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I participated in my first race ever today, the Cliff Drive circuit race. 11 miles (four loops through Cliff Drive/Gladstone Blvd). It was…interesting. I went out in the Women’s Beginners class. There were 9 of us. We started a minute after the Men’s Beginner class (there were about 40 of them) and a minute before the Junior racers (there were about 25).

I sucked pretty bad, because I’ve never raced before so I didn’t have the first idea of what I was doing. I tried to just hang with the pack, but I wasn’t feeling really very confident about the turns, due to the fact that it had been raining all night and much of the morning, so the road was pretty wet, so I got behind the pack after the first trip through the park. There was one other woman who was behind me, but I think she might have quit the race, so I’m pretty sure I secured the last-place finish for the Beginner Women.

Still, I had fun. Pretty much any time spent on my bike is fun time. My schedule for today was planned to wake up, get my ass handed to me at the race, go home, shower, go running errands. My day went pretty close to schedule. I awakened, rode down to sign up for the race, discovered I didn’t have enough cash to cover the entry fee and the one-day insurance card, rode home, raided my wallet, rode back, signed up, watched the Masters race, raced in Beginners race, came in last (I think), went home, talked to parents, cleaned up, ran errands, wrote up day’s activities.

I think I could have actually done quite a lot better–at least finished with the pack, but I didn’t really push myself at all, and after I got pretty far behind the pack, I pretty much stopped trying at all, and just fell into my natural commuter pace of around 15mph-ish. 15mph does NOT make for a good showing on an 11 mile bike race! I can ride for hours and hours and hours at that speed, but I wasn’t doing some long-distance gig, so it was for naught. Oh well! After the race was over, I stuck around to watch the Cat4 guys take off, and then I was thinking, “I need to get my ass home, clean up and go run the errands,” and I had plenty of pep to get on home in my usual pace. I used to do that to myself all the time in Cross Country, too. For no good reason, I hold myself back–save myself for more miles or more hills that don’t exist.

In other news, I started laying in my winter-weather gear. I snagged a pair of Sugoi Sub-Zero tights at 20% discount, so they were closer to being affordable, though still damn expensive by my standards. They’d better completely amaze me, that’s all. My butt should stay comfortably warm, or I’ll be seriously annoyed.

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