Copied from my blog...
Good morning, its godawful early for a holiday but I couldn't sleep any longer because I was starving. So I thought I'd tell ya about my race.
Saturday at noon we headed to Craig's inlaws. The house was full of family and I just sat back, relaxed and took it all in. It was really nice to see how happy Craig and Christine are as new parents. And it was freakin adorable watching Elsa sneeze. Babies sneezing = cutest thing ever?
After dinner we made our way to Matt's. I made myself comfortable on the couch, pretty happy as I was double-fisted with Molly his hilarious dog cuddled on my left and Oakley the cat on my right. I also had the pleasure of Molly's company in my bed for the night.
Next morning we headed to the race. It was so cold. +5 and there was an arctic wind that would gust every now and then, chilling us all to the bone. Unfortunately the race started about half an hour late making our warm-ups completely useless.
One of the most embarrassing things ever happened to me on the start line. I can't bring myself to recount it on the blog but just know that it had Craig and I doubled over laughing and every now and then I'd chuckle when I thought about it during the race. I don't know how these type of things always happen to me but they do.
Finally the race starts and we're off into the single track right away. I had planted myself near the front of the start line so I had no trouble with traffic in there. I was the first girl in. After the single track we made our way onto some double track and that's when Sara passed me. She was definitely one of the girls I was keeping an eye on because her and I were very close at Crank the Shield last fall. I tried to keep her in sight but to no avail.
Another notable part about this section is I passed poor Big Ring spinning out on his single speed. Gear selection was very difficult for single speeders because there was lots of dead flat sections but later there was tons of steep climbs.
Soon after that I met up with Tom from Shorthills Cycling Club in St. Catherine's. He passed me and I grabbed his wheel. I decided to ask if he minded and he said no problem. For the next ten minutes or so he kept looking back to see if I was still on and waited when I fell off a bit. So nice!! Thanks Tom. I wish I could have returned the favour but he eventually had to pull away when I couldn't hold the pace.
Then we hit more single track and I eventually caught up to both Tom and Sara again. Unfortunately Tom was having shifting issues. This was one of my most favourite sections. Think Kingdom trails meet Chelsea. So fun. There was a kind of a natural half pipe section where we swooped back and forth through the bowl. I think because I was so excited about that part and finally warmed up, I passed Sara on the double track climb coming out of that section. I was feeling strong.
The middle part of the race was awesome. Lots of singletrack and lots of climbs. Most of the climbs were switch backs or steep single track so this was good for me. That's my kind of climbing. This went on for a couple of hours. Big Ring passed me at some point in here. I kept the gas pedal floored during this whole section as I was sure Sara was going to catch me at any moment. I was breathing heavily the entire time. Hard work.
I took a few risks during the race with my fuel. I ended up getting lucky and it worked out but I was very close to cramping for the second half of the race because I didn't fill up at all the feed stations. At what I thought was the last feed, I filled my bottle and heard there was 12km left. I thought it was a flat, double track section so I figured it would be short. However, this was the longest 12km ever for me. It was a mixed bag of single and double track and climbing and flats. I was on the edge of cramping and because it re-traced the start loop, every thing was familiar and I kept thinking it had to be the finish line. Very hard on my head.
Anyway at 3km left I came upon another feed station (wtf?). As bizarre as that was, I forced myself stop and fill up because my leg was actually cramping at that point. That saved me and I finished strong to the end, ~55km and ~4 hours after I began.
I was pretty shattered after the race but happy to hear I came first overall for the women! Turns out Sara had a flat and was bonking so she ended up rolling in about 10 minutes(?)after me.
Craig ended up the 1st single speeder and Matt came 3rd. Great job guys!!
We stayed for the awards and I was amazed that I won money (basically my entry fee!) and a really nice helmet. Unfortunately its a size small and will never fit my big melon. Anyone want to buy a yellow Giro helmet? ;)
Craig and I drove home, both of us completely wiped out. I must have ate about 3 meals worth of food on the way home. Speaking of that, its been at least half an hour since I've eaten...