A normal length race -- I was happy to find out that my legs can still do 2 hr race pace.
I woke up kind of surprised to see it raining out. I thought today's weather was supposed to be somewhat similar to Saturday's weather but not quite... what the heck is up with this weather this month!!! I'm lucky I went away for two races and had the chance to race in some decent weather, phew! So this morning I actually packed arm warmers it was that chilly out. As I drove to the race, the sky seemed to brighten up so I was hopeful that the weather was just crappy in the east. But to no avail. It started raining again :( Not really bad, but I knew the course would be sloppy and Vermont mud is tough. I was also pretty concerned about parking my little toyota matrix that is so low to the ground in the field parking lot and envisioned getting stuck badly if it were to rain more. I chose a spot pretty close to the "path" in. Then registration took forever, so I had about 1/2 hr to warm-up. I was sort of thinking it would be nice to do a full lap and really get the legs going since I had most of the week off the bike as recovery from the 100 last week. I just rode the first 10 mins of the course and turned around. I didn't feel too bad, but didn't feel super 'zippy' or anything, which sometimes is a decent sign for me. The single track was pretty greasy so I knew the downhills later on in the course might be a bit sketchy. Anyway, we had a decent women's field, five good pro women. I actually had some "go" at the start and stuck to the lead woman's wheel for maybe a 1/3 of the lap and then she dropped me on a climb and that was the end of seeing here. I was hoping I had made her semi-nervous yapping about the 100 milers and then being able to hang on her wheel for a bit, but I don't think it had much effect. She's strong, as were the women behind me. Gotta keep going. I went pretty hard the first lap, although that's the usual business in these races. I was feeling decent still but definitely worried about whether I could keep up the pace. I was thinking, I know I did the Bums time trials but that was for ~40mins at best so who knows if I can keep a fast pace past that timeframe. I did slow some, and got caught going into the 4th lap on climb. Actually she had caught up to me early in the 3rd lap but I mustered up some energy to try to fend her off that lap. I got some space in the singletrack and downhills but she'd gain it back on the climbs and eventually got me on a climb. I caught back up to her in the singletrack/downhill but just let it go since we were going to a decent climb again. I was pretty happy to be able to come off the 100 and feel pretty decent for a 2hr race pace. There was definitely lots of evil thoughts of the pain of 2hr pace. Race with joy.. my a--- .. :) and now i have to clean my bike (which, miracle of miracle, I did once I got home).
anyway, got myself some ice cream to celebrate, oh wait, who am I kidding, I would have gotten it anyway.
Next stop - 6hr race at Pat's Peak in a couple weeks (weather permitting, on my account anyway)