Monday, July 15, 2013

Stonewall Farm, Bike for Bovines

This course is awesome!! It flows, everything has a great line, it has climbs (oh yes it does!) and twisty turny descents! We were able to get a pr-ride in the week before, I was looking forward to this mountain bike race!

Day of, we had to be up at the Farm early. I was doing the emergency medical aide and Eddie was helping out in general wherever needed. We got up there shortly after 9 AM (early for me), Cat 3's registering, everything going smooth, I've got the 1st aid kit and my safari hat on. I'm ready for the day now. My goal until my race, stay out of the sun as much as possible until my race, which wasn't until 1:30 PM! ARG!!!! Hard to do!

Cat 3's are ready to start, so I meander over to the start line with one of my team mates, who happens to be male (very important for this next part).

So we're standing there watching the start and chatting about the course, which lines to take and stuff like that. All of the sudden, I feel this burning sensation on my breast, so I kind of just rub the area. It doesn't stop burning, it's getting worse and really hurting! Now I'm pulling my tank top out and looking at were it is burning and what do I see?? RED ANTS! They are biting me. Now I'm really pulling at my tank top, I'm sure it's almost off trying to kill the red ants. I look up and my team mate is just looking at me...... I'm like, I have red ants in my shirt and they're biting me!! He's like, oh that hurts! I'm sure he saw everything! If you know what I mean.

So I'm the first person and only person needing medical attention yesterday. Thank goodness I'm not allergic to red ants!

My race starts, I'm just following Pam. One of the younger women go in front of us and is gone. It's hot and humid, the usual. I should be use to this weather and racing in it by now, right? Lap 1 and 2 pretty clean, feel okay. Keeping Pam in site. Lap 3, oh not really feeling too good. I slammed down 2 Gu's and some water. Dumped a bottle of water over me, I'm drenched but feel goose bumps, not good. Pam's pulling away, I decide that's perfectly okay with me!! All I want to do is NOT cramp up or throw up! I know the course so I know what I have to do to make it through the climbs, put it in a nice easy gear and just pedal up the hill. On the descents I just have to keep it in control and not make stupid mistakes. JUST STAY ON THE BIKE!

I come up to one of the guys, a single speed and ask to pass, he's awesome, pulls over for me. I can hear him right behind me, I ask (no, grunt out), "you want to pass", his answer, "no". We get over the last climb and down the last descent, over the bridge and he comes along side me and says, "come on let's go". Of
Pam 1st, Kelly 2nd, Ramona 3rd
course, I do, I give my last effort and make it happily to the finish line! Went straight to the creek and sat down in it for a few moments before going back to check on Eddie.

So happy to be done. Came in 2nd today, Pam was awesome!! We loaded up and headed home. Both Eddie and I where like wet dish rags feeling nauseous! We got home took out the stinky clothes, left everything else for tomorrow and crashed!

Reflecting back on yesterday I always wonder "why" but I know why - I love riding, I enjoy all of the people that mountain bike, I love that my husband and I can do this together and it is a freedom like no other!!

To Jill and Chris Logan who run the Root 66 Race Series, Thank you!! Thank you to Stonewall Farm, Keene NH for hosting the race! Thank you to Norm's Ski and Bike, JC and Patty! Happy Birthday to my special friend Moki!!

Awesome job to ALL of the racers yesterday, from Beginner (we hope you come back) to the Pro's and everything in between.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My Birthday Weekend

My birthday was this last week, I worked on it, which is usual for me. It was my 50th this year, how did that happen? Last minute we decided we would go to the Windham, NY mountain bike race and camp with the Kovac's Family. Just for some back information I worked Wednesday and Thursday night, which means I got home Friday morning at 8:15 AM, ate breakfast, laid down for a 2 1/2 hour nap, got up, did the best I could to help Eddie finish with the packing (he did almost everything). We headed out around 2ish, got to Windham NY around 5ish, did a pre-ride on the course, I snapped a chain, Eddie's front tubeless tire blew. We then went to the local Bike shop (they were awesome), it took 2 hours to get the repairs done. An hour drive to the campsite, it was 10ish when we got there. The Kovac's helped us set up the tent in the dark, they feed us and we went to bed to get up at 5:15 AM. NOT a good way to get ready for a race!!

Morning of the race, stopped at a dinner for breakfast. I am definitely NOT a morning person. Drive 40 minutes to Windham, unload, ride up to start, quick warm up, I dump the bike as I'm doing my warm up, handle bar into the sternum and pedal into the back of my calf, ouch. We line up, and we're off to climbing immediately. I'm in the lead till about 3/4 of the way, sounding like a freight train and I'm not kidding!! Very short of breathing, there's this tiny
Tiny dots = riders
thought of,  "Could I have another cardiomyopathy?", "Should I stop?". I pushed those thoughts out of my mind and decided to keep going and "see" how I felt and if I could recover.

I get into the single track and am totally oxygen depleted, shaky and wobbly and barely staying on my bike but forge on and begin to recover. Thank goodness for the downhills. Don't get too carried away though, I believe I was going about 25-30 mph a some point and had a left turn coming up! Made it through "The mini wall", pretty muddy. The mini wall is a section of downhill that one must sit back and just ride it out, stayed to the right side as I did on the pre-ride, made it down, barely! Kabash Falls is another downhill part, down and through that without difficultly. So now Jessica is in front of me and I think at this point Pam is in front of me too but I am holding on. We start the climb for lap 2 (we only had to do 2), I feel like crap, short of breath again, sucking wind, audible breaths. It sounds like a train again. I can't hold onto Pam's wheel, let her go and just try to get up the mountain. I make a turn and there's Tracy, another woman in my group. I think to myself, "I'm not going to let her pass me, I need to just get back into the woods". I do and am able to make some distance between us.
Jessica 1st, Pam 2nd, Me 3rd

The mini wall is now a complete mess, I end up on the left side, sliding sideways down the slope with my left foot unclipped, dragging it and trying to keep myself upright. I make it down, take a deep breath, re-clip and am on my way. I know there's no way I'll catch Pam or Jessica today but I won't let anyone else pass me. Over Kabash Falls and to the finish line! Third place!

On Friday when we pre-rode the course we met the Mexican Pro team!! Eddie was visiting with them. As it turned out, one of the women for their team needed help with translation on when her race was, so Eddie was the translator for the Mexican Team this weekend!!

We wait for the podium, takes forever! Now it's time to relax. Back to the campsite. This is the best part of the weekend. We make dinner with the Kovac's family, enjoying every bite! Andy and Kathy's three children are amazing and we love being around them. There is also other children that are at the camp ground that are wonderful too (that's a different story in itself). So we eat and visit, the children talk our ears off. I go to was dishes and when I come back there is a birthday cake!! They Happy Birthday to me and all the children made me beautiful cards. I'm putting them here because they are so special! What a great day!

Sunday morning we get up, make the best pancakes and omelets with chili that I have ever tasted! Kathy and I got to visit while the children biked and played and Andy and Eddie started breaking down camp!! Before we knew it, it was 2 pm!! A truck drove up and informed us that a dam had broken about 10 miles above us and if the second dam didn't hold the valley would be flooded!!

Now seemed like a good time to finish loading up and to head home to say the least! I have to post this picture because the loading of the bikes and gear on the Kovac's vehicle is really something to see!

We all give hugs, load into our cars and head out. We had great weather all day Saturday and all day Sunday, that is until we started driving home, the skies opened up with liquid sunshine!!

What a wonderful weekend! Anna, Corey and Robert made it happen for us because if they didn't stay with the dogs, we would not have been able to go, so all our love to you for doing that for us!! Thank you to the Kovac's Family for having us spend the weekend with you and your children! Thank you and congratulations to all of the Root 66 riders that make the races so much fun to go to!
The Rip Van Wrinkle Bridge