(Here is Andrea’s report on the Bellas win in the Northern California/Nevada Team Trial Championships in the 35+ category, held in Davis CA at the Steve Dunlap Memorial Time Trial):
I finished my warmup, zipped up my skinsuit, donned my aero gear and headed to the start.
I was ready. Prepared, fit, warmed up, pysched. Except I had to pee. But we were lining up for the start in 3 minutes. Not enough time to execute the skinsuit-porto-potty gymnastics required. I rolled up to my teammates, and realized I had left my water bottle at the car. It’s Davis. It’s hot. It’s windy. I need water. With T minus 3 minutes I sprinted to my car through the dirt and gravel. I couldn’t believe they were starting us in a gravel driveway!! I grabbed my bottle, hopped on my bike, and then decided I DID have time to take a “natural break.” I meandered over to the park bathrooms, and did my thing, taking time to wash my hands thoroughly with soap and water. As I was scrub-scrub-scrubbing, I could hear the officials calling our team.
EEEEEKKKK!! I’m gonna miss the start!!! I ran out of the bathroom, hopped on my bike, and started pedaling as fast as I could back through the gravel. And then I woke up…. When I realized it was just a bad dream, I got out of bed, ate breakfast, packed my gear and drove to Davis, where they DID park us in a gravel lot!!
When Liz texted me last week about joining her in a 4 person team, I immediately blurted out, “Heck no!”
Actually I used a different word, but it is very bad. After my knee jerk reaction, I allowed myself to
consider it. Hmmmmmm…let’s see. A few years back at the Pinole 2 person TTT, I was taking a pull on a slight uphill grade at a heart rate of 183 when Liz rolled by me and said, “Here! Get on my wheel and recover. The big climbs are coming up!!” I dropped in behind her and drafted. My heart rate dropped to 181 and never came down. And the real nightmare was the 4 person TTT on Altimont where I contributed to our losing the district championship to the other team by 8 seconds. Even though I tried to forget it, I keep thinking, “if they’d only cut me loose sooner!!!’ Both times I practically barfed. One of those times I cried.
Then my inner coach kicked in and convinced me to consider the positives: it would be great practice for Sattley, maybe I would learn something by TT’ing with other women who are strong, I’m more fit this year, I have aero equipment, and IT’S FLAT!!!!!! I’m in. And excited. Maybe we can get the medal and cool Champ jersey!! Leading up to the race I was relaxed and in “the zone.” Heidi called me just as I was exiting I-80. She said she was lost. She had just exited I-80 too, so it was easy to find her. The highly visible Golden Arches served as our landmark. Note to self: purchase ice cold Coke on way home. We arrived, checked in and warmed up. I took care of all my pre-race routines with plenty of time to spare and carried my bike across the gravel to the PAVED road where the start was. The first half of the race was glorious. Flat, warm, and fast. I took some solid pulls, and even felt that I could go faster, faster, faster!! But Yvonne and Liz had warned us to reserve energy for the last half, which was into a strong headwind. Making the turn to the North, Liz took the first pull into the wind. I was on her wheel. Heart rate: 181. Oh No! “EASE!” I cried. She did. All this time I’m worried that the Velo Girls are gaining.
Must keep pushing. Must keep pushing. When my turn at the front came, I rotated straight to the back.
Recover, recover, recover. Recover? OMG! These girls are STRONG. We got a respite when we took a jog to the East. But in a short while we were on the final headwind leg to the finish. Again I had to ask for the pace to ease and I began to wonder where the Gosh Darn finish line was. Finally, we could see it in the distance. We pushed hard. We finished strong, all together, and I didn’t quite throw up after crossing the line. I waited to be sure no Velo Girls showed up within the start gap. We were safe! WE WON!!! We waited a while for the podium, which was not big enough for teams of 4, but we managed, with 3 on top and Heidi mugging for the camera on the lower step:
We got water bottles, T-shirts, medals, money and NCNCA Champion socks, plus the link to order fancy State Champ kits!! Gold Medals!
It was a great day, with great teamwork, and it felt bad in a good way. Or good in a bad way. Thanks to Yvonne for orchestrating this, to Heidi for her natural ability and sheer willpower, and to Liz for renting my legs rather than ripping them off! In fact, other than ALMOST blacking out once and ALMOST puking once during the race, the only other negative is that the socks were too big: Podium pup modeling medal and socks.
They really DO extend several inches out in front of her. We REALLY need to talk to the Sock Guy about
Thanks for reading,