Tuesday, February 17, 2009

24 HOP Race Results

Chollas are abundent on this course.

I haven't had much motivation to write about this race because I am not quite sure what to say. My #1 overall feeling is disappointment in my own performance. My #2 overall feeling is that it was a lot of fun and I wish I could have a do over.

The rock drop...where everyone watches you hoping you will wreck.

Julie comes over the rock which is right at finish with a great first lap.

Sarah comes in fast off her first lap.

My team of four women got 7th place. I can easily see that we should have gotten 4th and even possibly 3rd were it not for my shenanigans. This is a tough pill for me to swallow, because if there is one thing I hate most in the world besides losing is actually letting other people (aka my teammates) down. That being said, the other girls on my team were real rock stars particularly Julie and Lisa who threw down some damn good lap times the entire 24 hours.

The two minute summary is that I rode my hardest for my first lap and realized very early on that my strength and fitness just weren't there. I blame my swollen knee and two week hiatus from riding and hard workouts for this. I improved my time by around 6 minutes from last year, but overall I really wanted to be under a 1:30 and I failed by 2 minutes at a 1:32. In my first night lap, I felt really ill, ultimately throwing up half way through the lap followed by absolutely blowing up and riding a ridiculously slow lap that was worse than my worse lap last year. I don't know why that happened. Fitness?

I couldn't feel better after that lap and had a hard time eating or thinking of eating because I felt really nauseous. So when it came time to ride again at around 4am in the dark and cold, I allowed my punk self to punk out of riding which ultimately led to a misunderstanding which had no one from our team riding for about 2 hours. This (along with several mechanicals like 3 of us losing lights during night laps) led to us dropping from 4th to 9th place just like that. Another teammate got injured, so our two resident rock stars rode some good laps the next morning to get us back into 7th. I forced myself to ride one last lap at 10 am and during the lap, somehow started to feel a little better. Of course then the race was over.

So where does this all leave me? Well I have to say that during the tough hours of the race, I just realized how tired I am of competing injured. There is so much compensation that goes on when you compete through an injury that you will never ever be satisfied with your performance because you always feel that something is holding you back. This mental struggle has gone on since April 15th, 2006 (my original knee injury) which is a long time to be in a holding pattern athletically. Maybe it is time for healing instead of training for awhile... I just don't know.

Overall though, I had a great time racing with the Zumbala women. Our team was great, our support and camp set up was great, as was the food. I laughed a lot, met a lot of cool people, and got to be part of the great atmostphere known as the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo. And yes, it was bloody cold again.

As an aside, Sarah, my partner in crime did her first 24 hour solo and pulled out a solid 7 laps for 10th place in a really competitive solo division. It was her first >100 mile race effort. Kudos to her...she is tough. My buddies Jack and BJ also rode 12 laps in the duo for a top 25 effort.

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