Today I made the mistake of listening to the radio on the drive down to Snowbird for the race. Who knew that one song with one word was going to hit me like a ton of bricks. I cried all the way down the canyon and over to Snowbird. I just couldn't help thinking of both my parents and their dire states with dad in hospice and mom so sick. Most of the time I have "good" days and can talk and think freely about them and their situation but this morning I made up for all that.
What a great way to prepare for a race.
I kept fighting myself on it too telling myself to get a grip but the other side of me said release it now while you can. So I did and it sucked but was probably good for me I suppose.
I got to the venue with plenty of time to go on a half hour hike to registration and then get a bit of a warm up in. Little did I know that I was going to spend more time changing clothes than I would actually warming up do to the weather. The nice weather that we had at the Bird upon arrival had quickly changed to rain and wind prior to the race. If you so happened to throw your rain gear in your car that morning it was a good thing! Next time I will have to question whether or not forgoing my proper warm up routine is worth being dry and warm. It is kind of a toss up really depending on what your body can handle.
The weather subsided by the time the race started and the Pro Women were off like a shot in our already wet gear. We rumbled our way into the (very) singletrack making our way over rocks, roots and freshly cut terrain. It was really fun. I got the hole shot off the line and tried to put the pressure on but Heather, my teammate, wasn't taking any of it. She sat close on my wheel for a while and then attacked in the best spot possible. From there over the next lap or so out of 3 laps, she got a good 25 second gap on me while I was convincing (read: pleading with) myself to give her no more than that while I pushed harder on every pedal stroke as we made our way up to the 900 foot climb.
The rain started coming down again mid race and it felt really good. I was lucky that my Kenda Small Block 8's were shedding like a dream in the sandy like dirt too.
FINALLY somewhere towards the very end of the race something kicked in me to "freaking race already girl" and I was off like a shot. It was as though someone said "GO!!!!!!" and I did. Before I knew it I was closing the gap the way I should have hours earlier but it was too late. Heather got me by 3 seconds for first and I was second.
Having Heather there was perfect too because we pushed each other which will be great training for next weekends US Nationals in Colorado. I am happy for Heather as she is ripping it up right now!!!!
A big thanks to Ted and Kurt with Binghams (race sponsors!) who helped me with my water bottle feeds. Hugh...just thought of this....we call those things water bottles but there is never water in them....always sports drink. What is up with that?
Here is some post race yummy-ness from the waffle place next to Binghams Cyclery. You can make this thing into a real gut bomb by adding chocolate, ice cream, cream fraiche, and a whole bunch of other stuff. I stuck with the plain jane version and it was quite enough.