Mar 28, 2011

Bariani - the WTF moment

Before I get to Bariani, I guess this weekend as a whole merits a brief mention. As I wrote on Friday, a big ride with Mission Cycling was planned for Saturday - Mad Marchness. Also on the books for Saturday was an 80 percent chance of rain. So there I was, at 6:30 in the morning, with all my rain gear laid out, it being as miserable as it gets outside, when all of a sudden, I get an email, Facebook update and tweet all at once - "the ride is canceled!" Granted, the messages actually said the ride was postponed to a later date, but for Saturday it was canceled. I have to say, that while I was ready to go out in that miserable weather, I was somewhat relieved that I wouldn't have to.

I was also very fortunate that the messages came in about 10 minutes before I was about to apply embro to my legs, and I would have hated to be all embrocated with nowhere cold to ride. So, instead of riding in the rain outside, I figured I'd go train indoors for a couple of hours. Of course, as I was done with a two-hour session indoors on the bike, the clouds began to part and the rest of the day was relatively pleasant - Murphy's law?

Now Bariani. My race didn't start until 11 a.m. and was only about an hour and 30 minutes away (though the way I drive I made it in an hour and 15), so I had the luxury of a 6 a.m. wake up. The problem was that I really didn't feel like racing. My body felt lethargic, my stomach uneasy (not in the nervous sense), and I just plain and simple wasn't in a racing mood. But I needed the miles, the drive wasn't long and I was already registered - there really wasn't a good excuse for not going out there. 

My warmup felt okay, the legs felt decent, but I was still not in racing mood. By the time we lined up, the wind picked up. I staged somewhere in the middle of the pack. After the usual instructions, we were given the go ahead and the race began. I never quite felt comfortable in that peloton and found myself at the back a few times. The few attempts I had made to move up to the front were quickly reduced to naught with the next turn, the force of the wind and reshuffle of the pack. There are probably a lot of "coulda, shoulda, woulda" things I can include, but I'm not really a fan of those. My mind didn't feel like racing, my body didn't get into the race and on lap three I got dropped off the back - "WTF?!" I thought to myself.  It was just a little bit of a gap, but with the force of wind it seemed impossible to catch back on, as if there was a stick between me and the guy in front of me holding me at a constant distance. And then, the pack started to slowly move away from me. That's when my race ended. I finished lap three, signaled to the officials that I was done and headed to my car. I wasn't motivated for anything more and I just wanted to get out of there and go home.

It was weird to be dropped like that. I've raced most of those guys this season and at one point or another I also placed higher than most guys out there that day, and I definitely wasn't dropped by them at any of the previous races. The poor performance and result were disappointing, but not debilitating. I'm not the one to dwell on the past - I think about it only to the extent it will motivate me to train harder for the next race. I'll definitely do this race again next year to get this monkey off my back.

This week looks good for my outdoor training and I'm hoping to have a redeeming performance at Apple Pie on Sunday to get my mojo back before I step away from racing for a month and do a few endurance events in April. Now, it's time to push the reset button.


  1. I was relieved that the MM ride was rescheduled also; I dug my rain pants out of my touring bag at 5:50 am after seeing the moderate rainfall.

    Got the reschedule notice literally right after I buttered up my bib though :)

  2. My WTF moment from reading this post:
    I feel like every day I learn about yet another piece of cycling gear I don't have (rain pants, embro [whatever that is]...)

  3. Embro is short for embrocation which is kind of like IcyHot, without the icy. It helps in cold weather when a simple layer of spandex won't do - like when it will be imminently wet. It usually comes in various strengths. NEVER to be confused with chamois cream :).