I have been a slacker in the blogging department for the past few months and it’s embarrassing but I’m back now! I’ve been riding five days a week doing some pretty intense interval training and working two jobs which has been quite the juggling act but I’m making it work so far. I know many cyclist run into the problem of being “too busy to ride” because cycling is a time consuming sport, but I find it more than worth it to loose a few hours of sleep to be able to get my ride in because I feel that riding is a constant in my life and it makes me a better person.
Recently a local cycling team, Mrs. Rose’s Racing, has a training crit series of four crits held every other Tuesday for the months of August and September. I am planning to participate in all of them come hell or high water because I really want to get more race experience under my belt before the season is over. The one catch to these races is that they are open categories which means I’m racing with the men. Yeah, that’s right. One girl, thirty dudes. I have managed to do the first two races and I was really nervous to race with the guys. Not because I was nervous to ride with guys (that is nothing new) I was nervous because I wasn’t sure how I would be treated as the only woman in a competitive situation. I figure the response I would get would be “What the F#$! is this? Who does this girl think she is?” but much to my surprise the guys have been very respectful and actually cheer me on. Of course I have a few allies out there on the course because I do ride with a lot of these guys but there are also some guys who do give me the “Are you serious?!” look. But the only way to gain respect from these guys is to go out there and take the shit and ride your ass off.
The first race was crazy hot, I believe it was 100 degrees that day and of course the race starts at 6pm so the asphalt has had the whole entire day to soak up every bit of heat the day has been able to supply. I was dehydrated by the third lap and we had a 50 minute race to complete. I was in pain by the time we were done. I got lapped approximately 5 times, but I am okay with that because a quarter of the guys that started didn’t finish. I also had a mom come up to me after the race with her young daughter and the mom said to me “She was SO excited to see a girl racing!” and the little girl looked at me and said “You are cool!”. This is why I have a rule for myself, no DNF’s unless you are hemorrhaging, there are little girls watching you. And also in this situation there are thirty guys waiting for you to buckle under the pressure.
The second race went much better, the heat index was nowhere as high as the previous race and once again I was the only girl out there. I was only lapped 3 times, so hopefully next week I will continue the trend and my speed will increase and my times lapped with also decrease. I have an awesome coach who has been supporting me ever step of the way and encouraging me to get out there and get it done. He sent me this email after the first race and I had mentioned to him that I did feel a bit defeated after the race.
New developments include I’M GETTING A POWER METER!!! I’m so excited, I should have my power meter by the end of the week and It should be in working order for my next race this coming Tuesday! I will keep you guys updated about how that is going once everything is all set up and running.
Until then xoxo