The weatherman was uttering the W word for the weekend (i.e. wet weekend making it the 6th in a row).
The Boulder skies were ominous on race eve. Fortunately, the clouds cleared out by the AM and there was no rain.
I got out of bed at 5:30 AM on Saturday, and was not feeling chipper, nor stoked to go race based on how my body had been feeling all week. All the same, early mornings never agree with me, so I ate up (pancakes and eggs) and we headed out. I was having stomach issues which were most likely nerves even though I didn’t feel anxious! I mostly felt dread.
After a 45 minute warm-up on course, I noticed that I was not feeling excellent, but I was definitely feeling a lot better than the previous days. I was still having difficulty raising my HR to my lactate threshold. At 8:20AM, everyone started lining up to race. Nat Ross (who was announcing) informed the women that we were starting after the men.
Race start. They actually started the men 4 minutes in front of us. It’s tough to figure out the best way to start everyone when all you have is age groups since everyone’s ability level varies so much. Usually they start men and women together. Either way, there would be tons of traffic on course.
Nat gave us the countdown, and Amanda Carey, Eszter Horyani, and I were immediately pushing the pace to the singletrack. They were going at fast pace, where we would take turns moving around in positions 1, 2, and 3. We got to the first climb on course and were caught up in tons of traffic from the men’s race. I think we all probably wasted a lot of extra energy trying to get around people. Halfway through the lap, I decided Amanda and Eszter’s pace was not sustainable for me. I always ask myself the question, “Can you go this hard for 50 miles?” The answer was no, so I let them go and lost contact. I also heard some other words of advice in my head, “You can’t win a race the first 10 miles, but you sure can lose it.” I could see them ahead on the first and second lap.
Coming into the feed zone area
There were five ten mile laps. My first lap time was my second slowest(44min) due to all the traffic on the course. My second lap, I went ahead and rode my own pace which was fast, but a sub LT effort.(42 min) My legs were still holding on to some gremlins and my upper thighs and hips were aching. I decided to back it off and go at a medium pace for Lap 3(45 min), then attack on Lap 4.
I kept myself on a strict “drinking” program – 1 bottle per lap, and I made sure I finished the bottle each time. Having laps helped me time my eating and drinking so my fueling plan worked well.
I was very happy that my plan worked, and I felt like a million bucks at the start of lap 4 (42 min). I gassed it and made up some time. I knew there would be new traffic on lap 5 since the XC race had started. The SS XC men had started right as I was coming through. My legs were getting tired and loaded down, but I kept fighting. The Expert XC men were also on course, so I did a lot of back and forth with them. I could see Eszter right ahead. I passed her a couple miles into the lap, and we went back and forth before we hit the first climb. I basically blew myself up trying to put a gap there, and was worried I had lost it for myself. I didn’t give up. I nailed my head to my stem and somehow increased the gap to 2 minutes. Average lap time for the race was about 43 minutes.
Amanda got me by 5 minutes, including the fact that she had to stop and pick up a water bottle in the feed (she did not have a person feeding her) AND she did a big training week leading up to this race. It was fun to have such cutthroat competition.
Women’s Overall podium – top 5. I was second overall.
My age group podium (19-29) – top 3
Results here (FR50, 2009)
I have been using Action Wipes after races to get so fresh and so clean. They rock!
Big thanks to Junko (Yuki‘s girlfriend) and other for supporting us in the feed zone. We couldn’t have done it in such style without you! 🙂
My housemates came to cheer me on!
And there was much rejoicing….
Now it’s time to focus on recovery and get ready for the Gunnison Growler in 2 weeks.
Hey Sonya, Good job! I passed through Bear Creek Park at about 9:30 am on my racing club ride. Looked like a pretty good turnout for the race. I had thought about signing up at the last minute and pre-rode the course on Friday, but it was only the 3rd time I’ve been on the mountain bike this year. So I was a little concerned about the ledgy single track on the southeast part of the course (by the golf course, up a short steep climb). I think my handling skills would have either held people up because I would have been going slow, or I would have crashed over the edge from going too fast. When I notice the entry fee was $70 that helped me decide to pass. Good thing too since I managed to slice a tire on my club ride and had to use the $70 for a new tire. Oh well. Hope you had fun. Sounds like the legs are doing better. Congrats on the podium finish.
Congrats on a most excellent finish!
Good effort and congrats on the finish. You are having a real good season this year and it’s great to see the results.
I was to be in Boulder this week, but will have to postpone that trip until I’m off the meds at least. Will let you know if anf when I make it back.
Another race, another podium finish for Sonya. Way to go!!! see you in gunny
Thanks everyone. 🙂 I am very happy with how my year is going so far.
Congrats on the awesome finish…
BTW..I am loving the ERGON Team grips..
So who has the better set of abs…you or Jeff 😛
Nice work!! Congrats on kicking some tail!!! 🙂
Awesome ride! Nice win. Great write-up. Thanks for sharing the race. It’s great to know what’s going on from the mental side of racing. Keep kicking a$$.