10.08.2007

sheboygan

saturday we loaded up and headed up to sheboygan to pre-ride. pretty uneventful. it was great riding with dano and lori though. my kind of pre-riders, more talking and less riding. i rode the elite course. i've never done it before. the turn was fine on pre-ride but i'm guessing during a race it would be hard redlined and all. but the pucker thing? perhaps people talking about how scary it is for years had numbed me to its difficulty.
we had a pretty kickass weekend planned with the kids. we were staying at the blue harbor resort in sheboygan with a whole cast of characters. jeremey, gage, mitch, bryan, dion, their daughter hayden, vanessa, brad, their sons drake and troy, barb, jerry and mackenzie. it was a blast. we were at the water park all day. walking up and downstairs. barb and i joked that we had an excuse if we finished poorly. our legs were tired from going up and down the stairs for the slides like 20 times.
after the water we did a group dinner thing. way too much food. but it was nice.
more water park, guitar hero and then bed.
i was relieved that it was going to be warm. i always have a problem at sheboygan with the crisp cool air, being sick, allergies and then throw asthma into the mix. but i always have a good time.
sunday was to be no different as far as good times are concerned. thanks to dano for vip parking we pulled right in with no fuss and i started getting dressed right away. registered and then went to get the bike ready. i decided against the flask and instead taped the gels to my toptube all dork style. number plate, electrolyte pills, etc. waited forever for our start. i had changed my seatpost last week thinking that a little more movement would help my back (even though my back doesn't hurt from riding or getting slammed). ever since i swapped it i haven't felt right on the bike. the whole race i felt like i was pushing against my bar. nothing to impede me, but just bothersome. i can barely move my left arm today, but i think that is mainly due to chasing and carrying zoe. anyway, the race started. i was sitting more towards the back of the pack. not being called up and being a lame starter can do that. but at least i never lost touch with some of the girls. the fast starters had a nice gap going into the prime. i was hoping to not lose too much time in the singletrack. i ended up catching a good train of girls at the switchback section. each time i came to this section during the race i thought of dano and him telling me this section was his.
the first lap is a blur. as usual i had a tough time recovering and every hard effort had me struggling to get oxygen, not asthma struggle, like hyperventilate struggle. my body felt numb. traded places a few times. i had no idea what place i was in. creek crossing was fine (that lap). the evil root spot, a rider came to a complete stop in front of me and i went over the bars. bummer. i lost a spot but i don't think i lost that much time. it was more irritating. got back up and chased the girl who had just passed me. i hate the first lap. i thought i was going to die. i passed her at the log jump, she bypassed it and i didn't... then i almost lost it in that left turn as i was coming in way too hot. i felt like a rookie. i was redlined and sloppy.
the equalizer was uneventful. i was still trying to settle in. maybe made it a quarter of the way up and then ran. on the bike and off for lap 2.
my plan was to eat on the road at the start area. this didn't happen. i was mouth wide open trying to take as much air as possible. trying to recover and settle in (yes, this takes me a long time). i finally started to settle coming out of the woods into the prime area. ripped the clif shot off my toptube, sucked it down and drank some water. sweet. uneventful, just as it should be. i know i passed a few girls on the second lap. i was sloppy in the singletrack on my second lap. i still had thoughts of dying on parts of the course. caught riders were starting to become a factor. one guy in particular... we kept trading places and when he'd pass me, he'd fall. it never failed. so i gave it all i had to try and get past him which left me hurting. if you ride sidi shoes then you know that sometimes, if not all the time, when you ride you have to retighten them. i didn't. my left foot was super loose. when i hit the creek crossing my foot flew out of the pedal as my front tire fell off the rock. i was suspended on the up part of the creek exit. stalled for what seemed like forever. ahhhh. but whatever. a girl passe me though (i think the gal i passed at the log jump). she was an age grouper too. she probably thought i need to get away from this girl, she sucks in the singletrack. the guy who kept falling got ahead of me after my dumb creek effort. he fell in front of me again.
i remember passing people but can't remember if it was my 2nd or 3rd lap?
i was getting low on water. i didn't have a hand up as john had it rough at the truck with the kids. i wish i had known or made other arrangements... i was almost out of water and still had a 3rd lap. luckily i saw amy. she was a lifesaver. i gave her the workout of her life as she went to get me water. yes. thanks girl!
i made it up the equalizer on my second lap. well pretty much. i wasn't hurting or struggling at all, in fact i was surprised at how easy it felt, but right at the smoking guy there were 4 riders all bunched and i had to clip out. but in my mind i made it and that's all that mattered to me.
headed out for my 3rd lap. everything was good. i felt good. i had no idea what place i was in other than top 10. i ate in the same spot as my 2nd lap uneventfully. i knew i had an age grouper right in front of me. i got into the single track behind a guy. i wanted to pass so bad. it was hard being patient. right when we came out to cross the road he said go get her and i was off. i don't remember where i passed her, but i know soon after coming into the roots downhill i saw a flash of orange and white. i wasn't sure if it was brittany or her teammate. i just raced my race and eventually caught up to her after the gravel climb (it was brittany). after the gravel climb to me the hard parts were over. i didn't dread the equalizer as i did in years past. it didn't seem steep this year. anyway, i tried to pass in a shitty spot.(sorry brittany i suck at passing and am trying to learn to be safe yet aggressive) i was able to catch and pass and yelled for her to grab on going towards the underpass. i never looked back (or i'd fall). i thought i saw a girl on the equalizer and wanted to obviously grab another spot. i didn't even make it half way up. i chased what i thought was a girl, but turned out to be a sport guy. looking at results, i probably did see a girl but mixed her and the guy up after coming off the hill. oh well. i finished 5th overall and 3rd in age and was more than happy with that. bummer it was the last race just when i got this eating thing down.

8 comments:

mountaingoat said...

Nice. Sheboygan brings out the best of each category. A top five is big time.

velogrrl said...

great finish! glad the weather was good for breathing...

I'm bummed it's been my kind of weather at home - it's cold here, and by the time I get back it will be cold at home...

MTB Girl said...

That was an awesome race. I can't believe how fast you've gotten this year (again). . . .it's awesome. Now you'll have to move up with us next year so I can chase you. :-)

julie said...

good ride! dang was it hot out.

sorry about yesterday- i only have your work email and figured emailing you about a sick day was, er, yeah...

Ben said...

great read, and awesome job, what a good way to finish the season!

Christine said...

I say if you make it 95% up that equalizer ,it's yours. Way to go on Sunday yu looked great out there!

D A N O said...

What they said....

That, and thx again for all the help. I dont know if Id be riding without it!

regina said...

Great job on sunday, it was so fun out there...hot, but fun.