Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Oh my... this is my first road race...

So this weekend was full of activity... and Sunday.. I had my first Road Race. I have always heard the "roadies" and people asking me if I am a "roadie".. and really.. after Sunday.. I know I am not a roadie... Nope.. Sure.. I do have a road bike, but I don't consider myself one of "them"... and when I say "them" I mean the matching jerseys, the matching helmets, and socks, and matching bikes. I do have.. sometimes, have a matching jersey, but for the most part... I am just "that" girl that is trying to survive in this training of Ironman Journey.

Sunday morning was great.. the great folks at Lifetime put on a great show for the Indoor triathlon, and I am thankful for him letting me grab the mike to promote the indoor training ride... I might have more spinners than trainers.. because as of now.. I am the only trainer riding gal. If I can get a full class of 18 spinning bikes.. that would be cool.. for it is 180 bucks at least towards GOTR. However... by all means I am still hoping for more to come.. The races ahead will be hard to be compete with.

Then Sunday afternoon, Mary and I were back at it.. I love riding out to races with Mary.. Even though we have very different backgrounds, and mentally get ready for races completely different.. It is always fun to share time of laughter, and hit the roads together. For those of you that don't know.. Mary Mary... she is a freaking rock.. she will kick your butt, smile, maybe even toss out a little pink wave, and keep on rocking the bike.. however.. to my slow butt, and my freaking out, she stayed with me during my first road race...

I didn't have a clue what to expect.. but that it was going to be 40 miles...We got there, and I was registered.. I laughed to myself at the different CAT's, and the different levels, and on the registration, I was simply "woman, 26".

On a websearch I learned the following:
SCF Levels – USCF has 5 levels Cat 1-5. New racers starts out as a Cat 5 and as he accumulate points via placing or by experience, he upgrades to Cat 4, 3, 2, and finally Cat 1, which is considered the last step before turning Pro. What many racers don’t realize is that there are really only 3 levels in practice (at least in the Northeast): Beginners (Cat 4/5), Intermediate (Cat 3), and Pro (Pro/1/2). If you look around, there are very few Cat 5 races. These races are almost always combined with the Cat 4’s. Cat 3 races are truly the intermediate level as most races will have a separate Cat 3 only level. Once a racer upgrades to Cat 2, he is racing with Cat 1’s and Pro’s. There are almost no Cat 2 only races. The only Cat 2 race I know of is the Tour De’Toona and that is more like a Cat 1 race. This is especially true today as USCF recently allowed Pro’s to compete in amateur events as a Cat 1 if there are no separate Pro events.

I went to my bike, started to get everything ready.. and I even tapped my foot: I caught him right in the act of taking my picture, I was laughing because I was in fear... more than anything FEAR... but at least I got a decent picture ...
Followers note: I have this one bike jersey.. yeah.. and Mary let me borrow her undershirt.. it was a little cold... and those pants... yeah. just basic nike long spandies... and even more so... I just wanted it all to go smoothly without getting hurt..

Off to pump my stuuuupid tires.. they always give me grief... maybe the tire St. Patty's God will give me a new pair..

Off to line up... here we all are, ready to start.. I am behind the couple guys and one gal looking down.. saying a quick little prayer, repeating my mantra's I always say...

As the race started, I thought I was going to poo my pants... I didn't know what to do but just pedal pedal pedal.. I wish I would have practiced with a group.. or even watched a live road race, and before I knew it, yep. I was dropped.. I wasn't too worried, but I just wanted to finish. Lessons of the day were: a. I did it. b. Had some good times meeting a couple new people. c. Didn't completely get killed... at least I don't think so.
Here are some pictures from during the race... Mary said.. "it is all about good pictures.. " so I just smiled during the times I could..
This would be us trying to stay up near Mary.. I was just smiling to make me a look a little better...

And here is Mary and I during our big finish.. you can't see from the picture.. but I am actually inhaling all her dust she left me in :)
This week is a recovery week, so slow runs and swims.. but I am excited about that.. my foot is feeling a little achy.. so I just want to see how it goes :) each day is a new day!


Mary Sunshine said...

Jess, You light up my life! Thanks for inspiring me with your courage and smiles. Incidentally, we blew the endurance mile wattage out of the water and met our goal of getting some really nice pictures taken. I hope your foot is healing and behaving.

Big hugs,


Judi said...

at least you had the balls to sign up. good job jess. see ya soon.

Lora said...

Hey, congrats on your first road race!!!! I think SBR events themselves are sometimes harder than tris. Is that weird? Anyway, big congrats again, Jess!

- Lora