Wildlife Prairie Park race

I'm not exactly sure when I decided that we should hit up the Wildlife Prairie Park IHRS race, but next thing I knew it was on the calendar. We weren't really prepared as far as "OMG, what about the kids!?" However, it all worked out.
We headed down to Kickapoo Township at about 8am. It was a pretty uneventful drive until Google maps had us on all these back roads, under I74 back under I74, where we finally took matters into our own hands and just got on I74.  Sometimes I really hate GPS directions.
Anyway, we arrived with not much time to get ready. Enough, but we definitely couldn't do anything but get dressed and warm up.
At the line I was surprised to see so many women! It's very rare to see more than three in the IL races lately.
Since there was no time to pre-ride I went into this course blind. I had no idea what to expect. The lead out seemed long (it really wasn't) and I wasn't sure when we dumped into the singletrack. I just remember thinking it was bumpy.
It wasn't long before we made the turn into some fun singletrack. I was a little more brake happy than I would have liked, but that's usually the way it is when you're unsure of trails on your first lap. I was really looking forward to my second lap knowing more of what to expect.  I was barely leading at the start of the race, but I felt comfortable. I wasn't pushing too hard, well, I was, just wasn't gasping like I was at the start of Palos or other races I've done. My stomach felt a little crampy but nothing that was too terrible... until it was terrible. It was like all of a sudden I felt like I was being stabbed. I tried to ride it out but couldn't so I slowed down. I let 2nd place go by in hopes that slowing down might let me feel better. It didn't. So I thought, okay, I'll just relax here for a bit and catch them. But no matter what I did my stomach just kept cramping. It was like sharp pains. The harder I pushed the more painful it was. Then I started getting pissed off. I really wanted to ride the trails. They were my kind of trails.
The second part of the course I didn't enjoy as much as the first. Especially never having ridden there before, and I guess because every rock made my stomach feel worse. I also, as much as I love technical trails like Blue Mounds and WPP, I don't enjoy racing them, but rather prefer riding. Anyway, I pushed through the first lap hoping I'd feel better on the 2nd lap.
I didn't.
I then asked myself what I was doing. I wasn't having any fun and my stomach hurt. I could barely ride and when I stood up I almost had to hunch over. So I sat on the side of the trail for a bit. I thought sitting would at least make me feel better to ride back to the parking lot for a DNF.  It didn't, but I went back anyway.
As I got to the car, I farted the longest windiest fart ever. Miraculously I felt better. I seriously can't believe that I was in that much pain because of fucking GAS!  In saying that, I've had a bunch of stomach issues this year, more times than I can count. Pre-riding Palos the day before the race I had a similar issue; luckily I didn't have any problems during that race.  I think I might start keeping a food diary and see if it's something that's triggering it.  But back to race day, I grabbed my phone and rode out to where I had ended my race to snag a picture of John. I could feel the gas pain coming back a little bit, but never to the extent of what I had earlier in the day.  The gas pain even made my back hurt, to the point I wasn't sure what was going on- stomachache? backache? both? or one causing the other?
Anyway, I hate a DNF. For a second when I think about it I get all mad, but when I then really think about it, there was no way I could ride let alone race. And when I did feel better, I wasn't up for 16 more miles well after last place went by me. I'm just not that motivated, especially almost 3 hours from home. Also, after a race I always enjoy looking at results and hoping people snapped some cool photos, but the DNF kind of takes the fun out of that.
I loved the trails there. They were fun. I'd like to ride them over racing though. I just hate not having the rhythm I want on that type of stuff. Besides it's just more fun when you can look around and enjoy what you are actually riding.  Especially there, it's very pretty, and cool.
Thanks to PAMBA for putting on these races. Everybody there is always kind and attentive.
Their hard work is very much appreciated.


bekasaurus said...

Ha! You crack me up! Seriously though, I have had some horrible stomach pains from gas before. And on a long bike tour, I had the unfortunate side effect of getting really backed up and bloated. You did the right thing! If it's not fun, what's the point?

spicyride said...

Becky, exactly. I might try changing some things in my diet. I'm not sure what yet or where to start, but hopefully it won't happen again.