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Monday, May 10, 2004

Reflections on the weekend

Saturday, May 8th, 2004 -- A Velo Girls win at Cat's Hill. Yippee! Cox pulled it at the line -- photo finish. All our racers did great and I was very proud. After the race, headed out for my pre-race ride. Not knowing the ride options in Los Gatos, I found it challenging to find a good route to do it, but I think it worked out okay.

Ride stats -- 48 minutes -- 11.1 miles -- 13.9mph avg -- 29.9mph max

Sunday, May 9th, 2004 -- Berkeley Hills Road Race -- This was a tough one for me. I felt very strong (legs and lungs) but my back is just killing me and it feels like I'm compressing my sciatic nerve. Need to fix my bike fit and I think I'm also finally going to give in and visit a chiropractor (Jen Mason has a very good one who focuses on athletes and even worked at a bunch of Olympic games).

Anyways, wasn't feeling very awake or alert during our warm-up. But I felt good once we got to the line. Full field (50 CAT4s) and we planned to win. I put myself in great position (and made sure my teammates were in good position as well) during the promenade and when we rolled to the start, I said "it's a bike race ladies," and took off. Spent a little bit off the front (fun) and then was re-absorbed by the pack. I wasn't planning to do that, but it was fun (my short moment of glory). Got to the first big climb (Mama Bear) a bit further back in the pack than I'd planned, but it was okay. Popped off the back (no surprise), but not so far off that I couldn't see the pack or other stragglers. Rode with Gail (Berkeley Bike Club), but she wasn't able to keep up on the climbs and I dropped her on Papa Bear. Thought I'd made a big mistake doing that, but I caught up to Lauren at the beginning of San Pablo Dam Road (yeah). We worked together for the rest of lap one and convinced each other to keep racing. I actually considered quitting (for the first time in a race) because my back was simply killing me), but stuck it out with Lauren. As we began the second climb up Mama Bear, Gail caught us and the three of us pacelined & echeloned for the rest of the race. We told Lauren to cross the line first for mother's day (she's a mom), and Gail and I crossed hand in hand.

It was finally great to be able to race with others during a road race (instead of just time trialling it). Lauren climbs a bit faster than me, but she's not a fast descender, so it worked great. She'd hop on my wheel during the decsents and we were able to stay together.

So, how did I feel? Well, I felt great on the first set of climbs. Actually climbed pretty well (HR in 150s & 160s) and was able to dig really deep to keep my pace up on the hills. By the second time up the climbs, my back was really, really bothering me and my pace was much slower (HR about 20 beats lower than the first lap).

Quick note on the race in general. It was pretty exciting that most of the field was able to stay together for the first lap. Women's racing sure has come a long way. Even on the second lap, there was a core group of about 20 racers in the lead pack coming into the last climb.

Oh, my result. Wasn't last. They hadn't released full results when I finished, but there were a handful of women who finished after us and probably 10 or so women who just quit. I think that's one of the reasons I keep racing alone -- the slower racers don't finish the races.

Race Stats -- 2:59:47 (broke the 3 hour mark)!!! 46 miles. AVG HR = 140, MAX HR = 167

Total Stats for the day (including warm-up & cool down) -- 4:03:09 -- 61.4 miles -- 15.2mph avg -- 40.2mph max


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