On Saturday I did my very first ever bike race. It was put on by my favorite bike shop and was free, who could pass that up. It was a 35 mile ride and there was three stops where you stopped to get a poker card (you also got a card at the start and finish). The person with the best hand won a prize (actually they gave out several prizes and I ended up winning a pair of nice thermal leg warmers that will go perfect under my biker shorts).
On Christmas I got the flu which completely knocked me out the entire week. I started feeling it Christmas eve and went home a little early and took a nap. I then went to bed early and because I really can't stand lying in bed that long found myself awake at 6am feeling absolutely miserable. All I wanted to do was go down stairs and get some flu meds but my wife had cordoned off the stairs for the kid so he wouldn't slip downstairs in the morning with crepe paper. I also didn't want to take away the fun of him being able to break it down to go downstairs so I sat in my office just waiting for everyone to get up and so I could get some flu meds. About 8am I went and laid back down and my wife let me know she brought up some meds the night before so I took some NyQuil and was going to go back to sleep when the monkey woke up so instead we went downstairs and had Christmas much better than staying in bed and sleeping in my opinion. I laid down around noon to take a nap and next thing I know I woke up at 5pm and Christmas was almost over. The flu nagged me almost until Friday and then I started to feel a little better. The thing is even with the flu gone it left a nagging cough that just won't go away, I still have it today in fact.
I felt ok Saturday morning so I decided to still do the bike race. My father in law was picking me and the kid up and dropping me off and then taking the kid for some fun. I grabbed a banana and a bonk breaker for breakfast typical pre-race breakfast. And we were out the door at 8am. It was pretty cold that morning and I am not sure how that is effecting my cough but it was 28 degrees when we left. The race started at 9am and it only warmed up to about 31 by the start. They gave the directions to where we were going and I was completely lost (part of the problem was I couldn't visualize how we were going to get to certain areas as I grew up on Washington and wasn't aware they had actually put roads in since I lived there like 8 years ago, part of what we rode used to be dirt dunes that we would go dirt biking on when I was a kid and there was no road at all). I got a king of hearts for my first card card and we were off. I decided to tuck in behind a guy who said he knew where we were going.
I am glad I tucked in behind him at first because while he was a lot slower than me I simply could not breath the first 5 miles at all. I am not sure how most people ride but he seemed to be turning over constantly and for me to stay at his speed I was only pedaling and turning over like 1/3 of the time. So with me not having to constantly turnover it helped with my breathing as I could take those little breaks to try and catch my breath. After about 5 miles my breathing came back a little but he had sped up a little so I decided to stay with him for a little while longer until at least our second turn. I am glad I did because I would have likely turned the long way and added like 4 miles onto the route. About mile 13 a group comes up behind us and they are going a speed a lot more appropriate for me so I decided to tuck in behind them instead. Its pretty cold and the faster turnover helps me warm up a little.
We get to the first area and I get a Queen of Hearts for my second card. We are now also in my backyard where I ride and run all the time and I know exactly where I am going from here on out. So while everyone else is still hanging around I decide to take off on my own. I catch up with another group and ride with them for a bit but his wife started to fall behind so he leaves to go catch up with her. At this point we pass within a quarter mile of my house and we are at about 20 miles and I am tired and still having trouble with my breathing and am like well I could just ride home haha decide to keep on going though. Get to the third stop and get a King of Hearts again and realize ok they are using different decks but still cool as I now have a pair of kings.
Some other riders are not sure how to get to the next stop and I told them there is about three ways to get there and they can follow me if they want as I am going to go the easiest way as my breathing hasn't improved. Its about the same distance but you avoid out on a gigantic hill that is a killer (its one of my favorite hills to ride down though as I have hit a top speed of 50 MPH before on it but we are going out so you would be going up it). So now all of a sudden I am leading a group as we head to the last stop. Ride in and get my 4th card a 7 of Diamonds. And take off for the finish back at the bike shop. The last portion has two brutal hills on it (Redsparkle might remember these I think they were start of leg 4 for her expedition 50miler and going down the other one for leg 2). Get up the first hill and I am already dying I cannot catch my breath at this point. Decide to tackle the second hill and get half way up and I am almost hyperventilating I cannot not catch my breath at all. I have to get off my bike and take a breather to catch my breath and get some water. After two minutes I feel fine again and continue on as once your up the hill its a nice downhill to the finish from there.
Get to the finish and get another 7 so end up with two pair Kings and Sevens which end up winning me the thermal leg warmers. They are doing a BBQ so I grab a couple hot dogs and some water and chill inside on the couch knowing that I am going to have to ride the 5-6 miles home as I got dropped off. It was informal but tons of fun, plus I won something. They said they plan on doing them quarterly and I can't wait to do the next one. I am signed up for a dualathon in February which will be a much more formal race (its a 3 mile run, 24 mile bike, 3 mile run). It was a good afternoon but ended up with me having to go home and nap for like 3 hours haha burned myself out.
Sounds like fun, despite the cold and the lingering flu cruds. And nice score on the leg warmers!
Take it easy with that flu. My DH had it, yesterday was three weeks. He's finally almost back to normal, the cough has subsided for the most part. We're hearing that it will come back if you don't take it easy.
You can put forth less of an effort when you draft, but getting used to a higher cadence and knowing when to use it helps a ton when your legs are getting fatigued. Glad you enjoyed yourself.
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