Independence Valley Road Race and Piece of Cake

I’m finally back.  Although it’s not Kennettron 5000 right now, more like Kennitta 0.50.  But I’ve got over all my sicknesses and injuries for the entire season.  I’ve decided that I’ll have no more of it!  

IVRR was an epic race, and not to use the term lightly either.  It was by far the worst racing conditions, or best depending on your preferences and % Inuit heritage, I’ve ever seen.  It sat at a nice 33 degrees the entire day and snowed, sleeted, and rained on the quickly thinning field throughout the 80 mile course (mainly snowed).  Two steep little climbs and a strong as hell field helped weed out all but the strongest (myself included).  I got dropped on the last lap on one of the hills and came in 15th I think, with only 18 total finishers out of 50 or 60 starters from what I heard.  It was miserable.  I couldn’t see on the descents because my eyes were cross-eyed from fatigue and snow blindness, my fingers could hardly budge the break levers, and I must have weighed about 40 pounds extra from all the clothes I was wearing that were saturated with slightly above freezing water.  It was awesome.  Probably the coolest race (literally) that I’ve done in a long time.  

I got a ride with Chris and Karey up there to the desolate and barren wilderness of Washington, and we all huddled back in the car after our races and drove home with hot chocolate and the heaters blasting the entire way back to my house.  We ate a big dinner of vegetarian pizza and bbqed chicken made by my mom, then watched some 2004 Giro d Italia before some serious sleeping action.

Waking up the next morning was tough.  I was super tired, and had just been dreaming that I had looked at the clock and had seen that I had hours before I had to get up.  Feeling content and happy, I went back to sleep (still part of my dream). Then my alarm went off and I had to get up (not part of my dream).

But things got better from there.  We were shockingly surprised and happy to see dry pavement outside.  And it stayed that way all day.  Despite my silent wishes for more snow. HA.

Chris and I raced at 10 in the morning with teammates Kenji, Joe (who placed 5th), Brian, and Jim.  As you may know, the Piece of Cake Road Race is entirely flat, hence the name.  It was windy though, and my legs were a bit lagging from yesterday so it wasn’t quite a piece of cake.  More like a piece of pie.  A big thick slab of hot apple pie with figs and a thick crust.  Pretty tasty actually, and filling too.  With plenty of cinnamon on the top.

My back was hurting like a hurt back for the first couple miles, and unfortunately that’s when all the moves of the day got away.  A group of 3-5 and a group of 14?  as I sat back in the pack.  But I got in a good race anyways and started feeling better on lap 2 with the endorphins kicking in.  I attacked and drilled it at the front for two laps straight, causing havoc for the guys at the front of the peloton trying to work in unison.  They were a bunch if whiners if you ask me.  “Get the f– out of the gutter god damn it.” They yelled as I went all out in the cross wind sections in the gravel of the side of the road.  “You trying to bridge up to the break all by yourself?” as I got reeled in from one of my solo moves.  “What the f–.  Stop messing up the pace line!” as I purposefully tried messing up the pace line as I attacked, using the teammate up the road excuse.  I don’t know what their problem was.  If they want to race like the bunch of sad silly sally’s they seem to be, they should think about downgrading to the 5’s.  Anyways,

With a lap to go, I sat in the pack and chased down breaks and such, saving some energy for a good lead out for Kenji.  With a couple kilometers to go, I found him and got him on my wheel.  I moved us up to the front and hammered it with 500 or so meters to go, a bit to early I think.   I should have waited for about 10 more seconds.  I dropped Kenji off with a little over 100 meters to the line, and he took 4th in the pack sprint and 19th overall (some of the break away guys had gotten dropped).  I finished a measly 29th out of only 38 finishers from an original field of 70, but was happy with the race anyways.  It was a great weekend of training and it gave me confidence that my fitness will return shortly.  The power is there, it just needs to be coaxed out a bit.