Wednesday, May 25, 2011

If You're Gonna Suffer, You May As Well Enjoy It

"Lately, I feel the funk coming over me
I don't know what's gotten into me.
The rhythm's got me feelin so crazy babe" - Beyonce

Am Zof Race Report:

I trained for 10 whole days for this event. I decided to race it 2 weeks before race day. Crazy, I know, but I had stuff goin' on. I just wanted to test myself: physically less than emotionally and mentally. As it turns out, I must have super powers because I was able to finish the long course, and finish well.
The forecast for the race started to look miserable about 5 days before. On race eve, I laid in bed and listened to the wind howl and the rain beat the windows. I fell asleep thinking "Who cares. This is gonna be bad ass". Sure enough, it was still raining heavily on race morning. Combine the wet descents with blinding rain, and my fearless invincibility, and John had calculated that my chances of dying were at least 300% higher than any other day. Welp, you can't live life under a rock.

The first loop was a 5 mile, technical and unforgiving trail run. Strong and flexible ankles for rolling over the tricky and uneven terrain is imperative for this run. I started in the middle of the pack, like I do, because I love weaving through and passing people, which I did. Soon I was ahead of all of the women. I'm not effing kidding you. I let loose on the downhills like a maniac and I power hiked the uphills. As soon as I stopped, yes stopped, to have a sip of water (and do a little dance) I got passed BY A GIRL. I finished the 5 miles into transition on that girl's hip, and exited transition ahead of her. Hehehe. Side note: as I came into transition, John saw me and yelled "I THINK YOUR'E IN FIRST!" I pointed to the girl in front of me and he finished "...IN MY HEART!!!" Love him.

The start of the bike is dirt and UP. As soon as you exit the dirt road onto the main road, you go UP. From there you continue along until you go under a bridge, which is UP. Straight up and in the pouring rain. As I climbed I dressed, I put on my rain cape, gloves and foggy glasses. Then I realized my brakes were rubbing, UP the mountain. I pulled over under the bridge to unstick my stupid brakes and I got passed again BY A GIRL! The same girl as before. Whatever. So I hopped back on my bike, ready to descend and either live or die. I quickly learned that the girl ahead of me was scared of risking her life to descend through the rain, down a mountain, with blindingly foggy glasses (wuss). So I quickly put her behind me. Then, the course got back to climbing and my brakes were stuck again (they stick after I use them) She passed me. Whatever. This time I just kept riding with my stupid brakes doing their stupid race sabotaging malfunctioning manuevre. I'll tell you what, I wasn't getting less fit by riding like that. I was fine with my day becoming a really long strength workout. I just wanted the t-shirt.

The bike continued like this. I got passed by 5 more GIRLS! It was fun to be in the lead for a bit but racing is also about taking care of your bike. I failed. My bike wasn't fit enough. I wasn't sure I wanted to deal with that for 3 loops (85 miles) in the crappy weather. At the end of the first loop I saw John and Grant waiting for me in the rain. I yelled "I want to go home!" And Grant yelled "this is where everything you ever wanted collides with all of your obstacles!!!" So I squeezed out some tears of love for my CREW and kept on keeping on. By the start of the third loop I couldn't wait to just run. Running is easy.

At mile 65 I was pissed. Like, wicked pissed. My stupid brakes had me moving at 13 mph on flats and it was going to make my run feel like certain death. So I pulled over, took a pee, then threw some sort of magical bike mechanics temper tantrum, and voila! My brakes were fixed! I motored on and finished that ride passing several people with a smile on my face.

John was in transition and I asked him how his race was. He told me he won. Yay! He's so dreamy.

The run was 3 more loops of that crazy trail course. Almost to the end of the loop is a super fun downhill. I let my inner 6 year old handle these (not my inner emo 15 year old) and I was flying. John was at the bottom of the descent and had rounded up a crowd of beer drinking, keg partying spectators (did I mention this race is a freaking party?) to hoot and holler and scream my name as I passed. I was like, "woah".

Then there was another loop. And another. By the last loop I wasn't jumping over the fallen tree trunks any more. I was more like, sitting for a second as I passed over them. I passed a whole bunch of people on the run, as I do, including a couple of girls. My run pace was pretty steady and I didn't slow that much from each loop. 20 total miles run and 85 biked. I finished strong and felt hungry for a sandwich.

I was 5th overall woman and I WON MONEY. It was my first multi-sport paycheck and I was amped. At first I was upset that I didn't get a giant beer mug, but maybe next year I'll get both.
Sent via hovercraft