Sunday, June 5, 2011

Where's The Podium #9: Ride Sally Ride - Dead Last

As if I asked for it, this performance was terrible, embarrassing, and not without reasons. I'm not saying excuses, but reasons. I knew I would not be at full form for this race, but I surely didn't expect to do this poorly. I was lapped 8 times. Sure, that means I was going terribly slow, but it also means I didn't quit - whatever that's worth.

The course was wide, open, fast, clean, and the type where I could tell I would normally be able to stick with the peloton, and if I was smart, aggressive, clever, and strong enough, I might be able to come out with a top 10 finish and some points toward my license.

I was none of those things. Honestly, I am embarrassed at my performance in my team's host race and I feel I did them a disservice by it. I was not put on this team to pull a last place performance. I do not ride my bike to be lapped. I race to win and I intend to prove that to myself next weekend.
At least this proves I was actually in the race.
Mentally, this was a tough, tough race for me to ride through. I started off right where I wanted to be. I was attentive to breaks forming with efforts at the front to bridge gaps follow attacks, and generally stay at the front. I felt fresh. I felt strong... even a little confident. I was race how I wanted to knowing where I could get my recovery and advancements. The laps were going by fast and I was loving it. Then, just as I was sitting mid-pack trying to regain lost positions, I kept losing positions. I could not see how my legs were in so much pain. I turned to look back and found that I was second to last in the peloton. I made another effort to move at least to mid-pack for more appropriate recovery, but the legs would just not do it. I didn't get why and I was mad. Losing that peloton gave me a mind full of doubts and questions of why I am even riding my bike anymore. I was angry ay my legs (though ultimately, me) for hurting and dropping me so I didn't at all let up the pain. If they were going to hurt, I would give them reason for it for as long as the race organizers would let me. Criterium style lets to continue to ride the course even after being lapped, so I just kept stabbing my legs and brooding my anger at myself. I was pulled with one lap to go, and I quickly peeled off and right to my car. I felt so ashamed (albeit selfish looking back at it now) that I didn't even want to show my face to my teammates.

The night before this (after a 4:45 am wake-up for work) I visited Philadelphia to see some amazing friends (then to have a 3 hour drive back, morning of the race, after 4 hours of sleep and some drinking for sure). I would not trade the opportunity to see them and connect with them for much of anything. I knew my legs would be at a disadvantage, but I really didn't expect to do so poorly. My biggest concern as I was being lapped was that I didn't interfere or impede anyone through the turns. I sat up whenever necessary to allow an escapee or the peloton through the turns at speed. My average 23.1 mph is nothing compared to the 28 mph the peloton was racing at.

Enough of this. Lessons learned, and regrets are useless - I live to fight another day... another weekend. Thanks for reading.

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