Last weekend was the annual race from Warda to Rocky Hill and then back to Warda.
The morning started early (4:00 early), on the road by 4:30 and at the gas station by 4:35. It was real foggy but that didn't slow me down, had to get to race!! The race started at 7:30 with a racers' meeting at 7:15. I got all ready to go only to realize I had lost my car keys... panic!! After about five minutes of searching I found them inside my collapsable lawn chair... WTF. Back to race, I rode around a little bit made sure I had everything, left my supply bag with my teammate's, James Webb's dad (So thankful for the support!). Put my bike down in the bike staging area and headed to the racers' meeting. I got to catch up with a lot of my friend racers while we waited for the start, the Le Mans start. Some anxiety some negative anticipation about how much the race was going to hurt and all of the sudden we were going.
After the Le Mans and some shuffling around I was approaching the entrance to the singletrack and then my rear tire came to a grinding halt and I had no idea why. Apparently the skewer had worked itself a little loose. Wonderful... I got it back on and got back on the bike, about 50 positions back from where I was, and in the thick of the mostly non-technical riders... ugh... I also noticed I gashed my finger pretty good while fixing my bike and the blood was flowing off my thumb like no other. After some slow singletrack and passing a bunch of people, and then some more people, it was time to get out onto the road for the first road section.
I started out with a pretty fast group that could not hold a steady pace for anything so we were constantly going from 23mph to 17mph with short hard accelerations in between. I decided it not worth the effort to try to stay in the group so I let them go so I could hold a more steady pace. Eventually, another group caught up to me and I joined in that group, a good friend, Tracy Jones, was in the group and since I wasn't really "in" my race too much I decided to ride with her the rest of the day. Just as we were about two miles from Rocky Hill Tracy flatted so, being a nice guy, I stopped to help her get it fixed, Stan's is great tire sealant!! Back on the road and almost to Rocky Hill, I was really looking forward to some food. Refueled, Tracy and I hit the trails at Rocky Hill, one of my favorite riding venues. I rode in front for a while, picking good lines, then I would let Tracy lead for a while, she did not pick good lines and I was too sheepish and followed her... then I would lead again for a while. A while later, about 20 miles or so, we came to the end of Rocky Hill singletrack, nothing very eventful happened at RH.
The road section back started with a big climb and then was reasonably flat all the way back to Warda, just a few slow grinders. Tracy and I and one other dude started a paceline and kept picking people up as we went. I noticed my knee starting to hurt pretty good about half way back, not sure why it was hurting. Kept on cycling through the paceline getting Tracy back into contention for the women until about 4 miles to go, at which point I was pretty much spent for the day. I didn't totally slack off but I definitely was riding a bit easier. After I was done I actually felt pretty good physically, except for my knee, that was killing me.
I ended up fourth in my age group, not too bad, and Tracy ended up as the second woman overall and first in her age group. Way to go!! After a delicious burger and a chat with my coach I headed on back to Houston. Way to go to my coach, by the way, fifth overall for men, Great Work!!
Now it's back to training.
Next weekend Sonia and I are travelling to rural Alabama to visit Sonia's Mom, Maria. I haven't been Alabama for a while and it'll be great to meet Sonia's mom so I'm definitely looking forward to the trip!