It has been a good long while since I have gotten up at 5 am for a race but that is what duty called for on this Memorial Day.
It was looking to be a nice day out there with sun and warm temps but the fact that the rain came in yesterday and overnight stirred things up a bit. The trails we were to race on are pristine but they were now muddy from all the recent weather. And sending 500 racers on muddy trails through there wasn't gonna fly so the race was going to be completely re-routed at the very last second.
When I got to the race, there was an hour delay on the 9am start. No biggie, I can waste an hours time like nobodys business. But by the time I had completely warmed up along with everyone else, we all found out that the race had been delayed even longer another 3 hours and the course was going to be very short with 30 minute laps.
Wow, what is one to do now given that scenario? Most people thought they were going to be home and showered by the time we were to start the race today! At this point too, most people were getting super hungry because we had all eaten our last meal at 6am in preps for a 9 am start. So depending on what needed to get done, some people went to the local coffee and bagel shop, some went to wash their bikes and most just hung out under the tents.
Here is Ty enjoying a mid morning race breakfast of a raspberry tart bar.
All these things other people did were probably way better than what I did. I don't think in all my years racing I have ever come across this scenario so it was uncharted waters. I chose to pass some of my time goofing around some.
But I learned what NOT to do and what NOT to do the week leading up to a race.... if you want to feel good during the race that is.
1. Don't hammer yourself with nothing but intervals with very few recovery days all week long.
2. Don't just drink water during a delay even if that is all you feel like drinking!
3. Don't ride the day before up hill in the sluggy mud while its raining.
4. Eat more than just a Hammer Bar while waiting in between races...that is 4 hours after all!
5. Try getting more than 6 hours sleep in the nights leading up to the race.
6. Don't spend 1 hour the night before the race cleaning "pottery mud" off every single part of your bike. Who glued that stuff on there anyway?
Needless to say that when the race did start, I suffered like a dog. I felt sooooo bad. By the time we started the race most were already done mentally which just added to the misery. But seriously my body was not happy with whatever choices I made today and the last week but I fought through every miserable pedal stroke for the win.
But the race wasn't without a catapult into the river as I was crossing it for the 4th time. My hands never came off the bars even as my gloves didn't get wet. I think as I was trying to maintain speed through the river I was bucked off my bike by a river rock lurking below. I definitely got wet and it actually felt good under the warm temps.
I also almost got my leg ripped off by a snake. I was on the wheel of another rider and all of the sudden it was him vs. the snake that was wanting to cross the singletrack. But that only alarmed the snake and as I came through a second later it lifted itself up about 8 inches right by my ankle. I thought oh great that is all I need right now! Plus I didn't want to hurt it! But somehow all 3 of us came away without incident.
After the race, since I didn't do well by my body I felt so sick (until about 9pm actually). But I wasn't the only one that felt sick out there. Gordy, Shannon and Jen's dog, was on bored with that one too. We all sat around it for a while too just laughing and not really caring it was there (only bike racers right!?) but Jen decided to clean it up. Check out the video.
At least I held mine in. Alabama is up next!