I’ve been sitting in my study for quite a while now, reading blogs and aimlessly surfing the internet, wondering if I feel up to posting or even up to pulling a book off the shelf. See, I’m sitting here once again with aching legs. I feel like I’ve complained about the aching legs an awful lot lately. Today’s race was tough, although I had fun and felt okay afterward. But it was a road race with a good-sized hill, which always spells trouble for me.
Hobgoblin and I drove almost two hours, out to the edge of Connecticut at the Rhode Island border, getting up at 5:00 (5:30 in my case) to do it. The race course was beautiful; it was Connecticut countryside at its best, with rolling hills and lots of open space. There was no women’s race, so I rode with the Category 5 men — I was one of only two women out there. The race had a long neutral start — meaning that we rode a section of the course slowly, following a pace car that made sure nobody was pushing the pace. I’m not entirely sure why they do this, actually, except that perhaps it’s safer and more orderly. The neutral start took us all the way up the course’s main hill, 1 kilometer long, and the race itself started at the top.
I was so grateful for that long neutral start, because without it I would have been dropped immediately. I did fine on all the rest of the course for the first lap, but when we came around to that monster hill the second time — the first time actually racing it — I got dropped. Sigh. Thank God I fell in with a few other riders right away, so I didn’t have to ride the rest of the race by myself — that would have sucked, because there’s no point in driving all that way to ride by myself, when I can do that any time I want at home. But I found 4 or 5 riders riding at about my pace, and we stuck together until we climbed the monster hill for the last time up to the finish line, when I got dropped again.
This is about what I expected to happen, so I wasn’t disappointed, just grateful to have found other people going my speed. I’ve been trying to work on my hill climbing, but I don’t think I’m working hard enough. I climb hills all the time, but it’s too easy to let myself back off rather than making myself push hard. Ugh — I see more hill climbing practice in my future.
Anyway, I wasn’t DFL, as the cyclists say, dead fucking last. That always makes me happy.