Wednesday, February 20, 2013

UT Austin Race Report

So the first race is over with. I am a bit disappointed, but also feeling okay about other things too.

The trip down there was okay. I rode with several teammates that I haven't spent very much time with. They were pretty cool, but I wasn't a fan of their music choices. No matter. I should have the ability to avoid that for the next two races at least. We got into Austin kind of late, but the place we stayed was really chill.

The morning of the race we headed out to the parking lot and noticed we had been towed. The lot was half empty, so I was kind of pissed. It's not like there was a need for us to be towed. Anyway, I don't need to stay mad about that. We got the car back in time and got our stuff for the road race ready.

I got dropped relatively early in the race, but they were averaging 26 for the first several miles. Bear in mind this is in D's. They shouldn't be pushing that fast. Those that did and weren't making the newbie mistake of pushing too hard too early didn't belong in D's. There were several such riders. That's not an excuse though. I should have held on for longer. I ended up riding my own race for several laps. I got to chat with a couple of Oklahoma State riders for the second and third laps. I spent laps four and five chasing one guy. I never quite caught him. Luckily I was catching other riders at the very end. That was one of two things to be happy about. The other was that I wasn't last. As sad as that sounds it was how bad I did last year.

After I was done with the road race I was pretty sick of the course. It was 5 laps for us on a 6.2ish mile course. A few hours later we had our time trial, which was 1 more lap. On the first turn of the pedals I felt some pain in my left hamstring. Being the knucklehead that I am I kept going. My team quickly left me behind though. The course had two real turns, the rest being gentle curves. The second turn was maybe a quarter mile to the finish. As soon as I passed that corner I bore down and held my speed at 32 mph to the end. I was having a shitty day, but I was going to end it strong. Several people noticed how hard I finished and told me. Hey, a pity victory is better than not being mentioned at all.

Afterwards we went out to downtown Austin. The first place we went to was crowded and really shitty. We left when we realized we weren't going to be treated well. We hit up a Chinese restaurant, and had some great food and drink. I had some Sesame chicken and Newcastle Brown Ale and a couple of shots of sake.

The next morning we had to get up fairly early for our criterium race. I warmed up, and was okay at half speed, but my hamstring was really bugging me the whole couple of laps that I stayed in. This was the first crit I have ever been pulled from, so it appears my hamstring was a bit more of a problem than it was letting on and/or there are a lot of D's that will quickly move up to C's. In fact, right after our crit the C's were racing. There was a rider from MSU who blew the whole field away in our race, and they made him move up to C's for their crit. He stayed with the lead group the whole way. He doesn't belong in C's either really. He should end up in A's by the end of the year.

As for me, who knows. I am stretching out my left leg taking it really easy here until I feel comfortable. Then I should be putting in a lot more intensity. After the A&M race which I am not going to I should be in a much better field of competitors from my perspective. I'll probably still struggle for great placing, but the next couple of months should lead me to a much better place on the bike. I am also adding in some running and swimming to prepare for the triathlon and half marathon that I am doing over the summer. I shouldn't have any problem training for the tri this year. I know how to do all of those distances without a huge struggle. It's the half marathon that I am a bit apprehensive about. The furthest I have ever ran is a bit over 6.2 miles. I am thinking of putting in a long run day where I run a half a mile or a mile longer than I have before. That seems like a decent plan as long as it's in the middle of the week.

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