I will do a quick recap of my races this weekend. They were both SO short compared to what I have been training for. This wasn’t an A priority race for me, so I am happy with the training I got, and with how I did.
Saturday – Short Track
Cycling Dirt kicks butt and covered a large portion of the race. You can view it!Some of the riders had helmet cams, so you get different views. The race from my perspective was a little different!
I was caught off guard to be called up so soon. I have never gotten to line up on the front row and was confused by it because I haven’t done any big XC races this year. Instead of questioning it, I enjoyed.
Since I really haven’t done any zone 5/super high intensity training this year, I knew it would only be a matter of time before I exploded, so instead of riding conservatively, I decided to go for it.
I could not believe where I was or what I was doing. For about half the time I was in the race, I rode in the top 10-15. People like Catherine Pendrel, Kelli Emmet, and Sue Butler came around me. It was so weird and surprising to think I was in front of them for a few minutes.
About 10 minutes in, I totally detonated (which I was expecting), and tried my hardest to maintain. I started going backwards and got pulled at the 18 minute mark for 23rd place. Not too bad! I wonder how long I would have maintained position if I had been doing high intensity training. Emily Batty took the win, and it is just so amazing to me that while I am going 100% and going backwards, some of these women are going 80% and getting ready to attack and launch off the front. Good, PAINFUL times. 🙂
Here is a vid I took of the men’s pro short track.
Sunday – XC
At 10 AM, it was 80 degrees. I knew what that meant for the temps at 1:45 PM when my race started. I felt confident about the race in the previous days because I knew it was long for an XC, and would compliment my training. When I found out they changed the race to 1 lap, or 19 miles due to the heat, I shrugged and wished that they hadn’t done that. The men’s race was shortened by 9 miles. I think it would have been better to keep both races at the same distance, so we both would do 29 miles instead of 38. What that meant was a very quick race.
I lined up in the second row and decided to feel it out before making a decision on a strategy. We rode on the Laguna Seca Raceway for a few miles, and at first, I positioned myself right near the front. My legs weren’t feeling jumpy, so I hung back and decided I would start slower and build up to race speed. That is a strategy I have been working on for long races too. I haven’t ridden in hotter than 70 degrees, so if I pushed hard up hills (with no breeze!), I would get really nauseated from the heat. It forced me to back off. Instead of blowing up and getting dehydrated, I made sure to drink and take electrolyte capsules. I lost a bunch of spots, but knew I would come around and people would start popping. For some reason, “Wasting Away in Margaritaville” was stuck in my head.
About an hour into the race, I started feeling like a rock star and turned on the throttle. I easily passed about 5 girls and was riding faster and faster. Unfortunately I ran out of trail before I was tired and was at the finish. I wished I had started pushing sooner because I was less than 4 minutes out of top 20.
I was happy with how I rode the race because I rode smart, didn’t blow up, and paced like I would in an endurance race. It was good training, and also good practice riding in the heat!