|Van life breakfast = best pre-race breakfast.|
My strategy was to go out hard, and then panic about being caught for the rest of the race, you know, like I did at every race last year. Again good luck was on my side, as I broke a spoke on the waterfall on lap 1, about 45 minutes into the race, and was pre-occupied with descending cautiously for the rest of the race because I was scared shitless of destroying another rear wheel, so the panic never really set in.
Although it was terribly frustrating to not get to smash rocks and bomb down Zen with reckless abandon the Edict still took care of business helping me fend off the other women and by the end of the techy stuff on lap 1 I was still in the lead. The second half of the lap had a long, peadable descent followed by an even longer false flat, smooth climb in the Bearclaw Poppy area. I had to shift my strategy from gaining time on the descents to throwing around watts on the long shallow climb, which seemed like a risky approach considering I knew how strong a climber Chase is, and had no idea where the strengths of the other women layed.
|Pre-riding on Friday with Gwendalyn... I I have no pictures from the actual race :(|
Heading into the second lap I was surprised my mind and body felt so good, and I listened to the dudes trying to stick to my wheel complain about their hands hurting with a smirk on my face.
Knowing I may blow up later in the second lap I tried hard to pace myself on the way out to Zen the second time, and before I knew it I was at the top of the waterfall, through the feed zone and again climbing the gloriously rocky zig zag ascent on Zen. And then I was at the feed zone again, and then climbing the fire road to Bear Claw Poppy (which obviously made me want to eat bear claws EVERY TIME!). The second time through the long gradual Stucki climb I pushed harder, trying to gradually empty my tank, motivated by all the 50 milers on the course whom I would target, sneak up on and pass one by one. I had no idea how much of a lead I had on 2nd place, so I rode like she was just seconds behind me, surprised I still had watts to give and limited discomfort in my body.
Somehow the 88 miles (yeah, they say 100 but it's only like 88) flew by, and before I could get sick of riding my bike I was cresting the top of Barrel Roll and headed back in the direction of the finish! yeah, my hands and arms hurt (this is why friends don't let friends skip arm day), but I really never felt that sense of despair and dread I usually feel in ultra races when you realize you have ___ miles left. The very end of the race was made humorous when Dirtwire.tv's Thom parsons caught me running up a rock problem (hey, it was late in the race! My legs weren't fresh anymore!) and then he chased me first on foot and then by bike down Barrell Roll. It was comical how slow I was riding to try and preserve my bike, but also thinking any minute 2nd place would catch me, but we chatted about ice cream and passed about 65 armatures doing the 50 mile race, all the while screaming 'Hello, it's me, I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet'. Then Thom told me about the Lobster guards in New England, and almost killed Kimmi Runner (sorry Kimmi!), yeah, good times.
|A podium with my best bike :)|
|Got to hang out with this baboon after the race so that was fun.|
|After every ultra race I win there is always hot chocolate with excessive whipped cream. Perks Coffee in Santa Clara, Utah did a bang up job on the hot cocoa. The only thing missing was Lauren!|