This past weekend was the Walla Walla stage race and if anything it has rekindled my love for this sport and my desire to reach my goals even more evident. The past month has been a struggle - with my grandmother's stroke and then shortly followed by Brad's death... but I think the healing is really starting to begin and this weekend jump started it into gear.
It started with a 5 mile TT - which I did okay in. It was an uphill course and somewhat windy. I did alright - placing 10th in the TT. My original start time was bumped from the beginning of the course to the very last position for some reason. Then we were able to relax between stages - lounging in the warm sun on a nice green lawn. Amara took the team switch news pretty well. I was more afraid of the Boursaw's reaction than anything. But they were very understanding and encouraging.
The 60 mile road race started out well. I felt super strong but as usual once I got up front it was a detrimental mistake. We completed the first small loop and came back around to do the 3 km climb - of which I was immediately dropped. I couldn't catch back on for the life of me. I just don't think I was prepared to deal with the pain nor in my head did I make the decision to go for it. I ended up catching up with Melinda, Jaimie and this other local woman. We ended up doing a rotating paceline through to the final climb - of which I was immediately dumped off. Needless to say I finished the RR and was looking more forward to the crit the following morning.
The crit was really going to see how we as a team work together and hang in there. We communicated throughout the race - but Kele ended up pulling an amazing move and lapping our field. From that point on it was a matter of making sure Jana was locked into 3rd place in the GC - which she easily did. I really enjoyed working with the ladies and contributing. It's so nice to be on a team where I can actually do something! And although I didn't place well in the final sprint, I still feel like I accomplished a lot in the grand scheme of things. First of all - I can play ball. It's only my second year and I'm proving I have the fitness and ability to hang in there. Now I just have to want it. And I have to also be able to deal with pain. Cycling pushes you to the limits - and the only way to advance in the advanced field is to push outside of your comfort zone and become comfortable with being uncomfortable.
So now I'm taking a couple days off - to get my head on straight ... and tomorrow I start back up with some hard and intense training and racing. I can't wait. Track also starts up on Friday. YIPPEE!!!!