Immediately following our clinic in Denver, Brian and I drove over to the Bear Creek State Park to get our mountain bike racing on. We met up with Bryce and Josh for three 10 mile laps of the fast singletrack around the state park.
This was the hottest day in Colorado for 2011 and since our race didn't begin until 2pm, it was in the mid-high 80s at the start. I was a little unprepared for the heat but rolled with it anyway!
As always, the starts of mountain bike races are excruciatingly hard and painful. This race was exceptionally difficult because they started all women directly behind the beginner men which meant screaming 'when you get a chance' and working extra hard to pass ALL DAY!
Since my fitness is still non-existent, I was able to hang with the lead 5 girls for the first few minutes then I was totally popped off the train. I then ended up riding the rest of the race without another girl in sight.
I worked as hard as my body would allow and ended up with a heart rate average of 180 bpm for 2hrs 15min! The winner was right at 2hrs and the other 4 girls less than 10min in front of me. Considering that all 5 of the ladies who finished in front of me are either Olympians, World Cup racers or full factory riders, I was pleased with my place and excited to see that I'm not THAT far behind without doing any sort of consistent training.
Bryce, Josh and Brian all had great races as well! We'll just pretend that the Pueblo race where I flatted 3 times didn't happen and call this a great start to the 2011 racing season!