I have never made the 3 hour drive to the Thousand Oaks area of Los Angeles for Barry Wolfe Grand Prix because…well because it’s a total of 6 hours in the car. There are so many crits in SoCal, that I can skip one and still race 3 weekends that month. It was a last minute decision to go and I wasn’t able to find a carpool on such late notice, so I drove by myself, leaving my husband and 4 year-old at home. They were happy to have a boys weekend and I was happy to have a weekend with friends; however as I was packing the car, Ray was riding his little bike. Having just taken the training wheels off the day before, he had the biggest smile and I was suddenly so very sad and weepy. I was feeling like I would miss out on my son’s childhood by driving off to another crit, but I dried my eyes and gave him one last giantic squeeze and off I went on my mini road trip.
Sunday – Barry Wolfe Grand Prix
I was my quiet, nervous self before a new race, but chatting with my 3 teammates calmed/distracted me. We were so calm that we were sitting in the grass in the shade when the men on our team arrived to register. 🙂 As race time approached, my team let me do my thing: take wheels to the pit, study the finish, etc. I became more nervous of the head cross wind and the long flat finish. Usually, I sit in and let them do all the dirty work to set me up for the final sprint. This time, however, the girls knew I was still working on fitness for NVGP and they agreed that I should be active the first half of the race, but knowing we were low on numbers, I would probably need to find my own way to the line if it came to a field sprint. We all took turns responding to attacks and we were in every move. Surprisingly, I would recover quickly and so I went in two attacks back to back. It hurt but I recovered.
Toward the end of the race, I observed the other sprinters and thier teammates and made a decision on who to follow. In the final laps, I was anxious and felt boxed in the entire time. In the end, I got where I wanted to be on the backside, but between the last two corners it shuffled again and I wasn’t on the side I wanted to be on to take advantage of the draft of the field. I was also about 7th wheel which is way too far back for my comfort. So partly out of frustration and partly from fear, I just went for it jumping out right into the wind, but made sure to put some distance between me and the field so no one could draft me (a spectating friend said it was an immediate 2 bike lengths). It seemed like a long haul and I tried to stay little. I couldn’t see anyone out of my peripherals, so I was able to CELEBRATE at the line! I’m excited about delivering another team win and on a personal level, I’m excited that I can participate during the race and still have something left for the sprint. One trick pony, be gone!
Race-ache set in a couple hours after the race. Ibuprophen, a glass of wine, and a bowl of spicy pasta helped relieve the pain. 🙂