First Race, First Sun Burn!

Having been riding and racing sporadically here and there, last year I finally fully committed to race and train more seriously.  It so happened Mellow Johnny’s was the first race of 2012, so fast forward one year and I am back to Austin for some warm weather fun. Mellow Johnny’s is the first race on ProXCT series.

We were joking that you can predict the winner by a tan line, so true – us Coloradans who have been  riding on the trainer are competing with Texan girls who already have a couple of races under their belts this season. Mere excuses!

We got to Austin a day before the race. I just put on my beautiful new Reynolds wheels, it would be my first time on them I could not wait.  I am getting very fast on “deploying” my bike from a bike bag – 15 minutes, personal best.

The course is about 15 miles, on a sharp rocked terrain. There isn’t much elevation gain, it even feels like you’re going downhill more. There are lots of daring ledges and steps, and some “kidney massage” power sections. While pre-riding I kept comparing how I felt last year and now. The conditions of the trail was very different, with all the dry weather, it was super dusty, rocky, and where it was a creek crossing last year, it was a sand-ish pit.

Sunday – race day. I got to the venue, got the bike setup up, got warmed up – everything was regular and good, I don’t like surprises on race day. They started all the Cat 1 women at the same time. My heart rate went over the top and stayed that way for the duration of the race. I am so happy to be on a bike, to push myself, I was probably way too excited, calm down Marina! My Scott Pro Scale rolls awesomely well on those rocks, I could do so much more, less running more riding! I had a good start, but after a few miles I started loosing the lead group, I still need to work on “flow” on a twisty trail.  I could still see them, but could not close the gap, oh well, working in the no man’s land, don’t let anybody else catch me.  I did not, finished 5th. Lots of fun!

Inspired, tired and wishing for more sun rides.

Marina