Well friends, the wheels fell off for me today:(
After 5 days of good luck and feeling great, it was my turn for a little dip in the sunshine metre. In the big scheme of things I have still been unbelievably lucky all round, but today I had my share of challenges. Looking back it is all quite comical actually so I might as well share...
Nice relaxing morning in camp-no need to break down the tents as we are here for two nights which is a nice treat. I was stuffed up and felt a bit odd when I woke up- and when I saw myself in the mirror I was all puffed up and looked quite frog-like. Odd. Then I remembered the last piece of advice my friend, Nikki, who did the race a few years back had given me... She told me to take antihistamines when camping in Squamish because tonnes of people seemed to have an allergic reaction to something in the park the year she did it. Ooops. Forgot about that. Oh well, puffy eyes are the least of my worries on Day 6, I thought...
I was stoked for Squamish- I know most of the trails and was looking forward to both the climbs and the awesome descents. The climbs weren't going to be very long or very technical so I knew I would have to work really hard to push my pace and make up as much time on them as I could. Off the line and I was breathing hard up the first climb. I'm used to breathing hard off the line by now of course, but this was different. I was struggling to get enough air in- I was gasping for air. My legs felt awesome but my lungs were limiting the air flow. By the time we were on the final part of the main climb of the day I was physically wheezing. I thought this must be what asthma feels like. I, do not have asthma, however. Racers were dropping me on the hill like I was riding backwards. Including other women who I know by now are in my category. When it got so bad that I started to feel anxious I decided to stop and do the only thing I could think of- take an antihistamine- Benedry to be exact. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I tell you that?
Yup. I completely forgot that Benedryl is not only an antihistamine, but it is also a depressant. BIG oooops.
I made it to the top of the climb and enjoyed the sweet pump & birm goodness of Half Nelson, which always brings a smile to my face:) Then another cheer station with tonnes of hi 5's to get us up the next little climb. My lungs started to open up by the time I got to the top which was a huge relief mentally and physically. Down Psudo Tsuga which was the first Enduro section and more fun than ever now that I have my new 29er:) Back on the logging road for a climb up to the top of Powerhouse Plunge and I just started feeling really sluggish. It took everything in me to try and push my legs and keep my intensity up. But there wasn't really anything there.
I was really looking forward to checking out the Plunge on my new bike...and it was way better! I rode everything but one steep rocky pitch and I am more than stoked about that. Yay for the 29er!
I remember hearing a 'crunch' of metal on rock near the end of the Plunge, however...
When I got onto the next logging road and climb up to the next descent of 'Hoods in the Woods' I was on a single speed lol. Well, I had the two front rings but I only had granny in the back. Oooooops.
Let's just say it was a long and frustrating climb up to the trailhead...but I spun along and crossed fingers that I would find a 'bike patrol' crew member sooner than later. But the first person I saw was a guy that looked like Bob & Doug Mackenzie standing on the side of the trail holding tongs and a piece of hot fried bacon out to me instead. Oh dear.
But my luck came back and I came across an old fire fighting buddy, Jergan, who is on bike patrol, at the entrance to the trail. He wasn't wearing his helmet, which I remember thinking was a bit odd as they all stand out with their red helmets and red jerseys on course. Then I noticed he wasn't wearing his shirt either.
This is where it gets weird...
Jergan, checked out my derailer and started adjusting cables...that's when I realized he was also in his underwear...and just behind him, in the shadow of ferns, was Mr. Dave Norona, BCBR videographer and general trouble maker...with his video camera...wearing nothing but a loincloth made from, what appeared to be, a bundle of moss and a fern...I had stumbled into some strange forest nymph meets BCBR film and I didn't want anything to do with it so I grabbed my bike after a couple of minutes and got the heck out of there before I got roped into the 'magical' scene. 'Gears are good! Gears are great! Don't worry about it bud! I'm outta here!'...and off I went to rattle and roll my new hardtail with a bent derailer hanger and a few gears down the steep and twisty turns of Hoods in the Woods. Woah. Did that really happen? Or was it the Benedryl lol:) Can't wait to see the video for Day 6...
On and on I rolled through the Crumpet forest and lovely trails I have encountered on oh so many Adventure Races and even Bike Races over the years... Only trouble is, I was stoned and riding a cranky bike with only a few gears. I had to keep reminding myself that I was actually in a race and to get my butt in gear but there wasn't any heat to be found in the fire. I knew well in advance that it wasn't going to be a great result when I rolled across the line. But I did my best for the day and what more can you do than that?
3:30ish and 50k with some of the best descents so far:)
I got back to camp, had the guys from Obsession Bikes nurse my derailer so it will live for tomorrow. They would have preferred to swap it out and give me an overhaul so it would be 'perfect' for Day 7, but I will just wait until I get home and have the boys from Mountain City bring her back to life. Post race was a blur but I know that I washed and checked my bike, had a shower, got a little wood fired pizza and sat down in the sunshine by my tent to enjoy it. Last thing I remember was looking down at my plate and the pizza was gone, then I passed out for about 3 hours in my tent.
What a bizarre day! Hope you had a good laugh at my expense...sometimes a good laugh is just what we need:). I am officially looking forward to Whistler and a big celebration tomorrow night!