Today was the CU mountain bike race in Golden Gate State Park west of Golden. The festivities started off with a Time Trial at about 10:30am. This equates to about a 7am departure from Greeley which is never fun, but coupled with a 6am wake up call from the driver telling you he won't be attending, the morning started off on the wrong foot. After picking up some much needed coffee and the two passengers in my car (Evan, and Scotty Boy) we headed south to the land of Coor's beer and engineering students. The time trial went off without a hitch, the course was good for me, fairly technical uphill and wide open loose downhill. I felt like there were needles in my lungs the whole time (I later learned this might have had something to do with the 8000 vertical feet that separated me from sea level). Since I was going uphill so slow, I kind've lost motivation for the cross country that was to start as soon as the last riders were done with the TT. Regardless of the way I felt, the race started, and I had no choice but to try and hang with the leaders as long as possible. I hung tight for the first short lap, but as soon as we headed out for the long lap everything went down the toilet. My legs turned off and my lungs almost blew up. I had to walk almost all of the steep technical stuff, and couldn't seem to recover at all. I knew this would pose a problem since the downhill starts with probably the gnarliest stretch I've ever raced. Just as I suspected I entered this section of rocks, roots, strategically placed 2-3 foot stepdowns, and switchbacks with a horrible case of the noodle arms. I couldn't steer my bike for anything, and I think I hit most every rock on the way down. By the time I came out of the really bad stuff I was starting to feel decent, put on a good chase through the whole creekside downhill, and managed to pick off a few of the slower decenders making as big of splashes as possible all the while through the countless creek crossings. I held my place after that and I was super surprised to hear the official say 5th as I crossed the line. I rode into the parking lot amazed only to get knocked totally off my feet when Scott told me I got 2nd in the TT. That's my highest place in any race, of any kind since short track in Nathrop two years ago.
After the race I treated myself to a large Chipotle burrito, a white trash mocha, and entirely too many king sized candy bars. Needless to say I'm starving now and I feel like garbage. I think it's time for a midnight meal and then off to bed. Somehow I need to find racing legs again by tomorrow at 12:25 for the first cross race of my life. I'll be racing Cat 4 since that is what my license says and I'm not feeling too olympic to begin with after today's effort. Scott, Mark, and possibly Mike will be watching the mayhem unfold at the Boulder Res. so hopefully if nothing else we'll have some great race photography for tomorrow's update.
One last note of importance, I recently found out that I am an "Ashlee Owner." Like it or not it's a part of my life, so if anyone knows what can be done to fix this please let me know as soon as possible. Thanks to all you loyal readers, I hope you haven't been sitting there hitting the refresh button for too long waiting for this update.