Race Report - Lester Prairie Road Race

4:54 AM

Fool me once, shame on shame on you.  Fool me you cant get fooled again.  George W. Bush.

Umyeahthere are times in our lives where we learn lessons quickly, and use this incorporated new knowledge to avoid future hazards.  And then there are times when we keep finding ourselves in road races despite our vehemently stated dislike of road races.

The worst part is I knew Sundays road race in Lester Prairie would be a bad idea.  Exhibit A: there was no category 4 womens class, but rather an open class that would have me racing against cat 1-2 ladies.  Exhibit B: the distance, 46 miles, was decidedly more cat 1-2 than 4.  Exhibit C: the unsettled weather system over Minnesota brought us sustained winds of 20+ miles an hour, and gusts of over 30 mph.  Exhibit D: when a locale has the word Prairie in its name, there are not many trees around to stop said wind.

But I had a bunch of teammates that wanted to ride together.  Add that to the fact that my training hasnt been all that it could be (heck, I figured a good butt-kicking would do me some good), the mountain bike trails were all closed due to rain, and Memorial Day would give me an extra day of rest in my weekendsurewhy not?

When we rolled out I was thinking, This isnt so bad.  We kept a reasonable pace into the headwind, and the cat 1-2 ladies were chatty and friendly.  Then, of course, everyone remembered we were in a race and the selections began.  I got lucky and was at the front of the pack when the first surge took place.  Even as I busted my butt to go with the pack, I was headed backward quickly.  By the thinnest of margins, I was able to hold the last wheel and survive.

My very short race continued with more and more selections.  I knew I wouldnt survive for long, so all energy was focused on staying in the pack (and out of the brutal wind) for as long as possible.

Which, as it turned out, wasnt very long.  When I inevitably got shelled out the back, I knew what to do I took a look over my shoulder.  Within a few minutes a group of teammates formed a tight little pack that then fought the wind for the rest of the race.  And fight, we did.  The wind was a never-ending, exhausting, soul-sucking experience that just kept going.  And going.  And going. 

Ugh.  Upside?  Good training.  Downside?  Everything else.  Possible upside?  The officials messed up the results and I was left off the listso really, in a way, the race never even happened

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