Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Working, Racing & Race Planning

On Sunday, I did the Wildlife Wild Mountain Bike Race put on by Betsy and the rest of the PAMBA crew at Wildlife Prairie State Park near Peoria. I probably should have taken a weekend off from racing but I really liked the trails the last time I raced there; I knew they had practically doubled the amount of single track; and, I wanted to support Betsy and PAMBA by going to the race.

On Saturday, I helped out with a Bike & Dine in Lockport. I really wanted to just lay around. It's been hectic and I could kind of feel a cold coming on. But, it is hard to turn down an opportunity to get paid to ride my bike.
I had about two hours of pedaling time at an easy enough pace that I took a heck of a lot of photos, rode parts of the I & M Canal Trail that I had not previously rode, found out where the Isle a la Cache Museum is and taught a lady how to shift her bike. So, a tiring day; but, all in all, a good day. While I was pedaling around Lockport, Joliet and Romeoville, Tom & Christopher went on a hike at Teason's Woods, near Palos -- which is what the photo on top is from. I got home before them and chilled out on the couch a bit before getting my stuff ready for the race.
I woke up early and headed down to Peoria. I got there earlier than I expected which let me get in a leisurely lap, finishing right after the beginners started. The trails were fun to ride although I was feeling a little crappy. The course was broken into two parts -- one section of single-track with lots of twisty single-track and lots of fun; although, one or two parts I knew I may have trouble with during the race. Then, out in the open and over to the other sections of single-track that were a little more technical but that I had less issues with. Then, back to the start/finish section and out to the first section of single track again. A lap was somewhere between 7-8 miles. We would be doing three laps so it would be a slightly longer race than usual.

I didn't have any goals really for the race. I wanted to do well but knew that my body was probably more in need of a rest than a race. I started off okay, although not great. I did too many stupid little mistakes during the first lap. I had a sport woman right on my tail and Bev behind her and I have a tendency to ride like an idiot when I know people are right behind me. Bev passed me probably about half-way into the first lap. So, that meant I was dead last again. Very frustrating but oh well. I wanted to, at least, keep the sport lady behind me. I knew the second part of the lap was a little more technical and by the end of the lap I was feeling a little better.

The second lap I came across Rachael sitting on the side of the trail. I asked if she needed me to stop and she said no. I felt bad since she looked miserable. However, I then cleaned one little technical section which was a small victory and the volunteer said another woman was right ahead of me. I knew she was in the sport race and not mine but set a goal to catch her anyway. I passed her during the second part of the lap, a little before the Edge of the World trail.

Third lap, my legs kept feeling like they were going to cramp up. It held off until I crossed the finish line and stopped. Fifth place. I actually got a medal & $15. I also scored a pair of socks. I was definitely glad I went but am so glad and happy (yes, I know that is redundant) that I am not racing this weekend. However, I am taking Christopher on a mini-trip with us spending all day Saturday at Great America so I'm not sure how relaxing that will be.

I'm hoping things will calm down a bit in the immediate future. We had our final 2012 Palos Meltdown meeting yesterday evening. I'm going to try to get a media release done in the near future with some photos, talk about the equipment for trail building/maintenance that CAMBr will be able to get with the funds raised, the tentative 2013 date, etc. (Psst, you may want to keep July 21, 2013 open.) I have a project I have to finish up for LIB and then I'm just hoping to go a little time without any crises.

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