Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Piece of Cake and fresh snow! March 26-27, 2011


Well, I had a choice. Race saturday or sunday or both. Hmmmmm? A race with 3 miles of gravel each lap which I haven't raced, or banana belt? I chose to race Piece of Cake. No offense to BB, but I would live w/o doing one this year. And the second parameter of the weekend was that if Saturday was 'too easy', I could/should race Sunday. Well, I made sure that I was cleared for a ski day. But not really intentionally. I swear. Here is the story.
The drive out to Amity, OR was mostly dry, except for the downpour which lasted 10-15 minutes and the foreboding black sky in the distance. It was going to be a doozie. Changing my layering system 5 times, I finally made some decisions. With some rain off and on, I decided not to 'warm up'. I probably should have pedaled more than to the "honey bucket" and back, but I didn't. The first lap was the perfect warm up. I sat in. Tried to figure out how I was feeling and then on lap 2, someone attacked and I just decided to pedal hard and bring her back. I did, but somehow the entire group did not follow and then we hit the gravel and I was away. I was joined by a gal, Sara, and was glad to not be alone. It was windy. It was hard. The last thing  I wanted was to pedal alone. But we were away, so there was a choice. Work hard and get away and try to stay away or wait and be brought back. Duhhhh. I went for it. Sarah helped as much as she could, but I knew there was a really strong group behind us. There was no letting up. Not for a second. I was supposed to get an interval in, so I did. But then the 'interval' was over and I had lost my partner to a flat and I had a long way to go. There was a lot of self talk. A lot of wondering what to do. If I could indeed do it. The gap was never that much. But I kept telling myself "out of sight, out of mind. Pedal harder." My other thought was about Cancellara. If he could do it, I could do it. I will not lie. It sucked. It was hard. It was not how I anticipated this day going, but I also though, well, if I were mountain bike racing in Fontana, it would be me alone. No drafting. Suck it up and pedal hard. It was not as much fun alone, but in the last 5 miles, when a few gals were chasing hard and the gap was diminishing,  I asked myself "did you sit off the front for 25 miles just to lose it in the last 5? NO! Pedal harder. Keep going." Lot's of self talk, but it ended well. I pulled it off. A win off the front for 30 miles. OUCH! I think I made it hard enough to earn a pass to ski. Bummer I didn't even get a cake! They ran out. Ummm. Who stole a cake they didn't deserve??? I didn't really need it. I got home, did a quick turn around and drove out to Hood River to hang with my pal, Erin O'Connell. 
Sunday morning we woke to the snow report of fresh snow. Apparently everyone got the same memo, b/c the parking lot was quite full and the there were (gasp!) lift lines. Thank goodness, b/c my legs on the first run were saying, "hey, what the heck? Quit beating me up." It was almost hard to ski, but I mustered through, enjoying every minute with good friends in the full on winter conditions. After almost 4 hours, we decided to call it a day and go to a late lunch in Hood River. Quite a wonderful weekend. Win a bike race, ski with my two friends named Erin and have lunch with them to boot.
Now off to Belgium on Thursday for Tim's dream vacation. On Sunday we will be on the sidelines of Tour of Flanders cheering our hearts out. Enjoying the classics. I am starting to get excited. As excited as I can get to go back to Belgium... again.

1 comment:

Sarah K said...

Sue, this was awesome. I read this on Thurs knowing today I was doing a road circuit race with 1.5 miles/lap of dirt. My race unfolded almost the exact same - lap 2, found myself off the front on the dirt, had to decide whether to go for it or not. All day alone in the front in the wind. Thought about you and your perseverance a lot. And I pulled it off :) Thanks! Hope you are well. See you at Sea Otter?