My warm ups were a good indication of how this race was going to go...pain cave all day. At the line-where I usually line up at the front, I was about mid pack. Not at all nervous or anything, the bell went off and we start by going up a grassy climb. I was feeling bad already at this point-good sign 100 yards into the race, eh? I settled in around 12th or so and kept my eyes on Bernie and Jon for as long as I could. Now mind you, my mind was saying to just finish this race and be ok with that. I think the neurons missfired somewhere along the way and my body that was saying "oh please no, not the competitive side, were not ready for that!" kicked in and the race was on.
I have been have trouble maintaining any sort of lengthy power, but struggled on and tried to keep the lead guys in sight. To my amazement, I started to pass a few guys here and there. My first lap was 33:03, which I was not shooting for at all. I was going for 35:00 or so.
My second lap started to come undone. I felt really bad, but pride kept me from slowing too much. I hadnt ridden here since 2010, and the course changed a bit with the addition of a few very steep climbs. I geared the bike down to a 32/17 set up not knowing of the new course-I am a moron, remember? So those few climbs started to wear on me. I finished the 2nd lap with a dismal 34:48, but no one passed me. The 3rd lap started to feel like the 2nd. About 3 miles in, I pushed a bit into the pain cave and just went for it. My legs felt like concrete, but my lungs were ok-again just no power. I had no idea where I stood in the overall grand scheme of things, but I just wanted to finish. The 3rd lap ended up being 34:10, which was faster than my second lap, which has never happened before for me.
Much to my surprise, I ended up 6th and 3 minutes out of first for 22.3 miles. It was my first time out of the top 5 in over a year. I think overall I did much better than expected, but disappointed in the fact that had I felt like I did in april, I would have been in the running for 1st, but thats how racing goes sometimes.