The radar was looking spotty with the East side engulfed by a complete down pour. Jennie called me up and we contemplated plan B - mountain biking at St. Edward's park but since my heart was set on racing at Pacific Raceways, we stuck to our original game plan. We met at the Mercer Island park and ride and downed some yummy homemade oatmeal raisin cookies on our venture south. The skies were gray, but not dripping yet so we kept our fingers crossed of having a dry race.
We had a quick warm up on the tarmac and eavesdropped on the change of plans for the race course - instead of pancake flat we were going to do the escape route with points given out every lap to the first and second person across the line. Jennie, Jessica and I lined up with the Masters men, which had a solid mix of ability and fitness. These weekly races, put on by BuDu Racing, are a great way to get some mid week interval and above threshold work. It only costs $10 for us ladies and is a great source of entertainment.
Just as we gathered to begin the race, it started dumping rain. Not a maybe-I'll-get-a-little-wet kind of rain, but a it's-raining-from-the-ground-up kind of rain. During the first lap my eyes stung from all of the road grit and tire spray and from being stuck to Martin's wheel. Thank goodness I was near the front because my vision was seriously compromised and I doubt I would have been able to see in the back of the pack.
I positioned myself well the first couple of laps, being cautious of not getting off the front and putting myself within striking distance of winning a sprint. Midway through I had excellent positioning and the legs were itching to be tested. At 250m out, I opened her up and heard Jess cry "GO JEN!!!!" and got some separation from the guys, nearly holding all of them off for a mid-race prime. Unfortunately I was pipped at the line by a guy but held on for second.
I almost fell off the back of the pack.
I nearly puked in my mouth.
I am sure if I had a power tap the watts would have easily read over 1500.
It took me three laps to of foaming mouth, stringy saliva, near blackout pain to recover and then I was ready to do it again. This time in the final sprint. We soared up the hill, and I found myself on a nice little lead out train chugging its way to the finish. I was eighth wheel, a little too far back for the win but stoked to be in contention for the final sprint and sailed in for 6th.
My mid-race prime was validated by some Oh Boy Oh Berto! Jerky.
Funny how beating some guys has more meaning than going against the ladies. Why is that? Like the first time I won money in the cat 3 men's field out at the track (I still have the prime envelope as evidence) - meant more to me than getting second in the overall woman's series points.
One thing is for sure - in a sport where you sink countless cash and time into equipment, training and racing - sprinting for a bag of beef jerky seems pretty comical.
You'll know it's my car when you see the bumper sticker: Will race for beef.