I would just add to it: Congratulations, you raced! For those of us pushing toward upper 50's, I'm just wowed that we are on a bike at all! And here you go, racing. Well, done and you most likely will do nothing but improve. My favorite compliment, by racing fellows is: "You are some bad A_ _ women to go up and down that mountain"! especially your age! WooHoo, it doesn't get better than that! I'd probably not do well at real racing at all!
Thanks for the comments and encouragement. While I am establishing my training schedule for next year, I will have these results in fron of me.
During my weight lifting, spinning classes, trainer spinervals, and cross training (swimming) I will have this in front of me. At least I will have something to drive me to become better and I now have something I can focus on.
As I said on your bold, welcome to the world of bike racing! The only sport I know where you train your butt off just to reach "sucks at it".
Yeah you may be last in your AG but everyone has to start somewhere. And most normal people start off last, but the beauty is watching yourself get faster and faster from year to year. In my first "A" duathlon this year I took ~10 minutes off my PR and could have gone faster. So tell your boy, hey, dad may not be very athletic but he's going to do the hard work and reap the rewards next year!
A RR is a combination of legs and brains. Practically every racer I've talked with has the same "got spat out the back in my first RR/crit" story as you, but they kept on coming back, learning, training, and getting better. A solid training plan and some more pack experience will see you in better stead next year.
But.... GREAT JOB for even pinning on a number. It's more than the vast majority of cyclists out there will ever do.
In God we trust, all others bring data. - W. Edwards Demings
If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise. -P.Z. Pearce
Congrats on finishing, no matter what the place. Most of us have never even attempted a race, so you are one up on us. I'm sure if you keep training you will improve your performance. But also keep in mind, you will not be able to maintain your peak performance all year, so plan your training to peak at race time.
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I don't consider myself athletic either. When I ran my first 5K in 2006 I didn't come in last in my age group (45-49), but I was pretty darn close to the bottom. I decided what you did - to work my way up through my age group.
I will be 50 later this year, and am now at the point where some races let me race in the 45-49 and others place me in the 50-54. I am now consistently in the top half, and sometimes in the top third. My goal is to podium in my age group, but those top 6-10 women are really tough to beat.
In sprint triathlon in my age group there is a definite gap between the ladies who are really fit and the rest of us. I am now at the top of the "rest of us" and want to get into that "top" group - even if I am at the bottom.
I guess my point is we all have an athlete inside of us. We just need the venue to get it out. It sounds to me like you have it, and I will not be surprised to hear you next year talking about how you're moving up through your age group.
Keep up the hard work, and remember when you think you're out there alone and suffering through a grueling workout that your fellow Sparksters are there with you in spirit. In fact, we're probably doing the same thing!
"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
Jim- thanks for sharing! just remember that you're out there and that's a victory in itself! i don't have an athletic bone/muscle in my body, but i don't let that stop me...i'm finally off the couch and won't allow excuses. keep up the great work and of course update us on your success! meredith
I did a blog ( titled the same: Race Day Came and Went) on this so you can get more details.
I have to admit it was a humbling experience and I learned a lot. I also realize that yes I have to admit that I'm a second year cyclist and boy was I reminded of that fact during the race. I found it a little embarrassing when cyclists older than I am really kicked my rear end in. However, what was most humbling was telling the family just not how well you did. My son asked me how I took last place in my age division and my wife replied that your dad is not very athletic. Boy did that slap me to reality but also put things in better perspective.
Yes, I'm not a gifted athlete but I would think and hope that with better training throughout the year and nutrition during the race and better tactics at starting the race and during the race I would think I would do better?
I now have a goal to shoot for .... not to finish last in my age bracket; knock 15 mins. off my finishing time by next year. In my last year of my bracket, which is just 2 years away, I want to podium. I'm not sure if this is even realistic but I have to draw a line some where so that I can evaluate my training and improvements.
I'm sure I'll keep people posted.
My next race is Aug 16th which is Race the Lake .... more of an endurance road race I guess. This one will be 90 miles in length.
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