So, when the forecast said it was going to be 4 degrees at the start of the race I was so wishing that I hadn't signed up for this! I thought, maybe they will shorten the race, its unsafe right? HA yeah right. 40 miles of singletrack on a fatbike is hard enough geesh! Man did I feel alive last week. I was seriously nervous for this race...in that oh my gosh how bad am I going to suffer kind of way. I hadn't felt this way in a long time, well probably since Ironman St. George. It felt good to be nervous. I spent most of the week panicking that my feet were going to freeze or that I wouldn't be able to take in enough of my nutrition as that would all freeze. Well, turns out I survived!!
But damn right it was hard! The biggest difference I've notice in longer bike races vs long distance triathlons is the initial pace. In an longer triathlon most people start out the swim briskly, but for the most part the swim is about pacing and the bike even more so. In a bike race your position is very important so the beginning is always a smashfest. It's imperative to ride with the right group and keeping your eye on the competition is a must. In this case I knew the competition would be tough as the Noquemegon 50K winner, Danielle Musto was making the trip to the cities. She's a damn good pro from Grand Rapids, MI and she has done more 100 mile and 24 hour races than I can even begin wrap my head around. And boy did she bring it on Sunday, she set a blistering pace in the 1st lap, one which eventually had me scream Uncle and pull back. When your arms are already tingling 30 minutes into a race and your nutrition is all frozen you realize pretty quickly that 4-5 hours is too long to race like that.
When I came ripping into the feed zone after the first lap I was a total spaz. I think Tom was even shocked I was rattled. I shoved sport beans into my mouth in lightning speed and then even tried to drink cytomax at the same time...um yeah, that doesn't really work... so it all went spewing everywhere! Ha! Toms' face made it obvious I needed to chill out and since I finally had some calories I relaxed a bit and raced my own race.
Looking at my garmin data all 4 lap times were actually fairly consistent which is encouraging and I raced with a higher average heart rate than I even thought was physically possible. That has me stoked as I now can see first hand the adaptation that's taking place and it's awesome to know the hard work is paying off! I ended up finishing 2nd place female and 13th overall. I like the #13 so I was pretty stoked about that.
smashed....yes, I totally deserve a brat!
Sunday I was totally trashed, like so trashed it hurt just sitting on my fat bike. But that pain quickly dissapated after a massage in the afternoon and a Monday ride on my fresh new Foundry! He was ripping through the snow and it was so smooth I wished I had done this sooner! Light as a feather, stiff as a board.
Less than 4 weeks til Bonelli and really only 2 weeks until I need to ship my bike! Counting down the days til some warmer weather...seems this winter will never end. I do however have one more Fat Bike race left on the calendar, Cuyuna Whiteout in a couple weeks! But for now I'm sitting in a hotel room in Sioux City, IA, yep. Another frozen day in the plant tomorrow!! Honestly I do love my job... however, can't say the same for Iowa.