Monday, May 30, 2011

First "Real" Race

Today was my first real race.  My previous qualifying time was a special time trial at camp.  Today I raced Pink Bike in the CA/NV State Time Trial Race.

I was very nervous. I am very grateful that my uncle (referred to as Ding), was able to go with me. He was disappointed in my lack of bike knowledge. Gonna have to work on that!  He spent all of last night working with me on what equipment I need and talked me through the race.

The time trial was 40K - double the distance I did previously.   I was nervous because I've never raced and I was racing with able bodied bikers.  At the start line, some of the other women were very encouraging.  I'm pretty sure that my lack of time trial bike, aero helmet and the like assured them that I was no competition

When we got to Palmdale, it was WINDY.  We checked the wind advisory and it was blowing at 25 mph. I warmed up.  My standing start was pretty bad.  Need to remember to work on that.  On the first leg of the race, the wind was a tailwind. Awesome! I set up my Garmin so I new exactly my splits for each kilometer. Then I turned the corner and immediately hit the crosswind.  The second corner sent me in to the headwind.  It was blowing really hard.  I had to lean in to the wind not to fall over.  In addition to the headwind, there was a slight climb on this leg of the route.  I tried to keep my speed about 15 mph, but at times that was a struggle.

The good thing about people racing with disc wheels (not me) is that you can hear them coming up from behind. I was passed a lot.  But it didn't bother me.  I knew that all of those people were racing for a different reason and with a different set of body components.  I just concentrated on my computer, making sure I was keeping my heart rate in a range that I could hold.  Other than that, I looked at the ground.  I tried to tape a picture to my bike to inspire angry riding, but that strategy doesn't work for me. I ended up ripping the picture off and looking at the quote in Italian that is written on the top tube of my bike. I have NO idea what it says, but I like to make up things that it says.  Sometimes it says, "Just keep pedaling." Other times it says, "I know you're not trying hard enough."  When I needed other encouragement, I looked on my right arm to find the scar from Peter the PICC line.  Knowing that I survived that debacle always reminds me that I can do anything.  I kept pedaling. I just did my best.

After the final turn, we had to do the first part of the course again to finish.  Again, the tailwind was there. I was able to keep my speed in the range I wanted.  I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:10:58.  That put me at 1:53/k. The standard for Talent Pool is 1:54.  It felt good to accomplish that goal.

I wasn't sure whether I was going to like cycling after racing.  But I like it even more. I was able to use Pink Bike for what she is intended to do - race fast.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

On the track

I am not dead. FaceFace guessed Wednesday. My official time trial is on Thursday, I'd bet that is the day I die. I've only vomitted twice. But it may very well be the perfect life: eat, ride, eat, ride, eat, team meeting (ok, that's not so fun) and then sleep. I'm having a hard time because although this is the Paralympics I'm probably the most disabled of the athletes. Most of the athletes have upper limb impairment, blind or PTSD. I get dropped on nearly every ride. I was getting frustrated because I get smoked on the road and then on the track.

On a velodrome you ride fixed gear bikes. Not the lame hipster fixes (OK they are...but we don't ride at night while drunk). The track is a totally different experience from the road. The San Diego track is in pretty poor condition but it was perfect for learning. On a fixed bike you can't stop pedaling. Literally. You can try, but the stupid bike pedals keep rotating. For people who have a hard time clipping in and clipping out, stopping can prove to be difficult.

On the second round of pace lines (20 laps), I dropped after my pull. I had an awful cramp in my calf. Or so I thought. When we went to sports med, they think (as all medical personnel do) that because of my low muscle capacity I am prematurely going anaerobic. Take that all of you who told me to spin faster! I was born (OK was medically transformed) to be a masher. So there. The coaches originally categorized me as a C5 (pretty much no impairment - arm amputation , etc.). But I got "downgraded to a C4 yesterday and today I got downgraded to a C3. But actuallly that is better, the lower I am classified the slower the qualifying standards are. I have to be officially classified by a doctor and there is only one in the US - Dr. Bob. So they are encouraging me to race in Nationals in Augusta, GA in June because Dr. Bob will be there.

Tomorrow we will go back to the velodrome in the morning for unofficial time trials. Then the afternoon recovery ride. We are going on a field trip at night, back to the track, to watch real people race.

I. Am. Tired.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

If they kill me at camp

I would like to be buried with Pink Bike, Beary and all of my Brady Quinn jerseys.

Other than that, I award my prize possessions to these people:

Face Face has requested my iPad.

I will also bequeath my apartment to her so that she can live by the beach for a few months when she moves back (instead of with her parents)

* To N.W. - all of my other Apple possessions, because I know deep down she loves Apple.  She also inherits my Apple Whore status

E Train - my vagina - E needs a real one, he already acts like he owns "he" might as well have a real one! (not pictured)

Aunt Jewbutt - the four 12-packs of Diet Coke (plus the extra ones that are rolling around) in the back of my car

Snatch Hatch - my Prius because no self-respecting liberal should drive an Oldsmobile

T^3 - all of my shmoop inspired nonsense, esp my book of quotes for when you propose to your future wife!

"My heart is and always will be yours." (Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen)

* Lucia - you can have my hedgehog, Mr. Grumpy Pants. I know you will take care of him!

Ding - My new Garmin 500 bundle - you're welcome

*  Ky - you can have all of my books, pretty sure you're the only other family member that reads!

I have two other book cases full of books!

Officer Chupadogra - my clothes

You're SO lucky! This is one of my three closets!  Congratulations!

*  Cesar - all of my guide dog stuff

Mrs. Pike - my drama, because no one else can handle it!

* The Lovely LAS - I give you my Penis mold because I know you will put it to good use in the future!

Mom and Dad (my OTHER mom and dad that live in BFE) - ummm...all of my Notre Dame stuff, because I know that you will treat it respectfully

* My real mom and dad - I'm pretty sure you've dealt with enough of my crap over the years, so as your parting gift, you don't have to anymore!

Anything else is up for grabs!

I wasn't sure who was worthy of my leg lamp!  Any takers?!?!

Now where is that bike?????? Time to get riding!!!!