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Apr 08

A Year in the Life

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March Madness

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Blog Archive

March Madness

Yea, so remember how I said I'd blog more often?  Apparently I let it get away from me again... Can I blame it on the Ides of March? 

So, here's the deal:  Work is great.  Training is great.  Racing is great.

Not enough for ya?  Yea, me neither.

Let's talk about the last two weeks.  I'm finally racing.  My bike that is.  Yea, KP, I know - "what about triathlons, Mandy?"  What about 'em?  Oh, yea, I have one coming up in a few weeks.

Plugging away, but keeping myself entertained (and hopefully getting thinner and fitter) with bike racing.

Week 1: Cold, windy and pouring rain.  I got in a breakaway with 5 other girls (3 of them were teammates) and we lapped the field.  The team girls kept attacking and I kept chasing.  Until I couldn't really chase alone anymore...One got away and dangled in front of us for the few remaining laps. 

I kept chasing and hoped I would have something left for the sprint for 2nd. 

The one woman that did no work took it.  I took 4th.  Rather than wait for the men's race, I rode to work and proceeded to take a hot shower while wearing all my clothes and gear (helmet and shoes included!).

Putting in some work at the front before our break.

The Breakaway group.

The breakaway group coming up the hill chasing after Annie.  Thanks to Jen for chasing with me and congrats to the super smart Metro girls for using some great race tactics.  It's always awesome racing and riding with them!

getting a little rammy at this point. 

It was a long day for Lulu...so she snuggled up on the guest bed.

Week 2: Tired legs, tired body.  Daylight savings time is brutal.  I love it staying lighter, later, but I hate these dark mornings.

Clear skies, brutal wind.  Like can't-hide-anywhere wind.

Many more girls showed - many from NYC and a few from the far North.  You know you're serious when you're willing to travel.  In March.  To Bethel, CT.

With a field of 40-50, we were off to a nice start.  A few laps in, I decided to test the legs - I put in a big gap, then turned around to realize no one had come with me.  My friend Audrey (a Cat 1) just laughed and said - "really, Mandy?  With 18 laps to go?!"

There were many more attacks and many more counter attacks.  Lots of chasing and sprinting and some good bike racing.  The quality of the riders has steadily increased over the past few seasons and it's great to see.

With a few laps to go, Anne Marie Miller took off (multiple time National Champ).  I chased with a girl from VT who was hella strong and never gave me the "elbow flick" (code for: your turn to pull at the front).  We shot away from the field and caught Annie...who decided she didn't want to work with us. 

We should have counter attacked, or blasted by her, but instead we wasted time and let the field catch us.

My legs felt a bit wasted at this point, but Audrey said she'd give me a leadout and I didn't turn it down.

Last lap - A girl sneaks between Audrey and me... no biggie, I still have time.  Coming toward the final hill, I sweep around her as Audrey accelerates.  Sadly Annie and the other girls come too.  We reach the hill and I yell to Audrey, "Outside!" - worrying we might collide as she pulled off and I launched into a sprint.  She's a pro in so many ways.  I launched a bit early and lost steam so close to the line. 

A girl who did 0 work the whole race (yea, this is getting to be a habit, huh?) took the sprint by 1/2  a wheel.  I took 2nd and finally came across the line infront of Annie for the first time in my cycling life.

Afterwards, I changed my clothes, ran with the pup, then jumped into the men's race. 

And so it continues!  This weekend it's back to the races and a women's ride.  Yeehaw!

The Sprint - I promise to get a better angle and more exciting shot.  Sam got so excited he put the camera down.  It looks like there's a lot of space at this angle, but it's always tight quarters when sprinting with the field.

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