Tuesday, July 1, 2008

If I Can Average .5 Wrecks Per Short Track Race, It'll be a Good Month

Short track season, all glorious 6 weeks of it, officially began two and a 1/2 weeks ago. Damn, I wish it lasted the whole summer.

Since the races are short, so are the race reports:

Week 1: Totally psyched, even in the face of racing an extra 10 minutes this year because I moved up from beginners to Sport 19-39. I got a really bad start because I couldn't get clipped in. Took out Sage and Amber on each side of me. Gah! Sorry! Caught back on pretty quickly, though, and worked my way into the top 5. Great course, but got off the bike through the tight moguls in the woods-partially because there was no room to ride around the other people that dismounted and partially to prevent a repeat of my warm-up lap (whereby I ended up flat on my back unable to clip out of the pedals). Sage passed me in the last lap. I thought she was lapping me, so I let her go. Bad call. She must have crashed at some point and was just catching me. That's what I get for pussying out. Finished 6/11.

The mood at the end of the race was sober. It turns out that the single speed rider that I thought just got off course and took a spill right ahead of me in the start area actually had a heart attack. I've heard that he's OK, thanks to some quick thinking spectators. The whole incident reminds me that I need to go get re-certified in CPR.

Week 2: This race was only 30 hours after the Pacific Crest Duathlon's slow descent into hell. I knew my legs would be cooked, but I had just picked up the new bike and there was no way in hell that I wasn't going to take it out to race.

This time I got a great start and got through the lap in second place, right on the wheel of the first place rider. I was pretty stoked at that point-I knew my fitness wasn't enough to hold onto that position permanently, but my bike handling through the rough spots was awesome. I managed to hold on to second until Colleen passed me in the woods, but I was feeling really strong. Then we hit a hairpin turn on some gravel and I ended up ass over heels in the middle of the road. A few gals passed me then and a few passed me later when I pulled of the course a few minutes later in a panic that I had destroyed the back dérailleur on my new toy. Turns out that the chain had just slipped to the little ring. Whew.

I chased for the next twenty minutes, passed two ladies and almost caught Kristin Wille, who is a really strong rider, in the last 20 meters. Turns out that she rode over 100 miles the day before, so she was probably more worked over than I was. Finished 11 out of 20.

If I can put a full race together one of these days, I think I might be able to crack the top five. If not, who cares. I just love feeling the huge smile on my face every time I finish racing.

The bad news is that Beth bashed up her wrist again while we were warming up. Get well soon, Princess!

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