imagine this

i haven't been looking forward to sunday's wors race: kewaunee. big road lead out (i suck at that) and then loops in a field. big whoop. i only wanted to go cuz i'm a points whore. i'd been eye-ing the imagination glen race all year. it's part of the D.IN.O series. i rode it two years ago remembering how full of singletrack it is (i must've blocked out all the climbing). anyway, my start time was 12:12. i hemmed and hawed all morning and finally decided to do it at around 10:30... like i wanted to stay home and clean all day. so i packed john, casey, the trike, the spot and myself... okay john packed most of it and we headed 30 minutes east to imagination glen. i decided to race elite there (hoping to win some cash for gas money sunday). besides sport there is too short. my race woulda only been 10 miles. there were 3 elite women, so i was guaranteed 3rd- if i finished.
it was really frickin' hot. it was a 10 mile loop and elite women had to do 2 laps. the start was a short grass lead out right into the singletrack. guys races were a big cluster fuck, but nothing like a wors race had it been there. horn went off and the sport and expert women left together after all the expert and sport men left. a sport woman took the lead. i had no problem with that. seemed she knew her place around. i followed her through the singletrack... it was apparent real soon that i was a stronger singletrack rider and she was the stronger climber (story of my life). i followed her through. she asked if i wanted to pass. i said nah. i wasn't up her butt or anything and i had 2 laps, she only had one. i was in no hurry and the other women, sport and expert were way the heck back there.
i sat behind her until we hit a steep sand downhill. she took the wrong line. her taking the wrong line allowed me to take the right one. i stayed ahead of her for awhile.
the course was 9.5 miles of singletrack with maybe 1/2 mile of doubletrack. long twisty singletrack to start, with the 1/2 mile of doubletrack connecting to trails called the basement, log jam and switchback. i never felt like i was going in a straight line. if you were you were probably climbing. dumping into the basement was a short dropoff of sand with tree roots. the trail below was nice and tacky compared to the sand above. it flowed pretty well. there were lots of bridges, some skinny, some wide bridging you over what was probably drowning trail. after coming out of the basement there were a few short steep climbs then i think the log jam trail. i'm sure i have some of this mixed up... all i remember right on was it was long and hot... the log jam trail was just that,log after log after log. some big and built up, some small and long. logs in turns after turn... it was a total power course. lots of upper body. the switchback trail equaled it's name just as well. i wish i had pre rode. i could feel i was getting kind of hungry. not knowing whether or not i'd be racing, i didn't really prepare well. especially for this long of a race. the sport racer passed me on a similar descent she missed earlier. dammit! oh well. i still have to finish this first lap and i have another to go! i wasn't too concerned. if i only had one lap, no way would i have let her pass or get away... anyway, i decided to try and take a goo. bad move. i decided to take a goo just as the 3-in-a-row steepest biggest whoops came up. really steep, sand in the bottom, couldn't use momentum to get back up. steep climbs. with a full goo flapping out of my mouth. it was hard to breath with that in my mouth. by the middle of the second steep climb i had to stop to eat the goo. then i was all good.
i finished out the first lap hurtin' a bit. i felt like the heat was getting to me. the forest was like a sauna. my right leg had the chills and my neck felt weird. i couldn't tell if i was sweating or not... but i wasn't stopping. so i just wandered through the first section of singletrack at the beginning of the lap and tried to get my bearings... i still felt like shit when i hit the doubletrack. nobody in the elite women were even close to me. so essentially i just had to ride this thing out. after i headed down into the basement i started to feel better. i had drank a bunch of water while i was wandering... then i felt the gu kick in. i probably lost almost 10 minutes hanging out but i really didn't care. i rode the rest of the race pretty strong and even made two of the steep climbs i missed at the end of the first lap. two hours and elevn minutes. i got to take $100 home.
afterwards we had to wait for the beginners to finish and the kids race to be done before awards started. at first i was kind of like ugghhh... but then we were like, casey can race! so she climbed aboard her trike and snapped her helmet.
the kids race was the grass that surrounded the baseball field. the one side was completely off cambr. the race director sounded the horn and she was off! she came to the off cambr section and of course tipped over. we secretly laughed as we consoled her back on her bike. she finished out to the cheering of the crowd. she beat the lone 3 year old out on the course.
it was nice to head out for a race so close to home. thanks to john for helping us out. i'm sure he was dying not suiting up to race.