Not my best race, but I still ended up 4th in Expert 15-18. Start line was 29 degrees and I was dressed for it. I started 5 or so rows back and made up some spots early on through the grass and moving side to side for a while. I was feeling good, hammering it out and the legs didn't even burn at all. I was in third place about 8 miles in and then a little later, I was riding with Mike Anderson(who got 2nd) for a while. We could see the lead group ahead of us, and were working on pulling them in. I got caught in a few sand pits throughout the race and cost me some time getting off and running through them. It is amazing how much harder the sand is to ride through when there have not been 1000 races packing it down and making a line for you. About mile 14 we were riding through a long stretch of deep sand with more on the sides. Mike was in front and slid to the side and corrected, but I did the same thing plus more and ended up putting a knee down. Then I had to yank a branch out of my wheel and try to get going. I jumped on and my chain had fallen into the largest gear (11T). I tried to pedal but it went clunk, clunck, clunk. I got back off and ran throught the sand until I could get moving again. I never saw Mike after that, but I guess he caught the 3rd place rider in the last few miles. Right after that point, it got colder and started snowing. The colder air started to burn my asthmatic lungs from my chest cold and killed me. My legs never hurt though. The first 16 miles of the race I averaged 172bpm, but the last 12 I only averaged 164. I would go hard, no burning legs and not get my HR over 169. I felt like I could not get going fast on theflats like I had been. The last few miles I pushed as hard as I could go and said screw the lungs and just got up the last couple climbs. After the race, I coughed my lungs up for a half an hour and througout the evening. Maybe I shouldn't have pushed them so hard at the end, but I can just try to get healthier this week. I finished a little faster than last year and there was an extra mile or more added of singletrack,so there is progress, but not as much as I have shown before. In the Boyne race, I beat my time by 21 minutes compared to the year before. Not what I was looking for, but there is always next year!
For now, I am just planning on cooling it off and letting the body recover before I start hitting the gym hard in a couple of weeks. I am looking at having some enjoyable group nightrides in the next month or so and have some fun casually riding. Come December, I will start some Base training on the fixie!!!
Looking back at the season, I accomlished quite a lot, more than I thought.
-3rd at Yankee TT-my first expert race
-2nd at Fort Custer(starting with the wrong group, not chasing anyone and losing by 1 minute)
-1st 12 Hours of Boyne Solo-my first endurance race...quit at 10:45 with 11 laps
-3rd Hanson Hills-learning to let the body recover after a endurance race no matter how good you feel the next day, and do not go hammer out 2 lpas of PLRA after the endurnace race=bad
-12th Overall Lumberjack 100-I battled the heat and did much better then expected with a time of 8:32:10
-2nd Boyne Marathon-cutting out 14 miles killed the marathon part and truned it into a XC, but I still managed 2nd
-Riding the WAM 300 with my dad-it was a great time and some nice roads to ride on with hundreds of other cyclists
-2nd Addison Oaks-got attacked on the last hill and couldn't counter fast enough, it was a fun 1 vs 1 race
-1st Boyne-good course and some fast racing. I had a good day and some good training before hand.
Not bad for 2nd year racing and only 3rd year riding MTBs. Next year I am looking for more competition and people to race against. The 15-18 class is usually faster than the expert other expert classes, but with minimal people.