Wednesday, July 19, 2006

nationals and superweek

There’s been no relaxation after the Fourth. Stopping back in Boston so I could take care of a few things at work before leaving for the rest of the month, we continued on to Seven Springs, PA, for the Nationals road race. Nationals was not intended to be an ‘A’ race for me, and good thing because I came into the race tired. It took almost 10 hours to drive to Seven Springs. We arrived after 8 pm, when I immediately got into my chamois, put some wheels on my bike and went to spin my legs out at sunset. Got to sleep around 10:30, then awoke at 5 am to prepare for the 7:30 am start! The course consisted of three laps of a brutal 27-mile course. This was NOT a race where you could just “sit in” if you weren’t feeling great. And it was fast uphill as well as down! There was one 60+mph descent just a couple miles from the start. There was really nothing flat; the terrain was either up or down. I cracked just before the end of the first lap and would have dropped out if a group of 7 hadn’t caught me. We rode the next two laps I think just because it was a nice day on nice roads. Many didn’t finish at all. Maybe next year I will approach this race differently; maybe I won’t view it as just a race to do on the way out to Superweek.

After Nationals, we got the cheapest motel room we could find, got a decent night’s sleep, then headed out on the road again toward Milwaukee. At this point, even 2 hours in a car felt like too much. I’m a little surprised that Ward and I never argued or seriously get on each others’ nerves through all of this driving and racing. We make a great team. Sick of driving, we stopped at a campground in northern Indiana when the sun set. Until light rain fell on us in the middle of the night and brought a cool breeze, the temperature hovered in the mid-eighties. Not the best of conditions for a winter tent.........

We woke and resumed the drive to Milwaukee, but added a short stop in Chicago's Lincoln Park for some lunch and to find wi-fi! It's been hard not having internet or even reliable cellular coverage!

I raced the four NRC crits at Superweek, Thursday through Sunday. It was HOT (as usual) and my ambition melted. I was rested physically, but not mentally, I think. One day I stood on the start line and saw my pulse at only 47 bpm! Rested, but certainly not nervous or pumped about the race, I guess. I have this problem where I feel I need to race every race instead of focusing on events I really want to do well at and coming into those with the necessary dirve, both mental and physical.

I think this picture is the finish of the men's race at Shorewood. I didn't take a lot of pictures this year.

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