Thursday, August 26, 2010

San Ardo Masters 35+

San Ardo Road Race
Course: 66 Miles, mostly flat, few rolling hills
Team mates: Matt BB (Field), Ted (DNF) 

Originally I had planned on doing more racing this summer but travel, mostly my significant others travel, has prevented this.  The problem is not really the travel but the stress that packing brings on.  The lead up to the actual flight etc is a two day event.  It goes like this... the flight is on Sunday.  This means that nothing can happen on Saturday, the house is in lock down, because it is much more efficient to have all of us close at hand in the event that we need to find a swim suit or pants that have zippers that turn them into shorts.  Then of course Sunday is a loss since I am alone with the random child that everybody refuses to travel with, or if traveling, i am then en route.  On top of that I have a kid starting kindergarten which is a surprisingly stressful endeavor.  You would not believe the shit load of paperwork and crap you have to buy... not to mention the PTO parties, fund raisers etc.  I mean WTF, is that a cultural thing for NorCal?  Help me out here people, its like I'm trying to get this kid elected to office or something.

This happened at least four times between June and this weekend, but it did leave me open to get in a race at San Ardo.  So far my road racing has been a joke this year.  Scotts Valley was a train wreck (mechanical that was my fault) and Burlingame was a great example of how three guys can ride a bad team race.   The track has been fine even though I'm racing in the pansy division (3/4 vs. 1/2/3)  I say I'm doing that mostly because I want to upgrade, which is true, and racing down rather than up is smart.  But... in reality i think its cause i only just started liking the track and racing with Triple 6 and a bunch of fast juniors would kill this current fondness for Hellyer.  Plus its fun to listen to Tom and Eric do a recap when i was not in the race.

So BB and I were able to coordinate San Ardo as part of my much delayed racing plan.  I'm pretty much focused on cross so getting some racing in right now is a good idea to get that speed back. I'm fit, given my current work schedule, but not exactly fast.  So BB shows up at 5 AM for the trek down and its like a first class flight.  Philz coffee, Fiji water, and snacks in case I am hungry.  We stop halfway at McDonalds for another coffee and bathroom break and then get to the race and hour ahead of time. 

My issues started pretty fast.  By the time we had to line up i had made three bathroom breaks and had to change one wheel cause of a goat head flat.  Then at the start I had to go again and BB was cautioning me not to go. This was a bad idea since it was all i could think about for the next three hours.  It started out slow and I was somehow at the front.  I hate being at the front.  I like being at the back, so when they folks ramped it up going up the hill i glommed on mid pack.  The race was fast the first lap with a lot of attacks on the back side of the course.  Second lap was a joke, nobody was doing anything until we got to the backside again.  Up until that point BB and I had been covering most attacks.  Going in towards San Ardo I made the mental decision to watch only two or three people, and figured the break 5-6  that  looked like it was forming wasn't going to last.  I figured making a move on the hill would be the thing to do on the third lap since it would probably get harder.

Well, the break got some good distance, maybe 20-30 seconds, and i did make a move on the hill.  I got about maybe 100 yards away and started to go backwards.  The pack came by single file up the hill and i was sure they were going to catch the break.  When i crested the hill i was maybe 20 yards off the back of the pack.  At this point my bladder was screaming and i think was working on my sub-concious.  I didn't have the punch i needed to get on the back and recover so I spent about 10 minutes trying to get contact and just fell behind little by little as the rollers came through.  While i still felt strong, I could not get it ramped up.  I gave up when the cat 4's passed me.  They would catch me on the down hills then i would pass them on the uphills, till finally i threw in the towel and let them go up the road.  I pretty much spent the rest of the 22 mile lap on my own until that Cat 5 group caught me on the way into San Ardo.  You will be relieved to know I had no problem riding into town with the Cat 5 group.

BB made some good last minute attacks going into the finish but that's his story.  I'm thinking this was a good race to get back into it, though i probably should have just sat in or  covered the last few breaks.  Overall I think a few more of these and I will be really good to go for CX which starts up soon. Bladder control is not so important in a 45 minute race, which I am thinking is a good thing. 


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