Greetings from the back of the pro women’s field! Today was hard, but I had fun. I felt much better than last weekend, but still definitely not feeling like I should…but I’m on my way. 🙂 Hopefully after resting this week, I’ll be ripping it up at Nathrop next weekend. I went to the venue with Nina, Theresa, and Judy. I did a 1 hour warm-up which is WAY longer than normal, but I think it actually helped. I also drank Nina’s special coffee 3 hours before the race that did me well too. I know now what else to do in my warm-up…go HARDER! My race didn’t officially kick off until the race was halfway over. Woops.
Anyways, the temperatures were much better this weekend, which is surprising considering the race was in a concrete wasteland. They actually called it Southridge Urban Assault. It was more like 70 degrees instead of 100 degrees. I can handle 70. There was definitely a stacked women’s field, and they screwed up the call-up like usual. I got to line up in the back row in a pack of 60 women. That’s a lot of chami to look at. (if you could see me rolling my eyes, you’d get my point). However, that’s sort of what I deserved after how I’ve been finishing. I decided to take it easy at the start since at the last two Norbas, I have been exploding spectactularly after about 20 minutes. We were all impatiently waiting for the start, and listening to the obnoxious Norba soundtrack they play at every race. Seriously, I think they purchased the Monster Ballads CDs from the TV adds. It’s not good…it doesn’t really get me pumped. About 2 minutes after the gun(errr…beep), 75% of the field was OFF their bikes running up a steep jaunt. It’s so frustrating that we are pros, yet we are running our bikes up hills. The next climb, everyone was off their bike. I tried to keep it moving and took some sketchy lines, but had to get off. I hardly noticed the graffiti and rusted out trucks as I went by. All I could see were the steep sand pits in front of me.
Then I rode like a child for a lap and a half. I was passing girls on the short, steep climbs at the beginning of the course(suffering wholeheartedly with my legs that were like mealy apples on the inside), but they were just dominating me on the downhills. I don’t think I have ever descended so bad. My arms/wrists were also hurting, so that didnt help. I think I just need my dualie(my scott spark). I want to be a hard tail rider, but I’m not sure that’s my calling. Maybe I should at least throw a 100 mm fork on it. I decided after I was off the back, that it was time to start going a little faster on the downhill. I had some crashes where I got to roll around in the sand, but it was still fun. One man spectator commented on my sweet dust tan. All that dust was happy to stick to my sweaty skin. I passed 2 girls on the last lap and was just starting to rumble, and then the race was over. I shoulda gone harder earlier (and been more rested). But these are all learning experiences. They say it builds character to finish in the back… I think I have enough character.
I ate good food, took an ice bath, and am looking forward to bed time. Tomorrow, short track. I’m going to try and stay in for 10 minutes before the second ranked woman in the world (Georgia Gould) comes to lap me. 😉