Monday, June 8, 2009

8 Hrs of Laguna Seca

Podium shot----too bad my mom doesn't know
how to turn on the flash!
My ever so attractive picture--taken moments
after my sprint finish between myself and 3rd place.

Last trip down the stairs for the day!

"Outta my way man, I am riding these stairs!"
Needless to say, there were lots of people NOT
riding the stairs.

Suffering midway through the race.

The new pink Mach 4, right before I was about
to get it all dirty!

Leading up to this race, I was actually quite unsure if I was even going to make it there. My back had been giving me problems in a big way, as well as my shoulder. In addition, my dog ran away on Thursday, and came back having been shot by a BB gun.......gotta LOVE the rednecks I live amonst! After a late night trip to the vet, and an overnight stay, I figured he was well enough to be able to hang out at my parents house while I raced, and while the hubby was in his EMT class.
Mom and I embarked on our journey to Monterey at 4:30am Saturday morning, this would put us at Laguna Seca Raceway at around 9:30am, with enough time to pick up my race packet, and get things ready. The drive started out a little rough, we saw a truck tag a deer within half hour of leaving home. Once over the hill in Sacramento, we were nearly sideswiped by some cracked out lady (she looked the part.....) in a pink Honda Civic del Sol. Okay, a pink bike is one thing......a pink Honda is a WHOLE other ball game!!!!! Within minutes of that near miss, another car in front of us proceeded to lose not only it's tire, but it's rim AND it rotor! No joke. So we had to swerve to miss that. I was really beginning to think the cards were NOT in my favor on this one......maybe we should just turn around and go home now??????
We finally made it to Monterey safely. Picked up the race packet, got my bike ready, and got dressed in my new pink and baby blue Pivot team clothing (thanks again Chris for taking us girls into consideration!). My original plan was to do the 24 hour race at this venue, but after the week I was having, and considering the fact that I have another 24 hour race on June 20-21st, I figured the 8 hour version was in my best interest. I did really well in the 8 hour race at Idyllwild in April, so it left me kinda excited to try another "shorter" race. As it neared 12pm, we all lined up, and were quickly making our way onto the course. I held 1st place most of the first lap, until the point that the 2nd place girl (who weighed MAYBE 105 lbs.....) went climbing past me like a goat on speed on the "long climb out" that any of us who have raced Sea Otter know so well. Her bike sounded like it was going to break, and I figured that my work to my advantage later on (but no such luck.....). I steadily held on to 2nd place the entire race, just enjoying the fact that I was finally riding the bike frame I have lusted over since Interbike! It was amazing how many complements I got on the color of the frame while out on the course. I have always gotten comments on my Mach 4's before, but most of the comments came from the guys! Everything from "what a sexy looking bike" to "that looks bad ass in pink". I thouroughly enjoyed my first ride on the new bike. I am really digging my new Magura fork they sent me this season as well!
Things were pretty uneventful for most of the race. Like I said, I managed to hang in 2nd place, and my lap times were consistent. Lap 3 was a bit of a challenge, but that one usually gets me anyways. At the end of lap 6, I felt the cramping about to come on (not taking in enough bad!), and did not want to go out for lap 7. Unfortunately, my mom informed me that 3rd place was only 6 minutes back on the prior lap. Off I went on lap 7, praying for no leg cramps.......but oh could I feel them lingering! Shortly into the lap, my whole inner thigh cramped, luckily I fought through it......I just wanted to be done. I finally made it to the bottom for the last "long climb out". I was cruising, I was feeling good. I was nearing the top, had maybe 1 mile left to go in the race........and I got passed by 3rd place!!!!!!! NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!
My worst nightmare had happened. I tried to dig deep, I felt like it wasn't happening for me. I tried to keep her within my sight, but then I lost sight of her. I fought to regain sight of her, and fought up the last little kicker to try and latch onto her wheel. I caught back on, we were then side by side. Then, she tried to bump me over into the cones marking the course! You have to be kidding me!!!!!! It obviously made me mad enough to try and beat her to the bridge. A good majority of people that day, for some reason, were not even attempting to ride down the stairs, including many of the men. I think enough of them had seen the carnage that occurred at the bottom of them earlier in the day! Ok, so I beat her to the bridge, jumped off my bike, carried it up the stairs, hopped back on the bike towards the downside of the stairs. As I was riding across the bridge, I heard her behind me......running. There was no way she was gonna ride the long as I could safely manuever them (like I had all day), I was set, and I would still finish 2nd, where I had fought so hard to stay all day long! I made it down the stairs, riding as fast as I could (and I was already DYING from trying to catch her!), and sprinted across the finish line. WHEW!!!!!! I did it, after 8 hours of riding, it came down to a sprint finish, and I pulled it off!!!!!!! With the way it all went down, I was almost as satisfied as I would have been if I had finished 1st.....just because of the hard work that had gone into it! Next up, Coolest 24 Hour Race at Boggs Mtn. in 2 weeks!


George said...

Phew! I'm winded just reading your story! Nice work catching and passing the girl for second place!

timari said...

Yeah, like race updates tend to get a little lengthy......

Danielle said...

Good job. And the new jerseys rock :-)