Monday, February 14, 2011

CCCX #2 Womens race Michele Heaton

CCCX#2 Masters Women 35+

My lesson learned for this race…”go race even if you feel like dog crap and talk your best girlfriend into going too.” It was just one of those mornings, extremely menstrual, a bit too much red wine and chocolate the night before for my PMS, I mean, pre-race meal, and not enough sleep. Ugghh.

Amy and I rallied and I felt grateful to have a chance to have another racing adventure with her. We always manage to have fun no matter how things turn out. Our plan was to race aggressive and to get a good work out. I am 3 weeks out of base training and really need the “top end” efforts. Since this was not a priority race I decided to ride with my power tap and heavier wheel. I was glad I did. After the race I could see I hit my highest HR so far this year and spent 1/3 of the race at level 6 or above.

I rarely ever get nerves before a race until I’m on the starting line. First, I forgot both chamois cream and to pin on my number. Then, while taking a lap around the course I realized my saddle bag was hanging off my bike just the way Steve had left it so that I wouldn’t forget to TAKE IT OFF! Sheesh! I was looking like a royal flounder and Amy probably doubted her intelligence for coming to this race with me. So, in my hormonally tweaked and nerve racked state, I was off.

With Amy’s encouragement I found myself putting down an attack right off the line. I ended up being glad I did because it set the race up to be aggressive right from the start.
The women we raced with were all active and it was turning out to be fast but also felt safe and smooth.

Michele at the front chasing down the Women’s 123 race.

We caught and passed the Women’s 123 race ahead of us.

The hardest point for me was when a Wells Fargo rider attacked hard on the rollers and split up the group. I was really suffering in the wind to get back in contact. I also struggled when I lost control of my front wheel on the first lap on the fast, bumpy downhill. It’s happened to me before and really scared me. The rest of the laps I stayed at the back in this section and took off some speed and a different line (which helped.) Coming into the finish I had to make up some ground to come around the last corner about 9th or 10th wheel, which wasn’t the best position. So much for giving Amy her lead out! She was ahead of me and in a good position though. Anyway, I felt my distance was to jump right out of the corner. I believe I stood up and sprinted out of the corner, then sat down, dodged around some riders, and found myself having a drag race to the line with Amy!

We virtually came in together, with me only beating her by inches. We laughed crossing the line. That was probably my favorite 5 seconds of racing so far....crossing the line with my dearest friend and training partner.

And as a bonus, they had combined both the 35+ and 123 races on lap 2 (because we kept running into each other) and we won both!!

I raced this one for Chris Lockwood, one of the parents from my school, who died of a heart attack while riding his bike to work 10 days ago, at the age of 49. Among many things, he was a wonderful father, an athlete and a person that loved to feel the wind on his face too. He will be missed.


Satin Matt said...

Way to go Michele!

Courtney Shipman said...

Great racin' girl - you kicked my butt out there. Very touching comment at the end. See you out there soon!

Dennis the Mennis said...

Nice result for a nice person!

GratzILLa said...

What a set up: saddle bag dangling, chocolate, etc. Great win with a great attitude!
-Michael Gratzer

Michele said...

Thanks you guys! Great job and fun racing with you again too Courtney. I thought it was a super group of women and I look forward to the next one!