Well, it's that time of season. I'm ramping up toward the peak. The suffering is in full swing.
Bariani RR W4
Bariani was my 4th race in 4 weeks. I didn't intend to race every weekend this early in the season. But, once I stuck that MTB race in there, that is what happened. Adding to the fatigue was the fact that Rick had the 8:00 start, so we had an overnight in Woodland and a 5 am wake up call to get to his race.
Anyway, I'll keep my ramblings about the race fairly short. The mood was still somber after last week's events. And, winning a race didn't seem like an important goal, for whatever reason. But, I was feeling up for improving my race skills, working on communicating with team mates and helping ensure a safe and fun race for all present.
The wind was again the major factor. I am also working on positioning right now. I was really successful in positioning and made the first few selections after the "attacks" started. I call them "attacks", because girls were slowly gliding up on the windy side of the pack at a pace that was only about 2 mph faster than the main group. Then, all they succeeded in doing was stringing out the peloton and ending my leisure in the nice, protected spot. Anyhow, I was well on my way to making it in the final selection when the girl whose wheel I was sitting on popped off. That is one thing I haven't learned to read very well yet. I threw down like 600 watts trying to bridge back up to the front group of 12ish, but that was my last match, and I was thoroughly cooked. As I was working out the pain in my legs, group after group passed by me, and I couldn't grab on to a single one. I need to figure out what is going on with my ultra-slow recovery mechanism.
We had 3 new racers out from our Tri Flow development program, and they all did great, finishing the race strong. I was able to work with one of the Tri Flow girls through the rest of the race once I regained my faculties. All in all, it was a good day.
Tuesday Night at the Track
We headed out to the track last night, because I'm in a big ol' training block right now, so suffering is what the doctor ordered. And, suffering is what I got. I always feel slow when I go to the track. There were a lot of folks there, so we split into "faster and more experienced" group and "slower and less experienced group". You know you're in a different league when a few of the Proman Chicas join you in the "slower and less experienced group". Actually, there was a really good showing of women last night. There were 3 of us Cat 4 types - Cathy from Roaring Mouse and Dorit joined me in the turtle category. Then, there were about 6 other women from the higher categories - including the illustrious Shelley Olds. I think Alicat was the lone Cat 3 woman out there. But, she's pretty fit right now and able to hang pretty well with the big girls.
Anyway, I think it will be a major accomplishment if I can manage to survive through the warm-up by the end of the season. First, I did about 20 warm up laps on my own. Then, in the real warm-up, I got blown about 20 laps into the 30 lap warmup. After recovering for a couple laps, I tried to drop down into the end of the line, but was unable to even accelerate to that pace. Sigh. I know it's good for me, but tough on the ego for sure. We did some lead out exercises that I ensured success in by taking the 2nd or 3rd pull in the line rather than the 6th position!
Then, we did motor pacing, which was totally fun! The only bummer is that I was starting to get really tired - as in sleepy. Usually, exercise that late in the evening wakes me up. But, I was actually getting drowsy and having issues with depth perception (first time riding the track in the dark). Bam Bam talked the moto into pacing us at 20 mph instead of 23 like for the other group. I was happy to hear this, since I was pretty sure I couldn't do 23 mph for 30 laps - even with the draft. So, I mostly sat in and worked on improving my position. I just kept trying to move up. Occasionally I slipped back. Then, I found myself right behind the moto, which was cool. At about 9 laps to go, I did a big attack from above for about 3/4 a lap. Then, I pulled up and reintegrated. I blew up with about 1.5 laps to go. But, generally, I felt good about that exercise.