Monday, April 28, 2008

Sometimes a DNF is not so bad

So, as was made obvious by my last post, I was really not ready for Palmer. I wasn't able to ride at all over the past week, since my classes are wrapping up for the semester. I spent several days sitting in front a computer alternating between procrastinating on writing my national ID paper and writing it. There went my planned training sessions for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. On Friday the many late nights caught up with me. On Saturday I was busy finishing a group paper on e-textbooks, cleaning up our spare room for the kitty we're adopting (more on that next weekend when we pick her up), studying for and taking my weekly econ quiz... So when I woke up this morning, wondering why I had sacrificed sleep to fold six loads of laundry at midnight, I really knew I was not ready.

I got to Palmer at 10 for our annual team photo (outtake below).

This photo was the result of Ed trying to mix things up by telling us to "look serious." Brenda said, "Yeah, like we just had a book club meeting where we discussed Descarte." Obviously, this comment made it impossible to keep a straight face.

I decided a reasonable goal would be to "finish with people." At about mile 7, my teammate Silke had a mechanical. Of course it sucked that she had a mechanical, but I was happy to know that I'd have something to do for the team before getting dropped and stopped to help. After she had her front derailleur adjusted, we worked together to get back to the pack. I was sure that was it for me, but we went fairly slow for most of the rest of the lap while a super super sketchy rider (who has been riding in this incredibly sketchy manner for almost 10 years -- lots of complaints made about her to the officials today) was off the front, where she couldn't hurt anyone. (She got dropped sometime on the second lap.)

Around the same point where Silke stopped on lap 1, I got dropped when an attack went up a small climb on lap 2. My goal for the day was quickly downgraded from "finish with people" to "finish." As I rode on alone, hurting all over, for the rest of the lap, my goal downgraded further to "finish riding after 2 laps and forget about the third." I got cleaned up and waited for my teammates to come in -- and Silke won! It turned out she had an additional mechanical, for which Pauline dropped back. (Not all of my teammates are lucky enough to have 24/7 access to a mechanic like Ed.) When they made it back to the pack, Silke went straight on through and off the front. Brenda and Zoe were also really active on the front, so all in all it was a great race for the team. I was really happy to have played a small part. :) And I'm really going to work on catching up with my training in May and June now that school is nearly finished.

We made a side trip on our way home to take Ed's mom out to dinner for her birthday. Very fun. And now I'm tying up some loose ends with school and work before I leave tomorrow for my vacation in Asheville, NC, with my friend Heather.

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