Last. Night. Sucked. I could not, for the life of me, fall asleep. I went into bed ready to rest up just before midnight, leaving a respectable 8 hours for rest (more would be nice but oh well). At around 2:00AM I gave up and played some Call of Duty: Black Ops to pass the time and hopefully get me into a mindless state in order to pass out. It didn't go so great and I had major food cravings at 3:00AM, eating about 1/3 of a box of Frosted Flakes and a bunch of dark chocolate covered almonds (yumm). Regardless, at the time I knew it was going to cause major stomach issues tomorrow but it was necessary to try to get me to sleep. All in all, I fell asleep at 4:00AM. OUCH!
I woke up, obviously surprised at how early it felt, at 8:00AM. Got a really small breakfast (1 packet Oatmeal and Banana) and just felt very not good. Stomach issues all morning...I will leave it at that. Got all my stuff together, trying to forget I was very tired and horribly under-rested. Hopped in the car, slightly surprised by the chill in the air: it was 28 at that point, going to be 32ish at 10:00AM and about the same at 10:40AM, when the ride out would be done and the race would technically start. Today I decided to wear the CW-X Tights, which I hadn't yet worn on the bike (I was planning on running immediately after the race, making for a pretty rugged brick). Drove out with a lot of time to spare - especially because of the stomach. I was gonna rock the Generation UCAN, but my stomach was too much in shambles to put anything else into it. WHich frustrated me, because it would been perfect.
Enough of the boring stuff. RACE TIME!! Apparently it was a rather hefty crowd for a Sunday race, but that was more exciting than a let down to me. More people = more fun, more fun = more competition, more competition = more experience. Nota Bene: Transitive Property, therefore more people = more experience, and the Giros thrive!
Wasn't sure how the race was going to go today, but one word can sum it all up: Annoying. It wasn't really so much a race to win or make a break (for a few of us it definitely was) as it was mostly everyone not wanting Tim (3x1st place, 1x2nd place) to win. This caused every break to get broken about as quickly as it started. A couple guys tried to solo pound it out - one had an awesome effort that I respected quite a lot. But none of it turned to anything. There was one break at lap 2.5 (~22.5mi in out of 28.7mi) that I jumped on that I really thought had promise. The were some hills on the back straight that we used to make a really solid gap. Had at least 40 meters on the pack at one point. But, all of a sudden, everyone wanted to do work when they had been slacking mostly otherwise. So we got reeled back in, which was fair. But SOMEONE should have counter-attacked. It would have made for a true break that likely could have sealed off the peloton for the rest of the race, which was only a bit over 5K at this point. But no one did anything. They were satisfied at merely pulling in the leaders, which I believe is weakness.
It was destined to be a sprint finish. And that it was. After we got pulled back in I was pretty tired having bridged and taken a couple really hard pulls to try to keep the lead (to no avail). I dropped back in the pack, pretty sure no real break would happen (risky move, I know - but if you were there, you'd understand how the race was going). I recovered enough with about 2 miles left to start moving up: this is where I realized I could navigate the pack pretty well for this early in the season. I was in the mid 20's for position to start. Got to the high teens without much work or trouble, this made me feel good about my comfort in tight quarters. My next move had to be legitimate, as it was tighter here. I jump on a guy's wheel on the left and passed a handful, which got me in the top ten: slight surge, but nothing that would have major lasting effects. Then it got interesting. One guy on Rogue Racing, to whom I should donate my rollers, wobbled liked hell and almost took out everyone except the top 10, When this happened I got my wits about me very quick and moved into the top 10, where I needed to be in order to prep one last positional move for the sprint.
The usual suspects were at the front. Monroe extinguisher guy, Tim and a couple teammates, and a few other strong guys without big teams. We ate up a guy who tried to jump off the front, but didn't have enough - noble effort though, despite not the most intelligent move. But I give him real credit trying to make something when no one else did...this is not Le Tour. We were about 800m out and ready to go. Three jumped. I went HARD to get on wheel. Settled in. Picked off the guy who went off the front too soon with about 400m to go. Then one guy fell back just a bit. So it was three of us. We somehow just lined up three wide going into about 100m left and then hit it. I got a decent jump but was in too high of a gear, so I sat back down and recovered to downshift 2 gears. By that time no one had jumped on me and I was able to cruise in for the win, not having to dig super deep and put myself into pain. I didn't mind this as right after I was planning on doing a brick - so it worked out.
I was pleased with winning this race but sort of bummed that the race wasn't all that exciting. I'm looking forward to some breakaways and killer sprint finishes, especially within the breakaway group. That will probably feel a bit more like a sprint finish in a running race, which is a more aerobically crushing feeling but not as murderous on the muscles. I haven't had one of those yet, so hopefully will get it soon!
I finished off the day with a solid brick run. It ended up being 10K @ 6:56 pace, which I was thoroughly impressed by. It was definitely tiring, and my calves/quads were rather shot after the two races this weekend. But it was worth it. Chatted up with a Duathlon guy after my run and we're doing a brick next Sunday with the race. Should be fun!