Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Domnarski Farm 2012 

I've never been accused of being the smartest guy.  Especially when it comes to sporting endeavors.  I knew I wasn't in proper shape to throw down in the Pro/open class for the NORBA stop at Domnarski Farm but I like a good story and I figured I'd prefer to get my ass kicked in the pro class rather than the expert class so I convinced Alby to join me in the fun with the big boys.

B brought her stuffed horse to meet 
the other horses at the farm

The fam and I did the B&B thing the night before to avoid a 4 hour drive day of race.  The hope was to get a pre-ride in but with tons of rain on Saturday I figured it would be best to just figure it out during the race.  Lucky for us, come Sunday morning it was sunny and warm and  MOSTLY just greasy in the woods.

the parking lot was full
Wisely, I lined up in the back row for the Pro/open start.  There were lots of faster guys in the group so there was no need for me to muck things up for others in the fast start.  Plus, I figured if I had any chance of doing well, it was going to be in the last half of the race when my usual endurance legs kick in.

At the gun, we took off and we quickly got bottled up at the very first steep climb about 30 seconds into the race forcing most to run.  Once that was sorted out, we entered the first section of singletrack.  I was feeling pretty good at this point.  I had Alby just ahead, Colin and Nathaniel just behind and the prospect of a long climb ahead to pick a few more spots up if possible. 

Alby got a good start, about mid-pack

I came through shortly thereafter near the back of the pack

When we got to the climb, most of the pack was long gone but I still had several guys in my sights and we slowly pulled a few of them in by the top of the first climb.  It was around then that Colin cranked past me never to be seen again.

Most of the rest of the first lap was uneventful with me setting the pace and lines for Nathaniel as we maneuvered through the multitude of DEEP water holes on the dirt road sections (my bike may never be the same again!) and the really fast baby head (and sometimes whole baby body) strewn downhills.

Starting lap two, Nathaniel and I caught (yet again) the guy we had been yo-yoing with all of the first lap.  We'd catch and pass him on the climbs and he'd freaking bomb past us on the downhills.  Up until this point I had felt OK on the bike but hadn't felt all that racy.  During the opening climb on lap two, the wheels completely came off.  Nathaniel graciously offered to set the tempo for a while which I happily accepted right up until he pulled around and rode away from me.  Not because he attacked but because my legs just had nothing.  It was at this point that I knew I was in trouble.  An hour of "racing" left to go and nobody pathetic enough to pace with me.

For the rest of the lap I tried to keep the motivation up as waves of expert riders and a few pro's who flatted earlier in the race flew by me like I was racing in the sport class.  I'll admit, it was a bit demoralizing but there wasn't much I could do but put me head down, grit my teeth and try to control the hemorrhaging.

Mercifully, a few minutes past 2 hours into the race I managed to cross the finish line the dead last finisher in the Pro/open but at least I had beat a few quitters who don't like to race on taco'd wheels and other broken stuff.

I wasn't able to push any sort of pace during the race and generally felt flat.  Two days later I have to wonder if something was going on with my body.  Usually, I'd be super sore with lead filled legs today but I have absolutely no soreness and not the fatigue that one would expect.  Hopefully I just had a funk in the system that will rectify itself.  I guess I'll know in two weeks when I tow the line for the Pinnacle.  If I stink there as well it might just be because I stink at racing...

The trip wasn't a complete waste though since the farm had a killer 
swimming pond with lots of critters for B to catch


Jason said...

Last in a group of fast pro open guys is nothing to feel too bad about. I finished 21 of 22 in my old man expert class at this weekend's 30 mile xc. Oh well, SOMEONE has to finish last (or next to last). Get rid of that system funk and get back out there!

rick is! said...

last in the group didn't bother me actually, it was how shitty I felt getting there.