The weather was overcast and rainy all day yesterday and driving to the race was no different. At least that's what Marni tells me because I was sleeping. During my lunch ride I knew my legs weren't quite recovered but I was determined to show up and race anyway. We rolled into the parking lot and I sat there for a while, slowly changing my clothes and complaining aloud. It wasn't long before my partners in crime for the evening, Scott and Erik, rolled in as well. They started to get ready and I followed suit. We all sat there on our trainers warming up and watching the sky go from cloudy, to clearing, back to dark clouds. Scott went off on mostly dry roads but Erik left for the starthouse as the skies darkened even more. I finished my warm up and rode quickly to the starthouse to use the restroom before my race.
As I rolled to the starting queue the skies opened up. Big fat raindrops fell and I was eager to get underway. At least riding hard would keep me warm but standing around in just a skinsuit and warmers in the rain was a freezing proposition.
Finally 7:16 rolled around and off I went. It was raining hard but I wasn't cold. My pace was pretty high and even the hill came and went without too much drama. I felt okay to the turn around and even managed to hold off the P-1-2 rider until after the turn around was finished. My time was about 30 seconds off normal at that point but I was still feeling okay and kept the hammer down to chase down my usual catches. I could tell overall my top speed wasn't there and on the way back I could only muster 26 mph or so where I usually ride 30 mph. I concentrated on holding my form and giving it all I had to the line. Marni cheered me on from the car down the final straight and I pinned it all the way past the finish. My new friends and competitors that start both ahead and behind me all chatted briefly during our cool downs. Pretty soon I was cold and completely soaked so I flipped around back to Marni waiting at the car and got changed. Scott, Erik, Marni and I had a quick dinner at the Bourbon Street Grill and then Marni and I headed home to get some sleep.
I finished in 25:40 which is 24.53mph and good enough for 12th position last night. A bit slower than normal but between the wind, standing water on the roads and my fatigue I'm pretty happy with the time. Everyone was slower yesterday and those who rode in the rain were almost all well off their best times. Now my dad thinks I'm fatigued and for this race I definitely was, having some 24 hours in my legs the preceding week. However the forcast for next week calls for good conditions and I will be on a rest week leading up to our vacation so I should be fresh by Wednesday night. Is my 23:xx lurking out there? I believe that it is and I've got three more weeks to find out!