Saturday, April 7, 2007

Road Race - The Hell of the North

We have a road race called the Hell of the North in Salt Lake City every year. It is a square circuit race with one side of the square having nothing but a gravel and dirt road for about a mile and a half.

I decided to do this race because the coach thought it would be better if didn’t travel down south 4 hours to the local mtb series race and just stay home instead. What a god send that idea was as the thought of packing and leaving again within a 2 day time period wasn’t appealing to me so much.

I raced a couple different categories today and did two races. The first one started at 9am with the women (Cat 1-3). Geez that was too early for me. Those of you that know me know that I don’t even get out of bed until 8:30am or so it felt like a day at the office getting up at 6am. Yuck!!! Then the next race was at 10:30am with the men (Masters 35+). Once race I came in dead first and the other dead last. Nice.

I raced with the Masters men not knowing what I was getting into as I don’t know those guys at all because I don’t frequent the road scene all too much. But my coach and I thought they were a talented and safe group to jump in with and they sure did give me a run for my money. Wow. From the get go the pressure was on and I was like ……oh boy. And may I remind you that I did this race after I did the opposite of “sitting in” in the Cat 1-3 women’s group. I was feeling the burn for sure but kept thinking about my upcoming races and increasing my fitness…..anything to get me through 35 more miles of pain.

I was lucky enough to get to work with some very nice guys for most of the race. At first I thought to myself …..do they even know that I am girl? And if they don’t and I say something will the dynamics change (aka will they drop me). How will they react? I know that guys do not like being what they call “chicked” so I just didn’t know what to think but they were totally cool once they figured out that I wasn’t one of them. They made the race a very very good experience for me. Thanks guys! They were complimentary to me and gave me solid direction on when they wanted me to work (the dirt section of course!) which I was fine with. I was just there to get my training in and not make waves. It was pretty cool to see each of them make improvements on the dirt section on each lap too. They took my lead and learned by watching me I guess and they were psyched in the end about all that they learned on navigating the dirt section…..in that stuff you simply point, commit and go: just pick a gravelly and dusty rut with your 1 inch slick tire and keep pedaling. Don’t stop pedaling and don’t freak out. I almost went down on one of the laps in that section but had what they were saying was a “nice save!!!” What a great day but my chaise lounge is calling…………

1 comment:

Joy said...

Hey Kathy! Great Blog! I like your style and it is going to awesome to watch you race this season while i do feeds for my friends at the pro events! i will have to remember your point about picking a line and pedaling through! i also have no idea how i found your blog!