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.