Sunday's race was gnarly. I knew the weather would be less than ideal, but must say for a one day wind and rain, it was fugly. Saturday was pretty nice and today was clear blue sky. Sunday was a nasty little February mud froth. I got to the site at around 6:45. The wind and rain were consistent, but I figured, fine, should negate any overheating, could be refreshing, maybe I'd find a field of tulips and, and. . . the rain had obviously been there a while, so it was a mud bath. As one bather put it, the first hill out of the gate was a slip-and-slide. No kidding.
I got killed on the first two miles. The ascent was so quick and the footing so bad, it was hard to get going, catch a breath, even feel that great with mud everywhere and wind and rain deep in the grill. Cut to the saddle where the race, for me, started and things got wacky and quick. For the record, I didn't see anyone fall, which was surprising because the footing was so bad. The descents were pretty tricky, finding ground, staying moving forward, not falling, pushing, suffering. I was able to battle some guys getting up to the steps, which turned-out to be a nice hike, HR staying steady high, climbing into the mist up S. Fortuna. I mentioned to my wife (she knows I'm a big fan) that I was waiting for some orcs or urukai to emerge from a misty mountain top; by mile 4 the race was on. By reaching the summit, a benevolent stranger (a volunteer) reminded us that we had just a few more tiny ascents and then it was all down and flat from there. This was encouraging and really fun. I hit the last climbs pretty well and absolutely bombed the big hill going down. I passed whoever I could see and then the trail reached the bottom and wound through a creak, which was epic. It was fun catching guys, sitting on them and then getting a pass. The final 1-2 miles were really flat and I started to suffer a little there, too. I crossed in 1:25.
Avg HR: 173
Max HR: 183
The official results are here.
I look forward to some spring races. Like I said in my last post, my training has gone from, "Oh look, I'm hitting it again after a long lay-off" to "I've got some gnarly races in the next month I'd better be ready for." Now, it's back to some quality low intensity, fat-burning encouragement. I'm getting some great feedback from some great athletes. I'm going to work very hard on getting my body in tune with my mind which is simply always in compete or die mode. I move to 40+ next Dec.; now there's something to look forward to ;-/. Please note there's some serious poo poo going on in that AG. Unless there's some kind of misprint, a 45 year old went 6:09/mi. and won Sunday's race going away. Sick. Anyway, I'm getting old, but certainly don't intend to act like it. It's time to step it up a notch, lose weight, go long and as one of my current favorite philosophers likes to say "Do today what they won't, so tomorrow you can do what they can't..." I hope everybody's training and racing are going great! Later.