State Road Race
Howdy, esteemed Aggressors!
First off, congratulations to those that raced, you guys all represented Aggress well! Tim, two years after shattering his femur, killed the field. I was more excited to see him win than had I won myself! I did a dance of pure joy when he told me! Rich, Shane and Rich and Cathy (who I just met), all raced well and had great results.
For me, I’ve never been less relevant in the outcome of a race. Yet, I can only think of one race where I was more proud of the outcome. I’m literally in uncharted territory regarding my recovery. There was hope I’d be “here” by December.
As Tim mentioned, the race organizers lumped together all masters under 50 years old in one group. I believe that was 35 total men. I was nervous, which is very unusual for me. No matter what happened in the race it was to be a surprise, and I don’t like surprises during a race. Just before the race, out of nowhere, my wife showed up and hugged me. I really needed that! She drove 6 hours the night before and stayed at our friend’s cabin! I had no clue. It was the best surprise I’ve ever had! Thank you Tim for helping pull that off!
As for the race, mine wasn’t much of a race. On the first real climb, about 18 miles in, I got dropped. I tried to position myself up front before the hill so I could drift back and catch on, but I have a negative V02 max… I did drop back, but did not catch on.
I found my own pace up the hill, and started catching and passing a bunch of other guys who also got dropped. As normal, they were all surprised because I look more like a beer league softball dude than cyclist. I went by them all hoping they’d catch up and we could work together to catch back on. We eventually formed a small group of about 10 or so. They tried to form a pace line but frankly, they sucked and were really slow. I was upset to be with such a group. When we made the series of right and left turns pretty quickly where there were a few houses around mile 22, I went to the front. I didn’t attack at all, just gradually lifted the pace hoping to flick the clingons off the back. Well, all 10 of them were clingons. So I rode from there to the finish by myself. I did just enough to keep them at bay. I had about 43 miles of solace. It was a great time. I really wasn’t hurting, kept my heart rate around 155 most of the time, and just stayed as aero as possible.
I had some problems on the ride with my feet and hamstrings, which isn’t unusual still, but I knew how to keep it in check. I kept looking back to see how close the chasing group was. On the big rollers to finish the race I could them, so I stood up to make it look like I was attacking those hills even though I was just going a steady, relatively easy pace. Anything to break their spirits! From reading Strava accounts they were trying to catch me, and were upset they didn’t. I thought they’d given up really.
I’ll continue to take things one day at a time, but this was a big victory for me. Not a result I’m used to, but I’ll take it!