Saturday, May 15, 2010

Poolesville Race report

NCVC represented by: Sam Rynas, Rebecca Lowe, Catherine Miller, Monika Sattler
Time: 12:40 start, 32 miles, 3 laps
Field size: 16 (7 women in Cat 3 and 9 women in Cat 4)

As this was my second road race ever, I had no expectations whatsoever except not to get dropped in the first half of the first lap. The race hadn't even started yet and my heart rate was threatening close to my lactate threshold and I anticipated hyperventilation in the first 10minutes of the race.I started out somewhere in the middle to the front and was able to keep the pace with the girls. No major events happened until the dirt section when one girl wiped out.

The first lap I decided to take the left lane of this section because everyone recommended that. The field spread out a little but at the end of the dirt section everyone was together again and we collectively fought the upcoming hills.The group stuck together and I stayed glued to the rear wheel of one girl in front of me. Apparently she didn't like that because she vocalized her anger...I will spare you the details. During the second lap, I found myself suddenly in the front pulling, and the people behind me wouldn't pull through.

I didn't want to waste too much energy so I slowed down to 14mi/h until someone got sick of it and passed me. Approaching the gravel section the second time, I chose toride the right side of it. I actually liked that side better and just bunny hopped the worst parts.After the second lap, I was pretty exhausted and I expected being dropped every second. However, the pace in the third lap didn't get faster and we always slowed down at the right time; good for me, so I stayed with the group. Getting a little too excited I got first into the dirt section and my plan to pull away was pretty much set in stone.

What I didn't take into account was that I blow up after 1/3 into the gravel section and within 30 seconds I was passed by 10 people. Apparently, I slowed down so much that even the competitors behind me had to cheer me on to pick up the pace again. Despite my failed attempt to attack the group, the girls slowed down the right time and I was able to catch on. The last part was fast and it seemed like everything would come down to a sprint. Around the last corner, Catherine and Sam pulled the trigger by drastically increasing the speed. Some girls came around and I followed them ending up 5th overall and 2nd in my category and a new PR for my max heart rate.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The rather unusual training day

On Friday, two NAVY guys and I decided to drive out to the Chesapeake Bay to swim to the Sandy Point light house and back…2 km round trip. Austin, one of the NAVY guys, supplied me with a wetsuit and some fins. Having arrived there and putting all our gear on, I realized that the fins were way too big. This was very discouraging because there is no way that I would swim to the light house without fins so the two guys made their way to the light house without me. I did not want to give up yet so I asked some beach fellows whether they have tape or anything to attach the fins to my feet. The first person had nothing, second guy unfortunately nothing… but the third guys, an English, had duct tape, which he got out of his truck. He then strapped the duct tape on my feet while I was sitting wondering how in the world I would ever get rid of all that stuff later. I was about to get up after this attachment procedure and fell back again because the angle of the fins to my feet did not allow me to stand up anymore.

No problem for an English and so he offered me to pickiback me into the ocean. I felt like a stranded wale or maybe Ariel in the Little Mermaid. Once in the water, I took on the task to find the two NAVY guys in the water somewhere in the direction to the light house. After a while, maybe 30 minutes, I found them, they just returned from the light house, so we made our way back to the beach. After unductaping my feet we enjoyed the sun and I gave more attention to the structure of my wetsuit, wondering why the zipper had an interesting shape. After 10 minutes scholarly discussion about the design of the wetsuit, I figured out I was wearing that thing the entire time inside out!