One look at the mist in my suburb was enough to tell me that racing up in the hills would be very cold and it took alot of convincing to get my body out there!! But I did.
Of course there are times when NOTHING goes smoothly and today was one of them. I arrived at start and paid my entry fee and changed into race gear...many, many layers, I heaved bike out of the car and pumped up the rear tyre. Then the front. Mission accomp...pssssssssshhhhhhh...oh no.
Get out spare tube, tyre levers and "thumbs of steel". Change tube, fiddle with pinched bit, worry, fiddle fiddle, off, on off, on. pump up a little, check, worry, its the front one...finally happy. Check wheels. Check brakes. Spin back wheel to wake up powertap. Spin back wheel to wake up powertap. Spin back wheel to wake up powertap. Fiddle with CPU, fiddle with shark fin sensor, fiddle with wire. Spin back wheel. !@#$%^ bike stand clamp has probably squashed the wire. Sigh heavily. Put Polar HRM onto bike.
All this took a while and meant my warm up was ..well non existant really. The race was a 60km handicap..out and back twice. I was in the third group out. There were the usual workers and non-workers and eventually we were joined by 2 of the faster following groups. The pace hotted up and so did the shouted instructions and "advice"!; it was a big group.
We were reeling in the front markers gradually although the last ones were passed fairly close to the end of the race. I was strong right to the end but had spent all my matches and was developing a hunger knock about 1km out so, whilst I was in the leading bunch, I just wasn't quite close enough or strong enough to contest for the $40 first lady prize.
Training by myself as I do, its always difficult to estimate how my level of fitness is going, so today's effort is very encouraging. I was strong up the hills and have developed enough race nous now not to flog myself 100% of the time, so sometimes I worked and sometimes I sat in. The skill of riding safely in a bunch has slipped a bit though. In a TT you ride at your own pace, in a road race its the pace of the group and it varies alot, which I find disconcerting.
HRM stats: Max HR 164, avg 149 (my absolute max HR is 172bpm).
Worst thing about today....the temperature resulting in blue lips and numb toes.
Best thing about today...someone commenting on my muscled legs!!!!!
So that's Saturday. Tomorrow I'm going to be extremely stupid and do a 5km charity fun run.