Anyway, the forecast for Sunday in Danville featured a one hundred percent chance of rain. I was looking forward to shitty weather actually, because mentally I like to think I can handle it better than a lot of folks. The forecast model kept changing leading up to the weekend, but when I hit the road bright and early I was happy.
I’m not really happy about all the rain we’ve had around here lately (keeping our local trails closed), but I was happy about a potential “advantage” on race day. But about an hour and forty five minutes into the drive everything changed.
As soon as I hit the Virginia state line it wasn’t raining anymore.
No worries. I still wanted to race. I got there with plenty of time to sign my waver and warm up, and soon after we lined up. Once we started I had to spin like crazy on a long, flat section to try to get into the woods first. It hurt like hell to spin that fast, but I got in second…
Right on the leader’s wheel.
The rolling hills in the beginning of the course were fun, and I felt pretty good. My heart was still racing from spinning so much in the beginning, but I knew I would recover soon. Once we started climbing up switchbacks though, I was getting frustrated. Three of us were pulling away from the group, but the leader was spinning in a low gear and taking the climbs way too slow. This caused extra effort on my part, and once we finished that section I was gassed. I let one guy go by and kept pushing.
Suddenly, my legs felt like cement blocks. I had no energy, most likely because my body hadn't fully recovered from my sickness (that's the official diagnosis from Little Miss Sunshine anyway.) I let one guy go and then another, and sat solidly in 5th place. I figured that I would still recover, but each climb hurt worse than the one before it. They weren’t that bad (and my gearing was good for them), but I was just pooped.
I decided to hang on the best I could and maybe make my move on the second lap.
The rest of that lap hurt until I came out on a long, flat-ish section (about two miles worth.) At this point I realized that my gear choice sucked since I was spinning like crazy and couldn’t go as fast as I wanted. I started thinking that the geared riders were dropping me here, and that I would never catch back up. So much for recovering.
Suddenly, I came up on a rider. He was from one of the groups that took off before me, and when I passed him I felt a little burst of energy. Soon after we came out on a road, which meant more flat and more spinning.
Crossing the start/finish line, I soon entered the woods again for lap two. I was hoping that my energy would come back somehow. I had some time to make up.
Tomorrow: the conclusion. You know, because I always drag this shit out.