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A race report that was almost forgotten, as I’m typing this 6 days later in the Philadelphia airport during a layover.
My last race of the Charlotte Winter Short Track Series had a handful of ups and downs. As I was only able to race 4 out of 5 races my placing of this last race would be a wash. Going into a race lacking motivation is difficult for me, so 20 minutes to start time I did some soul searching and finding that mission. Mission: fun, hard pace and working to help a couple key friends on their short track virginity.
This is going to be kept short and sweet.
2nd lap I found myself sitting comfortable in 2nd place. Pushing it hard. Working with a friend Jordan on the road section. Around lap 4 or 5 I decided to slow the hell down. My morning routine was off, and my stomach was feeling questionable. Letting my heart rate drop a zone made me drop two places. Sitting in 4th behind Patty Smith. I coasted along, catching breath and finding comfort in my tempo zone. Two laps to go I knew I needed to either find peace with my 4th place finish or attack.
Of course, I attacked. Put room between Patty and myself, I had 3rd locked in place. Trying to bridge the gap between 2nd place (Jordan) and myself, I pushed hard but needed another lap to make up the time I had lost. Losing 2nd place by 10 seconds was bitter but I learned a bit about myself, comfort zones and the punch that my legs have in these early pre-season races.
One last bitter sadness is that I am currently tied for 1st overall with Patty. If I was to race this weekend and beat her, I would have first in the expert category. Unfortunately I am sitting in PA on the way to MN, far away from the race course. I can say I ended the series much better than I ever expected. My goals were to hang on and not get lapped, in the end I was the one doing the lapping.
Photo credits: Cheryl Anne & Jodi’s Wife.
Could I keep consistent lap times? Could I make the podium? How did my skinsuit do under mountain bike conditions?
Let’s Cut to the Conclusion
Mission, possible. 2nd place, behind a super strong (pro) Debbie, and in front of a damn good field.
I’m not going to give you play by play but here are cliff notes.
Went into the woods on first lap 3/4 behind the field. I simply didn’t have the gearing to power through the start which sucks as I’m normally good at stopped starts.
Through the woods, on the brakes, riding someone’s tire, over the rock and on the gravel. Picking off girls, calling my passes and not knowing how this was happening. I was “picking girls off”???? For a few laps I tried to work with Patty Smith. She’s fast in the short track, I could help her on the gravel and road but in the end I was giving up too much time on the road not pushing hard enough. Around lap 4 I put a gap between us, holding it steady (losing 5 seconds or so on the last last lap.) I could see Debbie through the trees, but the guys winner ended up between us, ending my last lap a lap down from her. I wish I knew the time gap better before that extra lap she did.
Hard Work Means Harder Work Ahead
Yes, I am super proud of my accomplishments in a short amount of time. It is two days after the race and I still don’t believe I placed 2nd as my goals of this series was to not get lapped.
My goals are still lofty, but feel a little closer after this past weeks performance.
Photo Credit: Cheryl Anne & Paul
Today was the first time in this race series I’ve been able to sleep in. Maybe the nerves are calming down and I am realizing I don’t have to wake up at 7am to dance around in spandex all morning. Restless. Excited. Hopeful. Is today the day I’ll earn myself a place on the podium?
My goals for today are simple. Solid, consistent, lap times. I won’t be relying on the Garmin for this, but my internal clock. My heart rate, my pounding heart, and the time gaps before or after my position.
My other goal is that today is skin suit rocking weather since it is going to be under 55º! This skinsuit, TwinSix team issue, has been in my arsenal all fall long but I haven’t been able to wear it so today is the day! On a side note, I don’t know which color sports bra to wear as the kit is black/silver. Thoughts? (Yes, these are the thoughts that go through my head…I am a girl!)
Hope to see you out there ringing the cowbell!
Lesbi-honest.…going into this race I was super pumped but had pretty realistic expectations. My legs would be loaded and weighed down from the previous day’s threshold test, plus I had a 3 hour mountain bike ride planned for Monday. I wanted to do well, but these Short Track races aren’t goals, they are pieces of a bigger puzzle!
Pre-Race Warm Up & Getting Jacked Up
This past weekend I honed in on a Pre-Race routine. Food, music choices and even received a few really stellar songs for my playlist from Facebook friends. I timed my ride to the race a bit closer, getting there around 1:15pm. I still ended up standing around for close to 45 minutes, so I’ll need to plan on being there even later next week. The 30 minute spin to the course is perfect, utilizing a couple spin up and short sprints right before the race line up.
A few key players including Bonnie and Elsa showed up, they hadn’t been there the week previous and replaced a couple girls that kicked my arse (Jane & Sarah.) It would be interesting to see what Bonnie did to the field and how I could respond.
Go Time, BRAAAPPP
I couldn’t get clipped in off the bat, but I still settled in 3rd going into the woods. I was happy, didn’t want to push it and needed to settle into a nice rhythm as we ticked off the laps. Finding my home between Jodi and Layla, I was putting time between Jodi (behind me) and trying to stay within a few seconds of Layla’s wheel. Going into the last lap I knew if I wanted 3rd I needed to make a move. Looking at my heart rate sitting at 185, I hadn’t hit my ceiling but my legs were. My quads simply did not have the snap left in them to attack that last lap full gas. Realizing no one was behind me, I slowed down a tick so that I would still have legs under me to get me home.
Where’s Your Head At?
Several people have commented that I should have attacked the last lap, and I agree to a point. These races are part of an interval training and part of a bigger, endurance, plan. Wrecking my legs for one place, while glorious, if it means I can’t ride the next day… is pointless. Sometimes you have to lose a pawn in the long term plan of check mate.
To the 5 or 6 friends that purposely got in their car to simply be there on the side of the trail, I am super grateful and humble.
Here’s to next week of Short Track Domination!
Photo credit: CLT Photography