Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dare I even think about trying to keep up a blog again?

Tough call. Maybe I can do it. Maybe it will be therapeutic. Maybe not.

So - since it's been a year and change since my last post, highlights of the time gone by are:
  • Moved to Austin, TX
  • Crashed a few times on the bike and lost last season to injuries
  • Currently racing bikes instead of triathlons (jury's out on this - it's fun, but has its own set of frustrations)
In a nutshell, things are great in Austin. I'm on a cycling team (TX Tough/Hotel San Jose) with three other fantastic women and learning a lot. I also kick myself a lot since I get pretty frustrated with the learning curve of road racing...

Case in point - raced a 38 mile road race today in Manda, TX (NE of Austin). Managed to forget the bag that I had put my kit in this morning - brilliant start to the day. Justin let me wear his bibs, and I was absolutely positive there was no way I could race because I needed to find a team jersey...but Tod Reed on the team had one, amazingly, and he let me use his jersey. Barry Lee, our team director, showed up moments later with bibs for me to use...another stroke of luck. Disaster averted, but it really bothered me that I'd done this! Not a great start to the day.

Our race began - a women's open race with 28 starters on a fairly wet day (on and off showers). The course was a ~13 mile loop that we'd do 3 times...with quite a few corners (not a simple square). I have too good of an imagination and have a hell of a time keeping it at bay when I think about all the things to not do (and more importantly, the repercussions of screwing things up) on a wet corner. So, I take them a little more cautiously, and it frustrates me because I know others are more comfortable railing through them, even in the rain. So, not something I was looking forward to.

Our race started off easily enough, but a break of three got up the road a little ways. I bridged up to them, and we started rotating through for 10 minutes or so, but the pack caught on again. A strong rider from Lonestarworks (Christina Smith) attacked, and then Kate Sherwin (Austin Flyers) attacked and I followed...we had a break of three that another rider (Natalie Klemko - Team Advil/Chapstick) bridged to. Our break stuck for 2 laps, and we rotated through pretty well. As we neared the finish, I attacked with a 1.5 or so to go on a hill. I had two strong sprinters that I was not looking forward to going head to head with, so I was hoping I might be able to get away. No luck. They caught back on, and we neared the finish line. Kate attacked closer to the line, but couldn't get away either. Our finish ended up essentially the order we approached the line - unfortunately I was fourth. I couldn't get around Natalie, although I've seen some pictures of the finish, and there looks to be room maybe I'm still working through some "personal space" issues. Teammates Lori and Rhe were 6th and 7th, essentially 2nd and 3rd in the field sprint - overall a good finish for all of us Cat 3's (we were the top Cat 3's in our race).

Lessons learned: keep working on cornering (one of these days, it will be a good friend) and sprinting (sadly, it appears that I did not get out of my saddle...)

Here's our breakaway going into a corner - note Christina's granny look with the sunglasses...I'm behind Natalie in the Advil-Chapstick kit.

And here I am...sporting the same granny look (I had mud smeared all over the lenses):

Here's the finish - bummer to be at the end, but at the time, I felt like I couldn't go right of Natalie (although it appears I had plenty o'room)!

Thanks to Velossimo for a great race and to Nikki for taking pictures!