Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Fouuntain Hills, AZ

Just trying to catch some shade before the race.

First racing of the season for me was this past weekend down in Phoenix, AZ, or more specific, Fountain Hills AZ. An absolute killer, but lots and lots of fun, really glad I made the trip. Competed in the time trial event on Friday, which was 6 miles of rolling fast terrain. Only 28 girls showed up for this event, lots of the larger names decided to opt out and save their legs for the later days. I figured that I flew all that way that I’d better get my moneys worth and do as much racing as possible. This was my first intensity of the season, and left my lung on the course, but ended up in eighth place. Saturday evening was the short track, and if you’ve been to AZ you know it starts getting dark really early and it happens really, really fast. Racing a high speed dirt race at night (with the aid of spot lights) is a pretty cool but somewhat sketchy experience. We had almost a full field with over 50 girls, still a few opting out and there were some pretty good crashes, lots of elbows flying, and a few no so nice curses. If you’ve never had the chance to watch a short track race, I’d recommend it, definitely a great spectator event.

Sunday, the hottest day of all, 31 degrees, ouch, was the XC. After sleeping in a little, hanging out in an air conditioned coffee shop and packing up our room, we headed to the course early to get ready. I warmed up with a couple bags of ice strategically placed in my bra and shorts, anything to keep cool. I was definitely tired from the last two days of killing myself and couldn’t get my heart rate up, but my legs felt good. Maybe the no dairy diet works for lactic acid. With a bad call up, 5th row, and only about 100m before the single (of which the whole course was singletrack), even though I had a good start, I still found myself very far back in the pack. Gradually picking off many riders, I found myself in the top twenty coming through the first lap. Passing on this course is an art in itself, lots of sharp loose rocks and unfriendly cacti (I have the marks to show just how unfriendly). By the time I passed through the to go on my final lap, I was in 13th place, still feeling on top of the world and gaining fast on the Luna Chix in front of me. Then the wall of pain came so fast I didn’t even see it coming and before I knew it my legs were starting to seize up and everything I’d eaten that day was coming up and out. Never a great feeling, that burning sensation in the back of your throat and then realizing that you’re completely out of water. With less than a half lap to go, I lost about 6 spots, two of which I gained back near the end thanks to mechanical…..hey, I’ll take whatever I can when I’m feeling like that, and finished up in 16th position.
Overall, I’m happy with the way things went this weekend, learnt a lot, know what I have to work on, and I’m super motivated to get outside and hit the training hard. Now if only it would ever stop snowing in Calgary.

Thanks to Zack and all the guys and gals at the Trek trailer for helping me out.

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