Saturday, September 8, 2012
I had high expectations (for me anyhow) for this year's race. With all the other races I've done this year I had the best fitness I've ever had for this race, so I figured I could "end" the mountain bike race season with a PR (personal record). All that was on shaky ground starting on Friday as something was going drastically wrong with me. I felt achy and my stomach sounded like a percolator with not quite enough water in it. Super. Two days before the Five-O and I feel like shit. Now, understand this isn't Shit Cyclists Say or any excuse for my performance, which we'll get to in a minute, but the honest to god truth. If I woke up Sunday morning and felt like I did on Friday or Saturday morning, I woulda pulled the plug on the whole thing. Hell, I didn't even ride home from work on Friday, although my Lovely picked me up to go get groceries for camping, but still, I didn't ride home.
Needless to say, I felt better on Sunday morning. 100%? No, but at least 95%, which was more than ample. This year's race had riders picking from three starting waves since there were somewhere between 600-700 competitors. If you thought you were going to be under 5 hours, you went in the first wave, second wave was 5-7 hours and third wave was 7+. Since I knew I'd be in the 5 hour range, I opted for the 2nd wave. I figured being more toward the front of the 2nd wave would be WAY better than at the back of the first wave.
Without getting into the monotony of the race (not that the race is monotonous, but my description could be, "I rode over a rock here, I almost crashed there, blah, blah blah") I'll tell you I felt EXCELLENT for almost the entire race. I went out on my own pace and kinda stayed there for the whole race. If you're not in the Dash for the Cash and you really have no chance of being at the front of the pack, you set goals like I wanna be at this time, I wanna beat this guy or that guy, which tends to evolve as the race wears on (you know, a guy passes you and you push it a bit harder or you see a guy ahead of you and you push to see if you can catch/pass them). So I set some goals, one of which was to beat my time from last year. And I did beat my time...by 30 seconds. THIRTY LOUSY SECONDS! Shit. After all the riding I've done this year and I can only muster beating my time by 30 seconds? Consistency is a good thing I suppose, but I would have liked to have been a bit faster. Oh well, at least I felt WAY better after the race this year. I was completely wiped out after last year and I was the opposite this year. I guess I could have pushed it a bit harder during the race.
So, Five-O number five is all but a memory now, and a great memory it is! A fun race with excellent support, an awesome atmosphere and post race festivities, and a great time with family and friends. I am looking forward to #6 for me and lucky #13 overall!