Thursday, May 03, 2007

Gone to Carolina in My MInd...

Racing update!

Well, Monday was a travel day with no racing. I drove down to Bluffton, SC (basically Hilton Head) to stay with some extended family. The next two races were close enough that I would stay here for 2 nights.

Tuesday's race was so frustrating for me. It was supposed to start at 6:30 in downtown Beaufort, SC. This was about 30 miles from my host housing. So, naturally, I left 2.5 hours before the race was to start. I was about 3 miles away from downtown and the traffic just stopped.... dead. I asked several people around me how long it should take for me to just get downtown and they said at least 2 hours. What? Serious? There apparently was an incident between a bridge/barge/crane that didn't go well and the bridge was closed. So, I pulled over and packed everything I could in a bag and rode to downtown. I will skip all the "poor-me" details about not having anywhere to warm-up and no trainer (left it in the car), etc. and get to the start of the race. We finally started about about 8:20. Yes, almost 2 hours late. And now it was dark. Remember that the race director was not planning on having a nighttime race and didn't have the lights. The course was super narrow, dark, and technical in certain parts. Because of the sketchiness of the course, the leaders really pushed the pace so they could keep up front. My learning experience in this race was not to be a mental head case when I arrive at the starting line. I had already talked myself out of this race and had this list of reasons why I was frustrating and therefore would not do well. The truth is that everyone else had to deal with the late start and the dark, etc.

Well, there is a pattern this week.... bad race, good race, bad race, good race.

Last night was so much fun! We were in downtown Walterboro, SC. The course was pretty wide in most parts with sweeping turns and only had 1 section with 2 tight turns and narrow roads. I finally felt great... I finally felt like I had control over where I was in the pack and where I was going in the pack. I had one goal set for myself (not losing any places in the corners) and did a pretty good job in the corners. I realized something this week that only these NRC races could teach me. In local races (even ones with lots of Colorado big names), I am able to make up any lost ground coming out of a corner by just using natural strength and speed. So, I didn't really know how bad I was at cornering until this week. Athens was my rude awakening and I figured out quickly that at this speed and pace, I am not able to always make up lost ground coming out of a corner. The other super rewarding feeling last night is that my legs finally felt great. Even though Sunday was a good day... I was still in the hurt box the whole race. Last night, no real hurt box. (Maybe the pace was super slow... I will read other bloggers and find out.) I set myself up for a couple primes (sitting somewhere between 2-4 wheel) but didn't trust my fitness to sprint for it. With 3 laps to go, I was still in a decent position and still felt good. The leaders really ramped the pace. I gave in on the last lap and decided to be mellow in the finish.... finished with the pack. So, the finish was not so exciting but I was super excited after the race because I found my confidence in the pack.

So, tonight I hope to trust my fitness and be more aggresive!

Since I am now traveling alone and have no family at these races, I don't have any pictures to share. Sorry!

2 Comments:

Blogger KatE said...

Cari!

I wish I could be there with you! Could you imagine driving in the heavy traffic with yours truly!? With all of our experience driving in Fresno!? :)

Good job showing up and working hard. This season, I've found that the mental part is sometimes the most difficult. I hope we can race together soon.

until then... cheerio!

~~kate

8:07 AM  
Anonymous dq said...

Well done, Cari. You got through a tough week and we're super proud of you. Rest up and you'll be feeling awesome in a few days.

5:14 AM  

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