Well, my 2011 race season is officially over. What a doozy Temecula was this time around. Short version: I came in 4th place for the day (after pulling the plug early), and still did enough laps to hold on to 2nd place overall for the 3 race series. Stoked on that… Details below, and Garmin Link here.
Rain was in the forecast. Temps in the low 50’s. It rained all night, and let up about an hour before start time. The course was great for the first 4 1/2 hours. Super tacky dirt, firm and sticky icky… just how I like it!! I was riding well. I set a nice conservative pace early on, and took very short pit stops (just long enough to switch bottles, grab a banana, and take some supplements). On my 5th lap, that all changed. It started raining pretty hard. Since the course had already been moist from the overnight raining, it turned muddy and soggy pretty quickly. Every major climb turned into a hike-a-bike, and every time my butt left the saddle to climb, the back wheel would just spin and go nowhere. Like an idiot, I left my rain jacket in the pit, when it was supposed to be in my jersey pocket. So before long, my jersey and arm-warmers were soaked through, as well as my shorts and leg warmers. I was cold with no way of warming up. This is what bothered me the most. I have no problem slugging through mud and rain, as it’s a disadvantage that everybody is dealing with. The course was sloppy and sketchy with lots of crashes, but that didn’t bother me either, as I train a bunch in snow and mud in Mammoth (I actually like “drifting” on descents- it’s a blast). But once my core started freezing, and I could not stop shivering, I knew I was in trouble. I made it through that lap, got back to my pit area and re-assessed. The rain didn’t look like it was going to stop anytime soon. I could change to a dry jersey and shorts, and put on my rain jacket. But the 50 degree temps were not alluring. I only had one pair of leg warmers, so my legs would be unprotected, and my second pair of shorts would surely soak through quickly as well… and I only had 2 pairs of shorts. The course was getting nastier by the minute. I was not having fun anymore, and really just needed to get my core warm again to stop shivering. So I decided to stop my race short. The end. 5 laps, 5 hrs 45 min officially.
So like a true Dodger fan, I packed up and left before the crowds. I later found out that the race promoter stopped the race early due to the dangerous conditions. I felt better after hearing that. I also found out that I still got 4th place, as the top 3 only did 6 laps (3rd place actually took 9 hours to do 6 laps… so obviously, had I done 1 more lap, I would’ve beat him by a couple hours… ha!)
Anyhoo, my 5 laps on the day still gave me enough to hold on to 2nd place overall for the race series… which I’m very stoked on. I missed the podium ceremony, but hear the medals are quite nice… so I’ll try and have one mailed to me…
I definitely learned some stuff and have a couple more quick notes to share:
- Walls for the tent – I need walls and a propane heater, so that I can come into a warm area and change clothes without issue. One reason I wasn’t motivated to keep going was I didn’t wanna strip down in the freezing cold with a bunch of women and children around. Having a private, warm area is critical!!
- A few people recognized me from the Everest Challenge – all with pleasant comments, that was super motivating!!
- I bumped into Alex from DSES out on the course. Good to see a friendly face, and she recognized my jersey. I rode on her wheel for a bit through one of the fun/flowy sections, then we tangled bikes as she slid on a rock and we connected as I was passing… I slipped on that exact same rock in a later lap… good times!
- You need people in your pits. I was craving warm food, and someone to talk to, strategize with, etc.
- Definitely need more sets of shorts/ maybe start wearing bibs/ mandex (dare I say it) shorts, because my shorts kept getting caught on the seat every time a got out of saddle to start pedaling and were weighed down by the water. maybe it’s time to join the mandex regime?
- My eggbeater pedals were great for shedding mud- always clipped in well- never failed
- I realized that i like pickles a lot. This was my first time eating them at a race, and they saved me!!
- I also dug the pretzel sticks and goldfish
- Also since I was self-supporting only… I pre-filled 12 bottles with gu brew, and a couple with water. Laid my supplements out on the table… and unwrapped all my ish… helped for super quick pit stops- stoked on that
Catch ya on the next one!!