Monday, March 13, 2006

Banana Belt #2 3/12

…5 laps of a rolling 11-mile course around Hagg Lake. Drizzly, surprisingly cold weather. Wet tarmac with slush and snow hugging the white line. About 60 starters.

The result: another mistake, another mediocre result.

The good news: I held in there. I’d worried that I’d get popped. I felt like crap. The one short climb on the course got harder each lap of course, but it was never even close to worrisome. Great. I am quite pleasantly surprised by all of that.

The bad part: I was so worried about my legs that I left my head in the car. With Coker (OBRA #519) out of my group via upgrade, I was lost in the run in. Which of these guys were going to haul ass up the finishing grade, and which were just up there protecting their top 30 finish? No idea. I played it safe, I thought, by staying on the center line (planning a left hand pass), at about 10th wheel. Bad idea. The sprint didn’t go. We rode finishing meters 700-300 at about 15mph. Trapped. It finally “goes” and everybody in front of me is friggin’ weak. Yeah, I said it. What were they doing up there? They sure as hell weren’t leading anybody out. Meanwhile, the real contestants go around on the right shoulder, as I should have (I had tried that in the prime and nearly got intimate with Candy at the line). By the time I “Grand Theft Auto” through the blockage, I’m probably 15th. I then--and this is the saddest part--just start swallowing everyone in front of me. Good fitness. Nobody I saw was going faster than I was, but 6 guys were nonetheless bound to get there sooner (which, they say, is what matters!).

In a similar race almost a year ago, there was one crucial difference for me: Darren. Instead of being forced to guess about where the traffic might be less backed up in a lazy, late, one-lane-wide, Red-Rover style “sprint”, I had him on the front kicking out the jams all the way in, so that by the time we jumped, only the fittest remained on the front to duke it out for the victory… and I was treated to a front row seat. Miss you, D. That’s how it’s done. ...just a little shout out for my long lost homie paying $1400 a month rent in SF.

For those of you that still don’t get this road racing thing that I'm doing; I promise, it’s a team sport. When poaching the sprint works, you look like a genius; but the rest of the time, your result is just what everyone would have expected. All that said, it was definitely still me that chose to be where I was, and I am cleary not a genius. Mistake.

Wish I had better news for y’all. I’ll try again next week. Wah, wah. Boo hoo. More aggressive, more aggressive... is "next week" becoming my catchy sign-off? Dubois, come up here and berate me until I start racing like I want to win.

That's me with the pink cap, frozen fingers, and, yes... glasses (thanks, Molly!):


Blogger Patrick said...

Sounds like your boy Chris needs to come up here and kick both our asses as we both are getting a little soft. My excuse was a week in Mexico drinking Cerveza and getting massages from Mamasita what's yours?

7:15 AM  
Blogger Chris DuBois said...

Chris here. Mark: stop racing like a pus. You write like we're gonna be disappointed in your result. Instead, we're disappointed that you feel you didn't race the thing as hard as you could. If you got the fitness, make it a race where fitness matters.

Can't wait to get you down here to train with us. The watts will be high. The bunk bed is ready. And this summer is gonna be knarly fast, just wait.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Mark Blackwelder said...

Thanks, Chris. Perfectly good advice: Make it the race I want it to be. Surprisingly wise as always.

6:31 PM  

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