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William and Mary Race Weekend

I drove down to Williamsburg, VA bright and early on Friday morning (a little after sunrise) with Brett Houser in the passenger seat of my car. It was a great day and we wanted an early start in order to get some riding in before the race day. As soon as we were settled in the host house, we grabbed our bikes and took a nice 60+ mile ride in the sun. It was over 80 degrees that afternoon and we weren't able to resist the allure of a summer breeze off the James River. Both of us collapsed almost immediately after returning, content with our afternoon ride and exploration of Williamsburg proper. Calahan and Franklin arrived later that night just after I finished up a paper for one of my night classes. They were off to bed as soon as they saw their rooms.

Saturday was another early day with the Men's C road race starting at 7:30am. Over three 9.4 mile laps, Franklin, Brett, and I took a tour of scenic campground areas just off the river. The course was fairly flat, even when considering the "hill" up to the finish line. The way they had described it, we had assumed we were going to be going up more of a mountain than a molehill. Franklin dropped out after the first two laps and left it to Brett and me. Despite the occurrence of multiple crashes during our race, Brett finished with the pack. I got dropped with about 3 miles to go. Friday's ride left me with nothing for the finish during the road race and I was just glad to keep up with the pack for the first 27 miles of the race. Of the racers who finished, I came in 40th out of 46. There were 7 DNF's. This is the first time I've completed a collegiate C race, so it wasn't entirely a failure of a morning. We wandered off to a college hot spot (New Town) for lunch and then took a walk in Colonial Williamsburg before returning to the course for the ITT.

By the time I got to the start line of the ITT later in the day, I was wiped. I got to about mile 7 of the 13.1 mile course and hit a wall when my knee started to bother me. I ended up soft-pedaling much of the last half of the ITT through 40 mph gusts of wind and was about 2 minutes slower than anyone else who went off the line from Men's Cat C. I think about 9 people passed by me in total. Very bad experience that I hope never to repeat. My focus on interval training this winter hasn't prepared me for the demands of hundreds of miles over the course of a weekend and it definitely showed. I ended up skipping the crit on Sunday to avoid an imminent injury. My knee seems to be appreciative, as it has since stopped aching from overuse.

Things to do differently during ECCC weekends:

  • no excessively long rides the day before racing
  • finish homework before the trip out of town
  • take a heating pad for sore muscles
  • restock on quick snacks, protein bars, and other such goodies
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Page last modified on February 27, 2011, at 03:16 PM