Tour of America's Dairyland: IS Corp Otto Wenz Downer Classic
So if you recall, my goals for this race were:
- Don't Crash (didn't crash)
- Don't Throw up (didn't throw up)
- B-E A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E (NAILED IT)
On May 22, 2017 I wrote down a goal to place top 20 in a *pro* race. The asterisks were included because technically, I've already achieved this goal. This new goal was directed towards bigger/ tougher fields. My past top 20s were in fields of 35 women or less. I wanted more, and today, I earned more.
My buddy Sam came to town! She kept me company while I got in a solid warm-up. I felt great. I decided that I wasn't nervous, but excited to get in the race and do my best to be both assertive and aggressive. I really wanted to trust myself and go for it. I was first to staging.
I lined up second row. They blew the whistle and sent us on our way. I have been struggling to get a good sprint off the line, so this is something I was really focused on getting right today. It wasn't perfect, but it was better than yesterday. I always try to be better than yesterday. I was in the front. And as per usual, before I knew it, I found myself towards the back of the pack. I wasn't happy. I fought to find nooks and crannies to squeeze my way back to the front. Nothing. Outside, inside, middle lines. I made tiny gains here and there, but it seemed to end with me being pushed to the back where I started. "BE AGGRESSIVE MCGOWAN".
Ugh. Fine! I found a series of spaces and wiggled my way toward the front. This would happen quite a few times. I'd wiggle forward, and then get spit out of the back again. Unacceptable. I set my sights on getting to the front and staying there. Right around this time was 8 laps to go and they yelled "SUPER PRIME". The super prime was a $5000 sprint lap starting and ending just after turn 1. I was too far back to even dream of attempting to win it, but i was forward enough to stick with the pack while the women in the front did their thing. I dug deep and hung on to the pack. Now there were 7 laps to go. I wiggled more and more towards the front.
Before I knew it, I was mixed in with the sprinters. Woah. I had arrived, and there were only a few laps left in the race. I relaxed my body and did my best to read what was happening. Leadout trains were forming, organized chaos was happening. I picked a train and they lead me to the front. I surfed a few good wheels around. 3 laps to go. 2 laps to go. Ugh. I was drifting back. I was not ready to give up. I relaxed some more and prepared to dig deep. 1 lap to go.
We made it around all 4 corners safely and I stood up to sprint for position! I picked a bad line and had to slow down to avoid being pushed into a barrier. Boo. There was still time left, I sprinted over the line. There seemed to be quite a few women in front of me, but definitely not as many as usual. Could it be? A top twenty finish for little ol' me?
One race left. Goals for tomorrow:
- DO IT ALL AGAIN.
Thanks for the posi vibes y'all. I needed this.