I didn’t sleep well last night. I was a bit nervous about the race and I kept waking up every couple hours. Then at 2:30 I couldn’t go back to sleep for at least an hour. (God I hate when that happens.)
The last time I woke was right before my alarm was set to go off. I felt pretty good dispite my restlessness throughout the night.
I left the house at 6:30 to meet some teammates – our plan was to ride our bikes to the crit as a warmup. Surprisingly the legs felt good when I left for the race, even after yesterday’s decent effort. The ride must have been what I needed to stay open.
As a group of 5 we worked a nice paceline for 12+/- miles so that the three of us that intented to race would be warmed up but still fresh enough to race.
We arrived at the registration at the opening time of 7:30. There were already a ton of people signing up and many more that lined up behind us. Luckily I registered quick enough for 3 laps of the course.
Upon my finish of the 3rd lap I discovered that everyone had already lined up and were receiving instructions from the official. I quickly nestled into the middle of the group prior to the start.
After the first couple laps I wasn’t sure that I could continue for the required 12 laps. Then it seemed like I settled into the pace, or just adjusted to the high level of effort. There was a bit of wind on the back side of the course and I could count on the group slowing up a little bit so that I could recover.
On the second prem lap I just couldn’t match the exceleration of the group and found myself with a gap that continued to grow. A kind woman warming up for the A-race dropped in to help me along but it wasn’t enough to get me. Well, she could have closed the group but I couldn’t do it. So we pedaled easy, sitting up and I caught the group a lap and a half more to finish the last lap with them. That was an effort in itself because I had pedaled too easy and my legs just had nothing left.
When I finished I was really happy with how I raced. I think I handled the cornering pretty well, taking them on the inside. I was told after that the inside corner isn’t always the best because you typically have to break into the corner and it’s not efficient. But it kept me out of the wind, which was my focus.
My goal was not to get dropped. Even though I did get dropped, I held on a lot longer than I thought I would. I was able to hold on to within 2 or 3 laps of the finish. It was my first one and fitness should only improve over the coming weeks, with the posibility of finishing the crit with the group.