Thursday, June 25, 2009

A weekend of failure

Where do I start……

This last weekend was a weekend from hell as far as racing goes. Just 1 week ago we were shivering through mid 50’s temperatures with bone soaking rain. A mere 7 days later it’s as if the gravitational pull from my poor performance brought the sun closer ensuring a miserable weekend of racing as far as conditions go.

Setting up for the weekend I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to race both days so I registered for Cobb Park. Cobb Park had 2 races I could do….and it was only $10 for the second race. Guess what I did….yup.

Then Mrs. P says she no longer has to work on Sunday and that I can race – it is Father’s day after all. To top it off Fox River Grove is pretty close to the Psimet compound. Oh and look….they have two races I can do. Excellent. Guess I will sign up for both.

So it was some time later when it dawned on me that I was going into a 4 race in 2 days weekend. On top of that we were looking at record heat and humidity. Oh, and somehow I didn’t know but there was this thing called a “hill” on the course for Sunday. How big can it really be right? The directions to the course said, “at the corner of School and SKI HILL RD. That should have been my first indication.

So I was feeling good on Saturday. The race was too early for the family to embrace the idea of getting up and going with. No one needed a ride so I was on my own to the race. It was weird to drive to a race with no one else. I got in some good alone time. It was kind of nice.

Once there I quickly found the usual suspects all milling around. I felt strong and thought I might have a chance at a really good result. I hit the trainer and “warmed up” for a long time beforehand. I felt great as the race started. Chatting it up, floating around at will, felt like I had a ton in reserve. Then something happened.

There was an acceleration and it was like someone opened a drain plug on my tank and emptied it. The accelerations weren’t hard. The race was fast but manageable, but something in me just went limp. I got shelled.

I felt a little better as I ran into a lot of other riders I am usually contending with who also got shelled, but in general it wasn’t pleasant. Then I got lapped. Then I got chills and goosebumps….and then got lapped again. I was dehydrated. Bad. I finished the race but it was torture. A lot of people dropped so I finished up on a lot of guys but I was dead last in the field of riders that were placed.

I figured I should drink and do my best to get my temp down in between the races. I only had 6 bottles for the whole day and I was down to only 2 left for in between the races and the next race. I am sure I could have found more water but I didn’t push it.

For the Masters race I felt much better. The pace was slower and I found it pretty easy to hang where I wanted to. I even contemplated going for the prime when it was announced. Then with 3 or so laps to go I got a leg freezing cramp along my inner thigh. It locked up my leg completely. I was done. I tried another lap but I couldn’t push any gear so I just pulled off. I felt the pity look from the officials piercing me as I called it a day.

So needless to say after the poor performance on Saturday I was not hoping for much on Sunday. I was not disappointed by that. I got yanked twice on Sunday. So did a lot of other guys but still….it sucks. I found I got better each time up the hill and found I could descend and hold the corners in the mid 30’s – taking them without braking.

I knew I was in trouble for sure when I realized I didn’t know nearly as many guys on the line and started seeing jerseys from all over. That combined with the fact that the front of the grid looked like a forest of saplings made it sink in that the fat fast flat crit rider was going to embarrass himself very quickly.

In better news Little P almost won his race. He was kicking butt. Everyone was cheering him on and he was making a bee-line for me at the finish and then suddenly swerved at the last minute into the crowd. He then spent the next 45 minutes crying that he wasn’t allowed to finish riding the whole course, that he didn’t win, and that he might have hurt someone else or their bike. He didn’t even want his 3rd place medal.

Well….he has as much hardware as I have now.

Next up – vacation. 1 week spent in Gulf Shores, AL again. Yay. After this it’s Superweek. I have already signed up for Blue Island (2 races), Elgin (2 races), Arlington Heights (2 races), and Bensenville (2 races). Still thinking about Evanston for 1 race.

Then it’s the Chicago crit….maybe a Soldiers field race…..it just doesn’t end.

5 comments:

Julie said...

oooo, that was your son! I witnessed that crash- and the countdown from three between "what happened to me?" and "i'm crying now." Glad he's ok! Congrats on getting through the weekend. It'll only make you stronger.

BBVP said...

Rob-according to to my calculations you will be racing about 170 miles just for SuperWeek! 95 miles alone just Saturday and Sunday. Uh...Good Luck?!?

Psimet said...

Bob...[Begin Vader] I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Julie - Thanks for working the races and thanks for the looks of pity :D

Little P is still talking about the race.

CyLowe said...

Ski Hill Road. Ha!

I know from Ski Hill Road and all you were riding was some speed bump.

Scummerle said...

Hope to see you at one of the Soldier Field races!
BTW, my powermeter recorded both the cat4 and the masters 4/5 at Cobb at the same avg. speed. But the power was down on the Masters 4/5. Less acceleration and smoother riding into the turns I guess.