Yesterday saw another very successful edition of the Reston Town Center Grand Prix put on by our club (Evolution Cycling). For me personally the RTCGP began on Saturday night as part of the set-up crew responsible for fencing off nearly the entire 1.25k course. We had a significant number of our team present and participating. The only down side was that many of us were there until around mid-night even though we were all racing the following day. A few of the guys with the earlier races headed home a little early but I decided to stick it out to the end. I got home and wound down and finally fell asleep around 1:30am (7 hours to race time), very shortly after that I was woken up by my 5 year old who came over to our room, I am not very good at falling back asleep after I wake up at was up for another 45 minutes or so. Around 3:15 (5.5 hours to race time) I was again woken up, this time by my wife who was searching the closet for sinus medication. Finally at 5:30 (3 hours to race time) I was woken up by our 3 greyhounds that needed to go outside. When letting them out I noticed that my stomach was feeling less than 100%, significantly less in fact because I got sick. I figured that my race plans were done for the day given the sick stomach and severe lack of sleep, but I decided to give it a go and at least get credit for the start.
After getting to the course and finishing set up (there were a few things that could not be done the night before) I set up the trainer in our team tent and began the warmup. About 15 minutes before the start they let us on the course for a few warm-up laps and I felt surprisingly good, although in my mind I was still going to pull out after a lap or 2. We all lined up and the race took off pretty fast. I was able to be around mid-pack into the first 2 turns and move up near the front going into the 3-4-5 combo (downhill is good for me). Coming off turn 5, which was set-up very smooth this year, I hit my first little uphill section and slid towards the back of the pack and hung on through the final sections of the course before repeating the process again on lap 2 and 3. Shortly after that, could have been based on my mindset, my right leg started to cramp and I began losing contact with the back of the group, especially on the uphill side of the course. I took about 3 fairly easy laps trying to get my leg to stop hurting and decided that I was not going to quit as initially thought. I was able to pull about 2 fairly hard laps at race speed and was feeling a touch better. By this time the field had lapped me, but I still had some people behind me. At one point my teammate Ted was off of the front and I was able to give him a breather through the downhill section, and surprisingly through turn 5 and 6. Ted was yelling encouragement and I was able to dig deeper than I thought I could and actually pulled Ted past about 6 people on the uphill section between 6 and 7 and he came around my left into wide open space and just hammered it.
This last initial effort basically caused me to completely pop and I guess it showed when I got around to the start/finish when the official whistled me off, although I was so spaced out I didn't realize that I was pulled and did another lap before it sank in.
Ted went on the win the race, so I will once again take some credit for it (ala Ride Sally Ride...ha ha ha).
Following a brief cool-down I secured my marshalling post and enjoyed the next 7 hours of racing.
All in all a great day.