Of that mack truck that ran me over this past weekend? Oh man!
I am feeling it today for sure. The legs are good in general, but the body is sore!
Saturday we got up at our normal time, downed some coffee and oats, met up with Luke and headed south for a double ascent (both grades) of Palomar Mountain. We knew it'd be warm on the lower slopes, but I'd been wanting to hit up the climb with the Power Tap anyway, and it'd be another good hour threshold climb!
Steph and Dan took off a bit in front of us, with Stephanie trying to go full tri with no socks! She used some chamois cream and had no problems. Score.
Luke and Justin hit the lap timer on their watches at the taco shop and hit it hard from there. I struggled to sit on Luke's wheel, running over threshold, and after about .25mi decided to back off and just ride within myself. Pretty glad I did cause I think I would've blown up if I'd tried to sit in! They quickly pulled away, passing a few other riders as they climbed. I've never seen so many people ascending the south grade at the same time as me before! It was cool to have some "carrots". I passed a few people here and there, and tried not to drool too much on my top tube as I went by. Just nice steady effort. The legs were feeling pretty good after 3 easy days!
Steph and Dan called out when I was a switchback or so below them, and it took me some time to get them in sight. Steph was calling out words of encouragement to make the catch/reel them in, so I put in a bit more of an effort to go by and nearly blew up!! There was a rider in a pink jersey (Giro bike tour) up ahead, and I took a long time to pull him in. Once I passed, he held my wheel, and eventually came around. I commented on his sweet jersey, and we started chatting. A few minutes later I looked up and saw the sign at the top of the climb and realized I had just over a minute to set a PR! I took off in a flash and just beat my time up the climb from the last time out by about 20 seconds. The bad part is my HR was much higher! So, I was working harder and not going as fast! I guess I have to chalk that up to no warm-up this past Saturday, the heat, and a heavier bike (rear hub, front tire). Um hey, it works for me! :)
Luke and Justin beat me by a few minutes, and we rolled over to hydrate and scarf down some food and Steph and Dan weren't far behind. We all sat around for a bit, and then decided it was time to start descending East Grade!
We got about 100 yards from the T-intersection and Luke had a flat, so we found some shade and then continued on. Justin and Steph lead out from about halfway down the hill and stopped at the overlook about a mile or so from the bottom/Highway 76. No Dan or Luke. Hmm.
Steph took off fearing a crash, but the road had been pretty clear of debris. Justin and I took off shortly after, and another cyclist let us know they had a flat. Phew. Luke's rear tire just wasn't holding air, so he cruised it up east grade. Justin and I did mostly tempo up the hill. A mile or so into the climb 3 supa fast cars went by (supa sweet, too). And then another. Then another. They were driving like jack-asses passing other vehicles in no passing zones, and buzzing by us without leaving any space. I don't know how many there were, but spread out they continued passing us in the same manner until about 2 miles from the top when it seemed they ran their course. None of them were stopped up at the top when we got there, so they must've just been doing rally race runs up the hill. Nice.
We snacked and hydrated some more, then started the descent down into the furnace below! I tried to hold Justin's wheel until something hit me in the head and then I had this crazy painful, numbing, burning sensation above my eye. WTH? OMG! Bee sting! Not only was I stung, but the bee was stuck and continuing to sting me like crazy. I finally rolled to a stop and knocked his dead-azz on the ground. I would've stomped on him too, but I was too busy trying to figure out why half my face hurt! Luckily Steph and Dan rolled to a stop and Stephanie saved my day by removing the stinger from my eye lid. Sweet. My face continued to hurt the entire way down the hill! Near the bottom Justin was waiting and I totally felt like Vaughters after his sting in the Tour.
Luckily, I don't think I'm allergic, but my face felt that swollen! I was assured it looked mostly normal.
Following the ride Justin and I downed our perfect recovery drink concoction and started on the road to hydration. I was in a big hurry to get myself out of the wilting heat, so we didn't stick around long (sorry guys!). I waited a bit before eating my PB&J, and then hit up Costco for some fish and berries. Yum!
Once home we tried out an ice bath. It was sort of an ice bath fail, but I will be doing it again for back to back days! Just need more ICE next time around ;) Once out of the bath we laid down for a nap. I am the worst napper on the planet. I can't sleep during the day; it's even worse when our bedroom is in direct afternoon light and everyone is making noise. Eventually the stress of having to do dishes, make food for race day, get bottles prepped and filled, get clothes packed, etc. took over, and I had to get up. So much for rest and recovery!
I did some "chores" and got dinner on its way, and Justin got up frustrated that I wasn't taking it easy. Someone's gotta do it! We had a delish dinner and fruit for dessert, and laid down for bed fairly early. It wasn't going to be a super early day on Sunday due to the 11am race start. Unfortunately there was practically a circus going on outside! Fire works on June 27? Why? I've never heard fire works from my house in the 6 years I've lived there!
Had some trouble sleeping (as has been the case for a week +), but got some shut eye and woke up to a much more swollen eye than I'd gone to bed with! No way. The legs actually felt better than they had Saturday morning! Got my podium breakfast on, we packed up, and then headed up the mountain to the race venue!
The parking lot was packed since the Cat 3 riders were already on course, and Cat 2 was just about to start. The Cat 1's and Pro's were just showing up as well. We headed in to register. Was cool to see so many people up there for the race! Unfortunately we only wound up with 3 Pro Women, but they grouped us with the Cat 1's as well and probably had maybe 12 total? Rim Nordic is awesome for doing payout for the top women. I had forgotten about the money, but it's always cool when promoter's do their best to give back!
I barely had time to suit up and get my warm-up on after registration, and felt that my nutrition and hydration weren't really spot-on for the day. My legs felt pretty dead in warm-up and I couldn't get into zone 5. I guess I'd spent too much time at threshold over the past 2 weeks? Haha! No matter, I got to the line warm and ready to put my best effort out there. The front line was Joy, Karen from CA Multi-Sport, Natasha, and I. The Cat 1's didn't seem keen on fighting for the money except for Karen! I assumed she was Pro because she was on the front line and went for it!
I had trouble clipping in right away, and was 4th off the line. Charging for the first little bend off the start and a rider coming through doing his feed totally not aware of the race start turned his bars straight into me. I had nowhere to go but slammed down on my right side. Searing pain. The race started without me as I fumbled to stand up. Ouch. Crazy pain in my right glute/hip. I barely checked over my bike before I hopped back on. My helmet was totally askew and as I went to straighten it the visor came off in my hands. I momentarily considered fixing it, but tossed it just after a big set of bushes; I'd get it later! I noticed my Garmin and my bottle were still on my bike, and I hadn't lost my water or gel flask from my jersey pockets. Stellar. The chase was on. I was not only DFL, but I was way back. I put in a massive effort to start passing the Cat 1 women, who were all gracious enough to not fight me for position as I passed on the rocky/sandy lines up the first hill. Somehow I managed to catch back on to Karen, who was on Joy's wheel. Natasha had a few bike lengths on us, and I was getting' scared she was going to open up a gap.
We had a ton of Cat 2 men traffic. There's a lot of singletrack on the course, which is fun, but nearly impossible for passing. The pain in my hip was pretty crazy, but I figured as long as I kept the blood pumping to the legs it'd stay "warm" enough to keep functioning. Aside from that and being totally at my max to hold wheels not much else was going through my head. I knew I had to pass Karen and Joy. I wound up rubbing tires with Karen on a steep pitch, as she was held up by some of the men whose legs were not as "fresh" as ours. Luckily it didn't mess her up at all, but forced me to unclip and right myself. I wound up passing Karen and Joy and then Natasha on another steep pitch. One of the women kept calling out to talk to the guys in front to let us pass, but there was literally no room to go around without them stopping, and I'm guessing they weren't too keen on that idea.
Just before the steepest sandiest pitch I wound up finding a passing lane to the right and went for it, and made it up the steep powdery climb. There's a little roller and then a big fire road stretch. I cranked it into the big ring and went for it, opening up a bit of a gap. I looked back once and didn't see any of the women directly behind me, so I just kept on pushing it as far as I could.
I hit the descent and was cruising, a little unsure of my hip and the silty switchbacks. I knew the women were probably gaining time on me, but I wanted to stay upright! Nothing else had gone very well previously during the race, so I figured not crashing (again) would be best! I made it through safely but once I had to start pedaling again my right leg was letting me know it had cooled off just a tad. Took awhile to warm it back up but the pain was not getting any better. I thought, "I'm not going to be able to get out of bed tomorrow."
I went through the start/finish and had to grab my only other bottle since I'd dropped one up top on a singletrack-ish rolling section. Had no desire to stop and pick it up. Luckily I had my bottle of H20 still in my back pocket, but now I was full and tried to get the liquid and calories in! I knew I had run through a ton of glycogen on my first lap.
That initial climb on Lap 2 had me questioning my sanity. I thought about just DNFing due to my glute/hip, but figured I'd rather get passed and finish last then give up at this point. So, I dug in and just tried to keep my pace as high as possible. I knew lap 3 was going to be really painful. I thought at the 180 turn around near the start/finish (about 9 mins in to the lap) that I saw Karen bearing down on me. I had no idea how she raced, so I didn't know if her last lap was her strongest or not! I kept at it.
Lap 2 was fairly quiet. The older Cat 1 men were fairly spread out and gracious about passing, and most of the Cat 2 men were either walking or finished. So, it was pretty smooth for me! I kept trying to look down and see if anyone was catching me, but could never really tell. I was running scared, though, since I know those ladies are fast!
I made it through lap 2 and thought, "This is it, one more to go!" It was painful and long, and my left calf kept threatening to cramp, but I kept at it. I pushed the entire lap, not wanting to give up! I came across the line totally spent, but managed to raise an arm in victory! I was totally out of it, but went over to look for my visor. It was gone! Who steals helmet visors? Oh well. Went over to where John had been doing our feeds, but I think he was somewhere else. I picked up one of Justin's discarded bottles and totally in a daze decided to head over to the truck and try a cool down. I could barely pedal across the street, but made it and had my chocolate milk for a recovery drink. I tried a cool down, but could barely pedal. So, I took a fresh bottle of water back over to the venue to see when Justin would finish up. Chatted with the announcer, chatted with John, chatted with Karen. Still kind of out of it, and in a ton of pain, went back to the truck to hydrate and get cleaned up.
Derek from Bear Valley Bikes had actually been a great gentleman and picked up my visor for me!! Was stoked to get that back.
Wound up talking to Joy for a bit, and then while I was changing Justin had spun over after his finish. He had crashed also, and had dropped his bottle on lap 1. Score for both of us! He finished 3rd overall behind Griffith and James.
We got changed in a hurry thinking we'd miss podiums, and took our PBJ's over. The group waited for awhile. Photos were posted. Cat 2/3 podiums were completed. Pro women results were posted. More hanging out and chatting.
One dirty 705
As they started the Pro Women's podium I noticed my podium buddy Joy was gone. What! She had picked that moment to go move her car! They held off and did the Pro Women after Cat 1, and then the women's top 3 overall.
After that it was really starting to get late and I knew I had a lot to do at home (laundry, dishes, lunch, dinner), so we got Justin's medal and headed out (his podium was all gone already). It was a pretty smooth ride down the hill and back home, and I somehow wound up in bed before 10.
I guess my insomnia is dissipating, since I know I fell asleep quickly. Unfortunately I woke up about 1:30 am and could barely move. I didn't know I'd hurt my neck at all, but am having trouble moving my head around today. My right glute/hip is sore to move, walk, sit, etc. Left calf definitely is strained. I have some kind of weird chest/pec issue that I've had since Colorado Springs. I gotta get my body healed up ASAP!
I'm not even sore from all the riding I did over the weekend! Just puffy eye syndrome from the bee, and the other injuries from the crashes! Crazy.
Massage tonight and a few days of easy riding and hopefully I'll be good as new. Great weekend overall, especially if you take out the bee sting and the crash!
Dance of the Ding Dongs
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