I’m not generally the blogger type but since a few of my teammates have written about their recent Xterra/Urban Assault race experience, I thought I would give it a go. It was HOT HOT HOT on Saturday. Given the temperatures over the past several weeks, I thought I would have been prepared. I guess saying to myself and many others that “the heat doesn’t bother me” came back to punish me with a vengeance. So much for positive thinking…!
There were only two of us in my category but I came to realize that this had no bearing, whatsoever, on my pre-race jitters. There could have been 20 of us, and it wouldn’t have made a difference. That being said, nerves all aflutter, we were off! I, like Brad, almost bought it over the first berm. Now Brad, being in the beginner category, had an excuse, I did not. I should have known better but I was already on the right side and would have had to go around the whole field of one other person to get into a position in which I didn’t have to launch over the berm. Thinking I would lose precious time doing this, I thought I was playing it smart to go right over the berm.
Continuing the race, down the gravel road…hmmm, everyone says this is where you can gain precious time, being a roadie and all. Well, when it feels like it’s 110 degrees out and you are gasping for breath, this may not be the case. Who knows, I managed to pass a few people and climb the stairs, 9 flights. (I had counted them before, I was prepared.) I wasn’t prepared for my first crash though. I had 12 feet of clearance after I crossed the bridge. Normally, this is not an issue. For some reason, I looked right at the concrete wall and my left handlebar clipped it. Don’t ask me why, perhaps hyper anaerobicism (my new word).
Down I went, with a group of Sport guys behind me. Oh well, what good is a crash if there’s no one to see it? Continuing on, I manage to almost make it up the steep clay hill (my definition of “almost” being over the first big hump), out to
Never asking me if I am o.k., the guy gets back on his bike and pedals away. I yell a few choice words after him, I mean the adrenalin and all…they weren’t real pleasant but I got my point across.
Back on my bike, yikes, what is this horrible pain in my side? Have I fractured a rib? Will it puncture my lung? I’m short of breath, I’m dizzy…no maybe that’s just the heat. “I guess it’s not excruciating pain I say to myself” so I decide to continue on. On to Forest Hill, this was pretty uneventful although my ribs are feeling the climbs. I reach the end and, given that I did an endo there last year in front of the crowd, I decide I will not give them a show this year. I prudently dismount to go back into the tunnel. O.k., I’m past most of the real technical stuff, now I can really start to gain some time.
Ouch, what is this pain in my legs? Am I cramping, has my newly-deflated lung robbed my muscles of the precious oxygen they need? Drink, drink, drink I say forgetting all about the two Cliff shots that would have been of great benefit, I continue on. Down that gravel road (again) up the stairs, this time clearing the concrete wall with ease. I finish Buttermilk, cross over the Nickel Bridge, Northbank….legs are really starting to cramp but I am reaching the end…I pick it up here, I mean I want to look like I rode the race that fast the entire time as I cross over the finish line. The heat is excruciating but I am done! Some guy I have never seen before comes up to me with a bottle of COLD water and tells me this is the last one there is…I am too stunned to thank him as much as he deserves…I am finished. (Until next year that is!)(Note how she doesn't mention she won? That Paula. I'll have photos to post as soon as PhotoBucket stops freaking out. )