Hmmm, where to begin? Honestly, it’s been about a month since the race-and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, my goal was to get top ten in the cross country-and I got 9th so that was good! On the other hand, I felt like there were a few things that I could’ve done better and I think they would’ve made a difference. The cross country race was at noonish on Saturday. I’m a weather nerd so I had been watching the forecast for several days leading up to the race. I knew it was going to be a pretty hot one, but nothing worse than I’ve raced in before. I had a good start and was sitting in about 8-9 as we all went up the ‘heinous’ climb for the first time. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite as aggressive as I should have been getting into the singletrack at the top of the hill and there was some bottlenecking at each of the tight switchbacks as we made our way down the singletrack. Apparently, I didn’t learn my lesson because the same thing happened for the second lap. I got super frustrated watching the top girls get some time on me as I fumbled my way down the second time. The third lap was better and I was finally able to get into the singletrack with no one in front of me. The stupid hill got exponentially harder each time and the last lap up, my legs just didn’t have anything left and I was just focused on not getting off my bike to walk up. I was pretty relieved to be done with that race and satisfied with my 9th place finish. After the race, I went into recovery mode. My legs were pretty thrashed after 4 times up that stupid climb, but I was ready to focus on Short Track. I love short track! And, I knew that with a solid race there was a good chance that I could get on the podium. Whooowee! Sunday morning seemed to drag on and on as I waited for the afternoon short track start. I stetched, I hydrated, I rolled my tender quads out…and then I warmed up, and before I knew it I was getting called up to the start line. And, to my extreme excitement, I do mean to the start line! Yep, my first pro front row call up ever!! I guess I earned the spot by last year’s 7th place finish! Gun went off, and I was sitting in about 7th or 8th. I gradually worked my way into 5th and was super excited because I felt good, and I felt like a podium step was in my near future. 3 laps to go and I was getting ready to make a move into 4th place….and then my right quad started to cramp. And the cramp got so bad that it was shooting up into my back. My whole right leg turned into a dead weight. I desperately tried to push the pedal with my left leg, and pull up with my right hamstring-relieving my quad. But, it didn’t do any good. 4th place rode away from me, and then to my dismay 6th place started to gain on me. With half a lap to go, my podium step disappeared as I got passed and crossed the line in 6th place. Super bummed. But, I must say it sure lit a fire. Next year!!
I guess that’s part of racing-the perfect races are few and far between. So considering I didn’t have perfect races, two top ten finishes is pretty darn good for someone who’s job is not racing her bike!