come back. It stopped raining, so all we had to contend with was the cold and the winds. John and I did our 13 mile Time Trial and he got first in his category and I got first, middle and last in mine, since the other woman who was registered never showed.

We were both completely exhausted when we finished our second race. We went home to shower, then went to Shorts for dinner and a couple of beers. I fell asleep on the couch by 8 o'clock, ironically while watching "The Big Sleep". It was one hell of a day in every way.


Dan In Iowa said...

Good for you! It's funny how misery isn't as bad in retrospect. Or maybe it is! ;)

Churlita said...

You're right. Now, I'm looking back thinking how crazy and "fun" that was. Ha ha.