Sunday, March 9, 2014

Not without a little drama

Murrieta circuit race 2014: What's a women's race without some controversy? I don't want to dwell on it so here's a synopsis: we {pro1-3} got neutralized on the backside of the last lap so the Cat 3 men could pass us.

I appreciate the opportunity to race. I understand it's a choice for promoters to include a women's field, however I've paid money {pre-registered} to do so. Our field had 63 finishers which was the third largest on the day with the men pro1-2 and masters 30+ 3/4 (edging us out by 1 rider!) having larger fields. Go ladies!

I've never raced Murrieta so I started on the front and had my usual instantaneous heart rate launch as we started out on our 12 lap, 44 mile journey. Half the lap has a stringent centerline rule and the other half is wide open. I paid attention to all the spots my teammates mentioned, watched my HR & power numbers spike out of corners. Great. At this rate I was sure to be cooked, using all sprinting power every corner of every lap. 

So I made a plan to harness my inner triathlete and imagine smoothing out my power graph. Pedal into, through, and out of corners. Move up when smart to do so. Sit in. Suck good wheels. Drink APX. Energy management plan was going okay but the corners we're becoming increasingly frustrating. The overuse of brakes was killing me! Anywhere 10 wheels or back and it was slam on brakes, coast through corners at ridiculously slow paces and stand + hammer out of every turn. My little leggies cannot handle that amount of lactic acid. I made the mental note to add interval training to my life. And to move up. 

desperately trying to conserve energy. photo @forzetri on instagram
When the lack of training prevented the effort required to sit on the front, I took a different {and apparently controversial} route. If you are going to slow into every corner and cheat the centerline rule, I was going to coast up the inside. I wasn't charging. I wasn't stealing anyone's lines. I wasn't even calling "inside" around those corners. I was just choosing the gutter line and apparently, that wasn't so popular. I hate that I'm sounding bratty about this, and I was told if I don't like the lines chosen before me to get in the front and choose one myself, but I will bite my tongue and listen. I am still new to the racing scene being an on and off rider since 2010.

@forzetri via @frdjim photo edit:
The pace was varying greatly throughout the race. Someone would take a flier on the slight uphill and string out the group, and with 4 to go I was redlining the entire back straightaway just to hang on. With 2 to go the pace welcomely slowed. And with one to go, charging over the hill, the brakes were being slammed, and in front of me and ladies were fish-tailing. Wtf?! I look to the front and see a red circle. We are being neutralized?! On the last lap? Oh boy did the chatter start. As did the squirleness. And we were going 10mph waiting for the group to pass. Girls were cheating up the centerline and everyone was bitching. I was on the inside trying to position myself as close to the front knowing once we were released, it would get cray-cray. Neutralization ended at the base of the single kicker of a climb on the backside. Ouch. 

not happy. via @forzetri
Held on for dear life, telling myself this madness was almost over. Got a good wheel into the first of four turns siting maybe 12th. Lead out trains were forming all around me and I was catching whatever train was moving up. After the second turn I was on the Twenty-16 pro train. Then the Monster Media chicas came on my right side. Grabbed a hold and was about 8th out of turn 3. One more left and I let her rip moving up to 5th in the final corner.  Dodged a couple of men 3 stragglers and ended up 5th across the finish line which is directly out of the corner. Didn't pass nor did I let anyone come around. 

I'm so incredibly stoked to be duking it out with the local pro's, finding the right wheels and being in the mix at the end. This experience was invaluable to me, as painful as it was, in the end it was doable! Being almost a 2 hour race, I really should've had 2 bottles, if only to rinse out the Plaster-o-Paris from the roof of my mouth.  It was Hot and I opted for the long sleeve {black} skinsuit after freezing my butt off at 6:30am supporting my teammates. My rockstar hubby ended second in the GC for the omnium, staying consistent through all 3 days. {I had to work.} So glad his hard work and the sacrifice of teammates is ending with results and not just epic tales. {although those are always great, too.}

1:51 ride time. 23.8 mph avg. 185 avg watts, 183 avg HR. Garmin f'd me and corrupted my file of spike-age. Variable Index would've been off the charts. 

Lessons learned. Everyone kept the rubber side up and I left with a tan. Happiness in So Cal. Ended the evening with Dana's bday celebrations. Great food, drinks, and friends!