171 = Total sq. miles of island paradise in Curacao
171 ft = Ken Block's former world record destroyed by Travis Pastrana to ring in 2010
171 = Total number of goals scored in the 1998 World Cup (most scored in a tournament)
171 = Total number of consecutive races entered and finished since my first race in 2006....and now I'm tired.
Yep, this past Saturday marked my 171st race in a row (that I can count), all completed, no matter what place I finished in.
The ice race at Lake Minnetonka was wicked fun - a little cool, but the sunshine was impermeable and brought the energy out in everyone. I opted for the long race even though I'm in the midst of my hibernation, but couldn't complain.
The temps were just warm enough I could get away w/ simply leg warmers and doubling up layers on my upper body. Two laps into it, and I was already struggling to unzip my skin suit with clumsy, glove-laden hands. Kristi O. was ridin hard and her wheels were grippin the ice well as she manuevered through the twists and turns. I always love riding with her - she pushes me to ride at my absolute threshold (and probably doesn't even know it - Thanks!).
Hwood and Chucker, however, were destroying the entire field, pushing a hard pace at the front of the pack and splitting the group more and more with every turn. Me, on the other hand, attempted to eat up any rider I could at the back of the pack, trying to keep my rabbit within reach.
With two laps to go, my reserves were running low and I got hung up behind another rider and lost all momentum. Getting caught out in the wind, I watched Kristi grow the gap between us just before I hit the section of mashed potato snow and lost all my balance, forcing me off the bike and to run til I hit clear ice again. Just as I did, Hwood and the Chucker came upon me and gave me a rest. I did everything I could to hang on for dear life, but didn't make it far enough and wasn't able to close in on KO.
Hwood and Chuck kept ridin like maniacs and finished strong as I kept my wits about me and finished proud as a peacock in 2nd in the women's field. Hwood won it, and Chucker sealed the 2nd place spot with ease. Exhausted, I dismounted my bike after crossing the finish to find Hwood, my Dad, and step-mom waiting to congratulate me. We had a fab time watching the racers come in, and checking out the next group as they toed the line, but had to cut it short once the adrenaline wore off and the shivering began.
With a little bit of energy remaining, we headed out to the local bike shop for awards and some tasty beers to recoup. After some time with our friends, we retunred home for a late afternoon nap and some well deserved rest for our legs. With twitching feet, I dreamt pleasantly of snowy trails and cool air.... I just can't wait til next time.
Though I want spring to come desperately, at the same time I want time to stand still. Or, maybe at least try with everything it's got. Either way, I just want more time to spend doing the things I love before it all starts over again...