Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Mt. Hood Times

Below is a post from June 1st - I had not internet connection at the time, so just getting to posting today...I made it through the last stages, too. Stage 5 (88.5 miles, 9200 ft of climbing) was great the first 50 miles or so - I was was climbing better, then it was 40 miles of climbing - no joke - I finished pretty far back on the day. For the final stage, stage 6 - a crit, I thought I felt good, but I started in the back row (oh geeze, no one is lining up yet - I'll just take one more lap before the start) and had to close a bunch of gaps on the uphill section, plus the back section had a wicked tail wind, so it was hard just to keep contact at the back there. It was a short crit for me, but at least I got credit for finishing the race. :) Now rest time to recover & come back flying.

—June 1st, 2007—

It is a long winding, windy, hilly, hot, smooth, fast road. Stage 4 of Mt Hood Cycling Classic is in the books for the upper categories. My goal for the day was to enjoy the scenery & the fun parts of the course. I warmed up for a total of 7.5 minutes on the trainer, then threw my aero wheels on & rode up to the start. A few of us ladies of the bottom of GC realm were chatting it up a bit with each other & the officials before the start of the race. Good times. I was the 2nd to go off, because I was 2nd from last after the 3rd stage! Uggh – hard not to be disappointed & frustrated with that – especially since 2 years ago, I was at least in the top ½ of the field here. I don’t want to focus on the negative too much, but it is quite a disappointment. I know it always ebbs & flows, but holy frigging cow – 2nd from last?!?

Anyway, today was actually fun & the hills were not too bad - especially at the pace I was going - the descents & flat sections were a good place to test my aero equipment & see how fast I could get going & practice corners in the aero bars.

Yesterday was 66 miles of fun – 56 of which were off the back for me. Yessss. I almost made it over the climb the 1st of 4 times with the leaders, but not quite. I fell off at 1 K to go. Liz came screaming by me on the descent & signaled for me to hop on. I tried & for a ways we were together & then I got sketched out when a girl behind me came around & I did not feel as comfortable on her wheel & dropped back – then Liz was gone. She is so rocking on the descents! I passed a few people on the climb – but not many & then never saw them again. This was kind of the whole race. It was freaking hot & the last time through the feed zone, RT from Recycled Cycles handed me a nice, cold Coke – just what I needed to climb that sucker of a climb the 4th & final time. A group of OTB cat 1,2 men came rolling by me – I sat near their group to get a little tow up part of the climb. This helped break up the intense boredom I was beginning to feel. I was totally questioning why I was even out there – just feeling beat down.

However, today in the shuttle ride back to the parking lot after the finish of the TT, there were some girls talking about having the same exact feelings – “I hate my bike, I hate riding & I hate all of you!” So great to know someone else feels the same way.

After the end of yesterday’s stage, Liz came up the road to pick me up, so I would not have to ride all the way back to the parking lot. She had had to pull out of the race due to her hamstring really acting up – she knew if she was having trouble then that the rest of the week would be counter productive & may lead to more injury. Allison is doing great! She was 10th after stage 2 & 12th going into today. I hope she can get back into the top 10 – she is a great time trialist, so I think she has a shot.

The stage the day before was stupid for me. That is when I really, really knew this week would be a brain burner. I was popped from the peleton every time up the “climb.” It was supposed to be a sprinters course – I couldn’t even make it up the sprinters hill. I just have to think of this as training & swallow my pride.

I am afraid of tomorrow’s stage. 89 miles & 9200 feet of climbing. The last 40 miles are all uphill. 40 miles! Are there even 40 mile climbs in the Tour? A few of the ladies at the TT start near the bottom of GC with me were talking about how we should just ride together – we’re all in survival mode anyway. That would make it at least a little better – misery with company.

At least this week, I have gotten what I have been asking for – consistently hot weather. J It’s been around 90 or higher every day. Awesome. Nice Tan Lines.

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