Sunday, February 11, 2007
Race Day 2/10/07
What a glorious day! 2 weeks of hard work definitely started to pay out today! I put in a lot of time on the saddle over the last two weeks, trying some new training approaches, and I could see a difference as the race progressed! Talking to some of the Sho-Air riders at the last race, they had told me that they put in a lot of time road riding to increase stamina. Josh Smith is an endurance racer (12 and 24 hour racing) so taking his advice is pretty easy! Over the last two weeks I logged about 200 miles! Out of those two hundred, 125 were road miles. I can feel my body getting stronger as well. One of the guys I have been racing with, Rory Arp, handed me down a road bike this week! I look forward to using it in the coming days and beyond!
My race day started out better than I could ever imagine! As I started to warm up I ran into Johnny O'Mara.(past motocross legend) Just this week I had read a letter that he wrote to MBA. about going thru Eppstein Barr Virus over the 7 months. I had the opportunity to talk with him about my similar story of the sickness, but also warm up with him! I was stoked! He is a freaking animal! I think that he put in the fastest time of the day!
As we lined up, there were 5 people in our class again! 3 of the same and two new guys. As we took off in a large group with other classes, I weaved thru all but one, whom took off like a rocket! I thought holy crap, how am I going to catch this guy! I get so full of nerves once we take off that I definitely feel it in my legs. I need to learn how to relax my mind for the first few minutes!
By the first small climb I had caught up with the other guy and was feeling better. But when we hit the water tank paved climb he passed me on the way up! I threw it into the middle ring and stood up for 2/3 of the climb. He said afterwards that he thought I would bonk at the top of the hill, but was surprised when I did not! I have to admit though, I was feeling it! That is the hardest part of the loop for me, because there are all these little leg burners followed by one last, longish, steep climb before you start the first descent! I was so excited to hit the first downhill that I grabbed my front brake a little stiff and almost went over the bars! I saved it and started to fly! I tried to never look back! I was able to pick off rider after rider and sail through the 1st half of singletrack without being held up!
As I got to the switchbacks I caught up to a large group of riders. They kept me focused and pushing hard as we climbed. I wanted to get ahead of many as possible, as to not get stuck behind them as we entered the 2nd bit of singletrack! I actually caught up to my nemesis! I couldn't freaking believe it! He had started 1 or two groups ahead of me! I was so stoked and motivated by that point, my grin must have reached ear to ear! As we hit the singletrack I got stuck behind 3 older guys! I was so frustrated because there was no way to pass at all! When we got to the concrete chute, they all stopped! I couldn't believe it! I started yelling, Go, Go, Go! One moved aside and the other two dropped in. When we hit the bottom, I got a bit of speed, threw it into the big ring, stood up and hammered past about 6 or 7 guys! It really didn't take much out of me either! I thought I would have needed some recovery, but I was feeling good and kept pushing!
As soon as I ran up the sandy hill I felt a rush of wind pass me and noticed Ty Kady flying by! The Team Sho-Air semi-pro rider was moving! I kept up for about 2 seconds then he flew out of my sight! I navigated the humps really well and pulled into the finishing section. On the last turn before the finish line I almost caught my bars on the construction fencing! Momentary freak out! As I came across the line, I looked down at my computer and saw it! 45 minute lap time! I was so stoked! That was my goal for the race and I had done it!
More joy came when they posted the times and I realized that I had beat my nemesis by 2 and a half minutes! He came up to me and congratulated me and that felt amazing!
My goal for the remaining races is to drop my time another 3-5 minutes. I know there is a a lot of things that I can do to get there! A better bike would help immensely as well, but the fundage is still lacking!