This weekend I decided to race twice on Saturday. Since my goal cycling event for the year is a stage race (Tour of Millersburg – Time Trial and Crit on Saturday, Road Race on Sunday) and there happened to be a time trial and a crit on Saturday where the logistics worked out to be able to do both, I figured “why not?” and went for it.
Race 1 – Upper Freehold Time Trial
I raced in the Women’s Open field, which includes Cat 1/2/3/4. This course has rolling hills, a few 90 degree turns, and a few high speed curves.
The course is ~11 miles. Which ends up being ~30 minute effort. And should be raced all out, as if racing a 5K-8K running race. I was suitably warm when I got to the start, was able to get my power and HR up above threshold right away.
I finished in 29:35, 5th in the women’s open field (2nd of the Cat 4s in this field). My heart rate was pretty much redlined around 175 the whole race and my normalized power was ~10% over my most recent threshold. A well executed race, although I do think I could benefit from lowering my head more. Easier to do when you’re on a long straight course.
There was a good turnout for this event. It was nice to see so many familiar faces out.
My friends Sue and Jennifer – we chatted for awhile after just finishing and getting back to the parking area. We talked about how much we hate TTs while we’re doing them because they hurt so bad. But then 5 minutes after we’re done we’re thinking of the next race.
Another great group of ladies hanging around to see results. My friends Brittany, Amanda, Tory, Leisha, and Robin.
After I ate a few things and saw the results I drove about 2 hours west to Lancaster county for race #2.
Race 2 – Smoketown Airport Crit
The skies were starting to get dark and the wind was picking up as our race was about to begin. 10 women showed up for the Cat 4 race. This course is pretty straightforward, essentially up and down the runways. With one 180 degree turn. The Cat 1/2/3 women were started ahead of us by 1 minute. Out field took off and we had a pace car keeping our start neutral to spread us out further from the 1/2/3 field. Once the pace car pulled off and racing began the pack started hammering!! We almost caught the 1/2/3 field within the first 2 laps.
I was struggling to hang on, legs were really tired from the TT in the morning. I was towards the back of the paceline so every time we hit the 180 turn the group would accordion and those further back would have to sprint harder into the wind to stay on the line.
Around the 5th lap a gap opened up between me and the pack. Also about this time a full on storm started, with super gusty wind and rain. I kept trying to chase for another 2 laps or so. Then I heard them call a bell lap. Early, we were only about 20 minutes in and the race was supposed to be 45 minutes. I got pulled when I came around. They had spotted lightning. The race ended as the groups came around and they did score it as a completed race.
I don’t have any photos, so I drew a picture to represent the race.
I finished 8th of 10. Which is fine by me. There were some strong women in this field. I know I can usually hang with them. My reassurance for the Tour of Millersburg is that they also will have TT’d in the morning so presumably the pace won’t be as crazy. And 8th out of 10 gets me a few more PA BAR points towards standings. Which is cool.
Overall, an interesting experiment and a generally fun time. In the way that suffering through a really hard effort is fun. Sharing the experience with other awesome cycle chicks is what really makes it enjoyable.