Last week I emailed my coach about racing the Boyne Marathon. He replied "sure as long as you don't mind racing it tired." I didn't mind so it was added to my schedule.
My coach was right....I was definitely tired. I did some long rides, followed by some speed work, followed by this....
In my never-ending quest of coming up with enough money to race bikes I came up with the brilliant idea of dog sitting (very glamorous, I know). Anyways, to make a long story short my first two doggy clients were labs, aged 3 and 11. They were really great dogs and Ben and Naomi were in heaven.
Well...at least Ben was.
This was my first experience with labs and I noticed two things...
1). My dogs are really lazy
2). Labs are never lazy
I could NOT escape the tennis ball...
Here we are lining up before the race. I am slooooowly brainwashing her to come back to the mountain bike side of things. I think it's working!!!
The elite and expert women started together which was cool since we were doing the same amount of laps. I think each lap was a little over 11 miles with about 1300 ft of climbing. The promoter said "Go," and we were barely in the singletrack when my chain seized up. I was shocked. Up until the race my bike had been working perfectly. I watched all of the other women race away and hopped off of my bike to see what was wrong.
Ugh...it was the same issue that I had at Lumberjack. My chain was wedged in-between my smallest rear cog and my bike frame. Clearly I need to bring my bike into the Ada Bike Shop for Ted to fix. It took a while for me to wrench the chain out and meanwhile a few waves of guys raced by. By the time I started pedaling again I was pretty close to being DFL on the course.
I started catching some of the female racers during the first lap but it was hard knowing who was in my class. At one point I was riding with two guys and we all caught up to one of the girls that I started with. She let them pass but when I said, "there's one more," she cut me off and said, "I don't want to let you pass."
I actually laughed because I thought she was joking. Don't ask me why I thought she was joking...maybe because I personally always try to yield to the faster rider as soon as possible. Oh well, I lost a little bit of time but it definitely wasn't hard to pass once we hit the next hill.
The rest of the race was pretty painful in a "I love bike racing" way. Not only was it blazing hot but I felt like at least ten extra hills had been added with every lap. Owwwwwwww!
For the most part I was able to mentally handle feeling tired but I will admit there were a few times during the race where I was yelling at myself for not being able to power up the climbs faster. I need to work on being a little less hard on myself I think :-)
I ended up finishing in second place. After my first mechanical I never saw the women who ended up winning, and it didn't help that I had to get off of my bike two more times to dislodge my chain from being stuck between my cassette and frame. I was pretty frustrated but mechanicals are part of bike racing and I have them so few and far between that I'm not going to dwell on it for another minute. I got a great workout in and was able to ride awesome trails. That's the most important part.
Now it's time for a full on rest day! Perfect timing for one too as tomorrow is going to be incredibly hot.