Monday, May 19, 2008

Kern--The Rest of the Story

Well, since I'm sure race reports will come out in due time, and there will be plenty of those, I thought I would dwell on some of the other "fun" that went on at Kern. Those who were there already know all this...and those who weren't will never really actually I'm not sure what the point is to all this, but...some Kern randoms:

On the way to the races on day 2, we had to stop for cows in/on/near the road. Not once, but many times! Here is a photo I took during one of these stops. Over the course of the weekend I saw: Cows, Calves, snakes (2, both alive and dead), spiders, ticks, squirrels, buzzards, other birds, heard frogs, a bunny, and an assortment of lizards.

Day 2's road race started and finished at a cemetary! Kind of eerie, and yet cool. This was just a weird day...on lap 1, at mile 2, we went neutral for a bit so a girl could stop her bike from making this annoying ticking noise (her speed sensor was hitting her wheel magnet....). Then, a few miles later, we (the cat 3 peloton) again stopped, this time to take a pee break! How pro do you have to be to take a pee break? It was certainly a race first for me... The follow car got a good show!

I have such mixed feelings about Kern which changed throughout the weekend. I went into it very excited. I had such a good race last year, and so much fun that I was looking forward to it again. My training has been going ok, and I really thought it would go better than SeaOtter for me. After the TT, I was pretty mentally beat-up. That effort took a lot more out of me than I would have hoped, mostly because of the heat, and it was hard to get re-motivated for days 2 & 3. In addition, I have been fighting some inner demons about racing lately, and they came back to haunt me on Day 2 as well. I am usually mentally very tough but sometimes things out of your control affect you more than you know...and I was a bit of a victim to that on Day 2. Thankfully by the evening, I had mostly compartmentalized everything, but was still pretty blown apart about posting a less-than-stellar hill climb, and didn't sleep well at all. Sunday I decided to work really hard on the "have fun" part, and try to be realistic about the results. This is against my very nature, and it is so hard. However, I think I did ok with it. I even sat up a couple of times to wait for others in my field so we could work together, when I got gapped by the leaders on a steep climb. However, that call turned out to be a poor one, as the other folks near me didn't have anything left, and I didn't want to be out in the heat any longer than I had to be! So I got 25 miles of solo riding to think and ride and bake in the 100+ heat! I got 6th at the end of the day, both in the stage and overall.

Here's me with the $20 (in fives) I managed to win :-).

And here's Susie, with the significantly more that she won!

And here's a shot of some of the Santa Barbara area women near the finish of the final days RR. We all look happy it's over!

After all that, I'm glad I did it...I just wish I was: 1. skinnier, and 2. faster! I guess both of those things are variables that I have control over, though, so watch out Kern next year!



Anonymous said...

No one took a picture of the cat 3 peloton squatting by the side of the road? Congratulations on your victory over heat and exhaustion!

CyclistRick said...

Actually, two follow cars had the opportunity for the 'view' of the pee break (and to take photos if the drivers were so inclined ... which we were not) since the Cat 4's and their follow car passed during that 'event'; sure was a surprise to come around the corner and all of a sudden have to look the other way.

You were great out there. It was a tough environment, and a tough field. I was so impressed with you and everyone out there.

Your biggest opponent this weekend may have been your (unneccessary, IMO) "inner demons". But I can understand how those conditions can engender those feelings, esp. after the tough breaks you have had recently. I am sure that you will soon be back out there kicking some backside!

Heather said...


I had a very similar experience. My first year at Kern (2y/ago) as a Cat 4 I had a great race placing well in every stage against a large field and was very excited to come back the following year. Then, last yr in a small Cat 3 field I was mid to lower pack the entire time and it was VERY frustrating and disappointing! I actually didn't do the last lap of Woody deciding that another 25 miles of that terrain solo was doing my body more harm than good. It was a tough decision to make, as quitting at Kern is nearly considered blasphemous!

But everything in perspective right? The top couple women in the Cat 3 field last yr are now riding the NRC circuit in big races and definitely were already Cat 2 "strong". My point?!? Good question! I guess that we keep on keepin on and getting better. I think you and I follow a similar trajectory: quite successful the first year and then hit a BIG plateau. it's tough at times, but we WILL continue to get better! As you know, I recently made the move to Cat 2 and am getting my butt kicked on a regular basis, but I believe I can still get better, and you will too!


ps. I could never talk them into a pee break!

Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

Heather--You made a good call on the 2 laps. Actually the entire (small) cat 3 peloton decided after the 100 degree hillclimb to lobby to shorten our final day to 2 laps, because the forecast was for such heat! So we all only did 2. I'm not sure I could have taken a third, regardless!

Anyway, I think you're right on the plateau thing.

And Rick--yes, I think my inner demons were my biggest opponent this year! Oh well...personal growth is almost as silly prizes and $5 bills, right! :-)

It was fun.

Greg Knowles said...

Kimberly, I think you were awesome! I've read all your race reports and am certain that you did your best. What else is there except enjoying the ride. Keep it up.

Marian said...

Ah, but the only reason why we had so much time on everyone else is cause Miss 1st Place was towing us around the whole time. Okay, everybody else, but definitely me! I said, at one point, "Don't feel too bad about doing all the work cause you're totally going to drop me on the last climb." Riding alone is way harder! As SoCal's personal drivers I'd say we constitute our own honorary team. :) Great racing!

chatterbox said...

great job, Kim! Every year is a different race. Sometimes the stars don't align. It takes time to become a mature enough racer that you can make the stars align for yourself a lot of the time. I know a lot of 3's who zoomed through the 4's and now have to struggle some to get to that next level. But, those who are willing to struggle with it are going to eventually be much better racers than those to whom everything comes easy.

keep up the great work! Good to see you out there!

BTW, I think we should talk Robert into a central coast stage race. I already have some courses in mind....

Chris said...

That is quite an assortment of wildlife. Ticks creep me out!

And too top it all off you got PAID! Great job Dr. Kim.

meh-wee-uhn said...

Hmm, so I think I am the only person who went to Kern and came back 2.5lbs heavier.