All three of us--Shannon, OK Girl, and myself--at Sunday's criterium.
So I've done a bike race.
I wasn't very good at it. I don't like not being good at things. It tends to inspire me to push myself harder and harder until I become better at them (mediocre, at the very least). That's what I've done with triathlon.
This weekend was definitely a learning experience, in a variety of ways:
- I'm not nearly as strong on the bike as I thought I was. I might be able to hang with some of the faster women in a triathlon, but throw me in with true cyclists, and I'm no match, even in a time trial. And the cycling classes? Um, I don't think they're helping that much.
- My training is not conducive to racing like this. I have zero endurance at threshold power, even though I've begun some threshold intervals, those are about holding intensity, not wattage, and it apparently doesn't translate. But that's okay. My main focus, at this point in the season, is being able to go the distance for Lawrence 70.3. And once I'm done with that, I can shift my focus to power and speed, try to hit my peak, and really hammer the shorter races and (we hope) the cyclo-cross races.
- I'm much better at putting three sports together than I am at focusing on one sport exclusively. At least for now.
- I really, really like criterium style racing. That's why I like cyclo-cross; that's why I like the ITU format; and that's why the Oak Park Crit was my favorite part of this weekend. I think that's the format where I'm most likely to excel, as well.
A little more about my training: I really felt for the first time how much difference this year has made in terms of preparation. I have always had the top end speed above everything else, even though I couldn't hold it for very long. But this year I haven't worked at all on developing that, and I can really tell. I never thought I would lose that (and I should know better), but it's not currently there. Which isn't to say it's gone forever, of course. But it won't come back until I work on it.
But I did make enough money to cover my entry fees, plus a little bit extra. And I won a little bit of gear from the prime yesterday. Small field=payouts for everyone! Whee!
So lots to work on. I'm hoping that I can do another stage race towards the end of the summer/beginning of the fall so I can see how I stack up against more women and myself.