My life of racing, training, and living in the shadows of the Cascade Mountain Range
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Two wins is an automatic upgrade
I think the title says it all.
The view at the top of Cleator.
I would like to first start off with talking about my mt bike ride yesterday. Whitney and I agreed to meet in Fairhaven to go ride in the Chuckanuts. The plan? Up Cleator road to the Ridge Trail, through Hush Hush and back home. HMMM I was thinking it would be about a 2-2.5 hour ride. No biggie, I ate a pancake and eggs for breakfast so I figured I would be set for the ride, but brought a Luna bar with me just in case. I am not sure if you know this or not, but Whitney nor I did, Cleator road is really long. Oh and it's all up hill. We did know it was a climb. After about an approx. 1 hour plus climb up Cleator we made it the Ridge Trail, stopped to look at the view at the top and ate some food. Last time we road this it was in the summer time. Now with all the rain the trail was hardly rideable, and neither of us really were in the mood to crash so we were extra cautious. Well the first part of the trail, prob the first hour, was ride for 2 minutes hike the bike for 5 minutes. So we were paritially on a hike, with some extra resistance training carrying/pushing our bikes over logs, rocks, and up hills. It was tough, and really windy. We eventually made it out of the Ridge Trail and I realized we had been riding for about 2.5 hours and we still had more to go. I was hungry. We headed for Hush Hush, which was a very technical, but ride-able trail. Lots of wet technical roots, I love roots. Whitney and I were doing really well and hadn't crashed yet (if you ever ride with Whitney and I on our mountain bikes you will know it's never a ride without a crash...it's inevitable). So we are hitting the end of Hush Hush and are flying down this fun easy non-technical straight decent, when I realize I am headed straight for a tree. I better turn and slow down, I hardly knicked the tree, but it did managed to push me across the trail right into the other tree, where my saddle nose hooked the tree, sent me flying and my handlebars did a 360. All was fine, except for the charlie horse on my left thigh...then I looked at my bike and a little piece of my heart broke....well actually my fork lock out broke. I thought the piece would be at the most $50 to replace...it retails for $110. I did not crash again that day, we made it home safely and when I got home 4 hours later I shoved food into my face (as I always do when I get home from a ride) showered, then headed up to campus to do a little research. Did I mention I am trying to finish my Masters?
Todays Race Report:
We arrived at Beverly Park Elementary around 9 am so Whitney could get ready for her race at 10:15. We step out of the car and it is wet and cold, but we head down to registration just as the first race of the day is getting started. This is the hardest part of the day for me, watching others race and knowing I don't race until 1:30. My nerves and my anxiety kick in pretty early in the day. My blood pressure is probably through the roof. The rain only started to rain harder as the morning went on and I was not looking forward to the rain. Having been born and raised and in the Northwest I know what the weather is like. If it's raining in the morning, it probably wont be raining in the afternoon. I was banking on this for my race. My weather prediction was correct, the rain started to fade around noon and had stopped for the Men's 1/2 race at 12:15. I start warming up for my race around 12:30 up and down the road around the school, I wasn't going to pre-ride the course because it was a slop fest, pre riding it just wasn't worth it. I was doing some hard efforts up a hill and it felt HARD. My legs felt...tired, but I figured they just needed to wake up because I hadn't done anything all morning except walk around, watch others race in the mud, and freak out about what and when I should eat. I repeatedly went up and down this hill, down the road, around in circles, trying to wake my legs up...I started to slowly feel as if I was warming up. Then I got bored of riding on the road and warming up so I just headed to the big muddy pit, also known as the race course.
The announcers started calling the racers to the start to get staged so I headed over to make sure I wouldn't miss my call up. We stood there for a long time, as I was expecting to. They started the single speeders, then the 1/2 women, then put some Master men in front of us. They decided to not be smart and called up the wrong people for the call ups, so I didn't even get my call up!!! I was sort of bummed, but not really. The race started, and I realized I wished I could have gotten my call up because I was starting on the WRONG side of the start...it was the swampy section and everyone to my left blew by me. Oh well, the run up was coming up shortly and that's where I am a little stronger than most. Going into the run up I was mid pack..probably more towards the front, coming out of the run up I was 3rd. I passed one girl, I was 2nd, then I caught the next girl after the first set of double barriers. So I was 1st...I was starting to feel pretty good and some what confident through the mud. As I was coming down the large down hill and onto the track, and then onto the grass again, I heard one of the women from the Cucina team (who I really like and met awhile ago at a couple of the road races) who was doing registration cheering my name. I LOVE it when people cheer for me it makes me smile. So being a little overly excited I hop over the curb without slowing down and completely slid out about 3 seconds later. I didn't even know it was happening. It cracked me up. I couldn't stop laughing, especially when about 5 people passed me. It was fun having people pass me because it made me work harder to get back to being in the lead. I slowly started to catch back up to those that passed me (I am glad this was the first lap still, the end of it, but the first still) and by the set of double baricades I caught the women who was sitting in first, and from there it's all history..and a lot of pain. My first thought when I finished this race...do not do a 4 hour mountain bike ride in the Chuckanuts the day before a cyclocross race.
I entered the pain cave today....I was pretty deep in the pain cave actually. It was by far the hardest cross race I have done. I kept thinking I had a flat tire because it was so hard to pedal/move...then I thought I was so exhuasted that I couldn't lift my bike up over the barriers. By the end of the race I looked down at my bike and I realized it wasn't me being weak and needing to lift heavier weights, it was that my bike gained 10 pounds. I have never seen my bike look this dirty
My goal for this Cyclocross season was to upgrade to the Cat 2's by the end of the season. Looks like next week I will be racing with the 2's and all it took was 2 races!!!! I am pretty stoked.