Wow, what a busy weekend! The Teva Games this year didn’t let me down with all the exciting happenings! My only disappointment was the date of the Teva XC in relation to the Growler. Last year, there was a 2 week period in between for ample recovery. This year, the XC was a mere 5 days after the Growler. The question in my mind, especially after being completely exhausted all week long was – would I be recovered in time?
The verdict was no. Definitely no. Not even close. My week was spent doing 1-2 hour zone 1 spins and just one trail run hoping to spin it out. The XC mountain bike race was supposed to be for training, and a very low priority, but I still wanted to participate because the event was so fun. That’s the trouble, you simply can’t do it all… but dammit, I try! I got to Vail on Friday, and pre-rode the course with Yuki and Nina.
After riding one lap on the course, I knew that Saturday was going to be tough… and hoped that one more night of rest would turn everything around. Wrong. Again.
The plus was that everything was beautiful.
I love singletrack through aspen trees.
I love mountains
I love riding with friends.
and I love when Nina passes boys. 🙂
Race day was a fail for me. Right from the start, I was struggling to turn over my easiest gear in a completely stacked women’s field.
and Nina leading the charge!!
It was really weird… I instantly felt like I was bonking. I felt nauseated, very dizzy, and plain weak. I kept telling myself it would pass, but I was feeling weaker as the minutes on my heart rate monitor ticked on. I was only halfway through lap 1/3 when I knew I had a decision to make. I rarely quit races. In fact, I have DNFed less than once a year in my history, but I learned something 2 years ago when I trained and raced myself into the ground, and into anemia for the season. Let’s face it, sometimes, you have to pull the plug, especially at a training race. And sadly, that’s what I did. I called it, and I have no regrets. I know I made the right choice for the day. Next year, I won’t be trying to do a race right after the ass-kick Growler!
I found out that a bunch of friends I was spending a lot of time around at the Growler had gotten sick during the week. I realized that my fatigue all week was probably my body fighting something off, which it successfully accomplished, but forgot to help my legs.
The pink lightning bolts didn’t help me much in the mountain bike race, but they gave me a little extra umph in the trail run.
Speaking of trail run… I thought to myself, “You know, Sonya… you dropped out of the mtb race. Are you SURE you should be doing the trail race?” I simply couldn’t say no. Running somehow is much easier for me on the pain scale compared to riding. Riding just makes your legs burn so much more. And with running, you can always walk. Plus, I did a trail run 2 days after the Growler and felt good. I felt like a total neophyte as I lined up at the start line. It had been almost 3 years since I last pinned a running number on my shirt. It felt nice to be a nobody, and being a “pro” mtber for the last 4.5 years, it felt kind of nice to not line up next to the elite. Instead, I lined up behind them. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to be an elite runner…it just felt good to have no pressure. I probably should have taken it just a little more seriously and checked out the course. I thought, “eh, it’s just a trail race.” I quickly learned that it wasn’t JUST a trail race.
It went straight up the freaking mountain. Straight up the slope, straight up singletrack… I felt like I was in 6th grade again, on a hike with my dad as he dragged me up the side of some mountain.
40% of it was NOT runnable… We were all hiking, groveling, and scrambling to get up that mountain. I definitely wasn’t prepared. My calves were on fire and it was almost unbearable. Next year, I’m going to hike instead of run to prep for this beast! Yes, I said next year.
Hup hup! At the base of each climb, I just laughed out loud. Someone said, “Why are you laughing?!?!” I said, “B/c look up!” and you’d see a string up people up the mountain. “It’s so steep and ridiculous that you have to laugh!”
I thought I sucked at running downhill. I was happy to learn I’m not as bad as I thought!
About 30 minutes in, I knew what was going on. Blisters on my arches, and they were getting worse. “Keep moving.” The pain got continually worse to the point where my gait was affected. I just wanted to be done so I could remove my shoes and socks.
The aftermath… on both feet. OUCH.
It was so much fun!!! I will be doing some more strategically placed running races this year, and hopefully blister-free! I ended up 22nd overall out of about 170 women, and 7th in my age group. I wonder how I could have done if I was rested. hmmmm….
Funny HR/Elevation profile. 10K, 2200′ of elevation gain.
The next few days are dedicated to sitting on my butt. Now that’s harder than intervals! No short track for me this week, no racing this weekend. Chillin’.