Monday, May 21, 2007

Kern Reports (Stage 2)-my first victory! i sort of let the cat out of the bag on this one..but I couldn't help it! I finally won a race! For those of you who don't care, you can stop reading here..if you want the gory (potentially boring) details of the on!

So I slept REALLY well the first night. I mean, I closed my eyes, and didn't stir until the alarm went off! I woke up nervous...2 races in one day, including a really brutal hill climb. I wondered how things would go. I still think I'm no good at the flat windy races (see comment below regarding my change in belief), and so I wasn't sure. I was staying in a friend's cabin about 15 minutes from the start of the RR, so that was convenient!

I didn't do a crazy warmup today. My coach, Jill, said that the first lap would be the rest of my spin my legs out ahead of time, but not to go too crazy with warmup. Thank goodness, because by the time I got the whole extra wheels in the follow car, signed in, got my bike off the car, etc..I didn't have a lot of time anyway! I found out I was in 8th position after the TT, and being competitive I did not really want to remain there. I still don't fancy myself a sprinter so I didn't think the lap bonuses were going to be coming my way, although if I had to race it again I'm not sure I would have thought that.

So..the race started slowly. Girls were chatting. I kind of liked it. IT was like a recovery ride of sorts! Weird...a few girls expressed some displeasure at this pace and the way things were going, but overall the pack was clearly conserving energy. When we neared about 1 mile to the start/finish, the pace would pick up, people would try and position for the sprints. It was fun, but usually I was in a bad position. I only had 1 teammate in the race, and I hadn't told her I wanted to go for the sprints... but then when it comes to the final lap, I decide that I'm going to go for it. I have nothing to lose, and getting a time bonus for placing would not hurt me at all in the GC... So, my teammate and I start to strategize in the last lap. We see the metromint girls and the velobellas doing the same thing... I was on top of it ( brain is actually working while racing...what a concept!), and was maybe 5-6th wheel coming into the final couple turns. We get around the turns and I'm on the inside..just where I want to be. Someone is up ahead of me (can't remember her name a pink jersey), and there is a teeny opening between her and the gravel. i decide it's worth the risk, and I can hit the gravel if necessary...and I go for it. The legs feel great, and I slide right up the inside of the turn and by her. Then I see it wide open, with a mentromint girl and a girl in red sprinting for the win. I know I've got a big punch going, and i just keep the momentum up, and go right by the one girl and cross the line right with the other. It was awesome. What an adrenaline rush! Wow. I am maxed out on HR, and barely breathing at that point...but it was definitely the best feeling! Turns out that the other girl had skirted the wrong side of the double yellow line to get around the field, which was strictly forbidden by the officials, and she got a time penalty. So I got the win regardless. I felt a bit bad for her, but hey, i could have gone around the field too...but I didn't, and still got through in time.

So maybe I'm a sprinter??? Nah...but I did win a bike race! And the prize for it was a funny little plaque with 2 windmills and a level mounted on it. For the wind, and for the flat race. Two things I never thought I was any good at at all! That goes to show you how much I know!

With tired smiles,


Olaf Vanderhoot said...

i'm a little bit jealous of all the new and exciting things you get to experience as a "young" racer.

relish it, i'm tellin' ya.

and man, you rode great this weekend. just frickin' great.

Kern is, without doubt, one of the hardest events in the country. it's a combination of courses + logistics + travel ... all adding up to an experience you get nowhere else.

and you rocked it on your first try. now, next year it might be 100+ on the thermo ... which changes EVERYTHING!

but, i hope we'll see you again.

come up and do a couple NorCal races when the bug bites you. you'll have a place to stay with Sabine and i, if interested.


Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

thanks so much. And you don't have to worry--im relishing it all.

This one all came together for me SO much better than at sea otter (bike function had a lot to do about it, but still I was pretty hard on myself after that) !

I had so much fun racing with the NorCal folks this time..I'll definitely be up! I actually get to the bay area a lot because I collaborate with folks from both Berkeley and Stanford. I've done a few solo training rides up there when I've been up for work. I'm definitely thinking of doing races up there, too, so I'll keep you posted! I wish I could do mt. hamilton this weekend, but alas I have a work commitment on it won't happen. Instead its going to be the barry wolf crit in woodland hills... I'll let you know when I'm coming north.

and don't be next big decision is going to be whether to race as a 3 or a 35+ next year (when I turn 35...even though i still feel 20). Amazingly, I'm getting close to upgrade!

I will NEVER miss a Kern if i can help it. Even my teammate who I had to twist her arm to come with me, had a fabulous time and is super pumped about racing! Kern has that effect I guess!


dr-nitro said...

Good stuff. And the racing will only get better as you move up the ranks. More intense, more tactical, more painful.

Careful with that OV character, though. I mean he gave up the opportunity to sweat it out with the old guys so he can hang around with the gals, giving out invites to random women racers to stay at his place. Wait...

But again, good stuff.