We got to the course early so that the kids could do the kids' race. CRK has a great race face--she will be a serious racer some day! AWK is just out there having fun. He wins the style points. They both enjoyed the races and have announced that it's time for the training wheels to go!
AWK stylin' & profilin'
*Photo credit: Mike Dawson
After the kids' races were over, I headed out with the Steph and Kate for a warm up. No matter how much I ride in mid county, I still get turned around and am always greatful for their navigation. I got a little over 20 minutes in and was wishing for a longer time. I'm coming to find that I do better with a longer warm up. I decided to try something new yesterday to deal with the heat--I put an ice pack in the radio pocket in my bibs and in the back pocket of my jersey hoping to keep my core temp down and my heart rate under control. I pulled to the line and got a great position. We got instructions and a whistle and were off--no problem getting in the pedals! Right away Chris took off. She had started in the back row and quickly established her place. Everyone went after her and we were off and racing.
Most of the race went by in a blur. It was hot and our field raced well. It was all I could do to concentrate on staying in the race. The first prime bell rang and I made a conscious decision not to go after it. Instead, I made sure I was ready for the sprint and staying with the group that did go for it. Luckily, the girls slowed down after crossing the line. I may have fell out had they kept that pace.
Wheels on the line.
About eight laps in we got another bell for a prime. Kate went off the front early on this one. Britta, Natalie and I made an effort to go after her. She was still out in front as we passed came into the finishing straight. Since Kate hadn't been pulled in, so I went on my own to pull her in. I got her wheel and decided I might as well put a little more into it for the cash. I grabbed the prime by a tiny margin--I looked to my right as I crossed the line and saw that Chris had been right there.
Right after that I heard the nasty sound of a crash as we went through the first corner. It was behind me so I couldn't see who went down. Someone said it was Emilie. I later found out that Steph felt like she took the corner too shallow and laid it over. I know Teresa and Emilie went down with her and both got back in after their free lap...Emilie's bike sounded out of whack for the rest of the race but she still managed a strong, strong finish.
The next two primes went pretty well the same as the first.
Rounding the final corner early in the race.
At five laps to go, I started to work on positioning. I knew who the other 4s were and made sure I was in a good spot compared to them. We got the bell lap and everyone played it safe. We made it to the final corner and the sprint took off. I was sitting about 4th wheel at that point. I felt strong in the sprint, but Courtney held on by about half a tire, with Britta a bike length ahead.
This year was much better for me than last. I felt like I had a good grip on what was going on at all times, I was able to anticipate what was going to happen, and had it in my legs and lungs to react. My goal for next year will be to make things happen instead of reacting. And BTW, that downhill right turn and ugly climb somehow got flattened out over this past year. I gotta find a member of the Webster street department and thank them for that!