Tuesday, May 8, 2012

H2H Wawayanda

There are days when you just get out of bed on the "right" side, and what ever life throws at you, makes you smile. Sunday was one of those days for me. It had been over a month that I had been irritated by stiff necks, headaches, sore muscles and whatever other excuses us over 50 people get burdened down with, which I’m sure is pretty normal. Although I get down on myself at times, I know I am still way better than the person who only leaves the couch to get more cupcakes. However those occasional false moments of doubt, can sure suck the energy out of you at times.

Sunday, the day of the Campmor H2H Spring Cleaning mountain bike race at Wawayanda State Park, I awoke and planted my feet on the ground on that very precious “right” place. Unaware that things were that right, I went about my normal race day stuff as the day started with little changed in my head. The team even gathered for a picture, which was nice. I often try to organize a picture and it doesn’t work out time wise, but Sunday, with a new race schedule, we made it happen and even got a fun picture. I did not know it at that time, but that was a major “right” thing that I did to get the day off right.

Before the race, I had a few clothing indecisions, which required me to go back to the car a few times. Yes, I know, a girl can never figure out what to wear, but I’m glad I did, as I was perfect temperature wise in the race. Also the feed zone moved, and had me searching mid warm up, but it all worked out perfect, as I got to start line warmed up at just the right time. I love when that happens!

The race had a long road start, and the young girls agreed to pull up front. You have to love the energy of youth! Gun goes off and I find myself in 4th behind J, G and Stacey. J and G start to peter out, so Stacey pulls to the front and I go with her. Just before the single track J and G wheel around us to the front and I high five them on the smart move. I was a little skeptical going into the woods with my current health, but found myself with the legs and goods to pass all the ladies before the first rocky uphill. I amazed myself, and I rode with silence behind me for what seemed like a really long time.

By the time I hit Doublepond trail, my teammates, Dar and Marianne who were racing pro, caught up to me and I let them by. Usually they disappear quickly, but I stayed with them for several miles until Hemlock trail. Although that was the last sight of an elite woman until the finish line, I did work through the back of the men’s classes and got passed by a few Cat 2 men. It was by no means uneventful, as the trails were challenging with numerous wet rock gardens and roots. There were also a few steep ups that I cleaned every lap. My legs did not really tire until the very end and I was able to finish strong as the third women in and first in my age bracket.

I had not felt that good in a race in a while. Even after the race was done, I had more energy after the two hour race than before. It is amazing how much energy that comes from within us. I hope I can keep this feeling for a few more days!