2008 FL state road race championships
I had the hardest race of my life today. There was a ringer in my age group who came in from Puerto Rico to contest the event. He had just aged up, and thought he would garner himself a state championship. He was the typical 120 pound rider with a very nice Litespeed bike. The 40 plus age group women raced with us, and they fielded incredible teams including three very strong racers from Herbal Life, including the gal who won the Tour of the Bahamas earlier in the year, and another who is a national champion. Two other teams were there with strong riders.
We instituted a breakaway from the pack early on, but it was fairly large. 6 women, I and the guy from PR. I did lots of work, and was leading the peloton at the start finish line in every lap. At one point, I helped the Herbal Life girls chase down a solo breakaway from Team American Classic. The guy from PR was doing absolutely no work. He would continually suck wheel, and just draft on other riders in the breakaway. The girls mentioned it to me a couple of times. I indicated to the gal who had won the tour of the Bahamas that it was really going to disturb me if I got out sprinted at the end by someone who just drafted for the whole race.
With 4 miles to go, I had done a very strong pull such that I had opened a bit of a gap on the breakaway. I turned a corner and I heard one of the gals from the Herbal Life team yell, “Go Sandy.” I assumed that they were trying to tell me something so I put my head down and experienced probably the most pain I have ever felt on the bicycle for the next 4 miles as I did a solo break.
I hit a max heart rate of 195, two clicks higher than my last year’s reading of 193! My average HR for the race was 171. In the final sprint, I was running so scared that I hit a speed of 38.6 mph into a 6 mph headwind! I just can’t look back since breaking my neck, but it turns out that I could have saved some effort in that the peloton was about a quarter of a mile back when I finished!
I am amazed that both of my quads are incredibly sore, and even my hands hurt – I must have been death gripping the bars! I left the house this morning at 152 pounds, and when I arrived home, I weighed a mere 146. This was after plying my body with lots of food and drink.
The “real feel” temperature at race time (3 PM) was 103 in Ocala. A maximum heart rate of 195 in that heat with that stress probably would qualify as a cardiac event for someone my age! The loss of 6 pounds after considerable re fueling is probably the body’s reaction to being put under extreme stress. I refuse to lose a competitive event. I made a spectacle of myself in that I started retching before I even crossed the finish line.
Anyway, that was my 8th state championship in 1.5 years!!