Saturday, March 1, 2014

Bad Romance In My Head

Back to racing! Today was the Cucina Fresca Icebreaker Time Trial. It's called "Icebreaker" because it kicks off the road racing season (as opposed to mountain bike, or cyclocross). However, today, "Icebreaker" was also appropriate due to the bits of snow/freezing rain. Not to worry, we finished before it did anymore than spit. It was pretty chilly though. A guy at the start said it was 41 degrees. That's not really that cold...except when you are wearing less clothing than you would normally consider for that temp...and you are also excited...and the wind is blowing. Then, it's a little cold.

Five of us OOA gals (those of us racing in the Masters 35+ Cat 4 Women category) met at a Park and Ride in Olympia to caravan up. Jean had the earliest start time (Katie, racing regular Cat 4 Women was much earlier, so she didn't caravan with us), so we planned our arrival to the course to give her sufficient warmup/get ready time. I was to be the last of our OOA group off the start line. Our start times were alphabetical. It would be Jean, Cindy, Karen, Debbie, then me (with various gals in between us).

We got things situated (Karen and Cindy picked up their numbers), hit the potty shacks, then returned to our parking spots to get ready. Jean and I had our trainers which we set up between her and Debbie's cars. The road shoulder had a slope to it, so it was like we were riding uphill. Jean started her warmup. I got on my bike shortly after. The other three gals headed out on the road for their warmups. 

Jean had her earbuds in listening to music, but she was singing along. Since I knew what she was singing, I sang along too (well, until I got to the high cadence and hard effort parts of my warmup--no singing!). The best part was when it was Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance". We'd be belting out, "Caught in a bad romance" just as other riders would go by. It was like bad Karaoke, only on bikes! Next time we'll bring speakers so everyone can join in!

I actually did a most awesome 40 minute warmup! The shorter the race (this TT was 10 miles), the longer the warmup needs to be. Michelle emailed a warmup and also told me to do 10 minutes more of easy spinning at the beginning if I had time. I did, so I did 20 minutes of easy spinning before I started the high cadence and hard effort parts. Then, I followed up with 10 more minutes of easy spinning. I was nice and warm at the end. 

I took Tessa off the trainer, got my TT clown helmet on, sucked down a gel and some water, and headed over to the start. There was no way I was going to miss my start this year (goal #1)! I think I only waited maybe 10-15 minutes before it was my turn. 

At the Start Line

I'm at the start line. The guy gives me the instructions...road is open, stay to the right, no drafting, blah, blah, blah. Gives me the 5 second countdown, and I'm off. We had been told there was a tailwind going out, which of course, means a headwind coming back. Must save some for the ride back! My heart rate immediately shoots up to 155. But, thanks to my awesome warmup, I'm not wheezing like a donkey! This is okay! Cruising on the aerobars, I'm doing 23.4mph. Yep, there is definitely a tailwind! All of a sudden, what pops into my head? "Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh! Caught in a bad romance"! Funny thing, last year, I kept trying to get a song in my head, but couldn't do it. This time, I wasn't even thinking about it! At least I actually like this song! 
Ride, ride fashion baby--work it--move that bike like crazy! (Creative license with the lyrics)

Bad Romance ran through my head for most of the 10 miles (I want your ugly I want your disease...). It was great! Seriously! My heart rate was in the upper 150s, then lower 160s, but my speed was good, and I was feeling good--still no donkey wheezing. I passed Debbie (yelled at her to keep going--she was doing just fine). Then, I passed Karen. Also yelled at her to keep going. I saw Jean as she was coming back, then later Cindy. Of course I yelled at them too. Just as I was about 100 meters from the turn-around, I was passed by another gal. Fortunately, she was on a TT bike. Goal number 2 for the day was to not get beat by anyone not on a TT bike (I don't know if I accomplished that, but I didn't get passed by anyone not on a TT bike--of course, that wasn't too hard since I was probably the second or third to last one to go of the women). 

I made the turn, and immediately noticed the headwind. Back onto the aerobars, I was managing to stay between 19.6 and 20.4 with occasional increases to 21 (when there was a slight dip in the road--this was a pretty flat course, so one notices any little dip or rise). There was one spot where I dropped below 19, but that was on a small rise just after a bridge. I was back up to 20 right away. My heart rate was holding at a steady 161. Breathing pretty heavy, but nothing I couldn't handle.

Not too long after the turn, I heard the unmistakable whoosh whoosh of a TT bike coming up behind me. It was a dude so, no worries there. I was passed by a couple more guys. They were all on TT bikes. As I was nearing the 1 km mark, I could see Cindy ahead of me. I increased my effort, but didn't want to go all out until the 200m mark. My heart rate climbed, just a little, to 163. At 200m I put my head down and gave it all I had left. I didn't look at my heart rate, but since my max was 169, I'm guessing it was somewhere around that. I crossed the line at 28 minutes and 11 seconds. My third, and most unrealistic goal, was 26 minutes. I didn't even come close! DANG! 

After cooling down, we all met back at the cars, broke out the Girl Scout Cookies and a bottle of something (Smirnoff?) that Karen brought to toast to her first race. We bundled up to keep from freezing, and went over to see the results. It's the only time I've ever seen a crowd around the back of a port-a-potty. Yes, they posted the results on the back of the potty shacks. Let's just say it was not so Cucina Fresca

We waited around for them to post our results. While we were waiting we got another gal to take this photo of us.
Left to right--Debbie, me, Jean, Cindy, and Karen

Well, we waited and waited. Finally, we gave up and left. They would post the results online. The five of us went to Big Daddy's in Auburn and had some lunch. 

So, how did I do? 11th place. At first I was disappointed. Afterall, last year I missed my start time and still got 5th. Now, starting on time, with a TT helmet (that I did not have last year) and carbon aerobars (also did not have last year--I had aerobars, but they were much heavier), and I get 11th? What is that about? But, then I looked at the results from last year vs. this year. Most importantly, last year there were only 15 of us. This year, there were 30. So, in that respect, I did about the same. I also looked at where, those who raced both years, finished last year compared to this year. With the exception of one gal, we all finished lower than we did last year. So, I was starting to feel not so bad. Then, Jean texted me and reminded me how much fun we had (especially our warmup karaoke), and I realized I did have a great time. I felt good about how I raced. So, I'll take 11th and be happy with it!

                                                Want your bad romance

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