Monday, March 28, 2005

Snohomish Road Race

Saturday's event was a road race near Monroe, WA (which isn't too far from Seattle). My race was scheduled for 4 laps around an 11 mile course with rolling hills and one nice little climb.

Unfortunately the wet weather has returned to the Pacific Northwest and Saturday's forecast looked dreadful. I woke up to windy, wet conditions (the weather guy actually got it right!), packed up my stuff and headed for the course. The first problem of the day happened on the drive. Somehow I made a wrong turn and ended up arriving late. By the time I registered and got dressed it was 9:15. We were scheduled for a 9:35 start and I had done absolutely no warmup (usually a warmup is 30-45 minutes). To make things worse my bladder wasn't cooperating and I had to choose between the bathroom and a warmup. I opted for the bathroom. And with that, I went to the lineup in the cold rain with absolutely no warmup in my legs. This was going to be fun.

Somewhat luckily there was a neutral rollout of a couple miles from the staging area to the race course. The lead car kept the pace high so we wouldn't get too cold, which got my heart pumping nice and quickly. This was the extent of my warmup and the race commenced at the best of the largest climb (ok, it wasn't big in the traditional sense, but the biggest on the course). Did I mention this was going to be fun?

After the initial surge up the first climb (and listening to my body saying "What the fuck are you doing to me?") the peloton settled into a reasonable pace. Sometime on the second lap I felt a squishyness in my rear tire. This could only mean that I was loosing air. We were still climbing so I kept going for a bit because the wheel car was nowhere in sight, but when some of the bigger downhills came into the picture I pulled over and waited for a wheel change.

Obviously, following the change I had been dropped from the peloton, so I put the hammer down to see if I could catch back up. As my heart rate soared into time trial range I couldn't help but remember how much I hate field tests. :) I passed several people that had been dropped by the peloton. A rider from another team hopped on my back wheel as I passed him but didn't have the strength to take a turn leading, so I ended up hauling his ass around for 15 miles or so. At one point there were three of us working together, but in the end I couldn't catch back up and finished up the race behind the main field (not exactly sure where).

I'm kicking myself for using my good racing wheels/tires in a wet race. The night before I was looking at my heavy duty training wheels and a feeling that I should use them, but didn't listen to it. Somehow I think the heavier tire wouldln't have flatted. I have yet to get a flat on them in all of my wet weather training. Duh. Ya know, it doesn't matter how much lighter the race wheel is if it doesn't stay inflated. :)

Oh, and after that effort in the soaking rain I pretty much felt like I had been run over by a truck for the rest of the day.... ok, and Sunday's training ride wasn't too much fun either.


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