Monday, March 14, 2011

Dam That Hill

So, yea, I raced yesterday. It was cold as anything with a wonderful wind out of the north that pounded on you for about a mile as you rode across the dam. I was pretty cold during my warm-up, but ended up fairly comfortable once I started the race. Casey and I nearly missed the start as we were warming up. Fortunately we decided to turn around at the end of the dam, and climb the hill up to the start line. We cleared the course about 3 minutes ahead of the start. I'm glad they didn't give us any flack for being on the course that late. It's a good thing we didn't ride a whole lap like we originally planned.

We rode 5 laps of about 5 miles each. It starts off screaming down a hill, then making a left hand bend on to the Lake Perry Dam. Ride on that for about 1 mile, getting buffeted by a cold ass wind the whole way. Then make a couple of right hand turns, then get a downwind/downhill stretch where you can make good time (30-35 mph recovery sections are my favorite). Then you make another right hand turn, onto some slightly uphill, crappy pavement. Ride about 1/2 mile, then another sharper right hand corner. Then you start the climb. 180' climb, over about a half mile stretch. It seemed to have a lesser incline half way up the climb, which wasn't much consolation.

Thanks for the "kind" words, Philip!
Everything was going swimmingly until we hit the first climb. About halfway up my left hamstring started screaming at me with every pedal stroke. It had been sore the last few days, but I'd been trying to take it easy. Not easy enough, apparently. I fell behind a bit, but then caught up with the peloton on the downhill. Apparently some guys have an issue going downhill quickly, as there was frequent brake checking. LAME. Anyway, once we came up to the hill the next time, I got dropped. I made up some time on the down hill, but not enough to catch the peloton.

Pain face in effect
I held the gap, but with the headwind, it was just too much for me to bridge up to them. That gap slightly increased the rest of the race, but I felt I put up a good fight. I passed a handful of stragglers, so that was encouraging as well. Somehow I felt stronger on the last climb, so I climbed it in the big ring. I wish I could have done that every time, but thankfully the season is young, and there will be more races to come.

My goal was to stay upright and learn a lot. And that I did. Hopefully next time I can stay with the group. On a day like Sunday was, that could have made a big difference.

No comments:

Post a Comment