I should have listened to that little voice inside my head that's been telling me for the last 6 weeks NOT to do another 24 solo...I'm in offseason dammit, just enjoy it! But nooo.....I thought I could go from "offseason mode" of halfass training, halfass recovery, halfass nutrition to coasting through a 24 solo..on a singlespeed none the less. Whatever! Did I learn a lesson!
The course was awesome, 9.6 miles with 980 ft of climbing per lap. Now, for someone that trained on flat stuff all year and has been doing leisurely 3 hour rides on the weekend for the past month...that climbing seemed tough after 60 miles of it.
So..my brief and ugly "race report":
They announced the teams would start 15 sec. before the solos, so once the teams left I went to line up with the other solos. Except, they yelled "Go" while I was still going over there so I was facing the wrong direction! Ha. So I quickly turn around and head into the woods 3rd or 4th. The course starts with a long tech descent and I was holding my own until my bottle kicked out at the bottom of the descent...(recurring problem I have with the rigid bike). Dang. I thought about leaving it there but then luckily I got smart and pulled over to grab it. Unfortunately, it had dropped to the other side of the trail so I had to wait for ALL the other solo riders to go through...now I am in last place. I kind of laugh it off and keep going. I pass a bunch of people on the next climb and ride the rest of the lap pretty fast until the last descent..I knew the line was a switchback around a bunch of deep ruts. Now, I don't know what went through my head when I decided to find a faster line and skip the first switchback..because it sent me directly into the rut inside the 2nd switchback...the rut was big, probably 2 foot drop with ugly roots and nastiness at the bottom. As soon as I saw this I tried to correct my line...only to result in me sitting in the rut with my bike. The best part? The race photographers got it all on film! Great!
The rest of my laps for the next 6 hours were great, I was cleaning all but the steep hike a bike sections and feeling good. I was in 3rd or 4th place overall. Then, around hour 7 everything disappeared..no power, no endurance, nothing. I longed for gears to get me through the steep pitches but I was stuck with one. That last (7th) lap was the longest hour and a half of my life. I had to walk everything that resembled a climb. It was depressing. I kicked myself for even coming out to race.
You can hide in a 6 hour, even a 12 hour or 100 miler...but not in a 24 hour. Basically, I learned that unless I'm 100% committed to preparing and racing come hell or highwater...don't even go. So, yeah, I learned it the hard way...but I'm so relieved I can take a mental break now with nothing else hanging over my head for the season. I have huge plans for next year, and I guess that's been on my mind more than this 24 hour in Mississippi.
Thanks to Brian Coleman, Ty, and all the Ridgeland Cycling folks...your trails are awesome and I hope to be back someday...could you move it into Sept or Oct, though?? :) I don't think I'll ever race in November again!
Thanks to all my sponsors, especially Vassago Cycles
, for an amazing year...I am completely happy with everything I've accomplished..and can't wait for next year (after a little break, of course :)
Thanks, to my husband Eddie
, for everything he did for me this weekend...I owe him huge. I know, I should have listened to Harvey
and gone to the party at Razorback.