Race report

My races the last two weeks have been unspectacular, but I did at least finish both of them, making it up to the finish line with the pack, albeit at the very back. Today’s race was the hardest of the three I finished; we were a little faster than the previous races, at 21.2 mph, and there were many attacks, lots of chases, and several near disasters as I fell a little bit behind and had to work as hard as I could to catch up, or, if I was lucky, had to stay on someone’s wheel and trust that she could pull me up to the pack. A racer whom I’ve talked to a few times at various races had fallen behind and gotten lapped but after getting lapped joined the pack again — she was riding along with me at the back on the last lap, and when we were in danger of falling behind she made a superhuman effort to bridge the gap up to the pack and I followed gratefully on her wheel. I thanked her for the pull and she laughed and said no problem. It’s fun to help each other out; I may not have been able to help this particular racer, but I know pulled along a rider or two, at least for a little while.

So now this race series is over, but I have another race at a different location (Massachusetts) in two weeks and a week and a half after that the Tuesday night series starts. There’ll be lots of racing coming up — lots of chances to suffer and sweat and try to get stronger.

And oh, my, is there suffering involved. It’s not just the cramp in my side as I ride or the fatigue in my muscles as I climb that goddamn hill for the 22nd time or the splitting headache I develop at the end of the race; this afternoon as I was sitting in my chair grading papers, I could feel a deep ache settle into my muscles that’s with me right now. I’m waiting for the Advil to kick in. Oh, yes, racing is fun.


2 comments so far

  1. Karen on

    Dorothy, where are you racing in mass? PS–21mph is nothing to sneeze at. I was thrilled to hit 15.4 on my last ride, and I wouldn’t be able to keep that up for more than an hour, tops.

  2. Dorothy W. on

    It’s in Warren, MA, about two hours from where I live. It’s the Palmer Library road race. Details are over at BikeReg (http://www.bikereg.com). I certainly can’t ride 21 mph all on my own — it’s having the pack pull me along that allows me to go reasonably fast. (And my average HR is generally in the upper 160s.) Last year in the summer I was averaging over 25 mph on this course — which feels unbelievably fast when I go out on training rides all on my own and average about 16 (which is higher than a lot of my rides)

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