Thursday, February 9, 2012

Uh, it was the Asthma yeah, that was why I got dropped......

Ok, so the boys have been racing this year as the readers of this blog might be aware (one reason I missed the 300k  but not why I will miss the 400,  daughter is getting baptised that day and I like being married and sleeping in a bed so alas I must miss it).  I think I mentioned it before.  So while watching the UofA criterium a few weeks back I got the crazy idea I might have a go at this racing thing.  After all,  there weren't any crashes that I saw that morning.  So I did something a little crazy,  I registered for the next criterium.  We would race before the juniors (I signed up for the 4/5 cat race).  I figured I would hold on as long as I could and would at least get some experience out of the whole affair,  after all,  I had been riding a bit more lately.

Race day found us down at the Firebird International Raceway with temps not too bad.  I must say I had a few butterfly's going on.  I figured they would pull me out when I was about to be lapped.  I did the warm up for about 40 minutes and Steve Atkins came by and chatted with me and commented I would probably be the only guy with a leather saddle out there (I'm trying out the new Selle Anatomica).  Steve has a kid that races too so he has been doing the same thing I am intending to do.  Well,  of course the warm up eventually finished.

The start line of bicycle races is kind of funny.  Everyone lines up and of course the place to be is in the middle.  I'm kind of sheepish though and was afraid of getting in a crash so I got in behind the middle.  I am really amused at the way they start these things.  It's kind of a, "here's a few things you should be aware of,  watch for me when I pull you if you are about to get lapped,  yadda yadda yadda,  oh,  Go!".   So everyone sprints up to what must have been around 25-28mph right off the bat.  I'd rode a quick lap before the start so I knew the corners.   Folks aren't kidding when they say it is elbow to elbow in those corners,  gotta have nerves of steel.   So we would brake going into the curves and sprint going out just like I'd read the folks more than 4 or 5 riders back do.   With every turn my legs are screaming a bit more and what is this?  My lungs are burning?   Where did that come from?   That hasn't happened in a while.  So sprint sprint,  ow, ow, cough cough.  I at least lasted two laps before the legs said absolutely no more.

I managed to hold off getting lapped until the next to last lap.  I'd been expecting to get pulled but no one pulled me.  The leader of the peloton told me to get off the track though so I did figuring I should have been pulled already.   I got a good VO2 max workout in and discovered something about myself as I sat there coughing my lungs out on the side lines.   I still have excersize induced asthma,  I just have forgotten about it since I haven't pushed that hard in a long time. 

After I had picked up the video camera and was heading back to video the boys, Joey (also of Arizona Randonneurs fame) caught up with me and gave me some encouraging words.  He had managed to hang with the pack and almost got into contention to win the thing.  Dang,  wish we had some underground crits on this side of the valley.  He says they've helped him a lot.

So the long and short of it is my boys got to see that Dad comes in last too at this point (they are the youngest kids out there right now so that's to be expected for them).  I figure I got good experience and a mass start counted towards my 10 that are required for the cat 4 upgrade.  I am starting interval training again now and also have an inhaler prescribed for the asthma.  The next race I do should be better.  It was a good experience overall.