If you missed my last post, you can find it here.
Saturday, I took the train with my team mate Josefine to Solrød Strand, where we rode the last 15 kilometers to the start. The route was flat with only two small hills but a lot of corners and crosswinds. We were five women together with 27 men. The race was 99 kilometers (9 laps).
In the start box, the guy in front of me couldn’t click in his pedal, and I couldn’t get pass him, so I started in the back of the peloton from the beginning. I used a lot of energy on trying to get to the front, but because of the many corners, I instead used all my power on closing gaps.
After 20 minutes of racing on limit, without any chance to catch my breath, I started to get tired. My legs were actually fine, but my pulse couldn’t keep up and after another corner with a hill straight after and headwind on the top, I couldn’t close any more gaps.
I was frustrated and didn’t want to finish the race. It was boring (and hard!) going alone for so long – especially when you are not in a breakaway. But, I knew I could get second place, because the other girls were behind me, so I had to continue hoping to meet some guys to ride with along the way.
After five laps I was passed by some different groups of men, and short after, the women that was behind me, suddenly joined me. On one hand I was very surprised, but on the other hand it was nice with some company. Since Josefine was in front and I didn’t know how much ahead, I didn’t participate in the pursuit. I just sat on the wheel and it was quite boring.
So, on the last lap I decided to shake things up a bit and attacked on the first hill which was the steepest. Only one of the other girls could hang on and we had to sprint for 2nd.
At the 1000-meter sign I sat on her wheel, just waited for her to start the sprint. When she did, I had enough time to pick up speed behind her before making my final move, taking the sprint and I even made a new 5, 10 and 12 sec personal record 😀
Josefine took 1st place and it was awesome to share another podium as a team. The number of prizes depends on the number of starting riders and since we were only five on the start list there were only prizes to two.
Afterwards, we rode back to the train and I ended up riding 140 kilometers, but didn’t feel that tired. Once again, I had learned the lesson of the importance of being in the front from the start and seeking shelter, because I’m not strong enough to sit in the back or the wind for long, when racing with the guys. So, I looked forward to try again the next day 😉
Sunday’s race was taking place approximately 30 kilometers from my house, so I had planned to ride to the start, combining transport and warm up. But, I woke up to drizzling rain and decided to take the train some of the way, so I only had to ride 15 kilometers to the start.
I started my race day morning as I always do. Eating breakfast three hours prior start consisting of porridge (oats, milk and salt) with a smashed banana, peanut butter and cinnamon. I drink coffee (with milk), juice and water with it. I shouldn’t drink so much because I always have to pee like crazy shortly after leaving my apartment, but I never learn 🙂
On the way to the race I drink water with electrolytes and depending on my way of transport, and feeling in the stomach, I eat some more right before the start (a energy bar, banana, bread with honey or similar). I never go down on fuel on race day! Or any other day 😉
The route was relatively easy, except for one sharp corner, a long hill and a steep uphill finish. We had to ride 100 kilometers (ended up being only 94 kilometers) with 10 laps and for once there was almost no wind.
We were 11 women together with 39 men and the pace was high from the beginning! Surprisingly, I felt tired from the start and it didn’t take long before I couldn’t hang on the peloton. I don’t even remember what happened, suddenly I was just not among the others anymore.
I really didn’t want to go alone for 9 laps, but I’m also not keen of giving up and getting a DNF (did not finish) so I took an easy lap and discussed with myself what to do.
Shortly after, I was followed by a C-rider who had a puncture, changed tube and wanted to do a bit of training, since the race was over for him. He asked me to join, so I did.
It was good training for me and he kept the pace high. We made a deal that if I took the front on the hills, he would take the rest. But I also told him that I probably wouldn’t finish the race, so we took it one lap at the time.
Along the way we (or more correctly, he) picked up women who had fall off the peloton. First a single rider and a few laps later two more. I was still considering stopping, because I was tired, but then we picked up another two riders and now I had no good reasons for not finishing, so I continued.
On one of the final laps I had promised the C-rider to pace him downhill to let him be able to go faster. Not ideal to use energy on playing games so close to the finish, but on the day I really didn’t care. And a promise is a promise. I was too frustrated of not being able to hang onto the peloton for longer, so the result didn’t matter to me anyway.
We ended up being five women fighting for 4th place and in the sprint my gear was a bit too high and the hill a bit too steep, so I only took 2nd and ended 5th, just outside the points.
I rode all the way home and ended the day with 145 kilometers and very tired! Another lesson learned and I need to find out how to solve this “problem” soon. Good thing the season has just started 😉
I’m still struggling with my bruised rib, but it has already been a lot better since last week. I use plenty of painkillers, but at least I don’t wake up in the middle of the night, soaked in sweat, needing another dose of dope anymore.
I can almost breath the deepest without pain, which makes training and racing a lot easier. I have sneezed three times, that was painful! And, I still can’t blow my nose, cough or laugh. Actually, I couldn’t stop laughing the other day and that was a funny mix of tears of pain and joy. It hurts getting in and out the bed, and I really miss being able to sleep on my stomach. But other than that, everything is fine 😉