but good enough to blog, I suppose.
Yesterday kicked off the official beginning of the race season for me with the inaugural running of the Cold Toes Training Series in Chantilly, VA. This is an event put on by our club (Evolution Cycling). We had pretty miserable weather which reduced the turnout, but added a certain level of fun to the race. It was pretty much cyclocross conditions for a road race.
After arriving at the event to help get the registration tent set up, fence and cone off the course, and lend a hand with sweeping the corners. I reluctantly shifted into race mode and began warming up. I term I use very loosely here because there is not much actual warming up that accompanies temps in the low 40's with a consistent downpour. I did a few laps of the course, which is quite nice by the way, and then headed back to the team tent for some laughs and to dry up a little. This was followed by a few more laps and another return to the tents. Finally start time arrived and the field set out for the wet, wet race.
Back in December when I set out my goals for this coming season, this race was the first measurable goal on the list, with the simple notation to finish. I know, a stretch goal right out of the box, shooting for the stars, etc. But as previously discussed I don't have high expectations for this season, even lower with my dismal training over the past 3 months.
Anyway, I was able to ride in the main pack for the first 4 to 5 laps before my legs started to tighten up (either from the lack of warm up, the cold weather, or a lack of training....probably a combination of all of the above). Since this was designated as a training race I decided to sit up and "soft pedal" and wait for the field to come back around to catch back on. For some strange reason this took 2 laps to accomplish, I guess I wasn't pedaling soft enough. I managed to catch back on and ride with them for another lap or two and then tried to go when someone attacked on the back and had nothing to respond with. From there I simply cruised the last 2 laps with another rider, chatting about the race and the weather. True groupetto style.
I crossed the line about 10 meters behind the race winner (albeit 1 lap down). There may be some decent photos that I can lie about in the future.
I tried to get warm and then assumed my post marshaling the final corner for the next two races and trying to warm up. All in all it was a decent day for me and the results were a top 20 finish, 17th in fact (I won't mention the field size, but it was more than 20). Goal number 1 accomplished, but it felt like that 80 you got on a paper when you needed a B in the class. Just barely enough to count, but it counts nonetheless.
On a more positive note, my rear wheel enabled a teammate to win the A race. Who knew my wheel was really that fast...hmmmmm.