Saturday morning came, and Nina and I ate some blueberry pancakes, eggs, and some tasty coffee before heading to Vail. We stayed in Eagle overnight with a really nice couple who offered host housing.
I spent a little bit of time fiddling with my bike because I knew my seat was too far back. The last few weeks, my hamstrings would ache and burn, and my quads would feel like they weren’t be utilized. I really noticed it at the Growler too. Over the course of a few days, I ended up moving my seat forward about .5 inch! I spent about 1.5 hours warming up, and was pretty aggressive with it. I spent only about 15 minutes riding easy, then would do tempo and harder efforts.
I jumped on the course to ride one of the technical sections with a bridge I had messed up the day before. There was a short, steep rise in the trail where if you don’t anticipate it, chances are you’ll be in the wrong gear. Well, I made that part, but I somehow ended up crashing twice in about 3 minutes! It was kind of funny and ridiculous!
I lined up in the second row at the start and looked around me. There were about 30 pro women, and due to the national next weekend in CO Springs, the who’s who of USA XC cycling was there. CO races are already super competitive, but there were strong woman from all over the country. For some reason, I wasn’t very nervous. This was to be my second hard (like superthreshold) effort since Sea Otter (which was my first), so I didn’t have any huge expectations. I just wanted to have fun and feel good. Mission was accomplished.
The race started and I somehow was in a good spot. I managed to stay in 4thish for the first 200 yards or so till I decided I would not be able to sustain.Video -click here.
I was soon swallowed up by the pack and rode at my own pace. I found myself riding around Becca Blay, Kelly Boniface, and Lindsey Bishop for most of the race. Kelly and I were going back and forth in position, and she finally got me in the end.
I am happy to say that my pacing and nutrition was very consistent. Each lap was 5.67 miles, 1000′ of climbing, and I was riding pretty consistently – lap times were 35, 36, and 37 minutes. I tried to ride at a sustainable pace on the first lap and began to slowly pick people off. I needed more laps!!! 1 hr 50min was not long enough. 🙂 It was great to see all the XC folks who I am so used to seeing year after year, but have not spent much time with this season.
Coming through the finish. Click here.
It was good enough for an 18th place finish in a stacked field. I had fun, the course was great, the event was well organized! No complaints. It was better than expected since my A races are 50 and 100 miles this year.
Junko and Sinjin were there at the feed zone. Always so supportive! Thank you!!!! I was downing 24oz of fluid per lap.
There were tons of photographers on course, so I’m sure some sweet photos will slowly trickle in! After enjoying some espresso and gelato with Nina in Vail (she kicked ass and got 11th), I headed to the E-Rock Cycling Festival in Castle Rock.
These espresso machines are made in Italy, and only 4/year are produced!
Next post: E-Rock cycling festival.