Nikki, me and Gen enjoying the post race festivities...and sweeet sunshine!
How FUN was THAT??????
Seriously folks I had way more fun racing 30k on my mountain bike at the Cumberland XC Island Cup race this Sunday- than I ever could have expected.
I expected gross, nasty, lung and quad burning, cramping, brain fog, facial grimacing, gross nastiness. Of course there was a little of everything out there but it was WAY more enjoyable than I ever dreamed!
I felt great:) I didn't break anything and my bike didn't break anything. No bonking, no random cramping and no incapacitating fatigue. My third lap felt better than my first to tell the truth.
I owe it all to my type A personality of course- I followed my fueling plan to the 'T' (what does that T mean anyways?) and I am positive that is why I didn't crash and burn after 2.5hours at 80% maxHR.
I went for the (gasp) Expert category this time around. And although I would never claim to be an Expert at anything, let alone mountain biking, I needed the longer race course practice. It was fun to be in my own little world with little or no expectations.
Not having the experience to know quite what I can pull off on a bike race of this distance (without the running and kayaking mixed in) and not knowing anything about the racers around me I really had no filters on. I just worked on doing my own thing: Pushing where I am strong, maxing out my fuel plan and holding back enough to go the distance. I am sure the novelty will wear off but for now I really like the perspective that this lack of experience is offering me!
All my lap times were about the same - within 2 minutes so I was stoked about that. I felt like I got stronger as the laps went by. The last one was the best cause no one was around me and I got to go my own pace ... AND you know it is the last lap so you can push a bit harder to get er done!
The crazy part of the race was the start. 120? racers all took off up the logging road from the yellow gate...to Two and a Juice!
Seriously! It was like rollerbikingderby or something. The experienced racers knew exactly what was coming and sprinted up the hill like crazy to get to the single track ahead of the masses. I got rammed from behind, and blocked from the front and ended up waiting to actually get into the single track along with a huge bottleneck of ticked off adrenaline loaded antsy riders.
Once in the trail it was SO slow we all had to trackstand to create space to ride while the line trickled on ahead of us. Interesting to say the least.
One dude behind me actually had the *&^% to ask if he could PASS me while I was stuck in this endless line of bikers. And go, um, where?
Once we got on the road we all got our breathing space back but that was crazy crazy.
After a while you find your match ups- there were a couple of riders who were going almost exactly my pace and we hung out for laps at a time!
There was a huge range of abilities and it was super fun to see all the different riders, skills, bikes etc. V. friendly crowd and once again I was stoked to see how fantastic the trail etiquette is from these riders. Everyone is happy to make way or cheer you on as they go by.
The best part of the race came after the finish line however...
VEGGIE BURGERS! And Eatmore sprouts!! SOOOO what I needed after that big calorie burner! YUM that really hit the spot:)
A HUGE shout out to Jeremy and his team of volunteers! Well organized and FUN...what more could you ask for?
Race results are online:
What's next? Snow to Surf that's what!