Thanks to everyone cheering for me out there! It was awesome to hear my name all around the course.
Friday, July 04, 2008
I hate to say I think of this race as the "necessary evil." Gosh, what I'll do just to get to race a crit. The first time through the feed zone I was almost certain I would not finish the race. I led into the climb because I was unsure how I'd feel. I found out the devil was in my legs. I could not believe how much it hurt, and for goodness sakes, I am a bike racer and I am used to pain! I had to push through to the other side. Would I find the other side, or would I be dropped and DNF? The devil was whispering very negative thoughts into my ear through the first 3 laps. Very naughty, negative thoughts. But I knew it was going to hurt, and for some reason, each lap I seemed to feel better. I could see and feel many girls around me suffer more each lap up that torturous climb through Princeton, but I could feel myself getting stronger and stronger. Heh heh! The tables turned on the devil! I shoved him off my shoulder. By the last lap, I was finally able to respond to tempo changes up the hills and though to the feed zone. Colavita put the hammer down, and caused a split. I was too far back to make the first group, but I stayed very comfortably in the second group. I must have found Jesus' draft! I saw the first group not too far ahead and even thought, "I can bridge that! Go!" but thank goodness wisdom took over for my "eyes are too big for my stomach" ambition. That would have been suicide with the final climb looming. We accelerated into the Wachusett access road. We were moving fast toward the point where I have never "raced" beyond: the left-hand turn into the "down" road. I was still there, and still had enough juice to stay with other riders. I was together with my teammates Mary and Sally, which felt so comforting. I couldn't believe it, this was going to be my best ascent of Fitchburg yet. Boy did I want more gears, though! I wish Campy made a 27. Even ONE more cog would really have been nice. The soles of my feet were burning as I was churning over the 39x26. But I was still able to turn it. Finally, the right-hand turn into the last 200 meters came, and I got out of the saddle and cranked through burning legs to the line. I made it! I hope I am opened up now and back to feeling like a bicycle racer. Thank you, Jesus! ;-)