|Note Carly's chipmunk cheeks ... full of bagel.|
Our smiles sum up how the whole weekend went. We were busy little beavers, but managed to cram a bunch of good stuff into this weekend ... other than bike racing. But we must talk about the racing first!
Carly had another awesome course, 0.5 miles of single track, of which she did 2 laps. Her second hardest SERC course yet, the first being Winder, Georgia.
|Off to a good start!|
Carly managed to get into the woods in 3rd place, but ended up losing two places, she said, because of the boys bumbling in front of her. I told her that she would have to get used to that because it happens to me, too.
|For just a second, I thought this was not going to end well.|
Carly did not care for all the roots. I can only imagine how jarring it would be on 24 inch wheels when even I felt it on my 29'r. Somehow I gotta teach her how to stand and pedal over them ... her bottom is glued to the seat! Perhaps a job for the "Zeke-ster."
Carly did an excellent job of running up one of the steep step ups. She is a strong hike-a-biker, like her Mommy. At the finish, she managed to pass one of the boys who had caused her to bobble on the first lap. When asked about her passing him just before the finishing chute, she replied, "I just wanted to finish this race as quick as possible." Translation: "I just had to girl him!"
My race was tough and the competition is only getting tougher. My IT bands were quite happy, but seeing as this was the first race since they had flared up, I was a bit tentative. Reluctantly, I voted for 2 laps instead of 3. I swear I heard a few gasps when my arm when up for just 2 laps!
|Spinning a cadence of about 130 here at the start!|
The pace started off furiously fast and my quads screamed all the way up the hill to the single track entry. I managed to dive into the woods in 5th place. The five of us were in a train for about the first 10 minutes and then 4th place began to dangle. Nooo ... dangling is not good! I was screaming in my head for her to hang on to 3rd. She popped and I had no where to pass. I slowly watched them slip away. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I was able to pass 4th. I could still see the first 3 ladies, Kim, Catherine, and Carolyn, about 10 seconds ahead. I was slowly reeling them back in when we hit the first flat section and then they clicked down and were gone! I could not click and my legs were already spinning crazy fast. I had to back off to a more life sustaining cadence and hope that their hard effort and the heat would soon get to them.
I pretty much suffered the first lap. Having not raced or trained at the upper power levels for 3 weeks, my legs had gotten all wimpy on me. They were barking the whole time on that first lap. And even though the climbs were short, to my legs they felt like I was climbing Potato Patch.
|Beginning the 2nd lap.|
Finally my legs began to wake up on the second lap and I was able to up the pace. I caught Caroline just before the second flat section and was able to pass her before the single track narrowed and the climbing began. With about 1 mile left, I caught sight of who I thought was Catherine. This motivated me to dig deep and enter the pain cave. I thought I might have a chance to catch her, but I just ran out of trail ... and energy.
I was thoroughly pleased with my performance which netted 3rd place. More than that was the fact that my knees stayed happy and pain-free all day. I was elated for Catherine and her first SERC win! The USSC-Trek-Vantaggio lady who I had been chasing was Kim, who wasn't having such a happy day.
Now on to the good stuff, according to Carly. After the race, we went over to the Nature Center and saw all the cool critters, with the cougar being the coolest! From there we began our quest to find a Dairy Queen. Zeke had promised Carly a treat and she had her taste buds set on a Blizzard. Carly wanted the large, but I knew better. We met in the middle with a medium Heath Bar Crunch, of which she finished a little over half. We topped off our day with supper at Mellow Mushroom in downtown Chattanooga. I tried their GF pizza. It was most wonderful and I did not get glutened at this restaurant. I recommend getting the GF pizza with an olive oil and garlic base, as it adds some flavor to an otherwise flavorless crust.
All in all, we had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. I wonder what SERC #7 will bring?