Thursday, February 20, 2014

Frozen Forty Race Report

Home Sweet Home! It's been a few days since Jill and I got back to the Mitten State but the road trip and Frozen Forty race kicked my butt so much I'm just now finally catching up. Minneapolis why do you have to be so far away???

I think it's safe to say that Jill and I have the whole "road trip" thing down. And it probably goes without saying that it does not take much to entertain us...
We arrived at our home away from home late Thursday evening and were instantly greeted by our favorite Minneapolis dog, T6 Beatrix.
PS. One of these times she's going to "accidentally" jump into the car with us and we "accidentally won't notice" until we get back to Michigan.
I went to bed shortly after. I'm not sure what it is about sitting in a car all day but I was exhausted!

Friday morning was sunny and cold. Unlike our Loppet experience, we had the luxury of being able to hang out for the day. Our first stop was to the Angry Catfish, a bike shop that I really like. It has really good coffee, and lots of Twin Six and Salsa product. In other words, a bike shop after my own heart!
After lunch (and a little big shopping spree at Twin Six) we headed over to the Frozen Forty course to pre-ride. The course was all singletrack and in super shape.
I know I've said this before, but I'm going to say it again. One of my favorite things about racing this winter is all of the great people that I've been meeting in the process. It was so cool to be able to pre-ride the course with a bunch of female fat bikers that I've been racing against all winter, but who also have become my friends.
We made it back to our cars just as the sun was setting and I went home to prepare for the race. Even though my legs didn't feel that good from traveling I was excited to race on snowy single-track.

It seemed like my alarm went off the next morning 10 minutes after I set it, but I was instantly awake. It was freaking cold out. After registering and checking out the goods in our race bags I attached my number plate, layered up and then it was time to line up. Talk about a fast morning! Then we were off...

I'm not going to start really, really sucked. Instantly the cold air shocked my lungs and my legs felt like they were pedaling with about 10% of their normal output. I watched the lead group put a gap on me and I couldn't hang on for the life of me. Sweet...NOT!

Here's the thing though. I pretty much knew that I was going to feel that way so I didn't stress out too much about it. I love, love, love racing my bike but spending so much time tapering down and traveling and recovering hasn't allowed the needed time for training. This was my 10th consecutive weekend of racing, and I could feel all 10 of those weekends of racing in every. single. pedal. stroke.

I've managed to cram a whole lot of racing into a relatively short amount of time, so now I'm just trying to hang on tight :-) After the Great Lakes Fat Bike Series is over I'll be able to stay home for a few weeks and get day after day of training in!

Anyways, the whole race was a suffer-fest for me. I had a hard time breathing (again!) and I am now 100% sure that my inhaler doesn't work at all. My hydrapak and bottle froze so I basically spent the majority of the race extremely bonked out. The funny thing is that my friend Tom (Thanks Tom!) was doing bottle hand-ups for me. Next time I should probably drink out of them instead of just carrying them around and allowing them to freeze.
Photo credit: David Gabrys//45NRTH
Half-way through the race it started snowing, which made the course icy and unrideable in parts. Eventually I just started falling into trees and such. Repeatedly. It was a hard day in the saddle for sure...I think it was for most of us out there. I saw many, many, many people struggling and everyone did a great job for braving the conditions.

I crossed the finish line in 2nd place, completely exhausted, but also feeling really, really lucky! Even though I didn't feel the best out there, I still had so much fun. I would rather have a tough day on my bike while riding in the snowy woods over sitting at a desk any day of the week!
Jill, April and I in our winter podium wear (puffy jacket, sorel boots, a thousand layers). We really do need custom snow suits!
Next year I'll definitely be back. The promoters did such a great job with equal payout for women (AS IT SHOULD BE) and a crap load of prizes. Seriously...WELL DONE promoters! Plus the course completely kicked my butt this I need to come back and kick it's butt :-)

Now it's time to keep recovering. I have a few really nasty bruises (darn you trees!) and sitting in the car for 12 hours the day after riding my bike for 5 hours probably WAS NOT ideal. This weekend is my first weekend since mid-December where I don't have a race. Granted, I think I could probably find one if I wanted to but I promised myself I wasn't going to look. I plan on sleeping in, eating pancakes (hint, hint Scott), riding my bike, watching movies, and (of course) riding my bike some more.

I want to send a huge thanks to all of my Minneapolis sponsors and friends for such a great time and for feeding us! I'm going to miss seeing everyone so often when this winter season is over. That being said I'm also starting to get some major spring fever. I can't wait to take my SS on dirt, and ride my fat bike on the beach.

But first....a few more winter races to do!


Christopher Tassava said...

Great race - and an excellent result on drained legs. I gave you a shout-out as you lapped me, but didn't have time after the race to say hi. Maybe next time you're in Minnesota! Good luck with the rest of the racing this year!

Danielle Musto said...

Thanks Christopher!!! Good luck at the Fat Pursuit...I'll be rooting for you :-)

The Padre said...

Congrats on the race & thanx 4 sharing your photos!!! Stay Strong