Monday, August 06, 2007

Hateful, I mean Pleasant Valley Road Race Recap

Well the second road race (in a long list of RR’s to come) was once again pretty stinkin hard! This time I believe it was a little less about the course itself and more about the heat and humidity of the day. That was the early 9am race too, before the temperatures got up to the upper 90’s (possibly hitting 100 even) for the afternoon races. I lot of the later races were shortened due to the extreme heat and humidity though and there was plenty of neutral water in the feedzone for all the riders.
Photo courtesy of Chris Henry @
I’ve really got to say, Maryland Velo Club did a fantastic job with this race. The course was beautiful (when I actually looked around) and the races were run very smoothly and professionally. The best part of the day was when the finish officials “relieved” the riders off the back of the pack from further suffering and placed them based on their current positioning in the field. Provided quite the relief to riders not interested in “quitting” but even less interested in continuing in the heat.

Anyway, I managed to ride strong in the pack for the majority of the race and going into the beginning of the final lap I even felt strong. I managed decent positioning in the pack for the majority of the time and felt I had solid position going into the last half a lap to finish strong. At one point in last lap I told myself (an attempt at mental conditioning) that I was going to win the race, though I never really believed myself on that one.

In the second half of the first lap there was an S turn, right then a quick left, followed by a modest but long uphill section of road where the eventual winner of the race attacked. Suddenly my legs (and my mind) began to hurt and I struggled to keep a hold on the back of the pack. I managed to dangle on the back for a while until finally I hit the sharp right onto a climb where I just couldn’t keep up any longer and I fell off the back alone. Tried unsuccessfully to catch a couple of guys ahead of me and finished the race in a respectable 21st. What seemed so strange to me was how strong I was feeling going into the final lap and even half way through it before just dieing after the attack. I think the high mileage certainly didn’t help in that regard; had it been 20 miles I’d have been fine, but I’ve still got some work to do. Much more satisfied with my performance though then post Giro.

Some positives highlights from the race; I dropped my chain twice while shifting to the big ring and managed to reach down and put it back on while riding in the front half of the pack. Big thanks to the guy in the red and white (polka dot almost?) jersey that kept an eye out ahead for me both times when that happened. The final climb to the finish was hell, especially when I had no motivation to beat anyone and just wanted to get up it and finish. The spectators however were incredible and cheered my lonesome tail on through the line. While I dejectedly refused to look at any of them I really, REALLY appreciated their support. I needed all I could get up that final climb.

Oh and one more thing; not sure if I should be happy about this or more disgusted, but for the first time during intense physical activity I puked. It really just came out of no where while trying to chase down the pack but it really actually felt good; both getting it out and the splashing on my legs. Sorry, that was really gross; or disgusting if you will. Oh well, I guess it comes with the territory.

I sat and watched the entire ¾ and 4 races after mine was over and took some pictures of the riders coming through the finish area. I’ll post them to my picassa account tonight if I remember and throw some into this post as well. I’m no professional, but some of them turned out pretty well I think.
I've got the love of Road Races down, now I've just got to get good at them.

1 comment:

KMAX said...

Oh yeah, that photo up there is at like 8am in the parking lot pre-race. I can only imagine how rough I looked during and after the race...