How the day turned out for me was far more than just my final placement of 13th in the Elite Women's field. I was SO happy with how my body did and felt. This was the first true test of how well my ribs had healed over these last few months of off season and I was very pleased with what I didn't feel. No pain!! No gouging jabs!! No restriction on breathing!! No shear and utter misery in technical sections. I think the ribs are there finally. And actually, its just been in this last week that I haven't needed IB Profin to sleep through the night so I knew things were on the right track.
And As for my fitness right after taking many weeks off and doing nothing........ I am pleased and I seem have some high end at this point in the game. Yes!! As for power, that seems to be there too at this point and I will take what I can get being that I am training for the mtb season that is months and months and months away. I really shouldn't have much to give right now but something is there and I will take it!
Today I got a pretty close to last row call up at the start of the race which I expected since I have minus UCI cross points to my name. The start was interesting because we started on pavement for about 100 feet and then the course swooshed us left and onto the grass and since that grass section of the course was kind of tight you had to be SUPER aggressive and trust your skills to get by people. This was no time to dink around with self doubt because the everything was about to go down to single file at the barriers within the next two minutes! You know what single file means....where you are at that moment is where you are in the race unless you work your tail off to change it. That said, I got as far as I could go by the time we hit the barriers and then the real work of trying to move up really came into play and really required effort. I gaged myself closely and tried to jump head from group to group by sitting on, resting and then blasting past them right before the technical sections where I knew I could accelerate away and get a gap behind me. That plan worked out well because I went from about 20th to 13th by the end of the 40 minute race.
Of course that wasn't with out a mishap. On the first lap going through the deep sand pits something grabbed at my wheel and I did a slow endo. The crowd gasped but it really wasn't that bad. I just landed in the soft sand grabbed my bike that was 2 feet behind me and took off trying to get back into the position I had just lost. People were going down everywhere but mainly they were going down on the back section where the course transitioned from muddy grass to pavement. I definitely could have run over bodies if I hadn't been anticipating the problem. But dang some of those gals went down HARD right in from of me and I would just watch them slide, bike and all across the pavement. Oooh. Yuck!! Tough chicks.
Afterwords the Velo Bella - Kona team jumped in a car to start heading back to base and we suddenly found ourselves on a local street that was having a block Halloween decorating contest. By the time I figured out what was going on, I bet we had passed 10 houses that were fully decked out with lights and moving objects and scary things in their yards. Here are the ones that I was able to shoot:
Then on to a team dinner at a Cuban Restaurant (left to right: Melanie, Alex, Amy, myself, Barb, Anna):
Then we were off to get our own decorations. We have some tricks up our sleeves for tomorrow!