Just hours after laying down and taking a midnight 'nap' after the KISS concert, Jay and I were up and out the door at sunrise again for the St. Olaf cyclocross race in Northfield. Like a pouty child, I dragged my feet and wined as we hurried out the door. My legs and feet were still exhausted and swollen from rockin out at the KISS concert in 4" heels all night and I wanted nothing to do with riding my bike or running up the long St. Olaf climb.....
But my hubby still made me go.
And so I grumbled and fussed and wined and pouted....
I did a warm up lap at half pace and broke a sweat with the last of the fluids left in my body. It was not the way you want to start a race.... but I toed the line anyway. When the whistle blew, Desta, Zoe, and I pulled the pack down the start stretch. Desta pulled out in front and I filed in line to make our way through the first of the obstacles. Unfortunately, the first 180 was sloppy and she went down and, at the pace we were haulin, a number of us rode into the back of her. Luckily, we all got up and got on our way. Zoe had pulled out ahead at that time, but Points took her place in chase mode, heading for the first log and grinder climb.
I got back on the lead ladies by the base of the hill, and pulled solidly into 2nd by the time we reached the top, grinding in my lowest gear and forcing every last pound into my pedals. The decent was gnarly and we flew down it and back onto the open field as my husband's cheers and screams filled my ears. For some reason, the exhaustion seemed to have disappeared as we flew over the barriers and across the field.
I rode to my limit lap after lap, trying to stay with Zoe as she led the way. Half way through the race, Zoe missed the remount after the creek and I was able to get away. Each turn after that, I pulled out of every turn and obstacle, dancing on my pedals and trying desperately to grow a gap on Zoe and the rest of the field. By the final lap, I had a good lead and focused on riding safe and smart. As I darted down the final stretch, I knew I was all alone so I took a moment to steady Sassy Frassy and threw both hands up in victory!!!!
It was only my 2nd all out ladies win and the first time I've ever been able to get both hands up in the air on a cross bike (I'm clutzy). I'm still soaring!!!!
The Hellians all did great - aside from Desta's unfortunate ankle sprain that later required surgery (heal up chica!). I've never been on such an awesome team with such wonderful gals (and guys for that matter). BLEED SILVER!!
Lovin' the cyclin' life,