Fast forward 5 days to race day.
I stood at the start line seriously questioning my sanity. I felt WAY more tired then I was expecting to, and we weren't even moving yet. Not to mention that I was cold for some reason. That was odd for two reasons. 1. It was in the mid-70's already and 2. I always feel super hot before a race starts...even if it's only 50 degrees.
There were a few women that I recognized on the start line and a few women that I didn't. And then Susan Stephens rolled up. She's from Canada but does so many races in Michigan that she's an honorary Michigander :-) I was faster then Susan at the Yankee Springs TT this year, but Susan has been cleaning up in most of the XC races here.
We took off and Susan took the hole shot. I hopped on her wheel and after a few rollers there were no other women in site. The pace was fast, but it was a pace I felt like I could hold. At this point a group of guy's rode by and Susan wedged herself in between their bikes right before we hit singletrack, causing me to lose contact with her wheel. Arggghh!
And then things started going backwards quickly. Mainly my legs. I'm not sure what happened, but I felt like I was at hour 23 in a 24 hour race. I started to get this overwhelming feeling that I wouldn't be able to complete the first lap (which was 10.4 miles).
After lap 1 I headed out again and fell back to 4th place, but only for like a minute. I was riding with my power tap and the numbers wouldn't pretty. I told myself that I was obviously tired, but that I had to keep it in level 3 at the very least (with a fast cadence), otherwise it would take me the whole day to finish. Any numbers above L3 would just be a bonus :-)
At the end of lap 2 I caught up with the 2nd place girl. She was riding boomerang style. Every time I would catch her she would attack really hard and then slowly come back to me. By lap 3 I could tell that she was getting really tired so I passed her for good.
I had no idea how far ahead Susan was, but eventually I saw her standing on the side of the trail. She had crashed out. Ouch! I ended up winning the race by 7 minutes, and was super happy to see the finish line. I think the race was 54-ish miles and I was out there for about 4:17:00. Naturally I was happy to finish in first place, but I'm even more happy that I got through the race without stopping. I can honestly say that it was the harder then Lumberjack for me!
Oh, and by that night I figured out why I felt so crappy during the race. I was in the process of coming down with a cold sent straight from hell. That would explain why I had the chills at the start line. I'm currently absolutely-freaking-miserable, but better for me to get it this week then this coming weekend when we leave for Colorado!!!!
On Sunday I managed to crawl out of bed with Scott to go to a neighborhood restaurant for Crepes. I'm sure they would have been much more enjoyable if I could actually taste them, but next time! Then I spent the rest of the day in bed with kleenexes stuck in both nostrils!