the view from the back


I'm starting to hate writing race reports. I've always written them in my training log, but now I have to make them interesting to other people, and sometimes they're just not. Anyway, here is a boring report of a non-epic race. Enjoy!

Any race on July 31st is going to be hot, so I got lucky in that the cat 4 women started at 10:45. Not that it wasn't hot by then, but it was certainly better than the 3:45 start time of the women's open race. We had a pretty good field for a non-open, too, at least 15 women. I didn't count. GP was decently represented by me, Liz, and Jen, who turns out to be alive after all. She abandoned us in favor of MOUNTAIN BIKING! Harrumph.

The main excitement of my day was when the USCF officials noticed at the last minute that Jen and I had somehow gotten assigned the same bib number - you'd think they'd only have one of each in the stack - and so our start got delayed while they found and pinned a new number on me. The woman who did it forgot to pre-crinkle it, though, so I rattled like Marley's ghost through the entire race.

The course was a little technical for my liking, especially after Tuesday, so as we rolled out I put more energy into keeping a large buffer zone around myself than into staying with the front group. By the end of the first lap there were two distinct groups, and I was in the second without having made any effort to stay with the first. However, being with the slower group meant that I could take corners at a comfortable speed and not scare myself. My teammate Jen and I traded pulls most of the time, letting about three others hang behind us. Two of those three were juniors, and, well, they were squirrely, and I decided I'd rather do the work at the front than sit in the back dodging them.

I hadn't started with much motivation, but by halfway through the race I figured out that a lot of that was due to my breakfast being a loooooooong time ago. Halfway through a crit is not the best time to realize that your blood sugar is crashing.

The group I was with was pretty much chilling, though, so it wasn't a problem. Two or three laps from the end the two juniors started to have their own race and both went off the front. I watched them go, not caring. I'd like to say it's because I knew they were scored separately anyway and didn't have to chase them, which was true, and I did know it, but at the time I was just floating along in a hypoglycemic haze of apathy and my thought process pretty much consisted of "oh, huh, look at them go." A lap later the three of us that were left came up on that hairpin turn again and saw the 15-year-old getting back onto her bike after clipping her pedal on the ground and sliding out. We passed her, only to have her bellow "SCUSE ME! GOTTA GO!" at us as she sprinted past after the other junior, leaving a trail of blood behind her. Ah, the immortality of youth. What a difference ten years makes.

The next lap was the last one, I think, and I still didn't care, so I went ahead and led the other two out of the hairpin and up to the finishing straight. They sprinted past me, and I didn't even stand up. I considered it for a minute, but there weren't any gaps wide enough (that being about 15 feet) for me to want to come up behind a couple of oxygen-starved cat 4s and try to squeeze through. I'll get over it, but right now I want lots of space for finishing sprints. Besides, the difference between 12th and 13th place is unlikely to matter to anybody. Ever. Unless there are exactly 24 people in the race.

Then my stupid friends berated me for admitting that I hadn't tried. My stupid friends that hadn't even showed up on the start line, yeah, you guys can talk. :-P

Oh, and these pictures of me looking like a 'tard in my big red helmet came from SkinnySki. There are many more available there for your viewing pleasure.


Blogger Nathan said...

Maybe they didn't "pre-crinkle" your number on purpose so there wouldn't be a repeat of the finish-line incident?

8/01/2005 12:50 PM  
Blogger annie said...

hah. yeah, being sneaky hasn't exactly served me well in the past, has it? although NOBODY could miss me in that helmet.

8/01/2005 12:57 PM  

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