Danville… 3,500 ft of climbing and I officially moved up to Sport. The Athena class I’m unfortunately eligible for.
My biggest fear of the day was the amount of time it might take me to finish the race. My biggest mistake because sure enough it played into my day. I had a goal of finishing in 3 hours, which was my one and only stupid focus for this race. Sad and stupid. Focused on being about double of hubby's time..
I decided to take off basically last in the mass start for the ¾ mile climb since I knew my climbing speed was pathetic. Which was my First Mistake, why not get every minute you can when you’re concerned about time. But that thought didn’t occur to me until later. So I enter the course dead last and the only riders I pass are those fixing their mechanicals, those coming towards me retiring early on or those unfortunately injured. I trudged on through all the climbing, slowly. It felt like the downhills barely existed. But even on the downhills my bike was feeling Horrible underneath me. Probably the terrain but I never got a groove and just kept feeling like my rear tire wanted to separate itself from the bike. So my downhills were even slow, the one place I’d usually make up time.
But I felt good overall, even with the heat I wasn’t feeling the hot drain and was pleased that my hydration plans seemed to be working well. Water bottle for the occasional head cooling and the camelbak filled with Hammer electrolytes.
The course just seemed never ending slow climbing and I kept watching my time. Before the race someone mentioned that the one spot to bail was about halfway through the course. I haven’t seen the bail spot and I’m almost at 2 hours! “I can’t make everyone wait for me to do a four hour race” That’s all I kept thinking. Finally see the ‘one bail spot’ closing in on the 1:50 mark. “Should I stay or should I go?” (Yes I was actually signing The Clash song in my head). I shout out to a few people trying to get a better idea if this is really the halfway spot. One person tells me that I’ve got a really really long way to go and gives me this look like there’s no way possible you should keep going.
I bailed. Big Mistake. I was more than physically able, even though I was walking some climbs. I DNF’d because I was feeling guilty and concerned that everyone would have to wait to leave the heat because some slow chic is still out there riding.
Turns out only about 4 miles were left of the 13 some and my time probably would have just been over 3 hours. Even if it was 3 ½ - I should have finished. The awards didn’t happen any quicker because I DNF’d, I wouldn’t have held them up.
So if this is my year for learning racing… I’ve just been handed more lessons. Sorry fellow racer’s, I don’t plan to DNF again because of guilt..
3 months ago