Friday, April 20, 2012

Reving up for the 2012 season

Three races in and plenty more to come! At this point in the season I normally feel like I'm just coming out of winter slumber and starting to work on things. This spring is totally ridiculous weather wise and it's being seen all over. People have been riding hard this winter and it's going to be a fast and furious race season. The 6 hours of Warrior Creek race was amazing as usual. Those trails are just straight up fast and fun! I would put myself into pain on the climbs and then just enjoy the flow the rest of the way. I know the course was lengthened this year so I was hopeful I could get 6 laps in. I really wasn't sure that was possible. I would have to turn just over 1 hour laps since the cutoff was at 5:40 ride time. There was no room for 1:10 laps or higher. Good thing my early ones were quick!

I got literally 2 minute warmup. That's not a good race indicator. So off the line I went and worked my way up to 18th into the singletrack. Of course I had no idea who was a solo or duo but didn't really care. We were jamming and flowing through all of the goodness. It went well until I hit a tree mid-lap hard. It was enough to make me slam into another tree and check myself before getting up. A train of 5 guys blew through as I was on the ground and I jumped up and pulled myself back in. I latched on a while later and got back through them. It took some effort but I was determined to work my way through whomever. I did this for lap 2 and had some good progress as riders were passed and I was passed as well. The riders coming by did so at a hot pace so I assumed they were a duo whether they actually were or not. I had no idea where I really was.

Lap 3 I dropped a bottle after a stream crossing. That was not good. I was drinking on the latter part of the lap and now the bottle was gone. I had nothing and knew that wasn't a good thing. I had to conserve a bit and I dropped 4 minutes on that lap from the previous. I got to the pit and chugged as much water as I could and kept on it. A little dehydrated I kept on it but was a bit sluggish and my front skewer came loose twice...really? So I dropped another 4 minutes on that lap. Lap 5 was now upon me and so was the upcoming cutoff. I could tell I was slowing down...whether from the water or from early season fitness but I had to try hard to get some power down. I felt good but not great. I tried to gain time everywhere I could and was racing the clock. I hit the scorer's table with 1:15 left before I wouldn't be able to start another lap...whew! That was close. That lap was 45 seconds faster than lap 4. You could tell I was trying hard.

Now that I got 5 laps in that means I had to turn another one. What? I just laid out everything I had to get lap 5 in! So I took it easy out of the gate and then realized that if I didn't turn a 1:20 lap or quicker that my 6th wouldn't count. I couldn't let that happen. So once again I reached deeper and tried to find the power. I found something as I was having a blast once again and passed a few weary souls out there. They were done and I was anxious to get to the finish line and be done there. So I kept on it and was only a minute slower than the previous lap. Not too shabby. I finished in 6:53 with 6 laps and was one of the few to get 6 laps in. It was totally a success. I was tired, sore, and happy. 6th of 60 in the open class and one of a select group that got 6 laps - including teams. So that was a good sign.

Even better, after exhausting myself through the 6WC, I had the following week off of work so I rested my weary soul at Myrtle Beach, SC. That was nice to have a few days of basking in the sun after torturing myself. What a great way to wrap up an early season race!