UGLY is the only way to describe my race today.
I headed to Warsaw, IN today to kick off the DINO series and start shaking out the answers to the questions and speculation that I mentioned yesterday. I can only hope that by June I am proven wrong because things aren't looking so hot right now.
It was the most painful start I've ever had as my throat and gums were burning so bad from lactic acid that I thought my lower jaw was going to fall off. I haven't traditionally warmed up well before XC races, but I did before the TT last week and I felt so much better than I did today. I think I need to make it part of the routine.
The leaders dropped me pretty quickly and I was left to suffer with a couple of sport riders lurking behind me. I kept myself completed redlined trying to hold them off, but during a series of power climbs near the end of the first lap, I blew up, crashed, and let them pass me. I completely couldn't get myself together after that and could barely keep my bike on the trail. I wanted to quit.
I decided to finish, but just ride the second lap "easy", which still hard after an hour with my HR sky high and expert men zooming by at that point. The sad thing is that I my "easy" second lap was less than 2 minutes slower than the first lap where I was killing myself.
I ended up with a time 17 minutes faster than last year, but my third place expert woman (I was fourth out of four) put a full 30 minutes on me. Additionally, I was beaten by several sport women including one that I consistantly beat by around 15 minutes every race last year. It was not good.
I'm sure part of the problem was how exhausted I've felt all week, which is bad because the fatigue is only about 30% from training. I'm definitely going to try to sleep at least 12 hours tonight and try not to do anything tomorrow except my 2 hour ride, which I will be doing VERY easy.