Does anyone know where I can find a bigger suitcase of courage? I planned on digging deep into my suitcase of courage last night during the Solitude race, but realized that it was already empty during parts of the 2nd and 3rd laps. I think if I can just get a bigger suitcase, I'll be good to go.
The race started out on the pavement, and I settled into the middle somewhere, expecting a nice long initial climb up the road for the first lap, like in the ICUP races, in order to battle for position. Before I knew it, we all funneled into singletrack where it was a bit tough to pass. Oops. I was able to get three passes on the first singletrack climb, and really felt like I was chomping at the bit once we hit the pavement again. I made a couple more passes on the road and started the descent.
Upon entering the second climb, I instantly felt like the snap in my legs was no longer there. When we got to the steep sections, I really felt like I was going backwards. Once I got to the road, 1 or 2 guys caught and passed me. I made up some time on the descent and even caught the guys who passed me on the first part of the climb. I really started feeling it at the top again, and once we hit the road I didn't have the power to stay with the group. There were 5 of us that were all bunched together near the top of the climb. Guess where I finished among the 5? You guessed it. Fifth. I finished 7th of 19 in the expert B group, which I suppose I should be happy with. The frustrating part is that I know that if I could have kept up the pace at the top of the climbs, I could have been in the hunt for 3rd, as I was only 1 minute out of 3rd place.
The race makes me excited but nervous for Saturday. Solitude, in my opinion, is the toughest course on the ICUP circuit. It's also one of my favorites, so I guess that makes me insane. There is never a time to relax. You are always either climbing a fairly technical climb, or descending a balls-to-the-wall descent. Last night, I did 3 small laps. On Saturday, I'll need to do 3 BIG laps plus 1 small lap. Ouch.
The highlight of the trip was during the drive home. I carpooled with Mark (who raced with the pro's last night), his wife and his pops. We pulled up to a light next to a guy in an SUV with his window down and stereo pumping out some watts that would have put Landis on steroids to shame. Any guesses as to what he was listening to? Fitty Cent? Eminem? Dr. Dre? Those would all be good guesses, but all incorrect. He was rockin' out to "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", by Cyndi Lauper. Look, I don't care which team you're playing for, but if you're a dude and you're blasting out to "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", you're going to get laughed at. To his credit, at least he was loud and proud. When that song comes on and I'm driving, I immediately roll up my window and turn the radio down. Oh wait! Um, I mean I immediately turn the radio to a different station.