Whew! That was a tough one. This race covered all the singletrack at The Whitewater Center, including a 2 mile paved climb and a 1 mile fireroad climb. It was approximately 40 miles. I wasn't sure how my legs would be, but I found out pretty quick as I missed my starting wave by 30 seconds. I pulled an Ursula on that one (inside joke). Jumping from a HR of 110 to 180 hurts! Anyway, I immediately knew that would be counterproductive, so I settled into my own rhythm, knowing that I had the whole race to reel my competition back in.
So as I watched the field ahead of me slowly pulling away, I noticed a few began popping off, including a rather tall guy on a Fisher. Not good for the Fisher team, especially since Mr. Gary Fisher himself was here for this race. I reeled him in and latched on. He pulled me to the singletrack where he graciously allowed me to get in front. Nice guy, I thought. (More on this story later).
I felt like I was a Super D racer today. The legs felt good on the downhills and short power ups, but any sustained climb was just brutal. I was like a 3-legged moutain goat, struggling to maintain an even pace on the climbs.
Finally during the last 10 miles, I began to feel good again. But it was too little too late. I ended up third, 2 minutes off 2nd place.
The best part was having Carly there saying, "Go Mommy, go!" Zeke and her were my pit crew today, handing me bottles along various sections of the course. Even though I was having a bad day, Carly made me smile. She was so cute in her little Castelli cycling cap.
While reliving the race with Zeke and Carly, Zeke asked if I knew who pulled me up the paved climb. I said some poor Fisher guy who popped off the front. Zeke said, "That poor guy was Gary Fisher!" Oops! Oh well, everyone looks the same when in their racing kit.
Congrats to my inspiration, Loretta Simpson, for winning the Expert class. And kudos to Susie Council for her first race back from a broken leg, to Nancy Fields for a personal best and to Cathi Cannon for finishing strong. All the women out there looked strong! Good job, ladies!
And thanks to Zeke. Carly said she enjoyed her "piggyback" rides.