A must have if you ever want to wear your kit after a day like yesterday in Lowell. I must admit, I was forewarned. "Lowell- as far as i understand, don't bring the nicest kit (or bring an old one and check out the course before). there's some tacky mud on the track they are sending you around that hardly comes out.." Tacky mud? It was liquid/granular asphalt! My skin suit is still soaking in a bucket.
This had to be my favorite course this year! I just loved it. It was technical but not overwhelming. Lots of turns some nice flats to motor on and a long (I'll call) run up but I heard and witnessed after, most of the men had no problem riding.
I had a solid warm up and felt pretty good. I vowed to have FUN today and not be so concerned with who was around me or the lack of. I wore my black and pink polka dot knee socks over my tights that matched my helmet and bar tape just perfect-o! They were a reminder to me that this is supposed to be fun. I got lots of comments about them during my race.
The men's 4 race started just before us and it was a HUGE group. We chicks were up next. I was clipped in on my right pedal with my foot at 12 o'clock ready to roll. I had stopped chatting with my new friend Sally so I could pay attention and get a good start.
Awe geeze.. I blew it! What a dope.
I slipped off my left pedal trying to clip in so I was fumbling with that but hammered right back and was smack in the middle it seemed. Then I could see up ahead at the very first minor up hill with a tight right turn that went down, what I've come to dread and why you are told to get out hard and fast so you can avoid this. The pile up. There I was walking my bike up and around with 6-7 others of us with this poor girl sandwiched in between a tree, her bike and all of us trying to scramble around her!
What I've come to learn:
You can listen until you eyes glaze over to someone spouting off tips to you and what to try to accomplish at the start and what to avoid but until you have actually experienced it, it's really the only way to figure it out.
Needless to say, the first girls that avoided that pile up got a good lead. Smart ladies.. (and lucky)
The rest of the race was pretty standard in the Trigirlpink book. I did manage to reel in 2 women and rode as HARD as I could. I wore my heart rate monitor for the first time so I could get a sense of how hard I was working and maybe to prove just a teeny tiny bit that I'm not a complete slacker out there to my coach and although I do not have this in file form to download as proof, I averaged 172 on the low side and up to 179- 182 for most of the race it seemed. It was a fun course and after loop two, you could find a good sense of where you could recover and where you could try and make up some time if only in your head!
Next up, Palmer after my bike gets both wobbling wheels trued this week and my bars get some fresh new pink tape.