Friday, November 11, 2016

Running On. Running Into the Sun But I'm Running Behind

So, last week, before the election dread, we put on a bike race. I had never before been that involved in putting a race on. I have helped stake and take down and marshal many races, but never helped with the whole shebang. It was VERY tiring but also really gratifying. I am lucky that John did most of the work.

I'm not good at asking people for things, but John is great at it. So great, that we had to turn down volunteers to help set-up the course and we had too many people helping with registration. It was a wonderful problem to have.

We were also having a potluck with the race, so I made a bunch of veggie food for that. At first we thought it might be a little too much, but my experience with potlucks, is that one or two people make some substantial food and everyone else brings chips and salsa and desserts. I made veggie black bean chili, pasta salad homemade hummus, and potato leek soup on Thursday night.

I took a half day off of work on Friday to help set up the course. We had so many people show up, and we were able to finish it all in a couple of hours and we all got to preride the course we set up that evening too.

We decided to FINALLY go to Leonardo's for pizza after we set up the course. It is the best piece of 1960's swank you'll find anywhere near Cedar Rapids, and WHOA there are so many things they serve deep fat fried, but we got some pizza and it was good. I also liked the padded walls and pleather, pleather everywhere.

We got home and still had to do many, many things to deal with the race and didn't get to bed until around 12:30. Since we had to get up around 4 am, I definitely had that "not so fresh" feeling all day long.

I was actually able to race that day. I was exhausted and wasn't really feeling like racing, but I wasn't sure how many more chances I'd have and I did love the course.

I raced women's masters 35+. There were only 2 other women in my category. One of them is one of the fastest women cyclocross racers in Iowa and the other woman and I are usually pretty close when we race, but she had raced the one right before this. It meant that she was a lot more warmed up than me and started out faster than me, but she might burn-out before the race was over.

We raced with the beginner women and usually the officials put us in front of the beginners and start them about 30 seconds after us, but this time they did it the opposite way. It was good for me, because it meant we had to pass a lot of the racers in the first category, and that is good practice. I was just way too tired the entire race, but I kept trying and I was lucky to have one woman in my category and two women in another category to ride with and to keep passing each other during the race to keep me fighting. By the end of the race, I finally passed and kept away from the one woman in my race and a woman in the beginner race, and I was pretty happy about that. I got 2nd out of three, way better than I thought and by the time I finished, I was really happy I raced, instead of wussing out.

The rest of the day, I helped out with registration, keeping things together for the potluck and handing out prizes. Although, it felt like my main job was pointing out where the bathrooms were. If you've ever raced before, you know just how important that job is.

Anyway, we had a decent turn out, good crashes in the sand, beautiful weather, a great park for kids to play in and everyone seemed pretty happy. I would call that a success. I'm so glad we were able to put the race on, but I have to say I'm also really glad that it's over. Man! But that's a lot of work.

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