I did it! I participated in a race.
As mentioned in the previous post, the race was the Green Trolley. It's a 0.6 mile, four corner criterium, with a short hill right before the finish.
It was great to get back out there and race again. As much as I thought I'd be able to hang with these guys, I wasn't even close. The first time up the hill I dropped my chain. By the time I got it back on I was at the back of the field. Once things flattened out I was able to catch back on to the field. However each time we went up the hill I found myself about 15 feet off the back, trying to catch back up on the flat section. Needless to say, this sort of pattern can't continue for too long, at least if you want to stay in the race. Sure enough after 3 or 4 laps I was off the back to stay.
I then spent the rest of my time going as hard as I could, wanting to at least get something out of the race. At one point I slowed a bit and a couple guys who were behind me caught up. One of them ended up riding with me for the rest of my time in the race. We had a pretty good thing going, I'd pull up the hill and through the first half of the flat, he'd pull for the rest of the flat and down the hill. Thinking about it after words I realized that I was pulling into the wind and he was pulling with the wind at our backs. Probably not the squarest deal, but who cares. We got lapped twice, but still had a good time doing it.
By the time we got lapped the second time I was pretty much gassed. I shut 'er down and headed to the finish line to watch the last few laps. In the end, one of my teammates out sprinted the field for the win. I had hoped to be there to help him get the win. Obviously not to be, but in the end I can't complain. I came home safe, had a great time, and learned a lot about where I am with my recovery.
Check out the multimedia from the race (once again we thank my personal photographer, Carol, for the images (including the artistically blurred images of me on the course)):
Kely wins the race
Me warming up on the rollers
Images of me doing various things