WAW: Race Three of the Series... Race Two for Me.
search my archives if you want to read about me bitching about the traffic on Interstate 395 from downtown Washington DC to Northern Virginia
it is the same everytime...
deep breathing exercises are the key...
yesterday I was lucky enough to go to my car before work to get my four year old son his backpack
heading out to the car to find the power locks not responding to the key chain gave me the opportunity to pull the car battery and hook it up to my old motorcycle charger
no anger... no issue
no one to blame by myself
I had seen that Dean had turned on the roof light in the way back... but failed to do anything about it
leaving the car parked dormant for three days with that little light burning was enough to drain the wee little battery to the Honda Element

with the battery charging I went off to work to do the standard work day thing
periodically throughout the day I checked Weather.com for the evening forcast
as per usual.... it looked like rain
when I stepped outside... it felt like rain
while I was leaving work a few minutes early it sounded like rain
I maintained my trajectory to Wakefield Park
a phone call to the park left me confident that the race was on as scheduled

got home and tested first things first...
no need to load a car that does not start
put the battery into place... tightened it down... started things right up
then took the dogs for a stroll in Rock Creek Park
feeling no rush to get to Wakefield I did a little work on some natural stairs I have been assembling with fallen branches and logs
the dogs ran about as I "did my part"

with a glance at my watch I realized that it was time to load up the car and point south
head on into RUSH HOUR traffic I drove straight down 14th street to the 14th Street Bridge on into bumper to bumper traffic on I-395
I will not linger any longer on that topic
we all know driving in traffic sucks
we all know that I hate driving in traffic

arrived in a panic as planned
had fueled up with water, Gatorade, and Red Bull on the drive up and was feeling ready to roll
the parking lot was packed with riders prepping to race and riders packing it up from earlier races
there was the usual flurry of activity
in a mad dash I made my way to the registration table and handed over my 20 bucks
then rushed back to the car to suit up in my City Bikes colors and mounted my army green rigid Surly Karate Monkey Single Speed
on my bike I blew off any sort of warm up in exchange for socializing
socializing was occupying my brain when PVC promoter Scud (aka Scott Scudmore) gave instructions over the mega-phone
not knowing what was said I assumed it was time to line up to race

rolled down the single track path to the start line
in the woods I was pleased to see that the rain had not been so great to really muck things up
the roots and rocks were a tad slick, but the earth was either tacky or dry

lined up in the queue I waited as all the classes were released before me
there was a pleasant exhange with the two other Clydesdales
the Clydesdale Class is looking a little "thin" with only three members
but... I am racing the clock as much as anything else
one of the other Clydesdales, Barry, gave a good friendly wish for a good/safe/fast ride for all and we were off

I motored up the first loose rock climb and turned into the single track
the wet rocks had me a little tenative
the man made rock pathways were sketchy for me....
too fast I feared either flatting out or sliding out
other than that I was feeling pretty good
the Red Bull was rushing through my veins

I had heard that the course had been shorted so I thought that I could really go at it hard
sure enough
early in the course it was clear that they had cut out an up and back that ran along the creek

with legs and lungs pumping I came up upon riders in front of me
not much time had passed before I was on the tail of each and every Woman Sport racer
each woman was good enough to find a place for me to pass
not much energy wasted on the pass
but a there was some time where I had to slow to their pace
after passing 4 or 5 woman I was reeling in some Sport Men
the Sport Men are a little harder to pass
especially the ones pushing the back end of the pack
these men were a little less sportsmanlike
when they heard the wheels behind them they picked up the pace
when I ask to get by on the left
they move to the left
when I ask to get by on the right... you guessed it.... I shoot by on the left
no... it is not all that bad... but many of them did not make it as easy as it could be
(I most certainly have done some of the same and may do it again)
but there can be a great deal of energy wasted trying to get by these guys
along with the extra expenditure of energy.... there is an adjustment to my pace
all the classes deal with this... if they do not deal with it on lap one... they deal with it on the laps to come
it is part of racing on a multi-lap single track course

the course was causing my heart to explode

I was running at full threshhold the whole time

with the issues with my recovering index finger I could feel my right arm starting to fatigue
never was I confident enough to make a grab for my water bottle
sure could have used a shot of GATOR-RADE... my Gatorade/Red Bull concoction

by the third lap I was getting a little sloppy
my injured left hand slipped off the grip a few times
there were a few near crashes
an early near crash disrupted my confidence which disrupted my rhythm
half way through the third lap the lenses of my glasses were starting to fog up pretty bad
but visibility was not as much as issue as control
again my left hand came off the grip nearly sending me off trail
again my pace was often dictated by the pace of other riders

I came across the finishline more spent than I had been in a long time
when I finally saw my times I was saddened to see that I was not as fast as I felt
last year by comparision I was stronger and faster against the lead riders
this year... I was leading the Clydesdales, but not making the showing I had expected to
it seems that the months off the bike have really stunted my season
I most certainly need to get some long miles on the bike if I plan on doing the Shenandoah Mountain 100 with any success....
this race most certainly will hurt me
I do not want it to kill me

WAW Results

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