Let's just start off by saying that last weekend was a total cluster f*ck! Originally I had planned a fairly chill weekend; however in the end things pretty much went nothing to plan.
Friday night Tom and I sat down and splurged on a Comcast movie (honestly I can't even remember which movie it was at this point). About 5 minutes into the move the lights suddenly went out? Hmm that's weird? We looked outside and immediately felt like Dorothy and Todo in the Wizard of Oz. The trees were blowing all over the place and seriously it looked like a tornado, not to mention it was raining really hard. The storm blew over in about 20 minutes, but just looking across the street you could tell some serious damage had taken place... a massive tree had uprooted from the ground and was now leaning on the brick building. Gnarly!
So since we didn't have power; naturally we went outside to check it out. It was nutz!! Dean Parkway had two large 100 year + trees uproot and crash across the road, totalling about 5 cars. The roads were flooded and some cars were stalled. Fences had blown apart and trash cans were all over the place! Straight up chaos!
Saturday... still no power. I spent most of the morning slamming coffee at Dunn Bros and charging up our phones. My parents had gone away for the weekend and had planned to spend Saturday night at a hotel in Red Wing and then watch my race on Sunday. This worked out awesome for us as we were able to crash their party air mattress style and enjoy an air conditioned nights sleep. Rock on! You are the best, Thanks Mom and Dad!
Sunday am we woke up to some pretty steady rain...boo! I was worried they would cancel the race, but thankfully I was in luck as they had a "rain lap" planned. This allowed them to still have the race without ruining a bunch of sweet trails. The rain finally stopped and we ended racing 6 laps on a 3.5 mile course that had much more double track than single track. Although I was bummed about doing so many laps, I figured this was mostly in my favor so I embraced it. What other choice do you have right?? The rain had created some greasy trails and there was still enough single track mixed in to keep the race technical and fun!
I was able to nab a spot this time on the front row and was able to get the hole shot on the lead out. Since there was so much double track I was definitely not wanting to do all the work. The super fast pro Sara Kylander Johnson was right on my rear wheel from the get go and after a half mile or so she made a pass and I was able to bridge up and stay right on her wheel heading into the single track. Sara has a ton of experience racing mountain bikes and it was fun to follow her in the trail and follow the lines she was choosing. There was definitely some ah ha moments for me as she took some lines I would have definitely not considered. My plan was to stay on her wheel as long as possible...which lasted about 2.5 miles in when my rear tire slipped on a greasy uphill. I ended up coming through lap 1 about 10 seconds down.
This is the decision point of a race that keeps me up at night.
1. Do i kill myself trying to keep up and see how long I can bury myself...is it the whole race or will I blow up?
2 Do I settle into a pace that I feel I can maintain for the duration...protect my position and focus on racing my race?
We can all see the pros and cons of both sides and I'm sure all of your can think of this very moment in all of your own races. Um, unless you are winning from the gun! Of course I still don't know the answer to this, but I figure the more I race my bike the more I can trust my gut to help me make the right decision when the times comes. This go around I chose option 2. I suffered steadily the remaining 5 laps and was able to finish in 2nd place; about 4 minutes down from Sara....a result I am very happy with at this point in my cycling career. It was also awesome to have my parents on the course cheering for me each lap; and an kick ass husband handing up bottles to me every lap! My cup is overflowing!!
The drive home was full of anticipation as we were really hoping to come home to an air conditioned house....but of course, no luck! We were instead greeted by 2 sweaty cats (smelly cat?) and a fridge full of rotten food. We were exhausted! My bestie Lisa however pulled through and so generously offered us to stay at her place and even do a load of laundry!! Sunday night was spent chatting over a couple New Glarus beers. We made the best of it; that's for sure. And would ya know it....Monday we had POWER!!!
Thank you so much Mom, Dad, and Lisa for making this weekend bearable. You provided us a nice comfy place to stay; but the truth is we really enjoyed spending the time with you!
This weekend brought some things to light (pun intended). It's amazing what life would be like without power. Today I am feeling grateful for the life we have.