Don't Make Change too Complicated: Just Begin!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Race Report: State Championships Part 1

Cece has not quite embraced this senior thing yet...even though she is just 54 and all of of her best friends are in their middle forties, she still qualifies in Albuquerque to join the 50+ Sr. Citizens Centers.    This is how she got involved in the Senior Olympics.  She must confess that at first, she thought they would be a big bunch of fuddy duddies throwing frisbees....but she soon found out in her first time trial when Olga the Skinny beat her by a 20 full minutes. And she saw some beautiful looking he men specimens in their aero suits! See example below from Cece's age category!  The gene pool in cycling is extraordinary!
And then there is Larry Johnson...the 92 year old cyclist who slapped Cece's butt...and Mr. Aero suit exclaimed , "He is probably the only one that could  get away with that!"
This is Larry with Susan Rice.  Cece was determined to interview Larry for this blog but could not catch up with him afterwards....which is literally true!  She greeted him at the turn around and tried to catch him on the way no avail.  She was going over 24mph and he was a speck on the horizon!  She still wants to know how he has maintained his health and fitness and speed all these years!  Perhaps she can catch up with him in ABQ!

Cece arrived in Las Cruces the day before the race because at the minimum, she wanted to drive the course.  But, first she had to find it.  She brought along "Karen" her GPS and was able to get directions to the Armory .  So, off she went.  She found the route some 15 miles away on a frontage road that went along I-10. She saw the dreaded overpass ramps...and thought "not too bad." She drove the route...not too bad....and then it happened.  COWS!  Right at the turn around there they were lying on the road and under trees...these huge black brown cows.  Now mind you....Cece does not have the bovineophobia that her friend Ellie the Shark  has...and yet she still thought these could pose a hazard to her race....especially since they were in front of the cattle guard at the turn around!
 Race morning, Cece was tired and was determined to get that cup of coffee she needed to revive her!  She got the cup of joe and ate her pre-race meal and off she to the port a potties about 5 times...that kept her busy....then talking to Mr. Aero suit....and Larry Johnson.  Finally, she put on her shoes and it was about 7:47.  The race started at 8am!  One more trip to the bathroom and she was good.  Coffee is a diuretic you know! 

 She lined up.  Cece talked to the motorcycle cop and asked him if he saw the cows on the course.  She said, "If you see them, can you shoo them away?  I do not want to have an accident."  he said , "Well ma' is my job to keep you safe so I will go and ride the route now and see if the cows are at the turn around."  What a nice guy.  Soon,  he came back and told her there were not any cows on the route.  Of course Cece asked him if he was sure....and he said he was certain.    Then he told her all about open space and his strategy for corralling cows that need back in! 

The race director gave the directions and changed his mind as to how the race would proceed at the last moment.  He decided the men would start first and then women 2 minutes behind them.  OK!   Better for Cece...she did not have to seek out the competition.  She had about 15 women in the race and she could easily keep them in mind.

3-2-1.  And we were off!  Susan Rice tried to convince the race director that she wanted to start with the men...but he did not allow it even if she tucked her pony tail under her helmet.  So, Susan took off like a bat out of hell as did the next group of faster women.  False flat for almost 4 miles.  Cece was going to use this as her warm up and not push the pace too much.  She did not want to fry herself and have nothing left.  She was going to ride her own race.

She had set time and speed goals for herself and that was her better or equal what she set for herself.  She stayed on her pace and her race.

Pre-race day.....Cece had sought out every freeway ramp in ABQ  to practice on and had done hill repeats on them  If you know Cece, she will always tell you that "this body does not like going uphill.": . but uphill she went... doing repeats weighted and not weighted.  She climbed every hill she wanted to except Tramway...she was not that desperate yet....and she easily navigated all the entry and exit ramps on race  day with ease.  She navigated the 90 degree turn and all the S curves.. some small rollers.....but what was most difficult was the strong head wind and the crappy pavement...which bounced though her arms like a jack hammer.  Later, Olga told cece, "Who could beat  a record pace on this rough course?"  Olga missed hers by 17 seconds.  Olga is a time trialist.  Cece just wants to race faster!

Cece was glad that she disciplined her training and did fast cadence work in high gearing....because she needed that as she sprinted in .  She never knew that after a fast race, she could sprint for a mile or more at 24+ mph!  Who knew?  All those dogged competitions with skinny women cyclists on the bosque playing "catch me if you can"  or "You be the rabbit" paid off for Cece big time.

 Her legs were burning, she wanted to throw up...she wanted to just coast a bit to catch her breath from its heaving and let her legs rest a bit...she was thankful not to be on a heart rate she told herself the favorite repeat refrain of Troy Jacobson..."Push, Push,Push! You can throw u p when you are soft pedaling after the finish line!  "  She was in her drops with her head down pushing through the finish line. woosh......ZOOM!  She was through!
 Mantra:"  Rome was not built in one day!"

She looked at her computer. ... 47 something!  WOW!  Her goal was 50.25.  She looked at her avg speed....she beat her goal.  She started to cry!  WOW!  She did it!    Tears of Joy! 

She was so excited calling people and texting people that she missed her medal ceremony!  When she saw the gathering of people they shouted to her that she came in 2nd place and she missed her medal.  Oh well.  She would get it later.  She knew the joy of victory for herself.  She challenged herself and pushed herself to places she did not know she could go!  This was exhilarating!

So now, Cece has qualified to race the20K in the National Championships in Later July 2013. They will be in Ohio. She has a lot of work to do...but she has time!  Cece has  the taste of success and can work to build on it!   

Stay tuned for Part 2!