Sunday, July 12, 2009

Friendly racing...

Today was one of my fav's on the MASS series - Fair Hill. Friendly because I know a lot of the competitors, we had a good team showing, and friends new to racing with us. Fun singletrack without too much sustained climbing. And no laps - the beginner race is 13 wonderful miles. This is made even sweeter by the fact that every time we go to just ride Fair Hill, we get hopelessly lost and cannot find the most awesome singletrack pieces. Racing there is great - the arrows tell me where to go! Next year, when I'm racing a different category, I'll get to enjoy even more of it.

At the start line, I reminded myself of my goals- finish in less than 1 1/2 hours and go out hard but not so hard that I had no juice left for miles 10-13. I felt pretty good on the start - got dropped by the eventual winner pretty early on and gapped all the other women that I started with at about the same time. I made my first mental mistake of tree + handlebar = wobble early about 2 miles in. I settled a bit and enjoyed the twistyness, trying to push myself to use bigger gears and go faster on the uphills. This was mostly working, as I was passing a lot of slower guys. Not sure if it felt like more than normal because I was riding stronger or there were more of them.

By the time I heard "one mile to go" about two miles from the finish, I started to hammer pretty hard and was able to finish strong, despite the inaccuracy in the "one mile to go" comment. My computer had stopped working at mile 2.5, after briefly flirting with wildly varying speeds - 0.0, 4.0, 12.5, 7.0 all within a few wheel turns... I think it knows when I'm racing and decides to die then. Looks like it's about to meet its own end.

All in all, a great race. I finished 2nd overall, out of all of the beginner women actually, and felt really good doing it. For my effort, I scored a 2010 MD state parks pass, which we usually buy anyway. Kool! When results are posted online, I'll probably spend a bit of time figuring out whether I should upgrade this year or finish the season in beginner class.

Good showing from the Kelly Benefits/LSV crew today - Shea, Karl, Phil, Sherri, Dave, and Chip were all out there. And, because of when they ran the races, the experts finished just after we beginners did, so the post race recovery was a bit more social than usual. In addition, Dirty Girl and Mike, both fellow ski instructors were hitting up the dirt as well. Congrats to everyone - Dirty Girl, Mike, Sherri and Phil for finishing. Dave was in the Elite $$, Chip and Shea in the top 10, and Karl took 2nd after a harried morning.

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