Monday, July 28, 2008

Stony Creek TT Race Report

Yesterday was the Stony Creek race. Chris decided he didn't feel like racing, so he became my personal photographer. First of all, let me say that I wasn't anywhere near as miserable during this race as I look in all the photos.

I learned a lot during this race. The first thing I learned, which I should have known already, but it's been cemented now, is that I really need to warm up. I'm always afraid of burning myself out by riding too much before the race, but yesterday, as usual, I felt like I could barely move my legs for the first mile or so. After that, I started feeling fine. This always happens, even when I'm just riding. If there's a hill in the beginning, even a very small one, I can barely make it up. Now that I know I can ride 30 or 40 miles (at least) in one race, I should be able to spend some time warming up prior to the race starting without worrying I won't be able to finish.

(Seriously, doesn't this look excruciating?) This course was really bizarre. It started out on grass, then went to gravel two track. Every once in a while, there was a small section of singletrack mixed in. After my initial lethargy, I rebounded and felt pretty good for the next several miles. When I hit the six-mile mark, I looked at my computer and realized that although I wasn't going to break any land speed records, I was on track to finish considerably ahead of my goal time of 1:40.

Famous last words. About a mile later, I hit the longest section of singletrack, considerably harder than anything thus far, and slowed way down. For one reason or another, I found myself getting off the bike a lot and having trouble getting up all the hills. The last challenge was a deep water crossing which I was told not to even try riding through, followed by a long section of mud too deep to ride through.

Finally, I was out on the gravel two track again and I started hitting it hard to make up some time. I still had a little time left to make my goal, but it was rapidly getting away from me. By the time I was going up the last little rise to finish line, I barely had anything left. Chris was there taking my picture and yelling "hammer, hammer!" but I had no hammering in me. I ended up missing my goal by about three minutes.

I came in 11 out of 13 people. I earned one more point than I did at Fort Custer, so I can still throw that one out if I do all the rest of the races. All four of the other women who are in my category in the CPS were there, and I only beat one of them. I'm not sure how many of them will pass me in the standings because the final results are not posted yet and I don't remember what place any of them came in, with the exception of the girl I beat.

There are three more races in the series, so I have some time to redeem myself. I have high hopes for the Maybury race, which is Aug. 23.

Overall, I feel okay about how I did. I just keep chalking these races up to experience, reminding myself that this is a learning year for me and thinking back to the days when I wouldn't have attempted riding three or four miles on the trail, let alone regularly completing mountain bike races.


Anonymous said...

You went to RACE and race you did. As they say, you ain't no slacker you're a firecracker. Keep it up.

Ali B. said...

Excellent report - you have a great attitude! Check my blog for your homework... if you're up for it? :)