This past week was good. I’ve really been enjoying living life by TSS values instead of feeling obligated to ride just because it’s nice out. I don’t feel the perpetual soreness I felt last year. I’ve truly been enjoying this entire season.
On Saturday I made the trip to Floyd Bennett Field and met up with my teammates for some racing. It was an open field of cat 4/5 men and women combined. As always I felt like throwing up and, as always, I didn’t. We set our bikes up and did a warmup lap which I used to reacquaint myself with the course. The officials had just arrived and set up while we were warming up. After the warmup we got our #s and put them on. I popped my special race gel (Cliff Shot w/ 100mg of caffeine). We did another warmup lap after. When we returned from that lap the national anthem was played and we would be lining up five minutes from then. At the starting line my girl and I introduced ourselves to the only other women there, a very nice lady from further up north. The officials went over the rules and shortly after that the first field was dispatched and we approached the line. I positioned myself behind my teammates. We were dispatched and as soon as I clipped in I stood to keep my position in the group. The race started at a moderate pace and I hung in…… for a little more than a lap. I dropped from the group at the second turn of the second lap. It was the tightest turn there but it wasn’t very sharp. There was a bit of sand and gravel on the turn but I couldn’t nail it. I was on my own. Shortly after that I saw my teammate had dropped off but I couldn’t catch up to him. I went as hard as I could but I did get lapped. I tried to hang on but I dropped off on the same turn. On what I thought was the second to last lap turned out to be the last and the race ended early. The officials told me I was done. I was the first to cross the finish line but was in last place. I cheered everyone on as they came in. Being that there were only three women there, I had my day in the sun on the podium. My girl told me that however I made it there, I deserved to stand on that podium and that I did earn it. I still long to truly earn it and will train hard to get there.
On Sunday I decided to do the more moderate ride. I really liked the group that showed up and I was slightly discouraged from doing the faster ride. It was a very nice ride although it was annoying to stop at certain stop signs for fear of an expensive ticket. At one point I was in the wrong gear for the hill after the stop sign and had trouble getting going. At another climb that I would normally get dropped on, the group was taking it slow and I climbed with the rest of them. It was nice to make it the whole way up the climb with the group. I’ve noticed improvements in my climbing over the past few rides. There were certain climbs that I always fell back on no matter what that I’ve been keeping up on. I’m also noticing that I no longer feel like hell on earth when I climb and there are even some climbs that I look forward to doing to see how I’ve improved. This is a very welcomed change. After the ride I headed over to the park for the picnic that my old crew was having. It was nice to see everyone and talk about all the fun we had back in the day. Thanks for reading guys, I really appreciate your support!
After the race we were told that in the next couple of weeks, if enough ladies show up, we can have a separate field from the men. I encourage all the ladies to come out and race. Try it out. It’s not about winning but about coming out and trying to see if you like it. I hope to see more ladies racing so come on out and give it a go.