We got out to Jeff City with good time for me to pick up my number and chip and warm up. As we pulled in, I saw Craig Farrell--it was good to see familiar faces. We parked close and I headed up to registration. Sandy and Ted were a few in front of me. Seeing people I know always puts me more at ease at a race. When I got back to the truck, Carla and Alane were there. whew, lots of friends.
Sam had our bikes out for a warm up and I had to change into my skinsuit. As I was getting ready to head out for a warm up, rain moved in. At first it was just drizzling, but then it opened up. I stood under the back of the truck for a few minutes and then decided I just needed to tough it out. We headed out Hgwy 94, the opposite direction of the race course and that was a big mistake. The traffic was too heavy and fast and just made me uncomfortable. Plus, I got showered by every truck that passed. After about 12 minutes we turned around to find something less nerve wracking. We turned off the highway near the race start and found a quieter road to ride. By this time the rain had stopped but I was SOAKED.
About 10:20 I went back to the truck and wrung out my socks and dried my feet before heading to the start line. There were very few familiar woman...most were unknown. I did see Kathleen and chatted with her before we crossed the road to the start tent. I rolled up to the start and was happy to see our Wednesday night holder standing next to Buddy. I'm finally feeling comfortable starting with a holder and know the gear that will give me the best go.
Buddy gave me the countdown and off I went. I felt great and started in the right gear. About 4 miles in, I caught a glimpse of a girl in front of me, I knew I wanted to catch and pass her, but I didn't want to blow out my legs. The length of this race really had me psyched out...I didn't want to go too hard and not finish strong, but I was worried about not going hard enough. I finally caught and passed her about 1/3 of the race through. Her number was four less than mine, so she had really lost some time. I cruised along feeling good and seemingly out of no where, the girl who started behind me passed me. NO! I was not ready to be passed. My legs felt good so I through on a gear and racheted up my pace. I caught her and passed her without much effort and just kept going. I didn't want to look back. About 1/4 mi before the turn around there was a car drive up to the edge of a driveway. (No, the course wasn't closed) I was ready for the guy to pull out in front of me when out hopped Larry. He told me the turn was good and to keep up the pace. I crested a tiny bump and there it was. I turned and saw the girl I who had tried to pass and a girl from CBC right behind her. I knew they were close and I would have to give a great effort to hold them off. By this time, the sun was trying to come out and it was humid.
While I didn't feel like I had a tail wind on the way out, a head wind came out of nowhere on the way home. The gusts were tough, especially when they combined with the motorcycle rally that went by. About 44 minutes in, the CBC girl passed me. I kept her in my sight for about 10 minutes, but she eventually pulled away. When I got to mile 19, I threw on another gear and tried to hold it as long as I could. With the wind, it was difficult. I took it off and tried to put it back on a few more times before I held it. Somewhere in there I got passed by a guy in a zebra print skin suit, that was just humiliating! Around mile 23, I threw on a gear and decided I would hold it or else. I gave it everything I had and finished hard. 1:15:09. I was hoping that I would be able to go closer to 1:10:00. (I think the winning woman--CBC girl--was 1:01:00ish) I was disappointed in my time and think I screwed myself up with overthinking how hard I should go. I'm glad I have a baseline at this distance now though. Hopefully Champaign and Harvard will be quicker races.