|Going to the Race.|
Yesterday I participated in the 2017 Ken Woods Memorial Road Race near Cannon Falls, Minnesota. It is usually the largest road race of the year here and there were probably 200+ this year. I trained for this event hard for five months, enduring daily workouts on the trainer through the winter and killer two-hour workouts at NOW Sports on Sundays. My goal was to finish with the main group and I fell just short of the goal. There is a long hill that you ride up twice and the first time I went up, at about 20 miles of the 40 mile race, I lost contact with the group. I struggled to catch up, but it was pointless. Of the other riders that weren't able to keep up with the main group or fell back off the back end of the group, I caught all but one before the finish. I finished 31st of 52 riders. Still, I was 21 minutes faster than last year and my goal is within reach. Made some stupid mistakes:
|At the Starting line.|
1) Went into the lead on a solo attack at 15 miles. I had no business doing this. I was hoping that someone would join me, but nobody did, so I allowed myself to be reeled back in. This was a huge mistake, because this pointless expenditure of energy came just before the key hill. Would I have stayed with the group to the end if I had not done this stupid thing? Maybe.
2) I got caught in the wind a few times; most of the time I was pretty good. And once I got caught out I would get back behind someone within a couple of minutes. But still could get better at sheltering myself.
3) I didn't realize how close my goal was as I went up that hill and let it slip. If I had known that the group would back off a bit once it reached the top--which is fairly common--I would have had more of a willingness to burn a match on the hill. At the top of the hill the group was tantalizingly close, but there was nobody to help me work to get back. I did maintain a constant distance for quite a while, but you cannot fight against gravity.
Biking has been a wonderful and blessed addition to my life these last few years. It has made me healthier, introduced me to new friends, and at times helped me find peace.
And I really like racing!