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For any 4/5s struggling to finish your 1st race...(5 posts)

For any 4/5s struggling to finish your 1st race...bigdave
Apr 29, 2001 6:24 PM
there is hope! I know because, after getting spit off the back in my first-ever three races, I finally finished my fourth! :-)

So what was the difference? Well, a somewhat flat course certainly helped. But it was windy, so that was a tricky element. I just made sure that I drafted the best I knew how, and tried to make sure I kept moving on to good wheels (riders that seemed strong and smooth) and moving off *bad* wheels when I recognized it. Previously, I was hesitant to make any moves because I didn't want to cut anyone off or cause a problem. This time, I was still careful about it, but gradual moves to different wheels are possible.

I did stay near the front almost all day, from the top 5 to the top 15 or so. The pace was just about 25 mph for an average. I was almost shocked when I saw we were lapping people... hey, that was me just one race earlier! :-)

Another thing that helped was the corners were *really* gradual so there was little to no *rubber-banding* which killed me in previous races.

I was in about 8th on the last lap, but I faded just near the finish when I had no pop in my legs. I've refocused my training and I think that in due time, that will be addressed.

But overall, I needed a finish to help mentally and I got it. Like someone once mentioned in one of my previous *off the back* posts, I kept my mind active in trying to make sure I was positioned properly for corners, hills, wind, etc... that really kept my mind off of any potential suffering issues and made the time fly by. And, I rode behind a guy who I know I could keep up with on a group ride (from a different team)... I knew that if I kept him in my sights, I'd probably be fine. I also pumped myself up mentally when I hit time milestones... ok, 1/3 of the way through, doing ok... halfway home, keep it up... 2/3 of the way, I can do this and I'm *going* to finish.

It worked, it was fun and gave me the positive outlook I needed. Different days/races/courses might still see me struggle in the future, but I will still go into them with this attitude, which I had going into the race:

There's no pressure, this is supposed to be fun... and no matter what happens, I'm out for an extremely hard training ride if nothing else.

And I'm happy to say it paid off.

Thanks to all who've given me tips over the past few weeks. I appreciate it. :-)

Way to go!rollo tommassi
Apr 30, 2001 3:31 AM
Now you should be called "Really Big Dave"!

Keep up the good work; we love happy endings.
May 1, 2001 6:06 AM
Thanks Rollo... your post a while back was exactly the type I meant that were positive influences... the one about doing it for fun and giving it all you have while not worrying about the result.

trying to test "positive" in a new wayrollo tommassi
May 1, 2001 7:59 AM
I have nearly a decade of Blown Out the Back stories, and had yet another one this weekend. I mean, really, really, really blown out bad! Like the race was OVER after the first kilometer for me. Ugh. Only ten women in my class (Cat 4 - hey, I'm a "professional" Cat 4!) and a very windy day (20mph prevailing). I know in the back of my head that I never peak until June (or July, or August, or.....get it?), and don't really feel top of my game until I start track in late May.

But I rode hard, or at least smart, and eventually dropped two stragglers who were behind me. I consider my result "Not Last".

It was a beautiful day, a nice country roads, and except for that nasty wind, I can't complain. I got to see some people I haven't seen in a while, especially one woman whose husband died suddenly last fall (a fellow rider loved by all).

Sure, I beat myself up - 'what a loser', 'what a boat anchor', etc. but tomorrows' another day and the problems of one person in this mess of a world just doesn't add up to a hill of beans (apologies to Bogie...)
May 1, 2001 3:45 PM
Yeah, ultimately we're bike racing... sure it takes effort, dedication, pain... but it's not like we're solving world peace or something. Keep trying... and draft like a fiend! :-) That's what helped me go from a zero to >zero (but not yet a hero). :-)

Keep it up!