Circuit Race Recap
Two years ago I finally went to Sea Otter Classic at Laguna Seca Raceway, I also got engaged so I’m not sure which I was more excited about. Regardless, I decided that one day I was going to get to ride my bike on the track. Well the day finally came and unfortunately the week leading up to it hit me hard. Luckily I was able to painmed-myself-up and hold my leg together with some tape. Not much could be done about my voice nor cough but I figured what doesn’t kill me is just going to make me stronger.
I warmed up with two of my amazing team-mates before hitting the track. My legs felt sluggish and my lungs were on fire but this was something I waited two years to do. I know it doesn’t sound very exciting to ride your bike around in a 2 mile circle but hello, race car sounds anyone?
The course starts off with a gradual climb before taking a turn to the left. This is where the climbing picks up with a slight false flat half way up before giving you a real kicker. It seems endless because you know the decent is right around the next bend. Once you reach the top get ready for a very fast cork screw flowing quickly down to the flat section of the course. From here things can change a race as you whip around some stretches before making your way back to the start/finish. The pavement was good and it was nice to be able to really take advantage of all the road.
I was able to hold on for three laps. On the next climb my lungs couldn’t hold on much longer and I started to get dropped and dropped fast. I did my best to catch them and I nearly did on the next lap but was dropped again on the climb. Something about not being able to use 100% of your body really makes a difference and was unfortunate but I really did enjoy myself. I was surprise to see how much a difference the KT tape really made. I used to think that stuff was a gimmick but I didn’t have to race with my knee brace and had minimal pain!
I placed 13th, down one lap. Not bad for gimpy!
Cross Country Race Recap
For starters, this was the biggest field I’ve ever started a bike race in. Cool experience to start with so many strong women, intimidating knowing that there was going to be a lot of people battling for good positions going onto the single track. The course started on the Laguna Seca Track before cutting over to the road. We followed the road up to a fire road – sweet, my domain thanks to Mt. Diablo! We continued to climb, the pace was steady. Once we narrowed down to the single track I made it to a solid position. We continued a steady pace while continuing to climb with some flow. Sand! And lots of it. It was a sled race down to the bottom of a steep sand sections, the corner marshal wasn’t kidding when he said said up ahead. Sand has always been my enemy but I made it down with quite a bit of sliding. My positioning got a little out of sorts but I figured the next climb I could make it up. My pace started to slow around mile 10 as my leg started to give up.
Over all the course was very fun, I killed it (at least within my current circumstances) on the fire road climbs and felt very confident on the downhill portions. I pushed it hard at the very end but thought I still had 2 more miles to go….oops. I managed to pass one person right at the end (sorry) but it made for a good sprint. Felt great to be racing dirt again and I hope to race some more dirt soon!
I placed 4th! Maybe there is some hope for my triathlon after all? Despite this lack of training due to injury….