Monday night was race #3 for me at Short Track. Alex and I (Bill is out of town) headed to the track early. Trisha let us know there was a free skills class for beginners and juniors so I was all over that! We arrived super early which was a nice change from the rush, rush, race method we have been doing. This left us with over an hour to check out the new course, get some tips from an expert Mountain Biker and register.
Alex was immediately out on the course leaving me in the dust. Since we were some of the first on the course we weren't sure which direction we should be riding. It wasn't long before we realized we were going to WRONG way as riders starting coming at us in waves. We got ourselves turned around and had a blast getting to know the hills, bumps, pits, ruts, all the twists and turns and.......the log jump! It's fun to watch Alex's youthful carefree approach. He seems to have NO fear. As a mom I cringe when I see him catch air and speed over the bumps.
The class was somewhat helpful but just riding the course was a bigger plus. I felt really comfortable on my bike. I even learned how to shift better! As we made our way up to register I had to move back to beginners because I needed to get Alex to Boyscouts and beginners race 1/2 hour earlier than sport riders. Come to find out this is a point series (I didn't realize that because I didn't even pay attention to the details) and since I am placing it would be best to pick a category and stay there. The nice man at the table let me know other woman riders could consider my jumping around categories as point grabbing. Yeah right!!!! That's just funny in the real scheme of things so I will stick with beginners, 20 minutes is enough anaerobic work for this girl. :)
As we lined up I lacked the nervousness I had the previous races and I consider that progress! I wore my HR monitor again and couldn't wait to see what kind of workout I would generate. The race started in a different spot which was easier because there wasn't a big sand hill or gravel pit where everyone crashed as the jammed together trying to be first. The pre-riding also gave me knowledge of where I could push and pass. Passing can be challenging because you need to anticipate what the front rider is going to do. It was a fast start with an immediate flat section to generate speed. Then it was right in the tree area with all the bumps and the log crossing. To jump over the log the expert told us to generate speed on the approach, lift the front of your tire then pedal as soon as your front tire if over. As the race approached the log it was a jam up with folks falling or getting off their bike to go over it. I held back because I wanted to try and ride over it. I gained my speed and with a quick pop of the front tire I was over....yeah! Since I didn't have to get off my bike I moved up in the crowd....about 4 girls. Into the swerving maze I used my newly learned shoulder lean to get around the corners.....this still needs a lot of work! Then it was up and over a big hill with a sideways descent ending right into a gravel trap. I had a lot of speed and when I came out of the gravel I almost took a spill as my bike skidded and wobbled. I put one foot down then had to regain my balance and pedal like a freak to make the next steep hill. As I came around for the first lap the announcer said my name which meant I was in the top 10 and that was motivating. I used the flats and the hills to make a gain on some on my competitors because that is definitely my only strength here.......leg power and cardio. Before I knew it I was racing! I actually felt like I was working to stay with or pass other riders vs. getting out there way and apologizing.....not even one SORRY came out of my mouth. After lap 3 I was following a sponsored rider who had lots of fans on the sidelines. They were cheering her on and letting her know I was right on her tail. I waited for the next hill and shifted into another gear just clearing her at the top catching a little air which scared the HE__ out of me. I pedaled like an out of control freak trying to adjust my gears to keep her from re-passing when in a flash she fell.....ouch! I finished 6th woman with an average HR of 177! 23 minutes at that average....wow. My max reached 183. My track workouts will get me to a max of 176 or right around there so this is crazy hard but it's sooooo fun I don't even notice.
Alex got 7th in the juniors and was a sweaty dirty mess. He wasn't loving life right after he finished but about an hour later he was excited and wanted to do it again. However, he did not like the biking shorts and complained about the extreme wedgie! He wanted none of that although he didn't like to feeling of riding without them so we will see if wears them again. :) Trisha and Darin came out again and loved it. It's been fun to all tackle a new sport as a team.
I felt like I had a breakthrough this race. I was so much more comfortable on my bike and being in the middle of the pack of wolves. I actually felt like I fit right in! How is this impacting my running???? Well, I know that a track workout the next morning is a NO GO! I learned that last week so I pushed that workout to Wed. and did my 90 minutes strides workout instead. This was much better and I felt strong for both. I think this is going to be a wonderful compliment to my leg strength since it really hammers the rectus femoris and the medial quad. Both those muscles are only moderately developed on me. My laterals are super developed from running. Friday a few of us are heading out to the Wilson River Trail for a real mountain bike ride. It will be fun and interesting. We are hoping to ride 15-20 miles on single track. I am anxious to see how that impacts Saturday's hill repeats. Sunday a bunch of us are taking on the Bonneville Dam to 3 Corner Rock out and back (30 miles) via the PCT. This run generally takes me about 6 hours. This is a Build 2 week and my weekly mileage is climbing high. Next week is a Peak week ending with White River 50M, my favorite 50M race and it was my first.