Yesterday we drove in late from Comfort. Today is Monday and we are tired, in one piece, and extremely thankful for some good training this weekend. While we were on our way to Comfort we were browsing on the internet and came across a thread about Mellow Johnny’s being open for pre-riding on Saturday between 2-5 pm. Boy did that change all the plans for the weekend. Our original plan was to ride half of the Comfort course on Friday and the other half on Saturday which would total 27 miles. Comfort is a unique venue where the race loop is one ginormous loop, unlike the standard 7-8 mile loop. This makes it pretty hard to pre-ride and keep your legs fresh. We went from race mode to training mode when Carlos and I decided to make the extra hour drive to pre-ride Mellow Johnny’s XCT Pro Loop for next weekends race. At this point we were both well aware and ok with the fact that our legs were not going to be fresh enough to be competitive but yet good enough for a training ride. The Comfort pre-ride went as planned with the exception of us adding the Mellow Johnny’s pre-ride. Being the awesome coach and husband that Carlos is he took one for the team and rode the extra miles that were NOT included in his race for Comfort and THEN rode the UCI loop with me at Mellow Johnny’s that he would also NOT be doing! He knew that his legs would be cashed from adding extra miles the day before a race, but we both agreed that it was more important to know what to expect out of the trail for next weekends race…which by the way is AWESOME! : )
Now let’s get to the race. The first half of the race I felt ok even though it was the most technical part of the trail. There were lots and lots of rocks and a fair amount of climbing. Our technical skills can use a lot of improvement and because of that there is a lot of wasted energy among those sections. I stayed with the leaders all through the first half of the race. Going into the second half of the race, which is not as technical, I noticed my gears weren’t shifting right. I decided to stop and check my bike and sure enough my rear through axle had wiggled itself loose. This didn’t take long and before I knew it I was back on the bike. When I got to the fast and flowy spots my brain was saying “go” and my legs were saying “NO!” It seemed like I only had one speed which it wasn’t slow, but wasn’t fast enough to catch the leaders. When I was approaching the end of the race, you know that little light on the dashboard that lets you know you are running out of gas…you know the little annoying one those goes, “ding?” Well mine was on and it was ringing and blinking like you have no idea! I was just thankful that the last few miles of the race were mostly downhill. I went with everything that I had left to cross the finish line in fourth place. Carlos said he was a little worried when I was so far behind the leaders. But as he saw me from the distance, he checked for dirt and blood ; ) which he didn’t find any. So he looked at Steve and said, “she’s tired.” As I rode by them close to the finish line he asked if I was ok and the funny thing is I said, “I’m tired.” Ha ha I guess he really does know me well!
Carlos’ race was as usual stacked with 34 guys. His start was the opposite loop of my start. The race is set up kind of like a figure eight. His start was about a half a mile of loose gravel on an uphill sprint. He describes his race as uneventful. He said he rode sloppy and was surprised to find himself still in the race. He could see the line all the way up to the front and he was sitting middle of the pack. As the race went on the field spread out. He maintained his position after passing about one or two guys. He says by “uneventful” there was no one close enough to be passed and no one close enough to pass him. He ended up 17th which he wasn’t too disappointed with. Being middle of the pack with tired legs was pretty good.
As we were driving home from the race he looked over at me and said, “Mission accomplished Baby! We got some awesome training miles this weekend!” There were quite a few PACCsters out there who had solid performances in their fields. Congrats to everyone!
P.S. Camping was SUPER COLD!!! 32 degrees! We’ll post pics later in the week!