...out of road

It was a long drive. 7 and a 1/2 hours. construction, wendy's and storms delayed us by an hour and a half i believe. sunday home and in bed by monday morning. sucks. i'm tired. i can say i'm happy with my result but not satisfied. i had made it a goal to get top 5 overall, but there were only like 20 some women. top 3, 7 minutes back from 1st place. i'm sure i lost a lot of time on the start and finish stretches. i also went off course at one point. and i really really need to work on eating while on the course, i must come to a complete stop! sitting here right now i have no desire to do phillips next year.
the course started with the road to a gravel road with a big up, big down and another big up. we then headed right into some double track over a bridge to a steep, loose, sandy, rocky, gravel incline. i knew on the preride i'd be hiking up this... at the start i huddled back behind 5 women. i saw about 10-12 girls ahead of us, but didn't panic. i'm not a strong starter at all and a road start heading into the wind wasn't anything i was looking forward to. i conserved a lot of energy. as we hit the gravel i abandoned that 5 and latched onto two girls going up, then down and as we headed up again i started to rev up and passed em to head into the doubletrack where i knew sitting behind someone wasn't as important to me. down the doubletrack, over the bridge sure as shit about 4 women off their bikes climbing that little rocky loose incline. no matter, i knew i'd be running this in the race. but i saw an opening to the right and took it. it was way loose at the top so i dismounted on the right side of the bike and just started running. i think i passed two girls. next there was a small section of singletrack with a small climb which dumped us back out onto the doubletrack. i could see a couple girls ahead of me but told myself to be patient i'll get them in the singletrack. i actually caught a clyde first up on the first section of singletrack. he took it really slow. it wasn't a long section so i passed him as soon as we got out and looked for some ladies to pass. i passed someone on the doubletrack in my age group just as we were about to head into some off camber singletrack. on the pre-ride the day before i took the lower part of the trail with no problem. not on race day. the trail had become more off camber and i slid down the side essentially falling down in front of the girl i had just passed. man i felt stupid. i apologized for passing then falling. i know how irritated i get when that happens. but i guess next time i'll be a little more understanding. i would have felt worse if she finished with me. like maybe i had thrown her groove off or something. anyway... i got back on the bike and bolted out of there as fast as i could. i passed a couple more women. at one point someone said i was 3rd overall, but then i passed two women who i knew weren't the leaders after a granny gear climb heading into some steep, loose off camber singletrack. i knew tony and kristina were still up there. i just rode my race. it was possible i was in third overall. and if i wasn't i was for sure top 5 most definitely. on my second lap i felt a little off, i took the clif shot i had in my leg. i'd have liked to have had more water with me as i didn't feel like i washed it down well enough. i could feel my stomach cramp up a little... but as the lap went on i felt a bit better. as the third lap came around i still felt good. i dumped it into the granny gear a little bit more than previous laps but i never felt like i needed to get off or that i didn't have enough gears. towards the end of the elite/comp/sport loops there was a short climb in the doubletrack followed by a short descent (or something like that) but it ended in a short rocky climb that flattened out, climbed a little and had a small wicked descent into a soft sandy climb with another sliding descent. i had heard the hugi girl coming. i had followed her up on the first lap, with her bike making some odd noise. she stopped at the top of the climb and fixed it, i'm assuming. anyway, i knew it was her. i felt like she was right there on that rocky climb with me. i could hear her ratcheting hub. so i gave the climb all i had. i knew i could ride that better than her and i let it all hang on the descent (scary) in hopes of getting some time as i knew the race ended on the road (not a strong point for me). i kept looking back and nothing. i finally reached the finish stretch that seemed to last forever. it was quite bumpy and wet with a weird off camber climb out and then another climb out. i kept looking back but didn't see anybody. as i came on the road i popped it in 3, locked out and gave it all i had. she was close, she finished 20 seconds behind me :) . john seemed happy for me. he was like you didn't finish that far back, and after he came back from the clock he was like 7 minutes. UGHH. that is so far back. oh well. i was happy with my finish.
i watched the elite guys take off. i then headed back to the car to get cleaned up and head out to be the water feeder. what a long bike ride to get to where i wanted to be! anyway, i felt good about being there for them.
beginning of my blog i made it sound like i didn't have a good time. but really i did have a good time. i felt good. it was hard though. harder than devil's head i think.
sara scorched the women's elite field winning by 4 minutes. zach and john took 22nd and 26th. i think... the drive home wasn't as bad as the drive up. we made it home in like 5 and a 1/2. but still, really long day.
this weekend 24 hours of 9 mile. hell yeah. lots to do though.