1. Awesome start, no crashes, somehow managed to finish the start lap in the top 15.
2. Realizing that the leaders were pacing themselves on the climbs on laps 1 and 2, and also feeling out of my mind happy that I too was pacing myself (didn't have to go all out to stay with them).
3. At the start of lap 2 I decided to go to the front when the group sat up for a second, just so the helicopter could get a shot of little old me on the front :) You know, just in case shit hit the fan and I didn't finish in the top 10. I may never again be leading a group that includes Catherine Pendrel and Emily Batty!
4. I rode the A-line on all 7 laps! And I only had to dab once! Also I was so shocked I had to announce to the spectators "I did it!" on each lap, to which they were so encouraging :) Thanks for cheering guys!
5. Shredding some steep, loose, off camber descents and thinking 'it's just like a Rad's ride, let it go, and it will all work out'. I am so grateful for the Laguna Rads letting me tag along on their rides, putting up with my incessant talking, and teaching me how to descend!
6. EPIC CRAMPS! I cramped so hard the time I unclipped on the A-line on lap 5 that I thought I was going to have to pull out of the race. Then for the next two laps I had to keep telling myself that the pain was just in my mind, and that I could handle it. I would suffer like hell on the climbs and try to relax as much as possible on the descents, and somehow held on to 4th place. I have never experienced such sever cramping before, it was agony. Then after the race I had a few moments cooling down when I was in tears the pain was so bad.
7. First ever post race interview! It was a lot weirder than I thought it would be, did I talk too much? Did I mention the right sponsors? Did I even answer the interviewer's question? Haha, I must have sounded like such a boob! Oh, and Catherine Pendrel mentioned ME in her interview!!! Best. DAY. EVER!
8. Podium. I did not plan on placing in the top 5 this morning, therefore I did not bring 2 clean kits to the race, thus the Larissa Connors in street clothes on the podium trend continues! Also, Georgia Gould sprayed Champagne up my nose. Again, BEST DAY EVER!!!!
9. So much other random fun stuff happened today. I got to go into the Cannondale Factory team motorhome (because I invited myself in, you know, like a boss), and met some awesome Italian guy who lives in Santa Rosa! Also, it was a fancy motor home! So so fancy. I got FREE popcorn. oh, and I was called 'the future math teacher who wants a goat' by the race announcer, haha!
As you already know bike races are not won (or finished in 4th place) by one person alone. So a huge shout out to all the Big Bear guys who put on the races here in SoCal, plus all the other locals cheering for me, that is THE BEST feeling. Thanks for tolerating the heat to be on the course cheering guys, you all made my day, and it really makes racing bikes WAY more fun when you are there cheering :) Thanks to my awesome coach who told me yesterday that I could place top 5 (even though I didn't believe it!), and to hubs-magubs, for driving all over, standing in the heat to give me bottles, and always cheering me on, when I am in 15th place, and when I'm in 4th place :)
Pics will be added when B-dan sends em to me...