Monday, April 21, 2008

Kimberly's Sea Otter Adventure

Hi all!
Well, I survived Sea Otter for the 2nd year. Survived is about all I can call it, though!

Here's my little race report. Many folks have great results to report, but I won't steal their thunder. I'm sure reports and stories will come in soon!

Circuit Race: My circuit race was on Friday, at lunchtime. The weather was fine--a tad windy, not too cold.

Only 15 women were in my race (cat 3 is a much smaller category than cat 4 in women's racing), so I knew there would be nowhere to hide. And there wasn't anywhere to hide. I got cooked on the steep part of the main climb the 2nd time up! Being a decent descender, for a few laps I would get gapped on the steep part of the climb, and then chase back on on the descent and backside.

Unfortunately this practice was stopped on lap 4 or 5 (they all run together in my mind) when the girl on the front kicked it up a notch on the climb.

Oh well...Anyway, I finished the race in full-on chase. I wasn't too far back, though, and I nearly caught another chaser on the sprint in. However, the times are all off in the results, and the girl I finished right behind does not correspond with the published results either.

Oh well....the norm for sea otter, it seems. Regardless, I was pretty demoralized after that race, and it was more than a bit of a challenge to try and be motivated for the road race today.

Road Race: After yesterday, I decided to take the road race lap by lap, and just use it as a good training exercise. I knew the race was full of strong climbers, and that it was going to be a challenge to stay attached.

Not helping matters were the strong winds and cold temperatures! It was not a good sign when some of the barriers on the track blew OVER while we were lining up for our start! And the neutral start on the track was more like a sandstorm as the winds whipped. I was very glad I didn't have deep section wheels!

Anyway, the race was pretty uneventful, save for the wind. I got gapped on every single steep climb, but thankfully the course has a lot of rollers, so I could just power back on. This was basically how the race played out for me.

I got to know the moto-ref and the follow car guy pretty well, since I was continually passing and getting passed by them! We had a little conversation going a couple of times...the first time I got dropped he was giving me the encouraging "keep working hard" stuff, which I know only means 'I feel sorry for you'...but later on, he was like "wow, you have quite the motor" because I just kept powering back on.

If only I could climb better...this racing thing would be less work! All the more reason to kick up the training a notch.

Anyway, I managed to stick on all the way through the final lap, but alas all that chasing had taken its toll, and when the grade turned up on the finishing climb, my little motor decided it had had enough. It was a slog up the hill, as those tiny climbing girls rode away. There was nothing I could do. Nothing was left.

I passed 3 struggling masters riders as I slogged up the hill to the finish. Susie was already there, as she is one of those tiny climbers I spoke of....she got 6th!

On the spin back to the car, my hamstring completely cramped up, thankfully it let up with some stretching.

I don't know my final placement, not that it matters much, as I got on the road home quickly. I was happy with my efforts today, though, as I worked through the hard stuff, and had fun on the technical stuff, and am not feeling as bad about my fitness as I was yesterday.

In typical Team Chicken Ranch fashion, everybody was super supportive of each other, and I think fun was had by all. At least it seemed like it to me! And congrats to everyone who did well--please post race reports!!

Kimberly Turner

1 comment:

Greg Knowles said...

Great report Kimberly. It sounds like a few more rides up the Gib or OSM will get you there. Susie, congrats!