Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wolfpack Road Race - Race Report

Feb 12,2011

Riders: 5 Cat 3/4, 15 or so collegiate B/C racers
Course: 33mi, 7.4 mi loop, mostly flat with some uphill efforts

I learned one big lesson during that race: Know how many laps you have to do….this could have ended very ugly for me.

I was barely on my bike for 2 minutes when the race started. I decided that the first lap would be my warm-up lap. That gave me the chance to see the course and to test some fancy wheels Jared gave me five minutes before the start. After the first lap, I wanted to see what I could do with this race.

We rode the first lap very easy, which gave me the chance to warm up and play around with the wheels. We crossed the finish line concluding the first lap and a girl started sprinting right before a hill. I thought, awesome, I’ll go with her and see where that leads to. One quarter up the hill she slowed down and I passed her saying: come on, let’s work together, and expecting that we could create a breakaway.
I pushed further and didn’t look back for a few seconds. When I looked back I had a gap of maybe 20 yards. I was like, ok, maybe this is a sign for me to speed up and get away. So I did.

Looking back thousand times to see if they would catch me was probably overkill but I was worried that they would get me on the flats. However, after ten minutes of TT mode I looked back at a long straight away and didn’t see anyone behind me.

Finishing my first solo and second lap overall, I started my last lap. Because I was worried that maybe the peloton would speed up for the last lap, I gave basically everything I had. I started cramping.

Also, I realized I drifted off mentally so I tried to think of advice people gave me for timetrialing. Since I didn’t have a powertap, heart rate monitor, and even my speedometer didn’t work because I switched wheels without exchanging the magnet, I had no numbers to look at. Sooo boring! I tried to use trees to keep me somehow entertained but that lasted for about two minutes. Then I tried to chase the police car in front of me but that was discouraging so I was happy to see some riders from my race ahead of me.

I turned the last corner to the finish line and started sprinting, mentally celebrating my victory. But then, when I crossed the finish line, a spectator yelled: Monika, you got it you got it, just push more….okay... this is weird I thought…why is he telling me to push? I just crossed the line!...oh and why is the bell ringing? And why the heck is the police car still in front of me?

As those cues weren’t enough, I asked a spectator how many laps I am suppose to do but by that time I got the drift and just kept going. The police car didn’t stop, so that was the ultimate sign that I miscalculated my mileage of the race and I had to go another 7.4 miles….
I had so many 3s in my head that I thought it was 3 laps.

That was a huge mental switch from “Wunderbar!” to “Crap, tank is empty.” But, the fear of telling a story that I got caught by the peloton kept me moving.

Moreover, the field seemed to be all over the place because I kept passing racers.

So again, I got the final corner, raced a guy from a different field to the finish line and was done after about 20mi riding solo.

During the entire race, no one told me how much time I was ahead of the peloton.

After a little cool down and asking the ref if I was really done, I headed back to the car. On my way back, the peloton came around the corner getting ready for the sprint finish. I was so glad I didn’t have to sprint!

Looking forward to the Greenville Spring Training Series!

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