Saturday, February 2, 2013

Boulevard Road Race Report 2013 : I'll never quit

Today was a great day for bike racing down by the border east of San Diego. was great! It was a significantly shorter drive for us too, coming from Orange county. Apparently I ate something last night or breakfast gave me gas. I kept letting off and Tim would politely role down his window to get some air. I hope he lets me ride with him again.
We got signed in (had to fill out 3 waivers today!) and got our numbers.
As we pinned our numbers on each other, I noticed a rider warming up on his trainer while his girlfriend pinned his number on him. I told Tim, "that's an efficient way to warm up." He was having trouble pinning my numbers because my Jersey is so tight. Tim proceeded to say I should find a girlfriend and bring her to races. Now bib number pinning will be a skill I'm also looking for.
I didn't warm up nearly as long as I should have. I wasted too much time getting dressed and setting up my bike. I spun around the streets surrounding the parking lot for a bit, and then headed over to the staging area. The staging area is actually 3 miles away from the finish and staged in the parking lot which works well since multiple categories are racing simultaneously.
The course is about 22 miles long, our category did 2 laps. The first half is predominantly downhill, with a section of about a mile that is as windy as a mountain road and we were flying down topping 51 MPH. It was a little nerve racking the first time because everyone was bunched up and being blown around by the wind a little bit. It did allow me to move up to nearly the front where I wanted to be. Overall this race was much calmer, mainly because there weren't many TRU Cycling and LaGrange riders there. Big Orange was still there and the one in particular made his presence known near the finish. When we turned north, we had significant cross wind and we started climbing. It ranged from short Hills to rollers, occasional downhill and finally a long hill 3 miles from the finish. Everyone must have known we had a lot of climbing ahead of us because no one went crazy with fast breaks off the front. I wasn't feeling strong on the first lap. My legs felt heavy and weak. I should have warmed up much longer before the start. Also I felt dehydrated. It probably didn't help that I had been drinking a lot more soda this week than usual, and this morning, while I thought I drank a lot of water (3-4 cups) I also had coffee and an energy drink. So the first lap felt like a miserable warm-up to me. But then, after that I felt pretty good. On the second lap I stayed in position 2-3 on the first half and felt much more comfortable. It was a fast descent. We peaked at 51 MPH! The ride back into the wind was a harder pace this time. It was also more squirrely with riders constantly trying to move up to the front. In a race this big its hard to stay up front, so I tend to be content with top 20 unless we're descending like on some of these fast roads. With about 3 to go we hit the big hill. There were a lot of people riding in the warped bike lane moving up, but otherwise people stayed in the vehicle lane. With about half a mile to go, I moved to the front slowly and kept a steady pace. At the 400km sign the pace picked up and so did I. The sprint started about 100 meters out. I stood up to accelerate, but then sat back down to motor it out, I'm not a sprinter. During the ride, even though I didn't feel 100% I kept reminding myself of these two things: Hebrews 12:1b "Let us ride with endurance the race that is set before us." I also reminded myself of my commitment never to quit during a race, always give 100% effort even when it hurts. I didn't finish 1st. It was actually kinda funny, the winner Trevor Kresser was riding rather squirrely and being a jerk on the finishing stretch. As he crossed the finish line he put both hands up to celebrate, and fell over! It was an uphill finish and he wasn't going very fast so he wasn't hurt. It was a celebrity moment. 10 cameras were on him immediately. It was funnier in person. Although I had hoped for first, I finished 20th. But I was happy and satisfied today. I had given my best. Only about 1/3 of the contestants finished in the main field. The others got dropped. I stayed with them all the way to the finish line. They simply out sprinted me. Today's race was the hardest I've done. We climbed 4,100 feet! That makes me feel good.
Now its back to the drawing board; come Monday, its a new week. Ill train harder, and eat healthier. That's how you succeed, adapt and overcome.
Thanks for reading.

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