Friday, March 27, 2009

Pulling out of here to win!

So I met one of my goals for the week and registered for the women's B races this weekend. Now we'll just see if I survive them. I'm pretty excited about the road race on Saturday and the time trial with Karina on Sunday, but not totally thrilled about the crit- .75 mile loop, completely flat. I'm not great with cornering yet, though I'm getting better, so I like a crit with hills so I can make up for my lack of good handling skills. Nonetheless, I'm excited.

Let's see... Wednesday I went for a swim, thinking that an hour in the pool would be super boring. By happy coincidence, Cristian showed up and kept me company- he's so fun to swim with because he thinks I'm super fast. Definitely an ego boost!

Also did an hour of intervals on the trainer in the morning- I surprised myself with actually feeling pretty strong while I did them.

Went to Princeton to meet with Stephanie, which is always fun, since while I'm technically her student research assistant, she's also one of the very few female friends that I have. So we get to talk about our lives and then about our work. Working on the green tech community college piece but so much other stuff has come up that I've been putting it off.

Did a weight set and some cardio with Karina and a couple bike team girls, then rode home from the gym totally exhausted. Robbie and I have a new favorite snack though- whole wheat pita with hummus and cucumbers and peppers. Yum!

Thursday I went for a ride with Don and George at 8am, thinking no rain until noon. Wrong. 20 min in, it started drizzling, and halfway through, it started really coming down. Visbility sucked, I got muddy as hell, but I had a great time. Don had me leading a lot of the ride while he worked with George, and taught me quite a bit about being out in front on group rides- something I'm not used to yet! One scary moment when we got to a 4 way stop and I was waiting. Don told me to get aggressive, so when no one was going, I started. Then, for whatever reason, a woman driving an SUV decided to start going too. While looking straight at me, making eye contact. It was one of those really weird slow-motion sort of things- she kinda had me pinned, because I couldn't go back or stop, I was directly in her path and she was moving towards me, so all I could do was push forward and hold my line. Luckily, she didn't hit me. Unluckily, Don was unable to chase her down on account of the fact that "she's in a car." It's weird though- stuff like that happens so often that I barely react to it anymore, just manage to get out of the situation if possible. I guess it's a good thing, but it kind of sucks that I'm so desensitized to the fact that drivers are perfectly willing to hit you. I admit- the eye contact thing was pretty creepy. Seriously, wtf.

On the upside, a corner that's been a challenge every time we ride finally made sense, and I could take it at 18 mph without braking at all. It was good practice, riding in the rain, since the weather report for this weekend is looking grim. Fingers crossed that it won't be too bad...

I was planning on going to karaoke last night, but my late class let out later than normal, and it was raining the whole ride home. We got in close to 9, soaking wet, and made dinner, which ended up making my stomach ache. My legs were tired and I didn't want to walk the 25 minutes to the bar in the rain alone, so I decided to wait for another Thursday with better weather.

Hopefully I can manage to not get panicky tomorrow and focus on racing well- I think a lot of my problem thus far is getting nervous and losing adrenaline before the race. Also, I'm so worried about crashing and pack riding that I let it get in the way of my racing instincts. Gotta get out of my own head!

Triathlon and marathon are easier in that sense- triathlon has no pack riding allowed, and both are really individual sports. Bike racing is definitely more about how the people next to you and in front of you ride, and you have to count on them. I was less nervous about running 26 miles than I was about riding for 10 minutes the weekend before!

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