Monday, June 13, 2016

GoPro Games Recap

Well this race didn't really go so well, due to some pretty dumb racing strategy on my part. Let's just say I knew better, but somehow made a mistake that I will hopefully never make again because man was it painful!

A quick recap:
At the start Evelyn went out FULL GAS (as people are saying now) and basically put everyone pretty deep in the red.
Being one of the very few racers who DOES NOT live at altitude in attendance I should have stuck to my understanding that if you go too deep at any one point, it's VERY hard to recover at 8,000 ft. Instead I went into the race with the mind set that I would do whatever it takes to stay with the lead group, a strategy that may work at sea level, but not up there (for me).
So within 20 minutes I was a complete disaster of gasping for breath, and by lap 2 places 1-3 were out of my sight. I could see a few riders behind me as we wound up the ski slopes, but I never really recovered from the start and got caught on the last lap and ended up 5th overall.
Not what I had in mind for this race, BUT major silver lining, 3rd place was team mate Amy why rode like a boss up those crazy long climbs. I was already so stoked for her being in the top 3 that on the last lap my own implosion wasn't so heartbreaking! Amy got hit by a car this week, so to knock this race out of the park like that was crazy inspirational!
Podium on the day. GOOD JOB AMY!!!
Other memories from the 2 hours of suffering.
The descent was wicked fun but wicked tiring. At home we have no long, sustained descents like this where you can go REALLY fast, so by the end my mind would be tired from processing stuff at speeds I normally never hit. This was a pretty cool experience though, and opening up the brakes and flying down the hill channeling Yolanda was so much fun!
I am so lucky to have gotten pro bottle feeds from UCD roadie team-mate Dani Haulman and Alisa Capistrano, who also cheered like champs. It was a last minute surprise to get to hang out with them in Vail, and I am SOOOO appreciative of the feeds during the race. One of the few things I did right was drink more than usual because of the altitude.

Pretty much immediately after the race I wolfed down a huge plate of nachos and then wandered around the expo with very sore legs and lungs to see some of the other events, like the World Cup of Rock Climbing. I love this event because there is such a variety of competitions, from fly fishing to slack lining, to rock climbing, to dogs jumping off piers for distance and height. There are also always a TON of outdoorsy companies with their goods on display, so it's fun to see cool stuff like new action cameras, bike bags, camping gear... pretty much anything you could need to go out and adventure!

The crowd watching the bouldering competition was SOOOO big we could barely see. The routes looked SO hard and there were climbers there from all over the world!
So this time altitude got the last laugh, and left me hacking up a lung on the drive back to SLC. Thanks for the extra dose of agony Vail!

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