Monday, November 06, 2006

Pilarcitos #3: Maybe I should have stayed home...

Photo by Larry Larosa:
Racing this weekend was a very humbling experience for me. I am beginning to understand why most racers do not race a full season on the road and then jump right into the cross season. I feel like a sixty-year old woman today. My back hurts, my neck hurts and I think I have a bruise on every limb. I was pretty bummed about my performance yesterday. Same old story in the end. I came in second to Rachel Lloyd, only this time she beat me pretty good. I got a decent start today, so that's something I can be happy about. Stella, Rachel, and I separated ourselves from the group pretty quick, but even before we finished the first lap, Rachel had jumped ahead of Stella and quickly established a 30 second gap on us. Stella and I chased together for a while, until Stella had a little mishap cornering through the tight trees and I passed her to try and chase down Rachel. Never happened.

I think it's worth noting that Aaron's win was no easy feat. I arrived just in time to see him win too. It was a great finish. Congratulations Aaron, that's awesome. The course was ridiculously hard. It started out on pavement then into a grass section leading up to two barriers right before a long sandy run-up. Then you gradually climb up to the bottom of a nasty, bumpy single track climb into a nasty, bumpy, single-track descent, into a climb that starts with a dismount over a huge log into a bumpy descent, sharp right hand u-turn back uphill, fast pavement downhill into a really sharp u-turn and then up the longest, hardest climb. Did you all get that? Basically, it was a very mean, unforgiving course. No chance for recovery. I wanted to quit so bad. I've never wanted to quit so bad in my life. I was hoping for a mechanical, a flat, anything. Even a crash would have felt better than the way I felt racing. The best part was when I t-boned the first of 3 tall barriers and was millimeters away from eating shit and possibly breaking my nose on the next huge barrier. To top it off, all the spectators just happened to be standing there when it happened. All I heard was, "Damn, that's gotta hurt." Sweet. Seriously, is it over yet. Somehow, I managed to finish in 2nd still, but Stella was close on my tail, gaining on me every lap. The only reason she didn't beat me was because she was collecting money from the beer cans that I was too pissed off to try for. Well, it's not like I have the skills to do it anyways, but still.

I think it might take me a few days to recover but hopefully I'll bounce back from this horrible experience and be a better rider for sticking it out.

- Shelley


PROMANgirl said...

Crazy girl, or should i say 'old Lady', you are hard on yourself, you weren't 12th you were 2nd! You have made enormous leaps this year, on road and cross. you are amazing!

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

shelley - it's a huge load to race so much in one year. don't put so much pressure on yourself, sistah. Just relax and have fun out there. Yeah, you're an official big dawg out in the circuit now ... but still a neophyte in the bidness, yeah? so, why worry about it all?

have fun, goof off, scores some wins if they come by ... and keep learning.

One thing - it's rare that you need more gearing ... but maybe this was one race where you needed an easier gear than your single-ring rig gave you? That climbing wasn't aerobic, it was pure grunt ... and having the gearing to get up helps tons to keep you fresh for the rest of the race.

You've already had a hugely successful CX season ... better than most will ever have. Let yourself enjoy the rest of it, for as long as you like, and remember it's great training for the road stuff next year.


swiggco world said...

Jeez, lighten up? Do you realize what you have accomplished in the last year ? There are so many people racing now that would die to have results like yours. You have to be a little more patient with yourself and know that there is plenty of time. Everybody wanted to quit the race's just that kind of race that gives you the mental toughness that the easier races don't.Your team is behind is about 99% of the field!

Josh and Barb said...

Yeah! What those other guys said! Sounds to me like you should be working on your dollar grabbing skills... Seriously, nice work. It's important to be able to go into auto pilot and do the race right even when you REALLY want to quit. This is a big part of cross racing. You're ripping!

Velo Bella said...

Aw....I know what was missing for you.

And I can't say anything that hasn't already been said, except to say that you have been a breath of fresh air on the local women's cx scene. Its always exciting for those involved to see new talent emerge.

And you totally should have grabbed some of those dollars.


velogirl said...

Shelley, I think it's amazing what you've accomplished this season -- both road and cross. And I appreciate the honesty in your race report. It's nice to know (in a perverse kinda way) that the big girls struggle sometimes, too. I hated every minute of that course. It destroyed me mentally. But I did it, even if it wasn't pretty. And I got a buck too! Next week will be a new course and another opportunity for you to conquer Rachel.


Brent Chapman said...

yeah keep going, you inspire me along with lots of other peeps!

Hooptie said...

I forgot to show you the get one free one each season.