What's wrong with this picture?
I woke up with a complete lack of desire to race my bike, probably due to the severe beating I was subjected to at Warsaw and how terrible I felt last Monday. I got up, got dressed, and soldiered on, only considering downgrading to sport for a few minutes in the registration line. Then I decided to woman up and take my rightful place as expert class pack filler.
I warmed up like I was supposed to and got my heart rate well above lactic threshold several times before the start of the race. However, climbing the very steep half-male paved climb to the singletrack during my warm-up about killed me, so I got even more nervous about the race.
When I rolled up to the starting line I saw that there was a record women's field with nine sport and six expert. Only during the 2005 AMBC race, when the Slingshot team, including MyHeroDanielleMusto, showed up was there ever a larger expert women's field in a DINO race. Sad? Yes. Things looking up? Let's hope so.
There was a last-minute announcement that the sport women were only doing one lap which solidified my decision to ride conservatively and let whatever would happen happen. When the gun went off the pack went into hare mode and I went into tortoise mode. It actually worked out well for me. I picked off a couple of people on the singletrack and things were going fine. I suffered on the big singletrack climb during the first lap and I thought I was going slow, but apparently I wasn't. I even passed another expert girl who had a flat tire and a couple of guys.
On the second lap, and expert guy lapped me, but since we were on a gentle, twisty descent, I decided to push myself and try to stay within site of him as long as I could. It worked. I was cornering the best I ever have in my life and I actually freaked myself out a little because I leaned so far into one turn, but stayed completely stable. Then my pedal came off and I couldn't get it back on, so I had to do a pathetic walk up the hill, coast down it back to the finish.
It's kind of weird, but I really wasn't that upset about it. I consider DINO races a measuring stick more than anything and when the results were posted, I could still tell I measured up pretty well. Extrapolating from who was directly behind and in front of me when the pedal broke, I was on track to go about 10-15 minutes faster than last year and was much closer to the other experts than last time. The best part was that I was getting stronger as the race went on instead of my usually mid-race blow-up. Either I'm a smart girl for finally warming up right or I'm actually on to something with this endurance racing thing (once I put in the training for it). Maybe both.