I knew it was going to be a tough race. I attended a CX clinic out there on Tuesday and pre-rode much of the course, sans tape obviously. I'm glad I did as they gave us several pointers throughout the course. It was terrifically challenging for both the uphill climbs as well as the downhill descents that were mainly off camber. Also, we really didn't want to land in the lake (though technically they are ponds IMO).
I thought about taking the trainer, but left it at home. I was bumming a ride with a friend and she doesn't even race! The back of her SUV was full of my gear, wheels and bike. We arrived about 2 hours before my scheduled race start. Plenty of time to pick up number, pre-ride with tape up, cheer on the 4s and warm-up. It was chilly when the clouds hid the sun and very breezy. I slipped on my capris and long sleeved jersey for the pre-ride and had on my windvest. I felt overdressed by the end of one lap.
Unfortunately, one of the cat 4s fell and broke a leg. This put our race a full half-hour behind schedule. Made it difficult to stay warm. They started the juniors in front of us and then all of the women together, elders in back. I was doing well passing on the hole-shot and of course everyone started bunching up at the first and second turn. I was much too tentative and passive in the turns and several passed me. Once on the straightwaways and second set of turns I got more confidence and even on the big downhill at the lake I was feeling really good and passed several women along the pump track that followed. I goofed on the first lap at the run-up and was in the wrong gear and "ran" it. I rode that sucker the rest of the race. Early into the 3rd lap I took a sharp left turn and my rear wheel slid out to my right. I thought I was sliding ok, then my head bounced off the ground and I heard a crack. Once I stopped, I was at the tape and I sat up and took off my helmet for inspection. I couldn't see anything, but those stars were in the way!
I put the helmet back on and got back on the bike and finished the race. Everyone had passed me by then and I was in the back. As I rode up the last hill towards the finish line at the end of the third lap I started thinking I'd pull out of the race. My heart and neck were hurting. But then I said, "Sherri you might be many things but you are not a quitter". I had cotton mouth and a few other distractions, but I put them all aside and finished the race. I tried very hard to finish strong, though I think I probably just looked a little pathetic out there.Someone has to be DFL, I just don't want to be anymore, if I can help it. I also need to get over this fear of falling, I think it's inevitable.
I want to say that I was very happy to see so many women in the 3/4s race today. I'm not sure of the total number but there were 22 pre-registered.
I got to meet some of the 513 Rogues today, but hopefully will get to spend a little more time with them next weekend in Cincy. That is if I can figure out how I"m gonna get there.
Here's to a good week ahead
peace to all