There’s a certain level of peace knowing that you gave it your all and you still failed.
Okay, that’s a little melodramatic, but it does convey the message I’m shooting for.
On Friday, I took the day off of work and drove out to Warda, Texas. When I was telling people where my race was, everyone kept hearing “Florida”. And it wasn’t that I was saying Warda weird, I just think that people weren’t paying that much attention and their brain grabbed the most similar sounding location that they could think of, which was Florida. Warda doesn’t even have the same number of syllables. Warda’s kinda in the middle of no where, so I don’t blame them for never hearing of it.
Camping was fun, it was great to see my friends and to help set up things. It was actually really quiet and it didn’t seem like there was a lot of people going to show up. Though most of the time I’m camping, it’s on a Saturday and the race is on Sunday, so I really don’t have much of a grid for this sort of thing.
I woke up early on Saturday, ate breakfast, packed up my stuff, and moved my car to a place that would make it easier to leave after I was done. I killed a few hours by volunteering at the registration table, then catching up with some friends.
This race got big. A lot of people showed up and even a few friends who haven’t been at the recent races.
We started with this grass start loop that was designed to thin out the pack a little before we hit the narrow single track. I started in fourth, then dropped to fifth, then quickly lost count as a billion people passed me. Probably like 20, but it felt like a billion.
This race I tried to just race the best that I could. I knew that if I pushed hard to keep in the top ten before this single track, I’d burn out half way into the race.
This single track was pretty tight, and I guess I really did sort myself correctly, since I only passed two people and I didn’t get passed. That is, I didn’t get passed during that first section of single track. I did almost hit a turtle though. In fact, I saw a lot a wildlife on my pre ride the pervious day: 20+ lizards, 3 squirrels, and 3 armadillos. Bluff Creek Ranch must be the happening place if you’re an animal.
Anyway, after the first section of single track the course opened up into a straightaway over grass for a good while. I managed to keep pedaling and passed one more person before we dropped back into another section of single track.
This section had these sections that scared me. You would go down hill, gain a bunch of speed, hit a water bar at the end causing you to miss the turn at the end, launching you to your death off a cliff.
I rode my brakes down them.
I managed not to die, and passed one other person before we hit this big hill. I just down shifted and climbed right up it, but two of the people behind me just flew up it. I managed to catch back up with them just a little while later, but I couldn’t pass them. In fact, the rest of the race was all about those two. I passed them at one point, only to have a younger race crash into me. While we were untangling our bikes, they went on by. It got to a point where I actually had nothing left to give, but was still a mile or so from the finish. But still I rode on.
I managed to finish 17 out of 39. That put me where I’ve about finished every race so far this year, just a little a head of the middle of the pack.
But I rode hard, I didn’t have anything left to give. I didn’t catch any lucky breaks or really had any avoidable screw ups. I ended up right where I deserved. Yeah, I wished I had a bit more, but I didn’t. I guess the time off to recover from my shoulder really did affect my fitness.
But now it’s summer. And I’m ready to get into tip top racing shape for when we start up again in the fall.