Day 2 of the race weekend! After being nervous for the race the previous day, it was refreshing to be nervous again for two more races. Ah, wait. Awful. I meant to say awful.
First up was the Impreza Short Track. I like to think I wasn't quite as nervous for this, because I had found a good pre-race ritual. On Friday night we were out to eat, and another table of cyclists were seated next to us. They asked what was good, and we gave a review of the food. I advised against getting a margarita, because it was frankly terrible. One of the women said something along the lines of "Oh, of course not! It's a race night!" I heartily agreed, my eyes drifting back to the offending pink drink, which suddenly looked more sinister. No alcohol the night before a race, of course. Whoops.
But Saturday went well. When we went out for dinner the next night, I got another lucky margarita to prepare for the upcoming races.
So back to the topic at hand. It was a short course, and the race was something like 15 minutes plus a few laps. I don't know, I just planned on suffering as hard as I could until it was over. I started out in the back again (12th at least) and worked my way up. On one of the last few laps, I came up on a racer I wanted badly to pass. However, I was a bit blown. I had resigned myself to that placing, but then I noticed she was slowing on the hill. I dug in, got past her, and held it for a few more laps to come in 4th place!
Passing some ladies:
Wheezing for breath, praying for the end:
Thank God it's over:
Painful it was. It was also really exciting. I was feeling the aggressiveness again.
The nervousness abated for an hour, so I ate a little bit and hung out in the shade. After that I started getting keyed up for the Super D, which was a definite unknown. No one was sure how it would be run. We went up on the chair lift (AWESOME) and did a run of most of the course.
The course was mostly downhill, but it wasn't terribly gnarly. It used the same course we had ridden on for the XC race, pieced together to be one long downhill, then some flatter bits with some climbing stuck in. When we gathered on top of the hill before the race, they announced how it would be run. We would go in waves of about 15 riders at a time. (This was after hearing it would be TT style, that there would be a lemans start, that we would ride to the top and then down, and any number of other rumors.)
They combined the Pro and Cat 1 women, then broke us into two heats. For the first time in a long time (ever?), I sprinted at the start for a good position. The pros got out ahead, and one Cat 1 rider got ahead of me. Then we dropped into the downhill portion, and I slowly lost sight of the pros, and then the one rider in front of me got a gap. At the bottom, I kicked it up and started reeling her in. I passed her a few hundred yards out from the finish line. It was a long time before we figured out where we had placed, due to the heats, but I wound up in 5th overall for the Cat 1 Super D. Super Cool!
Sounds like a great weekend, right? But wait, there's more! On Saturday, with no hope of a real shower, I got into a bikini and had a friend aim a hose at me so I could 'shower'. If you think this does not sound like fun, you are mistaken. The sun was hot, the water was cold, and I was finally getting all the grime off. It was lovely.
On Sunday I went back to the hose to get a hair tie I had forgotten, and Ryan Trebon was cleaning off his bike and getting ready to head out. I stopped to put my hair up but didn't say hi, because I assumed he was sick of talking about the WI weather and upcoming races and all that jazz. But he said said hey, so a short and awkward conversation about WI weather and upcoming races came about.
Trying to think of something else to say, maybe keep it funny, I accidentally kicked the awkward up a notch and said, "You know, this is also an excellent place to get hosed down, I cleaned up here yesterday... er, not that I'm offering or anything." He looked up from his bike and grinned, "What, you're going to put that on the table and then take it away like that?" I laughed and said "I know, it's everyone's dream to hose down a pro racer." Just think what a blog post THAT would have been. I have failed you, loyal readers. I made my escape saying, "Well, I'll see you at Sun Prairie, maybe I'll hose you down then. I feel like we don't know each other well enough right now."
And he laughed, like I was joking or something.
I'll see you in the fall, sweet thang.