Ass handed to me. Yes, it was bad. It's over. I finished. Remarkably so since I think I went through every emotion during the 22.5 miles. Not to mention at times I'm quite sure my eyes were bleeding.
It's been almost a year since I've clipped in to race. That right there was enough to make me want to barf. My heart rate was so high sitting at the start line you would have thought I was pedaling. Fair Hill probably wasn't the best choice for my first race back. It's way fast. Seeing how I've had zero intensity yet it was a major shocker to the system. I've been more concerned with finishing the Mohican 100 in June. No intervals, no real hard efforts. Nothing. Not a good thing for the shorter races. Well I paid for that today.
I also was a total idiot in the nutrition/hydration/pre-race ritual department. Do I drink? When do I eat? What do I eat? Do I wear gloves? All things forgotten. Would the nutrition have made a difference? Absolutely not. I would have still been quasi DFL. No excuses here. It was a bad day.
It's been a rough road back to get to the point to where I can ride regularly again. This was a totally demoralizing experience. It makes me ask myself--"Why do I do this? What part of this is fun and enjoyable?"
Usually the answer is FINISHING. Yesterday that wasn't even enough. I was so slow I didn't even want to cross the line because I was afraid if I popped out to the finish the scoring table and tent would be down and then I would even feel more horrible about myself. As if it could get worse. I thought about riding up the road to the car and then discreetly walking my chip back to the scoring table and saying I had a "mechanical". In that last few minutes I was hoping for something to happen so I could have an excuse...black bear mauling, cougar attack, rabid squirrel, drunk and unruly spectator/flasher (that would have been awesome). But alas I rolled over the line...
Today I had to call my rheumatologist because I'm having a little thumb joint issue and I think it's time to start shooting that sucker full of cortisone. He asked me why I sounded so funny and if I had mouth sores (yes, yesterdays effort made my body freak out). A couple of days sounding like Cindy Brady and eating only liquids and soft foods and I'll be back to normal. I told him it wasn't a good day. Every time he asks me for a picture of me in my "costume". Uhhh, that would be a race kit to you and me. He wants to put a picture of me in his office. That's pretty cool. It made me feel a little better...for a second or two. I know I should be thankful I can even ride a bike and there are many others out there who can't be active. I get it. I do and I am thankful. Today I'm just pissed. It happens and it's part of the process. That's what keeps me going.