Note to self:
Stay up front.
On a whim and since I had my Jeep and my stuff, I decided to blow outta work at 10 till 5 to beat traffic to G-belt instead of just training local roads and going home. I wanted to get there early enough to see if i could weasel my fat cat 4 ass in to the C race. I was prepared to deal with suffering thru the B until they dropped me. Thanks to the Rt-1 guy who said OK for me to ride the C. I hadn't done a race there since 1999. Back then I suffered badly enough on that stupid hill in the B race (they had stopped doing the C for a couple years and I was Cat 4 anyway) that I lost all desire to wanna race there anymore. This season my training has been pretty good and I have resolved to cast out old demons by entering races that I know I will suck at.
How'd it go?
Well...Not bad. I spent the first 7 laps on the front, staying outta trouble and outta the wind. I was pretty comfortable just staying in the front 10 riders. And I was thinking that maybe, I shoulda signed up for the B race after all. I had 2 teammates in the race, Alex and Mike. Alex is riding really really well this year and he was on the front or near the front the whole race. I pretty much sat on his wheel. It's a weasel thing to do, but I know my limitations. One the 8th lap i started drifting back a few spots to take on some water and found myself getting outta the saddle way too much to maintain the gaps. That's when the wheels fell off. I had blown psychologically as my old demons on the hill came to haunt me and I gave up let myself get gapped off. To tell the truth, my legs were feeling like bags of wet cement. It's not easy hauling 207 lbs up that hill 11 times. On the downhill, I snapped out of it and gave chase to get back on. I knew the pack would coast down the hill, so I actually closed some of the gap to within about 100 feet by the time the bottom of the hill started. I did my best to get up there, but the psychology of that fracking hill just works my head over into a pile of goo. Well there was no coming back for me, but I has passed a whole bunch of guys who came off and guys who were already lapped and I decided to do my best to keep the group in sight. For the next 3 laps I did my best to keep up the tempo and I really did keep the pack in sight right up to the end. My last trip up the hill, I was completely blown, physically and mentally. I kinda just slowly drifted across the line, glad that my odreal was over. But I was very happy that I didnt give up. I managed 16th outta 25+ starters.
When it was all done, I kinda felt pretty good about myself. I never do that well here. But tonight I got a nice moral boost. I can do this race after all. Tonight, the only thing that kept me from staying with the group the whole race was my own stupidity. If they'll let me, I want to ride the C race maybe 2 more times and then move myself to the B race. And let the suffering begin anew.
Shout out to Alex, He managed to win the race. I think it was his first race to boot. He's been training really hard too and looking good at all the D'ville rides lately. It was no surprise to any one on the team that he did well. He'll be in that B race soon enough too.
Just a thought.
Perhaps the rules at Greenbelt can be bent a little to let 200+ (Clydesdale) Cat 4 guys into the C race without question. I think I speak for allot of us when I say, that staying in a race for more than 3 laps is a wonderful morale boost. It makes me really wanna drop the pounds off and get where I should be.