The wet Road Race
The Time Trial
Stage one: Time Trial. We arrived at the TT start in the middle of nowhere, 20 miles North of Las Vegas. I met some of my teammates on the Ski Utah Cycling team and borrowed a jersey from Brandi. The TT started with a great tailwind and a down hill. I felt good and just kept my heart rate right at my LT of 174. I knew if I pushed harder I wouldn't be able maintain my speed. I got passed by 3 other women but I could still see that I was gaining on some that were ahead of me. My results weren't great 15th out of 16th, but I wasn't too disappointed. I was just so happy to actually be riding outside!
Stage Two: Criterium. I have to admit, I was so nervous. This was my first crit since my crash at RMR. I rode the first two laps hanging off the back and riding my hoods. The two things I knew I shouldn't be doing. Finally I relaxed enough to get in my drops and I started concentrating on how to do my turns. I managed to stay with the pack for the entire race although I kept drifting back every time we went through the gate. (I was scared of the stupid potholes after the fence.) I got dropped on the sprint finish. I felt like I should have been able to push harder but my nerves just wouldn't let me. I think the next crit will be better. I've at least made it over that mental hump.
Stage Three: Road Race. After a beautiful day for the crit we woke to pouring rain. At 8:20 we were off. My legs were instantly on fire as we started climbing and didn't stop for 9 miles. I got dropped pretty quickly and it took about 20 minutes for the burning in my legs to stop and for me to get into a groove. I rested a bit on Brandi's wheel and that seemed to help. We worked together for a little while but as we turned into the headwind Brandi seemed to lose her power. She had done a lot of extra riding that weekend and was into overload. The climb started to feel good as I found my rythm and listened to the raindrops tapping on my helmet. Then I was at the top. I started descending and quickly I lost what body heat I had generated on the climb. I was soaked to the bone and with the cold wind blowing on me it wasn't long before I could no longer feel my fingers or toes. The clouds were so thick I couldn't see where the road was going and I couldn't do much to scrub my speed. I seemed to just careen faster down the hill with each turn. It seemed that the descent would never end. I was so scared!! Mentally I broke down and let my imagination get the best of me. I could just imagine the damage the road would do to my body if I crashed at 45 mph. By the time I reached the bottom I was shaking. Partly from the cold and partly from being scared. I saw Sam's van and it was the out I needed. Part of me wanted to do the climb back up but I knew there was another long descent after that and I just couldn't bear it. So I abandoned. I beat myself up about it all day. Two DNFs in my last two road races. I just so want to be back to where I was.
Overall it was a good weekend. It was nice to get away and it was a good gauge of how far I need to go in the next couple of months, both physically and mentally. I am very excited about my new team. Everyone was very nice and welcoming and our team really looked top notch. Check out the great pics.