Monday, September 24, 2007

Do You Need Directions To The Pain Cave?

If so I have them. I spent a lot of time there yesterday.
I've been a little apprehensive about this first race. I wasn't sure where I was in ways of fitness and where everyone else would be. I've been riding, but I can't gauge myself by those I ride with. They're all so fast and I'm always at the back. They always give me positive feedback and are very considerate, saying "you're doing great monkey, and we can't go until monkeys ready". Don't get me wrong, I love riding with them, but that doesn't tell me where I am with my own peers.
So yesterday was the season opener in Charm City. The women's field was huge. We had 27 starters. That's awesome to see so many women come out. But also more pressure. There don't seem to be any slackers in cross. I suppose it hurts too much to just do it on a whim.
We lined up and I got a good spot. Christina bumped me on the line and says smiling, " you just make sure you go fast". As she was lined up behind me. We take off and I tapered my start a little. I wasn't exactly sure where I was going as I didn't hear the instructions on the prologue loop. We're on the course and the dust is flying and my mouth is gritty and dry. It's hot and there's no water feeds. Ugh! I keep going. Me and Laura (her 1st cross race ever) are battling back and forth for several laps. I'm having to race the entire time. More Ugh! I start to get close to a couple of girls up ahead. Marc is cheering me on giving me updates on where people are. I catch one, but me and Laura are still going back and forth. Marc tells me I have one lap to go, I need to take off. I question him, the lap cards say 2, he assures me no, it's only 1, the lead C guy came around. I put it all out there. We're still battling. I start too see Doran. I chased her all last year. I can't quite catch her though. As I'm coming around, thinking I'm about to finish Marc tells me I have 1 more, he was wrong before. I about died inside. I hurt so bad and now I had to do another one. I kept going. Marc rode next to me outside the tape trying to encourage me and keep me moving. I was in such pain. I put so much out the lap previously and here I was still racing. I kept going though. Right towards the end I managed to catch Doran. I was about to die, but I had to keep going. I knew she wasn't going to let me go easily. Marc is again beside me trying to get me to stand up and sprint. All I wanted to do was hurl. But I kept on. I ended up keeping my place as I crossed the line. Doran stopped after she finished and says "so me and you again this year huh". We both just smiled.

Yesterday was so fun. We all now have the first race behind us. It was an awesome day. There was a great turn out and everyone did awesome. Marc and Ethan won their races. They were both ecstatic. Wes got 2nd behind one of the Italians, awesome job! Dan got 4th, behind the other Italian. Morgan and Lisa got 4th in their races. I ended up with 9th, yeah, top 10! I'm happy. I know I'm missing all kinds of people. Everyone did really well. Great job to everyone!