Saturday, August 24, 2013

Winters Road Race–Robin

August 24, 2013 – Winters, CA
2 x 24loops

40 Min


Women’s 4, 10th

Even though I’m coming into this race with a cold, I’m excited to see what I can do and get a good workout.  Troy and I start out on a warm-up but he has to turn back to fix his tire.  I continue on and get some time to spend time with the Lord.

We meet up again and we pray for safety and that we can be a light to others.

I’m the last group to go.  I line up with my group and chat with a gal, Angel, about triathlons and adventure races.  It’s time to go and as we roll of the line.  One of the girls goes straight instead of turning left.  I find myself on the front with Angel.  Oh dear, I didn’t plan this.  I wanted to let the pack pull me along in the beginning.  I think Angel is thinking the same thing so we purposely pedal “softly” and chat comfortably.  Eventually, a few girls go around and now I can settle back. 

This is an interesting group.  There a few chatty and vocal gals who seem to want to control the pack.  I try to pay no attention and let the pack pull me along.  We make it to feed zone without much drama except being neutralized to let a few packs of guys go by.  I move up towards the front of the pack now know that the climb will start to separate the group as it gets steeper.  I feel tired but am able to hang with them.  I hope to be able to stay close and have a good descent this time around…especially since I’ve been feeling more confident

The hill reaches it’s steepest point and the group really splits off.  I’m with the lead pack so I think I’m in good shape.  These gals are probably great decenders so I think I’m good.  As we start down the backside, I’m surprised that some of these girls are braking and slowing.  I find myself stuck behind a few girls and watch about 7 other girls take off.  Uh-oh!  When the road opens up I try my best to get moving and fly down. 

At the bottom, the seven gals have grouped up and are already pulling away.  I dig to try to catch them but I’m making no ground.  Another gal from the girl comes up and we work together.  Our efforts seem to be getting us no where but I tell her it’s worth trying.  Soon though a pack of 6 girls comes up.  One of the gals is the most chatty from the group.  She also has a teammate with her.  There is another pair of teammates.  One is in pigtails   The chatty gal gets us to start taking quick pulls to catch the group.  We make a good effort but the lead pack has completely disappeared. 

On the backside of the first loop, a motorcycle comes up and warns us that a group of guys is passing.  I’m in the front of the pull and make my way as far right as I can go.  I back off on the pedaling as they go by.  The girl in pigtails is behind me and tells me to keep pedaling. I’m pressured into doing it even though I’ve been told “neutralize” or hold up when a group passes.  Just then Lance Loveday goes by and shouts what sounds like “don’t work too hard”.  What to do?  I just try to continue pushing to please.  The guys finish the pass and I pull off. 

The chatty gal continues to push us to take turns pulling.  I’m feeling beat and purposely skip some pulls.  I think some other girls might be feeling the same but no one except for the chatty girl and pigtail are talking.

On our way to the climb, a motorcycle neutralizes us again.  The group of guys passes but the motorcycle continues to hold us back to create space.  I don’t understand why since those guys will naturally create their own space since they are faster.

We make it back to the feed zone and I grab a water bottle.  One of the girls takes off but I’m not worried.  She’ll need us on the backside of the course to get home so I let her go.  I’m with chatty gal and tell her not to worry. 

Even though I’m tired I am able to push the climb.  Once again, a group goes by just before the steep part.  Oh man!  They pass fast so I don’t have to slow up.  I make it over the top alone and fly down.  I’m definitely handling this descent better than last year but the tight corners intimidate me and I pull on the brakes a bit.

At the bottom, I see the girl that went ahead.  She’s all alone and waiting for us.  The chatty girl and another girl in white are with me.  We work together to catch the girl.  I try to communicate to push past the girl and try to go it alone.  As we make the pass, she stays on.  I feel bad for wanting to drop her.  It’s hard to be so self focused and always be thinking about “my” next move.

There are only 5 miles left!  I’ve already spent a lot of energy but I’m hoping I’ll have something left.  At this point everyone is looking to see what the other is going to do.  I see a pack of guys coming up and am relieved some of the other girls didn’t catch us.  But then I see that the chatty girl’s teammate and the pigtail gal were riding with them.  That’s not good cycling edicate (?) but I’m focusing on the end.

Only a mile to go!  I remember riding this part of the course this morning and I know what to expect.  I decide to start pushing and not leave it up to the last sprint.  I’m not feeling very confident in holding them off but I feel it’s worth the try.  1K to go!  I push harder and so does the girl in white and the girl who took off on the climb.  They pass me and I do all I can to hold them but they pull ahead. I hear chatty girl shouting “on your left, left, left”.  I’m confused.  I’m I doing something wrong?  I move right and she comes up on me…smooth move Robin!  I’m not going to make it that easy for her.  I dig down deep.  I hear Troy cheering as I give it my all.  I beat the chatty girl at the finish. 

Phew, that was tough!  I sure made a lot of mistakes out there but it was a good workout which is what I wanted.  Some day I need to figure out how to balance protecting myself and looking out for others.  Lord, thank you for sustaining me so that I could do this even with a sore throat and cough!