Shawn and Devin arrived for the 8am carpool up to Edmonton, relatively promptly, and after we fiddled with the bike rack for a bit we managed to get moving. Stopped in Red Deer for a little breakfast and some terrible coffee in my travel mug. Despite a few sprinkles on the way to the course, the course was basically bone dry - and a really nice course at that.
Race started out fast, the first lap got me warmed up well. After that, I settled in to my pace and felt good, despite how high the pace was. First lap I spent most of the time in 5th, then the second lap a lot of time was spent in 3rd. I even had the honor of spending most of the third lap leading, which was kind of novel.
Here's the part where things really started unwinding - I started cramping, despite not feeling like I was overdoing the pace. All of a sudden I went from feeling pretty positive to going backwards through the field - fast. Look out so guys don't rear end me! I had finished my small bottle of energy drink, and my feed bottle was plain water. I hobbled through the rest of the laps wondering why I had no endurance and thinking about how I should be training different. After getting passed at the line for whatever double digit spot I was giving up (I wasn't exactly racing for the line although I did pedal a bit faster so I wouldn't look like a total duffer), I went back to the car and got myself ready for a frigid bathe in the river.
I slowly rode down to the water, and put on my sandals so I could wade in with my bar of soap. I soaped up my hair really good so I basically knew I'd need to dunk my whole body in, but even the minute I was in the water made my ankles sore from the cold. Eventually I got myself in, boy was that refreshing. I thought my legs would cramp and I'd just float away.
Standing in the wind by my bag, I couldn't even feel the chill since my skin was numb. As I toweled off I saw my other small water bottle in the bag and took a drink. To my surpise, it wasn't my recovery drink. Which, despite mixing them last night in different colored bottles, made me realize I'd taken my double sweet just the way I like it mixture of recovery drink out on course today, complete with a it's ratio of protien and whatever else. No wonder I cramped!
So now I didn't feel so bad, I can take a bout of stupidity better than trying to rationalze pure physical incompetence. Problem was I pre-rode with just water, went to the start line with the water bottle, then quickly went back to get it and just grabbed the first one I saw. My guts still didn't feel all that great, but didn't really matter now that all I had to do was sit around then drive home.
I'm hoping to have a better race at Stoney Plain.