I hate not finishing a race. But, as I sit here sore, I know it was still the right decision.
Tom & I were originally both going to race but he's had a cold or something and decided not to which meant Christopher could go on a trip and race. We got there late on Saturday and I rode a lap. Awesome trails but, man, what a lot of climbing.
I warmed up starting a little after noon with some guidelines/tips from my coach since I tend to just pedal around, chit chat, etc. I finished in time to watch Christopher do the kids race, which was definitely one of the highlights of my day.
Lined up. Soon into the first lap I acutally passed a girl in a green jersey (possibly Hannah?). Holy crap. I lead the rest of the lap, even keeping the lead after a guy HAD to pass me up the singletrack climb, bumped me which I recovered from, and then hit me again sending me down off the trail and into the trees. Arrgh!!!! My Garmin got knocked loose from the strap and I had to shove it in my pocket. I'm such a geek that it was horrible not knowing my lap times, when I should eat a Gu and not being able to see my HR -- it makes me go harder when my HR drops.
After the rock garden on lap 2, I saw a girl in a blue jersey just ahead (possibly Liz?). Soon after I passed her and was actually in front of two girls! Wow. Then, the girl in the green jersey passed me on one of the climbs. I went into lap 3 barely ahead of the girl in blue -- I was really feeling the hills and heat. We passed Christine who was stopped. Then we came to the singletrack climb. The girl in blue was chatting with me as I felt like I was dying. My hamstring felt like it was going to cramp and I put my foot down. I shouldn't have. Oh well. She and Christine went by. I started again, feeling better actually. I rocked the rock garden -- as I had every lap -- and then started down the rest of the downhill, and crashed. I would have sworn I fell right but all of my scrapes are on my left-hand side. I got up, untwisted my handlebars and started again. But, I didn't feel right. I would've sworn my helmet was on crooked but, when I felt it with my hand, it was fine. I shook my head and it wasn't loose. But, it felt off, I felt off. I thought I could just ride it off but it didn't work. I kept having to stop. Not because I was cramping or felt like I was going to puke or because of pain (although I was in some pain). I just had to stop. Then, I would just stand there. Not good. I finally found a course marshall who directly me to another course marshall who sent me on the trail. It took forever. I finally found a sign for a cut-off for citizen/sport which I fell onto. Made my way down to the finish area and tipped over again. By then, women were finishing up. I have no idea how long it took me to get off the course. I woke up early this morning with some pain on my left side by my ribs. No serious bruises. A lot of scrapes.
So, I didn't finish, which I hate. But, as odd as it sounds, it was a good race for me. I rode that rock garden beautifully each lap. It was cool hearing people cheer me on each time. And, being in front of three separate girls at different points of a WORS race is awesome for me.
This weekend is Jackson Park Cross. I'll have to take it easy so I'm ready. Unfortunately, I won't have my cool new wheelset. Which leads to my dilemma -- 32 or 34 for what will be my new Challenge Fango tubular wheels? Julie said 34. Russell said 30 or 32. I posted on the cross forum on MTBR and got pretty evenly 32 and 34 with some 30 suggestions as well. So -- I'm looking for a few more suggestions and reasons for 32 or 34.