WOW! What a great day! Not because I did well but I did blow myself up trying! Actually I didn't expect to do great at this race. I know my teammates and I know some of our opponents. I have some amazing climbers and some amazing all around cyclists on my team. At this point I'm still not sure of the finish but I know Allison, Breanne and Jamie were all up there.
For me it was a training race. I could have gone South and done the Cactus Hugger but there is no way I would have worked as hard as I did today. It was great training. We started off with Gary telling us how proud he was of our field. I think he might have had a tear in his eye when he talked about how we were out there "really racing". He was right. We are out there racing hard and boy is it fun.
Our group headed out at about 20 mph around the lake and up the rollers. Everyone seemed a little antsy and maybe a little hesitant knowing some serious climbing was coming. I was sitting second wheel behind a Kuhl girl that kept slowing looking like she didn't want to be up front. As we left the lake and started climbing I'm not sure why but I attacked. I think part of me just wanted a head start up that hill knowing that it wouldn't be long before I was dropped. Why not at least start out up front? I also thought it might be fun to just mix things up. I knew for sure my teammates would have no problem in further stringing out the field. One of my teammates caught me and said "look what you did to the field!" It was very satisfying to look back and see all of the other teams strung out behind me while the Ski Utah girls were taking off ahead of me.
Unfortunately, I really didn't think about what the attack would do to me. I guess I thought once I was caught I could sit on and rest. There is NO sitting on and NO resting on the wall. My friend Diane compares each big power surge to lighting a match and each time you light one that is one less you have to burn. Well, I had just lit my entire match book by the time I reached the top of the wall. I hoped for a nice recovery on the descent but the head wind kept me from ever topping out my pedals. Thanks to John's training centuries he took me on last season, I knew the descent and hammered all the way down. However, with no more matches I was unable to catch anyone and suffered out the rest of the ride alone. I wasn't last though. I saw at least two ladies that were behind me at the turn around.
Still it was a great day. I pushed myself to my limits and beyond. I never push myself as hard as I do in a race. I also had the pleasure of seeing Saul Raisin on my descent and he was right in what he told me "things really do get better". I have come a long way since my injury. I also got to race a train and got him to blow his horn for me- my Dad will be thrilled when I tell him.
So, exhausted and happy I'm going to go sit on my couch and drink some water and fill my match book up again. Hopefully today's overload will mean I have a few extra for the next race.