Saturday, March 20, 2010

First and Second Race of the Season Done!

Earlier in the week I was chatting with my coach and we discussed a road race in Branch Brook Park in Newark NJ. They had a nice early 4/5 race that sounded good, and as we got to talking, we decided that there was a second 4/5 race I could do. So why not do both? Sounded good in theory right? That is until I woke up this morning with not enough sleep and feeling like I was hungover. And I didn't really drink last night... That's odd. I just had a slight headache and felt achey all over. This was just what I wanted with two races ahead. If it was any other morning and I had not preregistered, I probably would have stayed in bed. But I didn't want to waste the money so I manned up and set out for the race.

I pulled into the park at 6am and got a close spot and started to get my stuff together. I wasn't sure what to wear as it can be deceptive at times but it soon became evident that I didn't need much. It turned out to be a great morning as all that were needed was shorts and a short sleeve jersey and some arm warmers. I was prepared for a sub zero start just in case. It was going to be a sweet day. Too bad I didn't feel better so I could enjoy it more!

Both 4/5 races were pretty decent. I felt good pace-lining and when the effort kicked up I was good in the pack. I kept looking for lines surging to the front and kept myself out of trouble for "most" of the time. I was all over the place as the group was constantly surging. There were some SKETCHY riders in there. I think the nice weather brought out some tools for sure. I've never had to lock my brakes up so many times since the jerks in front of me just seemed to stop. People weren't holding their lines and just anxious riding at best. The sketchyness definitely showed in the sprint for the finish as 5 or so guys went down in front of me and I had to do some evasive maneuvering and bunny hop a curb. I had to surf the dirt/grass and then hop back on the pavement to try and save some positions which didn't happen since I lost most of my momentum. So I probably finished somewhere in the 30's out of 50. Check out the video and look for me in the red and blue kit on the left hopping the curb :-)

Branchbrook race series, crash scene from Ilya C. on Vimeo.

For the second race it was much more tame and downright sluggish at times. No one wanted to push the pace and on the last lap the group was neutralized as the 35+ group was coming through which left me with some cold legs going into the last lap. I tried to set myself up well but my legs are just missing the top end. I felt fine with tempo riding up to threshold and then once I went over that I was just flat. I held on to what I could and think I was 15th of about 30 in race #2.

The best part of the day were the bag of animal crackers I downed in between races. They were amazing!!! All in all still a great day. Nice enough where I got home and slept for 3 hours as I woke up feeling like crap and still feel crappy. I think I'm in denial that a cold hit last night into this morning. I'm going to try and ride it out of my system. Either that or overdose on airborne.

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