|And the rain is coming down!|
|Start of lap two...still clean|
|Stacey showing the mud who's boss!|
I had realized on Friday that my saddle had slid ALL the way back in the seatpost rails and that I had been riding it like that for a while. A full 2 1/2 inches back, which also made it 1 inch too high from the BB. It certainly explains why I have been feeling so stretched out on this bike! I moved the seat back to it's original position but it was feeling way too low. To make up for it, I tried to climb by pushing a slow heavy gear while standing and found my legs were willing to give the power I was asking for (WT isn't that steep!), and motored right along holding pace. A gap seemed to have formed w/ riders behind. The first lap was over very quickly, timed at under 26 min, as the course was nice and tacky.
On lap two, I was still with the same two guys but decided to pass, but could not find the effort to create a significant gap. So I dangled out there as a carrot for the remainder of the lap. Things were starting to get sloppy and I knew I was riding the slick stuff way to conservatively.
|Stacey post race: Freezing and tired !|
At the beginning of lap 4 Pj caught up and I let him pass. I stayed w/ him as long as I could, but he was too fast. I did catch back up w/ him after he hit the deck pretty hard slipping out on a mud section on the fast fire road. He got up and was fine, but it pointed out how slippery things had gotten. As Pj got away, I did spot someone in distance ahead. This gave me a little boost and finally caught him right 3/4 through the lap, after the paved section. He was someone from my class! I made sure I passed him "authority" to let him know I mean to keep him back. About 1/2 mile from the finish, I caught a wide grin growing on my face. I was smiling ear to ear because I was coming to realization that I was almost done; that this mud fest was almost over, that this pain would soon stop, that I had not wrapped myself around a tree and still had all my teeth (well at least the same amount I started w/)!
I never really got a good reading on where I had been in the pack at the start but thought I should place towards the end of the middle of pack. I thought I had defended my position well and had raced smartly by going hard on the fire roads, and riding the slick singletrack safely, and as recovery. I also felt that the legs had been willing to give more than what they had during the previous races this year. Perhaps even a top 10! Sadly, I again sucked big monkey butt and finished beyond the mid pack... Post race data analysis showed my hr pretty high for lap 1 but then dropping off for the rest of the laps. Guess I played it too safe. I need to somehow figure out where the sustainable maximum suffer point is.
After the race I realized how drenched I was and listening to how cold people had gotten, was glad I played it safe by keeping on my vest. The pictures show how muddy we had all gotten. Changing was going suck!
As I started to change, I was trying to not drag all that mud into the van so decided to sit on the rear bumper w/ the back open to protect me from the rain. I had gotten almost everything off but was working on peeling off my bib leggings which had clogged zippers at my ankles. I had put on a towel for privacy/modesty while I was fighting w/ the zippers. Suddenly my calf completely cramped up. I sat on the bumper for 5 seconds panicking on what to do but the muscle was tightening so much and the pain was getting intense enough that I knew I had to move to stretch out the calf. Not an easy thing to do w/ your bibs tied around your ankles, mud all around, and a small towel between you and indecent exposure. As I stood up, I, of course tripped on the bibs, making me drop the towel. Also at that point the pain was so intense that the only thing I really cared about was to just stretch my calf muscle. Yup, I was in that parking lot, butt naked, hopping around, screaming, with my bibs around the ankles! Thankfully, a little voice told me to just jump into the van, which I did, and sitting my muddy naked ass on the seat, to stretch my leg. Thankfully again, the heavy rains had kept people from being out in the lot! But just in case: If you see pictures online or my mug shot on the six o clock news, you now know the "real story"!
|Mike racing in dry weather!|