Thursday, May 28, 2009

A triumph of sorts

Last night was the first night race back after the terrible DNF. I was determined to get to the end last night no matter what. The course was slightly changed as there’s lots of logging going on at the moment. This meant that the road sprint was on the 4wd track and then the sealed road. This was where I made my third mistake for the night. I was feeling very keen having had quite a few good training rides and feeling strong at the weekend. I was back on the squishy bike because I didn’t think I could handle the singlespeed yet. Off we went and I lost my mind. Instead of racing at my pace and pushing within my limits I let my keen legs get the better of me and tore down the sealed road, completely exploding my fufu valve. Fool. By the time I got to the landfill hill I was still struggling to regain composure and by the top of the hill I was spat out the back of the entire field. Stink.

Ah well, I thought, I’ll just get my heart rate and breathing under control and then push on to the end. This was easier said than done, but luckily the weather was nice and I wasn’t cold. My bouncy bike felt like it was absorbing all my feeble power on the little pinches and I was getting a bit grumpy. At the cross over the marshal kindly suggested I go straight to the finish line, but there was no way I was going to do that. I continued on my second lap, partially driven by anger, but mainly driven by stubbornness. I came across another racer who’d got lost and felt a bit better having someone behind me for a while. I pushed harder and struggled up that horrible hill a second time. At the top of the sand dunes I gave the rider directions to the finish and he slowly pulled away from me.

Feelings were mixed as I crossed the finish line. Yes, I’d finished this time, an improvement, at least on paper, over last time, but I felt I’d ridden worse. I didn’t really enjoy any part of the race this time, and hated the feeling of riding the squishy bike. Next time, I think there will be a next time, I’ll take the singlespeed, I’ll ride within my abilities at the start and I’ll try and enjoy it. The bonus about being last is your number is on top of the pile for spot prizes so the evening was a complete write-off. Bring on next week?
Edit: I've just seen the results and I wasn't last! Yay.

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