Monday, May 5, 2014

Catching Up

The last couple of weeks have been busy with training and racing. Here is a brief recap of what's been up.

Time Trial #1 - April 22nd was the first in a series of 5 time trial races that I'm signed up for again this year (I did the same series last year). The TT is 4 loops of a 6k course out in Essex County. There is an aero and Eddy (road bike) division and I'm racing aero. The weather on the 22nd was brutal. We're known for wind here (in the absence of hills it's our own special Hell) but this night was ridiculous. Coupled with the freezing temperatures it made for a slow and painful night. Here's hoping the remaining dates see some decent weather!

Ciocaro Race #1 and 2 - Here's Mary getting out of her comfort zone. A couple of years ago I joined a local cycling team called Tower International. It's a group of about 20 guys who are road racers that were looking to start up a women's team. There are five of us girls now and in addition to having some fast guys to train with we race in the local crit series (the guys also do some other Ontario Cup and Michigan races but I only do the local stuff). These races are every other Thursday night and I'm not gonna lie - I am not good at this type of racing. It's 20 minutes of gut busting, all out racing where you need to be comfortable racing your road bike elbow to elbow at speeds of 30-40km/hr around a 1.5km circular track. I'm way more comfortable on my tri bike, cruising along at a brisk pace without having to worry about anyone else's sketchy moves.

Le Chocolat 1/2 Marathon - On Sunday I raced the Le Chocolat 1/2 marathon here in Windsor. I like to do a spring 1/2 every year and was stoked that there was finally one in my city - 5 minutes from my house to boot! I usually have to hop across the border to Michigan which means super early mornings, crossing the border, etc. Let me say that the convenience of the location of this race will never be enough to entice me back. I'm spoiled perhaps with having run some pretty well done races and this was just not even close. $90 which I thought was really steep. The "swag" was a 3L bottle of wine in a box shaped like a purse. I'm not a drinker so this was totally lost on me. And a box shaped like a purse? What possible good is that? There were also aid stations manned by local fireman and "all you can eat chocolate" at the finish line. Unfortunately the course was really convoluted and boring (2 and half loops plus the last portion back on a walking trail) and worst of all the course was long by 230 meters! For someone like me that races for the thrill of training and trying to improve on times and not for gimmicky things like firemen at aid stations and all you can eat chocolate I was pretty bummed about that! I ended up doing not bad, especially given that I was not at all tapered and had ridden 4.5 windy hours the day before. My official time was 1:49:48 which is a 7 second PB. In actuality though, if the course had been the correct length my time would have been 1:48:34 - a 1:21 improvement! Incidentally the "all you can eat chocolate was a lunch bag with a brownie and a danish, some warm containers of chocolate milk (don't eat dairy so no good for me), and a plate with half a banana, a pretzel stick, and a paper cup with about a tablespoon of chocolate sauce for dipping. To add insult to injury anyone that finished over 2hrs didn't end up with any of the chocolate treats because they ran out. Not cool.

Epic week of training coming up which I strangely look forward to, gearing up for the first race weekend of the season in two weeks, the American Tripe T. Stay tuned!