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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Philly Phlyer

I got back from a busy race weekend about 2 hours ago. My first race for this season...

SATURDAY ROAD RACE, 15 Miles in Phoenixville, PA:
Friday night into Saturday it rained, and Saturday was bad. However, my race it hardly rained except for the pouring at the very beginning that stopped after a minute, and several light drizzles here and there. The course though, I HATED IT! First, it was totally different from the course description, or the description was at least very vague. I took it that it was just one hill climb at the beginning, then downhills and flats after that. Well, there obviously was a reason why it was mostly flats and downhills after that; because "that" was a long, un-steady climb (grade kept changing), with some false flats that I would sprint on thinking the climb was over. The climbs just kept coming and coming and coming. Also, very many technical turns that were sharp on the downhill, which I absolutely hated because it just didn't seem like a good course.

I got dropped on the 3rd or 4th climb, which I attribute to the crash with a car back in October. I'm sure I could have kept up with some of the riders in the front if I had those 12 weeks back to train. I learned later that the pack blew up later on a climb and there really was no peloton, but just a bunch of small groups.

I didn't think at the time that anyone else dropped before me besides three other guys that got dropped at the same time I did, which I stayed with them for a little until the killed me on a hill. I thought I was in last place, so I basically slowed down and paced myself, since the roads were wet and I wasn't going to risk killing myself. But somewhere about 10 miles into the road race I got caught up by someone from Drexel (who got dropped on the first hill he told me) who shouted out something like "c'mon, keep going!". At first I didn't know if he was Men's D1 or D2, so I asked if he was racing right now, and what category he was. He was the same category I was in (D2), so I made sure I stuck with him the rest of the way. When we were done with the climbs and it was downhills and flats the rest of the way, we had an "unspoken" agreement for a friendly battle to the end. We both started sprinting but he ended up slowing down, I'm guessing his legs were dead from the climbs, and I took off. I ended the race about 10-15 seconds before he did. We both shook hands and said "good race" right after he crossed the finish.

Nick and Sean started their Men's Intro race shortly before I crossed the finish, and they ended up getting pounded on by the rain. Sean finished 7th, Nick 8th. After their race the officials said that it's too dangerous for a road race because of flooding, and turned the rest of the races into a criterium in the middle of town. All the races got pushed back for atleast 2 hours, and Kim decided not do to her Women's A race because by the time they would've went off, it would've been 4:00.

SUNDAY Team Time Trial (8+ miles) and Circuit Race, Philadelphia, PA:
Why was daylight savings time last night? I lost an hour of sleep!!!

I arrived in Philadelphia at about 6:50 this morning. Nick, John and I decided to do the Team Time Trial for Men's Intro. I went down a grade just for the TTT because Nick and John never did one before, and it was their first race weekend as road racers. Anyways, we took off at about 8:30, and had a good start. However, when we turned around and started riding into the wind, John just started freezing up and Nick and I slowed down so he could keep up. He started not feeling well and we stuck with him, knowing that we were getting points for our team since there weren't that many teams racing Men's Intro. When Nick and I got close to the hill climb at the end of the race, I looked back to John and said "we're going, see you at the finish" which he knew we would do since only 2 needed to cross the finish for the timer to stop. He kept telling us to go but we wanted to stay with him until the hill climb, which was our original plan since Nick and I are stronger climbers. We got 2nd.............................................. but there were only two teams. We gained 11 points for the DeSales Cycling team, but I know if it was just Nick and me, we could have beaten the other team. They were ahead of us by about 4 minutes.

Later in the day I was supposed to do the circuit race, however the wind was getting more violent and colder, that I made the difficult decision to opt out of it. My reason, I'm about to finish off a minor cold of just a nose congestion and some coughing that I got earlier this week. I didn't want to risk making it worse when it was REALLY cold out there because the wind was blowing 20+ mph. I want to race next weekend, not have to skip it because of being sick!

Well, that's my race weekend story. Sorry for the long post, but I just love talking about details! For those of you that read my posts, please let me know what you think about my decision to opt out of the circuit race earlier today. I kind of regret doing that, thinking I could have done a good job with it, but I was afraid of getting sicker and having to miss some training time this week and maybe even next weekend's race. Thanks!

1 comment:

Chris said...

Racing in the rain and wet sucks. You will get your fitness back in mid season and things will improve. Good job.