Monday, July 24, 2006

Livermore Road Race Report

by Angela

The Livermore course consist of mellow rolling hills. 6 miles loop and 6 times around. The temperature in this race was a scorching 115 degrees and in some area around the loop it was more. Hydration was key in this race. As my husband said, it is a race of attrition.

I read a bunch of race reports explaining the heat but little did I realize that it was more than I can handle. The race is definitely different from a pre-ride. I arrived to sign-in and get a quick warm-up around the course the opposite way. After my warm-up, I went back to the registration to visit the potty then get ready. I saw Monica and she was mentoring the junior race. She was all smiles and very nicely told me about wearing a helmet during warm-up. First of all it is not safe and I can be DQ’d if the officials see me. Duh! I felt a bit embarrassed and apologize because my brain was on my ass!

Cat 4 women was quite a big group. I think there were 40 of us. I scanned through the group and said hi to some I see around in the races. I certainly know who are the goats amongst the women who can really put a hurt in the course. Sigh! My goal was to stick with that group as far as I can and as long as I can.

Off we went…

The race started with tempo and just cruising along. The road was narrow and it is not easy to move up without sqeezing in or going in the dirt on the edge of the road. There were some that crossed the center line but a motorcade was there to warn them. It was tight and everyone wants to be in front of course, so did I. Every corner was a surge and high tempo on the inclines. The downhill was very tight because of the potholes on the right hand side in one section. It was pretty sketchy going through it. There were times where I was a bit squirly. I am getting use to my new bike and the Campi Compact and was very cautious not to drop my chain in the climb. Well, I need to break the habit of looking down to see which gears I am in. That did not help. There were times were I was just tired and hot that holding my line was a challenge but was able to adjust.

I was able to hang on with the lead group until the 4th lap. My husband was at the feed zone with water and I had a bottle each lap. There were also other people graciously helping me out with water as well which was very nice. During the 3rd lap, I started feeling very strange. My quads started to cramp and couldn’t power up standing on the short climbs so I had to settle sitting so I can hang in there. On the long stretches, the group started to go faster and faster on the corners. Right on the short climb before the stretch going back to the feed zone, I felt it! My quads was shot and I started to go back wards. I still see the group but there have approached to top of the climb. As we headed downhill, I tried to chase and get back until we get to another incline then pretty much game over. I was fatigued and hot. I started feeling very thirsty and could not wait to get back to the feed zone. I was gapped fast and will have to grind my teeth to finish.

Right before I approached the feed zone before lap 5, I was considering or planned how I am going to give up and just pack it up of the day. I really felt that I could not go any further and my quads just could not go any more! I don’t really know what happened but when I approached the feed zone to get my next bottle, I decided to just hang tough and finish this race. I saw everyone cheering for me and at the corners the marshalls were very kind to tell me to hang in there. That is pretty much what I did, tried to hang in there and finish. In the last lap, my quads felt better and I rolled to the finish. I was just glad to finish and was ready to drink more.

I learned several things in this race. First is electrolyte drinks is important. I decided to not to have any energy or electrolyte drink in this race which was a mistake. Why? The last 3 days race I did, my stomach was not happy on the third day. I wasn’t sure what the drinks will do in a hot day. Water I thought would be the best choice, then learned that it wasn’t good enough to sustain me. I also learned later that food is also important. It is common sense really...Also practice not looking down and get better in holding my line.

Thanks and appreciation to my husband who stood out there in the heat for hours to make sure I am hydrated.


At 11:23 PM, Blogger X Bunny said...

tough as nails


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