I hope everyone is doing well and that spring is begining to come around for all. The sweet sound of birds in the morning is very motivating lately and leaves me with faith that warmer weather is just around the corner!
A beautiful sunrise on the way to races...this picture dosn't do it justice but you get the idea
Out to dinner with the team. Doug (the coach) has now started arranging catering services to the hotels we stay at and that has been super amazing, because as you can imagine going to a resturaunt with 30 people makes for quite a long evening.
So for the weekends happenings...
We traveled to Athens, GA on friday and got settled in at our hotel. We decided that I would not do the Individual time trial Saturday morning due in part to my having fallen on my clavical earlier in the week. On a side note I did go to the trainer about that and have been told it is just a bad sprain and it should hopefully feel better in about 2 weeks. For the time being it is mainly just real sore in the morning, but it could be much worse and it is nothing to complain over for that matter. As it turned out I was pretty happy about not doing the TT because first of all it was really cold that morning and the second part you should understand after reading about the road race.
2PM road race with 20MPH winds: This was a 46 mile, 3 lap road race and i had heard from the TT riders of the morning that the start/finish strech was a direct head wind like hitting a wall. About 1-2 miles in to the race the women were being typical women and riding around 12mph. I got a little feed up and decided I would pull them along for a bit going a little faster. So I got on the front and was turning 19mph easily. I looked back and had a gap of about 100 yards. I just kept the pase at around 20mph and they basically let me walk away. Someone could have easiler pulled the group up to me but my teammates where just sitting in like they were supposed to. I should mention the plan was to chill for the first lap and a half or so and then start launching attacks and try to get a break...but that is not what happened. Given the conditions with the wind i myself would have said there was no way a one rider break could hold, none of the girls would have the strength to hold off a pack...that is exacly what the girls in the pack were thinking as they let me float into the distance (my teammates even said the other girls were verbalizing that idea and they agreed). In any case i kept looking back and realizing i was really gaining on them. I was feeling pretty confident and thinking "ok, maybe i can do this for the next 40miles, i just need to keep a steady pase". At one point i was within about 100yards of catching the mens B field but they picked up the pase. Then it happened...i hit the wall of wind..."yikes, i'm not so sure i can hold this anymore" was my first thought, which only got worst as i hit the biggest climbes of the race going into a 20mph wind with gusts that would have been great for a sail boat! I calmed down and watched my speed, basically always calculating what i thought the girls in the pack might be able to hold and then trying to keep my pase above that. As it turned out I had just over 4 minutes on the pack when they came though the feed zone of the first lap. That is when the other teams thought 'crape we better go get her'...but they couldn't gain on me as i countinued to gain time. I would crank on the back sections of the course and then just hang on through the head wind and hope they weren't strong enough, I knew I had 5 teammates behind me who would be doing their best to slow the pack down, cover attacks and make the other girls work and suffer as they attempted to close the time gap! It was a physical and mental battle for me, but one that went pretty well and satisfied me for the day! I ended up winning with something like a 5-7 minute gap on one girl that got away in the last lap and about a 7-9 min gap on the field. The other girls on the team did well, winning the field sprint and coming in exahused from a hard ride of covering attacks and doing everything they could to help me. Needless to say my legs were spent and all I wanted was an ice bath and a massage so I could be ready to race again the next day.
9:30AM criterium on Georgia Campus: The course was tons of great fun with lots of corners and some little hills. I got on my bike to roll over to the bathrooms and thought o man, i need to shift down and make this easier...only to find I was already in my easiest gear. Geeze, today should be interesting i thought, knowing that I had better get a good warm up in and hope I could open up my legs! So, that is what i did. We started the race and tried to send Clara off from the gun but the others chased her down and I waited until one of the stonger girls had done a pretty hard pull and then attacked her up the hill on the back side. I got away and made them do some work. My time split was fluctuating from 30-75seconds and it didn't take too long lap the main field. But it became clear I wasn't going to lap the girls who where chasing me, so i chilled out a little and let them start to catch me. I got them in site and picked it up a little to make em' chase a little harder until they got on my wheel. No one was interested in coming around me but the lead girl was panting pretty heavily so I decided to jump another little attack just to put her in the hurt hole a little deeper!...hahaha...gotta take advantage when you can. I'm sure i'll get it back soon. Anyhow there was now a group of 4 of us on the front, one of which was my teammate Mo who had been working her butt off chasing down the other girls jumps. It was pretty uneventful from there and in the end i grabbed a wheel and sprinted for the line taking first and Mo snagged 3rd after recovering from clipping her pedel in the final turn. I later found out Jo (another teammate) had been trailing not far behind us and was able to stay infront of the pack for 5th! All others did well also! I tryed to jump into the mens A race but soon discovered my legs were a little more beat than i thought and I only lasted a few laps...a little disapointing/embarassing, but no complaints here!
Ok...it's finally over!
I hope you all get sun shine soon and it brings a smile to your face!!!