Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Fiesta Island TT

by Kathleen

They’d been talking on the radio for days about the big storm heading our way: the system from northern California is moving south, we’re gonna get slammed. Now, I’ve only lived in San Diego for a few months, but I’ve realized that you only have to live here, oh say, a few days before you get kinda soft on the weather front, so I actually started wondering if I was going to go out and do this race.

But I woke up Sunday morning to just a little drizzle and figured I could live with that. Apparently, most of the other women signed up could not, since the women’s field shrunk considerably from the pre-registration list. But, the Bellas showed up!

I met up with Julia and Raja at registration, got our numbers and went off to set up the trainers. As we warmed up, we chatted with people who came by and got some stories from men who’d been among the early starters and were already done. We heard about some slippery corners and strong winds and I was thinking maybe Julia would still let me eat the post-race donuts she’d brought if I just sat on my trainer for another hour.

But our time got closer, we got warmer, and the drizzle eased up, so we headed off to the start line. The person before me didn’t show up, so I tried to talk the timers into letting me start early and pretending that I didn’t get the extra 30 seconds. I tried telling them that I could really use those seconds and if they gave them to me I promised I’d come to the next race in better shape…..to no avail.

They laughed – all except that one guy who thinks you might be serious despite the fact that you are clearly cracking yourself up (if no one else!) and gives you that stern look…..and you kind of want to smack him upside the head….but I digress.

Once out there, I found that the sand that had washed into the road was a much bigger problem than any slick corners (corners, as it turned out, were just fine). I could hear the sand in my gears every time I shifted and tried to stop thinking about the hours I’d spent cleaning my bike the day before! And, for Fiesta Island, which is one of those places that sometimes manages to have a headwind in all directions, the winds were pretty calm on most of the loop.

I passed a couple of women and a few geezers, got passed by plenty of boys and made my way around the loop a couple more times. I’d say my biggest problem on the day was my lack of concentration: spent some time thinking about a paper I need to write, followed by “Kathleen, pay attention!,” then some thinking about the donuts that were waiting at the end, followed by “Kathleen, would you f*&$ing concentrate,” then some time wondering if I’d actually get in some extra miles after this race despite being covered in sandy mud or if I’d pursue another favorite activity (drinking coffee and reading the New York Times), followed by “crap, I forgot to pay attention again.” You get the idea (for evidence, there is a photo of me smiling on the course – there is no way that I'd be smiling during a TT unless I was thinking about donuts!).

So, goal for next race in this series: focus. Other than the lack of concentration (or, more likely, because of it), I had fun out there. And now I am motivated to do the next one and do better. Julia and I had been bantering all week about taking this race as one to “establish our baselines” (entertaining ourselves with all kinds of ways to translate that phrase).....and I think I covered that.
I also established my flair baseline (I had none) and will have lots of room to improve for next time!

Bellas made a great showing: Julia got first in the 20-29 women and Raja got first in the 30-39 women (despite starting 2 minutes late!). And, I got to meet Whitney who I believe was the first San Diego Bella, so that was cool too. All in all, a fun morning and a good start to the series.

More Fiesta TT pics here


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