East Coast Post #2 - Providence

Well, it appears I’ve done a fantastically wonderful job at neglecting to entertain and update my blog readers, although if you follow me on social media, or follow race results, you know what I’ve been up to.

Lets talk the second third of my east coast trip.  Providence.  I don’t know if you remember or not (well you probably don’t), but if you look for my blog post from this race last year you will read all about how homesick I felt.  This year was no different.  Usually around the 10 (+ or –) days of being gone I start to miss home.  Saturday morning of Providence I felt…anxiety, homesick anxiety.  The weather forecast called for rain, and the first rainy/slippery race of the year is always a tough one, you never know where your skills are going to be.  Also, not to mention I read all over Facebook about how “dangerous” the course flyovers where.  I was nervous, I was homesick, and I wasn’t motivated to race.  I arrived at the course at my usual time, pre-rode, and it turns out the course was rockingly awesome!  Yes, the first flyover was a little on the steep side, and if you didn’t have a good start you would be doomed, because a pile up was bound to happen!  I did my usual warm up on the trainer, and about 45 minutes before the start of our race, it started raining.  When the rain fell, and fell, and fell there was something soothing about it, my anxiety calmed, my homesick worries went away. 

With such a stacked field, I didn’t get a first row call up.  I scanned the front row and knew I wanted to line up behind Gabby Durrin, she’s been having the best starts, so I knew she would be a good wheel.  As soon as the gun went off, I was happy to be behind Gabby, because as I anticipated she had a great start, and went into the first corner in second with me in tow.  We hit the first flyover with just a couple people around us, and made it out cleanly, while a pile up happened behind us.  We got a little gap, and was joined later by Katie Compton and Helen Wyman.  Katie did her usual thing and powered by us, and then Rachel Lloyd joined up, and Gabby fell behind.  I found myself slipping and sliding through the corners on the wheels of accomplished racers, Helen Wyman and Rachel Lloyd.  I was ecstatic with how I was racing, actually words can’t express the joy (and sufferieng) I was going through while racing.  Eventually the hill on the backside showed my weakness and Helen and Rachel where able to gap me every lap on that hill, I would make up a little time on the rest of the course, but come the last lap, I just couldn’t power up that hill like they could.  I finished in 4th place, and I couldn’t be happier!  I finished the race smiling and felt like I accomplished what I had come to do.  That night I joined the WD40 crew for a fabulous dinner.  Thanks guys!

Saturday left me with a sense of relaxation for the race on Sunday and I went in with absolutely no nerves and no anxiety.  I did what I needed to do and on Sunday I could race worry free. 

Sunday was the opposite of Saturday.  There was not a cloud in the sky, the sun was shining bright, and the course was dry, hard, and fast as ever.  I knew today would be harder in terms of pedaling compared to Saturday’s race.  I knew I needed to have a good start as well.  My start was so so, nothing amazing, but not horrible.  After about the third turn and into the off camber section I was probably back somewhere in the 10-15 places, and I pedaled my booty off on the off camber section to get by racers to get to the front of the race.  This is when I realized my bike wasn’t functioning correctly.  My shifting was ALL OVER THE PLACE.  Actually, it wouldn’t shift.  Since it was the beginning of the race and there were so many racers clumped together, I didn’t want to pit and get stuck behind riders I didn’t want to be behind.   I once again found myself riding for the third podium spot with a couple of other riders.  After two laps of clanking and jenky shifting, I decided it was time to pit since there was enough of a gap in the group.  I got onto my “B” bike and it was back to smooth shifting, but I had to work hard to chase the two riders I lost when I pitted.  It was fun (but hard) racing on Sunday.  I had to use some tactics and some thinking while racing, which is always fun, but, not my favorite part of racing.  I was outsmarted, out rode, and out powered and rolled in for 5th place. 

I’m SO excited to finish in the top 5 for 2 races.  I finally feel like my legs are under me and have the confidence that I CAN race, and not just follow wheels and hang on for dear life. 

Post Providence was somewhat of a show.  I wasn’t sure when I was going to Rochester or HOW I was getting to Rochester, but I knew I would be better off having only one bike with me for the week.  After finishing up my race on Sunday I worked to get my bike and wheels to different people who where headed to Rochester, it was exhausting.  The week between Providence and Rochester deserves its own blog post, I can’t possibly bore you with a 20minute post!  Stay tuned!

Thank You WD40 for all of your help over the weekend!  It wouldn't have run as smoothly without you there!