back and forth

My two lives. My late night/early mornings life of mad crafty energy, where my fingers itch to create and my mild mannered day life of teaching, biking, tennis and the love of my life!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Suffering at Dunnigan


It started well! Jill picked me up at 6:45am, bright and early. We got there, and roadies everywhere. Most with probably 5% bodyfat, lean and strong. Dang, they looked young.

We parked, we registered, we had a long wait. Jill and I put out our trainers near Michele. I was nervous, and didn't think to eat anything. Carolyn and Anne(our injured teamates) came by to chat, encourage, and snap a few pics pre-race.

The day seemed calm, wind wise. Dunnigan is known for winds. But there were over 600 racers, and we were the last group. We were finally called, and since I was at the outhouses, I rushed to grab my bike and get in my group. There were 50 of us. Then the winds began to pick up. And I realized, too late, that I was hungry and had left my Energy bars in the van!

More waiting. Then we rolled out in a nuetral pack until the turn, 1 mile up. I had trouble clipping in, and was on the back. Fine, I usually am, and was more comfortable there than mid-pack! We made the easy turn, and it began to pick up. From 16 mph, to soon 23 mph, and my heart was racing!! But not from effort, it was from nerves. My heart was up in the 160's but I wasn't even breathing hard! I caught up to Jill, and the group took off. There was an early break, containing Ruth and Leslie, and the pack raced to catch, and we fell off the back right off the bat. I couldn't get my body to calm down. I felt nauseous! And with 15-20 mph crosswinds and rollers, and hunger/wanting to hurl, it was a sufferfest from the get-go.

Jill was encouraging! Ever optomistic, and we rotated, and worked through the course. We got passed by the pro/1/2, the Cat 3 men, and assorted fast packs, paced by motorcycles and follow cars. Occasionally, we'd hear shouts of encouragement from the riders, like, 'Good job ladies!' lol! Another, 'Lovely weather...' Hey, it helped. And so we rode, and rode.

I only had 1 bottle of water, and 1 bottle of Accelerade. I got down two gel packs, and some beans, and for a 42 mile race, that's just not enough. But I was familiar with the course, and we finally hit the final leg, 10 miles of a straight shot to the finish...and I felt/heard something big puncture my rear tire. 'Flat!' I yelled, so Jill wouldn't run into me, and I pulled off. Jill called out if I wanted her to wait, and I told her to go on, and finish. Too late I realized we had planned before that since we were sticking together, that I would carry the tube in my rear pocket, and she would have the levers and air. I was stranded. I felt my tire, and suprisingly, it still had some air, and knowing I was a light weight, I got back on and rolled for a couple miles before it went completely flat. Then I got off, and started walking. Of course, cyclists passed, but there was no SAG on this race, so walk it was. I was thirsty, and hot. Then after another few hundred yards, a racer stopped! Dave was a friend of Ruth's, and knowing he was out of contention, he stopped and offered me the tools I need to fix my flat! Saved! What a guy! So with everything I needed, I flipped my bike, and put in the new tube.

I started rolling again. I just wanted to finish, so no TT'ing it in, I rolled along at about 18mph, when another racer passed, obviously in no hurry, and I 'sort of' (because you can get dnf'd if you work with racers outside of your group) caught his wheel. We rolled at around 20mph when he noticed me, and came back alongside, and we started chatting. About racing, about Dunnigan, and it was nice to have company. Finally, the final turn was there, and we rolled up and over the overpass. He pulled ahead, and we crossed. A DBC'er along the side yelled at me, "Why did you let him win the sprint?!" and I just smiled, happy to be DONE.

I rode another couple of miles to get back to the parking lot, thirsty, hungry, tired....and the van was gone.

So I sat in the dusty, parking lot waiting for them to come back. So after not having real food for 6 hours, racing 42 miles n the wind/heat/dust, hungry, tired, exhausted mentally and physically, I was felling pretty darn sorry for myself.

Then my ride was there! Jill had ridden back, and Chris threw her bike in the van, and they drove back to to the course to try and find me. Lucikly, they did, because they picked up another stranded racer just sitting on the side of the road in a bit of a daze. They dropped him off, and as they loaded my bike, I downed my other bottle of water, and climbed in. Whew. Check that puppy of my Bucket List: Road race, DONE!!

Stats: max heart rate, 168. Ave. was 155 (!!!) Lost 4-5 pounds of water weight.

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