I had a great weekend but am exhausted and feel like I need a few days to recover. On Friday afternoon, I was lucky to tag along when my mother took my nephew to see the new Batman movie for his birthday. The movie was awesome, she bought me popcorn and she bought me Jimmy John's afterward. Yea! And, I got to ride my bike to drop off Christopher with a relative beforehand and to meet up with my mom and nephew at the theater. Riding is always good. = )
Saturday, I did the Women's 3/4 criterium race at Downers Grove. I was kind of nervous about it as I would be a Cat. 4 competing against Cat. 3's in addition to the fact that I have extremely little road experience doing very few races and even fewer group rides. So, my goal was to not be last. Being promoted as the national criterium championships, I wasn't sure if that was possible but I figured it was, at the worst, only 20 minutes of humiliation. Well, I was 19th out of 23! Yea for me! I had been riding a good portion of the race with a group of four and two of them came past me before the last turn and I couldn't keep up. It didn't help I sprinted with one to go, thinking the race might be over. Whoops. Afterwards a girl told me I was in front too long. But, it was only 20 minutes and the girls I was with did not seem to be able to take the turns at all. They'd brake way more than they needed to which made me brake more than I needed to and then have to sprint to catch up to their sprinting. It was easier to just ride past them and stay in front for awhile. And, again, it was only 20 minutes and was just a learning experience for me anyway.
We didn't get to hang around too long as I got to cover a Bike and Dine for the local paper. It was kind of fun but I got so hungry! It didn't help that I didn't have a chance to really eat after the race. I was offered food -- but, being vegan, there wasn't really anything I could eat anyway. I stuck around for about an hour and a half and then rode home. It was a total of about 22 miles -- which was in addition to the race and in addition to nearly 98 miles of commuting various places during the week. So, my legs were tired and I was tired.
Sunday morning, Tom and I got up early and dropped off Christopher at Tom's aunts to go on our first group ride together since before Christopher was born. We went to Palos with Rachel, John, Bubba, Coop, Anne, Rick, a Skinny's guy that I can't remember his name (Dan, maybe) and a couple of Hayes guys that I should know their names -- another Dan I think. We had a couple of other guys for the first part of the ride that I think Bubba knew. Tom and I ducked out a little earlier than everyone else to go get Christopher. I had 19.1 miles and more than 2 hours of actual riding time -- not including some of the longer breaks to talk and regroup. Even though these trails are within riding distance from our house, it was an hour into riding before we were on trails I was familiar with (although, a couple I had been on once or twice). There are just a lot of trails out there and when I go by myself I stick to trails I know so I won't get lost. It was a lot of fun but I thought I was going to die. Rachel, our tour guide for the day, is so frigging fast. We'd stop to regroup and my HR would be 190, 188, 191. I'm sure all my bike time this week and race yesterday didn't help. Afterwards, we all went to Portillo's. It was great to ride with everyone and great to get on a bunch of trails I don't normally ride.