I almost feel like my race report for the DINO season opener in Warsaw could be, and mostly has been, reported in my Twitter feed.
It was a spectacularly bad race. I didn't feel good on my warm-up, but I hoped I would feel better once the race was underway. We had probably the biggest sport and expert women's wave in DINO history, including most of the usual suspects, most of the Louisville women's MTB community, a girl who came over from Illinois, and a few others. It should have been a good day for me, but when the gun (air-raid siren, actually) went off, I was OTB before we even hit the woods.
I tried not to worry about it too much since my pre-race state indicated that I wouldn't be capable of a strong start. I figured if I could stay calm, maybe my legs would come around and I could pass some people in the second lap. So the first few minutes were spent thinking "oh the pain, oh the pain" through the evil sequence of sharp up and downs that make up the beginning of the race. It's a very power-based course and I had no power at all. You kind of have to maintain a minimum speed limit or you're screwed on all of the power climbs that usually have a root or some loose sand that you have to get through before cresting. My legs never came around and I didn't have the strength to crest many of the climbs near the end of the lap. I quickly became demoralized after several dismounts.
I ended up going about two minutes slower than I did last year, when I had an equally crappy race. However, my average heart rate yesterday was abnormally low for an XC race, which means that there was something besides run-of-the-mill slowness going on. My guess that I didn't recover as well this week as I expected to. I going to take it easy on my ride today and tomorrow is scheduled off, so I'm expecting a good workout on Tuesday. If I'm still not riding well by then, I might start worrying a little more.