Monday, June 04, 2007

Hanson Hills Cross Country

So I woke up early (5:30) Sunday morning to head down to the race. The trip went smoothly since I had wisely packed everything the night before. I wanted to get down there early enought to get signed in and have at least an hour to warm up. I did about 13 miles on the road with some hard, but short intervals at race pace to get myself going, and I arrived back at the start with about five or ten minutes to spare. The start did not go as planned. I was last in the line of 15 heading into the first singletrack climb. I started thinking that maybe I wouldn't beat anybody in my group. Then I thought that this was just training for the Lumberjack in two weeks. Then I told myself to shut the f**k up and get your head in the game. We'd only been racing for like five minutes, and I was still right with main group. I passed two guys at the top of the hill and instantly felt much better. The faster of the two would prove to be a big motivator throughout the first lap. Every time I looked behind be, he would be just in sight. I wasn't able to lose him until right before the end of lap one. I was feeling good on lap two and managed to pass two more guys in my group. Right before the end of the lap I got caught by the first place elite female and a couple of expert 40-49 guys. I rode with them for the first part of lap three. Then in a momentary lapse of judgement I decided to put the pedal down and opened up a small gap. That lasted for maybe five minutes. They caught me. They passed me. I didn't see them again until the finish. Right before the finish there is a really steep, sandy downhill. I saw a guy right at the top of it when I was still 30 or 40 seconds away. I didn't know if he was in my group or not, but I decided to try and catch him anyway. I dug deep and caught him right at the bottom of the hill. I stayed right on his wheel while we wound our way around to the finish. Then with about 30 yards to go I went around him and just managed to beat him to the line. When I turned around to see who it was, I was happy to see that he was indeed in my group. That little sprint finish (my first ever) moved me up from 10th to 9th place in the expert 30-39 group. I did a quick 30 minute cooldown ride and got back to the car just as the clouds opened up with a torrential downpour. I felt bad for the sport racers out on the course, but I was oh so happy to be laying down in the back of the Passat with a PBJ and a cold Sacred Cow IPA. I ended up with five hours of riding and just shy of 50 miles on the day. That was my last big day before the Lumberjack, and combined with the five hours on Thursday with Hugh I think I've done all I can in preparation. It's time to taper off a little and just keep the fitness up heading into the big day. The WNR is at Headquarters this week and I have a new route planned so come on out. Until then, take it easy and be safe.

1 comment:

Zachary said...

sweet blow by blow!