Race report

I just checked the last time I rode in a race, and it was April 1st. I hadn’t realized it was quite so long ago. The Tuesday night race series began tonight — it will run through the beginning of September, so I have the luxury of a local race once a week for the next four months. These aren’t “official” races, not USCF ones, but I don’t really care about that — I’m just happy to have a race to ride in.

I had no idea how I would do tonight. As I’ve written about recently, I haven’t ridden all that much in the few weeks, so I was unsure of my fitness level. And these races are hard — there are only two groups of riders, the A group and the B group, when usually with bigger races there are 6 or 7 groups, or something like that. What this means is that I ride with fast people. I ride with Hobgoblin, in fact. I rode in this series last summer, and did okay — sometimes I could stay with the pack and sometimes I couldn’t.

So, this afternoon before the race, Hobgoblin and I went through our litany of excuses — I’m tired, my head hurts, my stomach hurts, I don’t feel like racing, I’m too stressed about school, etc., etc. I really, truly didn’t feel like racing. But I’ve learned by now that if I don’t race, I usually regret it, so I forced myself to put on my cycling clothes and ride over to the course. One of the first things that happened when we got there was that it started raining. Perfect, right? We hung out under a small tent until it let up a little bit, and then it was time to start warming up.

Once we started riding, I settled into it pretty well. I forgot about the headache and the stress. I spent the whole race hoping I could hang on another lap, but the thing is, I always did end up hanging on, and I ended up staying with the pack right through the final sprint. All 23 laps, 45 minutes, 18 miles or so of the race. This is still relatively unusual for me, and so it’s quite a pleasure to be with the pack as they head up the hill for the last time and then to do a cool-down lap with the group, talking over how things went. One of the highlights of the race was catching up to Hobgoblin and riding next to him for a minute or two, talking a bit about how the race was going. Most of the time, though, I could see him up at the front, pushing the pace.

So I feel like I’m back into racing after a month off; I’m pleased because I’ve got a bit of confidence back and I won’t dread next week’s race quite as much.

9 Comments

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9 responses to “Race report

  1. You are so brave and courageous, Dorothy! That’s the point when I stay home, hiding behind a book! Well done you for getting back in the saddle!

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  2. Well done Dorothy! Pretty soon you’ll be passing Hobgoblin so he better watch out!🙂

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  3. I had to smile at this because your litany of excuses sounds like those I use on a constant basis to get out of working out. Anyway, glad you had a good time.

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  4. good for you! It’s so funny how excuses can derail us like that. I did NOT want to run
    on Monday and almost used the weather as an excuse, but I forced myself out and ended up
    having a good run, gettign drenched in the process. And now it’s sunny and
    lovely today and with one good run behind me this week I’m looking forward to today’s!

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  5. Thank you Litlove! Sometimes I can hardly believe it’s me out there racing. Stefanie, I did enjoy being in front of the Hobgoblin, even if only for a minute or so🙂 Yes, Iliana, that’s very typical of me and probably of a lot of people — the trick is to try not to annoy people with my excuses. If I can limit my whining to Hobgoblin, I’m doing okay, I think🙂 Courtney, I do think it’s worth it to force oneself out sometimes — my mindset gets completely turned around when I do, and I feel so much better.

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  6. Edd

    Dorothy,

    We’ve been on the go; Jane has Breast Cancer, the operation and now waiting on Chemo. It is official now; my son is NOT going to Iraq and will participate in the Ford Ironman 70.3 Florida triathlon with his $4,000 bike and assorted equipment!!! Boy, with that money I could buy boxes of books. You keep up the racing and I’ll keep up on reading your Blog. Deal?

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  7. Edd, I do hope everything will go well with Jane. And how fun for your son to be able to do the triathlon! That’s a great deal, Edd — sounds good.

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  8. Isn’t it weird that the things we sometimes like doing the most are also sometimes the things we want to avoid. I didn’t realize that your races at night lasted so long–I would have been thinking up excuses, too. Do these races during the work week totally wipe you out the day after?

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  9. You’re right Danielle — the great things to do are often very difficult and require a lot of motivation. But I’m always happy I did them. The problem with evening races is that I can’t sleep that night. I wouldn’t be wiped out from the race itself, but I am because I couldn’t settle down and get to sleep at my usual hour.

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