Men’s B 35+ Race
Today was SO fun. It is always so great to race locally and to see everyone again. Our local races in Utah have grown BIG TIME and it is so neat to see. Everyone is always happy and excited to race and the vibe is just flat out neat to be around. We are lucky to have a series like this that is so well run and extremely organized.
So my coach decided to sock it to me this weekend. First up on Saturday was a race with the B Men then immediately following the awards for that race was the Women’s A race. Then Sunday I got to race again. Ouchy. This was gonna leave me dragging and worked by the time Sunday afternoon came that is for sure!!!!
At the start of the Men’s race (which I almost missed the start of!) I snuck in on the back row. I figured that getting thru traffic is what I need to practice since I have had to start on the last row at all the other races I have done this year. It is always great to practice that plus it will certainly make me race even harder just trying to get up front!
And race hard I did. Those boys don’t slow down for anyone nor should they. It was fun. I got near the front pretty fast and got to witness some pretty spectacular roadie tactics during the race. It was the reminder I needed that being tactical is exactly what you have to do sometimes.
I found myself up front duking it out with the top 5 or 6 in the Men’s B class. They were handing my own a** to me. PERFECT. It was just what I needed. Not only was I on the rivet most of that 40 minutes, I was having to THINK (about tactics) while on the rivet which is a skill on its own. Attacks were being thrown in and I had to chase. Then counter attacks. Wow, I was getting worked and enjoying every painful second of it. I lasted the entire race and came in 2nd!!
Women’s A Race
Then it was time for the podium, get something to drink, make any adjustments to the bike and then off for the women’s A race. The women’s race was a fun race and I could immedialy feel the effects of working myself over in the men’s race where I fired off every match I had in order to be in contention for the win. I was sluggish now for sure. Standing around in between times sure didn’t help but you got to stand on the well earned podium!
Me and the boyz
Ok, so here I was already hurting and it’s just the start of the race. Great. So I thought to myself, what a BETTER time than to take what I just had learned in the Men’s race about drafting and sitting on and put it to use to see how it would go both physically and mentally. And it was weird. It is a different experience back there when you choose to draft. Cornering is different cuz it’s not your line or maybe it’s too fast or too slow based on the person pulling. And mentally it’s strange especially from an mtb perspective…..do I go now? How about now? Maybe now?? Now must be the time???....oh yeah I tell myself we are only 3 min into the race…..relax girl! : ) Better to sit and really get the full experience out of it while I could.
I did go up front a few times but I now could feel what I couldn’t feel in the Men’s race while up there: the wind, the ground sucking my tires to the ground creating more resistance, the fatigue, etc. Ok, just push thru I tell myself. I had my plan and was executing it perfectly despite what my head was telling me (to just go). I disregarded those thoughts and just sat. Then unfortunately with ½ lap to go I took a corner pretty bad and exploded on the ground allowing the gal in 3rd to take advantage. I just slid out, no harm done except I had officially lost the race right then and there. Oh well, there are always more races to come!
B Men’s Race
The next day I felt like I had been hit like a truck but I still drug myself out of bed to hit one last race for the weekend. I was less than enthusiastic because I was beyond tired but in the name of getting faster I was going to race!
And lucky for me it was a bit of a smaller race, as it is a newer series that has just started up in Salt Lake. I chose to race with the Men again only based on the fact that I could sleep in longer. Yep, I admit it.
The course was pretty interesting in that there was a bit of a climb in it as well as a cement fire pit of sorts that had a few cement stairs leading into and out of it. It was up to the rider to figure out the best possible way to get through that quickly and everyone had different methods based on what they were strong at. I chose to ride down the steps, dismount, run up the other side and remount. Some didn’t have to get off their bikes at all. Others found another line on the outside that was conducive. It was an interesting barrier for sure.
At the start we all lined up together and at the line they told us it was a 50min race (not the usual 40min). Ugh really? Ok, I am going to bail at 40min I tell myself. Yeah right I should know myself WAY better than that!! At 40min in I kept telling myself I could hang on for just a bit longer, just a bit longer. Nothing like total mind games to trick yourself to do what you need to do. I didn’t even have to race the whole race according to my coach but the thought of DNFing was just out of the question. I don’t do that I won’t start now. Sure, I will DNF if I broke my body or broke my bike (and don’t have another) but willingly DNFing – no way. So I suffered like a dog trying not to get lapped by the leading Men and it turned out to be a painful but great way to end a weekend of racing! Ah, now time for some rest…..