Thursday, April 14, 2011
Drentse 8 Van Dwingeloo classic
Today we raced Drentse 8 Van Dwingeloo. I'll arrive at that topic in a moment, first I have to mention how amazing breakfast was haha! It was a massive buffet, with thirty different types of bread and cheeses and a counter full of a million choices of pasteries. Oh how I wished for a second how nice it would be not to be competing so I could eat that stuff. Everything was very delicious though that we had, yogurt, bread, some eggs and jam and peanut butter mmm, and some coffee from this crazy expresso machine, yum! we ate at about 8:00, and had pasta for lunch at around 10. I was still stuffed from breakfast, but I new today was going to be a long hard day so had to basically force feed myself some spaghetti. The race was far away and we left early. Our race started at one, so we had time to pre ride some cobbles and the start/finish. Our course we were racing today was the most confusing thing i had ever riden. We did 3 laps of a 45-47km loop and I still had no idea I had ridden the same course that many times. I never recognized very much either than the finish zone and the cobbles with a bridge that lead up to it. So, started off the race pretty much at the front. I SAW THE FRONT OF THE PELETON TODAY!!! It was my goal, I had been so far back the other day, I wanted to be right up there. Of course it only lasted for about 2km and then everything got crazy, but I still sat in about 50th position for most of the first half of the race. The course ran in a figure eight direction (i didnt really notice though ahah, it was just a mess of turns and looking at peoples butts and heads) I can't ever see anything. The 6 foot tall Netherland and German girls block my view. i have no idea when a turn is coming and when you are baraling into a turn at 50km/hr its pretty terrifying when you dont know if your turning left or right untill your entering the corner. The roads were a little bit wider today, but when I say wider i mean like instead of a side walk its a sidewalk and a half of road space. There were also so many tractors and semis and trucks parked on the side of the road and when 180 racers are taking up the entire road, it makes for a big mess and slamming on of the breaks every time passing a parked vehicle. Anywyas, so, the first part of the figure 8 was 15km and the 2nd half was 30 some odd km. The race quickly picked up around km 12 when there was sprint points on the cobbles section. Such a dumb thing, put sprints on cobbles, righ tafter the most narrow bridge that you've ever seen. I did some cyclocross today, cut a cross a grass field and the sand to try and move up before the cobbles. It worked, but I was so scared I held on for dear life. Directly after the sprint and cobbles you came flying through the feed zone, everyone strung out at 55km/hr. Making a few turns left and right( linx and rex i think i learnt!..) and a long narrow stretch on brick roads after 15km split the group up pretty fast. We lost one Canadian rider on this stretch, as it was very fast. Most of the roads were very bumpy and all brick, it was a little scary, as there were a lot of manhole covers and speed bumps (6 in a row!). The race was long, 140km and I often found my self quickly losing focus. Our team quickly went to three riders, and we were all pretty close together. I did probably the best mental job in a race I have done before however. I was able to positive self-talk myself back into focus. The racing was very tight today and before I new it, I was near the back of the pack. The peleton was strung out almost all day today becuase of so many turns and cross wind sections. I knew I had to fight really hard to stay on, and that I did. About 70km into the race I began to have really bad lower quad spasms. Everytime i pushed really hard or stood up to sprint (every minute basically!) I tried punching my legs and massaging my legs, but the oil from my legs from the pre race massage made it hard to squeeze my breaks. About 90km in, I coulndt even stand up anymore, I was punching my quads so hard and I had snot all over my face as I was in too much pain to wipe my nose hahah. I felt the strongest in a race that I have ever though, and It felt crazy to average a speed of almost 48km/hr. It was fast, but I was very proud of how far I had gotten. By now i could barely pedal, my leg cramps were horendous. I had gotten a feed twice and took in as much salt as my body could handle. I had ate in the race, and there wasnt much else I could do. I slowly fell of and then shot through the caravan backwards. That was the end of my race, at 115km. I was very dissapointed that it wasnt pure strength, it wasnt mental game and it wasnt the pace of the race that kicked me to the back and got me finished. Cramping. What I dread, what used to be a major problem in my racing has come back to haunt me. My back also felt terrible, I was killing with pain, I thought my spin was going to snap and purtrude out of my sacrum. I have never felt that amount of pain before, but I was able to block it out minammally until I was finsihed. Eventhoguh I wasnt able to finish the race, I made it 115km and made it 3rd farthest out of all the Canadians. I was proud with what i had achieved, and i know that I felt very strong today. I am not used to this intestiy, and racing with the best racers in the world who have been racing every weekend since Janurary made it easier for me to grasp a hold of what an effort I had put out. I made it further than last, and I can only set a goal to go further in the next race. Next race however is a world cup with 216 starters, miles and miles of cobbles and hills, but I forsure will set goals, or how else could i reflecton how I road. We had dinner, pork tenderloin and some wierd foods again, which i choked back with like 8 gallons of water, and about 8 pounds of salt to make my cramping better. Then I had a quick massage on my legs where they cramped, and this is when I realized my legs were SUPER bruised. Every where, both legs, the inside was all blue and green and black, from punching my legs so hard when I wanted my cramps to go away. Pretty intense haha. Tomorrow is a recovery day, which means, sleep, ride, eat more, eating, eating more, a massage and eating like 17 other meals hahaha. Time to go watch a quick movie and fall asleep. I could write for hours about the race, but I think it's best to take my mind of racing for a little while and just relax. Ciao!