Monday, November 5, 2007

UCI points the hard way: Boulder, CO, November 4-5, 2007

I live at sea level. Why would I want to go race at altitude against the fastest women in the country? Well, Boulder, CO sure beats flying back to the east coast and I am sure it made me faster! Wendy and I were on the road again. Seems like we just got back from Kentucky. Oh that's right, we did. But off to Boulder we went for the Redline Cup and Boulder Cup.

Saturday, November 4th: REDLINE CUP, Boulder Reservoir
We were actually fortunate, or unfortunate, to had ridden the course the previous evening. We knew what was in store for us. It was a rough course with lots of sand and some loose corners. And the biggest obstacle: goatheads! I learned that these are 2 pronged sticky things with a shape like a goats head, hence the name. But heck, our tubulars had sealant in them, right? Race time was 1:25 and both Wendy and I had front row call ups. Mine of course the second to last one, thus positioning me on the wrong side of where I wanted to be, which unfortunately turned out poorly. The gun went off and somehow as we funneled to the one good path through the thick gravel, I was not where I needed to be. I was patient, but in the meantime, the front rode away and I was not there. Not that I could have been in the state of oxygen deprivation I found myself in, but it was a rough start. I pushed through it hoping I had enough to work back up, but on the second lap, I 'superman-ed' on one of the loose corners. Yep, full on belly slide off the bike landing mostly on my right hip. My drive side hit the ground hard, but I really don't remember exactly how it happened, as with most crashes I've had. Two riders came up on me and Megan yelled for me to get back on my bike. That jolted me back into action and I was back in the race. At that point I relaxed a lot, tried to normalize my breathing and just chased back in. I got as far up as 8th, but that is where my glory ended. In the meantime, Wendy had a great race and found the last spot on the podium in 5th.

Suffer face on Saturday

Sunday, November 5th: BOULDER CUP, Southern Hills Middle School
This course brought back memories, but not very good ones for me. I remember suffering on it the year before when it was a USGP course, but it was a fun fast course and I psyched myself up for the suffering. At least the start was paved and no surprises. The only surprise was the fact that there was no gun or whistle, but the UCI official semi-whistling, semi-shouting to start us. And the fun had begun. Out the gate I was in good position, feeling much better about the race. Could I breathe better? NO, but I was not going to think about that. Katie of course led the pack and disappeared, but I was in good position with Wendy and Kerry B and we had a group slightly behind us. Well, until we went through the second sand pit on the first lap. Not sure how it happened, but I found myself off and running half way through it and watching Wendy and Kerry ride away. Big chase efforts at altitude are really rough. I didn't have it, so as the group behind us pedaled by me, I had my work cut out for me. I ended up racing with Barbara Howe for a few laps, her on my wheel until I finally shook her, as our wonderful host Tony told me to do loudly on the megaphone and I suffered through the run up and barriers. Although not my best race, I finished strong in 8th place, while Wendy had an amazing race, shaking Kerry B. and finishing 4th.

Trying to remember to breathe

Race afterthoughts: OUCH! That hurt. But, a great trip. We had a great time racing, hanging out and attempting to breathe. It is always good to challenge yourself against fast people. No sandbagging for us. Tony and his twin Tom were awesome fans and yelled loudly. In fact, I have noticed that there are more and more people cheering us on around the course and I don't even know who they are. I'll hear "go Sue" or even " go River City", "go Portland" and it is nice and makes me smile. Apparently I did smile through my suffering, so that is good. Another great weekend on the road...

Our gracious host, Tony.

1 comment:

simondog said...

I think you need some INK to get you motivated for future races. It's so RAD! You know you have cool ideas floating around...just do it.