I did a 25 mile part gravel/part paved road race on Sunday. Saturday night I started getting a migraine, so I took my meds right before bed. It would be at least 12 hours until I would race, which would be okay. Any amount of time less than that can be a bit dangerous, plus if I take them too close to a race, I am even slower than I normally am.
|Thanks to Amaris Hanson for the race photo!|
It had rained the night before and was still misting during the beginning of the race. Like I said last week, I haven't really trained at all on the bike this year. I've been trying to train more for running, since I have a running race pretty much every weekend in April. Also, my legs were pretty wrecked from the 10K I ran the day before. I rode the Women's B race. There was one other woman in my category.
I didn't check my bike out before John loaded it. My excuse is that I was getting the puppy in the kennel and making sure he went outside before that, but in all honesty, I often let John take care of my bike and I don't check it out before a race. So, when I pulled it off the rack when we went to register, I realized that I had my platform pedals on and I was wearing my Fasterkatt boots made for clipless pedals. Usually it's not a big deal, but for this race, where there are some impressive hills, I could really feel the difference of not getting that dig at the top of the hill. And with hills, I need all the help I can get.
So, the race started and I got dropped after the first couple of minutes. I rode along and passed a friend of mine who was not only racing for the first time, but riding a fat bike. Brave guy. I told him he was doing great as I passed him.
I caught up to the other woman in the B race and another friend of mine who was racing on a fat bike, just as they had crested the first smaller hill and could the next, very large hill coming up. I heard the girl say, "oh no!", at about the same time my friend said, "sh*t!". I passed them and hoped that the girl would jump on my wheel on the downhill. I am heavier, so I go pretty damn fast on downhills. But I don't think she was all that comfortable drafting, especially on wet, slippery, muddy gravel. She was in sight, behind me for the next lap, but I heard after the race, that she dropped out at some point. I'm not sure if it was a mechanical or what, but I was in her sights and I bet she would have caught me, if she could have stayed in the race.
On the last lap, I started bonking hard. I was an idiot and forgot about bringing some fuel with me. I had a couple of pieces of peanut butter toast at 9 am, and then ate a Gu a half hour before the race. It wasn't nearly enough calories...Especially since I was still a bit calorie deprived from the running race the day before. Duh. Like I said, so many lessons to relearn at the beginning of the season.
We got our new racing kits the night before the race and I love, love, love them. Our old ones were green and white, which looked nice...Until you rode in the mud, or even put on sunscreen which would turn them yellow and it was almost impossible to wash the stains out of them. We got to christen these uniforms in a lovely mud bath.
|John said one of the chickens was in the middle of the road when his pack came through. Iowa racing problems...|
Before I bonked, I had a lot of fun out there. At one point, I was "bombing" down a hill and mud was flying in my eyes, so I had them mostly closed, so they wouldn't burn and I could feel my bike sliding a little and I wondered what the outcome would be if I hit a pothole on the the way down, but I was having a blast. A few years ago, I would have been terrified to even think about riding that fast down a muddy, gravel hill. So, it's nice to know that confronting some of those fears can free me up to have some silly fun, even at a more advanced age. It's good to keep testing myself.
Also, as I've said before, I love to play in the mud. As you can see, I did enough of that...And notice the Cliff bar I had to gulp down after my race, in order to ride back to the car.
Of course, I wasn't half as muddy as the A racer guys. Don't they kind of look like those silver painted robot people you see in big cities?
It was a good day on the gravel, but man was I exhausted after two days of racing. I tried to do a nice, slow run on Monday, but my body rebelled. After two VERY slow running miles, I had to stop and walk two miles home. Which was better than fine. It was a beautiful evening and I love to go for walks. Now, for a few weeks of raceless training, before my crazy running race filled April...