I had serious doubts on Saturday if I should race Sunday. My legs felt like lead bricks, as they usually do after racing at the track. And mentally, I've been hesitant on racing on my leg in fear of re-injuring it.
On Sunday, Ti had 5 ladies show - Vicki, Annette, Michelle, Heidi and myself. Our field wasn't big - only 14 showed. But it was big enough to have our own field, for which I am very thankful. The course is a big loop with rolling hills and one short steep climb called the wall. It's 21% grade for about 300m. Talk about a grinder. You have to have strong core strength or else you might fall over.
The first lap started off pretty mellow - with Beth throwing the lone attack on the later part of the loop and gaining some time on us. Fortunately it was windy and our group was willing to work and catch her. In retrospect we should've attacked her as soon as we were close to catching her. It probably would've tired out the field even more.
Everytime I saw red on the front, I moved up. Unless she was near another red jersey. There's strength in numbers. We communicated throughout the race and it paid off.
I remember thinking at one point, after the second time up the hill that I could win this race. Holy shit - I survived 50 some odd miles and was actually going to be there in the end. Saweet!
Our plan was to have a lead out train with either Vicki or I in contention for the sprint. Unfortunately we didn't have it together to perfectly execute it - but we still managed to nearly fill up the podium. The finishing section is pancake flat with a left hand turn before you see the 200m to go sign. For some reason everyone in front stayed left, opening a huge hole on the right. I powered down the pedals and found myself pulling away. Next thing I know, I'm raising my hands and then catch Amy on my left about to pip me at the line. Hands back on the bars, a few more strokes and we were done. I had no idea where the finish line was nor who won. I was just stoked that my hammy survived! And that was my first race that I've been able to stick with the pack. And we worked well together as a team! Bonus!
My back is a little funky due to the car accident - it was sore today. I went and saw a PT that is filing in for Izette and she gave me some new inner core exercises to work on. Apparently I've been flexing my obliques too much. Ha! I'm such a dork.