Best thing about this race? I beat 6 of the men in the Beginners Men category. WOOHOO.
Oh yeah, I finished 4th in my own category, too 🙂 Not too shabby for a race where pretty much everybody got lost and ended up in a muddy bog with “potholes” in it from cow hooves on the Crow Creek Trail. Do I need to mention that Crow Creek Trail has a “tricky route finding” rating? Yeah… we all know about my luck with tricky to find trails.
I pretty much went into this race with a “honey badger don’t care” attitude. I knew I wouldn’t win, and after seeing the map I decided I would just enjoy myself. Heck, it was the last race of the series and I was just overjoyed with myself that I have done three mountain bike races this summer, which is something I never would’ve imagined doing just a mere four months ago.
Doesn’t my Garmin Edge 500 look sexy on my handlebars?! I sure think so! I really enjoyed being able to see distance right there in front of me, and not having to worry about where my phone was. And yay for heart rate monitoring! A lot of reviews complain about the Garmin premium heart rate monitor and how off it is, but I’m finding mine to be fine with no odd readings.
Anyways, and so the race started… and I found myself passing a surprisingly large amount of people. Odd. Until the singletrack owned me, naturally… then I got stuck behind a guy I couldn’t get around unless I wanted to crash into a tree. This course was funny because it included a buck rail fence that we had to hop. Did I accidentally sign up for cyclocross?! I guess it definitely was a race to change things up and add some excitement, yes?
I felt strong on Summit, did some more passing. The short stretch of Headquarters was rather technical for the beginner’s classes, but nothing I haven’t dealt with before. A group of 3 of us (two men, and me covered in pink stuff) flew down Crow Creek. And ended up in a bog? We had no idea where the trail/course had disappeared to, and realized we were sinking into mud. Another scramble over a log and back on the faint trail. Suddenly, HUGE CLIMB OUT OF FREAKING NOWHERE appeared. Like a straight up kind of climb. With my rhythm hampered by the racer in front of me, I just decided to walk it versus risking losing all speed and toppling over. Then there was the final climb of Headquarters off of the trailhead. Dewey from the Pedal House was taking photos, and suddenly I became really conscious of what my face was doing. I’m sure I make all sorts of highly unattractive faces while mountain biking, but the horror of having them captured on camera makes me really fret! So we’ll see how those turn out…
The rest of the race was downhill through Upper UW, Meadow, and the Campground Bypass. It felt so good to descend! I got caught off guard by another photog in the trees, and wondered again what my face was doing. Seriously people! Enough with photographing my face! 😛 Finally I was back to the final stretch, where Matt had a camera in my face! ARGH! I shifted into sprint mode and sprinted towards the finish. And whew, it was all over!
33 minutes, 42 seconds. 4.9 miles. 4th place. One mud bog.
What’s silly about this whole experience was that I didn’t even feel tired. What a change!
I ended up in 7th place for beginner’s women in overall points, which I don’t think is too bad for only participating in half of the races! If I had done just one other race I would’ve at least 5th place… sigh.
I feel I really owe my abilities to be semi-itty bitty-competitive in racing to my road bike. It taught me that a 50 foot climb on a mountain bike is nothing compared to 10 mile long climbs on a road bike. It’s really help me mentally get through climbs. I still don’t like climbs (but does anybody really like them?), but I can finally see past them when out mountain biking. The mental change combined with a greater physical fitness level has really changed things, and my granny gear is missing all the attention!
Now I feel sad that mountain bike racing is over for the year here in Laramie. I feel like I was just getting started! Dammit! 😦 I can’t say what next summer will have in store for me, but I hope I’d be able to make some of the races! My big debate is whether I stay a beginner, or move up to the intermediate/advance women’s class. Totally silly to be worrying about right now, I know…
Fort Collins has a race series that is going on, so I want to try my hand at that next Tuesday since I don’t have to work! Matt told me a big fat NO, but I wanna! I wanna! I wanna! So we’ll see…
I’m still waiting on photos to start appearing (Matt still owes me last week’s…), then which I’ll make a photo post!
Because yesterday totally didn’t poop me out (which is weird considering I was coming off of 73 miles on Sunday… what the heck is happening to me?!), I headed back up to Happy Jack today for another ride, this time 8.15 miles. I wanted to play with my Garmin more, and just haul butt on some segments that I had crappy times on from when I first started riding. It was hot, and I felt sluggish, sluggish to the point I actually checked to make sure my tires weren’t flat . Surprising enough, when I got home and plugged in the Garmin to Strava, I kicked some ass! Go me! It was just a fun ride, randomly taking trails without any sort of solid plan. I changed it up in the fact I started at the Summit Trailhead instead of Tie City. My cadence/wheel sensor didn’t connect to the Garmin, which was the only hiccup I had. I’ll have to play with that more… otherwise, I am really enjoying this new toy of mine!
Now for a few days off due to work/life, then probably hitting the road bike more.