(photos courtesy of Kalib Jackson)This past weekend I did the Illinois series race in Macomb. It was brutally hot, even in the morning. I pre-rode most of the course before the beginner race, missing one of the turn-offs to the sport/expert loop. It was a fun course. There were log piles, some bridges, etc. However, there was also quite a bit of double-track, which sucked in that I'm usually much better at technical aspects than speed and the double-track was getting a lot more sun.
Christopher did the kids' race on his bike, with newly added brakes. It was almost all grass, which is of course harder to pedal on, but he beat some kids and got a cool water bottle with a chocolate chip granola bar and other items inside.
I finished my warm-up and got to the line with only minutes to spare, which seems to be a trend for me lately. We started and I felt okay and was right on Betsy's wheel. Then, I forgot to downshift for one of the ravine-like sections and had to briefly hop off the bike and run up. At the end of the first lap, I was about six minutes back, which is pretty respectable for me.
Then, I ran out of water. I started with less than I should have and then had some leak out in the fridge. There was an unmanned water station which I really should have been utilizing. I figured I could finish the lap and then totally dabbed on a log pile and realized I was not doing well. I came across a water bottle with a sports top on the trail. I was pretty sure it was one that spectators/volunteers were using to squirt racers in the first lap. Regardless, I stopped and grabbed it. I drank some, poured some on my head, drank some, poured some on my neck & back, etc. I wasted a lot of time but I was able to finish; and, I was able to finish without walking up any of the hills. I should have been smarter (regarding water) and more competitive (not stopping so long) but there were only three of us and I knew that, unless I encountered Bev or Betsy unconscious on the side of the trail, that I'd be third.
I've heard a lot of grumbling about lack of women road racers this year and it is definitely an issue with the Illinois mountain bike races as well. There were only three of us in the expert race and no sport women.
Without a post in more than two months, I've obviously been slacking in the blogging department. I've been really busy with working and trying to watch Christopher so Tom could study for an exam he needed to take for work. That has not left a lot of time for blogging and it has also meant not having a lot of time for training. I've been getting out a couple of times a week, on average, to ride but that's it. I should be doing intervals, etc. for those rides. But, when I know it is likely going to be the only time I can get a ride in all week, I just want to ride singletrack. It's good for my sanity but not good for racing.
Black Partridge Open should have been a great race for me, considering the awesome trails, but it sucked -- I felt off almost the whole race. Jubilee went a little better than that but I still didn't feel like I had my "A" game, like at Mathiessen. Now that Tom has passed the first exam (he needs to take three or four more), I'm hoping things will get a little less hectic for us and I can ride more and start training again. The Meltdown is right around the corner as well as CX.