Jump in my time machine - we're heading back to July 3rd!
July 3rd marked my fourth appearance at the Spam Jam in Austin, MN - a 25-mile citizen road race, totally flat, blazingly fast, and a whole lot of awesome! The best part is a huge contingency of Silver Cycling loads up in the caravan and heads down to race together. All ages, skill levels, men, women, and children race side by side for the coveted Spam Champ trophy. With all that was going on emotionally, my hopes weren't too high. But I had two of my Hellians along with me, so I knew we could have some fun.
We lined up in the third row for the start and we were all over it when he counted it down and all hell broke loose. The first 2 miles averaged over 30 mph as a pack of some 50 guys and us three gals sprinted away from the rest of the field. We filtered through the various layers of the pack for the first 10 miles, then my girls got caught in the wind and dropped off the back. With winds over 15 mph and the temps in the mid-90's, I knew I had to hang on for any attempt of finishing strong. I was in the lead for the women's race - no time to quit now.
I held on til mile 15 when some of our riders attacked as they made a turn and ripped me off the back of the pack. I was hellbound to get back on and locked myself into time trial mode at 26 mph. The heat got the best of me and my speed dropped to the low twenties, but I started picking up riders as I went. I rode with 3 other guys in a full-on pace line til the finish. As the final sprints began to unfold, I sat up and let them duke it out so I could coast across the line solo with my arms up in the air!
This was my second Spam victory, but the first time I crossed the line to see Jay smiling back at me - it was fantastic! (the first year he flatted and finished behind me). The best part of racing together is getting to share that moment of elation with the one person you love more than anything else in the world (yep, I love him even more than I love my bike... just don't tell the bike).
It's so nice to find that sometimes, when life doesn't allow for training or riding in you free-time, you can still dig deep and find something you thought was gone.