After quite a bit of back and forth in my head, I decided to go for it. I renewed my license and entered in with the Cat 1 women this past Sunday at the Chain Stretcher. It was a pretty humbling experience and I have a hard time not being slightly mortified by my results.
I lined up with some of the strongest women bike racers that I know. I have been watching them get stronger every year and I knew I was going to get my butt whooped out there. I kept telling myself that it did not matter. Just to finish and feel good. But it does kind of matter.
We headed into the woods and at the first technical section; they were all bottled up on the rocks. I was in the back of the pack which caused me to have to get off my bike. When I was able to get back on my bike, I could see them disappear into the woods. I caught a glimpse of a couple of the racers in the first bit of single track but thought I better not chase them down and burn all my matches. In hindsight, that was probably not the best plan. I spent the rest of the race or should I say ride, solo. My pace was not what I would call a race pace. I knew I was really slow when the pro and cat 1 men started to pass me on my 2nd lap while they were finishing their 3rd lap. As I finished my 2nd lap, I knew I had to keep going just to get it done.
It was at least a beautiful day to ride and the course was a lot of fun. I tried to enjoy just being out there and I did.
I have told people that I am ridiculously slow right now but realized just how slow I really am. The results say it all. I finished in last place and quite a ways behind the rest of the women. Yes, I finished and did not give up but I do not remember really feeling like I had the ability to push myself harder to go faster. I felt strong but I still have a lot of work to do to get back up to speed. Sigh…
Although it may sound like it, I am not really down on myself. I put myself back out there. I do realize that while everyone has been getting stronger over the past 3 years, I have been getting the crap kicked out of me health wise. Being a good mountain bike racer does not just happen overnight. During the line up for the start of the race, I realized that I have only been back on the bike for a little over two months since my surgery in December. That is certainly not enough time for me to prep for good race results. It is only April after all!
Will I keep racing? Hell yes!
This Sunday is Single Speed- A – Palooza and I am registered with a good size field of sport class women. I will show up and do my best. Maybe I won’t come in last place this time and if I do, that is okay. It is always a fun event and a great scene so I am looking forward to it. The course is usually fast so I will see if I can ramp it up a bit this Sunday.
|I looked the part...|