Well, it seems appropriate that I begin my first blog entry on the same day that I had my first criterium race.
First off, it wasn't really a crit layout, more like a circuit race seeing that the course was 1.8 miles and one 90 degree turn; the rest was all slow curves.
Anyways... I prepared well the night before for the race having the Exploder packed and ready to roll in this morning. Smooth start to the day, but my nerves were kicking in hardcore regardless. I thought I was going to be sick on the way down to the course. Got to the parking lot at the quarry nice and early before my 9:45 start time, registered and began to warmup. I could feel my heart rate just going all sorts of crazy! I drank a ridiculous amount of water and tried to eat some fig newtons, but I was so freaking nervous my body was putting up a fight taking them down. I hopped on the trainer and began to warmup and was feeling okay. Got a good sweat going after about 35 minutes and then did a few warmup laps in the parking lot. I started to get a little cold as the sun went behind the clouds. This should have been my clue to start warming up harder, but I didn't; just kept going around in the parking lot just like everyone else... Ugh.
I make my way to the start line as the womens' race was finishing. Scope out a decent spot and scoot in. Next thing I know everyone is on top of me trying to squeeze their bike in this little tiny spot. Ah well, I just go with it and try to not let it affect my nerves.
OKAY HERE'S THE GOOD STUFF:
We get our instructions... No primes....and the whistle blows. Off to the races. I get clipped in and we're going balls out already. Come to a small small hill with a slight curve half way up. Some schlep isn't holding his line and nearly takes out a guy to my right and me. I was able to feather the brakes and veer slightly to the left and sprint to catch the wheel in front of me. Okay I'm hanging in mid pack. THIS IS AWESOME I'm thinking to myself. I can't described the rush any better than EUPHORIC. I'm mid pack, 52 other racers around me, going 28-30mph and stuff is just whizzing by. We make it around to the back side of the course and the pace is still freaking unbelievable. We are just hauling ass through these slow curves and nearly the whole field is all together. I'm stilling sitting mid pack as we come up to the only 90 degree turn. Shit did that come up fast, everyone one is braking hard as the turn comes up after a slow rise with a curve. Thing snuck up on everyone that first lap. I brake, coast and continue through the turn holding my line. One guy to the right and up one slot got cut off and ended up doing some off roading, but was able to get back on after losing quite a few spots.
Alright first lap done. Lap 2 the riders on the front pick it up going up the first hill again through the curve. I moved up to the front 1/3 of the field and hung on there for a bit. Got around to the slight incline before the 90 and moved to the rear 1/3 of the field. Lap 2 done and gone.
Lap 3 - Guess where the acceleration is again??? Hmm maybe the first hill with the curve?? Sure shit. And this time I get gapped off the back about 3 meters. I push it to get back on and gain some group and now sitting last wheel. Hill #2 on the backside is the next big surge. Gapped again. Dangit. And I can't get back on this time. I'm trying to bridge up to the field. Quad...cramping...feels like my muscle is pushing into my knee cap. I pulled at after Lap 3.
DNF. Better than DFL right? At least I think so.
1.) Train harder!! Intervals!! Jim G. is going to help me with developing a training program and is going to help me work at gaining some more power. I already learned quite a bit from talking to him today while he was warming up for his Masters 4/5 race.
2.) Warm Up better next time. Go to the line slightly sweating, hopefully that'll alleviate the cramps.
3.) I'm going to bed... Maybe I'll finish my lessons later :-)