Saturday, March 26, 2016

Copperopolis RR M45+ (Troy)


Date: 3/26/16

Location: Milton, Ca

Distance: 42 miles

Place: 6th

Such a cool race.  Despite the bumpy roads, it is a race we both look forward to.  It has hills, which I usually do well going up, and coming down.  Although I’m not feeling very strong with limited training in the hills this year.

My plan is to 1) not get dropped because I’m not paying attention like at Barianni 2) Don’t push the hills early on like usual – hide my cards until the last hill before the descent.

Robin and I pray before the start and then we’re off!  There’s about 35 in my group.  As we roll along the bumpy flat section before the first hill, I pray that Robin has a good race with no flats.  Last year was amazing, her cable broke, she had to climb in hard gears and finally stop and get it figured out, and then the Lord allowed to win the whole thing!

I’m surprised how nice the bike and my legs feel.  I adjusted my saddle tilt down before the race and it’s taking a little to get used to (didn’t want hamstring to strain again).  Up the climb we stay together.  Around the lake I meet a guy I used to race a lot of triathlons against back in the 90’s.  Mark Pietrofesa.  I don’t have any team members and neither does he.

I stay around 10th position, only minimal pulls, laying low, low key.  The descent goes well.  I pull ahead, test out the finish line and now we go around the final time.

I took 2 big bottles this time and still I’m almost out.  Always drink a lot here.  I don’t get water at the aid station.. mistake.  Up the hill, feels like the first time, but I’m 3rd guy to the top.  Purposely not gettnig in front.

Mark goes by and pushing me, alerting me to go with him.  I sprint but am totally gassed when I catch up.  The pack jumps and is on us.  I realize I’m not going to be able to do any breaks.  Don’t have enough energy.  Around the lake, Mark keeps attacking.  He gets 1 guy to go with him, but it’s not enough.

A couple miles from the final hill before the descent, the key hill for me, where I got dropped before, Mark makes a big move, and 20 secs later a guy goes off to him and they have a break!  Good for him.  Wish I could be apart but I need it for the hill.

Coming up to the hill, with 2 out and away, I’m tired but know it’s all about this 1/2 mi climb.  Dear Lord, I must give you my full effort, whether it’s enough or not, if it’s all for you, it is enough.

Go!  I dig, it’s going ok, except a couple wrong gear shifts.  1 guy pulls way ahead but I can hardly tell with my eyes half closed and gasping for air.  Can’t stop.. all the way to the top.  Standing, burning, just get over and it’s all down-hill to the finish…  I hear 2 guys behind me.

I’m over!  I start to pick it up.  The 2 CBRE guys are with me.  Ok, let them pull.  We go back n forth.  Now, down the steep crazy bumpty descent.  The big guy has been working all day.  He’s pulling the skinny guy – the one he wants to cross first.  The skinny guy goes ahead and tucks.  I see his chain come off.  I yell but there’s no way anyone can hear anything with the wind and bumps.  Fortunately he realizes it.  His teammate slows with him and I go by on the left.

Soon they are back and we are together at the bottom.  Whew!  Now, just use them, stay calm.  Another guy catches up to us.  Now there’s 3 that just finished, and then us 4.  200m, still behind.  100m and go!  The big guy is spent and pulls off.  I stay behind the skinny guy.  The late-joiner passes us both.  I finish 6th overall.

Thank you, Lord!  It’s so great to have followed the plan and been able to give 100% effort on the last climb.  Spent all my energy steadily to the finish.  And no technicals or crashes!

God protected Robin & I and our good friend, Trixie.  We rely on Him so much because we know there’s no gurantee no matter what precautions are taken.